The Data Examiner 08/27/2023


A look at the amount of sugar in ketchup.

Asia’s Factories Struggle To Attract Young Workers:

Younger workers – better-educated than their parents, with fewer children, and in the midst of a boom in the services sector – are deciding they don’t want to work in factories. Asian factories have responded with higher wages and sometimes costly strategies to retain workers, from improving cafeteria fare to building kindergartens for workers’ children. The twilight of ultracheap Asian factory labor is emerging as the latest test of the globalized manufacturing model, which has delivered a vast array of inexpensively produced goods to consumers around the world. Americans accustomed to bargain-rate fashion and flat-screen TVs might soon be reckoning with higher prices.

The Legal Assault On Corporate-Diversity Efforts Begins:

Having successfully challenged affirmative action by universities, conservative legal activists are now going after corporations, employing some of the same tactics progressive groups have used to advance diversity, equity and inclusion programs. In lawsuits, shareholder letters and petitions to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, they argue that companies are violating antidiscrimination rules, including those drawn from legislation designed to secure the rights of Black Americans. Some companies are already reconsidering their efforts.

Mortgage Rates Are The Highest In More Than 20 Years:

The average 30-year rate rose to 7.09%, above 7% for the first time since last fall. The long stretch of high borrowing costs has slowed the housing market, the part of the economy hit most directly by Fed high-rate policies.

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** The IRS said it increased full-time personnel to 90k, cleared backlogs, and improved customer service using an influx of $80B. Average call wait times decreased from 28 minutes to three during tax season in 2023.

** Over 30 people swarmed a Nordstrom store in Los Angeles recently, stealing at least $100,000 in merchandise within minutes. One suspect used bear spray on a security guard. Five days before that, about 30 people grabbed $300,000 worth of products from a Yves Saint Laurent store in the nearby city of Glendale. A Nike store was similarly targeted.

** In its first earnings report after the Mediterranean chain’s IPO in June, Cava revealed that same-store sales had increased by 18.2% YoY.

** Since 2017, the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment has grown 22% in 15 of the biggest U.S. cities. The cost of a typical home has climbed by 40%. The increase in starting teacher pay is merely 15%.

More Data:

** Broadcast and cable made up less than 50% of TV viewing for the first time in recorded history in July, after streaming hit an all-time high.

** Ex-Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s bubblegum company just sold for $700 million.

** An AI company claims that it has produced 100 million songs, equaling the total number in Spotify’s entire catalog.

** Barbie collaborated with more than 100 brands for its movie, with original toymaker Mattel either receiving a flat fee or somewhere between a 5-15% cut of sales.

DATA In-Depth

Kroger Has Become Biggest Seller Of Sushi In U.S.

The nation’s largest grocery-store operator sells more than 40 million pieces of sushi in a typical year, in the process helping turn slices of raw fish and rice into an American consumer staple. Sushi is a central component in Kroger’s strategy to expand beyond grocery-shopping lists, and grab some of the dollars people budget for restaurants and eating out.


** Allbirds stock plunged more than 47% after a disappointing report in which it recorded a $101m annual loss and a 13% fall in quarterly sales.

** Blonde, Tom Hanks and Jared Leto are among the winners (or losers) at the 2023 Razzies, an alternative to the Oscars that honors the worst work in Hollywood.

** An Oregon high school has parents livid after it was discovered that a health teacher assigned homework asking students to write sexual fantasy stories and mark the initials of a man or woman next to the sexual activities they would perform.

** Social Security’s trustees now estimate that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund will run out of money in 2034. If nothing is done, from that point on the system will have to rely solely on monthly revenue from payroll taxes, which will be enough to cover only 77% of scheduled benefits.

** In 2022, Americans potentially lost $10.2B+ to cyber incidents, up from $6.9B in 2021, across 800k+ internet crime complaints.

** Argentina’s inflation rate hit 102.5% in February, meaning consumer goods have more than doubled in price since 2022.

** A wildfire detection device is now on sale from startup Torch Systems. The $299 outdoor sensor monitors up to 10 acres and doesn’t require line-of-sight visibility.

** Silicon Valley Bank was deeply interwoven to an unusual degree into the lives and businesses of tech executives.

** The maternal mortality rate has jumped again in the U.S. and is now up more than 60% since 2019, per new data from the CDC.

** Cocaine production rose 35% between 2020 and 2021 to record levels, according to a new UN Office on Drugs and Crime report.

** “Real Time” host Bill Maher took a blowtorch towards San Francisco’s “crazy” reparations plan that would give Black residents millions of dollars.

** A staggering 25 million people use Blinkist, the stunning app that distils the best nonfiction books and podcasts into 15-minute explainers, and Apple’s CEO is one of them.

DATA In-Depth

Bumblebees Can Learn

Bumblebees can learn to solve puzzles by observing the actions of other bees, new study suggests; findings support other research pointing to higher cognitive functioning in the insects. MORE

The Data Examiner:

Share of electric car sales among all passenger vehicle sales.

DATA In-Depth

Modern Parents Stifling Kids’ Playtime

Moms and dads may mean well, but researchers from the University of Essex suggest today’s parents are monitoring their children a whole lot more than previous generations, potentially hindering both spontaneous play and development. Researchers explain that while parents have always shouldered the responsibility of looking after and raising their kids, the so-called “heightened intensity” of parenting in recent years and decades has produced modern parents who believe they should spend close to all of their time exhaustively watching, noticing, and responding to their children’s desires and behaviors.


** Scientists create large amounts of muscle stem cells in a lab setting without genetic engineering; approach may lead to new treatments for diseases like muscular dystrophy.

** A search for “anxiety relief” on Google pulls up links for supplements in the form of pills, patches, gummies and mouth sprays. Americans are anxious – and a flurry of old-line companies, upstarts and opportunistic entrepreneurs aim to fill the demand for relief. Anxiety has come into focus across the country in part due to the stress of the pandemic, increased awareness about mental health and more screening in schools and at doctors’ offices. In a recent federal survey, 27% of respondents reported they had symptoms of an anxiety disorder. That’s up from 8% in 2019, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

** One reason for the A.D.H.D. medication shortage: The use of such drugs has surged in recent years. From 2020 to 2021, prescriptions increased more than 10% across many age groups, a recent CDC study found.


** A New Jersey educator was passed over for nearly four dozen promotions because he is white, he claims in an explosive new lawsuit. Thomas F. Franco alleges the Paterson, NJ, school district won’t promote him to an administrative position solely because of his skin color, according to the discrimination lawsuit filed. The 58-year-old Ringwood resident contends he’s applied for “more than 45 positions” since he was hired in 2016 and has only been interviewed once.

** Actor Edward Norton’s latest role appears to be bankrolling New York City’s biggest controversial figures. The “American History X” star has given more than $13,000 to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez since 2020, Federal Election Commission records show.

** 10 of the 75 largest cities in the U.S., all run by Democrats, are currently running large deficits, according to the think tank Truth in Accounting. If New York City divided the money amiss from its fiscal 2021 budget among all its taxpayers, it would add $56,900 to each New Yorker’s debt.

** Federal debt held by the public is on track to grow to 119% of gross domestic product by 2033, which would be “the highest level ever recorded in the United States and would be on track to rise even further,” the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said.

** Japanese ‘Byakuya’ ice cream becomes the most expensive at more than $6,000 per scoop.

** Shocking video shows Chicago police precincts overrun by makeshift shelters for migrants – with already overworked cops complaining of “zero assistance” from the city. The footage filmed by videographer Rebecca Brannon shows row upon row of makeshift beds on the floors of precinct houses, with young kids among those sleeping or running around and playing. Their personal belongings, some in plastic trash bags, are littered around the lobbies and mounted high against glass windows as other migrants lounge around outside listening to music.

** The Big Apple ranked dead last out of 182 cities in “2023’s Best & Worst Places to Start a Career” report, conducted by personal finance site WalletHub. Among the losing ranks: Gulfport, Miss., in 181st place; Newark, N.J., in 180th; and Detroit in 179th.


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John Rosemond, Acclaimed Parenting Expert, Advocates Conventional Parenting and a Practical Approach to Raising Children:

John Rosemond, best-selling author, family psychologist, and parenting expert, champions a practical, time-honored, non-psychological strategy for nurturing children. Rosemond’s parenting philosophy and methodology are as “old as the hills.” His theories embody the prevailing and widely accepted method of raising children that held sway among parents until the late 1960s. According to Rosemond, parents shifted their attention from experienced elders to mental health professionals during this time. “The psychological parenting approach has yielded no positive outcomes, as indicated by the sharp decline in child mental health across various demographics since the 1960s,” asserts Rosemond. According to Psychology Today, over the past few decades, there has been a steady and significant rise in anxiety, depression, contemplation of suicide, and instances of suicide itself among the younger population. Presently, the rates for all these concerns are approximately eight to tenfold greater than they were 50 years ago or even further back in history.


The broken windows theory states that something as small and innocuous as a broken window does in fact send a signal to those who pass by every day. If it is left broken, the owner of the building isn’t paying attention and doesn’t care.

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