#5SmartReads - May 12, 2022
Hitha on the ROI of child care, inflation, and the state of the sentencing commission
We’ve missed out on $840B in economic output from women not being able to participate in the workforce. 1.1 million moms are still out of the workforce.
Do you know what will help change that? Affordable and accessible childcare.
My friend Reshma has been beating this drum boldly and relentlessly for nearly two years now - the need for programs to help support American moms in particular - and the report just published by Marshall Plan For Moms and McKinsey shows the math of this very big problem - and a fairly straightforward solution.
Leah Jeffries is Annabeth Chase (Rick Riordan)
I picked up the first Percy Jackson book probably 15 years ago, when I was babysitting my nephews and one left his copy on the couch.
I stayed up all night reading the book, and went straight to Barnes & Noble the next day to purchase the copies that had already been published. I like Percy. He’s fine.
But Annabeth is iconic, and my mythology-loving heart feel head over heels for this series (though when I read it now, I empathize more with the mortal parents of these demi-gods).
When Disney+ announced the new Percy Jackson series and the cast, I was thrilled. And so were many.
But a vocal minority took great offense that the team cast Leah Sava Jeffries as Annabeth. Leah is a beautiful young woman who is Black. And while Annabeth was written as a White girl nearly 20 years ago, times have changed and so have casting choices, to prioritize talent and showing the world as it IS and not how it used to be depicted.
Rick Riordan (the author of the series) took to his blog to write a vocal defense of Leah. To anyone who is working on being anti-racist, take note - this is how you use your privilege and your platform to call out racism and call people in to imagine a better world.
Just how much is inflation out of an industry’s control and at the mercy of macroeconomics?
According to the lumbar industry, a little bit of both. But they’ve focused on what they can do as an industry - increasing staffing to help boost supply, taking advantage of transportation issues easing up, and higher mortgage rates helping mellow out the housing market.
While inflation is still high (the consumer price index increased 8.3% from a year ago), it did slip slightly from March’s peak.
You can expect the Fed to increase interest rates again, and I hope we see more actions taken by the private sector to help manage inflation from an industry perspective.
(And to my own industry - I would very much like to have normal lead times on components, please and thank you).
My to-be-watched Broadway list is a long one. At the top of said list? POTUS.
It’s the Broadway writing debut for Selina Fillinger, who cut her teeth on writing complex women characters (most recently on The Morning Show), and staged by veteran musical director Susan Stroman (POTUS is her first Broadway play). And if you don’t know who either of these women are, it’s okay. You will after reading this interview, but I’ll leave you with a quote I kept coming back to:
“In every single project I've worked on, I have learned something about myself as a person and an artist. Every single project I've chosen has been something new for me that I didn't know how to do when I set out to do it, or that had a particular challenge or something that scared me.
I think that happened unconsciously when I was first starting to write, and now it is something that I do consciously because I never went to grad school. I had an incredible undergrad education, but you want to keep growing. I've never been one of those people who want to find one thing and then do it for their careers. I'm just too curious for that, so I've always wanted to, with each project, grow and surprise myself and hopefully become a better writer.”
It’s not enough for Congress to pass a bill, and for the president to sign it into law.
You need a system that can enforce that law. And for the First Step Act, the intended results of the bill have languished under a half-filled sentencing commission.
I hope all of these nominees - who have sterling qualifications and represent both sides of the aisle honorably - are confirmed by the Senate swiftly.