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Gary A. Bolles
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4,113 followers
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Flock of pelicans dive-feeding at Tomales Bay.
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Stagnant Wages for the Bottom 50% Continue

The issues we raised at the Closing The Gap conference a year ago this week (closingthegap.co) are in sharper focus now. A recent study that included economist +Thomas Piketty's 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century' make the dynamic crystal clear:

"Stagnant wages have sliced the share of income collected by the bottom half of the population to 12.5 percent in 2014, from 20 percent of the total in 1980. Where did that money go? Essentially, to the top 1 percent, whose share of the nation’s income nearly doubled to more than 20 percent during that same 34-year period."

This at a time when unemployment is largely considered to be at the "systemic" level - 4.6% as of this writing. The numbers point to, among other things, the combination of under-employment - people being under-paid for their skills - and the millions of people who are "discouraged from looking," and therefore not even counted on the unemployment rolls.

gB

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+Om Malik hits the mark. Tech companies have been historically unwilling to take responsibility for the "negative externalities" - i.e. impact - of their offerings. But it's entirely within our ability to project jobs that can be lost, and to support programs to support the workers who are affected.

-gB

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+Beth Comstock is spot on with her points about the new success characteristics for organizations.

Part of my read from the Emergent meme is that black swans are the new normal: "unanticipated" trends and entrants are going to continually come out of left field. ("Unanticipated" because they look inevitable in 20/20 hindsight.)

I call these "adaptive organizations," but the key points are the same: Flatten the organization, empower the individual, self-organize around problems, and focus on adaptive practices over processes.

gB

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I agree with ASU president Michael Crow; if 100 companies committed to helping their employees continue their education, we'd have a vastly more educated group of workers in the U.S., and therefore more prepared for our rapidly-changing world.

(Not many people know that the agreement between Crow and Starbucks' Howard Schultz came about because of their participation in Zoe Baird's Rework America initiative at the Markle Foundation.)

gB

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Praying for prey. -gB

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Economic mobility: Whatever you thought, it's worse

The article title is slightly inaccurate; the data doesn't specifically show inequality. But it does challenge the American belief in the enduring "Horatio Alger" story. We want to believe that upward mobility is common, and our Silicon Valley celebrity entrepreneurs simply embody the latest iteration. It turns out, though, that our perceptions of 20th century opportunity were inaccurate. If you're born poorer, you're likely to stay that way.

gB

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Sign of the times in San Francisco. -gB
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