Archive for January, 2013

Organized Labor Losing Members in US

January 28, 2013

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From WSJ article, union membership declining.

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NYC Appears Better than US on Crime

January 26, 2013

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NYT article describes how NYC’s focus on crime-prone areas, “flooding” the streets with policemen and more frequent “stop-and-frisk”s.

US Work-Related Deaths

January 23, 2013

Fishing is the most dangerous job in the US by a wide margin, with 121.2 deaths per 100,000 workers. The spread from most-to-least dangerous is substantial and there are a few surprises here: firefighters, for example, have a lower death rate than the national average. I would like to see the stats for soldiers, another hero-type profession along with police offers and firefighters, but it was sadly not included.

–From NPR

Upward Mobility in US at Historic Low

January 18, 2013

Upward mobility in the US is at a post-war low. During the 30’s and 40’s is was three times higher, near 12%, but has since dropped considerably to below 4%. In other words, both rich and poor Americans are likely to stay in the class they were born into. American poverty and wealth are both becoming increasingly stable and permanent.

–from Business Insider

The Data-Driven Life

January 16, 2013

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From Vanity Fair, an article about the data-driven life. Very funny. I personally don’t particularly embrace the “Quantified Self.” My wife may disagree. I love to analyze numbers and do it every work day, but that’s my work. The best times I spend with friends and family are not about data.

China’s Air Pollution Problems

January 14, 2013

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WSJ with very concerning graphic and article about air pollution spikes in Beijing.

Our Economic Choice: Cut Spending or Grow

January 13, 2013

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Articles from NYT here and here about how we have seen increasing productivity and increasing inequality. Policy-wise, we can cut spending or grow overall…or we can do both. Businesses face the same challenge: grow sales or cut costs. Real wealth is generated by growing sales and, for our country, the greatest improvements will be made by growing GDP.

From the article: “Some people think it’s a law that when productivity goes up, everybody benefits,” says Erik Brynjolfsson, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “There is no economic law that says technological progress has to benefit everybody or even most people. It’s possible that productivity can go up and the economic pie gets bigger, but the majority of people don’t share in that gain.”

Problem is that no one seems to know how to increase productivity so that there are benefits to all, not just corporate America, and we’re stuck in partisan policy arguments and not taking significant action. Strengthening the non-1% involves things like raising minimum wage and strengthening unions and making tax policy even more progressive but the list is thin. Growing the economy involves reducing our debt load, reducing taxes, encouraging investment…what I didn’t hear about what strengthening out educational system. Global companies will want our workers if they are smart. I also didn’t see anything about allowing more high tech workers to immigrate into our country. Smart tech workers from Asia are moving to Vancouver because they can’t get permanent residence in the US; smart tech companies are developing offices in Vancouver because its better and closer than having an office Asia.

China’s Impact On Global Food Economy

January 12, 2013

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Earth Policy Institute with a nice piece about China’s food needs.

Temperatures Keep Rising

January 12, 2013

Latest data from US is out and no sign of lowering. Much of increases in Midwest. From Wonkblog.

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The Two America’s

January 12, 2013

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The story of corporate America and citizen America is not going away. This
from Business Insider and Goldman Sachs.