#5SmartReads - January 27, 2022
Hitha on trade deficits, Dry January, and the oldest beer bong in recorded history
A gentle reminder that you can join the conversation of the day’s reads by clicking the title above and add your thoughts in the comments! My goal for #5SmartReads has always been to start conversations and share our thoughts and perspectives. I hope to see you there!
I couldn’t agree more with Mike Darda on this quote. Because we need to be focused on adding the free labor of women to our country’s GDP and including that in the calculus of tackling inflation and trade deficits.
Because it’s all related (and the allure of crypto was that it was decentralized with no public sector regulation, so…)
I digress. Let’s talk about the trade deficit.
The United States is importing a lot more than we’re exporting, and it’s one way we’re keeping inflation from getting worse. But the increased emphasis on domestic production (especially for COVID-related good enabled by the Defense Production Act) hasn’t necessarily been met with domestic demand.
I’m not an economist, so I don’t know what how to appropriately tackle this issue. But it’s important to know about, thus its inclusion in #5SmartReads.
It Won’t Be January Forever (VOGUE)
I have therapy every Wednesday morning. In yesterday’s session, I verbally vomited the languishing feelings that feel like they will never end and mourning life before COVID and nervous about what post-COVID life would be like and everything in between.
It was a necessary session, and I felt better after unloading everything off my chest. But it didn’t stop the nerves of “what happens next?”
Molly Jong-Fast’s words gave me the comfort I desperately needed.
“It will not stay January forever, it can’t. Time ticks away, seasons blend into each other, the warm weather will come back, days will get longer. There will be melting ice-cream and eating outdoors, and the warm sun on your shoulders. There will be walks in the park and movies and puppies. It won’t always be this gray. Eventually we’ll properly bury our dead and mourn them the way humanity has since inception. We’ll build monuments and hold ceremonies just like we’ve done for other tragedies. We’ll continue on. We’ll do it because there aren’t any other choices and because that’s what we do. Living through a pandemic is hard and painful, but my great-great-grandfather was murdered in a hayloft for being Jewish. We don’t get to choose the pieces of history that we experience. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or even later this afternoon but I do know there will be spring, there always is.”
For a lot of immigrants and kids-of-immigrants, sending money back home is the norm. But I’ve never found reporting that shows the individual impact and the macroeconomic impact of remittances.
I certainly could never fathom that an entire town could survive on these funds. But Comachuen - a Purepecha Indigenous community in Mexico - has done so for years.
The goals of the migrant workers who come to the United States for the planting and harvest seasons are the same of any parents - to give their kids a better life.
So rarely do we get to connect a news story with a name, a face, and some semblance of who that person is. This piece brings the humanity to an issue that has been ripped apart by partisanship.
“I did get a little more curious at that moment about what it might be like to rewire the patterns such that I didn't just say yes to a cocktail to lift the mood for everyone.”
“When our new friends ordered their glasses of Sancerre, we exchanged last minute glances as if to decide again what to do, ordered our sparkling waters and quickly followed with an explanation that sounded more like an apology for not “participating.” While this seems like overkill, that was how we felt.”
My friend Neha wrote this incredibly honest and thoughtful essay, but every word captures my exact feelings about how and why I’ve drank, and how to redefine my relationship with alcohol.
Last year’s Dry January was a start, but when things began opening up, I slipped back into old habits and managed the more intense social anxiety with cocktails and wine. I was quite anxious during book tour, with traveling again AND being more social than I had been in over a year.
I welcomed Dry January with open arms and with two dry-ish weeks under my belt (I very much enjoyed my glass of red wine with my parents when they visited for a couple of days). And as we near the end, I see no reason to not keep it going.
I will say that my biggest issue when socializing is wanting something beyond sparkling water or a sugary cocktail. More Lyre’s in restaurants, please?
Obscure history lessons are quickly becoming some of my favorite articles to share here, and this one made me literally laugh out loud.
Gold and silver tubes that date back to the Bronze Age were originally thought to be scepters. They’re beer straws - the OG beer bong, if you will.
This article put such a smile on my face and is one I shared in family group texts and WhatsApp messages that actually got a response. Highly encourage reading the most entertaining history lesson you’ll get, and sharing it with the beer lovers and historians in your life.
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