from the world's big
Employment: A Basic Human Right
Richard Florida is author of the global best-seller "The Rise of the Creative Class." His latest books are the "The Great Reset," and "The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited," a revised and expanded tenth anniversary edition of his classic work.
He is also the author of "The Flight of the Creative Class" and "Cities and the Creative Class." His previous books, especially "The Breakthrough Illusion" and "Beyond Mass Production," paved the way for his provocative looks at how creativity is revolutionizing the global economy.
Florida is a regular correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a regular columnist for The Globe and Mail. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Economist, and The Harvard Business Review. He has been featured as an expert on MSNBC, CNN, BBC, NPR and CBS, to name just a few.
Richard Florida: This fellow Bill Bishop \r\nwrote this remarkable book—and Bill’s a dear friend—called “The Big \r\nSword.” Ed Glaeser, the Harvard economist, has been showing the \r\ndivergence in our levels of highly skilled people. I mean, the basic \r\nmotor force of economic development is not big companies, it’s not even \r\nbig technologies. Jane Jacobs first identified this and another great \r\neconomist, a Nobel Prize winner, Robert Lucas, kind of formalized this: \r\nit’s when talented and creative people come together in a community, \r\nthat’s when you get explosive growth. Skill multiplies skill, talent \r\nmultiplies talent. And what Jane Jacobs was saying, which is so \r\namazing... Adam Smith told us about firms and innovation and efficiency \r\nand a pin factory and a division of labor as a firm can make things with\r\n people doing fine grain tasks. And she said, “That’s a great theory of \r\nefficiency and it’s a great theory of making things more cheaply, but it\r\n doesn’t tell you anything about where innovation comes from.” And what \r\nshe said, is what cities do, is they give you new kinds of people, new \r\nkinds of talent, new input. And people in those cities comes together, \r\nand my best example of this is not only the silicon valley with high \r\ntech and people moving around and shifting jobs, changing jobs without \r\neven changing the parking lot, as they say, it’s the music scene.
You\r\n know, they asked Jack White, the founder of the White Stripes Rock On \r\nTours, one of the greatest musical minds of his generation, “What gave \r\nDetroit a great music scene?” “Oh,” he said, “That’s easy. There’s an \r\namazing talent base there and what these bands are, they’re like little \r\nstart-up companies and the people are always combining and recombining \r\nin different little start-up companies, different little bands, and \r\nsooner or later, one hits. Not all those bands.” So what a city does is \r\nallow that mixing and matching of creativity and skill and inputs and \r\ntechnology and it creates something new.
I think what’s happened\r\n is that certain cities have galvanized that, New York in media and \r\nentertainment and finance and very broadly, LA in entertainment and \r\nother fields, they’re big and they can do a lot. San Francisco and \r\nSilicon Valley in technology, Nashville in music, we can go on and on \r\ndown the line. Other cities have lost their way and they’ve wanted \r\nsomething to specialize, so what you’ve got out of this is a geography \r\nthat’s terribly economically unequal. I’ve been writing about this for \r\nmore than a decade. Our regions are becoming further apart and within \r\nour regions, even our most innovative, we have levels of inequality, \r\nspecial, geographic inequality, rich and poor neighborhoods, unlike \r\nanything we’ve ever seen. Somebody has to wake up and smell this \r\ncoffee.
What we’ve been doing is pushing this aside; "No, it’s \r\nnot really there. Oh, the world is flat, we’re all happy, we’re all \r\nparticipating." Baloney. Our world, every economic transformation, every\r\n economic period of crisis, particularly with the rise of new industry, \r\nlike early industrialization, like the rise of a knowledge in technology\r\n and creative economy, carries with it tremendous economic inequality. \r\nIt takes a lot of effort to make that system more stable and here’s what\r\n I think we need to do:
After the first reset we built \r\nmanufacturing industries, we started to build those industries in the \r\nlatter part, or the middle part of the 19th Century. We strengthened \r\nthem up in the later part of the 19th Century. Henry Ford came along and\r\n he gave us the assembly line, and it wasn’t until Roosevelt and the New\r\n Deal and after the war that we actually made manufacturing work good \r\nwork. My dad always told me this story. He said, “Rich, my dad had to \r\nquit school in the seventh grade in Newark, New Jersey, he took up work \r\nat a factory,” and he said, “He, my grandfather, my grandmother, he, and\r\n his six siblings, all had to work to make one good pay, one family \r\nwage.” When he came back from World War II after unionization, the \r\nWagner Act, Social Security, and attempts to really lift productivity, \r\nhis job, a manufacturing job, was a good job. We got to create good jobs\r\n in our country and our society. And obviously we’re going to create \r\ntechnology jobs, those are relatively high paying for engineers and \r\nscientists, we’re going to create media jobs, we’re going to create \r\ncreative jobs. And, you know, about 35 million Americans work in those \r\njobs, we’re expected to create another 6 or 7 million of them over the \r\nnext decade or so.
But we’re losing manufacturing jobs, we’re \r\nlosing the jobs that my dad had. They’re going away; we’re projected to \r\nlose anywhere from a couple hundred thousand to another million of those\r\n over the next decade, depending on who you believe.
The other \r\nkind of jobs we’re creating are these lower-wage, lower-skilled jobs in \r\nthe services and people joke. It’s a Costco job, it’s a Best Buy job, \r\nit’s a food preparation job in McDonalds, home health care aide, hair \r\ncutter, who cares? 60 million people work in those jobs and it’s become \r\nsomething that I probably care more about than anything else in the \r\nworld. We’re working on it in Toronto. Our mayor and our council are \r\nbehind it, in Toronto. We got to make those jobs good jobs, we can’t \r\nwrite off 60 million people. We can’t just write them off and say those \r\nare bad jobs. And the things we did to make manufacturing jobs good \r\njobs, we can do in the services. We can organize workers to improve \r\ntheir own efficiency. We can introduce continuous improvements, \r\nsuggestion systems. I mean, it sounds so, lean, they call it "lean \r\nmanufacturing," lean, they’re talking about lean starts, lean services. \r\nCompanies are doing it. And when I look at the list of the best places \r\nto work, I was startled to find it was some high tech companies like \r\nApple and the Sands Institute and all of this, Genentech, but there were\r\n service companies like Best Buy and the Container Store and Whole Foods\r\n and Wegman’s, way up, Four Seasons, way up at the top of that list.
We’ve\r\n got to make services pay and the only way we’re going to do that is by \r\njust arbitrary lifting wages. We’ve got to improve their productivity \r\nand my best example of this is janitorial work. We typically look at \r\njanitorial work as just horrible work. But we want to make our buildings\r\n greener and more efficient. Well, who knows how to do that? Who’s made \r\nthe factories greener? The people on the line, on the shop floor, by \r\nfiguring out ways to make sure spills don’t happen and working together \r\nto make industrial processes less toxic and less polluting. The janitors\r\n know more about the building and its operation and who left the window \r\nopen and can do small and large scale things when teamed with engineers \r\nthat would make our buildings much more efficient. Why don’t we empower \r\nthem? And you can do this across the board.
What I find so \r\namazing about services is many of them are very local. And, you know, I \r\nalways say this funny line, but I mean it. Whether it’s the person who \r\ncuts your hair, the person who takes care of your older parent, the \r\nperson who takes care of your kids or your lawn, or the person who gives\r\n you a manicure or a wax, whatever you want to call it: it’s hard to \r\nimagine that being off-shored. For me, I don’t even see how it could be \r\noff-shored. So they are jobs that are very sticky and very local. If \r\nwe’re going to build a modern economy—if we’re going to take care of our\r\n people and overcome inequality—we can talk all we want about other \r\napproaches and bringing manufacturing back up. There’s this guy who \r\npokes fun of me, Matt Crawford, and I like his book on the shop class \r\nand the soul craft, and he says, “You know, Florida is crazy, he \r\nbelieves creative people and knowledge workers, they’re all automatons \r\nstuck in an office and the service, they’re crappy jobs,” and he says, \r\n“People should be like me, like a motorcycle mechanic.” There are 16,000\r\n motorcycle mechanics in the United States. There are 5 million people \r\nwho work in mechanical work, repair, there are 62 million people who \r\nwork in the service industry. 62 million versus 5 million versus 16,000.\r\n And, you know, I only wish everybody’s job could be like Matt \r\nCrawford’s. Matt Crawford not only works with his hands in a motorcycle \r\nplace, not only that, that’s a fabulous job, he’s an entrepreneur, owns \r\nhis business, who has control over his schedule, who can make his time, \r\nand does work he loves. You know, maybe that’s what we should say. \r\nEverybody deserves, whether they’re in service or high tech or creative \r\nor motorcycle repair or auto, everybody should have a job that’s more \r\nlike Matt Crawford’s job than like what... and it doesn’t matter, what I\r\n say in the book, it doesn’t matter what kind of work you do. We \r\nshouldn’t raise those distinctions. Whether it’s service, creative, \r\nagriculture, you should have work that’s meaningful, that pays well, \r\nthat uses your full skills, and I actually think it should be a basic \r\nhuman right. I say this, that the ability to use your skills and engage \r\nin work that’s meaningful instead of having to go out and buy stuff to \r\ngive yourself an identity, that should be a basic, that should be a \r\nbasic human right and I think it’s, you know, where our country, and \r\nother countries, need to head.
Whether it’s in service, creative fields, or agriculture, people deserve work that’s meaningful, pays well and uses their skills.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.