AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Derek Thompson

Results 1-10 of 75

The Secrets of Google’s Moonshot Factory

October 10, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A snake-robot designer, a balloon scientist, a liquid-crystals technologist, an extradimensional physicist, a psychology geek, an electronic-materials wrangler, and a journalist walk into a room. The journalist turns to the assembled crowd and asks: Should we build houses on the ocean? The setting is X, the so-called moonshot factory at...

Older Americans Are More Millennial Than Millennials

May 26, 2017 Young people are the supposed vanguards of a new economic age. Unlike their parents, young people are said to value happiness over money. They prefer gigs over jobs. They prefer flexibility and meaning rather than status and hours at work. Rather than attach themselves to a single company, they are...

Why So Many Americans Are Saying Goodbye to Cities

April 5, 2017 It was an April 1st headline, but the statistics were no joke. "People are fleeing New York at an alarming rate," the New York Post announced. And indeed, they are—sort of. For starters, a bit of terminology. The Census Bureau tracks two sorts of American movers. First, there are “domestic...

The Post-Human World

February 21, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Famine, plague and war. These have been the three scourges of human history. But today, people in most countries are more likely to die from eating too much rather than too little, more likely to die of old age than a great plague, and more likely to commit suicide than...

Trump's 3 a.m. Phone Call

February 9, 2017 The president’s 3 a.m. phone call is typically a metaphor. It’s a symbol of the president’s ability to handle a crisis. But in the case of President Donald Trump, it appears to be a revealing reality. According to the Huffington Post, Donald Trump recently placed a late-night phone call to...

When Will Robots Take All the Jobs?

November 1, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There is a contradiction in economic forecasting today I’ve come to think of as the “robot paradox.” Some people seem confident automation will take many workers’ jobs, yet they cannot point to evidence technology has done anything in the last few years to replace work or add to productivity. Indeed,...

Why Democrats and Republicans Speak Different Languages

July 22, 2016 On Thursday night, Donald Trump and other speakers at the Republican National Convention talked about “radical Islamic terrorism,” “illegal aliens,” and “Crooked Hillary.” In a few weeks, at the Democratic National Convention, you likely won’t hear any of these terms. The Obama administration refuses to associate terrorism with Islam, for...

Report: Federal Government is Effectively Fighting Inequality

June 10, 2016 A new report from the Congressional Budget Office on household income since 1979 reaches two stark and significant conclusions. Inequality is growing. But so are government efforts to combat it—and they’re working. First, the bad news. The distribution of income in the United States has been more unequal under Obama’s...

Why Facebook Scares the Media -- And the US Government

May 10, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In an April 27 conference call to discuss Facebook's extraordinary first-quarter results this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced a high point in his company’s history. Advertising revenue grew by more than 50 percent since 2015, the company was hard at work on a future for artificial intelligence and virtual reality, and...

To Be Rich, Be a Doctor . . . in Oklahoma

May 5, 2016 There are exactly 90 surgeons in Fort Smith, the metropolitan area encompassing the Arkansas Ozarks and the eastern edge of Oklahoma. For many, it is a tough place to earn a living: A Fort Smith worker now earns 46 percent less than the national average, and that gap has doubled...