What jumps out to me:
Unemployment Rates, adjusted to U.S. Concepts
Unemployment, seasonally adjusted, March 2011-August 2012.
The Atlantic just ran a nice article in which it reported an interesting survey it had conducted. In the survey, respondents (only Americans) were shown two nations' wealth distributions--one like Sweden's (but even more equitable); and one like the United States's--and asked to choose which country they'd rather live in. Respondents preferred the country with the Swedish distribution.
I'm in London before heading tomorrow to Oxford for a colloquium on social entrepreneurship. I stopped at a British food shop, Prêt a Manager, which offers advice about addressing hunger that is as eloquent as any paper I'm likely to read at the Oxford gathering. Simple advice of the kind we'd all be much better off following.
At the end of each day we give our unsold sandwiches and salads to local charities and shelters working with the homeless. We don't do this because we're "nice people." We do this because throwing good food (and hard work) in the bin is madness."
Phillip Cooley opened a restaurant in Detroit, Slows Bar BQ. Slows anchors a block in Detroit's Corktown, a row of shops which is changing from seedy to hip. Cooley opened Slows with some backing from his parents, his own carpentry skills, and the sweat equity of his partners--who were also his chef and sous-chef. With sales of $1.8 million the first year (2005), Slows and Cooley have also spread the wealth. Their very presence created a bright spot across from Detroit's massive, but abandoned Rail Depot. Astro coffee is now next door, bustling with activity, and Cooley, himself, is marching with tools in hand from building to building making improvements. He dispenses advice and stakes others who want to build businesses to help the community.