Monday, December 26, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
That gave the US a booming middle class that until recently was the most important engine of global demand. No longer. Today, somewhat remarkably, US joblessness is higher than in much of Europe.
And the US consumer is mired in high personal debt. As the jobs crisis deepens, so too does US political polarization. Allegations of "class warfare" are a staple of Washington debate. In contrast to the 1960s, dominated by protests for peace and civil rights, today's battles are economic.
Yet there are few signs that either policymakers or economists are closer to finding answers. Indeed, the signs are that the problem is intensifying. In the words of David Autor, a leading labor economist at Harvard University, the labor force is suffering from a growing "missing middle."
Read more in the Financial Times.
Monday, December 19, 2011
See more families in the Daily Kos. (Thanks, Joyce)
A couple tears! (Thanks, Anna!)
"But science—in climate change and in other areas—can only tell us so much. Ethics and values—and politics—are what really control policymaking, and it's on climate advocates should focus their energy on changing those, instead of harping on the science."
Read more in TIME. (Thanks, Tom)
Sunday, December 18, 2011
You're so sensitive. You're so emotional. You're defensive. You're overreacting. Calm down. Relax. Stop freaking out! You're crazy! I was just joking, don't you have a sense of humor? You're so dramatic. Just get over it already!(Thanks, Gloria!)
Saturday, December 17, 2011
"A lot of the trends highlighted in the new report are worrying. Time discusses five of them with Birol: shifts in oil security as the US imports less oil while Europe and China import more; a promising future for gas put at danger by the risks of fracking; decreasing energy efficiency; increased use of coal and, with it, increased pollution and continued global warming; and lack of any access to modern energy for 2 billion people." Read more in TIME Science.
"One reason is that female managers tend to work in so-called functional specialties (such as HR) rather than line management, which is the main hunting ground for the very top but often involves extensive travel and unsocial hours. More importantly, boards have traditionally been made up of white middle-aged males of similar backgrounds who are comfortable with each other and recruit new colleagues in their own image.
"Women, even if they can be found, "are a bigger risk," says Joanna Barsh, a director in McKinsey's New York office; they have a different style and are more visible, so if something goes wrong everyone notices. Some women find the culture of organizations so off-putting that they see little point in rising to the top." Read more in the Economist.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
More on the Thought Catalog. (Thanks, Caro!)
...#14. Have something to talk about besides college or your job. College is over. The war stories have their amusements, but not over and over and not at every gathering. Get a library card, go to the movies, participate in the world. Working is not living. Be interested so that you can be interesting.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
"Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at,” says Jason Carroll, a BYU professor of family life and lead author of the study. “There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other."
The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046."
Read more in Bloomberg. (Thanks, Tom)
The study's assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable..."
Read more in the New Scientist. (Thanks, Joyce!)
"Japanese firms face a demographic catastrophe. The solution is to treat women better." A couple surprising statistics:
Nearly half of Japanese university graduates are female but only 67% of these women have jobs, many of which are part-time or involve serving tea. Japanese women with degrees are much more likely than Americans (74% to 31%) to quit their jobs voluntarily. Whereas most Western women who take time off do so to look after children, Japanese women are more likely to say that the strongest push came from employers who do not value them. A startling 49% of highly educated Japanese women who quit do so because they feel their careers have stalled.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
But this strange state of affairs also presents an opportunity: as the economy evolves, it’s time to embrace new ideas about romance and family—and to acknowledge the end of “traditional” marriage as society’s highest ideal. Read more in the Atlantic. (Thanks, Scott)
HBR's Management Tip of the Day: Most people struggle to do what innovators excel at: connecting the unconnected. Here are three ways to get in the habit of making new associations:
- Just do it. Force associations across different ideas when they don't come naturally. Ask yourself: What else could this idea be connected to?
- Shake it up. When associations don't emerge, try forcing them to surface. Put seemingly unrelated ideas or words together and see what comes to mind. The creative combinations may spark a new idea.
- Repeat. Research shows that if you practice associational thinking long enough, the task will energize you rather than exhaust you.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Check out more at HappyPlace. (Thanks Alessia)
"New technologies have allowed banks in Africa, Brazil, and India to reach out to remote rural populations without easy access to a bank branch. But for Ed Cutrell, head of the technology for emerging markets team at Microsoft Research India in Bangalore, inexperienced customers need a great deal of help and education to use these services effectively.
"Better financial education would help the poor and decrease their reliance on costly, informal alternatives - such as credit at usurious rates from local shopkeepers. It might also reduce their vulnerability to being mis-sold financial services that they do not need."
Read more in the Financial Times.
"In China, 32 percent of senior managers are female, compared with 23 percent in America and 19 percent in Britain. In India, 11 percent of chief executives of large companies are female, compared with 3 percent of Fortune 500 bosses in America and 3 percent of FTSE 100 bosses in Britain.
"Turkey and Brazil come third and joint fourth (behind Finland and Norway) in the World Economic Forum's ranking of countries by the proportion of CEOs who are women. In Brazil, 11 percent of chief executives and 30 percent of senior executives are women.
"Wise firms focus on the two biggest problems for working women in emerging markets: looking after their aging parents, which is typically more of a problem than child care, and commuting."
Read the rest in the Economist.
"Osama bin Laden grabbed a decade's worth of headlines, but the future was being written in Beijing, Delhi, Rio and beyond. The world has indeed been turned upside down, but Afghanistan, Iraq and the badlands of Waziristan have been a smokescreen, obscuring the bigger story of the past decade.
"The changes that have mattered have been in the rising states of Asia and Latin America. Ten years on, the strategic challenge to the US comes from the rapid reallocation of power. The global order no longer belongs to the west."
Read the full article in the FT.
... "Three men doing time in Israeli prisons recently appeared before a parole board consisting of a judge, a criminologist and a social worker. The three prisoners had completed at least two-thirds of their sentences, but the parole board granted freedom to only one of them." Guess which one in the NYT article.
And it gets even cuter when she met Nicki...
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Annoyingly, ehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifconomic growth does not seem to narrow the gap. This is surprising. You might expect that as countries get richer, women would become better educated and jobs requiring brute strength would become less important. Rich countries also have larger public sectors, where the wage gap is smaller.
Yet overall, the gap is no smaller in rich countries such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands than in poor ones such as the Philippines. The World Bank suggests three explanations for these findings: discrimination, unequal education, and constraints on women's time, which is disproportionately filled with housework and child care." Read the full Economist article.
Check out the story behind Samasource.
This video was great, too:
Homework debates are both evergreen and charged in top-tier schools, but several private-school watchers say the recent moves to ease up are a marked shift. There remains a significant cadre of parents — call it the Tiger Mom camp — who see hard work as a rite of passage, part of what they pay $40,000 for and essential to making their children competitive. (One father commented wryly that it was unlikely that parents in India and China were fretting about overwork.)Read the NYT post.
But for the first time in recent memory, many see an edge by the other camp, fueled in part by the 2010 documentary “Race to Nowhere,” which focuses on the detrimental effects of overprogramming students who lack sleep and joy.
And the founder of Unreasonable Institute is only 25! I have ramp up my game. Read the NYT article to learn about more social investors... who are profitable. (Thanks, Jules)
"Since the financial crisis erupted, millions of Americans have ditched their credit cards, accelerated mortgage payments and cut off credit lines that during the good times were used like a bottomless piggybank. Many have resorted to a practice once thought old-fashioned -- delaying purchases until they have the cash.Read the WSJ article. (Thanks, Tom)
As a result, total household debt -- through payment or default -- fell by $1.1 trillion, or 8.6%, from mid-2008 through the first half of 2011, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York"
"For those who have spent their entire lives in the previously quiet farm towns that dot the northwestern corner of North Dakota, the discovery of oil in the Bakken formation has been anything but fortuitous.Check out the video on CNN Monday. (Thanks, Mom)
The thousands of people from around the country flocking to these boomtowns has led to a housing shortage and an increase in traffic, crime and frustration among the locals who feel like their small, close-knit towns are now gone forever."
"Entrepreneurs or executives often hesitate to ask for help because they worry about being intrusive or appearing needy. The truth is that it's innately satisfying to assist others, and most people want to help. Next time you want to make a connection with someone, ask them for a favor. Request that they serve as a reference or provide a testimonial of your work. Hit them up for new client referrals or job leads. Don't be shy about it. Asking for favors can be a powerful way to get people to like you better, because they become invested in your success."
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Read more about the mystery in the NYT. (Thanks, Gaurav)
Monday, September 19, 2011
Bioethicist Art Caplan is challenging Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann with a $10,000 bet to prove a claim that a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer caused mental retardation.Read the entire Bloomberg article.
Bachmann chastised Texas Governor Rick Perry at a Sept. 12 Republican debate for requiring girls in his state to get Merck & Co.’s Gardasil in 2007 to ward off a sexually transmitted virus that causes cancer. The next day in television interviews, Bachmann said a woman told her the shot, usually given at age 12, triggered mental retardation in the woman’s daughter.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
- An hour of sleep before midnight is worth two, and an hour of work before noon is worth two.
- Always pick your kids up from school. That's when they want to talk.
- Never let your skill exceed your virtue.
- Never take less than two weeks off when you have a child or for your honeymoon. Don't let them talk you down.
- When you mess up, admit it frankly and quickly, and move on.
- Always do your very best in your job, but if you don't like what you're doing enough that you would do it for free, quit. (This seems extreme, but at the same time mentally liberating.)
...Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life...Read the full text in the WSJ. (Thanks Alex and Nikhil)
Even with this in mind, the government still misses the mark on regulation for small business. Why?
Read Steve Blank's thoughts. (His breakdown of the types of start-ups is particularly good!)
"They got most of their income from bonds and lived off their investments, and their main priority was keeping inflation low, regardless of anything else that happened. So austerity suited them nicely. The rich of today, by contrast, get much more of their income from their jobs and from the stock market, which means that they do better when growth is strong. And, while companies have figured out how to make money even during steep downturns - during this very weak recovery, corporate profits have rebounded strongly - overall corporate profits are below where they were in 2006.
"That's been reflected in the stock market, which, even before last week's precipitous tumble, was nearly 25 percent below its 2007 peak. In fact, the S&P 500 hasn't really budged in a decade. So, while corporate America has been doing well relative to everyone else, it would be doing much better, and investors would be much happier, if growth were stronger and unemployment were lower, even if inflation and government spending were higher. Austerity during an economic slowdown isn't just bad for the unemployed. It's also bad for business."
Read the New Yorker article.
"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .
A few insights on why gender stereotypes suck for everyone involved: Masculinity, in essence, is something that men earn, rather than so...
A return to the past should not blind us to present problems. Check out Anne-Marie Slaughter's post in FT . Thanks, +Claire Packer ...
"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .