In rural areas, employment has never recovered and disability is higher, as are business start-ups

This piece was published in March 2017 in In These Times, and prior to that, in The Conversation, an online resource that describes itself as “an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community,” asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the factors that contribute to the differences between life in rural and urban America. Contributor attributions are noted in italics at …

Growing inequality in US and China, but worse for middle and lower classes in the US, and how we assess the growth of poverty worldwide

John A. Powell and the Haas Institute are suggesting Targeted Universalism as a different way—a powerful way—to make the transformational changes we need. Changes we need to improve life chances, promote inclusion, and enhance and sustain equitable policies and programs. To better understand a targeted universalism framework, please enjoy this brief animated video, which explains the difference between targeted universalism and more …

Not just in Athens: Signs of democracy and collective government in early MesoAmerican cities

Excerpt from an article by Lizzie Wade, in Science Magazine, March 2017 Archaeologists now say these “collective societies” left telltale traces in their material culture, such as repetitive architecture, an emphasis on public space over palaces, reliance on local production over exotic trade goods, and a narrowing of wealth gaps between elites and commoners. Intrigued by such outliers, Blanton and …

Deep decarbonization in the US: Brad Plumer’s discussion

An excerpt from Brad Plumer on Vox.com, 3 April 2017  Current electricity trends aren’t nearly sufficient for deep decarbonization. If the US wants to do its part to halt global warming, it’s not enough for electricity emissions to dip moderately. They have to go to zero — within a couple of decades. That’s a mind-bogglingly difficult task, and we’re currently …

Bloomberg: Income inequality battle brewing at state level

By Sharon H. Lee, on Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs, Mar 1, 2017  In response to growing concerns over income inequality, some states are proposing legislation designed to penalize companies using pay ratio data disclosed pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s pay ratio disclosure rule. Pay Ratio The SEC’s pay ratio disclosure rule requires public companies to report the ratio …

AI: Replacing managers with automated decision-making saves time and eliminates emotional volatility says world’s largest hedge fund

Bridgewater Associates has a team of engineers working on a project to automate decision-making to save time and eliminate human emotional volatility. See article in The Guardian, below.   This has an interesting connection to the weather and also air pollution.  The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and medical researchers had already previous reported that air pollution from fossil fuel …