Demography Unplugged with Neil Howe

Supreme Court Vacancy, Brexit and Northern Ireland, and Poland's Coalition Collapses

September 23, 2020 Neil Howe
Demography Unplugged with Neil Howe
Supreme Court Vacancy, Brexit and Northern Ireland, and Poland's Coalition Collapses
Show Notes

In this latest issue of my weekly podcast, we discuss the new Supreme Court vacancy. Trump wants to fill the position with a woman who has a pro-life background like federal appeals judge Amy Coney Barrett (circuit judge for US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit) or Barbara Lagoa (11th Circuit judge US Court of Appeals). Trump has no choice but to try and fill the position; it's a big motivator of evangelical support. And Democrats have no choice but to oppose adamantly. The open seat could significantly impact a close election and may help Trump in legal battles over a close election result.

Economic indicators remained mixed. The Philadelphia Fed Manu Index dropped to 15 for September. That is its lowest reading since May. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment preliminary reading jumped to 78.9 for September. That is its highest reading since March. And the Chicago National Activity Index dropped to 0.79 for August. This reading is more in line with the index's average of around zero. 

Poland's ruling coalition collapses. The Law and Justice Party told its smaller party allies to "pack their bags." A few weeks back, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Law and Justice, proposed an animal rights bill that was opposed by the other parties of his government. Kaczynski did not take the insubordination well and has announced Law and Justice will try to govern as a minority party. If this does not work, new elections will be triggered. 

Brexit heats up. Back in January, the UK and the EU agreed on the Northern Ireland Protocol. It would allow the soft border between Ireland and Northern Ireland to remain with no checkpoints. In return, Northern Ireland would have to follow EU custom laws and check any goods coming from the rest of the UK. But BoJo has now introduced a bill in parliament that would give him the authority to scrap the agreement altogether. Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have both threatened that if a hard border is reinstated the US will not sign a trade deal with the UK. 

Protests expand in Thailand. On Saturday, 20k-50k people filled the streets of Bangkok to protest against the government and the King. This was the largest demonstration yet. Protestors have called for a countrywide strike on October 14 and an immediate boycott of the Siam Commercial Bank, in which the King holds a 24% stake.

In the UK and the US, the number of older women without children will skyrocket in the next 20 years. Since adult children are the group most likely to provide informal care to adults age 80 and over, this sets the stage for a huge increase in demand for paid care that will be difficult to meet.
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