The third major hurricane in two months hit the United States in late September, this time impacting Puerto Rico and surrounding islands. A category 4 storm at landfall, Hurricane Maria hit south of Yabucoa Harbor in Puerto Rico on September 20, with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. The storm caused the electrical infrastructure of the entire island to be destroyed, and some estimates put the restoration of power on the island on a six to eight or even 10-month time frame. Hurricane Maria also extensively damaged drinking water supply systems, hospitals, schools, and cell service infrastructure.
With Hurricane Irma making landfall in Florida, the US has suffered two major hurricanes in a little over two weeks. Fortunately, the impact of Irma was not as bad as initially feared, although it still created significant damage and destruction of homes and businesses. The human suffering is of paramount importance, and the emotional losses are enormous. As with Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma will have a significant impact on the economy.
The Trump Administration has announced a decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an immigration program allowing individuals who entered the United States as children to remain here for school or work. Nearly 800,000 persons are enrolled in the program. Approximately 124,3000 of these "Dreamers" live in Texas, with a high concentration in Houston and the Gulf Coast region.
Hurricane Harvey has proven to be a catastrophic, unprecedented storm, and its impact has worsened as the storm has continued and surpassed multiple estimates of worst-case scenarios. Harvey is now recognized as the wettest in the history of the continental US and in some areas rainfall has surpassed the average annual totals in less than a week. Many experts are now referring to Harvey as a 1,000-year flood, meaning the likelihood of an event like this occurring is only once in 1,000 years.
Dr. M. Ray Perryman has been named as the recipient of the 2016 Cesar E. Chavez Conscience Builder Award by the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Foundation. The award was presented during the Foundation's Annual Scholarship Gala in San Antonio on March 24. The citation called Perryman "a champion and guardian of conscience and human dignity" and noted that "his life is a testimony centered on these core values."
"Electronic payments are highly efficient, offering advantages such as speed, reduced costs, and accuracy," said Dr. Ray Perryman, President and CEO of The Perryman Group. "These enhancements have contributed significantly to the expansion of the US economy, increasing liquidity and stimulating personal consumption."
In addition to the very real and often lifelong effects on the individuals involved, child maltreatment also imposes substantial economic costs which can be quantified in a comprehensive manner. When properly measured, child maltreatment drains literally trillions of dollars in long-term business activity.
In July, National Guard troops in Texas were deployed to the US-Mexico border as a response to the influx of immigrants (mostly children) from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. While troops have been sent to the area on various occasions in the past, the deployment has raised concern among some area residents and community leaders who fear that it could take a toll on the regional economy.
According to an analysis by The Perryman Group, every $1 spent by the State of Texas to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) returns $1.29 in dynamic State government revenue over the first 10 years of the expansion. Medicaid expenditures lead to substantial economic activity, federal funds inflow, reduction in costs for uncompensated care and insurance, and enhanced productivity from a healthier population. When these outcomes and the related multiplier effects are considered, the program actually far more than pays for itself and provides a notable economic stimulus.