Here’s what happens when nonprofit CEOs are kept out of the board meetings that decide their pay

business meeting
  • Since 2013, New York has prohibited nonprofit CEOs from attending meetings where their pay is discussed.
  • A group of researchers found this change lowered local nonprofit CEO salaries by 2% to 3%.
  • Nonprofits may also face pressure from donors to avoid executive pay that could appear excessive.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

Keeping nonprofit chief executive officers out of meetings when members of their boards discuss or vote on compensation can lead to these CEOs making less money and working harder.

This is a key finding from a study of nonprofit pay I recently completed with two fellow finance scholars, Benjamin Bennett and Rik Sen. We reached this conclusion after reviewing data for more than 14,700 nonprofits across the country from paperwork most nonprofits must file with the Internal Revenue Service every year, known as Form 990, and the associated Schedule J, which includes compensation.

We zeroed in on 1,698 nonprofits located in New York to see if their CEO pay changed after new regulations took effect in 2013. Since then, New York has prohibited nonprofit officers from being present at meetings where their pay is being discussed.

We found that compensation was an average of 2% to 3% lower than expected by comparing pay for nonprofit CEOs in New York with pay in other states. We also compared the change in CEO pay with compensation changes for other executives’ pay at the same nonprofits – since they weren’t affected by this legislation.

We also found that many nonprofits changed how they handled executive compensation. That is, they were more likely to set up compensation committees, perform an independent compensation review, or adjust pay to be in line with similar organizations. Nonprofit CEO bonuses also became more correlated with the growth of an organization’s budget – a strong indicator of overall performance.

And we found that, despite earning less than they might have expected, nonprofit CEOs spent about 2% more time working – without any additional turnover.

Interestingly, we also determined that by some measures, the nonprofits became better-run after the legislation took effect. For example, 2% more people chose to volunteer, and funding from donations and grants grew by 4%.

Why it matters

High CEO pay is a hotly debated topic.

Nonprofit CEOs make considerably less money than corporate CEOs and have experienced a slower wage growth over the last decade. Based on our estimates, corporate executives saw their annual pay grow by 54% from 2009 to 2017 to an average value of US$3.2 million, while nonprofit executives experienced a 15% increase in pay, reaching an average value of $396,000 in 2017 – the most recent year for which we obtained IRS data.

Nevertheless, because most nonprofits are exempt from income tax and many accept donations, it’s only natural that the government and funders would not want to waste their money on excessive compensation. For example, food bank donors might prefer to see nonprofits spend more of their dollars on feeding the hungry as opposed to perks and big pay packages.

In recent years, some alarming accounts of exorbitant CEO pay and self-dealing practices at nonprofits have come to light. These include the scandals that have rocked the Wounded Warrior Project and the National Rifle Association.

What’s next

One possible reason why nonprofit CEO pay is growing much more slowly than for-profit CEO compensation is that nonprofit leaders are committed to specific causes and have more motives aside from money to excel at their work than their corporate counterparts. Other possibilities could be that nonprofits face pressure from donors to avoid high executive pay or that nonprofit CEOs have little leverage.

We hope that our future research will answer this question.

Ilona Babenko, associate professor of finance, Arizona State University

The Conversation
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2 people who face eviction on the expiring ban: ‘The nightmare is not over’

A woman walks past a wall in Los Angeles that has graffiti reading "Forgive Our Rent"
The national eviction ban ends on July 31.

  • The national eviction ban ends Saturday, putting many renters at risk.
  • Wendy Fink, a preschool teacher in Phoenix, owes $1,700 in unpaid rent.
  • Mehran Mossaddad, a father in Atlanta, isn’t sure if his landlord will renew his lease.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The national eviction moratorium is set to expire July 31. But as the economy struggles to regain pre-pandemic momentum, many renters are grappling with months of unpaid rent.

The Biden administration on Thursday said renewing the eviction ban is left up to Congress. Experts estimate 6 million Americans face eviction once housing protections end Saturday. Some states have extended the moratorium for a while longer, but most are set to end protections.

In December, Congress approved $25 billion in rental assistance and another $21 billion in March, but the funds have been slow to disperse to landlords and tenants due to software issues, hesitancy among states to sign off on payments, and other complications.

Insider spoke with two people who are uncertain about the future of their housing arrangements and could face eviction when the moratorium ends.

Mehran Mossaddad, 59, is a father living in Atlanta, Georgia, who owed over $23,000 in unpaid rent

A man with glasses in a shirt and tie
Mehran Mossaddad.

When we first entered lockdown last March, I stopped driving for Uber full time to take care of my 10-year-old daughter and help with online learning.

Because there was no daycare, no school, and I couldn’t afford a babysitter, I fell behind in rent and used the $800 I had in savings to pay for food.

I received $125 a week in unemployment (plus an additional $600 a week in federal aid until it ended last year, then $300 a week until it ended two months ago) but it was slow to arrive, and I didn’t receive my first stimulus check until earlier this year due to an error with my social security.

Last August, I received my first eviction notice. My rent is $1,600 a month, and at the time of my first eviction notice I was four months behind. The property management company opened a court case against me, and once that happened I had a record, which made it impossible for me to rent or buy another place. I tried and shopped around at 10 different apartments, but no one would have me.

During this time, I had a lot of anxiety. One day when I came home from the grocery store, I saw police cars outside of my neighbor’s house because they were getting evicted. My knees started shaking so badly I had to sit down. My limbs would go numb in the middle of the night just thinking about whether or not we would have a home the next day.

I don’t think I’ll ever be mended. I have no other family here in Georgia and no Plan B if my daughter and I were to be evicted.

DeKalb County, where I live, puts a cap on how much federal assistance renters can have. Last month, after multiple conversations with the county and the property management, we agreed I would pay $10,000 of the $23,000 I owed in back rent for the eviction notice to be resolved. The county offered $5,000, so I had to scrape together the rest from friends and started driving for Uber again.

Once the agreement was signed and I paid my half of the $10,000, the property management agreed to give me two months of rent for free and forgave the rest. But the eviction notice still remains on my record, and the landlord hasn’t indicated whether or not it will agree to renew my lease at the end of this month.

I hope the government will extend the moratorium, but I still have anxiety attacks because the nightmare is not over. I stay up at night thinking, is this a new era for us? Or is this the beginning of the dark ages?

Wendy Fink, 52, is a preschool teacher living in Phoenix, Arizona, and has $1,700 in unpaid rent

A woman outside looking at the camera
Wendy Fink.

The preschool I work at closed for two weeks in March 2020 and I was furloughed, then opened and closed several more times.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I was able to keep up with our $1,300-a-month rent because I had some money saved and my mother, who was on social security, helped. There were several times where I tried to get on unemployment, but I gave up because it was impossible to get anyone on the phone to help or receive an email back.

Everything changed earlier this year. We started receiving late notices in the mail from our property management because we had over $4,000 in back rent. The apartment complex I live in charges $15 per day for late rent, and it quickly started getting out of hand. I paid what I could, which was not much because I wasn’t working full time, and even with the stimulus checks and living slim, we kept falling short.

In March, we received $3,400 in rental aid from a nonprofit in Phoenix. It was a lengthy process, and I was thrilled to finally be able to start to catch up, but then my mother became very sick and was hospitalized. We found out earlier this summer she had stage four pancreatic cancer.

I didn’t want her to live out her final days in a hospice facility, so we set up a hospital bed in our living room and I stopped working to focus on her health. The doctors said we would have months, but it actually turned out to only be weeks. She passed away in June at the age of 75.

By the time my mother died, I owed $3,900 in back rent. My son paid off $2,200 of it, but as the eviction moratorium is coming to an end I don’t have any hope Maricopa County, where I live, will extend it. I’ve started to prepare for the worst, and in the darkest corners of my mind I think I might have to end up in a residential hotel, which is a dismal place to live.

Last month, I started a GoFundMe to help make up the $1,700 I still owe, but haven’t been able to hit $1,000. It was embarrassing for me to even start a fundraiser because in this country there’s so much stigma around being poor. I’m relying a lot on the generosity of my friends and family right now, but I’m sure I’ll be served with an eviction notice on the first of August. I have no doubt.

The past few months have been stressful and I’m white-knuckling it. The pandemic has made me realize anyone can end up in this situation, especially with wages as low as they are and rent as high as it is. We’re told to save our money, but when you have nothing to save, you can’t prepare for an emergency.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Black business owners are leading a revolution in a Virginia market haunted by its ties to the slave trade

A group of people in masks wearing headphones outside at night
UnlockingRVA’s silent party.

  • Richmond was the second-largest slave-trading hub in the United States.
  • Black business owners are reclaiming the city’s 17th Street Market with events and commerce.
  • “Our whole role is to restore the energy” while “honoring the past,” a yoga therapist and CEO said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

“Richmond is the root of oppression.” That’s one of the ways Ashley J. Williams described the city she’s called home for 10 years.

She said she was speaking of the Virginia capital as a whole, as well as specifically the neighborhood of Shockoe Bottom and the 17th Street Market.

The 17th Street Market has been a site of commerce since the 1700s. Depending on whom you ask, that commerce included enslaved Africans, with the 17th Street Market being the site of an auction block. (Others say it was close to an auction block.) A few minutes away at Lumpkin’s Jail, or Devil’s Half Acre, enslaved people were jailed and tortured before being sold.

Richmond, with a prime location on the James River, was the second-largest slave-trading hub in the United States and the largest on the East Coast.

Today, less than a five-minute walk from the open-air 17th Street Market, you’ll see a few markers for the Slave Trail, but these are easy to miss if you’re not keen on the history.

But for Williams, a yoga therapist and the CEO of BareSOUL, who’s been with the studio since 2015, “there’s energy that’s very present.”

Ashley J. Williams
Ashley J. Williams, the CEO of BareSOUL.

“Our whole role is to restore the energy there and reenvision what it looks like to bring more life and vibrant energy while acknowledging and honoring the past,” she said.

The wellness space, especially yoga, can feel extremely white, she added. BareSOUL employs a dozen Black instructors, and each 17th Street practice begins with a brief history of the space that was once a source of pain.

“The 17th Street Market was a place where Black families were split up. It’s where the Black life was devalued. So the practice of yoga is a practice of connection. And it’s a practice of liberation of our minds,” Williams said.

A group of people on yoga mats in the street
BareSOUL yoga on 17th Street.

Williams isn’t the only small-business owner bringing new life to the space. After being approached by Richmond Parks and Recreation to host an outdoor, COVID-19-friendly event in August, Faith Wilkerson, UnlockingRVA‘s owner and founder, who’s run the event-planning company for five years, lined the concrete and cobblestone walkways with partyers donning neon-lit headphones playing old-school and current tunes.

“Every single moment I step foot on that market, it’s done with authority and purpose because it’s what the ancestors would want us to do. Black Americans have this special gift of turning tragedy and pain into triumph and longevity. You see so much joy in our guests’ faces as they dance the night away, and it makes the moment even more special,” Wilkerson said.

Faith Wilkerson
Faith Wilkerson, the founder of UnlockingRVA.

Participants in yoga or the silent disco usually work up an appetite, so Williams and Wilkerson do their parts to support and promote food vendors, especially Black-owned ones, in the area.

But the women acknowledged initial hiccups in businesses not exactly embracing their audiences, which tend to be predominantly Black.

Williams even recalled one business owner calling the police on a homeless yoga participant. Both women chalked it up to establishments adapting to new faces, new spaces, and a COVID-19 world.

Adrienne Cole Johnson and Melody Short, the cofounders of the Richmond Night Market, also experienced the same blowback from some owners in the area when they brought their nighttime affair to 17th Street two years ago. They said that quickly blew over once they introduced themselves.

The Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market.

Johnson and Short described the work they and the Night Market do as reprogramming and reclaiming the space. The market operates on the second Saturday of each month in the summer to early fall.

Though they’re open to all vendors, Short acknowledged that the market naturally attracts a majority of Black businesses.

“I think people feel safe. It’s different when you’ve got Black women leading the charge because we welcome everybody – versus sometimes when it’s led by other groups. Black people, sometimes, we don’t feel welcome,” Short said. Being heavily invested in the businesses and the people behind the businesses is what she said keeps vendors returning year after year.

A kid selling food outside
A chef at the Richmond Night Market.

For their first in-person event since the pandemic, the market hosted about 20 vendors selling everything from art to handmade goods and food.

“We’re often, as Black people, putting our money in other communities,” Short said. The market allows them to flip the script, she added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I’m a lifeguard for Olympic swimmers. Our job isn’t as ‘useless’ or easy as people think.

Olympic lifeguard James Meyer in the pool at the 2016 US Olympic swim trials with two swimmers
James Meyers (top, facing right) in the pool at the 2016 US Olympic swim trials.

  • James Meyers has been a volunteer lifeguard at four US Olympic swim trials since 2008.
  • He says that lifeguards are essential at these events, not “useless” like a recent meme implied.
  • He tells writer Ryan S. Gladwin what it’s like being a lifeguard for the best swimmers in the world.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A meme from the Rio 2016 Olympics said “if you feel useless today, remember somebody is working as a lifeguard at the Olympics.”

It is a misconception that we’re useless. Unfortunately, people do get hurt so we have a role. Of the four Olympic trials where I’ve been a lifeguard, this year was the first we didn’t have to get in the water.

I’ve been a lifeguard in Nebraska, Omaha for 26 years now. The Red Cross does the lion’s share of lifeguard training, I’d been working for them back in 2008 and they asked me to help out with the trials.

It sounded like fun so I said yes and I’ve kept on doing it ever since.

It’s not just the athletes we have to look after, oftentimes you have outside groups that use the pool in between trials’ prelims and the finals. We’re not just life guarding the athletes, we are also lifeguarding for those events. We’ve never had to go in for an athlete, it’s always been for everyone else.

The only reason we didn’t have to enter the pool this year was because of COVID, there were no outside groups allowed in.

James Meyers by the pool at the US Olympics swim trials in 2021
James Meyers by the pool at the US Olympics swim trials in 2021.

It’s kind of like the fire department. Our whole goal is to be in the background, if you have to see us generally something bad has happened.

The flipside of that is if there is an emergency and we make a mistake, it ends up on YouTube or TV – nobody wants that.

Lifeguards at these events are mostly trained to respond to medical problems or injuries where the person can’t get out of the pool. That is more likely to happen at Olympic trials, compared to a public pool where lifeguards are trained to respond to drownings.

The whole lifeguard crew are volunteers, people come from all across the country to get involved. We’ve had people from the business world to nurses – to college students with friends in the trials.

Working these events is generally a great experience. You get to sit on deck to watch Phelps and Lochte battle it out or when somebody sets a record.

Some of the volunteers swim competitively, they pick up a lot of techniques, habits and drills they’ve never seen before.

The closest we’ve come to rescuing an ‘athlete’ was back in 2012. Once the Olympic trials were over, we also hosted the National Masters Meet – which is like a swim team for older people.

We had a guy go into cardiac arrest while swimming. Luckily, he survived but you can see why we’re needed.

Back in 2016, I’d just had hip surgery but still wanted to be involved so I had a scooter to get around the building. Apparently, I got too close to Michael Phelps and he had to jump out of the way. I never saw him, so in my mind it never happened but it’s quite fun to say I nearly ran him over.

As volunteers, we’re asked not to request autographs while in uniform but backstage you have an opportunity to get them.

There’s about 700 volunteers for the trials with only 50 of them being lifeguards. People travel here on their own dime, paying for their own hotels, just to get involved. We turn up at 5:30 a.m. and sometimes go till 10 p.m..

Nothing happens without the army of volunteers behind the scenes who get no credit at all.

We hope not to have a role but we do. When we are called upon we have to be prepared for it. We can’t sit there disinterested like the girl in the meme.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A $299-a-month app gave me access to a therapist and psychiatrist to fight pandemic burnout. Here’s what it was like to get help through my phone.

mental health millennial
  • Freelancer Julie Peck felt herself slipping into pandemic-induced burnout, so she sought help.
  • She chose Brightside, an app by a former 23andMe executive that combines psychiatry with therapy.
  • Although she was able to easily get medication that worked, the service had its downsides.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Back in May, I started noticing I was having some issues. I have highly managed bipolar disorder, so I’m no stranger to “issues” – but this was clearly different.

At first, I had trouble completing assignments for work. Then, I lost interest in my favorite Netflix binges and found myself rereading the same paragraphs over and over again in books.

I wanted to see people. I was exhausted all the time and often stared out the window, longing for a change of scenery.

It was easy enough to diagnose: The pandemic-related burnout that had affected 75% of employed people had landed on my doorstep.

The effects of this situation were different from the average depressive episode: My near-constant consumption of COVID-19-related news was clearly bogging me down, as was my irritation related to how my community was handling its response to the pandemic.

These were new and unusual factors and far beyond my control. Now they were affecting my work, my personal well-being, and my relationships with my loved ones.

Read more: I paid $150 to try the popular weight-loss app backed by investors like Tony Xu and Scooter Braun. It taught me better eating habits, but keeping the weight off was harder than expected.

I needed help, and with my busy schedule, I decided to take advantage of one of the many online services available to work at shaking my dark feelings.

If there’s one good thing to come out of the pandemic, it’s the proliferation of options available for mental healthcare online, although access to care for marginalized communities and those who can’t afford to pay for it still lags behind.

After evaluating the surplus of offerings available, I elected to go with Brightside

Brad Kittredge, a former 23andMe executive, told the San Francisco Business Times that he founded Brightside Health in 2017 after witnessing his father’s battle with depression and wondering why the US healthcare system wasn’t more helpful.

screenshot of the Brightside app
The Brightside options to message your provider.

Kittredge got together with Mimi Winsberg, a former in-house psychiatrist at Facebook and now Brightside’s chief marketing officer, who created the basic tool that later became one of the backbones of the Brightside experience.

The company’s stated commitment is to deliver the kind of care it’d want its family members to have, and as of May, the company has secured more than $31 million in funding toward this goal, including a $24 million Series A round from ACME Capital.

For me, the main selling point was its offer to combine psychiatry with therapy

I’ve been in treatment for mental-health issues since the 1990s, so I’ve seen quite a few of these apps. It never really seems like they have a good, coherent grasp on the need to integrate psychiatry with therapy (but then again, neither does the outside world). It appeared that Brightside might be working toward a truly integrated approach, which is why I decided to give it a try.

The app matches you with a medical doctor, who will assess the need for prescription medication, as well as a therapist to develop a “personalized treatment plan.” You can choose a medication-only subscription plan, a therapy-only plan, or a plan that includes both, and charges are as low as $45 per month.

screenshot of the Brightside app
The Brightside interface.

I chose a subscription plan that blended both medication and therapy for $299 per month, with the first month discounted to $199. I’m now in my third month with the service.

One terrific value of this service that’s embedded within it and very well hidden is that all medications prescribed by its providers are $15 – and believe me, for some mental-health-related medications, that could represent a significant savings. Just one of the medications I take is $300 a month without using the GoodRx card.

Also, while I sought treatment for pandemic burnout, Brightside boasts that it treats anxiety and depression in a “full spectrum of related conditions” ranging from panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder to postpartum depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Some online services won’t accept those with diagnoses of bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, for reasons of which I am unsure.

After signing up, I went through a lengthy intake questionnaire that assessed my personal health and my mental-health background, and what I was looking to achieve

The questionnaire asked for general information such as my height and weight, as well as for mental-health-specific information such as what medications I was taking and what treatment modalities I’d tried before. It concluded by asking for specific outcomes I’d like to get from my treatment.

The algorithm then gave me a score on both my depression and anxiety, and those scores were displayed on my homepage, along with my medication and therapy assignment. The score doesn’t appear to be standardized to the DSM-5, just the company’s own particular scoring system that gives it the ability to track your progress. From the user’s side, having everything on one dashboard is convenient.

Based on the questionnaire, I was matched with a psychiatrist and a licensed clinical social worker, both of whom were licensed to practice in my state.

My appointment to see the doctor was within 36 hours of the time that I signed up for the service

My appointment with the therapist was within 48 hours. I was pleased with this response time and hopeful about getting some relief.

screenshot of the Brightside app
Julie Peck’s path on Brightside.

When I met with the doctor, he was understanding about my situation and demonstrated a knowledge of the extensive information I’d already entered into my chart through Brightside’s intake questionnaire.

He went through the medications I’d entered into my questionnaire to ensure that he fully understood what I was already taking and asked my opinion about how each was working. He was warm and personable, and he empathized with me about the feelings I was experiencing.

He asked me how I would feel about him prescribing a medication that I had taken once before, to add to my medication routine. I told him I’d be happy to try it.

I decided to have the prescription filled at the CVS down the street from me, as opposed to having it filled via Brightside’s mail-delivery pharmacy, and that was the end of our interaction.

Since we spoke in the evening, I was able to pick up my prescription the next morning. For some reason, I was a little suspicious about whether the prescription would actually be at the pharmacy, but I picked it up without any hitches.

I talked with the therapist via Zoom

She listened to me discuss my symptoms and what I wanted to get out of therapy. She also let me know that Brightside’s methods are based on cognitive behavioral therapy, and she outlined the therapeutic program, which is structured around 10 interactive lessons, a self-guided, computer-based program that you progress through at your own pace.

At the end of our session, she told me that our next meetup would be in a month, which was a surprise to me. I’d previously read “unlimited access to caring providers” on Brightside’s homepage, and I envisioned that I’d more or less have an always-on Zoom connection with my therapist – not so, I was learning.

To be fair, the text messaging with my therapist was, in fact, pretty much always on. And it doesn’t say anywhere on the Brightside site that you’ll be able to contact your Brightside providers via video chat whenever you feel like it.

But be forewarned that the service is self-directed – which is, incidentally, in line with the price – so if you’re looking for something to deliver more of an up-close-and-personal experience, this isn’t it.

I think technology is the way of the future when it comes to delivering mental healthcare. It cuts through barriers of cost and accessibility. But in a lot of ways, we’re just not there yet.

As a case in point, I got a note from my therapist shortly before billing was to go out for the second month of my subscription to Brightside that she would no longer be with the service. It was a lovely note, but this is a red flag for me: As with choosing a hairdresser, you don’t want to chair-hop from therapist to therapist, even if it’s online.

Subscribing to Brightside was definitely worth it to snap me out of my burnout for the psychiatrist appointment alone

The appointment was quick and easy, and it produced a prescription that has been successful in providing relief.

Whether I’ll continue with the subscription for the medication management alone or discontinue it and leave that function to my primary-care provider remains to be seen.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nancy Pelosi says the House won’t vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal until after the Senate passes a larger package

nancy pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

  • Nancy Pelosi says the House won’t vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package until the Senate passes a separate $3.5 trillion package.
  • “We all know that more needs to be done,” she offered in an appearance on ABC on Sunday.
  • GOP Senator Rob Portman says Pelosi’s stance contradicts President Biden’s efforts to pass the bipartisan deal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On Sunday in separate appearances on ABC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Ohio Senator Rob Portman offered up opposing viewpoints on the timeline of passing a bipartisan infrastructure package.

Pelosi reinforced her stance to hold up the $1 trillion agreement as Democrats work to finalize a separate $3.5 trillion spending package, in hopes that they both get passed together.

“We are rooting for the infrastructure bill to pass, but we all know that more needs to be done,” she said.

During his own interview on ABC, Portman, a Republican and one of the leading negotiators on the bipartisan package, called Pelosi’s stance”entirely counter” to President Joe Biden’s commitment to bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate, adding that $1 trillion infrastructure bill “has nothing to do with the reckless tax-and-spend extravaganza (Pelosi’s) talking about.”

The $1 trillion infrastructure package contains a total of $579 billion in new spending dedicated to increasing broadband connections nationwide as well as updating bridges and roads.

Earlier in the week, however, Republican Senators voted against that same infrastructure bill they’d previously come to an agreement on with the White House, citing concerns over an extra $40 billion in IRS funding.

According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, Senator Lindsay Graham went further by encouraging Republican members to leave DC in efforts to prevent Senate Democrats from having the 51 senators required to operate, which is called a quorum.

If the Democrats are successful, the agreement would total $4.1 trillion in new spending, making it one of the largest spending bills ever advanced by Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package would pay for social program expansions including Medicare coverage for dental and vision care.

Leading senate negotiators Portman and Mitt Romney said they may be ready to vote on the $1 trillion package on Monday, after disagreements including the $40 billion in IRS spending are ironed out.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dr. Fauci says a third booster shot for COVID-19 ‘might likely happen’ for people who are immunocompromised

anthony fauci
Dr. Fauci testifying at a US Senate hearing on COVID-19 in September 2020.

  • On CNN Sunday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci said a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot “might likely happen.”
  • Emerging data from Israel indicates that the two-shot Pfizer vaccine could be less effective against the Delta variant.
  • As Delta causes a surge in cases, Fauci said the coronavirus outbreak is now “a pandemic among the unvaccinated.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s infectious disease expert and President Biden’s chief medical advisor, says that a third COVID vaccine booster shot “might likely happen.”

On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning, Fauci told anchor Jake Tapper that the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is looking at evolving data that could recommend a thirdbooster shot, particularly for vulnerable and immunocompromised people.

“It’s a work in progress,” Fauci said of the CDC’s stance on a vaccine booster shot. “It evolves, like in so many other areas of the pandemic. You have got to look at the data.”

Fauci said the ACIP is still examining preliminary data from Israel and Pfizer that suggests the Pfizer vaccine could be less effective at protecting against infection from the Delta variant than other variants of the disease.

New data from Israel suggests the Pfizer vaccine was just 39% effective at preventing nationwide infections in late June and early July, while it had been found 95% effective from January to early April, the New York Times reported. However, the vaccine was still over 90% effective at preventing severe infection and hospitalization.

A separate study from the UK indicated that the Pfizer vaccine was still 88% effective against symptomatic Delta infections after two shots.

As to whether or not a booster shot would improve the effectiveness rates, Fauci said that the committee will “continue to look at the data that might push us in that direction.”

The Delta variant now makes up about 80% of all new cases in the US, according to CDC data. In the middle of June, the variant made up just 20.6% of the all COVID cases in the US.

Given this current surge in cases, Fauci described COVID-19 as “a pandemic among the unvaccinated,” which still accounts for nearly 50% of eligible Americans.

“It’s like we have two kinds of America,” Fauci said.

Read more: Fauci says fully vaccinated people ‘might want to consider’ wearing a mask indoors as a precaution against the Delta variant

When asked if people should still wear masks in public, Fauci acknowledged that CDC currently says that those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask indoors. He added, however, that the Center supports the ability and discretion of local officials to reinstate mask requirements in areas of the country that are experiencing a spike in infections, such as Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Chicago.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This natural health doctor has published over 600 articles claiming coronavirus vaccines are a fraud – he’s part of the ‘disinformation dozen’ responsible for the vast majority of COVID-19 misinformation on Facebook

Sant'Orsola Covid-19 Hospital ICU italy
A report from the CCDH found that 12 people are responsible for the majority of online COVID disinformation.

  • 12 people are responsible for the majority of COVID-19 disinformation being spread online, a CCDH study found.
  • Number one is Joseph Mercola, a natural health doctor who publishes anti-vaxx claims to a following of 3.6 million on social media.
  • One of Mercola’s articles, “Could Hydrogen Peroxide Treat Coronavirus?”, was shared nearly 5,000 times on Facebook.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A March report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) found that most COVID-19 disinformation online is being spread by just 12 people. A Facebook analysis found that 73% of 689,000 anti-coronavirus vaccinations posts shared between February and mid-March came from this group.

Among the 12 are Robert F Kennedy Jr, the nephew of former President John F Kennedy, who has been an anti-vaxxer long before the pandemic. In the 1990s, Kennedy Jr began to spread disinformation that some vaccines given in childhood were connected to autism diagnoses and the development of allergies.

More recently, in a letter addressed to President Biden, Kennedy Jr. claimed that the CDC is administering propaganda and that “the sad reality is vaccines cause injuries and death.” Later in the same letter, however, he also wrote that it’d be impossible for autopsies determine if death was caused by a “vaccine adverse event.”

But beating Robert F Kennedy Jr to the No. 1 spot in the ‘disinformation dozen’ is Joseph Mercola, a natural health doctor based in Cape Coral, Florida.

Mercola is no newcomer to the anti-vaxx movement

Joseph Mercola
A screenshot of Dr. Mercola (left) dispensing health advice in one of several appearances on the Dr. Oz show.

According to the New York Times, Mercola has built his career on far-fetched health notions, including claims that spring mattresses amplify radiation and that tanning beds can reduce the chance of getting cancer. Cashing in on his followers, he sold them at-home tanning beds that cost between $1,200 and $4,000. He was then sued by the Federal Trading Commission and agreed to pay his customers refunds totaling $5.3 million, according to a 2016 report from the Chicago Tribune.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Mercola has focused his zeal against COVID vaccines.

Articles published on his website include “Thyme Extract Helps Treat COVID-19” and another titled “Could Hydrogen Peroxide Treat Coronavirus?” which was published in April and shared on Facebook 4,600 times, according to screenshots in the CCDH’s report.

Mercola later removed the hydrogen peroxide article, and others, from his site, due to what he called the “fearmongering media and corrupt politicians” censoring his content, which he alleges have led to personal threats.

US health officials have called out social media platforms and conservative news outlets, like Fox News, for their role in allowing the spread of vaccination misinformation, especially as new cases are again on the rise.

Over the past week, the US reported an average of nearly 50,000 new COVID-19 infections each day, according to CDC data. The rise in new infections come amid the spread of the more contagious delta variant of the disease. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky previously called the uptick in cases a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

With an audience of 3.6 million over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the CCDH report found that Mercola has been the most far-reaching spreader of COVID disinformation.

In an emailed response to the Times, Mercola said it was “quite peculiar to me that I am named as the #1 superspreader of misinformation.”

While some social media platforms have taken steps to identify and remove disinformation, many of the 12 people’s accounts are still active, including Mercola’s, where he often shared multiple posts a day.

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Pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek on how he became an entrepreneur and his best career advice

Rob Dyrdek
Rob Dyrdek.

Rob Dyrdek is a former pro skateboarder also known for hosting hit TV shows including Rob & Big, Ridiculousness, and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory. He founded business incubator Dyrdek Machine and hosts the “Build With Rob” podcast. During our conversation, Rob talked about his journey from being a skateboarder to building his businesses.

In your early 20s, you gained fame as a professional skateboarder and were able to travel the world. Despite your success, why wasn’t skateboarding giving you the purpose and fulfillment you were seeking?

It wasn’t as much about the sport itself not giving me fulfillment, but I began to grow out of it because my true passion was creating and bringing ideas to life, and I had maxed out what was possible within skateboarding itself.

I looked at myself as a brand at a really early age, and turned pro when I was 16. I was around when we created the Alien Workshop, and that was the company I turned pro for. T

You’re part skater, part TV personality, and part entrepreneur. How were you able to turn your success as a skateboarder into a series of TV shows and into multiple businesses and partnerships?

At 14, I skated for a local skate shop whose founders started all of these companies. So even as I was turning pro, tracking all my own finances, and considering myself a brand at that early age, I was still watching companies get created.

I built my first company when I moved to California, when I was 18. My skateboarding career led to launching DC Shoes. And then the DC Shoes video led to a skit for a skate video, and that evolved into a television show on MTV.

That whole time I was constantly creating and building different businesses through the MTV platform, while being a pro skateboarder and creating new television shows. For me, this idea of business has always been the through line, and how do I maximize the opportunity that’s presented to me.

You’ve brought your family and friends with you, much like we saw in HBO’s Entourage series. How has involving your best friend and cousins in your projects deepened your relationship with them, and what have you taught them that has helped improve their careers?

For any business and anything that you create, meaningful relationships are at the core of it being fun. I’ve always been really clear on that. During my diligence period, right before I pull the trigger to decide whether I’m going to create a project with someone, it really boils down to: Do I want to be connected to them for life?

I am passionate. I am driven. I am focused. I am clear. But more than anything, I want to enjoy everything that I do. And any time I get through a process with someone where I can see we’re rubbing each other the wrong way or our energies aren’t connecting, then I just won’t do it.

With so many businesses and projects happening simultaneously, how do you manage your time and decide what projects to invest or divest in?

I look at life as this series of interconnected systems that all need to be aligned, integrated, and expanding in the same direction – and that direction is towards your ideal life. But it’s a balanced life, by design. It’s choosing the right projects, and how you actually live in those projects.

My entire existence, from the way I create companies to the way I shoot television, is fully systematized and automated. I have an 80-page document called The Rhythm of Existence that is the operating system for my life. At the end of the day, your energy is basically everything that you have, and that excitement about life and absolutely enjoying everything you’re doing is really what I’m hoping to achieve.

What’s your best piece of career advice?

I think the best piece of career advice is that you’re not building a career, you’re building a life. It’s finding the balance between who you are as a person – your passions, your physical strength, your happiness, what fulfills you – and the way that you earn a living, that feeds that purpose and who you are, and then how you want to live.

I think a lot of times, people don’t look at themselves as multidimensional beings that require all of these different aspects in order to be happy and balanced. They think their career is going to be the answer for the life that they want. But your career will never be the answer. It will be a part of the answer, and if it’s integrated into who you are and how you live, then you will truly be balanced and happy.

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7 books that can supercharge your personal growth this summer

woman reading book bed
Feeling burned out and jaded? Invest some time and energy into your personal growth.

  • The following article was first published by The Next Big Idea Club and has been republished here with permission.
  • Diving into an impactful book is a great way to kick off a journey of personal growth.
  • if you’d like to invest some time and energy into personal growth, these 7 books are an excellent place to start.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Over the last year, many of us have felt the world spin out of control. The global pandemic has forced us to abandon familiar routines and adopt new habits for everything, from working to socializing.

But no matter what the pandemic puts us through, there’s one thing we can always control: ourselves. So if you’d like to invest some time and energy into personal growth, the seven books below are an excellent place to start.

1. “The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices” by Casper ter Kuile

In America and around the world, it’s no secret that many people are struggling to find fulfillment in traditional organized religion. But Harvard Divinity School Fellow Casper ter Kuile believes that whether you’re religious or not, you can design personal rituals for your life, rituals that add joy and meaning to everyday experiences.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

2. “In Awe: Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy” by John O’Leary

With so much bad news showing up everywhere from TV to Twitter, we may find ourselves feeling burned out and jaded more often than we’d like. But internationally renowned speaker John O’Leary believes that we can adopt a different, healthier, more joyful mindset – if only we’re ready to try a new perspective.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

3. “Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day” by Jay Shetty

When business and media influencer Jay Shetty encourages us to “think like a monk,” he’s not referencing something he read about, or researched for a doctorate degree. He’s talking about something he lived, as he spent years in India as a monk himself. This remarkable book lays bare the most ancient, most valuable wisdom he learned along the way.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

4. “Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas” by Alexi Pappas

Olympic athlete, actress, and filmmaker Alexi Pappas may seem to have it all figured out. But when she was just four years old, her mother died by suicide – and over the years, she’s had to battle demons of her own. In this candid and moving memoir, Pappas shares what she’s learned about overcoming adversity and living the life you’ve always wanted.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

5. “Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You” by Jim Davies

Your dog thinks you’re probably the best person in the world. After all, enduring your absence for even half an hour seems to stress her out. So if you want to become every bit as kind, generous, and wise as she thinks you are, you’ll want to crack open this book by cognitive scientist Jim Davies.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

6. “The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers” by Eric Weiner

Wondering about how to attain true happiness, or how to become a more ethical person, or what the meaning of life could be? If so, there’s no need to start answering those questions from scratch – in fact, history’s greatest minds have already done the heavy lifting. Let Eric Weiner be your guide through their greatest insights.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

7. “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning” by Tom Vanderbilt

When we’re kids, we constantly try new hobbies, sports, and activities. And although we’re not always successful, these forays help us become stronger, more well-rounded individuals. So why do we stop trying new things in adulthood? In “Beginners,” acclaimed journalist Tom Vanderbilt contends that you’re never too old to learn something new.

View Our “Book Bite” Summary

Read more:

Dream First, Details Later: How to Quit Overthinking & Make It Happen!
How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing

A version of this article was published by The Next Big Idea Club, which delivers key insights from all the best new books via the Next Big Idea App, website, and podcast. To hear the audio version of this post, narrated by the author, and to enjoy more Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea App today.

The Next Big Idea Club is a subscription book club curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant. Get smarter faster with the Next Big Idea app, which offers the key insights from the best new books every day, created and narrated by bestselling authors, ad-free episodes of our popular podcast, and live zoom conversations with leading thinkers.

Read the original article on Business Insider