I wrote many of these comments on another blog. I thought they'd make a good separate post.
- The Vaccinations: We could very easily be facing a pandemic with no vaccine. But thanks to American medical ingenuity, we have multiple vaccines that can prevent the worst effects of Covid-19. That's kind of a big deal. Now if we can just stop people from being stupid about taking the vaccine."
- Medical Advancements: 2021 witnessed scientists getting closer and closer to curing neurological and other diseases. CRISPR, if you haven’t read about it, is truly fascinating. Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Huntingtons, etc. may be cured within 10 years or less.
- The Rise of Telecommuting: Fewer cars on the road, less commuting time, less pollution, more time at home. Of course, this trend will likely reshape cities dramatically (many will choose not to live in the city if they don't have to) as well as decrease the need for public transportation.
- Rising Wages: If you are new to employment, unskilled or moderately skilled, your employment opportunities have soared this past year or so. Employers have substantially increased pay and are offering bonuses for new workers. They are also offering benefits. I’ve never seen a job market where employees, instead of their corporate bosses, are the ones with all the power. The increasing pay has obliterated the notion that we need an artificial floor (i.e. minimum wage) on what people are paid by their employers. A reporter went out to find people who are working for $7.25 an hour (the federal minimum) and couldn’t find anyone working for that wage. The reporter had to settle for a few people she found working at $9 or $10 an hour.
- Rethinking Life/Work Balance: Closely related to rising wages is another trend. Employees are rethinking work/life balance and demanding that employers give them more freedom, more flexibility, and more time off. The days when people worked 40 hour jobs for nearly 50 years, hoping to have a few years left at the end of their lives (when they may not be healthy) to do what they want to do, may be coming to an end. I have to hand it to millennials and Gen Zers in the workforce who have led this movement. We Baby Boomers missed the boat on this one.
- The January 6th Select Committee: Most commentators thought the Committee would have little success in uncovering details behind the January 6th insurrection. Despite desperate attempts by Trump and his allies to derail the Committee's efforts, the truth appears to be coming out anyway.
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