What We’re Reading

Getting rid of SAT requirements:

Harvard University received more than 57,000 freshman applications for next fall’s entering class, a 42% year-over-year jump. Yale, Columbia and Stanford universities were so overwhelmed they also pushed back the date to announce admission decisions. The University of Southern California’s applications pool beat the prior record by 7%. And New York University topped 100,000 applications, up 17% from last year.

After Covid:

In the spring, we joked about the Before Times, but they were still within reach, easily accessible in our shorter-term memories. In the summer and fall, with restrictions loosening and temperatures rising, we were able to replicate some of what life used to be like, at least in an adulterated form: outdoor drinks, a day at the beach. But now, in the cold, dark, featureless middle of our pandemic winter, we can neither remember what life was like before nor imagine what it’ll be like after.

Work after Covid:

Give each full-time worker three sick days each year. It is not only “paid” sick leave, rather you are paid an extra bonus to take those days. That way you do not bring a cold into the office. On net, it now becomes more than culturally acceptable to plead sickness. Most people will be doing it, and without shame.

Other components of the wage package can adjust to keep the net real wage constant.

Some very hardy individuals still won’t take any sick days at all, and many of them will love working. In fact they should be “taxed” somewhat more, since their intangible benefits from working are so high.

Earnings:

In a stark sign of the economic inequality that has marked the pandemic recession and recovery, Americans as a whole are now earning the same amount in wages and salaries that they did before the virus struck — even with nearly 9 million fewer people working.

Data errors:

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Have a good weekend, stay safe.


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