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Daily Archives: August 16, 2022

America’s $7T Retirement Crisis Is Only Getting Worse

Bloomberg via Wealth Management: Americans have been warned for years of an impending retirement crisis. Yet the situation is getting worse. Even when everything was going right — inflation was nonexistent, interest rates were low and stocks were in an extended bull market — there was a multi-trillion dollar savings shortfall. Then came a pandemic, war in Europe, decades-high inflation, the fastest rate-hiking cycle since the early 1980s and fears of a recession. The resulting market turmoil erased some $3.4 trillion from 401(k)s and IRAs in the first half of 2022, according to Alicia Munnell, director of Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research. And that’s just for the people who have retirement accounts. About half of private-sector workers don’t have an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and many of those who do end up saving very little. It’s a problem that isn’t easily fixed, and contributes to the sense that the American Dream is in decline. And while surging inflation and volatile markets are bad news for people in or nearing retirement, the picture may be even worse for young Americans who are priced out of the housing market, struggling to build wealth and buried under mountains of student-loan debt…”

The right kind of filter can keep microplastics out of drinking water

Popular Science – Slow sand and membrane filters can knock out nearly all of the tiny pollutants. “Out of all the plastic that has even been produced globally, less than 10 percent has been recycled. One of the biggest environmental dilemmas with this is that plastic does not decompose, it only breaks down into smaller… Continue Reading

What Do Law Professors Believe about Law and the Legal Academy? An Empirical Inquiry

Martínez, Eric and Tobia, Kevin, What Do Law Professors Believe about Law and the Legal Academy? An Empirical Inquiry (August 5, 2022). Available at SSRN: or “Legal theorists seek to persuade other jurists of certain theories: Textualism or purposivism; formalism or realism; natural law theory or positivism; prison reform or abolition; universal or… Continue Reading

Upcoming US Law Webinars – September 2022

In Custodia Legis – “As much of the country returns to school in September, and the legislative summer recess comes to a close, the Law Library will be marking the month with more webinars on U.S., comparative, and foreign law topics. In September, the Law Library’s orientation webinar will give attendees an overview of the… Continue Reading

The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score

The New York Times: “Across industries and incomes, more employees are being tracked, recorded and ranked. What is gained, companies say, is efficiency and accountability. In lower-paying jobs, the monitoring is already ubiquitous: not just at Amazon, where the second-by-second measurements became notorious, but also for Kroger cashiers, UPS drivers and millions of others. Eight… Continue Reading

What Happened When Twitter and Other Social Media Platforms Cracked Down on Extremists

ProPublica: “In a Q&A with ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson, former intelligence officer and data scientist Welton Chang explains how conspiracy theorists and violent racists fled to smaller platforms. Once there, their remarks festered and spread. Since Donald Trump’s election in 2016, an entire ecosystem of right-wing social media platforms has come into existence — from… Continue Reading

In Praise of the Audio Message

Slate – It’s a voicemail but better: “Anytime I have something I want to share with a friend, I turn to my phone. But rather than giving them a call or sending a quick text, I like to send a voice memo. The ability to easily send an audio recording to contacts is undoubtedly one… Continue Reading

FDA Finalizes Historic Rule Enabling Access to Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids for Millions of Americans

“Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule to improve access to hearing aids which may in turn lower costs for millions of Americans. This action establishes a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, enabling consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids directly from stores or… Continue Reading