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Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number accepted.
"The Chinese government will adopt a quiet approach to deflating the dangerous real estate bubble, given the huge impact a crash could have on the economy."
There are 11 articles discussed 'behind the wall' today, with two more each on the China credit situation and employment/productivity/health considerations.
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I am no constitutional lawyer, but it is clear to me, at any rate, that the UK must continue in some way after Scottish independence. I am a citizen of the United Kingdom, and I have no vote in this referendum. Is my citizenship to be revoked on the say-so of the Scots? Is the country in which I was born and to which I have given my allegiance to be broken up without my agreement? The claim by some that Scottish independence would mean the end of the UK cannot be allowed to stand. Breakup of the UK would need the agreement of ALL its citizens. The very fact that the Scots have been allowed to have their own referendum is a clear indication that the UK would continue in some form after Scottish independence. A "Yes" vote would be secession, not breakup. Comparisons with Czechoslovakia are moot.
Coppola says clearly the UK would still exist, but in a diminished form.
Roughly one in three people born into middle class-households, those between the 30th and 70th percentiles of income, now fall out of that status as adults.
Solutions? Most suggestions are bromides, according to Kotkin. He thinks that those who profit from asset appreciation (rentiers, takers) should be taxed more and those who profit from the sweat of their brow (producers, makers) should be taxed less. (Note: The inflammatory definitions of makers and takers are by Econintersect, not Kotkin.)
Econintersect has created a graphic to show how differently structured work weeks fit on the regression line of the above graph:
Do not misinterpret the graph we created. It does not mean that someone working 60 hours a week can be replaced with two people working 30 hours and productivity per hour will go up 4X or 5X. That would be comparing apples to oranges and both to cow patties. (Or should we create a strong insinuation and refer to bull patties?) For example a two janitors working 30 hours a week each may well do more than one janitor working 60 hours. But even an improvement in productivity of 25% might be a stretch.
It is a mistake to give any kind of micro economic interpretation to the data.
However, a trend toward higher productivity with reduction of hours worked is a very logical result. Econintersect has not heard the expression recently that was very popular 30, 40 and 50 years ago: "Work smarter, not harder."
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