1. The new global top dog in international trade is China. China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation
"U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion."
The drop in U.S. births to their lowest level since 1920 is sounding alarms about the nation's ability to support its fast-growing elderly population.
As public concern mounts, a growing number of books, reports and columns are laying out challenges the United States will face because of this demographic upheaval: Fewer babies are being born while the wave of 78 million older Baby Boomers have only begun to retire (the oldest turn 67 this year). ...
3. Raising the minimum wage has become a hot topic once again. Jared Bernstein makes Obama's case in the Huffington Post, saying that numerous careful studies say raising the minimum wage does not have an impact on employment. While that is true, there are also many careful studies that suggest that it does have an impact. My perception is that raising the minimum wage helps some working poor who already have jobs but makes it more difficult for low-skilled unemployed workers, particularly minority men in urban contexts. It is interesting that 25 years ago the New York Times came out in opposition to the minimum wage: New York Times Called To Abolish The Minimum Wage In 1987. Fiscal Times makes their case against the minimum wage hike: Raise the Minimum Wage and Get Minimum Jobs
4. Speaking of low-income workers, The 20 Companies With The Most Low-Wage Workers
5. Last week I wrote a post that linked a Salon article that said we are often swayed toward liking policies we have previously disliked when a political figure we like adopts those polices. (See When liberals ignore injustice) A prime example of rationalizing this inconsistency in this article in the Atlantic: MSNBC Host: Trusting Obama More Than Bush Isn't Hypocritical. The willingness of Krystal Ball to alter the degree of power and discretion a president has based on personal affinity, rather than on an impartial assessment of role of the office, is disturbing (and this is true of left and right.)
6. Gleaming skyscrapers are springing up in major cities of many developing nations. Partly because of practical concerns and partly as status symbols. But not in India. Why India Keeps Its Cities So Short
7. Does the time of year you were born relative to date that determines which year you start school have any impact on your life? How Birth Date Affects Future Success
8. This technology is pretty cool!
9. Let us give thanks the demise of this publishing niche. A Midcentury Travel Guide for African-American Drivers Navigating Jim Crow
10. My former professor at Palmer Theological Seminary is in the news again. Resigning From the AARP
"The AARP is a selfish lobby demanding things for seniors even though modest sacrifices would help us reduce the deficit and enable us to spend more on crucial things like better education for our children. In fact, John Rother (long-time chief lobbyist for the AARP) suggested that in 2011 and promptly lost his job. Selfish seniors protested loudly and the AARP quickly backpedalled."
(For the record, I have never joined AARP. I'm still in denial that I am old enough to join.)
11. There are only a few seconds left in the basketball game. Your team is up by three but the other team is about to inbound the ball. Do you quickly foul in an effort to force two free throws or do you simply play defend against any score? Yet another study about fouling when up 3