Saturday Cup of Joe that was largely finished up on Saturday with my cup of joe. Hopefully it will be arriving in time for your afternoon happy hour or Sunday morning cup of coffee. We have a new coffee & donut shop in Detroit. Yellow Light. Opened during the pandemic as drive through only and the owners also own several other spots in the city and happen to live in our neighborhood. So, we go there once a week…ok… twice a week…you get the idea. Even if we didn’t know them or want to support our community, we’d still go because the coffee and donuts are fantastic.
So this morning I’m drinking Yellow Light house blend with a lemon poppy seed donut. For everyone that heard Michigan is a dictatorship or that we’re living under tyranny here, if that’s true, I’ll let you know that lemon poppy seed tyranny is delicious.
Hope you have a safe, happy Thanksgiving week. Understanding it’s different for everyone and this year’s holidays will be unique in many ways, I think sometimes we over look the opportunity. It sucks to have Thanksgiving cancelled. A couple of years ago, there was a severe snowstorm in New England a the day we were supposed to leave for my in-laws house in New Hampshire. The storm cancelled Thanksgiving and I ran to the grocery store instead buying the last Turkey in the cooler. The next day we had our first Thanksgiving where it was just me, my wife and our daughter who was a baby.
I blame the grocery store cooler on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving; my wife blames our oven. Either way, we ended up food poisoning that night. So, what I’m trying to say, is that cancelling Thanksgiving to keep your community safe sucks, but it doesn’t suck as bad as food poisoning. Make sure you cook those turkeys and you won’t have to experience both.
I spent some time this week on an event with Donnell Williams of NAREB. Mr. Williams leads black real estate professionals and launched “House Then The Car,” which is a new campaign aimed at black renters who could be homeowners.
Almost 3 million black Millennials make $100,000. Almost 2 million of those rent.
One way to address the black homeownership gap is reframing homeownership as both attainable and a good investment even if you are only in a starter home or condo.
Here’s NAREB’s House Then The Car campaign. Click the link. Check it out. Become an Ambassador.
When you think hunter-gatherer, do you think caveman? Or man period? Think again. New research shows that ancient women were as likely as men to be the big game hunters in the family or community. About 50% of hunters were women and the research suggests that the division of labor was much more collective and equally shared than our pop culture notions would have us believe.
This news comes as no shock to women who have been getting all the shit done for millennia.
Q: What’s a good reminder of our place in this world?
A: This Reddit thread reprinted on Digg.com. What are your own “harshest truths”?
Here are some from the link:
- Hard work will not always be recognized.
- You’re never as awesome as you think you are.
- It is possible to fail to see how good things are until its too late.
I think some of mine would be:
- The Golden Rule is aspirational not widely practiced
- Fast or slow, cancer is the worst
- The idea itself is never enough
As most of the world, at least the business world, prepares for a Biden Administration, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) published perspective on how the new administration will shape the housing market. Two topics of note:
1. The current Biden plan could give first-time home buyers a down payment tax credit of up to $15,000 to be used at the time of purchase. As home prices continue to rise throughout the year and into next year, this might be a difference maker for some buyers.
Pros — incentives to stimulate homeownership are great! Also, we know homeowners provide economic stability to communities. Homeowners have work done on the house, spend money at hardware stores and order pizza on Friday nights. Wait, renters have pizza night too, but economic activity in safe, stable communities is good. See #2 — this is why black homeownership is critical to generating wealth and supporting our communities nationwide.
Cons — these types of incentives can drive up home values as cash buyers or those without the incentive will just pay more to overcome the new bidding power of first-time home buyers.
2. Safe, stable communities are vibrant communities. A Biden pledge to fight the racial housing gap means providing opportunities to historically discriminated first-time home buyers that will create economic stability and wealth in communities of color.
Pros — government programs in the 1940s created efficient, affordable home ownership opportunities for an entire generation of white G.I.s returning from World War II. No such program was extended to black G.I.s or black Americans since. Housing remains critical to communities and family wealth. It will generate overall stronger communities and cities.
Cons — it’s surely going to be politically fraught given the 2020 election cycle. Acknowledging that special housing programs are needed requires acknowledging the discrimination that has persisted in housing since the end of slavery (which itself is the foundational discrimination on which everything else has been built). Spending political capital and actual investment here will be costly. It will be worth it but it will be hard. This is me advocating for this type of program while also being realistic about the current view of many lawmakers in DC.
Q: Is there such a thing as bias free?
A: No. Let’s be honest. There’s the belief we could have bias-free decision-making. In reality, though, even the machines supposedly capable of bias-free decision-making were created by human beings. Human beings are subjective creatures. I know, you don’t read Saturday Cup of Joe for anthropological findings based on only my personal experience, BUT let me give it to you anyway.
There’s no such thing.
Assumptions are baked into everything we do whether directly or within technology. We always build from a default position.
Even the belief that computer programs can be designed in a way that is bias-free IS a biased opinion. According to Pew Research, “58% of Americans feel that computer programs will always reflect some level of human bias — although 40% think these programs can be designed in a way that is bias-free. And in various contexts, the public worries that these tools might violate privacy, fail to capture the nuance of complex situations, or simply put the people they are evaluating in an unfair situation.”
Here we are, a world where respondents to a survey believed that it was “more unacceptable” to make criminal justice decisions than personal finance decisions according to an algorithm.
Q: When it doesn’t matter if you win because you’ve lost either way?
A: See Trump, President. Right now we’re watching a politician attempt to win without realizing that he’s lost either way. I know, it sounds crazy, especially if you are a Trump supporter. If you are a Trump supporter, you may be reading this and still holding out hope or believing that some cockamamie path through state electors will flip not 1, not 2 but 3 states’ result either through lawsuit or electors to hand Trump a so-called “victory.” But I’m here to tell you that President Trump has lost. There is no path to actual victory which is to say legitimacy. If the results stand which, let’s be honest, they will, Joe Biden is President-Elect.
If the results actually were to change at this point, through some combination of weird legal maneuver meets electoral college tampering with a dash of deal-with-the-devil, President Trump still loses. Having lost legitimacy means you only have physical control or intimidation left and that’s no longer authority even if has worked in many other countries throughout history (in fact, it’s exactly the thing you are supposedly against). So the loss is both actual and complete at this point.
Sometimes when I write perception versus reality, friends & colleagues will respond — “perception is reality.” I would say that this is a rare case where perception and reality meet and the current President lost in both.
Quote: “I have no special talents, I’m just passionately curious” — Albert Einstein
This quote, sent this week by my Dad, captures something I’ve been thinking for a long time. I love it. Our job, or at least my job, as I see it is to direct that curiosity.
Good luck directing your curiosity this week.
Bonus Content: % of young people living with their parents by country. US is relatively low compared to Greece, Italy, Spain and Germany.
Continued success and continue to answer well,