Money Quote Weds. Oct. 18
Walmart plays “second mover,” Google does Toronto, Trump wrecks Nafta.
A short but important note in time from The Atlantic: The #MeToo movement is very real, and very powerful. As Dave Pell put it in his always excellent NextDraft, “The sharing was eye-opening and awesome, and a reminder that we can use social media for some good once in a while.” Of course, as with anything related to social media, there’s already a robust backlash.
I am cheering Walmart on here. Wait, did I just type that? Yes, I did just type that. I am cheering Walmart on, because Amazon scares the shit out of me in ways that are primal. I have some ideas (here) about how this might play out. Meanwhile, the money quote: “Wal-Mart trails rival Amazon in online market share, but Mr. Lore said Wal-Mart’s built-in network of thousands of stores can serve as hubs for online orders and distribution. Mr. Lore said Wal-Mart has a “second-mover advantage.”
Many urban theorists believe the only way to accelerate the “city of the future” is to build one from whole cloth (hence, YC, et al). Alphabet (nee Google) is taking that philosophy partially to heart by developing a town-sized portion of Toronto’s waterfront into a model community over the next five years. Money quote: “Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs unit, which is developing new technologies for use in “smart cities,” said it would invest $50 million in the initial planning and testing phase of the project, which will create a new neighborhood called Quayside. “For the foreseeable future this will be the primary focus of what we do,” Dan Doctoroff, the chief executive of Sidewalk Labs, said in an interview.”
Our president seems to have found his groove when it comes to delivering on the grandiose promises of his campaign: Simply force your opponents to throw their hands up and walk away in disgust. So it seems to be going with Nafta, which ain’t perfect, but it’s a regime we’ve all learned to work within. Read this Businessweek breakdown, but pour yourself a bourbon. Money quote: “President Donald Trump has been attacking trade for months, but believers in the value of international competition have drawn comfort from his reputation for empty talk and record of non-accomplishment. That record, along with a trade pact that has served the U.S. economy well for decades, may be about to end.”
Duuuddee…LOOK UP!!! Money quote: “Over the past two years, after decades of declining deaths on the road, U.S. traffic fatalities surged by 14.4 percent. In 2016 alone, more than 100 people died every day in or near vehicles in America, the first time the country has passed that grim toll in a decade. Regulators, meanwhile, still have no good idea why crash-related deaths are spiking: People are driving longer distances but not tremendously so; total miles were up just 2.2 percent last year. Collectively, we seemed to be speeding and drinking a little more, but not much more than usual. Together, experts say these upticks don’t explain the surge in road deaths.”