U.S. Parents Are Sweating And Hustling To Pay For Child Care : NPR

The average cost of day care in the U.S. — $9,589 per year — edges out the average cost of in-state college tuition at $9,410, according to a recent report from New America, a think tank in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with Care.com, an online resource that connects families and caregivers.

In four states — Kentucky, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin — average child care costs exceed median rent. In 11 states — Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington — and the District of Columbia, the average cost of full-time day care is more than 90 percent of median rent.

Average cost of child care as a share of median household income (U.S. average: 30.8 percent)
Source: New America Foundation: The Care Index (2016)
Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR

Brian Hickey of Raleigh, N.C. … “At the end of the day, I can lose my house, my job, my car, you can replace those,” he says. “You can’t replace your kids.”

Source: U.S. Parents Are Sweating And Hustling To Pay For Child Care : NPR

Can a Corporation Have a Soul? – The Atlantic

A business that earns nothing but money is a poor business.

— Henry Ford


The Dodge brothers were frustrated that Ford had declined to distribute the company’s surplus funds to shareholders, and instead planned to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity, hire more workers, and reduce the prices of its cars. … the Dodge brothers argued that Henry Ford believed that after ensuring shareholders had earned a reasonable return (which the Dodge brothers certainly had), a company should devote its resources to improving society. From Ford’s perspective, this meant producing better products at lower prices and employing more people at good wages.

the Michigan Supreme Court permitted Ford to go through with his plans as he pleased. … It acknowledged that its judges were “not business experts,” and for that reason deferred to Ford and the rest of the company’s board, permitting them to set forth on whatever strategy they deemed fit. After all, the court noted, Ford Motor’s previous strategies had already been extremely successful.

As long as there is some sort of connection to boosting long-term earnings, boards can essentially do as they please, as Ford’s court battle demonstrated. If they choose, directors can imbue a company with a purpose beyond distributing money to shareholders. … The question, then, is not what boards and executives must do, but what they will elect to do.

Source: Can a Corporation Have a Soul? – The Atlantic

Developer hiring and the market for lemons

You need an information asymmetry to create a market for lemons … both current and prospective employers have incomplete information, and whose information is better varies widely. It’s actually quite common for prospective employers to have better information than current employers!

Another problem with the idea that “great” developers are sticky is that this assumes that companies are capable of creating groups that developers want to work for on demand. This is usually not the case.

The result of this dynamic is that, as a dev, if you join a random team, you’re overwhelmingly likely to join a team that has a lot of churn. Additionally, if you know of a good team, it’s likely to be full.

Another problem with the idea that “great” developers are impossible to find because they join companies and then stick is that developers (and companies) aren’t immutable.

Is developer hiring a market for lemons? Well, it depends on what you mean by that. Both developers and hiring managers have incomplete information. It’s not obvious if having a market for lemons in one direction makes the other direction better or worse. The fact that joining a new team is uncertain makes developers less likely to leave existing teams, which makes it harder to hire developers. But the fact that developers often join teams which they dislike makes it easier to hire developers. What’s the net effect of that? I have no idea.

Source: Developer hiring and the market for lemons

The Free-Time Paradox in America – The Atlantic

The rich were meant to have the most leisure time. The working poor were meant to have the least. The opposite is happening. Why?

So, what are are these young, non-working men doing with their time? Three quarters of their additional leisure time is spent with video games, Hurst’s research has shown. And these young men are happy—or, at least, they self-report higher satisfaction than this age group used to, even when its employment rate was 10 percentage points higher.

1. The availability of attractive work for poor men (especially black men) is falling, as the availability of cheap entertainment is rising.

2. Social forces cultivate a conspicuous industriousness (even workaholism) among affluent college graduates.

3. Leisure is getting “leaky.”

Source: The Free-Time Paradox in America – The Atlantic

Big Business Is Killing Innovation in the U.S. – The Atlantic

How big business jammed the wheels of innovation

The new antitrust crusaders are manning an old trench with fresh ammo. Brandeis was right, they argue, and the evidence of his rightness abounds: Citizens United has empowered business at the same time corporate profits have been hitting an all-time high; wages are stagnating at the same time stock buybacks and dividends soar; corporate mergers are spiking as entrepreneurship languishes; mom-and-pop stores are shuttering as corporate franchises fill the empty spaces.

Source: Big Business Is Killing Innovation in the U.S. – The Atlantic