By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Readers, I had more trouble assembling the DNC graphic below, and politics just now is quite lively, so I’ll add a bit more material in a few minutes. –lambert UPDATE 2:38PM All done.
“Mexico’s victor reaches out to Trump, seeks NAFTA deal” [Associated Press]. “Lopez Obrador said he supports reaching a deal on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Canada. The talks have been stalled over the Trump administration demands for higher U.S. content and a ‘sunset clause’ in the 1994 trade agreement…. Lopez Obrador said he will propose that his own team of experts be included in the talks. The winning candidate said he will make that proposal in a meeting Tuesday with current President Enrique Pena Nieto… Lopez Obrador told Televisa that he will respect the current team of negotiators, and let them continue representing Mexico until he takes office Dec. 1.” More: “Lopez Obrador said individual and property rights would be guaranteed, promised respect for the autonomy of the central Bank of Mexico and said his government will maintain financial and .” • Oh gawd. Please forgive me for allowing my cynicism kick in, but if Lopez Obrador turns out to be Mexico’s Obama, a lot of people are going to be very unhappy, and very willing to share their unhappiness with others. I know “he has to say that,” but we heard that with Obama, too. Readers?
“President Donald Trump on Sunday said he sees tariffs on foreign cars and auto parts as positive for the U.S. economy, even though Detroit-based automakers are unified in urging his administration to drop the effort, saying it would amount to a tax on consumers. ‘What’s really going to happen is there’s going to be no tax,’ Mr. Trump told Fox News in an interview broadcast Sunday. ‘You know why? They’re going to build their cars in America. They’re going to make them here'” [Politico].
“Trump isn’t going to change his mind on trade even if the stock market keeps falling: Wilbur Ross” [CNBC]. “‘There’s no bright line level of the stock market that’s going to change policy,’ Ross said … ‘The president is trying to fix long-term problems that should have been fixed a long time ago.’…. ‘You can’t deal with day-to-day stock market fluctuations,’ he said, adding that policy measures need to be crafted and pursued based on what’s fundamentally good for the economy.” • Big if true.
UPDATE “‘What is more uncivil and cruel than taking children away?’ Hillary blames Trump for explosion of coarseness – and compares herself to Churchill” [Daily Mail]. “[Clinton] was asked by the interviewer whether she had considered helping to heal the divides in U.S. life by leaving the public stage…. But clearly angered, she said: ‘I’m sure they said that about Churchill between the wars, didn’t they?'” • To answer the question, slaughtering Libyans by the truckload and rebooting the slave markets? But to Churchill, he was in the political wilderness between the wars. And then staged a comeback. “Just us, and the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark…”
UPDATE “DNC committee votes to limit power of superdelegates” [The Hill]. “The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee approved a measure to bar superdelegates from voting on the first presidential nomination ballot in a contested convention… Wednesday’s vote sets the DNC up for a full vote on the measure at the committee meeting next month….’No candidate will be able to have an accumulated lead, whether it’s real or perceived, before a ballot has been cast,’ Perez said.” • Big if true.
“The uncertain political ramifications of Justice Kennedy’s exit” [Larrry Sabato’s Crystal Ball]. “[McConnell] doesn’t care all that much how Democratic senators end up voting on the justice-nominee so long as he can keep his own caucus together. Assuming a vote before the midterm — McConnell said the Senate will vote on a replacement ‘this fall’ — the majority leader will attempt to make each red state Democrat pay a dear price on Election Day whether they vote for or against the nominee. Meanwhile, Republican strength in the Senate is fragile: because of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) absence due to poor health, the Senate is functionally just 50-49 Republican now. Will any GOP senators object to the nominee? It’s possible, albeit unlikely. (As usual, Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Rand Paul of Kentucky come to mind — though the blowback from a “no” vote would be severe from a huge majority of their own party’s people — who have been eagerly waiting for a Supreme Court takeover for years.)… Political questions — unanswerable now — abound. When will the vote be scheduled: before or after the midterm? Probably before, but maybe not. If the new justice is confirmed before the midterm, will it only juice turnout on the left because the right will be satisfied and the left outraged? Already, rank-and-file Democrats are tweeting that the most important midterm in their lifetime has become leagues more significant with the Kennedy vacancy. Or does this court vacancy help Republicans make up what seems to clearly be an enthusiasm deficit compared to Democrats?”
“Can Democrats get their base excited about a court fight?” [Washington Post]. “Brian Fallon, the Clinton campaign veteran now organizing liberal messaging against Trump nominees, suggested an argument for red state Democrats under pressure this fall: if a nominee did not consider the ACA to be settled law, it would “be an adequate basis to treat the vote on Trump’s nominee as a vote to uphold ACA.”
“If this November’s elections are about the state of the economy, Republicans will do quite well. Most of the economic indicators are good, and while things could change over the next few months, they are not likely to deteriorate dramatically” [Inside Elections]. “Republicans would likely keep the House and Senate if the midterms were only a referendum on the president’s handling of the economy. But the economy isn’t dominating voters’ attention these days. The June 1-4 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll asked registered voters about the ‘most important factor in deciding your vote’ and found five issues bunched together in the double digits: health care; economy and jobs; guns; taxes and spending; and immigration. In tough economic times (whether high unemployment or high inflation), the economy and jobs inevitably rank far ahead of other concerns because people think first about putting food on the table and paying the mortgage. But today, when jobs are relatively plentiful and Americans feel upbeat about the economy, people have time to think about other issues and problems — such as health care, gun control and how people should be treated.” • That would be ironic; Trump a victim of his own (perceived) success…. One poll, of course,
Realignment and Legitimacy
An alert reader throws this DNC fundraising mailer over the transom:
I don’t like this. First, note the (helpfully highlighted) identity politics fixation. Second, note that the DNC replaces AOC’s straightforward “working class” with its own (focus-grouped, noxious) “working families” formulation. Third, DNC money is dirty. “Progressives” should not take it.
UPDATE “Local Girl Makes Good” [Maureen Dowd, New York Times]. MoDo’s second para: “‘A sanitation truck pulled up,’ said the 28-year-old with the contagious smile and an energy that impressed even the dragon-energy president. ‘The driver reached out his arm to give me a high-five. What that moment tells me is what we did was right. We are touching the hearts of working people. Democrats should be getting high-fives from sanitation truck drivers — that is what should be happening in America.'” • Interesting read. AOC gives a good interview.
UPDATE “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won Not Because Her Ideas Are Radical but Because They’re Good” [GQ]. “How could a young Democratic Socialist who spent about one-tenth as much money as her opponent have bested the man widely assumed to become the next Democratic leader in the House? The answer is as boring as it is important: Ocasio-Cortez’s radical socialist ideas aren’t radical anymore. They’re practical and popular, and she never apologized for any of them…. You can see this dynamic at work in Ocasio-Cortez’s position statements, which carefully pair grand ideas with numbers and facts… She isn’t just talking about student debt because it sounds cool, or because doing so is likely to get young people to show up and chant slogans long into the night. She does it because studies suggest that debt cancellation could boost this country’s real gross domestic product by somewhere between $860 billion and one trillion dollars over the next decade. .”
UPDATE “The Democratic Socialists of America show their muscle in New York congressional upset” [Yahoo News]. “[AOC] had a campaign machine of her own, an outside group known as the Democratic Socialists of America. In the avalanche of coverage of Ocasio-Cortez’s win, the logistical support and manpower she received from the DSA has drawn relatively little notice. But the group is poised to make its presence felt in the midterms. More than 100 volunteers from the DSA had flooded the streets of the 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of Queens and the Bronx, for months.” • Yahoo News has run several sane stories on this topic, oddly.
UPDATE Growing pains?
— Cliff Hirst ? (@CliffH) June 29, 2018
“Has the New America Foundation Lost its Way?” [The Washingtonian]. “According to a recording of the meeting, [Anne-Marie Slaughter] said that while she recognized that the standard in journalism was never to show sources what you were writing, New America’s ‘norm can’t be that. We’re an organization that develops relationships with funders. And you know, these are not just black boxes; they’re people. Google is a person, the Ford Foundation—these are people. . . . And particularly when they give you money, which is really a nice thing . . . basic courtesy I think requires—if you know something really bad, you say, ‘Here’s a heads-up.'” • I think Betteridge’s Law applies here; NAF has not lost its way at all. Servicing the donor class has always been its way. Same for CAP.
“Madeleine Albright: Trump ‘undemocratic,’ ‘un-American’ but not ‘a fascist'” [Washington Times]. “‘I don’t think he’s a fascist,’ she said, ‘I do think he’s the most undemocratic president in modern American history and that troubles me.’ Ms. Albright said the same thing about Mr. Trump during a podcast interview with The Economist, saying that leaders like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan better fit that term. For her, a fascist leader is one that identifies with only one group and is a tribal-like leader.” • Two solid years of liberal Democrat messaging down the tubes…
“Era of resistance defines new generation of House Democrats” [Associated Press]. “[The top Democrat on the rules committee, Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts] said it recently took him two hours to shop for groceries back home because so many constituents stopped to talk with him. Voters, he said, want Democrats ‘to stand up to Trump’s racism and his bigotry and all his hateful policies.’ But they also want them to make strides on , he said [which would be….]. ‘What people are looking for is not just for us to be right on the issues,” he said. “They want to know what we’re going to do to these issues.'” • Take this pudding away—it has no theme (Churchill). And there’s that “fight for” talking point. Always “fighting for,” never winning. That’s our Democrats!
“[I]t may take liberals by surprise to hear that a recent Reuters/Ipsos mega poll of 16,000 respondents, found that the Democrats are losing ground with millennials. While millennials still prefer the Democratic party over the Republicans, that support is tanking. In just two years, it dropped sharply from 55% to 46%. Meanwhile, their support for Republicans has remained roughly stable in the past two years, falling from 28% to 27%” [Guardian]. • One poll. Still, that’s a rather big drop. So much for the “coalition of the ascendant”….
Funny what people find funny:
Trump and Putin are meeting in Finland next month. That's a long way to travel for a blowjob, but hey — Putin's got the money.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) June 29, 2018
That Putin and Trump are gay lovers is a well-known trope amongst Russia!Russia!Russia! liberal Democrats. Odd, for a political faction otherwise so tolerant.
Purchasing Managers Manufacturing Index, June 2018: “Strength has been noticeably upgraded in the manufacturing PMI sample” [Econoday]. “There’s usually not much change between the flash manufacturing PMI and the final manufacturing PMI and June’s results are unique for this series, implying a roughly 56 plus pace for the last half of the month. And for the quarter as whole, the PMI posted its strongest performance since third quarter of 2014. The final results for June seem to bely the report’s modest assessment.” And but: “Based on these surveys and the district Federal Reserve Surveys, one would expect the Fed’s Industrial Production index growth rate remain about the same as last month. Overall, surveys do not have a high correlation to the movement of industrial production (manufacturing) since the Great Recession” [Econintersect].
Institute For Supply Management Manufacturing Index, June 2018: “Topped Econoday’s consensus range and got a boost from long delays in supplier deliveries” [Econoday]. “Capacity stress, due to robust demand and also tariff disruptions, is a major concern for ISM’s manufacturing sample…. Yet the delays are not slowing production…. Despite all the stress, ISM’s sample continues to find available workers with employment steady…. Whatever hints there were of slowing in manufacturing…. June appears very likely to have been yet another month of acceleration for a factory sector that, tariffs or not, is taking a leading position in the 2018 economy.” And: “The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion in June” [Calculated Risk]. ISM was above expectations, “and suggests manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in June than in May.”
Construction Spending, May 2018: “Strength in housing is leading the construction sector, making for a respectable” rise [Econoday]. “Spots of weakness aside, gains in housing and particularly single-family homes are major positives, pointing to strength for new home sales and also construction employment.” But: “This was below the consensus forecast of a 0.6% increase for May” [Calculated Risk]. But: “May 2018 Headline Construction Spending Up But Inflation Adjusted Growth In Contraction” [Econintersect]. “The rolling averages declined. Also note that inflation is grabbing hold, and that inflation adjustments bring this series into contraction. The employment gains currently year-over-year are near the same as the year-over-year growth in construction spending.”
Capital Investment: “13 Percent Upswing in Combined U.S. & Canadian Industrial Spending” [Industrial Reports]. “[C]ombined U.S. and Canadian planned capital spending increased 13 percent in June compared to May with $49.44 billion in spending for the two nations. May’s planned investment showed $43.65 billion. The research organization reported 241 planned U.S. and Canadian projects in June… Planned U.S. project spending improved by 12 percent in June with $40.54 billion in planned investment compared to the May total of $36.06 billion.”
Personal Income and Spending (May 31): “[A]s suggested by the far too low personal savings rate, consumption was revised down a bit and has come in lower this month. However, income was also revised lower, with wage income growth weak even with the reported employment growth, keeping the savings rate remains depressed. And with prices a bit higher it means real consumption and income are that much lower. Also, note how the inflation rates tend to move higher after Fed rate hikes” [Mosler Economics].
Commodities: “Is the world running out of sand? The truth behind stolen beaches and dredged islands” [Guardian]. ” Sand is second only to water as a natural material extracted by humans, and our society is built on it, quite literally. Global production has risen by a quarter in just five years, fuelled by the insatiable demands of China and India for housing and infrastructure…. Wind action in deserts results in rounded grains that are too smooth and too small to bind well in concrete…. Riverbed sand is prized, being of the correct gritty texture and purity, washed clean by running fresh water. Marine sand from the seabed is also used in increasing quantities, but it must be cleansed of salt to avoid metal corrosion in buildings. It all comes at a cost….. Sand accounted for 85% of the total weight of mined material in 2014, yet it is replenished by rock erosion only over thousands of years. Booming demand means scarcity, scarcity means money and money means criminality. Globally, sand extraction is estimated to be worth £50bn per year, a cubic metre of sand selling for as much as £62 in areas of high demand and scarce supply. This makes it vulnerable to illegal exploitation, particularly in the developing world. Why buy expensive sand, sourced from licensed mines, when you can anchor your dredger in some remote estuary, blast the sand out of the riverbed with a water jet and suck it up? Or steal a beach? Or dismantle an entire island? Or whole groups of islands? This is what the ‘sand mafias’ do.”
Shipping: “FTR’s Shippers Conditions Index tells a tough story for shippers” [Logistics Management]. “[Freight transportation consultancy FTR] describes the [Shippers Condition Index (SCI)] as an indicator that sums up all market influences that affect the transport environment for shippers, with a reading above zero being favorable and a reading below zero being unfavorable and a ‘less-than-ideal environment for shippers.’ For April, the most recent month for which data is available, the SCI came in at 13.4, which slipped further in negative territory over March’s -10.5 reading. FTR said this demonstrates how there has been a lack of capacity and rate relief for shippers in what continues to be a very strong freight environment.”
The Bezzle: “Hitachi Affiliate Discovers Data Fraud of 60,000 Batteries” [Industry Week]. “An affiliate of Japanese electronics giant Hitachi admitted Friday it had falsified data for 60,000 industrial batteries, the latest in a series of similar scandals that has battered the country’s reputation for quality… ‘So far no malfunction has been detected and we believe that there is no problem in the functioning and safety of the products,’ the company said in a statement.” • They “believe.” Do they know?
The Bezzle: “Tesla stock gains after hitting 5,000 Model 3 production target and shooting for 6,000” [MarketWatch]. “Shares of Tesla Inc. rose Monday, after the electric car maker confirmed that it hit its target of producing 5,000 Model 3 vehicles a week, and said it was shooting for 6,000 a week by the end of August.” • As a Tesla skeptic, I don’t think Tesla can “confirm” anything. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll find out how the stock-pumping target was actually reached.
The Bezzle: “Tesla Model 3 Production Feat Falls Short of Defeating Doubters” [Bloomberg]. “Output reached 5,031 Model 3s in the last week of the second quarter, exceeding a target that Tesla’s chief executive officer had said was crucial to generating cash and earning profit. About outside its California assembly plant. The shares fell as the release failed to settle a debate over whether the production can be sustained.” • Really? I’d like to see the math on throughput from that tent…
The Bezzle: “Tesla reaches Model 3 production milestone and record 7,000-car week total production, says Elon Musk” [Electrek]. “While the employee celebration earlier today gave us a pretty good idea, this confirms it, but […] it’s important to know how Tesla came to that number and whether or not they can maintain it from now on. We should have a much better idea when Tesla releases its official Q2 production and delivery report later this week.”
Transportation: “New battery technology will be all-important in making these decisions. “Our analyses indicate that the majority of commercial vehicles can reach cost parity with diesel-powered trucks within the next 10 years, assuming we see continued improvements in battery cost and power density,” the report said. Battery packs are the key ingredient in pushing all-electric fleet purchases from theoretical to real” [Automotive IQ].
Manufacturing: “Tariffs Aside, a More Business-Friendly Presidency Is Good for Manufacturing” [Industry Week]. “The Trump administration’s easing of costly and onerous regulations is boosting companies’ interest in reshoring jobs to the U.S. At last count, some 22 regulations were repealed, cutting compliance costs to American companies by $8.1 billion—and fueled by the President’s mandate that federal agencies eliminate ‘at least’ two regulations for every new one ordered. The consulting clients my company works with in manufacturing are expressing a strong sense of optimism that is translating into pulling projects off the shelf that were in limbo during the past few years and moving forward with brick-and-mortar investments into new plants, equipment and factory upgrades. While they have appreciated the tax cuts engineered by the new administration—and some showing their appreciation in the form of $1,000 to $2,000 bonus checks to their employees—the regulatory pullback has brought an even greater sense of economic confidence.” • “My company,” so the guy is talking his book, but it could be a good book. I imagine the horror stories from the shop floor and the fracked and landfilled colonies will bubble up in a decade or so, but that’s, er, the norm, right?
Five Horsemen: “At late morning the Fab Five are mixed, with Apple, Microsoft and Facebook up; Alphabet and Amazon down” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].
NakedCap Mania-Panic Index: “After Friday’s relatively flat session, the mania-panic index lost another tick to 33 (worry), as the put-call ratio remained high at 1.24 and new lows exceeded new highs” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood]. (The NakedCap mania-panic index is an equally-weighted average of seven technical indicators derived from stock indexes, volatility (VIX), Treasuries, junk bonds, equity options, and internal measures of new highs vs new lows and up volume vs down volume … each converted to a scale of 0 to 100 before averaging, using thirty years of history for five of the seven series.)
Rapture Ready: Closes up 1 on Wild Weather. “A massive heat wave has hit the central US” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 181.
UPDATE Oh, Keith. No.
.@ASlavitt, I agree with the mission of United States of Care: let’s ensure that every single American has access to quality, affordable health care regardless of health status, social need, or income.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) June 30, 2018
It’s like they’re all working together….
Congratulations to @usofcare Founder’s Council member @Atul_Gawande on your appointment as CEO of the Amazon, Berkshire, and J.P. Morgan health care partnership. Could not agree with you more – "The system is broken, and better is possible."
— United States of Care (@USofCare) June 20, 2018
Gawande writes for The New Yorker. Nice person.
UPDATE “The ‘pleasant ambiguity’ of Medicare-for-all in 2018, explained” [Vox]. “But these days, other plans are falling under the Medicare-for-all umbrella. Some progressives, like [Adam Green, co-founder of the lefty Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC)], are even comfortable with the term being applied to the various proposals to allow all Americans buy into Medicare. Some of those plans used to be branded as a “public option”; they would not end private insurance that more than half of Americans get, usually through work, as a true single-payer would. But these plans would also not provide the same guarantee of universal coverage that a single-payer system does.” • Liberal wonks solemnly reflect on the brand confusion they themselves created.
Meanwhile, on Planet Earth (1):
Awful scene on the orange line. A woman’s leg got stuck in the gap between the train and the platform. It was twisted and bloody. Skin came off. She’s in agony and weeping. Just as upsetting she begged no one call an ambulance. “It’s $3000,” she wailed. “I can’t afford that.”
— Maria Cramer (@GlobeMCramer) June 29, 2018
Meanwhile, on Planet Earth (2):
My husband is an amputee. His prosthetic is fine, but his sleeves are worn, so we ordered new ones. Each sleeve is $1000. It's a rubber sock, more or less, with a screw like object on one end. Medicare only covers about $1500 of the 2k. So, he's back in a wheelchair indefinitely. https://t.co/tKbtfk5WX2
— ? EndTheDuopoly ? (@keidekay) June 24, 2018
“These Ancient Trees Have Stories to Tell” [National Geographic]. • 2016, but lovely photos….
“JPMorgan Chase & Co. will buy as much as 555,000 square feet (52,000 square meters) of air rights from a landmarked Manhattan church as it prepares to build its new headquarters” [Bloomberg]. “JPMorgan announced in February it is knocking down its headquarters at 270 Park Ave. and replacing it with a 2.5-million-square-foot skyscraper that could be as much as 500 feet taller…. New York City last year implemented a rezoning plan for east Midtown, allowing for bigger buildings as a way of competing with other financial capitals around the world. Air rights can be transferred from one building to another, enabling a higher structure than zoning regulations would otherwise allow.” • Love the “transfer of air rights” part. Innovative. Meanwhile, retail at street level in Manhattan is dying. Empty storefront after empty storefront….
“The Remaking of Class” (reviews three books) [Jedidiah Purdy, The New Republic]. “Griswold documents class without having to name it. Class is contaminated water, children with chronic pain and fatigue, and no money or extra time to address the fact that their grades are collapsing year by year. It is living downhill of the pond where fracking fluids are stored. It is being hurried through a signing session for a drilling lease on your small property, without a lawyer and without a chance to read documents written to confuse you. It is wondering whether you have time to meet with an environmental enforcement agent about your problems when the last one disappeared without communicating and every meeting means time away from your nursing job. It is lawyers and bureaucrats looking at their phones while they meet with you. It is a high-schooler adjusting his expectations from going to college to joining the Army to mowing lawns.” And: “I especially admire Eliza Griswold’s description of class–in which she doesn’t use the word–as a web of social and environmental vulnerabilities, ways the world is indifferent and dangerous to you. At the same time, I suggest we might also need to think about class from a different perspective: that of the bosses and owners. Their class consciousness is often arrestingly lucid, and in many ways they are the ones who make the world.” • Also, “class denialism.”
“There’s No City, State, or County Where a Minimum Wage Worker Can Rent a 2-Bedroom Home” [GritPost]. “According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) 2018 “Out of Reach” report, someone working a 40-hour week position earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour would be unable to afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States at fair market rent (usually the 40th percentile of gross rent in a given area, set annually by the Department of Housing and Urban Development). Even in Arkansas, a minimum wage worker would need to work 65 hours/week to earn enough to afford fair market rent for a two-bedroom home.” • Readers, your experience?
“Can Gentrification Be Illegal?” [Governing]. “Can gentrification be illegal? That’s the question at the heart of a recent lawsuit in Washington, D.C., which alleges that the city courted ‘creative-class’ millennials in recent years at the expense of longtime Washingtonians, particularly the city’s lower-income African-American residents. The city filed a motion to dismiss the $1 billion lawsuit, which was filed in April by a civil rights attorney on behalf of three D.C. residents and a local advocacy group. The city claims that the court doesn’t have jurisdiction to determine whether housing officials were discriminatory in their efforts to attract young, professional workers…. ‘The city is intentionally trying to lighten black neighborhoods, and the way they have primarily been doing it is through construction of high-density, luxury buildings that primarily only offer studios and one bedrooms,’ the suit reads. ‘Every city planning agency … conspired to make D.C. very welcoming for preferred residents and sought to displace residents inimical to the creative economy.’ …. ‘Developers are looking at areas in the city where they can buy low and sell high,’ Derek Hyra, an American University professor who has written about gentrification in Washington, told the newspaper. ‘Developers want to maximize their return. This is not a conspiracy. This is capitalism.'” Indeed! • Remember, back in frontier days when computers were steam-powered and ran on punch cards, how Medicare was rolled out in a year from a standing start? I’m not sure we want or need government to be “innovative” in the way that the “creative class” would like it to innovate, capitalism or no. So why do we need to attract them to The Nation’s Capital?
“Americans are working hard and getting nowhere” [MarketWatch]. “For many today, the panelists said, building wealth is a luxury that time and salaries don’t permit. And, they added, the effects are taking a toll. Wages have remained stagnant since the 1970s and four in 10 households experience more than a 30% fluctuation in income month to month due to unreliable employment, irregular hours or periods of unemployment, according to data from the JP Morgan Chase Institute cited in The Aspen Institute’s new report, Reconnecting Work & Wealth. Nearly half of households have little or no emergency funds, while one in five Americans has a zero or negative net worth. According to PwC’s 2017 Employee Wellness Financial Survey, money matters were a top source of stress for boomers as well as younger generations.” • No duh. The deck: “How can the labor market promote wealth accumulation for workers?
News of The Wired
“Email’s first real user was also the first person to compulsively check his inbox” [Quartz]. “In fact, email’s first real user was somewhat tethered to the invention. In the early 1970s, Stephen Lukasik was the head of the US government agency that is widely credited with creating the internet. In his book ‘Attention Merchants,’ Columbia professor Tim Wu describes how Lukasik would lug around a 30-pound terminal so that he could check his messages. ‘As such, Lukasik may have been history’s first true email addict,’ Wu writes.”
UPDATE “Study: The More Coffee You Drink, the Longer You Live” [MedPage]. But: “So I’m putting a marker down, mostly to see what people come up with as a counterargument – if one observes a benefit in a population associated with consuming a food or beverage, and the benefit is not mediated by the active ingredient in that food or beverage, the finding is likely due to unmeasured confounding. In other words, I think coffee is in the same camp as red wine: the observed benefits are likely due more to the type of person who drinks it than what’s actually in the drink.”
Spot the smoked ham. I can’t:
I think we can all agree that the world needs more of this pic.twitter.com/iuVO8f0X6V
— 70s Dinner Party (@70s_party) June 29, 2018
Documentary on “slow photography,” as Joel Meyerowitz photographs the Twin Towers site after 9/11. Reader reactions on the project?
Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (TH):
TH writes: “One day, after dropping my husband off at work, off from work myself, I decided to drive out to San Marino (Los Angeles, CA) to visit the Huntington Library gardens. I arrived more than an hour early. The neighborhood was so pretty, I thought I’d walk around the perimeter. That was a MUCH longer walk than I’d expected—you can’t actually just walk around the perimeter—many of it’s borders are the backyards of the many residents, and the area is a rambling streets that meander through the hills. The homes and landscaping are all beautiful and quite photogenic. Slightly concerned that residents may have wondered at someone photographing their property, I didn’t linger long in any one place.” • As readers know, I support photography while wandering about. Masses of color, too. On another note, I saw my first hummingbird yesterday.
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