10 Sunday Reads

Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:

The fast-food industry claims the California minimum wage law is costing jobs. Its numbers are fake: Here’s something you might want to know about this claim. It’s baloney, sliced thick. In fact, from September through January, the period covered by the ad, fast-food employment in California has gone up, as tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve. The claim that it has fallen represents a flagrant misrepresentation of government employment figures. Something else the ad doesn’t tell you is that after January, fast-food employment continued to rise. As of April, employment in the limited-service restaurant sector that includes fast-food establishments was higher by nearly 7,000 jobs than it was in April 2023, months before Newsom signed the minimum wage bill. (Los Angeles Times)

How not to be fooled by viral charts: We’re going to learn how to identify charts that contain misinformation — intentional deception, careless mistakes, or just generally meaningless data. (Noahpinion) see also How not to be fooled by viral charts, Part 2: How to avoid falling for those misleading narratives, by thinking carefully about the stories that viral charts appear to tell (Noahpinion)

Today’s media: The ruthless, truthless, and toothless: Some journalists are attacking democracy while others fail to defend it. It’s a troubling time for journalism. A major-party candidate is running for dictator, and some people in the news media are helping him. Others keep playing the same old stupid games and unintentionally paving the way for his takeover. I divide these journalists into three categories: the ruthless, the truthless, and the toothless. Here are examples of the media types that fit into those categories. (Stop The Presses)

Americans Are Mad About All the Wrong Costs: Don’t complain about the price of a Big Mac. Complain about the price of a house. (The Atlantic)

Your ‘Independent’ Advisor Now Works for Private Equity. What It Could Mean for Your Portfolio. Registered investment advisors have built lucrative practices that are attracting big private-equity firms. (Barron’s)

Hot Funds and the Curse of Self-Inflated Returns: When billions of dollars gush into an ETF that just reported big gains, more gains can soon follow. The problem: The investors themselves are driving those gains—and will suffer when their impact fades. (Wall Street Journal)

The West Coast’s Fanciest Stolen Bikes Are Getting Trafficked by One Mastermind in Jalisco, Mexico: “We have people stealing all over the world.” A digital sleuth named Bryan Hance has spent the past four years obsessively uncovering a bicycle-theft pipeline of astonishing scale. (Wired)

Inside the Biggest FBI Sting Operation in History: When a drug kingpin named Microsoft tried to seize control of an encrypted phone company for criminals, he was playing right into its real owners’ hands. (Wired)   see also • The Mirai Confessions: Three Young Hackers Who Built a Web-Killing Monster Finally Tell Their Story. Netflix, Spotify, Twitter, PayPal, Slack. All down for millions of people. How a group of teen friends plunged into an underworld of cybercrime and broke the internet—then went to work for the FBI. (Wired)

The Billionaires Backing Trump Have Selective Memory: The strength of the economy shows that the real goal here is to extend the former president’s handouts to the wealthy and water down regulation. (Bloomberg) see also For a Billionaire, Trump Flies a Crappy Plane: The truth about his vintage Boeing 757. (New York Magazine)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Erika Ayers Badan, former CEO of Barstool Sports, author of Nobody Cares About Your Career: Why Failure Is Good, the Great Ones Play Hurt, and Other Hard Truths. She joined Barstool in 2016, and transformed it from a regional blog to a national powerhouse, increasing revenue 5,000%. She has been named to Forbes, Crain’s and Adweek’s Most Powerful Women in Sports list, and  Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business. She is now the CEO of Food 52.


171,000 Traveled for Abortions Last Year. See Where They Went

Source: New York Times



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