Middle Class Jobs Fall Short

From a Third Way report on The Opportunity Index:

Nationwide, just 38% of jobs pay enough to afford a middle or upper class life for a dual income-earning family with children; 32% of jobs pay a living-wage; and 30% pay what we call a “hardship” wage, which is less than what a single adult living on his or her own needs for basic necessities.

First Friday in November

Although some analysts warned of inflation, Ms. Girard said the pay increase should not bother policymakers at the Federal Reserve. “I don’t think it’s something the Fed should worry about,” she said. “Productivity growth is picking up, and workers should earn more. It doesn’t mean companies have to pass on higher wage costs to consumers. They can afford to pay them more.”

US added 250,000 Jobs in October - Patricia Cohen

Introducing the Coretta Scott King Act

“Civil rights plus full employment equals freedom”

“The key from our perspective was that full employment needs to be specified and defined more concretely so the Fed doesn’t just have a bias towards fighting inflation,” Khanna told The Week. To accomplish that goal, his bill first defines full employment not with a numeric value, but with an observable condition: median wages rising with worker productivity growth. The reason is that maximizing employment is ultimately about giving workers the bargaining power to claim their fair share of the wealth they create. That requires wages to rise with productivity — i.e. how much value a worker produces per hour of work — pretty much by definition.

The Fed needs better rules. This Democratic bill is a start.

Trade Wars Looking More Arduous Everyday

Jim Zarroli:

“China’s economy is much less dependent on trade now and on trade with the U.S. than it used to be,” says Linda Lim, professor of corporate strategy and international business at the University of Michigan.

“Trade is around 20 percent of China’s economy,” she says. “Ten years ago, it was 40 percent.”

At the same time, U.S. companies like Boeing, General Motors and Apple now make plenty of money in China’s vast consumer market, giving Beijing leverage over the U.S. economy that it once lacked.

Chinese bureaucrats could make life very difficult for these companies if they chose to, Ross says.

China is Better Able to Withstand a Trade War Than in the Past

Fiscal Stimulus but for Whom

Bernstein: “As long as there is still slack in corners of the labor market then this kind of fiscal stimulus of the economy near full employment is a kind of test I support.” From the article, The Republican Fiscal Stimulus Could Be Bigger Than Obama’s. The devil is in the details. What is the composition of this spending? Democrats are fighting for funding increases to domestic programs that match any increases in military spending. How much spending will go towards creating new infrastructure, securing healthcare for all, supporting education, supporting environmental regulation and studies, and clean energy? How much spending will go towards homeland security, towards subsidies for fossil fuel extraction, etc? Spending will create jobs yes, but will those jobs enhance the productivity of our economy, or will they squander natural resources, will they endanger the livelihood of workers? While we are embarking on a stimulus, we are well off to ask these questions in advance.

Approaching Challenges with a Model

Techie people on the Internet have opinions on how YOU should live your life! “Here, take my advice; I wasn’t using it.” Well I will take you up on that, stranger:

(1) Focus on High-leverage Activities — “Leverage should be the central, guiding metric that helps you determine where to focus your time.” (related: Eisenhower decision matrix — “what is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Gabriel Weinberg’s blog has more mental models-.