AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Derek Thompson

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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...

How to Hire the Perfect Worker

April 11, 2016 In the summer of 2006, Todd Carlisle, a Google analyst with a doctorate in organizational psychology, designed a 300-question survey for every Google employee to fill out, The New York Times later reported. Some questions were straightforward: Have you ever set a world record? Other queries had employees plot themselves...

The Easy 10-Second Tax Return

April 2, 2016 Each tax season, tens of millions of American households have a decision to make. A) They can collectively spend hundreds of millions of hours preparing tax information that the federal government already has. B) They can pay other people billions of dollars to do it for them. But let’s add...

Making America Great Again Is a Local Job

March 3, 2016 Presidential candidates tend to offer a story of national revival that begins with one person: themselves. It is a Great Man (or Woman) Theory of political change. Something is wrong in America, and salvation lies in the providence of one good individual. There are several problems with the GMT. First,...

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