Economics/Class Relations

Let’s be honest about job titles

February 7, 2023
Hello, Insiders. This week, I’m highlighting our incredible documentary series “Risky Business,” centering on those who risk their lives to earn a living. Up today: What it’s like to work at one of the world’s largest landfills.

Each day, thousands of trash collectors at a massive garbage dump near Jakarta, Indonesia, dodge giant excavators and avoid landslides and methane eruptions. One person who saw the video on YouTube wrote that this 11-minute doc “puts my entire life into perspective and I am immensely grateful for what I have despite the struggles I face.” Watch it here.

This has made me wonder: What are some dangerous jobs you’ve worked? Let me know at But for now, the news.

— Nicholas Carlson


In today’s edition: The rise in electrical-grid attacks, why regular-old job titles suddenly got so pompous-sounding, and a prediction that home prices are going to keep falling. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.


China balloon, Google’s Bard, & George Santos

  • China acknowledged that a second balloon — this one floating over Latin America — was also theirs. China gave the same reason it did with the balloon that floated over Montana: that the balloon was lost. Read more.
  • Google just released Bard, its long-awaited challenger to ChatGPT. Find out more.
  • George Santos’ claim that he rescued over 2,000 animals is under fire as people accuse him of pocketing thousands of dollars meant for pets, per a report. Get the full story.

The grid is under attack

Arif Qazi/Insider


On December 3, tens of thousands of residents in North Carolina experienced a massive power loss. But it was no accident. Attackers had rained gunfire on two facilities that regulate the power grid and knocked them out of operation. It took days to bring everything back online.

These attacks weren’t an anomaly. An Insider investigation found strikes against the electrical grid nationwide to be at an all-time high — and experts say the biggest threat comes from right-wing extremists looking to dissolve social order.

Insider analyzed new data, visited electrical substations, reviewed law-enforcement records and neo-Nazi propaganda, and interviewed several experts. The report reveals that while attacks against the grid are up, efforts to protect it are lagging, and perpetrators are rarely caught — leaving huge swaths of America’s electrical infrastructure vulnerable.



Everyone’s a VP, home prices, & more

iStock; George Marks, Sellwell, C.J. Burton/Getty images; Robyn Phelps/Insider


  • Job titles have become overinflated. Associates are now “partners,” and everyone’s a “senior executive VP.” An analysis of job postings since 2019 indicates that Gen Z and the Great Resignation have led job titles to become more grandiose-sounding. Here’s why.
  • Robocallers are preying on older people with fake Medicare calls. Scammers are spoofing the 1-800-MEDICARE line to steal people’s Medicare numbers, all so they can rack up fake healthcare charges and commit identity theft. How it can be stopped.
  • Home prices’ decline may accelerate in 2023. The economist Ian Shepherdson called the 2008 housing bubble three years in advance — and he thinks housing will get more affordable and more available as the year goes on. Read the full story.
  • Even if ChatGPT doesn’t take your job, it could help another human replace you. That’s according to the economist who famously predicted AI would take over half of US jobs. Why ChatGPT is coming for us all.
  • An Etsy customer’s refund request has gone viral. Breanna Chaplin bought a cup shaped like a Little Debbie Christmas Tree cake for $200. When it arrived broken, the ensuing exchange was put on TikTok for millions of viewers to see. Watch the drama unfold.
  • A Texas “Dreamer” found out during an immigration meeting that his dad wasn’t his biological father. Jaime Avalos is trying to get home to his wife and his son. But he’s stuck in Mexico after being barred from the US for 10 years. Read about the family’s fight to reunite.
  • Spain launched its digital-nomad visa. The Spanish government has officially approved a new, long-awaited visa for remote workers. Here’s who qualifies and how to apply.



Disney cottage for sale

Jonathan Goldman Blue/Gold Media
A fairytale cottage smack in the middle of LA is on the market for $2.19 million. The five-bedroom Los Angeles home, designed by Disney animators in the 1930s, is in the Hollywood Hills. See inside “The Witches’ Cottage.”



Slicing open a $1,100 Gucci bag

A leather expert cuts open designer bags on social media to see whether the materials they’re made with are actually worth the price point. He demonstrates this with a $1,100 Gucci Dionysus mini bag and walks us through his process. Watch now.

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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson and edited by Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Nathan Rennolds, Kevin Kaplan, and Shona Ghosh. Get in touch:

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