Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Finance'
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Is This the End of Recycling?
After decades of earnest public-information campaigns, Americans are finally recycling. Airports, malls, schools, and office buildings across the country have bins for plastic bottles and aluminum cans and newspapers. In some cities, you can be fined if inspectors discover that you haven’t recycled appropriately.
But now much of that carefully sorted recycling is ending up in the trash.
For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China—tons and tons of it, sent over on ships to be made into goods such as shoes and bags and new plastic products. But last year, the country restricted imports of certain recyclables, including mixed paper—magazines, office paper, junk mail—and most plastics. Waste-management companies across the country are telling towns, cities, and counties that there is no longer a market for their recycling. These municipalities have two choices: pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away.
Most are choosing the latter. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire. Since 2010, Franklin has offered curbside recycling and encouraged residents to put paper, metal, and plastic in their green bins. When the program launched, Franklin could break even on recycling by selling it for $6 a ton. Now, Milner told me, the transfer station is charging the town $125 a ton to recycle, or $68 a ton to incinerate. One-fifth of Franklin’s residents live below the poverty line, and the city government didn’t want to ask them to pay more to recycle, so all those carefully sorted bottles and cans are being burned. Milner hates knowing that Franklin is releasing toxins into the environment, but there’s not much she can do. “Plastic is just not one of the things we have a market for,” she said.
How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich
Disasters are becoming more common in America. In the early and mid-20th century, fewer than 20 percent of U.S. counties experienced a disaster each year. Today, it's about 50 percent. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, climate change is already driving more severe droughts, floods and wildfires in the U.S. And those disasters are expensive. The federal government spends billions of dollars annually helping communities rebuild and prevent future damage. But an NPR investigation has found that across the country, white Americans and those with more wealth often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than do minorities and those with less wealth. Federal aid isn't necessarily allocated to those who need it most; it's allocated according to cost-benefit calculations meant to minimize taxpayer risk.
Put another way, after a disaster, rich people get richer and poor people get poorer. And federal disaster spending appears to exacerbate that wealth inequality.
INDIA IS CRACKING DOWN ON ECOMMERCE AND FREE SPEECH
WHEN IT COMES to cracking down on tech giants, India is on a roll. The country was the first to reject Facebook’s contentious plan to offer free internet access to parts of the developing world in 2016. Since December, Indian policymakers have taken a page from China’s playbook, enacting sweeping restrictions in an attempt to curtail the power of ecommerce behemoths like Amazon, and pushing proposals that would require internet companies to censor “unlawful” content, break user encryption, and forbid Indian data from being stored on foreign soil. In the past week alone, Indian officials have demanded that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey come before Parliament to answer accusations of bias, called for a ban on TikTok, and opened an investigation into claims that Google abused its Android mobile operating system to unfairly promote its own services.
For all its good intentions, India’s tech backlash could backfire, with potentially dire consequences for all tech companies—big and small—operating in India, not to mention free speech online. “There is an element of nationalism which is creeping into tech policy in India,” said Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation, a digital-rights group. Gupta says this has resulted in a number of India-First-style tech policies being rushed through the government using the much quicker executive notification process rather than seeking parliamentary approval, which could have resulted in laws that would be more comprehensive and enforceable.
In A Hot Labor Market, Some Employees Are 'Ghosting' Bad Bosses
If you've ever applied for a job, chances are you never heard back from some prospective employers — even after an interview. But now that jobs are plentiful, it seems the tables have turned on employers.
In a report last month, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said a number of employers reported being "ghosted" by workers — that's right, like how a Tinder date might stop answering your texts.
The Fed defined ghosting on the job as "a situation where a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact."
Men at Davos Discover New, Creative Excuse to Justify Excluding Women in the Workplace
Men have found a new way to absolve themselves of the responsibility of mentoring and promoting women in the workplace: fear over the MeToo movement.
The New York Times reports that at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, basically an extended spa retreat for the mega-rich, male executives are afraid of the increasing movement to hold abusers accountable for their actions. As these two sources put it:
“I now think twice about spending one-on-one time with a young female colleague,” said one American finance executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the issue is “just too sensitive.”
“Me, too,” said another man in the conversation.
The lesson these men have apparently taken from MeToo is not that sexual harassment is a pervasive institutional issue, but that women are a threat, so best to just leave them behind. One economist found that nearly two-thirds of male executives were reluctant to hold one-on-one meetings with women “lest their motives be misconstrued by their colleagues.” Wall Street, already a boys club, is now reportedly excluding women from work dinners, meetings, and trips. The end result is same as the old result: women’s careers in male-dominated workplaces will continue to stall.
Loads of houses are up for sale -- but middle-class buyers are still shut out
Despite an uptick in homes on the market and weakening home sales across the country, home ownership is out of reach for a growing number of middle-class buyers, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage Redfin.
An analysis of U.S. homes on the market in 2017 and 2018 found that the number of affordable homes for sale has decreased in 86 percent of metro areas (of 49 included in the study), even as the number of homes on the market grew. While buyers normally benefit from better availability in competitive housing markets, it doesn’t help if the majority of available homes are priced for the wealthy.
“For the past few years, home prices have gone up faster than wages,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “That kind of growth really isn’t sustainable. At a certain point, there won’t be enough buyers left for the homes left on the market.”
Salvation Army slaps ‘gag order’ on employees so they don’t talk about LGBTQ issues
“If you run into a Salvation Army bell ringer this Christmas season, don’t strike up a conversation about President Trump or gay marriage,” warns FOX News host Todd Starnes is telling his audience.
Starnes says employees “have been told to stop posting their opinions about gay marriage, abortion or anything political on social media because it might reflect poorly on the organization.”
The far right pundit says he has leaked copies of internal memos from the home office to staffers instructing them to keep mum about controversial topics.
The religious charity has come under fire in the United States over the past decade for their atrocious record on LGBT rights. To attempt to stem the ongoing outrage over the group’s previous stances on LGBT issues, they started a public relations campaign to deny that they are anti-LGBT while never acknowledging their history.
High school bans Canada Goose and Moncler jackets to protect poorer children
High school can be tough for anyone, and students from poor backgrounds have the added anxiety of struggling to keep up with their wealthier peers when it comes to clothes and accessories.
A high school in northwestern England is attempting to level the playing field for disadvantaged students by banning expensive Canada Goose and Moncler coats.
In a letter to parents at the beginning of November, the headteacher of Woodchurch High School in Birkenhead explained that the ban was coming in after Christmas as the school was "mindful that some young people put pressure on their parents to purchase expensive items of clothing."
"These coats cause a lot of inequality between our pupils," headteacher Rebekah Phillips told CNN. "They stigmatize students and parents who are less well off and struggle financially."
Compromised Ethics Run Rampant in Nutrition Research
Here’s something to ponder the next time you see a headline extolling a study that found a particular food will help you lose weight, avoid heart disease, or live longer: The company selling the product likely paid for the study; that same company also might be paying the university researcher who led the study; your tax dollars may have supplemented this company’s “research” because federal agencies regularly partner with corporations to promote foods. Finally, you’ll never discover that the “research” behind the headline is little more than marketing, because journalists rarely question these financial arrangements.
Boise and Reno Capitalize on the California Real Estate Exodus
For some Californians, the state’s punishing housing costs, high taxes, and constant threat of natural disaster have all become too much. They’re making their escape to areas such as Boise, Phoenix, and Reno, Nev., fueling some of the biggest home-price gains in the country. While the moves are motivated mainly by economics, they’re also highlighting political divides as conservatives from the blue state seek friendlier areas and liberal transplants find themselves in sometimes hostile territory.
More solar panels mean more waste and there’s no easy solution
Solar panels might be the energy source of the future, but they also create a problem without an easy solution: what do we do with millions of panels when they stop working?
In November 2016, the Environment Ministry of Japan warned that the country will produce 800,000 tons of solar waste by 2040, and it can’t yet handle those volumes. That same year, the International Renewable Energy Agency estimated that there were already 250,000 metric tons of solar panel waste worldwide and that this number would grow to 78 million by 2050. “That’s an amazing amount of growth,” says Mary Hutzler, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research. “It’s going to be a major problem.”
Usually, panels are warrantied for 25 to 30 years and can last even longer. But as the solar industry has grown, the market has been flooded with cheaply made Chinese panels that can break down in as few as five years, according to Solar Power World editor-in-chief Kelly Pickerel.
Passenger Who Said Suitcase Was Robbed and Filled With 'Airport Equipment' Just Took Wrong Bag
American Airlines passenger Anna Knight claims to have been “robbed” of everything in her checked suitcase — but it wasn’t empty when she got it back.
After arriving at Miami International Airport on Wednesday evening, Knight says she retrieved her luggage from baggage claim, and opened her suitcase to find all of her belongings gone. But instead of finding the suitcase empty, it was allegedly stuffed with airline equipment, including harnesses, power strips, orange clothing items typically worn by crew members on the tarmac, and a pair of black work boots.
LaCroix ingredients: Lawsuit alleges "all natural" claim is false
LaCroix sparkling water is facing a lawsuit alleging its claims of "all natural" and "100 percent natural" are misleading because of artificial ingredients.
"Testing reveals that LaCroix contains a number of artificial ingredients, including linalool, which is used in cockroach insecticide," claims a statement from Beaumont Costales, a law firm representing plaintiff Lenora Rice.
The lawsuit claims LaCroix and its parent company, National Beverage, are aware of the synthetic chemicals in the sparkling water, yet are "intentionally misleading consumers," according to CBS Philly.
The Super Rich of Silicon Valley Have a Doomsday Escape Plan
Years of doomsday talk at Silicon Valley dinner parties has turned to action.
In recent months, two 150-ton survival bunkers journeyed by land and sea from a Texas warehouse to the shores of New Zealand, where they’re buried 11 feet underground.
Seven Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have purchased bunkers from Rising S Co. and planted them in New Zealand in the past two years, said Gary Lynch, the manufacturer’s general manager. At the first sign of an apocalypse — nuclear war, a killer germ, a French Revolution-style uprising targeting the 1 percent — the Californians plan to hop on a private jet and hunker down, he said.
‘Morally wrong’: Former UN chief condemns U.S. for not having universal health care
Failing to provide health care to 29.3 million people is “unethical” and “politically wrong, morally wrong,” said former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in an interview with the Guardian.
The U.S. is the only wealthy country without universal coverage — and Ban faults “powerful” interest groups within the pharmaceutical, hospitals, and doctors sector.
“Here, the political interest groups are so, so powerful,” Ban said. “Even president, Congress, senators and representatives of the House, they cannot do much so they are easily influenced by these special interest groups.”