A muddy coating that's not real dirt

BossFeed Briefing for May 1, 2017. Today is May Day, celebrated as International Workers Day to commemorate the fight for the 8-hour workday led by immigrant workers in 19th-century Chicago. Last Wednesday, a bill for a $15 Federal minimum wage was introduced in the U.S. Senate with more than 20 co-sponsors, including Washington Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. Last Thursday, some members of Congress floated a new proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It may or may not have died over the weekend.


Three things to know this week:

Nordstrom is selling $425 jeans and a $425 jacket that come with “a crackled, caked-on muddy coating” to "embody rugged, Americana workwear that's seen some hard-working action" but is not made of real dirt. The Nordstrom family is worth several billion dollars and still controls the company, which routinely pays for descendants of the founder to travel by private jet.

Three hundred eighty U.S. corporations are pushing Congress to create a loophole that preempts them from having to follow state & local laws on paid sick days and paid family leave. In exchange, they say they're willing to follow an optional national standard.


Wellness app Happify is selling its services to employers hoping to “motivate employees to address the full range of their emotional needs,” including an employer-wide “Happiness-at-Work Index”. Meanwhile, a federal court affirmed a ruling by the NLRB that a worker could not be fired for calling his boss a nasty m*therf*cker in the course of an organizing campaign.


Two things to ask:

Was the campaign contribution a political statement? The owner of The Melting Pot in Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma added a “3% gov mandate surcharge” to receipts, and explained it with a long note which insists “this is not a political statement.” The same owner also made a financial contribution to the campaign to repeal Seattle’s $15 law.

Do you feel safe? Riffing on the controversial tools which are supposed to predict the locations of likely future street crime, researchers writing for The New Inquiry created a map of probable sites of White Collar crime across the country. Downtown Seattle looks to be a dangerous place for those of us worried about breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, and failure to supervise. 


And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

It’s well known that the stress associated with poverty has long-lasting health impacts. A new piece in Nautilus goes further and argues that essentially poverty functions as a disease; poor people are afflicted by our economy, and then blamed for their own symptoms as the reason why they deserve it. Biological arguments can get ugly and there’s reason to be uncomfortable with turning inequality into a medical condition rather than a political one, but it’s a compelling and sympathetic analysis that’s certainly worth a closer look.


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 Consider yourself briefed, boss.

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