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Derek Thompson

Results 11-20 of 49

How Your Face Shapes Your Economic Chances

August 4, 2014 Beauty, closely studied, seems nearly indistinguishable from quick math. Men seem to prefer women with a low waist-to-hip ratio. Women prefer men with optimally long jaws. For reasons we don't entirely understand, humans find symmetrical faces consistently bewitching. A 2005 study found women can accurately guess the symmetry of a ...

What Corporate America Is Learning About Keeping Workers Happy

July 30, 2014 You can hear it in the game rooms of Google's Chelsea office, smell it from the ice cream shops on Facebook's Menlo Park campus, and see it with yoga mats aligned on the rooftop of OpenDNS: We are living in an Age of Peak Perk. (Some of us, anyway). While ...

The President of the United States Does Not Control the Economy

July 29, 2014 For years, Americans have listed the economy as their "most important problem," and it seems like countless elections have swung on candidates' sugar-coated promises to accelerate growth, create jobs, and generally make us all as rich as we've dreamed. But just how much power does the president really have over ...

The Best- and Worst-Paid Jobs in America—in 1 Ludicrously Long Chart

June 24, 2014 The 13 best-paid non-executive jobs in America have one thing in common: They're all in health care. Anesthesiologists nip surgeons to grab the top spot. That's the top takeaway from this fun and long—like, really long—graph of the average wage of 820 occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics ...

Mobile Is Eating Global Attention: 10 Graphs on the State of the Internet

May 29, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Mary Meeker's State of the Internet presentation is a primordial soup for fledgling think pieces about the Future of Digital, and I mean that in a good way, actually. It's a 164-page slideshow of graphs and big-think proclamations about where our attention—and money chasing our attention—is going. Here are my ...

The Myth That Americans Are Busier Than Ever

May 22, 2014 Feeling harried? Swamped? Overwhelmed? Lucky you. It is, in many ways, a privilege to feel busy in America. Elizabeth Kolbert's New Yorker essay "No Time," is built around an old essay and a new book about the future of busy-ness and leisure. The old essay, by the economist John Maynard ...

How to End the Gender Pay Gap Once and for All

March 5, 2014 When it comes the gender pay gap there is (a) one famous statistic that everybody knows; (b) a couple famous rebuttals to that statistic; and (c) one big unanswered question about equal pay for men and women. The statistic is that a woman earns $0.77 for every $1 earned by ...

The U.S. Government's Amazingly Wrong Forecast for This Winter

February 19, 2014 One of the many responsibilities of the U.S. federal government is to play the role of American Oracle. The Congressional Budget Office tells us how laws, like tax cuts and Obamacare, will affect the economy in the next decade. And the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric ...

Monetizing Social Media Users Is Getting Easier; Adding New Ones Is Getting Harder

February 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The old critique of social media companies like Facebook and Twitter (and Snapchat and WhatsApp) went like this: Adding users is easy, but where's the money? The new concern about social media companies is the opposite: Fine, you're making money, but where are the users? The big flip began with ...

The Case Against Performance Reviews

January 29, 2014 If you hate performance reviews—and the "if" in that clause is ceremonial; youdo hate them—don't blame your boss. Blame the Wei Dynasty. Historians aren't sure who officially invented the annual ritual of grading our colleagues' performances (technically, a post-hunt slap on the back from a Neanderthal would qualify), but one ...