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World on the March By Charles Payne

I'm always talking and writing about the way the world is on the march. I'm referring to the world beyond America and Western Europe. There are numerous signs and trends, and the latest is another disturbing realization about the shift that's occurring at blazing speed. According to a new report, the number of international students attending US colleges and universities climbed 4.7% last year to 723,277. Of that number, 157,558 were from China, an increase of 23% for all Chinese students (undergrads were up 43%). The rest of the list underscores the shift in economic power in the world.

2. India 103,895
3. South Korea 73,351
4. Canada 27,546
5. Taiwan 24,818
6. Saudi Arabia 22,704 +43.6%
7. Japan 21,290 -14.3%
8. Vietnam 14,888 +13.5% (was number 20 five years ago)
9. Mexico 13,713 +2.0%
10. Turkey 12,184 -2.0%

Note, old world European nations didn't make the top ten and while they have their own great schools, it is rather remarkable how far down the list they've fallen.

12. Germany 9,458 -1%
13. UK 8,947 -1%
17. France 8,098 +5%
18. Nigeria 7,148 +9%

Even Iran (5,626 +19%) and Venezuela (5,491 +11%) are growing faster than European nations. Many of these students get these great educations and return to their home countries. Of course, our immigration policies don't help, but it might be too late to try to get these college grads to stay. In the meantime, these students spend $21.0 billion in this country on tuition, fees, housing and living expenses. That's a big number, but the earnings power and economic coattails 723,277 annual college grads can bring to a nation, or in this case the rest of the world, is worth so much more.

The rest of the world is climbing higher and getting a giant bounce from America along the way. By the way, 270,604 Americans studied abroad last year, interestingly mostly in schools in Western Europe (UK, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Ireland) and Australia.

The report is available at:

The Supremes are Ready

It's on, and it's going to be explosive. The Supreme Court of the United States is going to listen to challenges on the new health care law. I can't begin to describe the importance of this case, and the reverberations for businesses and personal freedom are amazing. This is a huge deal, and will be one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in generations. Neither side of the argument is very cocky about the outcome, although opponents point to this little document known as the Constitution while proponents think the play is "fair" and therefore undeniable.

It's interesting the Obama administration didn't try to force the hearing of the case until after next year's election. I guess they have spin ready to go, win or lose. (A loss might bolster their argument for more executive orders and less balanced government. Already the legislative branch of government has become less relevant in part to czars and government agencies as well as incompetence and forgetting the art of legislating). But this is going to be so huge and have so many implications for the economy.

Businesses have gone into retreat because of this law, and it's going to get even worse. The Supreme Court could unlock economic potential and reinforce the notion of true freedom next July. I must admit to being excited and nervous at the same time, why would the White House be okay with fast-tracking this decision? Why did a conservative judge just rule the law constitutional? Every single scholar I know and works I have read make it clear that this law violates the Constitution, and yet I can't say it's a slam dunk.

There will be 5 hours and thirty minutes to argue three elements of the new law.

Economic Data

The Empire State index rose to 0.61 for November from -8.48 in October. The result was above the -2.6 consensus estimate. Retail sales were up 0.5% for October, beating the 0.2% consensus estimate and coming in slower than the 1.1% from last month. The Producer Price Index was down 0.3% month to month in October, coming in below the -0.2% consensus estimate and the 0.8% reading in September. So, all three data points came in better than expected, although none of them really inspired a lot of confidence either, so futures recovered a little bit of ground but are still set to open down about 75 points.