Economics/Class Relations

Welcome to Warehouse Nation

Nicholas Carlson October 20, 2022

 

Hello, Insiders. Breaking news this morning: UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has resigned after just six weeks in office. It’s a stunning turn of events, and a big rebuke to the idea that tax cuts solve every problem, an idea that has dominated conservative parties for decades. Also, it’s a reminder that inflation and economic crisis will make life hell for any politician in power — and a scary reality for Biden and the Democrats in the US. Finally, part of me wonders if this is another example of a woman being handed management only when the operation is already a disaster — the so-called “glass cliff.” With that, let’s get to what else is going on.
The latest
  • Elon Musk said he’s “obviously overpaying” in his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. Here’s the latest.
The big story
Bing Guan/Bloomberg/Getty images
After the United States emerged from the Great Recession, something interesting happened: Cheap real estate and the rise of e-commerce collided, creating a warehousing boom.

 

Since 2011, more than 2.3 billion square feet of new warehouse space has come to market — enough room to comfortably stuff three and a half Manhattans inside. And while it’s a world that is kept far from the box delivered to your doorstep, it’s creeping closer every year.

 

Over the past seven months, Insider has been poring over maps, scraping data, and speaking with experts and people on the ground to understand how the rise of warehouses is affecting the country.

 

In our major new project, Warehouse Nation, we unpack both sides of the warehousing boom: While it brings new jobs and higher wages to blue-collar workers, it can also severely strain local infrastructure — and the human body.

 

How the warehouse boom changed the way America looks, lives, and works.

Top reads
Rachel Mendelson/Insider
  • Are you in the grip of the “workplace industrial complex”? Let’s see. Is your boss forcing you back to the office, obsessed with buzzwords like “overemployment,” and constantly having worthless meetings — while making your job miserable? Then read on.
  • Netflix is giving its critics the middle finger. A new, more emboldened Netflix emerged as the company reported strong earnings. Taking a victory lap, the streamer took jabs at competitors and defended binge-watching, seemingly signaling to the haters: We know what we’re doing.
  • The Great People Shortage is coming. Researchers predict that the world’s population will start to slip in the next 40 years due to declining birth rates — and it will cause a massive shortage of workers. What to know about the impending economic chaos.
  • “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star Glenn Howerton said Tesla “lost a customer.” On a podcast, the actor said he was locked out of his Tesla on Friday night when his key fob broke — and that Tesla support failed to help him start the car. Here’s what else he said.
  • A woman who lost 25 pounds without dieting or exercise was told she had IBS — but it was colon cancer. Ashley Teague, now 30, opened up to Insider about her harrowing health experience, saying it took at least six months of advocating for herself to be granted a colonoscopy. Read her story.
Today’s sound bite
“Working fast is an imperative if you want to keep your job.” 
Pennelloppe Alee, an Amazon warehouse worker, on how the company’s speed expectations harm workers. Check out the full segment below.
Watch this
We decoded six images taken by NASA’s James Webb Telescope to see how scientists are using them to understand our origins.
Today’s team
Nicholas Carlson (@nichcarlson), Lisa Ryan (@lisarya), and Jordan Parker Erb (@jordanparkererb).
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