The Economy

‘Dad’s Resume’

Here is an excellent piece in The Washington Post looking at an opening of a new plant in Ohio, which is looking to hire 40 people and give them a decent salary plus benefits, and how difficult it is to find the right people for the job despite a slew of resumes arriving.

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On Not Buying a House

Meg Keene writes a lovely essay about growing up working class, defining security on her own terms, and why not-grabbing the brass ring of home ownership is the right decision for her family, for right now.

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The Working Class: Too Nice For Their Own Good?

David Graeber wrote a thing for the Guardian about how “caring too much” is the curse of the working class, who are generally nicer and more empathetic overall, mostly because they have to be.

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Shopping For Homes Among The Undead

With “Are Foreclosed Homes the New Haunted Hauses?” Colin Dickey writes about zombie homes and uncanny real estate for the Paris Review Daily. It is so good.

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Millennials Find Confidence in Embracing the Void

Peter Coy at Businessweek wonders why we’re so optimistic when we have nothing to be optimistic about. Good question. Is it, “the timeless confidence of youth”? Our “digital lives” (heh)?

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Student Loan Debt: Bad for the Economy

The Federal Reserve of New York released some numbers last week that show — surprise! — student loan debt is higher than ever. Sam Frizell at Time talks about how student loans aren’t just bad for our own personal economies, they’re bad for THE economy.

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The Marriage ‘Cure’

Statistics have long shown that if you’re married, the likelihood of you living below the poverty line is much lower. The unfairness of this correlation annoys me, as well as the deceptively simplified way it’s often presented, wrung into prescriptive “marriage promotion” campaigns that bemoan kids being born out of wedlock and so on.

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Millennials & Diversity

Alert: the current issue of Pacific Standard includes a thoughtful piece about millennials and diversity from beloved journalist Michael Dang (!). In “This Millennial Story is Different” Mike points out that when we’re talking about a generation that is, according to a Pew Research Report, “the most ethnically and racially diverse cohort of youth in the nation’s history,” it’s ridiculous to keep on coming back to the same old broad-sweeping narrative.

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The Rise of Part-Time Work

Our own Logan Sachon interviews a handful of people who are making it work with part-time work, for the Guardian. She talks to customer service reps, an adjunct, a swimming coach, and a guy who works for a distillery. Go read it!

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Janet Yellen + Mr. Janet Yellen: Total Power Couple

Janet Yellen was finally confirmed as the Federal Reserve Chair, which means she and her flawless bob will be gracing the cover of this week’s TIME.

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A Poor, Yet Expensive, Country

Zimbabwe’s per capita GDP is the third lowest in the world, yet the prices of items in the country—$2 for a Coke, $4 for a jar of peanut butter—is comparable to prices in large cities in the U.S. Why is that?

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The Town Where Americans Still Write Checks, and Other Notes on Rural Economics

In the trailer just behind the post office, that’s how I tell people where to find me—and it’s often that I have to tell people where to find me. Addresses are no good here, though they function better for out-of-towners, like me, than for the locals. Hillsboro, West Virginia, where I live, only switched last year from using the old route model—numbered county highways—to street names, and to house numbers instead of boxes at the end of the road. The state decided to revamp the nomenclature of all its rural areas, worried that emergency services wouldn’t otherwise be able to find people in need.

What the state Department of Transportation didn’t consider is that many roads aren’t marked with signs, and many houses, like mine, don’t have visible numbers. When I got a flat tire and called AAA, the woman at the call center couldn’t find my location on the map, though I described it in detail, named the numbered route and cross street. The local mechanic she connected to called me back and asked if I lived locally. Yeah, I told him—I’m in that gas station parking lot just past the grocery store, near the fairgrounds—and he found me, no trouble at all. Despite living directly behind the post office, I can’t get mail here because there’s nowhere to direct it; instead, a numbered post office box is my most permanent claim on the world.

Last week I called the bank and ordered new checks, which I’d been meaning to do for months, because for the first time in my life I was running out.

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