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To work, or not to work

To work, or not to work

🛠 Labor Shortage: Fact or Fiction The New York Times and Washington Post continue to parrot the argument that unemployment benefits have no effect on people returning to work. After linking to a bunch of "studies" and opining on American's "new priorities", the arguments bottom out with the piercing insight that if employers paid their workers more, the shortage would be over. Yes. Correct. More than the unemployment checks which, with the Biden tax break, amount to 100% real wage replacement for many.

Tennessee's very real labor shortage woes do not have their roots in "changing priorities", but the new competitor on the block with deep pockets that small businesses have to reckon with: the United States Government. While unemployment benefits may not result in recipients merging with their couch, they do disincentivize people from looking for and taking work. We can play the studies game too.

🔵 Blue Flight A coalition of five counties in East Oregon seek inclusion in the "Greater Idaho" movement which wants to extend the border of Idaho to include East Oregon. Portland must smell as bad as they say.

🛸 Psht, Aliens? The 60 Minutes segment on UFOs was met with a remarkable amount of yawns. That the press and government seem more excited about it than the population tells you one thing: it's not that cool.

👴 Dementia People with dementia often have difficulty communicating with others. They forget words and lose the ability to focus on the conversation. These symptoms can be frustrating and can subsequently lead to an outburst of anger. Now, here's Ronald Reagan at 77 and Joe Biden at 78 delivering nearly the same line.

💉 Vaccines for Vandals It seems that proof of vaccination will be enforced on an institution by institution basis.

  • Vanderbilt announced that vaccines are mandatory for students returning for the Fall 2021 semester joining Duke, Northeastern, and University of Hawaii among others.
  • Yale, on the other hand, only requires that faculty, staff, and trainees receive vaccines.
  • In Colorado, employers can require and ask for proof of vaccination from employees.
  • American Airlines has rolled out a "Vaccine Passport" feature in its mobile app.
  • Lollapalooza ponders requiring vaccines for festival-goers.

New This Week

Burt Reynolds’ Southern Vision
How a Legend Chronicled the Region’s Potential

In case you missed it:

  • The Last Action Heroes: 'Nobody' and 'Fatman' Face the Twilight of the Genre Star (Read)
  • Ordinary People, Pt. I: On Artistry and Hollywood’s Insular Diversity (Read)
  • Ordinary People, Pt. II: An Oscars Postmortem (Read)

Bathroom Bills and Hard to Swallow Pills

1) Bathroom signage bill signed by governor
Gov. Bill Lee Signs Anti-Trans Bathroom Signage Bill Into Law (WPLN)
  + Bill mandates that businesses must display signage reading: "This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom."

2) Predictably, the bill has received fierce backlash
Tennessee bill mandating bathroom signs called 'humiliating' for transgender people (Tennessean)
  + Tennessee has filed more legislation addressing these issues than any other state

3) Theories abound about how the bill got passed
An investigative piece looks at the donors that sponsored the bill (Lookout)
  + The writer's Twitter bio is a cheap laugh

4) The bathroom bill is a highly divisive topic
Most citizens are not keen on having basic concepts like gender challenged and mandated by government policy
  + Critics of the bill call those who oppose broadening the concept of gender in theory and in practice inhumane
  + Supporters of the bill argue that indulging mental illness and incentivizing irreversible surgeries is inhumane
  + If history is any indication, the federal government will eventually step-in to even the score
  + In the meantime, expect Democrats to carry on with their abusive practice of incentivizing and holding up transgender children like political totems to score points over their opponents (cc, WPLN)

Nashville Politics

  • Tennessee Investing $4.2 Billion in K-12 Public Schools Using Federal Funds (TN Star)
  • Metro Council approves $9.4M for affordable housing projects (Main Street)

Nashville News

  • Around 7,400 claims filed for unemployment in Tennessee last week (WSMV)
    • Active claims rose ⬆1% from last week to 50,901
    • New claims sank ⬇10% from last week to 7,405
  • An excerpt from an upcoming book on Amazon reveals that executives did not think Nashville could handle their 50,000 job HQ2 development (Biz Journal)
  • Nashville Symphony Plans Return To Schermerhorn Stage (WPLN)
  • Tennessee board details impact of Christmas bombing on 911 systems (Lookout)
  • TVA considers the future of coal power plant in Cumberland City (Channel 5)
  • Williamson County law enforcement agencies begin use of artificial intelligence, facial recognition technology (Homepage)
  • 💄 The masks are coming off, the lipstick goes on; sales up 80% (Channel 5)
  • 🎣 The Cicada's will make for some spectacular fishing (Main Street)

Nashville Development

  • 📈 Area home sales rise a robust 43% (Homepage)
  • New cocktail bar set for East Nashville this summer (Biz Journal)
  • New restaurant eyed for Union Station hotel (Post)
  • Belmont releases image for future school of medicine building (Post)
  • On-site work looms on Midtown office building (Post)
  • Antioch retail property sells for $18M (Post)
  • Tenants announced for ex-car wash site on east side (Post)
  • Chartwell Residential plans 800 units on former Watkins College of Art campus (Biz Journal)
  • Franklin apartment property sells for $100M (Homepage)
  • Phoenix developer pays $10.4M for One City site (Post)
  • Spirit Airlines cancels plans to route 345 jobs from Florida to Williamson County (Biz Journal)

Nashville Events

Events for week of May 17th, 2021
With COVID fading into the background, now is as good a time as any to find yourself a beat up Mazda Miata to rip around town.

One Good Read

📖 Why Civilization Is Older Than We Thought (Read)

Good to Know

☀️ Study claims that sun exposure is so beneficial, that even if it causes skin cancer, it actually lowers the risk of death (Read)

Have a great weekend!

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