Vermont offers remote workers a $10,000 subsidy to relocate to the state

If your boss is willing to let you work from home and you don't mind shoveling snow in the winter, Vermont wants you and will pay you $10K over two years to defray moving costs. The state boasts great outdoor recreation, a high standard of living and a rapidly aging, shrinking tax-base. (Thanks, Fipi Lele) (Image: Chinissai, CC-BY-SA) Read the rest

Stagnant wages + soaring cost of living + massive cuts to services = collapsing US birth-rate

The US birth-rate continued to plummet last year, with births falling in nearly all groups, and a one-year dropoff in overall fertility not seen since 2010; the US fertility rate is at its lowest level in recorded history. Read the rest

US housing prices skyrocket for homeowners and renters alike

Since the crash of 2008, both home ownership and renting have been getting steadily more expensive, with median house prices rising to levels surpassing pre-crisis levels, while the ballooning private equity megalandlords pushed prices for renters to never-seen levels, using an eviction mill that saw more Americans thrown out of their homes than at any time in history to keep renters paying. Read the rest

Young people hate Facebook because it forces them to have a single identity

Social media has always had a real-names problem. Social media companies want their users to use their real names because it makes it easier to advertise to them. Users want to be able to show different facets of their identities to different people, because only a sociopath interacts with their boss, their kids, and their spouse in the same way. Read the rest

How 401(k)s created a class of suckers to be fleeced by the investor class

America's 1% have waged a long war on defined-benefits pensions, insisting that America could prepare for retirement by putting their money into 401(k)s, despite the stark evidence to the contrary. Read the rest

Why the voting age should be lowered to 16

Every American 16-year-old enrolled in high-school has to learn civics, with extensive instruction on the more confusing aspects of the American electoral system, such as the Electoral College; they are also required to study current affairs -- so why not let them vote? Read the rest

California State Senator wants to remake cities with midrises near public transit, but he is facing a wave of nimbyism

Scott Wiener is California State Senator for San Francisco, whose SB827, co-sponsored by State Senator Nancy Skinner, will move some zoning responsibility from cities to the state, forcing cities to allow the construction of higher-density housing (duplexes, eight-plexes and midrise, six-story apartment buildings) near public transit stops. Read the rest

What youthquake? Jeremy Corbyn's election surge was drawn from all age groups, not a mob of first-time young voters

Jeremy Corbyn's incredible, odds-defying showing in the 2017 UK general election has been attributed to a "youthquake" of first-time young voters who were drawn to the polls by his progressive policies. Read the rest

Nudging doesn't give poor people retirement savings, it just makes them poorer

Nudging -- the idea that a well-designed "choice architecture" can help people make free choices that are better than the ones they would make without the nudge -- has a few well-publicized success stories: the cafeteria where frontloading veggies and other healthful options gets kids to choose carrots over pizza; and the employer-side deduction for retirement savings that gets employees to put aside a little more to retire on (this insight rates a Nobel-adjacent prize*!). Read the rest

Camperforce: Laura Poitras documentary on the elderly precariat nomads who keep Amazon's warehouses working

Last September, I wrote about Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, Jessica Bruder's important, fascinating book-length investigation into the Americans who live on the road out of economic necessity, including the Camperforce, a precariat army of retirees who saved carefully all their working lives, only to be bankrupted in the 2008 financial crisis who travel from Amazon warehouse to Amazon warehouse, filling in as seasonal and temp workers on gruelling, 12-hour shifts that leave them in pain and with just enough money to make it to the next stop. Read the rest

Americans have no savings, with good reason: housing, education and health care costs are out of control, wages are stagnant, and the Fed has suppressed interest rates

The American savings crisis is a time-bomb, as multiple generations hurtle toward retirement with effectively no savings, and experts are now saying that having $1 million in the bank on retirement day isn't enough. Future generations will either have to let their parents starve or compromise their own ability to produce the next generation while caring for the previous one (this is the crisis underway in China and Japan right now). Read the rest

"Court guardians" kidnap old people, sell all their stuff, doom victims to pharmaceutical oblivion in institutions

Last March, a Nevada court indicted April Parks, proprietor of A Private Professional Guardian, which had secured court guardianship over four hundred elderly Nevadans, working with crooked doctors and social workers to find the identities of old people who had considerable assets, then using a streamlined court process with no checks and balances to have those people declared to be unable to care for themselves. Read the rest

The financial crisis created a precariat army of RV-nomad seniors who serve as Amazon's seasonal workers

The "Camperforce" is a 2000+ strong army of retirees in RVs, a choice most were forced into when the value of their homes and pensions was wiped out in the 2008 crisis -- as many of them neared literal starvation and destitution, they began to travel from Amazon warehouse to Amazon warehouse, serving as a seasonal workforce of elderly, frail but diligent workers who put their bodies in harm's way to pack our Christmas supplies. Read the rest

Generations aren't really important (but class is)

Everything attributed to Millennials was attributed to Gen X and Boomers and, well, everyone, pretty much (every time someone tells you that Millennials aren't interested in working and have no ambition, just think about the alleged "slacker" phenomenon in Generation X). Read the rest

Oil industry is running out of employees, because millennials

The oil industry is mired in a recruiting crisis because its workforce is aging out and millennials don't want to work for an industry that is destroying the planet they were hoping to live on. Read the rest

The National Enquirer is in the tank for Trump

The National Enquirer's circulation peaked in 1988 at 4 million, while today it averages 325,000 copies sold, mostly to low-income, over-80-year olds. Its best retailer is Wal-Mart. It does not publish any material critical of Donald Trump. Read the rest

Millennials, women and college grads are most prolific library users

A Pew survey found that the majority of millennials have visited a public library this year, making them the most prolific library-using generation. An ALA spokesperson attributed this to the libraries' commitment to providing free, fast broadband and the ability to borrow devices such as tablets -- but the survey found that very few patrons use the libraries' apps. Read the rest

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