Tag Archives: Jobs

Why Cities Shouldn’t Bend Over Backwards for Corporations

By Rick Paulas – In early 2010, the city of Topeka, Kansas, was in trouble. The city’s unemployment rate had risen to unprecedented levels. Some in the mayor’s office thought that a lack of affordable broadband Internet access wasn’t helping. Mayor Bill Bunten tried to remedy the situation by changing the city’s name to Google.

“There was a feeding frenzy, so Google was in the position to say, ‘If we don’t get what we want, we’ll go elsewhere,'” says Tony Grubesic, a professor of policy analytics at Arizona State University who has studied Google Fiber’s effects on Kansas City. “Google was in the driver’s seat.”

Corporations pitting cities against one another to get the best deals won’t stop anytime soon. Cities are currently courting Amazon in hopes of becoming the site of the company’s second headquarters.

Tucson sent a 21-foot cactus to Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos; Birmingham built huge Amazon boxes downtown; Stonecrest, Georgia, voted to give the corporation 345 acres that it’s dubbed “the city of Amazon“; and New Jersey is trying to push through a $5 billion tax break. more> https://goo.gl/Yxj2sA

The only job a robot couldn’t do

By Daniel Carter – The gig economy is growing rapidly, but it’s also changing how we think about what it means to work. Uber and other online platforms are making the case for a future in which work happens in little on-demand bursts — you need a ride, and someone appears to give you that ride. Instead of a salary and benefits like health insurance, the worker gets paid only for the time they’re actually driving you around.

I’m a researcher who studies how people work and I have a hard time endorsing this vision of the future. When I see Favor delivery drivers waiting to pick up a to-go order, I imagine a future in which half of us stand in line while the other half sit on couches. And then I imagine a future in which all these mundane tasks are automated: the cars drive themselves, the burritos fly in our windows on drones. And I wonder how companies are going to make money when there are no jobs and we can’t afford to buy a burrito or pay for a ride home from the bar. more> https://goo.gl/gXoUXd

Five reasons why “downtown universities” matter for economic growth

By Scott Andes – The value of the nation’s higher education system is usually expressed as just that—education. But while the educational mission of America’s colleges and universities is critical, often missed or neglected by local and national policymakers is the value of these institutions to economic growth. This is particularly true for those universities located near major employment neighborhoods of large cities.

Here are five reasons these universities matter for economic growth:

  1. Research universities are essential for innovation, and innovation is essential for economic growth.
  2. Universities located in urban areas produce more patents, corporate partnerships, and startups.
  3. Universities located within innovation districts build on existing urban assets.
  4. Downtown universities specialize in research.
  5. Downtown universities still have a lot of room to improve their outcomes.

As the country searches for new sources of innovation, jobs, and growth, policy makers should consider how some of its oldest institutions—research universities—are best positioned for the new economy. more> https://goo.gl/nXEPk4

It’s Time to Rewrite the Rules of Our Economy

By Tim O’Reilly – Business leaders making decisions to outsource jobs to low-wage countries or to replace workers with machines, or politicians who insist that it is “the market” that makes them unable to require companies to pay a living wage, rely on the defense that they are only following the laws of economics. But the things economists study are not natural phenomena like the laws of motion uncovered by Kepler and Newton.

The political convulsions we’ve seen in the United Kingdom and in the United States are a testament to the difficulties we face. We are heading into a very risky time. Rising global inequality is triggering a political backlash that could lead to profound destabilization of both society and the economy. The problem is that in our free market economy, we found a way to make society as a whole far richer, but the benefits are unevenly distributed. Some people are far better off, while others are worse off.

Why do we have lower taxes on capital when it is so abundant that much of it is sitting on the sidelines rather than being put to work in our economy?

Why do we tax labor income more highly when one of the problems in our economy is lack of aggregate consumer demand because ordinary people don’t have money in their pockets? more> https://goo.gl/2DioyZ

Updates from GE

By Amy Kover – Standing on a 10-foot-wide platform 365 feet above the rolling green hills of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Kristen Hough looks tiny. The winds at this height are strong enough to spin a 500,000-pound wind turbine at 14 revolutions per minute. One strong gust could push a person over.

But Hough, 28, also looks unafraid. A wind technician, Hough is part of a team that is responsible for the electrical and mechanical upkeep of 61 turbines here that can produce 185 megawatts of energy — enough to power an entire city. She makes the climb to the top of a wind turbine at least once a day. At that height, Hough is in her element. “Even climbing the turbines [the first few times], it was so exciting that I knew it was what I was supposed to do,” she says.

Hough’s shift typically begins each morning at 7 a.m. when lead technician Mitch Burns assigns Hough and her five teammates to either handle routine maintenance — like tightening bolts and greasing gears — or troubleshoot problems. For instance, if the temperature in the gearbox appears a bit high, Hough needs to figure out why and fix it. Sometimes she can resolve the issue with a few taps on her laptop, but it -often requires hands-on attention instead. That’s when Hough gets out her safety gear and starts the long ascent to the top of the turbine. more> https://goo.gl/vWg2At

This striking feature of Manila makes it an emblematic global city

BOOK REVIEW

A World of Homeowners: American Power and the Politics of Housing Aid, Author: Nancy Kwak.

By Nancy Kwak – In our urbanizing world, Manila, and a few other rapidly growing world cities, are not only just helpful in understanding how global cities work; they are indispensable.

The most striking aspect of life in Manila, however, lies not in physical attributes but rather in the legal status of the communities living above and around these waterways.

A city can be predominantly informal with lively black markets and mostly unregulated labor and housing. Informality does not have to occur on the margins of everyday life

Even a casual look at Manila, and other burgeoning global cities, shows that the functioning of the urban economy depends on informality. Informality allows workers to subsist on marginal incomes.

Informality provides homes where the formal market does not. Despite or perhaps because of their meager pay, these workers’ role in the global service economy is anything but marginal.

A shoe repairman sets up a roadside station where he fixes the shoes of the restaurant worker who in turn serves food to visiting investors and local business-people. Workers rest in informal settlements before getting up to drive the jeepneys that transport young men and women inexpensively to Makati’s call centers. There, they will answer questions and complaints from customers of global firms headquartered in New York, London, and more. All for a low wage.

Informality provides the foundation for local and global profits. more> https://goo.gl/T7ba1y

Do We Need to Rethink What College Means?

BOOK REVIEW

Bridging the Gaps. Authors: James Rosenbaum, Caitlin E. Ahearn and Janet E. Rosenbaum.

By Dwyer Gunn – There are two ways to look at America’s college-for-all movement. On the one hand, it represents a rare policy success: Today, 90 percent of high school graduates enroll in college within eight years of graduating from high school, up from 45 percent in 1960.

On the other hand, it serves as a cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of even the best-intentioned policy initiatives.

The book is actually named for them—the three gaps. And the gaps are really quite outrageous. When we interviewed students, the students talked about these three things: taking courses without getting credits, getting credits that didn’t count for credentials, and getting credentials that didn’t have payoffs in the labor market.

We found that such students were making bad choices because they didn’t have good information. And they were losing a lot of time and, ultimately, dropping out with no payoff. more> https://goo.gl/KKfJmS

Beware The Perils Of Groupthink, Yet Meetings Can Still Be Useful

BOOK REVIEW

Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter, Authors: Reid Hastie and Cass Sunstein.
The Conversation – Traditional groups exacerbate some individual judgment and decision biases. Examples include the planning fallacy, in which people underestimate how much time will be needed to complete a task, and the sunk costs fallacy, irrationally investing more in a project because so much has been put into it already, when it would be better to just let it go.

But groups also cure some individual bad habits. Among these are anchoring (a tendency to rely on the first piece of evidence offered), availability (overestimating unlikely events) and some forms of narrow framing.

This is where the important role of leaders come into play, to prevent groupthink and bring out the best in their employees. more> https://goo.gl/tX215a

How The OECD Wants To Make Globalization Work For All

By Ronald Janssen – In its key issues paper for the Ministerial Council, the OECD recognizes that the frictional costs of opening to world trade have been much higher than so far assumed.

Workers losing their job because of competition with low wage economies were supposed to find new jobs elsewhere and do so quickly because the same process of globalization would be pushing up overall national income.

The OECD now openly admits that this assumption was wrong.

A second critical stance is taken on what the OECD calls a ‘plausible’ link between globalization and rising inequalities. Here, it explicitly admits that globalization has weakened the bargaining power of labor in advanced economies, invoking the threat of cheap import competition from low wage countries as well as that of moving investment and production there.

Trade and investment deals are often rushed through parliaments when all details have been negotiated, thus providing big business the opportunity to weigh on decision-making by massive lobbying of governments in the preceding trade negotiations themselves. The OECD specifically adds that ‘the cost-benefit balance of provisions such as ISDS look increasingly questionable, especially when both sides are advanced economies with low risk of discriminatory treatment of foreign investors and reliable judicial systems.” more> https://goo.gl/TM76h7

Updates from Aalto University

Collaboration and partners

By Pia Kåll – When I was still in high school and even during my matriculation exam, I was convinced that University of the Arts was the place to be for me. However, at the time of applying I changed my mind and applied to Aalto University to study applied physics because it sounded challenging. It also felt like the right thing to do – to let art be a hobby and get a job from another field.

After I graduated, I started my dissertation. However, I didn’t finish it because I visited a McKinsey recruitment event and decided to grab the opportunity to influence the development and strategy of large, global companies as a consultant.

When I was offered a seat on the Executive Board of Outotec, I just couldn’t decline the challenge. At first, I led Strategy and M&A and later on broader responsibilities including product development and development of business processes and operational models.

In that position I realized that I enjoy working in different situations and with different people in as many different fields, and among as various questions as possible. In private equity , these sides are combined. When I transferred to CapMan, I first worked as a Partner in Buyout, and starting from June 2017 I have worked as a Managing Partner. more> https://goo.gl/DzM5Na

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