The events of the past few years—financial meltdown of 2008, the failed Copenhagen talks and increasing climate destabilization, the BP oil disaster, and the financial crises in the Eurozone—make it clear that the business-as-usual economy is both wreaking havoc on the planet and failing on its own terms. But so far, the conversation about how to transform this economic model has been stuck in neutral. Traveling around North America discussing my new book, Plenitude, I am increasingly convinced that a key obstacle to moving forward is a lack of confidence that there is another way. To gain that confidence, we need to articulate a model of how a sustainable economy could work.
The core insight of my model is the need to transform how people spend their time. Its first principle is to reverse the increased in time devoted to the market that has occurred in recent decades. (The US, most of the global South and some OECD countries have experienced rising hours.) In the US, annual hours of work rose more than 200 from 1973 to 2006. Longer hours raise the ecological footprint, both because of more production, and because time-stressed households have higher-impact lifestyles. Getting to sustainability will require slowing down the pace of life, which means working less.
This musing on intraday trading may come off as a bit harsh and simplistic, but I think subconsciously maybe that is what I intended when I decided to pen this piece (initially as an email to a few traders friends). Here’s the premise for this piece: trading is “blue collar” work. If you want to succeed at this game, put on your hard hat, load up your tool-belt and be ready to work when you get to your computer station.
Too many traders and wanna-be traders simply don’t understand this concept. There’s a grand misconception as to what the daily function looks like of an independent trader. Allow me to break it down for you – at least the way I see it. Your job as an independent trader is to watch, analyze, wait, continue to watch, continue to wait, and finally execute on the pattern(s) that you have learned to have a high probability of being successful on a consistent basis. Your job is to look for that reoccurring high probability pattern and decide whether to deploy your capital or stand-down. That is your job. You are not a macro-economist. You are not an equity analyst with a global hedge fund. You are an independent trader trying to grow your ball of equity, while managing risk.
My woman threatened to dump me because I didn't want to work... ever.
To show her that I'm not such a layabout I set a new record in Changing Jobs, 14 jobs in 24 days!
During the recent downturn, as with every recession that preceded it, companies have responded to declining demand mostly by laying off workers while leaving the salaries of remaining employees largely untouched. This peculiar habit of firing workers rather than cutting wages poses a bit of a challenge to standard economic theory. Workers receive valuable on-the-job training that disappears with layoffs; new hires will need to be trained from scratch when the economy rebounds. Unemployment can be devastating for workers and their families—most would prefer a 10 percent wage cut over a 10 percent chance of getting fired. Consequently, almost any model of rational behavior would have employers and employees renegotiating labor contracts during tight times to push down wages in order to keep more workers employed.
A series of studies in the burgeoning field of behavioral economics provide some insight into why managers seem to prefer handing out pink slips rather than lowering salaries. In experiments where workers were randomly assigned to receive wage cuts, they retaliated by slacking off. If you know that anger and resentment accompany pay cuts, it's easier to understand the response of management during recessions.
This week, researchers at Umea University in Sweden released a startling finding: Couples in which one partner commutes for longer than 45 minutes are 40 percent likelier to divorce. The Swedes could not say why. Perhaps long-distance commuters tend to be poorer or less educated, both conditions that make divorce more common. Perhaps long transit times exacerbate corrosive marital inequalities, with one partner overburdened by child care and the other overburdened by work. But perhaps the Swedes are just telling us something we all already know, which is that commuting is bad for you. Awful, in fact.
well maths in school was a long time ago (at least for me), so most of 'em are really tough ones
Ana Catarian Bezerra is a 36-year-old Brazilian woman who suffers from a chemical imbalance that triggers severe anxiety and hypersexuality. Ana, an accountant by day, began to have problems at work because the only way to relieve said anxiety is by masturbating. A lot. Now, after winning a court battle and seeking professional medical help, Ana is allowed to masturbate and watch porn — using her work's computer, no less — legally.
Ana wasn't always like this, she was worse:
with the rise and rise of benefit sanctions
The statistics behind how UK jobseekers are being 'tricked' out of benefits to meet staff targets
Many of the jobs being added in retail, hospitality and home health care, to name a few categories, are unlikely to pay enough for workers to cover the cost of fundamentals like housing, utilities, food, health care, transportation and, in the case of working parents, child care.
A separate report being released Friday tries to go beyond traditional measurements like the poverty line and minimum wage to show what people need to earn to achieve a basic standard of living.
The study, commissioned by Wider Opportunities for Women, a nonprofit group, builds on an analysis the group and some state and local partners have been conducting since 1995 on how much income it takes to meet basic needs without relying on public subsidies. The new study aims to set thresholds for economic stability rather than mere survival, and takes into account saving for retirement and emergencies.
Many sports broadcasting companies, such as ESPN, allow anchors and commentators to dress themselves. From their own closets, in clothes they buy themselves. It's a precedent that's hard to correct.
Ever since Howard Cosell popularized the garish blazer in the '70s, broadcast reporter Craig Sager has been refining a wardrobe that melds Ringling Brothers clown with Cotton Club pimp.
One thing I have never understood in America is the way that people who lose their jobs become pariahs in the job market. We’ve now had a spate of commentary on the fact that official unemployment figures are looking a tad less dreadful by dint of the fact that increasing numbers of the long term unemployed have dropped out of the job market entirely. Even the conservative Washington Post woke up last week, Rip Van Winkle like, to take note of the growing number of long-term unemployed. Bizarrely, or perhaps as a fit illustration of the spirit of the day, the article was titled: “Hidden workforce challenges domestic economic recovery.” In other words, they are Bad People because if the economy ever picks up, they might come out of the woodwork and start looking for jobs!
It's well known that the typical American household has essentially been running in place or falling behind financially for some time. Sapped by greater outlays for everything from energy and health care to transportation and education, workers' wages have failed to keep up with the cost of living.
What is news, however, is that stagnant wages have been a problem for far longer than anyone heretofore supposed, according to a new report released last week by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank focused on the poor and middle class.
Titled The Sad But True Story of Wages in America, the study found that all workers, regardless of whether they work in the private or public sector, have endured decades of stagnating wages despite significant gains in productivity.
The Costa del Sol is famous for its tourists and beaches but just behind them is a hidden world of industrial greenhouses where African migrants work in extreme conditions (video)
The venerable crime has all but disappeared in the United States. What happened, and should we miss it?
Hero Training: The Chase Down a Purse Snatcher Workout
Doubters like to say that machines will never fully replace us in the work force -- that artificial intelligence will never match the cunning of the human mind. Well, as IBM's Watson proved on Jeopardy! this week, new technologies may be smarter than we thought. The supercomputer slaughtered its competition, two of the best competitors known to the quiz show world.
There are already a number of robots that have replaced human workers or that will soon, so the time has come to be wary of the rise of the machine. If we ignore the following examples of artificially intelligent technology, our careers -- and maybe even the human race -- will be replaced for good (???).