🐤 Talkin' turkey

With less than three weeks till Thanksgiving, you'd better start saving now.

Friday | November 3rd, 2023
Early Chirp

Happy Friday, chirpers! For many of you, it’s almost time to say goodbye to daylight saving time. You’ll gain an extra hour of sleep tomorrow night, but it’s a reminder of the shorter days that are on the way as winter approaches.

Clock changes can also make it more difficult to figure out what time it is in other parts of the world — like France, which technically controls territories that span 13 time zones even though the country itself is all contained to Central European Time.

-Chris Agee

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*Market data for this issue is from November 2nd, 2023 at 6:57pm EST

🏦 Markets: Treasury bond yields, which have been on the rise for some time, moderated a bit yesterday in response to the Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates where they are for the time being.

The stock market reacted enthusiastically to the developing trend with all three major indexes gaining 1.7% or more on Thursday.

For the S&P 500, yesterday marked the first back-to-back daily gain of more than 1% since February.


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Shutterstock

🤖 Managing AI: While the cat’s out of the bag as far as artificial intelligence is concerned, world leaders say it’s not too late to regulate the tech responsibility so that it benefits humanity instead of threatening it. And a recent AI Safety Summit in Britain set a goal to do just that. Industry experts, business leaders, and politicians weighed in, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirming that the global consensus was that regulation should “tip the balance in favor of humanity.”

🏈 No stealing: The Big Ten Conference is experiencing some internal strife after the Michigan team and its coach, Jim Harbaugh, were accused of breaking conference rules by improperly stealing signs from opposing teams. A number of other coaches are calling on Commissioner Tony Petitti to impose serious consequences on the Wolverines team and Big Ten officials were reportedly considering the matter behind closed doors as of Thursday. Michigan is undefeated this season.

💿 Carey suit: Nearly three decades after recording the huge Christmas hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” pop star Mariah Carey is still cashing in year after year. But for the second consecutive year, she’s facing legal action from a country artist who released a song with the same name a few years earlier. Andy Stone was performing as Vince Vance when the song came out in 1989 and he’s claiming copyright infringement against Carey. He filed (and later withdrew) a similar lawsuit last year.

☕ Red cups: Starbucks rang in the holiday season yesterday by unveiling its coveted red cups. This year, there are four patterns and, instead of being all red as the name implies, each one has a unique pattern. Loyal customers and critics alike have been outspoken about previous designs, so it remains to be seen how this year’s offering will be received. Red Cup Day, when customers can receive a reusable cup with the purchase of a holiday drink, will come later this month.

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If You Thought Halloween Was Expensive, Wait Till You Start Shopping For Thanksgiving

Here's how much a holiday feast will probably set you back this year.

If You Thought Halloween Was Expensive, Wait Till You Start Shopping For Thanksgiving Giphy

Prices are higher for almost everything and the holiday season only amplifies that fact. After the second straight year of double-digit inflation on Halloween candy, it’s now time to prepare for the cost of Thanksgiving.

Tracking the trends

By taking a look at recent years and identifying forecasts for the upcoming holiday, consumers can get a pretty good idea of what they’ll have to spend for a typical holiday feast.

Here are some key stats:

  • A 16-pound turkey will cost about $20.32 this year, up from $13.46 in 2018.
  • Nearly half of Thanksgiving dinner hosts went into debt to fund the meal in 2021.
  • Last year, roughly one-fourth of Americans skipped festivities due to high prices.

In 2022, Americans shelled out more than $1.1 billion just on Thanksgiving turkeys. While poultry costs are down slightly this year, those birds will still set you back more than a buck and a quarter per pound. That means you might need to cut back elsewhere.

In one survey last year, nearly 90% of respondents said they’d be eliminating one or more dishes from their meal to trim costs.

It’s not just dinner

While turkey, sides, and desserts get most of the attention, there are other expenses to consider when planning for Thanksgiving.

For starters, nearly one-third of Americans planned to spend more than $500 on travel last year, which is a clear majority of the 112 million people with holiday travel plans.

And as Black Friday deals increasingly encroach on Thanksgiving, a lot of consumers are starting their gift-buying earlier. On Thanksgiving last year, online shopping hit $5.29 billion — about twice the amount of a typical day.

When it comes to Thanksgiving parties, millennials are the biggest spenders, dropping an average of more than $461 per party in 2021.

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Do you think you'll spend $500 on Thanksgiving this year?

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YouTube Aims To Keep Kids And Teens Safer … But Is It Enough?

Lawmakers have been pushing for some of these changes for a while.

YouTube Aims To Keep Kids And Teens Safer … But Is It Enough? Shutterstock

Social media in general has been identified as a serious risk for kids. Evidence shows it can exacerbate loneliness, fuel eating disorders, and much more.

Then there’s YouTube, which is in many ways in a class by itself. A large number of young people get most of their streaming content from the platform and U.S. lawmakers have been worried for years about the stuff teens are exposed to while browsing videos.

Addressing the problem

To its credit, YouTube is being fairly open about the potential pitfalls associated with teens who spend a lot of time on the site. In an announcement this week, the company touted new restrictions meant to limit exposure to possibly harmful themes and content.

Here’s a brief overview of the new safeguards:

  • Limiting recommendations for videos related to physical characteristics (weight, fitness, etc.) that could trigger body image issues
  • Preventing repeated viewing of content that deals with “social aggression” such as intimidations and fighting
  • Amplifying features like “take a break” and bedtime reminders to discourage spending too much time on the platform.

Preemptive compliance

While we can give YouTube credit for taking these steps, they didn’t come until lawmakers in both parties started calling for action. The Kids Online Safety Act was formally introduced in the Senate earlier this year and recommended some strict controls over what young people encounter on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet.

But YouTube does seem to be taking the issue seriously and has teamed up with partners like the World Health Organization to develop these changes.

In addition to algorithm updates, YouTube has committed to increasing online resources available to users who need help dealing with a host of issues from eating disorders to suicidal thoughts.

Along with direct guidance, the platform will also provide links to crisis hotlines.

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work life

How Generational And Economic Changes Have Created A New Outlook On Retirement

Allow us to introduce you to the term "flextirement."

How Generational And Economic Changes Have Created A New Outlook On Retirement Giphy

The concept of retirement often evokes mixed emotions. On one hand, it offers a reprieve from the daily grind … and on the other, it serves as a reminder of the relentless aging process.

While previous generations embraced a fairly definitive shift from full-time work to full-time retirement, today’s adults see things with a bit more nuance.

What is “flextirement”?

A growing number of companies are recognizing the value of offering part-time positions to retired workers. At the same time, many retirees are looking for something to do to break up the monotony of retirement and bring in some extra bucks.

The result is something that has become known as “flextirement,” and it seems to be working out pretty well.

Finding the right balance

In some cases, companies try to keep current employees around in a reduced capacity instead of seeing them leave entirely. This means that the business doesn’t lose the experience that employees bring to the position. It also allows aging workers to continue receiving healthcare and other employer-provided benefits.

Another common strategy involves reaching out to the many retirees who are interested in returning to the workforce. One recent study found that 1 in 6 retired people fell into this category, often because they are lonely, bored, or just want to make some extra money.

One company’s journey

Ad agency HireClix is starting to embrace the flextirement trend and is currently in negotiations with an employee with the hope of keeping her around.

And while Michelle Whiffen said she initially planned to fully retire, the thought of remaining at the company part-time was intriguing.

“Now that I’m 58, it’s really not that old and I’m not ready,” she said. “I’m pretty sharp and I want to keep working. I don’t want to sit on the couch.”

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

90 N Church St, The Strathvale House
Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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