“It’s Not OK That Your Employees Can’t Afford to Eat”

What’s Going on in the Workforce?

“It’s Not OK That Your Employees Can’t Afford to Eat” Seems basic, and yet the Harvard Business Review apparently needs to tell people this…

Prompted by the fast food strikes of early December, investing site NerdWallet took a look at how long it takes an hourly worker to earn the hourly pay of their CEO, and found that the typical retail employee would need to work OVERTIME for 2.65 months to earn what their CEO does in an hour.

$45 million will buy you a machine that can process 1500 chickens in an hour, which is 10X faster than doing it by hand. Trigger warning—watching this video might turn you into a vegetarian.

I don’t think they’ve figured out how to get the food to your table without a server yet, but here’s a video of the Chili’s “replace a waiter” tablet in action.

The question of whether humans will largely be replaced in the workforce by robots is one that is hotly debated by economists of our time. Here’s a quick video lesson on the economic debate about industrialization by contemporary & classical economists.

You’ve probably got a lot of things to worry about in the legislative arena. If you’ve got space in your brain for one more—here’s the a suggestion: start caring about open spectrum auctions.

Geeking Out

Wanna better way to crowd-source than Kickstarter? RocketHub claims that you’ll get the money that is raised, regardless of whether you meet your goal.

It’s an artificial eye, printed in 3D. I really don’t have anything more to say.

From Partners

The National Institute on Retirement Security has a new report out, documenting that people of color in the US are more likely to be severely challenged in preparing for retirement.

Save the date! The New Economics Institute is holding a gathering for folks working in/on the New Economy in Boston, June 6-8, 2014.

Next year’s US Worker Cooperative Conference will be in Chicago, May 30-June 1.

Reputation, reputation, reputation

Software that aids in facial recognition has its upsides and downsides for sure. On one hand, it’s much easier for governments, corporations, and just plain creepy people to spy on us (or to attack us in public ways that are only possible with the web). On the other hand, it can be a tool to fight things like child labor. Want to avoid easy recognition by computers? Try some of these ideas for ‘face to anti-face.’ Looks like Lady Gaga might be on to something…

Organizing Theory

If you missed it live last week, check out this interesting discussion between Peter Murray of Accelerate Change & Dave Karpf, GWU professor, about different tactics for scaling social change.

The Singularity Approaches

This seems much more appealing to me than Google Glass (maybe because I’ve been struggling to figure out if you can even wear Glass, if you wear glasses)—hi rez displays for regular glasses.

Sharing, Solidarity & Sustainability

“…approaches that really don’t even question the role of private capital in generating shared innovation – before and beyond the trend of the so-called “Sharing Economy” – only can offer simplistic interpretations.” If you want to read a great analysis of the tensions that are being created in the sharing economy by influxes of venture capital, look no further than this post by @meedabyte.

Do you have an idea for a sharing economy app? This new service wants to make it easy for you to bring that idea to fruition, even if you can’t code. (Though take it from me, folks, a technical co-founder can be a good thing!)

Now here’s a sharing economy idea I can get behind—Ikea Switzerland doesn’t want you to be alone at Christmas.

Final Thoughts
“You’ve probably heard of FICO scores, which serve as credit ratings in the United States. The company that created FICO scores–Fair Isaac Corporation–is now working on creating a Medication Adherence Score, which is exactly what the name suggests. The company won’t disclose the details behind the score, but it uses certain variables–such as how long a person has lived at one location and whether that person has owned a car–to measure the likelihood of taking proper medications. The current plan is to use this information to send vulnerable patients email reminders to take their medication, but of course such numbers usually evolve to serve multiple functions. Doctors will send away some of the very worse patients, in part to avoid wasting their time, in part to avoid the feeling of failure, and in part to protect their own performance ratings.”

Tyler Cowen, Average is Over

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