Vices Are Good for the Economy
Certain groups of people, such as gamblers, smokers and the obese are portrayed a drain on the economy, but Forbes' Tim Parker says they are a bottomless money pit.
In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food. By 2000, that figure had grown to $110 billion. The nation is also spending a record amount trying to lose weight. Health club and gym revenues topped $19.1 billion in 2008, and the amount spent on weight loss products and services hit an estimated $40 billion. ... One study found that in a community where a casino was located, there was a 12% to 17% drop in welfare payments and another study commissioned by the National Research Council found a net economic gain to some of these same communities. This same study found that jobs are created in communities where casinos are built.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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