We heard a lot about income inequality and the stagnating incomes of middle class Americans on the campaign trail last year, and Wall Street firms that mostly move money around rightly got some of the blame. But hardly anybody talked about how CEOs routinely loot the treasuries of their own companies, taking money out of the pockets of stock investors and shareholders who they theoretically work for.
Anybody who was surprised that the Federal Reserve Board decided to raise its benchmark interest rate this week probably wasn’t paying attention. The U.S. economy is humming along, the stock market is booming and the unemployment rate has fallen faster than anybody expected. The incoming administration has promised lower taxes and a stimulative $550 billion infrastructure investment. The question on the minds of most observers is: what were they waiting for?
We look at the unemployment statistics in the newspaper and see a blended picture of all Americans. Currently, we are told, 4.6% of Americans who are looking for a job are unable to find one. But what is the figure for adult men and women over age 20? Or for people with a high school diploma vs. those who are college-educated?
Headlines told us that the U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November, dropping the unemployment rate to 4.6%—the lowest level since August 2007, and surely an improvement over the 10% rates of the Great Recession. Those numbers represent great news, and indicate that the country is in strong shape as President-elect Trump takes office.
Are you getting enough sleep? If not, you might be costing your employer significant productivity, which the Rand Europe think tank has now translated into aggregate dollars across the global economy.
By all accounts, stress—and its accompanying emotional mix of frustration, anxiety and fear—is bad for your health. When you experience stress in your body, you release increased amounts of glucose from our liver into your blood, and your body produces cortisone, which is actually toxic to your system. Your heart rate goes up, sending more enriched blood to your muscles. Your immune system kicks into high gear, and you stay in this high-alert state which is only designed to help you combat real threats, depleting you physically.
Every year, we celebrate a long labor day weekend, and mostly take for granted the remarkable economic engine that employs 125.89 million Americans.
Recently, Forbes magazine tweeted a number of Labor Day statistics that will probably surprise you.