1. U.S. Education: the increasing cost of higher education plus the increase in students pursuing a degree have led to more student loans being issued

“As young adults struggle to pay back their loans, they’re forced to make financial concessions that create a drag on the economy. Student debt has delayed household formation and led to a decline in homeownership. Sixteen percent of young workers aged 25 to 35 lived with their parents in 2017, up 4 percent from 10 years prior, shows Bloomberg Intelligence.

“You have a whole generation of people that have a significant amount of student loans and its crimping demand for other goods and services,” said Ira Jersey, the chief U.S. interest rate strategist for Bloomberg Intelligence. “As people live with their parents, or cohabit with a non-partner, millions of houses and apartments aren’t being purchased. Neither is Wi-Fi or that extra sofa. We think this is having a significant impact on the economy.””

Read the full article on Bloomberg: The Student Loan Debt Crisis Is About to Get Worse

  1. Singapore’s national identity: A committee has been set up to guide the nomination of Singapore’s hawker culture for a spot on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

“The committee will provide recommendations, feedback and advice on the nomination documents to be submitted to UNESCO in March 2019, as well as encourage community participation and support for Singapore’s nomination, which is an important component of UNESCO’s assessments.

The results are expected by end 2020.

The decision to nominate hawker culture was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally in August, where he spoke about hawker centres being a unique part of Singapore’s society, heritage and identity.

“Hawker centres are our community dining rooms,” Mr Lee had said in his Chinese speech, noting how Singaporeans of all races, faiths and income groups are able to eat together in hawker centres.”

Read the full article on Channel NewsAsia: Committee set up to advise on Singapore’s nomination of hawker culture for UNESCO listing

  1. Meritocracy and Class: The history of the meritocracy ideal coined by Michael Young and how the ideology evolved in practice.

“Yes, people will inevitably want to share both money and status with those they love, seeking to get their children financial and social rewards. But we should not secure our children’s advantages in a way that denies a decent life to the children of others. Each child should have access to a decent education, suitable to her talents and her choices; each should be able to regard him- or herself with self-respect. Further democratising the opportunities for advancement is something we know how to do, even if the state of current politics in Britain and the US has made it increasingly unlikely that it will be done anytime soon.”

Read the full article on The Guardian: The myth of meritocracy: who really gets what they deserve?