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Five interesting facts that will make you stop sucking

by Christine Lepisto (@greenanswer  –


That’s the number of plastic straws the average American uses in a lifetime.

500 million

Every single day, Americans toss 500 million plastic straws in the trash. That’s 175 billion straws per year.

Top Ten in the Ocean

According to the Ocean conservancy, plastic straws are in the top ten marine debris items (here’s looking at you, cig butts and single-use shopping bags in positions #1 and #2!)


At the current rate, this is the year in which the weight of plastic in the ocean will exceed the weight of all the fish in the seas.

2.3 million

The Strawless in Seattle campaign encouraged business to voluntarily give up plastic straws, keeping 2.3 million of the persistent tubes out of the environment.

Bonus fun fact: the first artificial straws were paper

Compostable paper straws are often suggested as an alternative when you just can’t stand to sip with your lips. Did you know that the first straw was invented from paper, by winding a strip around a pencil? The inventor, Marvin Chester Stone, patented the artificial straw in 1888, offering a replacement for natural rye grass straws that dissolved in the beverage and imparted a grassy taste.We dug up these fun facts after tripping over the Strawless Ocean Stop Suckingcampaign in the mainstream media. The clever ad features a number of celebrities getting “sucker punched” by an (artificial) octopus tentacle in slow motion.

Could this widespread attention to the issue finally be the last straw?


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Only 20 Percent Of Total Bitcoins Remain To Be Mined

Bitcoin miners passed a significant milestone over the weekend, when they mined the 16.8 millionth bitcoin from the cryptocurrency’s planned total of 21 million coins. This means that 80 percent of all bitcoins that will be in existence have already been mined. According to estimates, bitcoin will reach its final coin figure sometime in 2040. (See also: How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?)

Over the years, bitcoin has adjusted the number of coins in circulation through a complex calibration of miner rewards and problem difficulty. Bitcoins are awarded to miners who solve complex mathematical problems through intensive computation. The reward number is halved every 210,000 blocks, per bitcoin’s original algorithm.

Immediately after bitcoin’s launch, miners earned 50 coins as reward for solving problems. It was cut to 25 in 2012 and 12.5 in 2016. In two years, miners can expect 6.25 bitcoins as rewards. The difficulty of problems has kept pace with rewards. As the number of rewards has decreased, bitcoin’s problem difficulty has increased, thereby making it more difficult and computation intensive to earn the coin. (See also: 5 Best States For Bitcoin Mining And The Worst.)

What Does This Mean For Bitcoin?

Scarcity has an important role to play in bitcoin’s price. The latter entity is expected to skyrocket as demand and scarcity increase. In December 2017, Nicholas Gregory, CEO of CommerceBlock, a provider of tools for smart contract platforms, said that high transaction fees would keep bitcoin in business even after the final coin is mined.

Transaction fees on bitcoin’s network have surged after increased media attention and interest from investors resulted in skyrocketing prices for the cryptocurrency. According to, miners earned $22.7 million cumulatively in transaction fees on December 21, 2017, right after bitcoin’s price briefly flirted with $20,000.

Bitcoin’s high transaction fees and scarcity have helped position the cryptocurrency as a store of value. This approach is in direct contrast to other cryptocurrencies, which are striving for low transaction fees and greater consumer traction. They have adopted other algorithms, such as Proof of Stake, in order to achieve this aim. But bitcoin remains unique as the progenitor and original cryptocurrency.

“Unlike your MP3s or digital movies, bitcoins cannot be copied, and this weekend 16.8 million of them have been mined, hoarded and a large number of them have been lost. To many cryptocurrency investors, this makes Satoshi’s invention a very valuable digital asset, unlike anything the world has ever seen,” wrote Jamie Redman, a reporter for

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”) is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual’s situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns small amounts of bitcoin. It is unclear whether he owns other bitcoin forks.

Read more: Only 20 Percent Of Total Bitcoins Remain To Be Mined | Investopedia
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6 awful things that happen to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

by Melissa Breyer (@MelissaBreyer) –

Little Nemo

Promo image | Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, 1906 (Wikimedia Commons)

A UC Berkeley neuroscientist explains some of the surprisingly dramatic ways in which a lack of sleep affects the mind and body.

We all know we are supposed to get a good night’s sleep. And many of us – aside from you fortunate sleepers who have the time and talent for slumber – don’t get enough of it. Eight hours? Hahaha, says the chronic insomniac, the parent of small children, the person who has to be at work at six in the morning. And so it goes for the underslept: immediately insert coffee, wade through foggy morning, suffer from darkened eyes and enhanced irritability.

But according to Matthew Walker, PhD, author of “Why We Sleep” and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, the deleterious impact goes way beyond feeling groggy and grumpy during the day. In the video below, he explains just how seriously sleep or lack thereof can have an impact on your health – here are the six main takeaways, with further explanation in the video.

1. A lack of sleep prevents your brain from being able to make new memories.

2. Too little sleep leads to a boost in the development of a toxic protein in the brain called beta amyloid, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease

3. Sleeping just five or six hours a night affects the reproductive system in men, leading to a level of testosterone of someone ten years older.

4. Sleep deprivation has an impact on the immune system and predicts your risk for developing numerous forms of cancer.

5. A lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular system.

6. After being awake for 19 or 20 hours, mental capacity is so impaired that you would be as deficient as someone who was legally drunk while driving.

I suppose it all makes sense; the body wants sleep for a reason. But spelling it all out like that really drive the point home. For help in the forty-winks department, see the related stories below … and get some sleep!


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He just wanted to talk. Then he wanted a hug. This woman’s story is a must-read for men.

When Lily Evans set out to walk her dog, she had no idea the story of that walk would later go viral on the internet.

When she took to Twitter to recount her experience, she opened with a simple question, one that many men have probably wondered for a long time — though women already know the answer.

(Before you click through to the thread itself, note that Lily’s Twitter account is expressly for adults and may be NSFW.)


All Twitter images from Lily Evans/Twitter, used with permission. A transcript of the excerpted tweets is available at the end of the story.

The walk started off normal enough. Until she ran into a seemingly friendly stranger.

A man eating on a nearby bench offered her dog, Echo, a treat.


He eventually asked her if she lived in the area — which could be considered slightly intrusive — but all in all, it was just small talk.

But then she ran into him again shortly after.


Evans says his friendly banter — maybe innocent, but more likely not — was making her incredibly uncomfortable.

And yet he continued to linger.


Then he invaded her physical space with an out-of-nowhere hug.

“I was terrified,” she wrote.


Evans hurried home, petrified the man would follow her.

He didn’t. But the experience left her shaken and upset. Worst of all, she says, she has been through this many, many times before.


Her story went viral in a hurry, with over 44,000 retweets, 68,000 likes, and thousands of comments.

“The response from other women has been pretty heartbreaking,” Evans writes in a Twitter exchange with Upworthy. “Many, many women have used this as an opportunity to share their stories of harassment, assault, or even just being very frightened.”

The replies to Evans’ tweet thread is littered with similar stories — seemingly “nice” guys on the street or public transportation who push small talk far past its acceptable boundaries.

Though she’s glad her story made other women feel more comfortable coming forward with their own experiences, Evans hopes it also leaves an impression on men who read it.

“I had several guys ask me how they can be more non-threatening, and that’s exactly what I was aiming for.”

“I got a lot of replies from men saying, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry that happened, but we aren’t all like that! Some of us are nice guys,'” she says. “And while that’s true, my point was that strangers cannot know what your intentions are until it’s too late.

She hits on an important point: It’s not inherently wrong or creepy to strike up a conversation with a stranger, but women truly never know when a simple “hi” is going to turn into them being followed and harassed.

“I had several guys ask me how they can be more non-threatening, and that’s exactly what I was aiming for,” she says. “I just want men to be more self-aware and understand that when a woman they don’t know is skittish, it’s nothing personal. We’re just trying to be safe.”

View transcript

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Quit Your Job And Move Abroad: The Cheapest Places To Live In 2018

The skyline of Lisbon, the top place to move on the cheap in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

It’s the ultimate fantasy: Escape the 9-5 by moving to a place where it’s so cheap you barely need to work — and could even retire early. The Panama-based Live and Invest Overseas advises people on how to do just that, and the company has just announced its list of the 10 best places in the world where you can move in 2018 and live very well for very little.

We caught up with Kathleen Peddicord, publisher of Live and Invest Overseas, who told us why each of these places made the coveted list. And for more great affordable travel spots, check out “The 33 Cheapest Places To Travel In 2018.”

A pretty street in Lisbon. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

1. Lisbon, Portugal 

Topping the list of places where you can live on the cheap — Lisbon. “This is a very pleasant place to be and our top pick,” says Peddicord, who describes Lisbon as a “noble and elegant city” full of “awe-inspiring landmarks that were constructed during the Golden Age of Discovery.”

According to Peddicord, Lisbon — and all of Portugal, for that matter — offers a competitive cost of living that is among the lowest in Western Europe, thanks to an “enviable tax situation” and plenty of real estate bargains. It’s possible to live here comfortably but modestly on a budget of as little as $1,300 a month, including rent, food and more. If you want to buy, a 538-square-foot apartment in one of the lowest-cost neighborhoods can sell for $90,000.

Other things that make Lisbon appealing: centuries-old, pastel-colored stone structures, formal gardens, parks with elaborate fountains, roads laid with cobblestones in contrasting colors and “sea scenes that are like works of art,” said Peddicord.

An old pink building covered in green vines in Cali, Colombia. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

2. Cali, Colombia 

Medellín ranked near the top of last year’s list. This year, Cali has taken the spotlight, thanks to rental rates that are 25% to 30% less than in Medellín, making it an extra-attractive bargain. “For so long the world has been too afraid to spend time or money here,” says Peddicord. And that has helped made Cali, a city of 2.5 million inhabitants in Colombia’s Valle del Cauca, a steal. Plus, it’s now safe.

Another appealing aspect of Cali: It’s located at an altitude of almost 3,300 feet, so it has an agreeable climate. “Afternoons can be hot, but with the approach of sunset a refreshing breeze sweeps through the city,” says Peddicord. “Early mornings are crisp and perfect for being outdoors.”

A beautiful city, you’ll find towering palms along wide boulevards, tree-shaded streets and plenty of parks and green spaces. And the people (Caleños) are polite and friendly. “They’ll bid you good morning or good afternoon when you pass, and they’re always up for conversation,” says Peddicord. “Spending time here, you’re reminded how nice life can be when it’s built on these kinds of basic values.”

Just how affordable is Cali? A couple can live here for as little as $987 a month, including rent. And you can buy a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment in a great location for as little as $45,100.

View of a historic street in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

3. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 

The Dominican Republic has one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, and its capital, Santo Domingo, is the place to be. Established in 1496, this is the oldest European city in the Americas, and its charms run deep. “The structures at the heart of this old town are classic Spanish colonial but simpler, statelier and somehow more refined than their counterparts across the region,” says Peddicord.

Look for lively streets, a busy harbor and a city that’s becoming the epicenter for tourism investment across this country. There’s a newly opened JW Marriott, and an Intercontinental and a Hard Rock Hotel are also underway. On the Plaza de España, you can dine at alfresco restaurants and watch the buzzing harbor. “Carnival is bringing a ship a day to Santo Domingo’s cruise dock,” says Peddicord.

All of this tourist growth translates into better infrastructure and modern conveniences like five-star restaurants, shopping malls and movie theaters. A couple can expect to spend about $1,450 a month to live here, including rent and food.

Another highlight of moving to the Dominican Republic: It has one of the easiest and quickest residency and naturalization programs. “The country is rolling out the welcome mat for anyone interested in living here full time,” says Peddicord.

Could you live here? A home on the water in Ambergris Caye, Belize. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

4. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize 

Looking for well-priced Caribbean beach living in a cozy and welcoming community? The fishing village of San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye is where you’ll find it.

“This is a small town of expats from all over the world working together to create the life they all came in search of,” says Peddicord. “They’re opening businesses, indulging artistic interests, planning community events and inviting each other over for beach barbecues.”

On this tiny island in Belize, golf carts are the preferred means of transportation, and the coast is dotted with five-star hotels, along with high-end condo communities, restaurants, art galleries, supermarkets and wine shops. Peddicord says that she wouldn’t describe property prices as a steal, but she says that “they can be a bargain compared with elsewhere in the Caribbean.” A rental off the beach can run as low as $1,000 a month, and expats can expect to spend about $1,965 a month total on rent and living expenses.

The best part: “If your dream of a new life overseas is all about soft white sand, lapping azure sea and swaying palm fronds, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, should be at the top of your I’m-going-to-go-have-a-look list,” says Peddicord.

Photo By Guillaume « Frozman » CALAS – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A view of Saint-Chinian, France.

5. Saint-Chinian, France 

Provence is well-known, but it’s expensive. A south of France alternative is the Languedoc, home to Saint-Chinian, which Peddicored describes as a “quintessential French country village where everyday life is like something out of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

“Sitting on a hill in Saint-Chinian (a very pleasant thing to do, by the way) you can think you are in the middle of nowhere,” says Peddicord. “But, in fact, Spain is near enough that you can pop over for dinner and Paris is just three hours away by TGV.”

This town is notable for burgeoning wine industry, as well as its property prices, which half of those of Provence and the Côte d’Azur. (A couple will spend about $1,628 on rent and living expenses.) One advantage: It’s possible to live in Saint-Chinian without a car, due to excellent train and bus service.

The people of Saint-Chinian are also very friendly. “Americans often think of the French as rude and aloof,” says Peddicord. “In Saint-Chinian, the reality is nothing to do with the stereotype.”

Sunset on the highest mountain of Abruzzo, Italy. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

6. Abruzzo, Italy 

With its pretty Adriatic coastline lined with beachside cafés, mountains for skiing and rolling vineyards, Abruzzo is a slice of heaven — and it’s Italy’s best-kept secret. It’s also the richest region in this part of Italy, according to Peddicord, and it’s a place where “small, historic towns are working hard to attract investment to save their historically significant but nearly deserted streets.”

Nowhere is this more true than in Città Sant’Angelo, which has historic churches, a contemporary art museum and — this will make you feel right at home — an outdoor outlet mall that feels like something out of Southern California.

“Abruzzo has everything Tuscany offers and more — at a fraction the cost,” says Peddicord. A couple could live here comfortably on $1,400 per month or less, including rent.

A panoramic view of Ljubljana, Slovenia. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

7. Ljubljana, Slovenia 

Slovenia is a Central European country that became an independent nation in 1991, joined the EU in 2004 and has finally shed its turbulent past.

These days, this mountainous region with 29 miles of Mediterranean coastline combines the best of all worlds, and its charming capital of Ljubljana is the place to live. “Ljubljana is a modern city with all the amenities of 21st-century living that manages to retain a small-town charm,” says Peddicord. “Local farmers bring their produce to market in wooden carts each day.”

The city also offers easy access to beaches, olive groves and ski resorts, as well as Venice, which is only two-and-a-half hours away. Or you can head just 45 minutes north of the city to Lake Bled, where you’ll find a the charming Bled Island, medieval Bled Castle and pristine mountains and forests.

What’s the cost to combine this Old World charm and real-world infrastructure? Peddicord says that a penny-pinching couple could live in Ljubljana for as little as $1,059 a month.

The waterfront in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

8. Playa del Carmen, Mexico 

This little beach town on Mexico’s Riviera Maya was once a sleepy fishing village. No longer. These days “Playa” (as the locals call it) is home to over 10,000 foreigners. “Expats make up 7% of its total population,” says Peddicord. “In the 1990s the population was growing so rapidly that Playa was the fastest growing city in Mexico, and growth has continued strong in the 2000s.”

The appeal? It’s one of the safest areas of Mexico, plus, “the regional economy is stable and jobs are plentiful,” says Peddicord, who points out that expats in Playa own and operate bars, teach English and manage real estate offices. Many are also raising families here, thanks to an excellent international school founded by expats.

Another plus? “Playa’s population is incredibly eclectic for such a small town,” says Peddicord. “From young couples to retired couples, from families to groups of students, it seems to appeal everyone alike. It’s also a welcoming destination for the LGBT community, with several gay bars around town.”

“When it comes to day-to-day living, you’d have no trouble finding anything you’d want or need,” says Peddicord. This little town has 12 supermarkets and two Walmarts. The cost of living the beach life in Playa is more than reasonable and one of the many attractions for the large expat population. A couple could spend well under $2,000 per month, including rent, utilities and transportation.

In a private pool in Bali. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

9. Bali, Indonesia 

“Bali enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world,” says Peddicord. “Multi-tiered Balinese temples adorn even the smallest villages. The locals are unfailingly friendly and some of the most serene and pleasant people you are likely to find anywhere.”

Adding to its appeal: a picture-postcard coastline with world-class diving, surfing and more. And for expats, Bali is heaven. There are plenty of bars, cultural events and dining options that range from excellent street food (for a pittance) to white-glove restaurants. You can also visit galleries, study yoga and go golfing. “There are always many interesting options for how to fill your days,” says Peddicord.

Peddicord’s pick for the best place to live: the small town of Sanur, an unpretentious suburb of the larger city of Denpasar. “Quiet and laid-back, Sanur feels far removed from the crowds of tourists who flock to Bali for vacations and honeymoons,” says Peddicord.

It’s possibly to live affordably in Sanur — and to indulge in a five-star, luxury lifestyle. “Whatever your budget, you’ll find that you can live substantially better for less money in Sanur,” says Peddicord. And you’ll meet plenty of like-minded foreigners “who have become enchanted with the laid-back lifestyle this town excels in.”

What’s the cost of paradise? On Bali, a couple can live really well for about $1,671 a month.

Da Nang, Vietnam at sunset. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

10. Da Nang, Vietnam 

Da Nang is the third-largest city in Vietnam, but according to Peddicord, it feels like an old movie, full of retro sophistication that lends an aura of yesteryear. “Were it not for the skyscrapers, bridges, malls, endless stream of motorbikes and the whir of air conditioners, today’s Da Nang could easily be 1960s Da Nang,” she says.

The appeal to expats? A nice lifestyle that will cost a couple $1,175 a month — or less. Plus, it’s a place with “economy on fire, led by forward-thinking executives, many educated overseas, with an entrepreneurial spirit unparalleled in the region,” says Peddicord.

Da Nang’s location is also part of its appeal: It’s equidistant between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. And it is the designated tourism jewel of Vietnam, with several UNESCO World Heritage sites nearby, including My Son with its ruins of Hindu temples, pretty Hoi An and the ancient capital of Hue.

For more great affordable travel spots, check out “The 33 Cheapest Places To Travel In 2018.”

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You’ve heard about French and Chinese parenting, but what about German?

by Katherine Martinko (@feistyredhair) –

“Achtung Baby” is an American mom’s analysis of how German culture fosters resilience in children.

The latest book on parenting according to the rules of another culture has hit American book shelves. It’s called “Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children” and was just published this month by Picador.

Author Sara Zaske and her husband left Oregon for Berlin, Germany, with a toddler in tow. Eventually they had another baby, which gave them an intimate view of how German parents handle every stage of parenting, from sleep training babies to subsidized daycare from an early age to grade school.

While I have been eagerly awaiting this book and have yet to get my hands on a hard copy, there was an excerpt published by Salon this week. In it, Zaske describes the fascinating ‘street training’ that young kids receive in Germany. In other words, they are given the tools to navigate sidewalks, routes, and busy intersections, which reduces dependency on cars and greatly increases their own independence. Three things that jumped out at me:

1) Schools offer ‘traffic and mobility’ education. It’s part of the regular curriculum and includes learning the rules of the road and what traffic signs mean. Zaske writes:

“Her teacher also took the entire class out for a walking tour of the neighborhood, showing them firsthand how the traffic moved, what the signs meant, and how to use crosswalks, or zebrastreifen (‘zebra stripes’), as they’re called in Germany.”

2) Parents are told not to drive their kids to school. Instead, they’re encouraged to go on foot, so a child can learn the route and eventually be able to get themselves to school, free from parental oversight.

3) It’s understood that kids will be fine on their own. Even when they’re small, kids are allowed to race ahead of their parents on foot or bicycles. Instead of running after them and screaming for them to stop, German kids come to a neat halt at the street corner — because that’s what they’ve been taught to do.

“Achtung Baby” follows in the literary footsteps of the popular “Bringing up Bébé” by Pamela Druckerman, on raising kids in Paris, and the highly controversial “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua, in which an American mother follows traditional Chinese values. A similar book is “Outside the Box” by Jeannie Marshall, which compares the eating habits of Italian kids to American ones.

This foreign parenting trend, I believe, stems from growing frustration with American-style, child-centric parenting, the results of which we’re beginning to see do not leave children particularly well-equipped to face the world, nor make life easy for parents, who are exhausted and drained from incessant ‘helicoptering.’ Many parents are thinking that, surely, there’s a better way to do things, and books like “Achtung Baby” provide that inspiring blueprint.


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How Donald Trump, Barack Obama compare on the stock market

How Donald Trump, Barack Obama compare on the stock market

How well has the Dow Jones Industrial Average fared under President Donald Trump? We took a closer look.

President Donald Trump likes to boast that he and his achievements are the biggest and the best, and not just about the size of his nuclear launch button.

In recent weeks, Trump on Twitter and in speeches has repeatedly touted the rise of the stock market on his watch.

In a tweet on Jan. 5, 2018, Trump said, “Dow goes from 18,589 on November 9, 2016, to 25,075 today, for a new all-time Record. Jumped 1000 points in last 5 weeks, Record fastest 1000 point move in history. This is all about the Make America Great Again agenda! Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Six trillion dollars in value created!”

And Trump has explicitly compared his stock market record with that of his predecessor, Barack Obama.

“The Fake News Media barely mentions the fact that the Stock Market just hit another New Record and that business in the U.S. is booming…but the people know! Can you imagine if ‘O’ was president and had these numbers – would be biggest story on earth! Dow now over 25,000,” he tweeted on Jan. 4.

Dow goes from 18,589 on November 9, 2016, to 25,075 today, for a new all-time Record. Jumped 1000 points in last 5 weeks, Record fastest 1000 point move in history. This is all about the Make America Great Again agenda! Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Six trillion dollars in value created!

So how has the stock market’s performance under Trump measured up to that under his immediate predecessor?

Trump has solid evidence to point to when he brags about the stock market. But other presidents have seen rises, too, so it’s not unprecedented.

Numerically, Trump is on firm ground. Here’s a chart showing the Dow Jones Industrial Average since Trump’s election victory in November 2016. It shows that from the time Trump won the election until his Jan. 5 tweet, the Dow rose from 18,589.7 to 2,5075.1, or almost 35 percent.

That’s undoubtedly an impressive rise — and it exceeded the Dow’s performance under Obama.

During the same period under Obama, the Dow rose from 9,139.3 to 10,572, or an increase of about 15.7 percent. Here’s the full chart:

That said, small changes in the timeline can produce big differences. The day-to-day volatility of the Dow means that presidential performance can vary dramatically depending on when you start and end your count.

For instance, Trump’s comparison falters if you look at the Dow’s performance between Inauguration Day and Jan. 5 of a president’s second calendar year in office, rather than Election Day.

Starting with Trump’s inauguration, the Dow has risen from 19,827.3 to 25,075.1 — an increase of 26 percent. That’s impressive.

But it’s not as impressive as its performance during the equivalent period under Obama. Under Obama, the Dow increased from 7,949.1 to 10,572 — a rise of 33 percent.

In fact, the Dow’s rise was even more impressive under Obama if you start measuring at the market’s low point, on March 9, 2009, during the depths of the Great Recession. That day, the Dow closed at 6,547. Between then and Jan. 5 — a 10-month period — the Dow rose by a stunning 61 percent. That’s more than three times faster than Trump’s rise over the same period in his term.

It’s also worth noting that Trump is not alone among presidents in presiding over a bull market.

Most recent presidents have seen significant stock market increases over their terms. Presidents Obama, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, for instance, all oversaw three-digit percentage increases over their eight year terms. The one president who lost ground was President George W. Bush, whose final year in office coincided with the onset of the Great Recession.

Here’s a summary:

President Length of term Closing Dow Jones Industrial Average Percentage increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Barack Obama 8 years 19,827 + 149 percent
George W. Bush 8 years 7,949 – 25 percent
Bill Clinton 8 years 10,578 + 227 percent
George H.W. Bush 4 years 3,242 + 45 percent
Ronald Reagan 8 years 2,235 + 135 percent

We’ll also note that it’s unclear how valuable the stock market is as a gauge of the country’s economic health. Not every American is invested, so it’s probably not the most important economic metric.

His administration’s pro-business policies on taxes and regulation may have been a factor in the growth, though experts also credit the current stock market rise to the strength of the job market, low inflation, and the record or near-record levels of corporate profits.

And a final point to consider: How would Trump interpret a potential reversal in the stock market’s recent fortunes?

“When the stock market rises, it’s great to take credit,” Michael Yoshikami, founder and CEO of Destination Wealth Management, told CNBC. “But will someone take credit if the market goes down? There probably would be not credit but more blame.”


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