Russian Cows, GDP Growth

Grind for December 8th
“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.”
– Winston Churchill

Say What

The Headline

Russia is using virtual reality to help cows cope

The Grind

To improve the well-being of dairy cows in Russia, farmers are using virtual reality goggles to trick the cows into thinking they live in a large peaceful field instead of a crowded farm.

The goggles, specially formatted to fit a bovine head, show a tranquil landscape in a color spectrum designed for the animals’ eyes. The goal is to decrease stress, which can affect appetite and milk quality.

The Details

It is unclear whether milk quality has improved, but farmers insist the cows seem happier and less anxious while wearing the VR goggles.

My question is: what happens when you take the goggles off? And won’t the cows bump into things if they can’t see their true surroundings?

These questions and more will be considered in a larger study that seeks to determine if VR is an effective method to improve the quality of milk in Russia.

This project is being conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region.

Good News

The Headline

Third quarter GDP growth revised up to 2.1%

The Grind

Economic growth is solidly on track as we enter the fourth quarter, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Revised figures from the Commerce Department show Q3 growth at 2.1%, slightly higher than the initial estimate of 1.9%

This figure “indicates the economy is not about to fall off a cliff,” says Oxford Economics. “However, the lingering global industrial slump, persistent trade policy uncertainty, and cooling income growth all point to weaker activity in the coming months.”

The Details

The Commerce Department also reported an increase in the number of long-lasting factory goods ordered and a decrease in the number of people applying for first-time unemployment benefits.

Consumer spending and housing investment ramped up, but business investment remained weak.

Overall corporate profits dropped during the third quarter, in part due to massive legal settlements with Facebook and Google. Corporate profits after tax without IVA and CCAdj dropped 0.6% during Q3 and are down 0.4% on the year.

The Takeaway

Between 1950 and 2000, the US economy grew by about 3.7% each year. Since 2000, GDP has increased roughly 2% each year.

Slower economic growth means slower growth in family incomes, business profits, wealth, and overall prosperity.

President Trump wants to see the economy grow by 3% or more each year, and that’s not going to happen if we elect a Democrat in 2020. You can help keep President Trump in office by donating to the NRCC, NRSC, or Trump 2020 campaign.

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Did you know… Taiwan became the first country in the world to offer free Wi-Fi connectivity to its citizens and all its foreign tourists.