With the Financial Collapse, Will More Smart People Take Useful Jobs?

In the Financial Times, Ben Friedman mentions an overlooked cost of America's huge financial sector-all the wasted talent:The extent to which employees in the U.S. financial sector are more likely to have college educations than other workers has more than tripled over the last three decades.At the individual level, no one can blame these graduates. But at the level of the aggregate economy, we are wasting one of our most precious resources. While some part of what they do helps to allocate our investment capital more effectively, much of their activity adds no economic value.So one might think that a decline in the fortunes of the financial sector would lead to talented college graduates taking up other, more useful careers. Ezra Klein's not buying it:These Ivy League graduates aren't being tricked into finance. They're gravitating toward money and status-even at the cost of horrible hours, unpleasant jobs and that curious hollow feeling that comes after you trade your dreams of being a helpful person for a nice loft in Midtown. If the financial sector is somehow shut down, or radically shrunk, they'll just go to the next most profitable industry.I think Klein's being too pessimistic. Two points:First, there's some empirical data that suggest many more college graduates are doing some very useful things. Teach for America saw its applications skyrocket in 2009. That's due in part to their big emphasis on constantly improving recruiting but it seems reasonable to think that some of those TFA applicants might have considered finance in a different context.Second, recent college graduates often aren't exactly sure of what they want to do. Many drift into finance because it's easy and lucrative. Once there, they're likely to end up staying there. But if finance gets less alluring and they're nudged in another direction-grad school or TFA or media-their feelings about what they ultimately want to do could change quite a bit in those formative post-college years. The causation goes both ways: People's values affect the jobs they take but the jobs they take also end up affecting their values.Flickr image credit (cc)
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

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Me Too Kit

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Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

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via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

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