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Christine Paluch
Attended Bradley University
Lives in Washington, DC
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Christine Paluch

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Oil firm invested billions of pounds in clean and low-carbon energy in the 80s and 90s but later abandoned meaningful efforts to move away from fossil fuels and locked away the research
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Now that oil has crashed, maybe they'll dig-up some of those projects.
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This is a fun map if you are interested in labor economics, and the geographic distribution of employment.
Proximity to employment can influence a range of economic and social outcomes, from local fiscal health to the employment prospects of residents, particularly low-income and minority workers. This analysis of private-sector employment and demographic data at the census tract level reveals the importance of understanding how regional economic and demographic trends intersect at the local level to shape access to employment opportunities, particula...
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I've always been curious about this. Thanks for sharing!
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Christine Paluch

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Silver Linings in the Labor Report
For those who are reading the news, one may get the impression that the labor report was nothing but awful. That is not really true, let me explain to you why there is a very nice silver lining in the unemployment report.

For the duration of the recovery, only one group has done consistantly well, which is those with a bachelors or higher. They saw the recovery sooner, but also have had full employment. Currently the unemployment rate for those in this group is 2.5%, and the labor participation rate is also high.

The problem was for those who fell into a different group, which is those with some college or an associates/technical degree. This group is largely what is known to make up the bulk of the middle class. Two very good things happened, both the unemployment rate went down 0.3% to 4.8%  and the participation rate went up for those who had some college. In fact the participation rate increased by 0.8% in the last month. 

So where was the hit out of the groups, largely those with less than a high school education, which saw a drop in the participation rate, but also an increase in the unemployment rate. This group has never been particularly strong in the labor market though. This is why we are seeing a net decrease in jobs. The truth is, it is those with some college and associates/technical education who are more the weathervane of the broader economy. They represent the broader middle class.

For the record, I do not consider the decline of participation with those with a bachelors or higher a pressing concern considering the very low unemployment rate. This is a direct impact from a combination of boomer retirements and women temporarily exiting the workforce to have children. Both of these are positive signs for the broader macro-economy. When there is full employment within a subset these types of conditions do arise, it is understanding the cause which is critical. 
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That's really great news ... (meh)
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Christine Paluch

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This would be a huge change if it were true. 
Their lifestyles mean that their boomer parents’ furniture, china and knickknacks are going to auctions, thrift shops — or dumps.
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This is me and my son exactly.
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Christine Paluch

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You have all been warned. I posted this years ago.
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Its only "epic" in that small western country where they got the day-month order wrong;-)
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If you have been reading Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) I highly suggest checking out Silk. While the first issue is a little more uneven than the pitch perfect Ms. Marvel, it has so many things going for it. It has some of the same humor, style, and themes as Ms. Marvel, but is a little darker because of the character's background. Either way, I am already hooked.
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Thanks for the recommendation. I'll give it a try.
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Christine Paluch

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Car Reliance, the Suburbs, and the (sometimes) Middle Class
This is a great piece by the Atlantic's Citylab, because it digs down into something I have been aware of for some time. Car reliant suburbs have a major impact on the finances of the middle class, as an increased percentage of income goes to their vehicle. 

The way I like to explain this is the economic irrationality of the middle class. They consider when purchasing a house the cost of the mortgage and taxes, but struggle quantifying costs beyond things involving those house costs. Externalities are basically an abstraction when deciding to buy a home. This could for example mean the cost of heating a larger house, but in some cases the largest is transportation. Here is the biggest thing, car dependency does not come with predictable costs. The price of gas could vary significantly from year to year, insurance and maintenance as well are not easily pinned down either as they are circumstantial. There might be a range, but it is usually not calculated. Yes, car payments may be predictable, but everything else is basically a form of chaos. Here is the thing, the more vehicle miles traveled, the more likely these externalities can present an issue. This creates a sensitivity standard based on miles traveled of middle class suburban and exurban home owners, which is exclusive to this group which are car dependent. 

For people like myself, who live in the city, especially a city like DC with decent public transit, these calculations are actually easier. Public transit has close to a normal inflationary curve. Even though the cost of transportation does impact things like food costs, overall, the externalities are not nearly as deep. There is a certain level of price insensitivity living in an urban setting. If one can stabilize housing costs through buying a home, those housing costs are usually fairly predictable. 

Which gets me to the great recession, one of the triggers for the great recession, not the only one, was a spike in fuel costs. The great recession originated not in the transit friendly cities, but in defaults in the suburbs and exurbs of America. The reason why is because people had to choose between paying their mortgage, or paying to get to work. While they may not have been overextended with lower fuel prices, they were when fuel prices went up. The price sensitivity for every extra mile traveled for the middle class began to take it's toll. Somebody who was middle class was suddenly at the edge of poverty, based on transportation costs with no viable alternative. In fact one of the smartest economic moves during the recession may have been the cash for clunkers program, as it may have freed up fuel costs for recovery, and reduced the sensitivity somewhat with more efficient and reliable cars. However, even with this program, the sensitivity was still present, largely based on living circumstances.

Here may be the truth of those buying homes in cities with good walkability and public transit, they may have a better idea of the externalities of suburban, and especially exurban living. Knowing that in the long run, cost of transportation with vehicles is not predictable, and the more one has to drive, the less they are in control of their economic future. 

+CityLab 
New data on transportation spending paints an alarming picture.
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Really good points. I know my experience living here in the SF Bay area may not be universal.
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It's satire, but with all good satire, there is quite a bit of truth to it. 
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It may have been intended as satire, but it understates the problem.  I have a neighbor, a REPUBLICAN neighbor, who for nearly half a century kept his green lawn shaded with old growth trees.  In the past three years, he clearcut his lawn to protect his house from falling trees (a smallish tree knocked over in the Derecho damaged his roof a little).  Now, guess what, he's having trouble keeping his lawn green.  Wholesale denial.
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Christine Paluch

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This is awesome. My neighborhood in DC became my Pac-Man map. 
Each year right around this time, Google adds some joke features to its products. Today, Google Maps just got a "Pac-Man" mode, where you can turn any street grid into a little pellet-eating, ghost-chasing game.
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Some interesting comments based on the playability of Pac-Man on a street plan as compared to how pedestrian-friendly the same plan is.
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Christine Paluch

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Do you want to know what makes people on the east coast generally excited. Wegmans. Seriously, it is the best grocery store I have ever set foot in, the raves are for a reason. Do you know what makes us even more excited, finding out there is a Wegmans coming to your neighborhood. The neighborhood I live is increasing looking like it will get a Wegmans, I do not live that far from the walter reed redevelopment. Actually, it's a few blocks from me. The more I think about it, I could be a few blocks from a Wegmans, the more it makes me excited. I have small dreams, but yes, this is seriously a part of my small dreams. Please Wegmans, come to DC, come to my neighborhood, you would be the temple of delicious food at the Walter Reed Redevelopment. +Wegmans 
The grocery store famed for its size and scope hasn't finished expanding in the Washington region just yet — and its soon-to-open Alexandria store will feature a Wegmans Pub.
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Christine Paluch

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Hydric collapse is a term the world may have to get used to in the future. 
In the first in a series looking at Brazil’s largest city, Claire Rigby reports that many paulistanos are hoarding water in their apartments – and some are even drilling homemade wells – as they prepare for possible rationing
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Folks, not belaboring the point, but this is a cautionary tale, and one truly worth thinking about right now. If your water goes off, how many days before you're leaving your home to find a hospitable location? And, does that Hospitality depend on someone else or your own forethought and preparations?
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Christine Paluch

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For all the warnings about inflation, the reality is a little inflation is a positive. The bigger concern right now is deflation, especially in the Eurozone. There is an ever increasing risk of a deflationary death spiral in the Eurozone. While the US is also at risk with very low inflation, our economy is in far better shape overall. We have been growing while much of the Eurozone is in a depression. 
FOR central banks in the rich world, two is a magic number. If prices rise at 2% a year, most shoppers can more or less ignore their slow ascent. And a touch of...
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Work
Occupation
Analyst
Skills
Statistics, Quality Assurance, Technical and Science Communication, Economic and Policy Analysis, Demographic Analysis
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Washington, DC
Previously
Chicago, IL - South Royalton, VT - Peoria, IL - Arlington, VA
Story
Tagline
Policy and Technology, I love thee.
Introduction

In a past life I was a professional research and policy analyst.  I worked primarily on science (environmental) and labor policy, but I have also worked on everything from civil rights/liberties to healthcare issues.  Somehow I was roped in by technologists and they have assimilated me into their development processes.
 
I spend my free time (what little there is) making music and tinkering with music technology.  I have a specific interest in sound design and synthesis using shLISP, MAX, PureData, and Reaktor. Currently most of my focus is on shLISP though, which is mildly esoteric programming language for something called a Shnth, which is a small palm top musical computer/instrument. I also enjoy making electronic instruments when I get the chance, specifically modular synthesizers. 



Do you like my posts? I like to collect dogecoins. Very crypto. Wow.   
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  • Vermont Law School
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It is really hard not to love Pyramid Atlantic. It is an awesome local resource, whether you are a visual artist, or a fan of experimental music (Sonic Circuits has shows here). The venue has classes, seminars, etc. The more time I spend at the place, the more I love it.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
This place is very local for me, and I go here quite often. The reason I am taking off one star is because service on some nights can be hit and miss, and I find their tables a bit cramped on the main level. With that being said much of the food they serve here is pub food that I am partial about. The pulled pork nachos are a particular favorite, as it is a sweeter alternative to nacho far. I also particularly like the ribs they serve which are very reminsnat of what is typically served in Chicago. St. Louis style sauce, and fall of the bone tender. I have actually had other things on the menu, and I have yet to be disappointed with the food. If you stick to pub fare you will be good, but if you vere into other things you may be disappointed.
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Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
There can be many things written about this resturant, but one thing to me has stood out. How fantastic the ramen is. More specifically the Ramen broth. The DC area in general loves it's noodles, Pho is pretty much a regional dish at this point, and one of our better known resturants is a Ramen bar. Sushi Jin's Ramen, from what I have experienced, is right there alongside the best. There is a good variety of Ramen dishes, and every one is delicious.
Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
This is probably my favorite place to get pho in Silver Spring. It has a larger menu than most Vietnamese restaurants, and most of it is good. While it is not the best pho in the region, that is few places in Virginia, it is up there. The decor on the inside is not the best, it is not upscale by any means. But like most great family restaurants, the family owns and runs it. Pretty much the entire family is around the restaurant. They are very friendly.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
41 reviews
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This is not the best BBQ I have ever had. But I really do like the place for it's general atmosphere, and the BBQ is good, mostly of the St. Louis variety. The ribs are quite delicious and tender, and the sandwiches and burgers are quite good.
Public - 4 months ago
reviewed 4 months ago
This is a simply awesome music store. Great music stores are hard to find, between the presentation of their instruments and their used guitar inventory, it was an amazing experience. It helps their owners who run the shop are extremely friendly. I ended up buying a vintage guitar here, it is hard not to support a store like this.
Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
This was a beautiful restaurant experience. I went in on Wednesday, which they admit is one of their slower days. The restaurant has recently switched to a multi-course meal approach, but the dishes are inventive, and most importantly delicious. The scallops were probably the best I have ever had. The duck pastrami was also wonderful. The mushroom and caramelized endive dishes were delicious and inventive vegetable dishes. The desert, was both rich and sweet, but also perfect end to a wonderful meal. Every dish was beautifully presented, they were works of art in their own right. The service was exceptional and friendly. Taking this place is within walking distance from my house I will be going back eventually. I cannot praise how on top of things they were. Not that there was anything wrong. For a restaurant that has been around for 8+ years they have everything down to near perfection. This is a hidden treat near the border of Silver Spring and DC, and well worth checking out. The only nit, and it's a minor one, is some of their booths need the seats repaired. Otherwise the interior was beautiful, colorful, and funky.
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Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago