4/28/21 Power Five

1. Why Are American Workers Becoming So Hard to Find? – “Nearly 4m people are not looking for work “because of the coronavirus pandemic”, according to official data. And consider which industries are experiencing the most acute worker shortages. Jobs in health care, recreation and hospitality report the highest level of job openings, relative to employment. Many of these involve plenty of person-to-person contact, making their workers especially vulnerable to infection (a study from California earlier this year found that cooks were most at risk from dying of covid-19). By contrast, in industries where maintaining social distancing or being outside is often easier, labour shortages are less of an issue. The number of job openings per employee in the construction industry is lower today than it was before the pandemic.”

2. China’s Government is Starting to Screw Up – From Belt and Road, to vaccine roll-out, China is starting to slip.

3. Why Cryptocurrency is a Giant Fraud – “But as is generally the case when someone is trying to sell you something, the whole thing should seem extremely fishy. In fact, much of the cryptocurrency pitch is worse than fishy. It’s downright fraudulent, promising people benefits that they will not get and trying to trick them into believing in and spreading something that will not do them any good. When you examine the actual arguments made for using cryptocurrencies as currency, rather than just being wowed by the complex underlying system and words like “autonomy,” “global,” and “seamless,” the case for their use by most people collapses utterly. Many believe in it because they have swallowed libertarian dogmas that do not reflect how the world actually works.

4. How America’s Great Economic Challenge Turned 180 Degrees – “You can’t turn the world economy off, then turn it back on, and expect everything to come back to normal instantly, in other words. The question for 2021 is just how slow that rebooting process turns out to be.

5. Oatly, The New Coke – “Oatly’s main ingredient is their oat base, which they make through a process of breaking down raw oats into their loose fibers to mix them with water and create a watery oat-based liquid that “contains macronutrients from the oats, in other words, protein, fat, and carbohydrates.” The problem with this process is that it creates quite a bit of a sugar called maltose, which is why Oatly packaging shows 7g added sugar per serving. Of all the different kinds of sugars you can eat, maltose has the highest glycemic index, with a rating of 105 out of 100. For comparison, table sugar has a rating of 65, and the high-fructose corn syrup you get in a Coca-Cola has a GI around 65-75. There’s less of it, but the sugar in Oatly has a higher gram-for-gram impact on your blood sugar than the HFCS in Coca-Cola. Putting 12oz of Oatly into your latte and adjusting for the higher GI of maltose means adding almost a tablespoon of table sugar to your drink. Put a tablespoon of sugar next to your coffee next time you have a chance and seriously consider if that’s a decision that’s “made for humans.”

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