Category Archives: Trends

World-Class Inequality

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One of the persistent issues of the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign was the wide (and growing) divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots”—variously expressed as a rising sentiment against the “one-percenters,” or as laments against the “hollowing out of the middle class.”

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Uber’s Flying Vision

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The future of personal transportation will be very different from the past.  If you marry two clear trends—the advent of self-driving cars with increasingly popular Uber transportation—it’s easy to envision a world where you can sell your car and convert the garage into a spare bedroom.  Why would you need your own auto when you can call for an inexpensive, automated ride to anywhere and back?  And as a bonus, you avoid parking hassles because you’ll be driven right to the destination’s doorstep.

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Balancing Traits

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Are you ready to achieve work-life balance?  The American Sociological Review has published a study showing that most of us struggle—which is a fancy word for “fail”—in this important endeavor.  But there’s hope.  The study also found that the minority of people who HAVE managed to achieve some form of the work/life holy grail are doing certain things well.

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Taxes Up (but not so much as you might think…)

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If you think taxes are higher than their historical rates, well, it depends on how far back in history you’re comparing them to.  Take a look at the accompanying chart, which shows tax revenue as a percent of total national income for four countries—France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.—since 1868.  The chart ends in 2008, and is taken from research by tax policy analyst Thomas Piketty.

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Communicable Stress

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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.

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Good News About Global Warming

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Chances are you’ve felt a bit discouraged by the global warning reports.  On the one hand, they say that our world is in for trouble unless we make significant changes in how our global economy produces the energy it needs to function.  On the other, they tell us that even if we shift totally over to clean energy tomorrow (not likely), the troubling warming trend—and polar ice melts, flooding of coastal areas, and increasing droughts, hurricanes and severe winters—will continue to accelerate for the next 30-50 years.  The damage has already been done.

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