QUOTE OF THE DAY
WSJ: The Underworked Public Employee
The cliché is true: Government workers do tend to take it easier than their private counterparts.
With state and local governments struggling to balance budgets in a
still sluggish economy, government employment has fallen by 562,000
jobs since September 2008, a decline of 2.6%. In response, the Obama
administration has called for more federal aid—on top of the $250
billion doled out in the 2009 Recovery Act—to help keep state and local
government payrolls near prerecession levels.
But supporters of more federal aid implicitly assume that the size of
the public sector was optimal before the recession. On the contrary,
overstaffing is a serious problem in government, and the best evidence
is a simple empirical fact: Government employees don't work as much as
private employees. If public-sector employees just worked as many hours
as their private counterparts, governments at all levels could save
more than $100 billion in annual labor costs.
Private-sector employees work about 41.4 hours. Federal workers, by
contrast, put in 38.7 hours, and state and local government employees
work 38.1 hours. In a calendar year, private-sector employees work the
equivalent of 3.8 more 40-hour workweeks than federal employees and 4.7
more weeks than state and local government workers. Put another way,
private employees spend around an extra month working each year
compared with public employees. If the public sector worked that
additional month, governments could theoretically save around $130
billion in annual labor costs without reducing services.
Points and Figures: Forced Unemployment With a Smile on Their Face
If you are in Chicago and see some people that look unemployed and hungry for a job, you might be right. But, in many cases don’t walk by, hire them. They may look raggedy, but they are sharp. They won the election for Obama. Without them, he may be unemployed today.
Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago offers Obama’s tech team opportunities as entrepreneurs, execs
They worked in a windowless room in Chicago dubbed “the cave.”
Inside, the 40-member team of tech whizzes sat crunching numbers, typing and throwing out ideas. They had one goal in mind: re-elect President Barack Obama.
Cato: No, Teachers in Finland Are Not Paid Like Doctors
A meme that is floating around the interwebs claims that Finland’s education system outperforms the United States because “We pay teachers like doctors, students enjoy over an hour of recess, and there’s no mandatory testing – the opposite of what America does.”
That all sounds great … it just isn’t true.
AP: How the Obama and Republican 'Fiscal Cliff' Plans Differ
The White House estimates its plan to avoid the "fiscal cliff" would carve $4.4 trillion from the deficit over the coming decade, including previously enacted cuts ($1 trillion) and savings from reduced costs for overseas military operations ($800 billion),as well as interest payments on the national debt ($600 billion).
House Republicans say their plan would cut deficits by $2.2 trillion over 10 years, but they don't claim previous cuts, war savings or interest costs toward that total. Both plans would block automatic spending cuts set to hit the economy in January. Here's how the plans differ.
CNBC: The Most Dangerous Idea in Washington
Ethan Harris, a well-respected economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, sounds very afraid when he talks about the "increasingly popular view" that going over the "Fiscal Cliff" this year will do minimal damage to the economy and make possible a better deal next year.
Gizmodo: We Spent 121 Billion Minutes on Social Media in One Month
Nielsen says in its annual Social Media Report (because those are a thing now) that Americans spent a collective 121 billion minutes on social media in July alone, up from 88 billion the year before. That's a whole lot of time for exchanging pokes and creeping on your ex.
In fact, it comes down to about 230,060 years. If every single person in the U.S. used social media, that would be 388 minutes or about six and a half hours a head—13 minutes a day. Of course not everyone is on Facebook and Twitter (weirdos), so this means there are people who are literally using Facebook for hundreds of minutes every day. Not that, uh, we're doing that right now. Anyways, we're all voyeurists and exhibitionists and this internet addiction thing is getting serious.
Crain's Chicago Business: Cook County is leaking income
Cook County lost $4 billion in taxable income to other counties while only gaining $3 billion.
The Daily Ticker: The Top Small Business Job Creators in America
Yahoo! Finance's Michael Santoli has argued that large companies -- those with 500 or more employees -- were responsible for 65% of net job gains from 1990 to 2011.
But Eric Schurenberg, editor-in-chief of Inc. Mag, says small businesses account for a majority of jobs in the country. "In fact almost all it," he tells the Daily Ticker.
"Let me put it this way," he explains. "Where job growth is, is growth. So job creation follows growth, most of the time the highest growers are small companies and that accounts for that."
Inc. Mag's Hire Power Awards rank the top 100 small businesses by job growth between 2008-2011. Together, the companies on the list have created 73,032 new jobs during that 3-year period.
US News: Study Foresees Shortage of Primary-Care Doctors
Fewer medical students are choosing careers in primary care, and instead are opting to become specialists, a new study found.
The study, which appears in the medical-education-themed Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, fuels concerns that there will be a shortage of primary-care doctors available when patients need them most.