The Monday Morning Quote #445

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain

via Peter Thomson

More people producing less..

From the RBS Chief Economist’s Weekly Briefing.

As far as the jobs market is concerned, we’ve rarely (if ever) had it so good. Yet the link between jobs and pay remains severed. This is unlikely to reunite until productivity improves. And with that, there are few quick fixes.  

Rude health. The last time the British labour market was in such good shape Tammy Wynette was standing by her man. In the three months to June employment was up by 340,000y/y taking the employment rate to a record 75.1%. Unemployment was down by 160,000y/y and the rate fell to 4.4%, its lowest level since 1975. The number of job vacancies slipped a little but there have never been fewer people chasing each job since these records began in 2001. We’ve rarely had it so good.

Tough love The only good thing to say about the UK’s productivity performance between April and June (down 0.1%) is that it was worse between January and March (down 0.5%). Without wishing to be Jeremiah-ish, while full employment provides short term support for the economy, long term prosperity relies on productive advancement. Without it, the economic cake might continue to grow but individual slices may not. The data tell a hard truth. We produce no more per hour of work than in 2008 and only slightly more than we did in 2003. Perhaps stagnant real pay growth is not so unjustified.


The Monday Morning Quote #444

“Our greatest illusion is to believe that we are what we think ourselves to be.”

H.F.Amiel – The private journal of Henry Frederic Amiel (1899)

(quoted in Strangers to Ourselves by T.D.Wilson)

The rising north–south divide in health in the UK

This doesn’t make great reading.

….in the past 20 years, age- and sex-adjusted excess mortality has increased by as much as 46 percentage points in people aged 35–44 years in the north of England compared with the south, and by 27 percentage points in people aged 25–34 years…

….One cause of this higher mortality is an increase in suicide in young people since the 2008 recession, mostly in the north of England. This has been linked to increases in unemployment, associated with poverty, inferior social welfare, educational attainment, and poorer health outcomes. Rates of drinking, smoking, and obesity are also comparatively higher in the north and are at least partly driven by more fast food shops on northern high streets….

The Lancet

The Monday Morning Quote #442

“The solutions are all simple – after you have arrived at them.

But they’re simple only when you know already what they are.”

Robert M. Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Monday Morning Quote #443

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

John Muir aka “Muir of the mountains”


“Intelligent Tracking Prevention.”

From John Naughton’s Memex.

What’s coming in IoS 11

Ah, at last something interesting:

In September, Apple will release new changes to Safari with iOS 11 called “Intelligent Tracking Prevention.” These changes will have large effects on the ad tech industry and create new winners and losers.

In short, the iOS 11 changes will really help the big guys, are neutral to the small guys and significantly hurt the mid-size guys.

Hmmm… Not sure that this will be a boon to the world (c.f. the stuff about helping the big guys). I’ll continue to use my own protective measures.

…me too.

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