Exacerbated by pandemic, child care crisis hampers economy

SEATTLE — After Bryan Kang’s son was born in July, the occupational therapist and his wife, a teacher, started looking for child care in the Los Angeles area. The couple called eight day care centers: Some didn't have spots for months; others stopped taking their calls and some never answered at all. So with no viable options, Kang scrambled to find a new job that would allow him to work remotely. Kang said he's fortunate he found a job teaching online classes, but the unexpected career pivot forced him to take an 11% pay cut. The truth is, even if he could find a day care spot for his now 3-month-old son, the $2,500 monthly cost of infant care is so high that taking a lower-paying job so he can work from home and care for the baby is the most financially sensible thing to do. The child care business has for years operated in a broken, paradoxical market: low wages for workers and high costs for consumers. Yet the critical service somehow managed to limp along. Now, the pandemic has made clear what many experts had long warned: The absence of reliable and affordable child care limits which jobs people can accept, makes it harder to climb the corporate ladder and ultimately restricts the ability of the broader economy to grow.

People or profit? Facebook papers show deep conflict within

Facebook the company is losing control of Facebook the product — not to mention the last shreds of its carefully crafted, decade-old image as a benevolent company just wanting to connect the world. Thousands of pages of internal documents provided to Congress by a former employee depict an internally conflicted company where data on the harms it causes is abundant, but solutions, much less the will to act on them, are halting at best. The crisis exposed by the documents shows how Facebook, despite its regularly avowed good intentions, appears to have slow-walked or sidelined efforts to address real harms the social network has magnified and sometimes created. They reveal numerous instances where researchers and rank-and-file workers uncovered deep-seated problems that the company then overlooked or ignored.

Grammys CEO on a mission to regain music community's trust

BURBANK, Calif. — When Harvey Mason Jr. took the helm at the Recording Academy, the Grammy-nominated producer knew there would be an uphill climb. He’s heard firsthand from some in the music community that the academy wasn’t a fit for them, the award voting process was ineffective, and that the organization lacked diversity. Those critical responses have fueled Mason’s mission as the academy’s CEO to right the wrongs and listen to the voices of the unheard. He’s already replaced the nominations review committee with a new member peer-driven voting system, overhauled the leadership with two co-presidents, increased membership and committed to hiring more diverse candidates with an inclusion rider for next year’s Grammy Awards. So far, Mason feels like the academy — which annually produces the Grammys — is moving in the right direction to regain the trust of the music community.

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