The Frustration with Productivity Culture: Why we’re so tired of optimizing our work lives, by Cal Newport

In 1999, the management theorist Peter Drucker noted that the productivity of the manual worker had grown fiftyfold during the last century. “On this achievement rest all of the economic and social gains of the 20th century,” Drucker concluded. In other words, the increase in productivity is why today most Americans own a smartphone, while a century ago they didn’t have indoor plumbing. By Cal …

Costa Ricans Live Longer Than Us. What’s the Secret? We’ve starved our public-health sector. The Costa Rica model demonstrates what happens when you put it first.

By Atul Gawande, New Yorker, Costa Ricans Live Longer Than Us. What’s the Secret?, August 23, 2021 In the United States and elsewhere, public health and medical care are largely separate enterprises. Costa Rica shows the benefits of integrating the two—it spends less than we do on health care and gets better results.Photographs by Fred Ramos for The New Yorker The cemetery …

An Equity-Based Primer on Paying to Pollute

Nuts, Bolts, and Pitfalls of Carbon Pricing While carbon pricing and emissions trading schemes have been a part of climate policy discussions for decades, the concept has gained popularity in recent years. The term usually refers to two common policy mechanisms, “cap and trade” and a “carbon tax,” which are market-based measures that create a carbon market by putting a …

How Insurers Obscure Healthcare Costs And How to Get Past That

How Insurers Obscure Healthcare Costs (Un-covered) — “As any magician will tell you, you can obscure what you don’t want people to notice by using a technique they’ve used forever: misdirection. Insurers want you to look at the fingers pointing away from them, not at the ones picking your pocket. An important goal of the industry’s misdirection is to keep …

Public Health Insurance: People Want Single-Payer and Have For Decades

The idea that most Americans support universal health care is neither new nor particularly controversial. Surveys showing broad public dissatisfaction with the current system go back at least a decade, and in a 2018 Reuters-Ipsos poll, 70% of respondents said they would support a program of Medicare for All — numbers identical to a survey conducted later that year by the HarrisX polling company. Still, …

Heat Wave Shows Climate Change Is a Workers’ Rights Issue

June 2021 While the 100 million computer workers in this country are more likely to be able to work safely indoors, other urgent and necessary work must continue outdoors, no matter the severity of the weather. The entirety of the working class is (or will be) affected by climate change, but it’s farm workers, letter carriers, construction workers, sanitation workers and other outdoor …

Senate Testimony: Concentration of economic and financial power is squeezing out pharmacies, jobs, and livelihoods in rural areas

“At the root of much of rural America’s distress is the concentration of economic and financial power,” ILSR Co-Director Stacy Mitchell testified before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, April 20th. “We have a few superstar cities mostly on the coasts that are prospering. Meanwhile, much of rural America is falling further and further behind. Good jobs are rare. Poverty …

Nearly 40,000 agricultural workers in Colorado, 3,000 live in employer-provided housing and have long endured unsanitary, cramped conditions and grueling work hours with few breaks

June 2021, The Counter – There are nearly 40,000 agricultural employees in Colorado, 3,000 of whom live in employer-provided housing and have long endured unsanitary,  cramped conditions and grueling work hours with few breaks, according to advocates and workers themselves.  Senate Bill 87, also known as the Farmworker Bill of Rights, will require that farmworkers be paid Colorado’s minimum wage—$12.32 an hour …

Black people in most US cities are subject to double the level of heat stress as their white counterparts. Rates of suicide rise with temperature and smog as well.

A new study covered by BBC News finds that black people in most US cities are “subject to double the level of heat stress as their white counterparts”. It says the researchers concluded differences were not explained by poverty, but by historic racism and segregation, meaning that people of color more generally “live in areas with fewer green spaces and …