1. A couple of billion for free college education
If you are in your early twenties, or just started working, chances are you are still paying for the student loan that sponsored your time in college. The U.S is well-known around the world for having one really expensive public higher education system: For some countries, the mere thought of having to pay for public higher education would certainly cause a revolution. The U.S Department of Education released recent data which revealed the shocking number of what undergraduates students throughout the country had paid for tuition in 2012: $62.6 billion dollars. This is a ballpark figure of what the U.S government would have to add to its current spending in order to make the public college tuition free for the three fourth undergraduate students in the country choosing public over private college education.
2. $400/ounce of weed
Colorado made history last year by becoming the first State to legalize recreational marijuana along with the State of Washington. But while the law has been passed and that the first shops have been opened, the buyers probably did not expect the price tag waiting for them : the price of “recreational marijuana” has doubled from the price of marijuana sold for medical purposes in the same State one year ago. For the Colorado-based readers wondering whether the prices will one day go down : Yes, providing sufficient shops open to create competition or providing the high prices bring the market down to such an extent that the government has to cut down the taxes. In the meantime, patience is a virtue.
3. 967 million
While we’re on the “smoking” topic, here is the estimation of daily smokers around the world in 2012. Although this number is one the rise, a study found that it did not substantially mean that people around the world are smoking more than they used to: the increase in world smokers is simply the consequence of the world population increasing. This is especially true for countries where the population is increasing at a fast rate, i.e. what we today call the “developing world”. Although the figure does not look encouraging, it does not give a righteous representation of countries’ efforts into reducing smoking habits: the number of countries with smoke-free public spaces is also on the rise !
4. Frozen economy cost
What is more shocking than the temperatures during the polar vortex that stroke the country recently? The cost of it. According to reports, the U.S. economy lost over 5 billions of dollars through the disruption caused by the cold temperatures: closing schools and incapacitated working forces, as well as flights cancellations or infrastructures reparations are the factors that helped to raise the bill. In spite of this impact, the economy should recover smoothly: beware however of the energy bill coming at the end of the month. This number will certainly become a heated topic.