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The fast-food chain is installing self-help kiosks at 1,000 restaurants this year, the Associated Press reports. This is the sort of anecdote brandished by those who warn of the effects of automation on the labor market. But if there were automation invading the American labor market, business would be producing more with fewer workers, and the data is saying they're not — at least yet.

Something has to give: According to Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics, who says that high stock valuations — the Dow will shoot for its 12th straight record close Monday — and measures of consumer and business confidence in recent surveys cannot exist beside a Washington D.C. that gets little done.

Investors of the edges of their seats: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday that President Trump will address tax reform during his speech on Tuesday, and that the forthcoming budget won't cut entitlement programs. This appears to limit the ability to propose big, stimulative tax cuts to workers and businesses, but Wall Street will be hungry for specifics.

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.