Day: September 12, 2022

The proximity hack


This post is by Seth Godin from Seth's Blog


We evolved to care about things that were close by or in the near future.

That makes sense. It’s a useful survival skill in a primitive world.

Today, though, our instinct for the close and the imminent is being used against us. Media and those in search of our money or attention bring the far nearby, amplify the reality of threats and emphasize sunk costs in pushing us to stay stuck.

We need to get much better at investing in the future, and being distracted by loud, sudden noises isn’t helpful.

Visualizing The European Union’s Aging Population by 2100


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


View a higher resolution version of this map.

Visualizing The European Union's Aging Population by 2100

The EU’s Population by 2100

View a higher resolution version of this map.

Many countries and regions are expected to see rapidly aging demographics, and the EU is a notable example. By the end of the century, more than 30% of the region’s population is expected to be 65 or older.

This graphic by Gilbert Fontana uses data from Eurostat to show how the EU’s population is projected to change by 2100. In the article below, we explain how this shift could have a dire impact on the region’s economic growth.

Dependency Ratio from 2021 to 2100

The graphic highlights the old-age dependency ratio, which measures the ratio of people 65 and above, and generally retired or needing supplemental income, compared to the number of people that are working age (15-64).

In 2021, the EU’s dependency ratio was 32. This meant that for every 100 working-age people, there were 32 elderly people. By 2100, this ratio is expected to increase to 57.

But what’s the real-life impact of this?

The Impact of the EU’s Aging Population

Typically, the retirement age population is not working and relies on pensions to support themselves financially. Therefore, the bigger the elderly population, the more pressure put on a country’s social safety net.

AgeEU Population (2021)EU Population (2100)% Change
<1-1048,495,07542,216,181-12.9%
11-2046,931,54340,137,280-14.5%
21-3050,884,15043,247,514-15.0%
31-4058,431,63845,628,731-21.9%
41-5062,846,62347,136,614-25.0%
51-6063,798,23048,320,559-24.3%
61-7054,466,48447,430,312-12.9%
71-8038,414,11145,671,19218.9%
81-9020,326,43139,411,66293.9%
91-100+3,658,15416,874,396361.3%

As the population ages, taxes may rise to help cover those inflating costs. And a decrease in a region’s working-age population can also have a significant impact on innovation and experience in the overall workforce.

For example, Japan’s population is also aging rapidly. According to the IMF, this could slow down the country’s annual GDP growth by 1 percentage point in the next 30 years.

Main Causes of An Aging Population

Japan and the EU aren’t the only places in the world that are seeing their population get older—the entire global population is aging.

According to the World Health Organization, one in six people worldwide will be 60 years old or older by 2030. This is happening for two main reasons:

To help mitigate the risks that come from aging populations, governments need to ensure their pension systems are adequate and adjusted to account for increasing life expectancies and growing elderly populations.

The post Visualizing The European Union’s Aging Population by 2100 appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

3 Ways to Reduce Manufacturing’s Skills and Labor Shortage in Canada


This post is by Jenna Ross from Visual Capitalist


The following content is sponsored by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

3 Ways to Reduce the Manufacturing Labor Shortage in Canada

The skills and labor shortage in Canadian manufacturing has been a problem for some time, but it has recently gotten much worse. In 2021, 82% of manufacturers said they faced immediate shortages, up from 39% in 2016.

This graphic from Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) highlights the extent of the skills and labor shortage, and the steps that can be taken to address it.

A Closer Look At the Labor Shortage

There are more job vacancies than job seekers in manufacturing, for the first time since this data started being collected in 2015.

 Job VacanciesJob Seekers
2015 Q137,42078,400
2016 Q129,52085,200
2017 Q136,25579,700
2018 Q144,23061,900
2019 Q150,53561,500
2020 Q145,16581,700
2021 Q156,690120,900
2022 Q187,43559,700

Labor shortages are most common in general labor and skilled production positions, such as welders and machinists. These shortages persist despite manufacturing jobs paying an average hourly wage of $23.45, well above the average minimum wage in Canada of $14.12.

Manufacturers’ bottom lines are being squeezed by these shortages: 42% have lost opportunities or paid penalties due to a lack of workers.

What can the government and manufacturers do to address the skills (Read more...)

"Russia’s Military, Once Creaky, Is Modern and Lethal"



2022 has been, so far, a remarkably bad year for expert opinion. We've been dabbling in press criticism now for more than a dozen years and I can't think of a time when the anointed experts of the mainstream media been more wrong on more important questions than they have been over the past 9 months. The  conventional wisdom has been comically off on the reaction to Dobbs and the January 6 hearings, the viability of prominent candidates, the GOP "moving on" from Trump, the importance of Social Security and Medicare as an electoral issue, and, of course, the war in Ukraine.

If recent trends continue (always a big if), we can expect to see a lot of revisionism from major pundits and publications. They will shove as much as they can down the memory hole. Where that fails, they will either dredge up some ass-covering quote from paragraph twenty-three and pretend that was the main thrust of their position or they will claim that "It wasn't just us. Everybody got it wrong."

 That last bit of retconning distorts what really happened in two ways. It ignores both the people who actually did get it right and the distinction between slightly wrong and totally wrong. If you two forecasts, one predicting warm and sunny with 0% chance of precipitation and the other warning of moderate to heavy rain, and you get a torrential downpour, both were wrong, but the warm-and-sunny (Read more...)

An Early Investor’s Postmortem of The Wing



a Dall-e variation on a variation on a variation of an image of The Wing, warped with the canva wobble filter

“I remember you mentioning The Wing before it opened, and I am right now enjoying my first morning working there (I never want to work anywhere else). It makes me feel productive, self-assured, and feminine all in a way I didn't expect. Thought I'd share...”

That was a note that I got from a friend back in September of 2018. She knew I was a seed investor in the company.

For a good long while, it seemed like a fund-returning investment. I wasn’t privy to the financials at the time, but by the end of 2019, I had penciled out a guess that they were at a $50 million run rate—or at least on a clear path to it. Audrey Gelman was on the cover of Inc magazine, visibly pregnant. Sequoia, the top venture capital firm on the face of the earth, put in a growth round that valued the company at close to half a unicorn.

Things looked more than great. It looked like I had invested in a company making a generational impact. I imagined a future Wing media arm with a TV channel, a venture capital fund…

…and then it all came crashing down.

So, what happened? And why am I writing about it?

I’m writing because a lot of how the story played out obscures real lessons to be learned here, oversimplifies the issues, and (Read more...)