On the quiet corner of a small Texas strip mall this past month, a local Chinese eatery became the setting for a groundbreaking use of an everyday tool. A hurried phone call from an employee of the popular Dragon One restaurant had brought police cruisers to the front door in minutes. Red and blue lights lit up a store face of limp bunting and banners declaring an “unwavering commitment to flavor,” likely filling the diners inside with more questions than owner Chen He’s food.
The police had questions too. The employee had phoned to say that she’d heard loud voices from the back of the kitchen, shouting in anger; pots and pans clattering into each other; dishes smashing across tile. It sounded violent, and she was scared. She was sure it was the owner’s voice she heard, so she waited until Chen He had left to make a delivery to call the police. Soon enough, it became clear who was involved.
Police found the owner’s wife there, beaten and in pain. She was talking hurriedly in Chinese, while He stood by denying his involvement in what was clearly a violent and personal altercation. Indeed, this looked like clear domestic violence. But how could the police know without being able to speak with He’s wife?
The signifiers of success used to be simple. Own a home (or two) and a car (or two) and voilà! You've achieved the American Dream. Ownership, however, is a complicated concept for an increasing number of Americans—and not for all the reasons you might think.
The Economist has the definitive read on the future of jobs in America.
Across the developed world, a number of worrying trends continue. Wages remain stagnant, for one thing, with gains mainly accruing to capital owners rather than labor. Inequality remains too high for comfort, while economic mobility is becoming less and less a reality for the poor. The number of working-age people in full-time jobs continues to fall. And the one thread that weaves these data points together is technological change. It seems that the disruptive forces of innovation are outpacing our ability to absorb them. Workers in particular are feeling the pinch.
Many economists dismiss these concerns as a naïve embrace of Luddite fallacies. Every economic revolution introduces disruption as the old ways of working are done away with. Incomes eventually rise as we become more efficient. We demand more products and services as a result, which requires new jobs to be created to fill the demand.
Data, Big Data, data analytics—these terms are a dime-a-dozen in the tech space. Yet their application is often much further afield. Take medical care, for instance. In Raleigh, NC, one emergency medical service is finding how data analytics saves lives.
When a heart attack hits and someone dials 911, a complicated ballet is set into motion to keep death at bay. At each step from the ambulance to the hospital and beyond, medical providers are collecting valuable information to inform their decisions on how best to care for their patients. That data is most useful when the patient is nearest to the provider; beyond that point, it effectively gets shelved.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation reads the Internet so that you don’t have to, sharing a short list of curated blog posts for your Friday reading.
Forty-four percent of recent college graduates are underemployed. Worse yet, as Jordan Weissmann finds, “During the last decade, the underemployed have come to look less like administrative assistants and more like dog walkers.”
On a similar theme, Bloomberg points out that over two-thirds of college instructors are poorly paid, part-time adjuncts or graduate students.