Why Men Don’t Want the Jobs Done Mostly by Women

Claire Cain Miller: “The jobs that have been disappearing, like machine operator, are predominantly those that men do. The occupations that are growing, like health aide, employ mostly women.”

“One solution is for the men who have lost jobs in factories to become health aides. But while more than a fifth of American men aren’t working, they aren’t running to these new service-sector jobs. Why? They require very different skills, and pay a lot less.”

“They’re also seen as women’s work, which has always been devalued in the American labor market.”

A Framework for Stopping Short Termism in Business 

The Atlantic: “A growing group of business leaders is worried that companies are too concerned with short-term profits, focused only on making money for shareholders. As a result, they’re not investing in their workers, in research, or in technology—short-term costs that would reduce profits temporarily. And this, the business leaders say, may be creating long-term problems for the nation.”

“The Aspen Institute and its signatories have come out with a framework that they hope will discourage this kind of short-term thinking. Short-term thinking is bad for America, they say, because the country’s economic health depends on long-term investments that will pay out over time. What’s more, they argue, short-term thinking shouldn’t be paramount for the majority of investors; most equity is held by pension funds and other institutional investors who need their assets to perform well over the long haul.”

U.S. Cities Are Getting Smarter and You Probably Didn’t Even Notice

Quartz: “Trash bins in some airports and streets compost themselves, street lights monitor traffic and parking, and sensors prevent sewers from overflowing into rivers during floods. This kind of ‘smart’ technology, in which basic infrastructure like water, power, transportation, and sanitation is connected to the internet, is being piloted in the US in places like Boston, Massachusetts; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Washington, DC; San Francisco, California; and South Bend, Indiana.”

“The average citizen in those cities may not have noticed the effects because they aren’t as flashy as something like driverless cars, which are now on the road in Pittsburgh and other places.”

U.S. Conservatives Outnumber Liberals by Narrowing Margin

Gallup: “Many more Americans have considered themselves politically conservative than liberal since the early 1990s. That remained the case in 2016, when an average of 36% of U.S. adults throughout the year identified themselves as conservative and 25% as liberal. Yet that 11-percentage-point margin is half of what it was at its peak in 1996 and is down from 14 points only two years ago.”

What Donald Trump Doesn’t Get About the Minimum Wage

“In the past, he [Mr. Trump] has said raising the minimum should be left to states, an idea also advanced by Andrew Puzder, the fast-food executive Mr. Trump tapped for labor secretary. What they fail (or refuse) to see is that state and local raises, while laudable, are not a substitute for a federal raise,” The New York Times Editorial Board argues.

“One problem with this state-by-state approach is that poverty is perpetuated in large areas, especially in the South, with its historical antipathy to labor protections.”

“Regional disparities in minimum wages lead, in turn, to unhealthy imbalances in the collection and distribution of taxes. The federal government tends to collect more tax revenue from states with higher minimum wages and send more in federal aid to states with low minimum wages, a transfer that becomes increasingly lopsided without a single, robust federal minimum wage.”

What History Has to Say About the Economy Trump Will Inherit

Bloomberg Markets: “Research suggests factors beyond the control of any U.S. president, not their actual policies, set the course of the economy. Yet with voters, President-Elect Donald Trump will secure much of the praise or blame when it comes to the impact of his agenda over the next four years.”

“Here are six charts that illustrate the economy that Trump — who wants to focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs” — will inherit from President Barack Obama and how it compares with historical standards.”

Almost 70% of Goldman Sachs Employees Are Millennials

Quartz: “The baby boom generation—people now aged between 52 and 70—is being gradually pushed out of the workforce by layoffs, buyouts, and forced early retirements even as they try to work longer to make up for retirement losses during the financial crisis. But is any employer getting rid of them faster than the world’s premier investment bank?”

“Goldman Sachs and its rival Wall Street firms are known for chewing up young folks fast and spitting them out, but to observers of a certain age (say, 40 and up) the relative youth at Goldman is stunning. In a LinkedIn post on Dec. 21, the company’s global head of human capital management—a title that itself tells us a lot about how Goldman thinks about people—writes that ‘our workforce is nearly 70% millennial—even our latest partner class is composed of 11% millennials, and of course, that number will only increase as the years go by.'”

No, the U.S. Doesn’t Need to Expand Its Nuclear Weapons Program

Steven Pifer: “Yes, there are diverse threats out there. But one should keep perspective… None of these threats mandates a numerical increase in U.S. nuclear weapons.”

“Nuclear policymaking should not be conducted by Twitter. A close and careful look at the data shows that the United States currently has sufficient nuclear forces for deterrent requirements plus plans to maintain those forces in the future. There is no need to increase their number.”

The Republican Plot to Devour Retirees’ Nest Eggs

Ryan Cooper: “Perhaps the most monstrous thing about the American medical system — and the bar for that title is high indeed — is predatory billing.”

“A great many medical providers adjust their prices based on how defenseless the patient is, and bleed the weakest ones for every last red cent, often with preposterously inflated charges for things like aspirin and bandages. A 2015 study looked at the worst price gougers in the country and found 50 hospitals that charged uninsured people roughly 10 times the actual cost of care.”

“Key to this practice is something called “balance billing,” and it’s why the American Medical Association is strongly supporting Donald Trump’s pick of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicare. Balance billing is forbidden for Medicare enrollees, but Price wants to allow it — thus allowing doctors and hospitals to devour the nest eggs of thousands of American seniors.”

The World Today Looks Ominously Like It Did Before World War I

Washington Post: “To some, it looks ominously like another moment in history — the period leading up to World War I, which marked the end of a multi-decade expansion in global ties that many call the first era of globalization.”

“In a recent report, Josh Feinman, the chief global economist for Deutsche Asset Management, says that the world could see a substantial backsliding to globalization in decades to come. After all, he writes, we have seen it happen before, in the years of chaos and isolationism that encompassed the First and Second World Wars and the Great Depression.”

“As before World War I, the second great wave of globalization led to a surge in immigration and increasing inequality in some countries, which likely helped to trigger the current backlash.”

Faster Growth? Two Things Trump Supporters Won’t Like

New York Times: “…the closer you look at the math of economic growth, the more you see the inherent contradictions in trying to make that happen. The two strategies that would most directly help achieve that goal clash with other planks of Mr. Trump’s economic agenda.”

“Economic growth can happen two ways: More hours are worked, or more economic output is generated from each hour of labor.”

“But if the economy quickly became more productive, it would, at least in the short run, also risk the livelihoods of some of the very working-class people whom Mr. Trump pledges to help. And the surest way to increase the number of hours worked is to allow more immigration, which would be directly at odds with Mr. Trump’s get-tough stance on that topic.”

Trump Could Hit a Brick Wall on NAFTA

Politico: “President-elect Donald Trump may have ridden to the White House on a wave of working-class hatred for NAFTA, but he’s going to find it tough to deliver on his promise to scrap the trade agreement that he blames for sending U.S. jobs abroad.”

“Dramatically changing the pact could instead threaten 14 million American jobs that rely on trade with Canada and Mexico and send tremors throughout the North American business community, which has invested billions of dollars in developing ways to manufacture everything from cars and airplanes to pharmaceutical products using labor from multiple countries.”

“So far, Trump has offered few details about what changes he’d like to make to the pact, other than threatening to withdraw from it entirely unless Mexico and Canada agree to new terms. Business groups are hoping they can persuade him to instead ‘fix’ the agreement in ways that will benefit them.”

Trump is Now America’s Arms Deal Negotiator

Marcus Weisgerber: “Negotiations for the Pentagon’s next batch of 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters don’t technically resume until next month, but they’re clearly under way.”

“If the last few weeks serve as a precedent, a new, powerful player — the president of the United States — will replace Pentagon generals as the chief negotiator for multibillion arms deals.”