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Situational awareness: U.S. stocks sold off for a second straight day, with Nasdaq at one point entering "correction" territory. Oil prices fell as well, reports Axios' Courtenay Brown.
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A $15 per hour minimum wage has become a national U.S. rallying cry from workers seeking middle-class security. But while double the current minimum, $15 has its own limitations — and risks uncontemplated social consequences.
Driving the news: Over the last year, major cities like New York, Seattle and San Francisco have declared $15 an hour minimums, and major corporations like Amazon and Disney have followed suit.
Take El Centro, a city close to the Mexican border in California, where the median wage is $14.76, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of El Centro's lower prices, the purchasing power of $15 there actually comes to about $16.80, according to a government formula that reconciles the geographic value of wages from city to city.
What's happening: This scenario is playing out right now at Amazon. On Oct. 2, the company put in place a $15 an hour base wage for all employees. Senior warehouse workers who were already making $15 an hour were given a $1 an hour raise. But many protested that they would actually see a drop in total compensation because Amazon stopped issuing bonuses and stock awards, the Seattle Times reports.
Now consider the other side:
Almost two-thirds of black Americans say they are "absolutely certain to vote," according to a new survey by The Atlantic and PRRI. And at higher numbers than white or Hispanic youths, black Americans say their close friends are voting, too.
Why it matters: Barack Obama triggered a surge of votes from black Americans in 2008 and 2012, giving him the edge in several states. President Trump could have a similar effect in the Nov. 6 mid-terms — although for the opposite reason, Axios' Stef Kight writes.
In other results from the survey:
What to watch: Women across the board are more likely to be civically or politically engaged. More than a quarter of young women say they are more interested in political and civic activities than they were in 2016, compared with just 17% of young men.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
One of the biggest weights on young Americans is student debt — accumulated in idealistic youth, when everything seemed possible, only to become a decades-long obstacle to an ordinary middle-class lifestyle in their working years.
Why it matters: About 45 million Americans owe a total of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. As a result, a huge swath of Americans have been unable to buy homes or start families, Erica writes.
Now, with the worst worker shortage in a half-century, some U.S. companies are offering to pay off some of the debt as a lure to new employees.
Only about 4% of U.S. companies currently offer the perk, but the number is growing.
"Companies will have to find clever ways to fund this. It's going to be as mainstream as a 401(k) benefit."— Ashwini Srikantiah, VP at Fidelity
An impossibly perfect self-driving map is far away (Christopher Mims — WSJ)
Ancient Greece forecasted AI (Mark Bridge — The Times of London)
A historic storm called Michael (Chris Canipe — Axios)
Being an 18-year-old girl, around the world (NYT)
Chinese big data could boost civil liberties (Yasheng Huang — MIT Tech Review)
An Italian farmhouse from the late 1800s. Photo: Getty
New technologies have transformed everything from the way we order food to how we track our exercise, but moving into a new home remains a massive headache, Erica writes.
The big picture: Imagine a future where you send the floor plans of your empty new apartment or house to a company. Then, as soon as later that day, delivery trucks arrive with mattresses, sofas, pillows, bar stools and sheets.
What to watch: In any e-commerce play, Amazon is unignorable. The behemoth has already launched a private-label mattress brand, and those who watch the industry expect it to ramp up its furniture offerings soon. Amazon responded to an email from Axios with this link.