This morning's sunrise in Chicago, at 7:26, will be the latest until 6 November 2021. It is not the latest possible sunrise; that would be the one we'll have at 7:29 on 6 November 2027 (and had on 5 November 2016).
I do not really understand the law passed in 2007 that moved our return to standard time from October to November. Who wants to wake up before dawn? Not me.
Tomorrow the sun rises at 6:28. (I will probably do the same around 8.)
This morning we in the US got the news that the employment rebound that started under President Obama has continued, giving us the best employment picture in 50 years. Yet at the same time, despite robust wage growth in some places, families still feel squeezed.
The Economist suggests this may come in part from business concentration depressing wages through the same mechanism through which monopsonies increase prices:
In perfectly competitive markets, individual firms wishing to sell their widgets must charge the prevailing market price and no higher. But the situation changes when one or a few firms dominate a market. A monopolist may charge higher prices. The calculation is that consumers, faced with little choice, will buy enough of its offerings at a higher price to yield greater profits. But some sales are lost because of monopoly pricing, which represents a “deadweight loss” to society—a missed opportunity to raise total welfare. Monopolies can also stifle innovation. AT&T, America’s once-mighty telecoms firm, used its dominant position in the operation of local phone networks to overcharge consumers for service and handsets. It took the break-up of the network monopoly to clear the way for falling prices and innovation.
Just as powerful firms may use their clout to overcharge customers, they can also manipulate markets to pay lower wages. In competitive labour markets an individual employer can do little to squeeze pay, because workers can easily find better-paying jobs. But in a “monopsony”, such as a mining town with only one mine, workers have fewer options. Firms can offer wages below the competitive-market rate knowing that many workers will not be able to afford to turn them down. As with monopolies, this exercise of monopsony power boosts profits but saddles society with a deadweight loss—the underemployment of workers—as well as other costs, such as higher spending on state benefits.
To date, governments have been too focused on the harms to customers from increasing industrial concentration. A consideration of the impact on workers is overdue. Without competition, large firms become exploitative bureaucracies that are accountable to no one. Consumers and workers alike deserve better.
When I moved three weeks ago, I switched a couple of bookshelves around and thought more consciously about where I put my books. For instance, I put all the books I haven't read in one place:
The problem is, this bookshelf only contains books I haven't read yet.
In fairness to myself, people gave me maybe 15% of them. And I'm pretty sure one or two are on loan.
Still...no more books until I finish these! (Unless something really interesting comes out.)
No, we have not wiped out 60% of all animals, FFS:
Since Monday, news networks and social media have been abuzz with the claim that, as The Guardian among others tweeted, “humanity has wiped out 60 percent of animals since 1970”—a stark and staggering figure based on the latest iteration of the WWF’s Living Planet report.
But that isn’t really what the report showed.
Ultimately, they found that between 1970 and 2014, the size of vertebrate populations has declined by 60 percent on average. That is absolutely not the same as saying that humans have culled 60 percent of animals—a distinction that the report’s technical supplement explicitly states. “It is not a census of all wildlife but reports how wildlife populations have changed in size,” the authors write.
CityLab's article includes math, that turns out not to be difficult in the least.
The report is still alarming, of course. But not in the way some science reporters seem to believe.