April 10, 2013

AM Reads: Silicon Valley Hard Times, Thatcher and How to Get a Raise

1. Tent Cities in Silicon Valley
Homelessness rose 20 percent in the past two years, food stamp participation is at a 10-year high, and the average income for Hispanics, who make up a quarter of the area’s population, fell to a new low of about $19,000 a year — in a place where the average rent is $2000 a month. 

2. Want a Raise? Then Get in Shape
Employer wellness programs used to mean just having a gym in the office or posters on the wall encouraging people to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Now more companies are using real money, and sometimes penalties, as incentives for workers to get in better shape. 

3. The new New World
“Mexico is giving me an opportunity to grow professionally which would be hard to find in Europe,” says Jorge Laínez, a young Ibizan who moved west in 2010 to be country manager of McBains Cooper, a British property consultancy. The lifestyle is a bonus: Mr Laínez’s Mexico City office is 15 minutes by rented bicycle from his home.

4. The Legend of Margaret Thatcher
Republicans have always admired former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain. Her 1979 election excited them enormously; Republicans viewed it as proof that their views were on the upswing and greatly increased their confidence that Ronald Reagan would be elected president in 1980 as part of a worldwide conservative trend.

Mrs. Thatcher’s stature among the American right has only increased since she was ousted by her own party in 1990. This is especially true now. Benjy Sarlin of Talking Points Memo says Mrs. Thatcher “has always been a popular figure in Republican circles across the pond, but she seems to have taken on a new relevance in recent years for the party’s leading lights.”

5. Goldman Sachs Viewpoints: Abe and Kuroda, Wow! by Jim O'neill
What new Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor Kuroda and his colleagues announced last week was quite
dramatic.