Hello! Hope you have a great Monday.
Articles to Read.
Adjusted for inflation, the US economy has more than doubled in real terms since 1975. How much of that growth has gone to the average person? According to many economists, the answer is none or close to none.
these depressing conclusions rely on studies and data that are incomplete or flawed. They understate economic growth for the poor and the middle class because they use measures of prices that mis-measure inflation.
But the biggest problem with the pessimistic studies is that they rarely follow the same people to see how they do over time.
When you follow the same people over time, the largest gains over time often go to the poorest workers; the richest workers often make no progress.
What actually happened in the last three decades of the 20th century in the Isaacs study: the children from the poorest families added more to their income than children from the richest families. The pessimistic claims I mentioned at the beginning of this essay deny there is any regression to the mean. They argue that only the richest Americans have benefited from economic growth over the last 30–40 years. Or that only the richest Americans have gotten raises. The pessimistic story based on comparing snapshots of the economy at two different points in time misses the underlying dynamism of the American economy and does not accurately measure how workers at different places in the income distribution are doing over time.
Have you ever come into work, sat down at your computer to begin a project, opened your editor, and then just stared at the screen? This happens to me all the time, so I understand your struggle.
My solution was to approach a project by turning it into as many tiny steps as possible. That way I could get a few really easy wins under my belt. For example, each step would be a task such as "Search for ______ on Google" or "Have a conversation with ______." Crossing things off your to-do list gives your brain a happy little dopamine hit, even if the tasks are tiny—it keeps your motivation up and your excuses down.
Try breaking your next project into the smallest increments you possibly can. Each step should be really small (I try for tasks that take 15 minutes or less) and really easy to accomplish, so that you can get a win! You have to overcome inertia. Little wins add up and make it easier to do that.
When I moved from Brooklyn back to the Bay Area a few years ago, I thought, at first, that the apartment I found was charming. It’s also very small: At the end of a long driveway, inside a former garage, it’s 240 square feet, or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces.
I still live there—partly because rents in Oakland have surged more than 50% in less than a decade, and in a neighborhood where a typical one-bedroom now goes for more than $2,800, I can’t afford to move. I recognize the value of this type of tiny house, called an accessory dwelling unit or ADU, in theory. In built-up cities with little extra land and residents who fight development, adding tiny cottages in backyards is one way to help address the housing shortage. The small size saves energy and curbs my shopping habits, since there literally isn’t any room for, say, another pair of shoes. But I also question how well tiny homes make sense as a solution for long-term housing—and in some cases, as in the even tinier houses sometimes used as housing for people experiencing homelessness, I wonder if they can sometimes distract from other, more systemic solutions that are necessary.
Many college libraries are reinventing themselves, but perhaps they’re trying to fix an institution that isn’t, in fact, broken. “I mean, yeah, the degree is cool,” one community-college student told the researchers of the aforementioned study when asked what he wanted from his campus services, “but I’m more about the knowledge.”
Why do we still have to pay for printing?
Though you have probably never heard of Wally Jay, he is considered one of the greatest judo instructors of all time. Despite never once competing in judo, Jay consistently produced champions in judo and other martial arts.
One of Jay’s key insights was that not everyone learned like he did:
The biggest mistake is for an instructor to teach exactly the way he was taught. Once a teacher said to me, “All of my boys fight like me.” Then when we got on the mat, not one of his students could beat one of mine. Not one. So I told him that he had to individualize his instruction.
This lesson seems to be lost on many financial commentators/bloggers who provide personal finance advice based on their own experiences, which are typically outside the norm. The exceptions become the rule and then personal finance becomes a bit too…personal.
Most first-time visitors to Japan are struck by how clean the country is. Then they notice the absence of litter bins. And street sweepers. So they’re left with the question: how does Japan stay so clean?
“For 12 years of school life, from elementary school to high school, cleaning time is part of students’ daily schedule.”
On arriving at school, students leave their shoes in lockers and change into trainers. At home, too, people leave their street shoes at the entrance. Even workmen coming to your house will remove their shoes and pad around in their socks. And as the schoolchildren grow, their concept of what constitutes their space extends beyond the classroom to include their neighbourhood, their city and their country.
I really liked this tweet from Clayton Christensen…
I think a lot about advice giving and the dangerous consequences of (often bad) unsolicited advice. I think important to always empathize with the listener (which can be hard).
More to Check Out:
- Scientists can tell how wealthy you are by examining your sewage
- How to raise a vegan dog
- Why New York City Stopped Building Subways
- Paper airplane designs
- Everything Is Private Equity Now
Hope you are having a great October.
Went from traveling like crazy to planting in SF. Have been here for 4.5 months now! Wow time flies.