Jan 4, 2021Liked by Noah Smith

Thank you Noah. Re non-competes, my stepson, a low-level, NYC-based software engineer is currently facing a legal challenge in moving between two small insurance startups.

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Oh my gosh. So nuts!

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"Why should a checkout clerk or a receptionist not be able to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle?"

Because it would be extremely expensive?

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Regarding the humanities/social science decline you were taking about today... I think now (the Trump/Brexit Era) is the perfect time to consider that maybe the greatest benefit of a social science/humanities degree is that it can help supply you an exit from your home country/culture, if you wish to take that.

Learning a foreign language, learning about other cultures, learning about how groups and societies function--these things may not help you find the career you thought you would have in your home country. But they can help you find a better life than you thought possible in another one. Something I know a lot of younger Americans in particular are looking for right now, with American decline staring then full in the face.

Some discontented elites end up leading revolutions, like you said. But some of them just end up in a country that suits them better. Like those British intellectuals who would end up on the Continent, because English culture was too stultifying/oppressive.

"You either die an adjunct, or live long enough to see yourself become an ex-pat."

Something like that, perhaps. 🤔

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Concisely: startups (and larger companies too) are attracted by a deep pool of labour from which they can recruit. Startups especially are drawn to experienced labour. If the experienced workers are all locked down by noncompetes, why move to Texas? Cheap houses, that's all.

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Noah, do you ever do segments on Bloomberg tv? I can't as much recently but I used to have it on in the background a fair amount and don't recall seeing you. Just curious.

Thanks for sharing the pieces!

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