12.7 million workers have likely lost employer-provided health insurance since the coronavirus shock began


Posted April 30, 2020 at 10:11 am by Josh Bivens and Ben Zipperer

12.7 million workers have likely lost employer-provided health insurance since the coronavirus shock began

Since the economic fallout of the coronavirus shock began in early March, the number of workers laid-off or furloughed—as measured by new claims for unemployment insurance (UI)—has skyrocketed. We have used data from states that track UI claims by industry to get a rough estimate of how many workers are at high risk of losing their employer-provided health insurance (EPHI) over this as well.
The methodology is described in this blog post, and the underlying data (which has begun to include more and more states tracking UI claims by industry) can be found here. Table 1 below shows UI claims by industry across states that collect this data, and also shows employer-provided health insurance (EPHI) coverage rates in those industries in 2018. As of April 30, just under 28 million workers had been laid off or furloughed since early March. We find that this translates into likely EPHI losses of 12.7 million.
Because the United States is unique among rich countries in tying health insurance benefits to employment, many of the newly unemployed will suddenly face prohibitively costly insurance options. A comprehensive policy solution would be to extend Medicare and Medicaid to all those suffering job losses during the pandemic period, with the federal government funding this expansion. It has been proposed that the federal government pay for all of COBRA coverage so that workers who are laid off or furloughed may continue their employer-provided coverage. While this policy proposal will help many workers continue coverage, in some states it will not help workers from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees, who are not eligible for COBRA.
The linkage between specific jobs and the availability of health insurance is a prime source of inefficiency and inequity in the U.S. health system. It is especially terrifying for workers to lose their health insurance as a result of, and during, an ongoing pandemic.

New UI claims and employer-provided health insurance (EPHI) losses between March 15 and April 25, by industryIndustry
Total job losses (UI initial claims)
Share of workers with EPHI
EPHI job losses
Total job losses as a share of industry employment
Accommodation and Food Services
5,999,148
23.9%
1,431,437
41.5%
Admin. and Support, Waste Mgmt. and Remediation Services
2,299,425
39.1%
899,754
24.1%
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting
78,616
29.4%
23,091
5.7%
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
1,051,318
37.4%
393,401
36.0%
Construction
1,625,317
44.5%
722,736
20.8%
Educational Services
605,876
61.6%
373,250
5.3%
Finance and Insurance
192,162
70.5%
135,473
3.1%
Health Care and Social Assistance
3,461,061
56.8%
1,965,556
15.5%
Information
404,133
61.9%
250,033
13.4%
Management of Companies and Enterprises
223,750
63.6%
142,345
9.2%
Manufacturing
3,046,647
69.3%
2,112,061
23.5%
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
103,358
74.7%
77,162
15.2%
Other Services (except Public Administration)
1,574,097
33.3%
524,961
34.0%
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
1,019,746
61.0%
622,080
10.5%
Public Administration
210,111
70.4%
147,978
2.7%
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
399,429
46.5%
185,804
16.9%
Retail Trade
3,693,112
40.8%
1,506,250
23.6%
Transportation and Warehousing
984,792
58.5%
575,847
15.5%
Utilities
13,176
77.1%
10,160
1.6%
Wholesale Trade
898,072
61.5%
552,042
15.1%
All industries
27,883,344
45.4%
12,651,422
18.8%

We additionally allocate EPHI losses across states, taking account of each states’ industry mix (again, the precise methodology for this calculation can be found here). The map below shows these losses allocated across states.
Estimated new UI claims and employer-provided health insurance (EPHI) losses between March 15 and April 25, by stateState
Total job losses (UI initial claims)
EPHI job losses
Total job losses as a share of industry employment
Alabama
406,732
191,304
20.5%
Alaska
71,606
32,193
21.2%
Arizona
473,802
209,633
16.5%
Arkansas
176,895
83,963
14.8%
California
3,675,346
1,654,389
20.9%
Colorado
338,516
150,600
12.3%
Connecticut
261,686
122,374
15.9%
Delaware
79,222
34,696
17.8%
Washington D.C.
72,431
29,955
9.5%
Florida
1,592,236
687,286
18.2%
Georgia
1,367,494
630,178
30.5%
Hawaii
194,437
77,160
30.4%
Idaho
117,253
52,308
15.4%
Illinois
818,917
375,184
13.7%
Indiana
569,847
272,648
18.6%
Iowa
260,729
123,491
16.8%
Kansas
215,722
102,085
15.7%
Kentucky
590,829
277,814
31.4%
Louisiana
508,202
226,466
26.8%
Maine
108,874
47,884
17.3%
Maryland
385,664
170,200
14.4%
Massachusetts
725,018
326,320
20.0%
Michigan
1,261,121
590,684
29.0%
Minnesota
556,651
258,771
19.1%
Mississippi
201,890
93,529
17.9%
Missouri
452,126
207,711
16.2%
Montana
89,426
37,673
18.8%
Nebraska
104,177
48,290
10.6%
Nevada
386,705
146,316
27.6%
New Hampshire
159,993
71,868
24.0%
New Jersey
889,480
402,074
22.3%
New Mexico
118,462
51,196
14.2%
New York
1,609,842
728,213
17.1%
North Carolina
747,303
339,936
16.7%
North Dakota
57,168
26,658
13.6%
Ohio
1,056,695
490,764
19.4%
Oklahoma
273,958
125,446
17.1%
Oregon
278,852
125,657
14.3%
Pennsylvania
1,620,512
746,558
27.3%
Puerto Rico
217,739
98,249
25.2%
Rhode Island
145,615
63,256
30.0%
South Carolina
413,542
186,508
19.5%
South Dakota
33,743
15,519
7.7%
Tennessee
425,668
195,050
14.1%
Texas
1,555,995
707,651
12.4%
Utah
137,256
62,808
9.1%
Vermont
56,122
25,377
18.1%
Virginia
567,534
255,227
14.5%
Virgin Islands
552
214
1.7%
Washington
857,697
390,539
24.5%
West Virginia
123,828
57,361
18.3%
Wisconsin
442,581
211,320
15.3%
Wyoming
29,653
12,869
10.7%
Note: EPHI losses are estimated unemployment insurance (UI) claims associated with employer-provided health insurance loss.

Estimated new UI claims and employer-provided health insurance (EPHI) losses between March 15 and April 25, by stateState
Total job losses (UI initial claims)
EPHI job losses
Total job losses as a share of industry employment
Alabama
406,732
191,304
20.5%
Alaska
71,606
32,193
21.2%
Arizona
473,802
209,633
16.5%
Arkansas
176,895
83,963
14.8%
California
3,675,346
1,654,389
20.9%
Colorado
338,516
150,600
12.3%
Connecticut
261,686
122,374
15.9%
Delaware
79,222
34,696
17.8%
Washington D.C.
72,431
29,955
9.5%
Florida
1,592,236
687,286
18.2%
Georgia
1,367,494
630,178
30.5%
Hawaii
194,437
77,160
30.4%
Idaho
117,253
52,308
15.4%
Illinois
818,917
375,184
13.7%
Indiana
569,847
272,648
18.6%
Iowa
260,729
123,491
16.8%
Kansas
215,722
102,085
15.7%
Kentucky
590,829
277,814
31.4%
Louisiana
508,202
226,466
26.8%
Maine
108,874
47,884
17.3%
Maryland
385,664
170,200
14.4%
Massachusetts
725,018
326,320
20.0%
Michigan
1,261,121
590,684
29.0%
Minnesota
556,651
258,771
19.1%
Mississippi
201,890
93,529
17.9%
Missouri
452,126
207,711
16.2%
Montana
89,426
37,673
18.8%
Nebraska
104,177
48,290
10.6%
Nevada
386,705
146,316
27.6%
New Hampshire
159,993
71,868
24.0%
New Jersey
889,480
402,074
22.3%
New Mexico
118,462
51,196
14.2%
New York
1,609,842
728,213
17.1%
North Carolina
747,303
339,936
16.7%
North Dakota
57,168
26,658
13.6%
Ohio
1,056,695
490,764
19.4%
Oklahoma
273,958
125,446
17.1%
Oregon
278,852
125,657
14.3%
Pennsylvania
1,620,512
746,558
27.3%
Puerto Rico
217,739
98,249
25.2%
Rhode Island
145,615
63,256
30.0%
South Carolina
413,542
186,508
19.5%
South Dakota
33,743
15,519
7.7%
Tennessee
425,668
195,050
14.1%
Texas
1,555,995
707,651
12.4%
Utah
137,256
62,808
9.1%
Vermont
56,122
25,377
18.1%
Virginia
567,534
255,227
14.5%
Virgin Islands
552
214
1.7%
Washington
857,697
390,539
24.5%
West Virginia
123,828
57,361
18.3%
Wisconsin
442,581
211,320
15.3%
Wyoming
29,653
12,869
10.7%
Note: EPHI losses are estimated unemployment insurance (UI) claims associated with employer-provided health insurance loss.



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Updated state unemployment numbers: More than a quarter of the workforce has filed for unemployment in six states



Another 3.5 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits last week, according to the Department of Labor’s most recent data released this morning (not seasonally adjusted). In the past six weeks, nearly 28 million, or one in six, workers applied for UI benefits across the country.
Despite most states seeing a decline in UI claims filed relative to last week, eight states continued to see increases in UI claims. Last week, Washington saw the largest percent increase in claims (74.6%) compared with the prior week, followed by Oregon (25.6%) and Nevada (14.0%).
Figure A and Table 1 allow you to compare state UI claims filed last week with the prior week and the pre-virus period, in both level and percent terms. It also shows the cumulative number of unemployment claims since March 7 and that number as a share of each state’s labor force.

New and cumulative jobless claims by state: Unemployment insurance (UI) claims filed during the week ending April 25, change in claims , and total claims as share of state labor forceState
Initial claims filed
% change from the prior week
Level change from the prior week
% change from pre-virus period
Level change from pre-virus period
Sum of initial claims for the seven weeks ending April 25
Sum of initial claims as a share of labor force
Alabama
64,170
-3.4%
-2,262
2,944%
62,062
408,551
18.2%
Alaska
11,187
-8.3%
-1,014
1,225%
10,343
72,726
21.1%
Arizona
52,098
-28.1%
-20,359
1,487%
48,815
477,646
13.2%
Arkansas
16,745
-34.1%
-8,659
1,032%
15,266
178,277
13.0%
California
328,042
-37.9%
-200,318
703%
287,170
3,732,952
19.1%
Colorado
38,367
-43.3%
-29,272
1,915%
36,463
340,837
10.7%
Connecticut
33,037
-67.9%
-69,771
1,180%
30,456
265,126
13.7%
Delaware
7,754
-17.9%
-1,692
1,258%
7,183
79,694
16.3%
Washington D.C.
8,158
-5.6%
-481
1,695%
7,704
73,644
17.8%
Florida
432,465
-14.6%
-74,205
8,435%
427,398
1,598,699
15.3%
Georgia
264,818
7.2%
17,815
4,847%
259,465
1,372,939
26.6%
Hawaii
22,615
-15.0%
-3,976
1,891%
21,479
196,024
29.3%
Idaho
8,268
-36.5%
-4,755
651%
7,167
118,284
13.3%
Illinois
81,245
-21.1%
-21,691
765%
71,854
829,787
13.0%
Indiana
57,397
-21.1%
-15,359
2,188%
54,889
572,443
16.9%
Iowa
28,827
7.2%
1,926
1,136%
26,494
262,958
15.0%
Kansas
28,054
-8.3%
-2,542
1,639%
26,441
217,477
14.5%
Kentucky
90,824
-12.7%
-13,157
3,530%
88,322
593,614
28.5%
Louisiana
66,167
-28.0%
-25,756
3,824%
64,481
510,457
24.2%
Maine
7,478
-36.5%
-4,291
864%
6,702
109,508
15.8%
Maryland
36,471
-24.8%
-12,024
1,221%
33,711
389,521
11.9%
Massachusetts
70,714
-12.7%
-10,255
1,067%
64,656
732,467
19.1%
Michigan
81,312
-40.5%
-55,395
1,372%
75,788
1,266,459
25.6%
Minnesota
53,561
-28.4%
-21,268
1,422%
50,042
560,661
18.0%
Mississippi
35,843
-2.9%
-1,070
4,230%
35,015
203,037
15.9%
Missouri
52,403
-12.1%
-7,199
1,625%
49,365
456,142
14.7%
Montana
6,619
-40.8%
-4,557
747%
5,838
90,243
16.8%
Nebraska
8,197
-32.9%
-4,025
1,513%
7,689
104,972
10.1%
Nevada
45,043
14.0%
5,547
1,852%
42,736
393,061
25.2%
New Hampshire
14,347
-29.7%
-6,067
2,443%
13,783
160,635
20.6%
New Jersey
71,017
-49.3%
-69,122
768%
62,838
898,947
19.7%
New Mexico
13,712
0.7%
91
1,836%
13,004
119,331
12.4%
New York
218,912
6.7%
13,728
1,088%
200,482
1,624,114
17.0%
North Carolina
97,232
-8.5%
-9,034
3,680%
94,660
750,836
14.7%
North Dakota
6,996
-13.3%
-1,069
1,568%
6,577
57,583
14.2%
Ohio
90,760
-17.4%
-19,070
1,143%
83,460
1,063,741
18.2%
Oklahoma
42,577
-8.8%
-4,119
2,661%
41,035
275,794
15.0%
Oregon
46,722
25.6%
9,513
1,076%
42,750
283,121
13.4%
Pennsylvania
131,282
-32.5%
-63,312
940%
118,661
1,635,951
24.9%
Rhode Island
13,138
-27.3%
-4,940
1,070%
12,015
146,723
26.3%
South Carolina
65,159
-12.4%
-9,203
3,251%
63,215
415,635
17.4%
South Dakota
5,389
1.8%
94
2,857%
5,207
33,933
7.3%
Tennessee
43,792
-34.9%
-23,434
2,078%
41,782
428,370
12.7%
Texas
254,199
-9.5%
-26,562
1,860%
241,228
1,572,171
11.1%
Utah
11,830
-39.8%
-7,819
1,082%
10,829
138,561
8.5%
Vermont
4,971
-24.7%
-1,627
708%
4,356
56,781
16.7%
Virginia
74,043
-10.5%
-8,686
2,703%
71,402
570,240
12.8%
Washington
145,757
74.6%
62,282
2,301%
139,687
871,937
22.0%
West Virginia
29,576
-36.7%
-17,179
2,517%
28,446
124,693
15.5%
Wisconsin
49,910
-10.7%
-5,973
783%
44,256
447,771
14.4%
Wyoming
2,886
-34.1%
-1,495
480%
2,388
30,170
10.3%
Notes: Initial claims for the week ending April 25 reflect advance state claims, not seasonally adjusted. For comparisons with the “pre-virus period,” we use a four-week average of initial claims for the weeks ending February 15–March 7, 2020. For comparisons to the size of the labor force, we use February 2020 levels.

Every state, especially many in the South, is continuing to struggle relative to the pre-virus period. Last week, Florida continued to see the largest percent increase in claims (8,435%) of any state compared with the pre-virus period. Nine of the 10 states that had the highest percent change in initial UI claims relative to the pre-virus period are in the South: Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, and Virginia. Florida residents also filed the most UI claims last week followed by California, Georgia, and Texas.
This week, we added an additional measure of job-loss intensity in each state: the sum of initial claims since we started seeing the economic effects of coronavirus (the seven weeks ending April 25) as a share of each state’s labor force in February. In six states, more than a quarter of the workforce filed an initial claim during those weeks: Hawaii (29.9%), Kentucky (28.5%), Georgia (26.6%), Rhode Island (26.3%), Michigan (25.6%), and Nevada (25.2%). Even in the state with the lowest share, South Dakota, 7.3% of the labor force filed for unemployment insurance.
As devastating as these numbers are, the high amount of UI claims filings understates the true extent of joblessness. Using new survey data, we estimate that millions of people are jobless but unable to file an UI claim because they could not get through our overburdened unemployment system. A recent report by Michele Evermore of the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and a New York Times article this morning outline how some states—including Florida—have deliberately built their UI systems to discourage applicants and fail workers. This underscores the importance of investing in government services that we may all need at some point in our lives when we are most in need of support.
It is important to remember that mass unemployment as a result of the coronavirus did not have to happen—in fact, policymakers have twice missed the chance to avert widespread job loss. To avoid more layoffs, the United States could still follow the lead of other countries, such as Denmark and the Netherlands, by undertaking transformative measures to guarantee paychecks to all workers.
Additionally, policymakers must enact and enforce measures to keep workers safe, and extend stay-at-home orders until the coronavirus curve has flattened. At the same time, they must also address gaps in existing coronavirus relief and recovery measures, including insufficient aid to state and local governments.

New and cumulative jobless claims by state: Unemployment insurance (UI) claims filed during the week ending April 25, change in claims , and total claims as share of state labor forceState
Initial claims filed
Percent change from the prior week
Level change from the prior week
Percent change from pre-virus period
Level change from pre-virus period
Sum of initial claims for the seven weeks ending April 25
Sum of initial claims as a share of labor force
Alabama
64,170
-3.4%
-2,262
2,944%
62,062
408,551
18.2%
Alaska
11,187
-8.3%
-1,014
1,225%
10,343
72,726
21.1%
Arizona
52,098
-28.1%
-20,359
1,487%
48,815
477,646
13.2%
Arkansas
16,745
-34.1%
-8,659
1,032%
15,266
178,277
13.0%
California
328,042
-37.9%
-200,318
703%
287,170
3,732,952
19.1%
Colorado
38,367
-43.3%
-29,272
1,915%
36,463
340,837
10.7%
Connecticut
33,037
-67.9%
-69,771
1,180%
30,456
265,126
13.7%
Delaware
7,754
-17.9%
-1,692
1,258%
7,183
79,694
16.3%
District of Columbia
8,158
-5.6%
-481
1,695%
7,704
73,644
17.8%
Florida
432,465
-14.6%
-74,205
8,435%
427,398
1,598,699
15.3%
Georgia
264,818
7.2%
17,815
4,847%
259,465
1,372,939
26.6%
Hawaii
22,615
-15.0%
-3,976
1,891%
21,479
196,024
29.3%
Idaho
8,268
-36.5%
-4,755
651%
7,167
118,284
13.3%
Illinois
81,245
-21.1%
-21,691
765%
71,854
829,787
13.0%
Indiana
57,397
-21.1%
-15,359
2,188%
54,889
572,443
16.9%
Iowa
28,827
7.2%
1,926
1,136%
26,494
262,958
15.0%
Kansas
28,054
-8.3%
-2,542
1,639%
26,441
217,477
14.5%
Kentucky
90,824
-12.7%
-13,157
3,530%
88,322
593,614
28.5%
Louisiana
66,167
-28.0%
-25,756
3,824%
64,481
510,457
24.2%
Maine
7,478
-36.5%
-4,291
864%
6,702
109,508
15.8%
Maryland
36,471
-24.8%
-12,024
1,221%
33,711
389,521
11.9%
Massachusetts
70,714
-12.7%
-10,255
1,067%
64,656
732,467
19.1%
Michigan
81,312
-40.5%
-55,395
1,372%
75,788
1,266,459
25.6%
Minnesota
53,561
-28.4%
-21,268
1,422%
50,042
560,661
18.0%
Mississippi
35,843
-2.9%
-1,070
4,230%
35,015
203,037
15.9%
Missouri
52,403
-12.1%
-7,199
1,625%
49,365
456,142
14.7%
Montana
6,619
-40.8%
-4,557
747%
5,838
90,243
16.8%
Nebraska
8,197
-32.9%
-4,025
1,513%
7,689
104,972
10.1%
Nevada
45,043
14.0%
5,547
1,852%
42,736
393,061
25.2%
New Hampshire
14,347
-29.7%
-6,067
2,443%
13,783
160,635
20.6%
New Jersey
71,017
-49.3%
-69,122
768%
62,838
898,947
19.7%
New Mexico
13,712
0.7%
91
1,836%
13,004
119,331
12.4%
New York
218,912
6.7%
13,728
1,088%
200,482
1,624,114
17.0%
North Carolina
97,232
-8.5%
-9,034
3,680%
94,660
750,836
14.7%
North Dakota
6,996
-13.3%
-1,069
1,568%
6,577
57,583
14.2%
Ohio
90,760
-17.4%
-19,070
1,143%
83,460
1,063,741
18.2%
Oklahoma
42,577
-8.8%
-4,119
2,661%
41,035
275,794
15.0%
Oregon
46,722
25.6%
9,513
1,076%
42,750
283,121
13.4%
Pennsylvania
131,282
-32.5%
-63,312
940%
118,661
1,635,951
24.9%
Rhode Island
13,138
-27.3%
-4,940
1,070%
12,015
146,723
26.3%
South Carolina
65,159
-12.4%
-9,203
3,251%
63,215
415,635
17.4%
South Dakota
5,389
1.8%
94
2,857%
5,207
33,933
7.3%
Tennessee
43,792
-34.9%
-23,434
2,078%
41,782
428,370
12.7%
Texas
254,199
-9.5%
-26,562
1,860%
241,228
1,572,171
11.1%
Utah
11,830
-39.8%
-7,819
1,082%
10,829
138,561
8.5%
Vermont
4,971
-24.7%
-1,627
708%
4,356
56,781
16.7%
Virginia
74,043
-10.5%
-8,686
2,703%
71,402
570,240
12.8%
Washington
145,757
74.6%
62,282
2,301%
139,687
871,937
22.0%
West Virginia
29,576
-36.7%
-17,179
2,517%
28,446
124,693
15.5%
Wisconsin
49,910
-10.7%
-5,973
783%
44,256
447,771
14.4%
Wyoming
2,886
-34.1%
-1,495
480%
2,388
30,170
10.3%
Notes: Initial claims for the week ending April 25 reflect advance state claims, not seasonally adjusted. For comparisons to the “pre-virus period,” we use a four-week average of initial claims for the weeks ending February 15–March 7, 2020. For comparisons to the size of the labor force, we use February 2020 levels.



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How to Start AND Finish the Things You’ve Always Wanted to. The War of Art Book Review : Entrepreneur



A couple months ago I made a post about my favorite books of all time. Typically these kinds of posts are far from my most popular however their valuable nature keep my desire alive to continue to post them.This post quickly began filling with hundreds of comments many of which were suggestions for other great books.A very frequented suggestion was The War of Art by Steven PressfieldThis book was on my shortlist for the next up to read so I figured there’s no time like the present and ordered the book on Amazon. It’s a quick read at less than 200 pages and tons of white space. In 3 sit downs over 3 days I finished The War of Art marking my favorite spots along the way.I figured “hey I might as well make a post about this book as well”Making a post would:Cement my knowledge gainedSpread what I had learnedAct on the core subjects of the book (you’ll see what I mean)The War of Art SummaryVideo link for those who prefer to watch/listen instead: https://youtu.be/XgbpzGSeOAYThe War of Art’s central theme is overcoming “Resistance”. Defined in this book as anything that keeps you from producing your art. Your art can mean anything from literal art you create like paintings or a novel to starting a business or leaping into anything you’re afraid of.My Key Takeaways:Trouble.The book begins with breaking down all of the various ways we unwittingly delay creating our art whether that be self medication, procrastination, sex, you name it.One that really stood out to me is “Trouble” as a way to let Resistance win.Pressfield says “We get ourselves in trouble because it’s a cheap way to get attention. Trouble is a faux form of fame.” he goes on to say “Ill health is a form of trouble, as are alcoholism and drug addiction, proneness to accidents, all neurosis including compulsive screwing-up, and such seemingly benign foibles as jealousy, chronic lateness, and the blasting of rap music at 110 dB from your smoked-glass ’95 Supra. Anything that draws attention to ourselves through pain-free or artificial means is a manifestation of Resistance.“I really sat and thought about that last line and how obvious it is in retrospect. Think about the time in which you felt the most weak or small. That is exactly the time in which you act out, get in trouble, or seek cheap validation by buying a new car or showing off on social media.Living With Freedom Isn’t Easy.Pressfield states, “The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.”I read and read over this page probably 5 or 6 times really letting the words resonate. What I take from this is unless you are strong enough to set your own boundaries and limitations the world, society, or your own sub-conscious will set those boundaries for you. And let me tell you those boundaries that are set for you will place you in a small comfortable box just small enough to limit growth and experience.The Sign of The Amateur.The War of Art later discusses the differences between the amateur and the true professional. The amateur has grand fantasies of success and the end game. “I’m going to sign on 500 clients, sell the business and retire happy!” These people rarely succeed. The true professional understands that there’s a simple formula for success:Success = (Hard Work) x (Time)The Artist (Professional) Has to Love Being Miserable.The professional knows that true happiness and fulfillment comes from the work itself and occasionally work is misery. The professional understands the despair and loneliness that can come with hard work.The Professional Conducts Business in The Real World.The professional knows there isn’t always a level playing field, sometimes others have a leg up or the Universe has simply deemed you unlucky for the day. The professional understands that rain or shine it is his duty to put in the best work he can. Sometimes you will be handed lucky breaks. Sometimes you will be dealt a shit hand. It is your job to work regardless.Asking For Help.The professional doesn’t let her own ego get in the way of mastery of her craft. She understands that she is in the pursuit of perfection, not there already, and never will she be there. She understands that others may know more than she does and can help her reach the next levels.Fear That We Will Succeed.This one seems like a paradox until we really analyze it. Our ego is so inclined to stay in the comfortable realm of who we currently are. We need to realize who we are means nothing. Who we are is simply who we are today. It doesn’t have to be who we are tomorrow or next year. It’s scary to think of possibly becoming more than your self-limiting beliefs. It’s scary to be in charge and take charge. That’s why it’s worth doing.What’s a Hack?Pressfield states a hack, “..is a writer who second-guesses his audience. When the hack sits down to work, he doesn’t ask himself what’s in his own heart. He asks what the market is looking for.”



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Turnbull urges strong stance on China



Malcolm Turnbull spoke to Business News about his life, passion for innovation, and why Australians should feel confident about standing up to China.
Watch here.
Australia should feel confident in dealing with China and stand up to bullying, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull told a Business News online event last night to mark the launch of his new book, A Bigger Picture.
During the hour-long interview, Mr Turnbull canvassed his passion for innovation, achievements in tax reform, and some of his personal battles growing up in a broken family and then with depression.
But one theme he said was particularly crucial for Western Australians was to be confident in dealing with the state’s major trading partner, China.
By contrast, the billionaire backer of Seven West Media, Kerry Stokes, called for an easing of tensions this morning and warned of economic consequences.
Fortescue Metals Group chair Andrew Forrest has lobbied for a similar position, including inviting a Chinese diplomat to speak at a press conference with the federal health minister last week.
Mr Turnbull’s view is that Australia has a stronger negotiating hand than many realise.
“The China-Australia relationship has got to be one of mutual respect,” he said.
“We must never back down to bullying.
“There is a tendency, in Western Australia particularly, to be terrified of offending China because you’re worried they won’t buy the iron ore or the gas.
“China does not buy Australian resources because they love Australia or have fond feelings for koalas.
“They buy our resources because they’re high quality and competitively priced.
“We’ve got to have the confidence in ourselves to recognise the trading relationship benefits both sides.”
This week, China’s Ambassador to Australia Cheng Jinye said he was opposed to Australia’s calls for an independent inquiry into the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Cheng said the Chinese public was frustrated by Australia’s support of an inquiry, and warned it could lead to fewer tourism and student movements, and a reduction of Chinese imports of Australian agricultural products.
However, Mr Turnbull said the ambassador made the same argument after a dispute in 2018 and the trade relationship had since grown.
“Everybody has a vested interest in the absolute maximum transparency about this pandemic,” he said.
“An inquiry should be on a no-shame, no-blame basis. Finger pointing is unhelpful.”
During his time as prime minister, Mr Turnbull introduced laws to limit foreign interference in domestic politics, which earned a rebuke from China.
He also banned Chinese businesses Huawei and ZTE from participating in construction of the 5G telecommunications network in Australia.
Mr Turnbull told Business News the Western world had allowed itself to be undercut by Chinese telcos and now could only choose between four 5G vendors.
Two Scandinavian companies, Ericsson and Nokia, are the only alternatives.
“That is crazy, absolutely crazy,” he said.
“The Americans were frankly asleep at the switch.
“There’s an industry policy issue there that I spent a lot of time with [US President] Trump on.
The 5G network posed more problems than previous iterations of wireless infrastructure because critical processes were moved to software on the fringe of the system, he said.
“If you say we’re going to have Huawei for 5G, you’ve got your most fundamental technology running on a software platform written and directed and only genuinely understood by people in China,” Mr Turnbull said.
“That gives them enormous leverage.”
He said while China was adamant now it had no intention of causing harm to Australia, that could change in an instant if the capability was built in.
“Unless you believe China’s intentions to Australia will always be benign, why would you give a company answerable to and effectively controlled by the Chinese Communist Party such enormous capability to affect disruption in Australia?”
Innovation, an entrepreneur
Reflecting on his time as prime minister, Mr Turnbull claimed he wasn’t angry about losing the leadership and was satisfied with his time as leader.
His achievements included significant reform of the income tax system and lower taxes for small business, sparking an energy reliability agenda led by Snowy 2.0, developing the local defence industry, and modernising infrastructure funding to create city deals and support urban rail.
Mr Turnbull also rescued the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal after the US reneged and other countries were close to following suit.
While same-sex marriage was close to his heart, it was the National Innovation and Science Agenda announced in 2015 that he said was perhaps the biggest surprise success story.
“Innovation is our future,” Mr Turnbull said.
“If we’re not at the forefront we will fall off the back of the pack.
“That was part of my passion, I laid it out as part of my agenda when I challenged Tony Abbott … a series of big reforms that had a much bigger impact than I thought, and I’m really pleased about that.”
He said Australian investors had become much more confident about supporting technology businesses, with billions of dollars now available through the venture capital sector.
Mr Turnbull said he hoped he’d changed the culture of Australian business to be more tech focused, and said local companies could achieve a lot if they had self-belief.
“We have an innovation and venture capital ecosystem that people I know in the business say it is now on a par with Israel; to be honest, when people first started saying this I thought they were exaggerating,” he said.
Mr Turnbull said the interest in innovation predated his time as prime minister.
He said he’d got the most satisfaction in life from creating things, as a businessman and a politician.
In business, he said he had helped found 12 companies, with some successes such as Ozemail and a number of failures.
He speculated that he perhaps loved innovation because he got bored easily.
Mr Turnbull also revealed he had a disruptive streak, highlighting his time representing former MI5 spy Peter Wright in a legal battle with the British government, the Spycatcher trial, as a pre-politics high point.
“It was a massive David versus Goliath win, it was the most famous lawsuit in the day,” he said.
“That was a huge, very satisfying win.
“I’ve always liked taking on the establishment, even as someone who has been prime minister, nonetheless I’ve got a disruptive, anti-establishment gene in me.”
Childhood
Mr Turnbull told Businesss News his childhood had not been easy.
He was raised by a single dad after his mother left when he was aged nine, and he was bullied at boarding school.
“We were just two guys living together really, dad and I; he was like a big brother as much as he was a father,” Mr Turnbull said.
“We had a very outdoors life, a lot of sport, a lot of surfing.
“I was a sick kid, I had asthma, I got very sick with pneumonia at one point, I was pigeon toed, I was probably a pretty miserable physical specimen at that point.”
He said his dad had encouraged him to walk and run on Bondi Beach, which had improved his fitness.
Although many parental splits were acrimonious, Mr Turnbull said his father never criticised his mother.
“He persuaded me, almost brainwashed me, that my mother loved me more than anyone else on earth,” he said.
“So I never as a kid resented her for leaving, at all.”
Being bullied at school showed a character streak that has continued in the decades since.
“I’ve always stood up to bullies, throughout my life,” Mr Turnbull said.
“I’m not a sucker-upper or a deferential sycophantic personality.”



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Italy moves to “Phase 2”



Italy is moving towards “Phase Two”, which shall mean a state in which the lockdown is relatively eased. Here’s a piece that describes what is supposed to go on, after May 4th.
The context is one in which official data on the contagion are still messy and opaque. Ferdinando Giugliano, on Bloomberg, rightly remarked that the government is “leaving people in the dark”. Astonishingly, “phase two” has been announced with literally no reference to increased test capability, nor to random COVID 19 testing to develop a better understanding of the breadth of the contagion. When it comes to the details of measures to reopen the economy, the government has been surprisingly parsimonious. We will be able to go running again, but freedom of movement between Italian regions will be severely limited? People won’t be able to go to Mass, though vigorous protests by the Italian bishops may push the government to change that restriction. This is an interesting feature of the modus operandi of our government in the emergency.
For the last two months, things have gone like this: the government announces a measure before the relevant executive order is written; then a draft is circulated, mainly by Whatsapp, and ends up in the hands of journalists, pundits, and fellow politicians; then the draft is scrutinized and criticized; then the government issues the order, taking into account some of the criticizing but after having messed people’s expectations up. Because of the mismatch between announcement and corrections, this is not a good way to “peer review” an executive order, but it is excellent insofar as creating confusion is concerned. All of the above goes on in a clime of constant confrontation between regional and national governments, engaged in a sort of game to shift political responsibility and blame to one another.
From a health standpoint, Italy will reopen when we have around 2,000 newly infected people a day (though the data are still messy and imprecise): we closed at around 1,700 new infected people a day. Are we doing that because we grew sufficiently the number of ICUs in Italian hospitals? In Lombardy, the region most severely hit by the virus, the capacity doubled: I honestly do not know what happened in the regions in the South. Since, however, the state of the contagion is quite different in different regions, one does not really understand the reason for a one-size-fits-all approach.
The most characteristic feature of the Italian “model” is the decision not to reopen schools, regardless of the obvious problems that the closure causes to working parents. This is in striking contrast with what the Netherlands and France are planning to do. Sweden kept schools for under-16 open.
The government will require people to wear facemasks at work. This sounds sensible, but it also decided to fix the price of face masks. A special commissioner for public procurement in the emergency has so announced, together with the government buying machinery to start domestic production. The administered price is going to be 0.50 euros. The administered price is a strong blow for companies that in Italy turned into producing this kind of PPE and to those that choose to devote themselves to attempt to import them. Pharmacists protested and apparently obtained a subsidy for selling facemasks at the administered price. I shall quote Herbert Spencer again: “failure does not destroy faith in the agencies employed, but merely suggests more stringent use of such agencies or wider ramifications of them”.



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