Health care as an employer-provided benefit arose in response to salary caps and payroll taxes [citation needed]. It was a way to compete for employees by increasing the employee’s effective salary without having to pay all of the cost. Employee benefits, as part of the total compensation package, are still used to compete for quality workers. Compare, for example, the descriptions of the benefits offered to work for these three companies. Two are fast-rising stars. Two are publicly-traded. One ranks seventh among the most profitable companies in America.

For which would you wish to work?

Modern Architecture at its Peak

The full measure of an architectural style can be taken when there is no life in the buildings, when what purpose they served has left, and we are no longer distracted by the people and things which graced these places.

Brian Ulrich photographs, among other things, empty retail stores. These ruins don’t hold up as well as, for example, those of Rome.

Dear Diary

I’m reading George Orwell’s diary and Samuel Pepys’s diary one day at a time in Google Reader, as the entries are published. The two diaries are a study in contrasts. Pepys’s is detailed, run-on, and full of name-dropping, politics, and plague. Orwell’s is about gardening and the weather, spiced with observations of Morocco. Lately though it has taken on a different character, as he has included clippings from newspapers with his comments.

70 years ago in August, Europe was fast approaching war.