Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Now sure is a weird time to be advocating for my job (or any job, for that matter) to go away, but here I am, typing what could be read as my own employment termination justification during a global pandemic and recession.

But PerfectIt, a consistency-checker add-in for Microsoft Word, giveth more than it taketh. For that reason, I’m fine with having the tedium taken out of my tasks as editor and replaced with the satisfaction of being an educator first and foremost.

I’ve written about PerfectIt before in the context of how the software can be used by individuals…


Photo by Stavrialena Gontzou on Unsplash

This June marks five years since the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. The ruling triggered a wave of celebrations across the country during Pride Month as members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters witnessed the culmination of decades of work to secure marriage rights for same-sex couples nationwide.

Now, the atmosphere of celebration has been replaced with a feeling of great uncertainty. Most Pride events have been canceled or have gone virtual due to COVID-19. Restrictions on gatherings and social distancing also mean that most in-person events are significantly curtailed.

Corporate sponsorships of…


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

In the midst of a global pandemic that has already infected well over 4 million people worldwide and killed nearly 300,000 others, one luxury carmaker’s stock is again approaching record highs. Its rise coincides with a recently reported unemployment figure in the United States that is the highest it has been since the Great Depression.

I won’t attempt to unpack the meaning of this incredibly bizarre divergence in fates between Wall Street and Main Street. Many Very Smart People and news networks who were definitely never wrong about anything before have already chimed in and offered various theories as to…


A SCOBY does its thing in a container of kombucha. (Photo by Megumi Nachev on Unsplash)

My first run-in with kombucha was in 2012 after I moved to Vermont.

My office mate had come back from lunch with a glass bottle containing a pink, effervescent liquid that smelled vaguely of strawberries and vinegar. Intrigued, I asked her what it was.

Kombucha, she said, as I wondered whether I had been living under a rock until that very moment.

The word was unfamiliar to me, as was the strange smell that quickly permeated our small space. Committed to adopting the rituals and practices of my new home state, I purchased a bottle of the stuff after leaving…


Photo by Mark Vegera from Pexels

As recently as three weeks ago, troubling reports about the rise in auto loan balance delinquencies were acknowledged but met with a collective shrug among economists and industry experts.

After all, the stock market was near record highs. A healthy number of jobs were being added to the economy each month and the unemployment rate had fallen back to its 50-year low of 3.5%.

Because the economy was humming along, there was little concern that the nearly 7 million Americans who were over 90 days delinquent would pose a systemic problem or shock to the system, even though that number…


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

A transportation system dominated by autonomous vehicles, the majority of which are shared, is likely a more efficient transportation network but also one that is more fragile and less able to function without severe interruption during natural disasters.

Such a future scenario would lack the resiliency that the current transportation network possesses. Human drivers, while flawed and responsible for nearly all crashes, are still capable of piloting their vehicles in a greater range of conditions than autonomous vehicles currently can.

Natural disasters create extreme driving conditions and place significant and often overwhelming demands on the current transportation system, so much…


Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Shortly after I started my current job, my company’s then-CEO pulled me aside and gave me what would essentially become my marching orders for the next eight years.

We had just left a meeting where it was clear to everyone in attendance that the company’s brisk growth had momentarily strained our team’s ability to manage the volume of content being produced on a daily basis. This included everything from our mission-critical proposals to our project deliverables. Interoffice memos were also caught up in the mix.

The CEO explained to me that everything looked slightly different and no one could decide…


Photo by CDC on Unsplash

If it weren’t for the prescriptions that arrive in the mail every few months, I’d forget that my partner of going on 11 years has been HIV positive since 1986.

The powerful antiretrovirals he takes to keep his viral load in check work so well that he now counts himself among a rare and special group known as long-term survivors.

Through some combination of genetic luck and medical science, he’s managed to beat back and live with what so many of his generation have succumbed to.

For better or worse, my partner’s experience affects how I perceive the news about…


Source: Nicole Gonzales (Etsy)

In 2012, the Toyota Prius was at the top of its game. The undisputed king of hybrids had finally found its swagger.

Sales in the United States were at record-high numbers (nearly 225,000 units sold) thanks to average gas prices that were the highest ever recorded by the end of 2012. Toyota was also unveiling newer, smaller models such as the Prius C to expand the Prius family.

In 2020, the picture is quite different. …


Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Last week, buried amid the impeachment news, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it had finalized a policy statement around abusive acts or practices.

The policy statement received little press coverage, but it could have huge implications for how and when the CFPB takes action against businesses, including auto lenders, whose products harm consumers.

As noted in the CFPB’s statement, Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, passed in 2010 in the wake of the housing crisis and Great Recession, prohibited abusive acts or practices related to consumer financial products or services.

Dodd-Frank was the first federal law that had…

Joseph Wildey

I write about consumer, transportation, technology, and workplace trends. Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josephwildey/

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