Happy Labor Day and welcome to the inaugural edition of the new 5X-week Future.
Numerous readers have emailed to express excitement and congratulations about our expansion — but also worry that, given busy schedules, they would have a hard time keeping up. So in response, on Fridays, we will provide links to all the week's 1 big things.
With an escalation in President Trump's trade war possible as early as Thursday, retaliatory tariffs threaten U.S. companies employing some 11 million workers, according to an Axios analysis.
Driving the news: On Thursday, a public comment period ends on Trump's threat to quadruple tariffs on China, slapping them on $200 billion in Chinese goods, up from $50 billion in force today. If Trump proceeds this week or later, as experts expect him to, China has said it will retaliate with tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. exports.
That's on top of 25% and 10% tariffs enacted, respectively, on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, China, Mexico and the European Union, and by those countries against the U.S.
Against these impacts, the Trump administration has already provided a $4.7 billion bailout to soybean farmers, hit with retaliatory tariffs by China, their biggest customer, a move criticized by Republicans.
Labor thrives in some states. Photo: Bettmann/Getty
Amid gridlock in boardrooms and Congress on proposals to improve worker pay and employment conditions, state governments have taken the lead, forcing companies to raise minimums and add benefits.
What's going on: Most states have enacted minimum wages exceeding the federal $7.25-an-hour rate that's been in place for nine years. But there is a wide range of hourly rates and working conditions, and none of the state minimums provides a living wage for a family, says Oxfam in a new national study.
The big picture: Since the 1980s, the U.S, the U.K. and some other developed countries have largely stopped treating labor as an economic policy priority, focusing instead on corporate profit.
The report found enormous disparities between some neighboring states, dramatized by the juxtaposition of Washington, DC (the best conditions) and Virginia (the worst).
According to Oxfam, the four best states to work, in rank after DC, were Washington state, California, Massachusetts and Vermont. The worst five, starting with No. 46, were North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia.
Go deeper: Six classic profiles of the lives of workers, from The New Yorker.
Disney World in Orlando. Photo: Mark Ashman/Disney/Getty
Tens of thousands of workers at Disney World in Orlando will vote this week whether to accept a 50% increase in their minimum wage with a catch — a creeping rise in the number of their fellow employees who are part-time.
The Disney staff will vote Wednesday and Thursday on the deal, which would allow the park to increase part-timers to 38% of the work force, up from 35% now, writes Axios' Erica Pandey.
The big picture: In a super-tight labor market in which Disney is competing with fast-food joints and all manner of lower-wage employment, the proposed raise to $15 an hour by 2021 is significant. It affects 38,000 workers, and could have broader repercussions, too, by possibly forcing other central Florida employers to raise their minimum wage, reports the Orlando Sentinal's Gabrielle Russon.
But it also aligns with national trends in which wages are rising while conventional, family-supporting jobs are becoming less permanent, says Mark Muro of Brookings.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Whither the lost Einsteins (John van Reenen - CentrePiece)
For Big Tech, each man for himself (David McCabe, Ina Fried, Sara Fischer, Scott Rosenberg - Axios)
A suspected microwave attack in Cuba (William Broad - NYT)
#Prisonstrike: Rebellion in profitable US prisons (Talia Levin - Village Voice)
In Chemnitz, the new strength of Germany's far right (Katrin Bennhold - NYT)
San Francisco 1972: Tattoo impressario Lyle Tuttle in his heyday. Photo: John Olsen/LIFE/Getty
Tattoos may hurt them in professional encounters, but more millennials are slapping on body art than any generation in modern memory.
By the numbers:
Between the lines: This predilection may be hurting millennials in the job market.
That may explain a 2016 Harris poll, in which 23% of tattooed Americans regret it.
If that's you, it will be expensive to undo the mistake: removal of a 3-inch-by-5-inch tattoo costs a minimum of $5,000 (if it takes only eight sessions of laser surgery), the WSJ said, and as much as $36,000.