U.S. Manufacturing Declined in December at Fastest Rate Since Pandemic Began

The S&P Global U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell at the fastest rate since May 2020 in December, a continuing sign that the manufacturing sector is on the decline, S&P Global reported Tuesday.

The U.S. Manufacturing PMI posted a 46.2 in December, down from 47.7 in November and solidly below 50, which signals that the sector is contracting, according to S&P Global. Production levels contracted in back-to-back months, with new sales plummeting at the end of December at the fastest pace since 2007, as companies cited weakening demand amid “economic uncertainty” and inflation weighing on customers.

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Famous College Ranker Overhauls System After Law Schools Pull Out Due to Equity Concerns

U.S. News & World Report is modifying its law school ranking system after several top schools pulled out of the rankings altogether, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The ranker will give dean, faculty, lawyer and judge “reputational surveys” less weight and will no longer consider per-student expenditures which critics have said favor the wealthiest schools during the ranking process, according to the WSJ. The announcement comes after top law schools Yale, Harvard, Georgetown, Columbia, the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford pulled out of the rankings, saying the report hurts schools that admit students with lower test scores because they could not afford tutoring and academic services.

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Connecticut Lawmakers, Top Statewide Officials Receive Significant Salary Hikes

Members of the Connecticut General Assembly and top-level statewide officials receive significant pay raises Wednesday that include a jump in base salary for the part-time lawmakers from $28,000 to $40,000.

State lawmakers voted last May to approve the legislation that grants the pay hikes for themselves and other specified leadership positions.

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Commentary: The Origins and Destiny of Critical Theory

Karl Marx once famously commented that Hegel wrote that history repeats itself. Marx then supplemented this by noting that this happens the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. And it is perhaps ironic that this is nowhere more true than among some of Marx’s own progeny, the critical theorists. Critical theory’s first coming was as a sophisticated reappropriation of Hegel for Marxist thought in response to the tragedies of the early 20th century — the Russian Revolution, the failure of the German Spartacist uprising, and the rise of Nazism and Stalinism. Its founding fathers were deeply immersed in the Western philosophical tradition and men of substantial intellect. Its second coming — that of our own day — is as the theoretical part of the farce that is postmodern identity politics, often in a form that feminist philosopher Kathleen Stock has declared to be “adolescently, simplistically monotonic.” From tragedy to farce, as Marx would say.

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Commentary: New Year’s Resolutions for a Better America

Entering the new year, it is traditional to set goals and pronounce resolutions to improve ourselves and our lot in life during the coming 12 months.

Although these resolutions are more often honored in their breach than their fulfillment, they are nonetheless a useful tool to focus our attention on our weak points, whether we have the fortitude to correct them or not.

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Record High Employee Turnover Since Pandemic Has Hurt Business Productivity

Employee turnover has surged since the pandemic, and the need to replace and train new employees at high volume has hampered productivity for businesses, according to The New York Times.

More than 4.5 million workers voluntarily left their jobs in November 2021, the highest since the government began tracking this data 20 years earlier, and the turnover rate remains significantly higher than it was before the pandemic, according to the NYT. Businesses are struggling with the costs of high turnover; new employees take time to become productive, and existing employees lose productivity because of the time they spend training others.

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