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  • Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show.

  • First topic is inflationcould be good if you're trying to get swole at the gym.

  • But is it good for the US economy?

  • Here's what this is all about: Inflation, simply put, is when prices go up and your money doesn't buy as much furniture, airplane tickets, used cars, rent, personal care items like soap.

  • All of this stuff got more expensive last month.

  • One reason is because gasoline prices have been skyrocketing.

  • They were 22 and a half percent higher this March than they were last March.

  • This is cutting into family budgets, the cost of living, and it makes it more expensive to ship the items we buy.

  • Coronavirus played a role.

  • When more people were staying home and businesses were shut down, demand for gasoline dropped, and so did its price.

  • With people getting back to the office, back to traveling, and businesses reopening, gas prices are shooting upward; supply and demand also factor in.

  • Many Americans are in the market for new homes, new bicycles, and many other goods.

  • But the inventory of these things is exceptionally low, so that's driving prices up.

  • But if they go up too much too fast, people may pull back on spending and buy less, and that can hurt the economy.

  • Since last year, America's bounce-back from COVID-related problems has been faster than many economists expected.

  • Some are neither surprised nor concerned that inflation would rise more than usual in early 2021, but others are concerned by how much it's rising by.

  • Many banking officials are comfortable with an inflation rate of two percent per year.

  • They believe this is just the right amount to keep price-rises moderate, but also to keep the economy growing.

  • But between March of last year and March of this year, consumer prices rose by 2.6 percent, more than half a percentage point higher than bankers' comfort zone.

  • And the question is, is this temporary and likely to level out as the year goes on?

  • Or is this a sign of sustained inflation on the horizon?

  • No one knows the answer to that yet.

  • One thing economists do agree on is that the cost of goods will probably keep rising through the summer.

  • 10 second trivia: Which of these airlines is oldest?

  • Qantas, Aeroflot, Delta, or American.

  • These are listed in order of oldest to youngest, with Australia's Qantas having been founded in 1920.

  • We mentioned that plane tickets were on the rise.

  • The aviation industry is huge.

  • In a normal year, it accounts for more than five percent of America's gross domestic product.

  • It took a tremendous hit during COVID.

  • In 2020, experts say international travel decreased more than 80 percent from 2019, and a dramatic drop in business bookings, which typically make more money for airlines than leisure bookings do, were a major reason why the industry lost billions of dollars last year.

  • But there are signs that things are getting off the ground again, and that comes with challenges of its own.

  • The pressure is on at American Airlines' Tulsa maintenance base.

  • Here, crews are preparing planes to meet the new surge in air travel.

  • Hundreds of commercial airliners sat idle on taxiways, ramps, even runways through much of the pandemic.

  • Now, American says all of its planes will be flying again by the end of the month.

  • No easy task.

  • In many ways, we touch the aircraft as it have more maintenance requirements on the aircraft that has been in storage or is in storage than we do with the aircraft that's out actively flying

  • Roger Steels' team of mechanics are spending 1,000 hours to revive just one plane here.

  • Part of their work includes federally mandated inspections of the Boeing 737.

  • It is the world's most popular airlinerAmerican alone parked 300 of them because of the pandemic.

  • The FAA said the plane sitting idle could cause a critical valve to fail, risking catastrophic dual engine power loss in flight.

  • All of the things that could have been negatively impacted by the fact that it was parked have been identified, they've been addressed, and they've been resolved.

  • And so I can assure you 110 percent that these aircrafts are safe and they're ready to fly.

  • Planes have been stored exclusively outside for months on end.

  • And crews came out here about every 10 days to check things like the engineuncover them and fire them up.

  • Also check the landing gear, the tires, and the brakesthe crucial parts inside there.

  • About 100 planes were stored out here at the peak of the pandemic, but now there are only a few left.

  • The latest data shows airline travel closing in on a recoveryindustry groups say flights are now 75 percent full, up from 60 percent just last month.

  • New demand means the industry is bouncing back sooner than expected.

  • The newest jump in numbers means the Transportation Security Administration needs more help screening passengers.

  • It is hiring 6,000 new officers to staff checkpoints, holding hiring events nationwide.

  • I think the big thing is, for us, we want to be prepared for the summer; we're clearly taking a lot of efforts to make sure that happens.

  • United Airlines just said it will hire new pilots for the first time in more than a year, while thousands of existing pilots will be coming back from pandemic time off.

  • A CNN review of aviation safety records from across the country uncovered flight crews reporting rusty skills and in-flight errors after returning to work.

  • American Airlines says its pilots will be thoroughly rechecked in classrooms and simulators before coming back on the job.

  • There's a lot of pent-up travel demand, and we really want to be there and be ready to move our customers to wherever they want to go, safely, efficiently, and make sure we're putting out a good product.

  • Pete Montaigne, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • A proliferation of plastic waste is a side effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • When oil prices crashed last year, it became cheaper for manufacturers to make new plastics than to recycle old ones.

  • With to-go order increasing, restaurants had to resort to plastic takeout containers instead of washable dishes.

  • And then there's the issue of personal protective equipment or PPE.

  • In the early days of COVID, the dire shortage of PPE left many frontline healthcare workers painfully vulnerable.

  • But now, so many masks are made each year they could cover an area the size of Switzerland.

  • Now, everybody is aware of PPE and everybody in health care is being asked to use more PPE.

  • [We] now have almost 70,000 people to potentially use a mask every single day.

  • So the number of masks that we need, it went from 200 operating theaters and some patient floors to literally 70,000 a day.

  • That's from one hospital, adding to an already staggering amount of plastic waste coming from our health care system.

  • We estimate that it's somewhere around a million tons per year of clean plasticsthat's a million tons per year in the USwe're estimating that's probably equivalent in Europe and probably about the same amount in Asia.

  • Unfortunately, today, I would say probably the majority of it is still going to landfill.

  • Landfills, if we're lucky.

  • The Ocean Conservancy collected more than 100,000 pieces of PPE during the second half of 2020 alone, and that is just a tiny tip of a mountain of pandemic plastic waste.

  • Manufacturers went into overdrive to produce billions of pieces of PPE.

  • Things like gloves, things like garments, things like masks, beard nets, hair covers, shoe covers.

  • Personal protective equipment has always been around, but due to COVID, it's now a monster waste stream.

  • Programs offered by private recycling companies like Terracycle are taking aim at the discarded consumer PPE, but contaminated materials like those coming from hospitals aren't as simple to process.

  • Waste coming from certain areas, like hospitals, does qualify as hazardous waste in many cases, which means legally, from a regulatory standpoint, we can't touch it.

  • Recyclers are afraid to take materials from hospitals because maybe there's a syringe in there, something came in that wasn't supposed to and they didn't catch it in time and they have to shut down their whole plant and disinfect everything.

  • Recycling is really third on the hierarchy when it comes to dealing with waste.

  • The first is to reduce the use of plastic, second is to reuse, and then the third is to recycle.

  • It's a situation that has forced the Cleveland Clinic to rethink and look for other ways to reduce their plastic footprint.

  • "Best possible outcome" characterizes today's 10 out of 10 segment.

  • During a recent air show over the eastern coast of Florida, an engine failure caused a World War II era plane to go down.

  • The pilot maneuvered it near a beach and was somehow able to avoid people, softly ditched the aircraft into the water, and walkor wadeaway without any major injuries.

  • Not the kind of finale you want to be in.

  • But if you're flexing a Texan, jockeying a Mustang, fighting fire in a Spitfire, finding it hard to steer a Man, running out of air in a Corsair, or going fishing in a Swordfish, and you can be ginger with your Avenger,

  • there are worse things than beaching at a beach within reach of air assistance.

  • I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10. Hampshire High School in Romney, West Virginia, great to see you, thank you for subscribing on YouTube.

  • We hope to see all o' y'all tomorrow.

Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show.

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What Is Inflation? | April 20, 2021

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/04/26
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