China is richer but more unequal; How to job search using social media; Being anxious is being human

1 China is richer but more unequal (Jonathan Kaiman in The Guardian) China is becoming more unequal as it gets richer, with about a third of the country’s wealth now concentrated in the hands of 1% of its citizens, according to new research. A report by the Peking University Institute of Social Science Survey also found that the poorest quarter of Chinese citizens owned only 1% of the country’s wealth.

The report concludes that while the country is getting richer as a whole – the average net worth of a Chinese household rose 17% between 2010 and 2012 to $71,000 – inequality is a serious and growing problem. It says the country’s Gini coefficient, a widely used indicator of economic inequality, has grown sharply over the past two decades.

A Gini coefficient of zero represents absolute equality, while one represents absolute inequality. About 20 years ago, China’s Gini coefficient for family net wealth was 0.45, according to the People’s Daily website, a Communist party mouthpiece, but by 2012 it had risen to 0.73.

Data from the OECD gives the US the highest Gini coefficient in the G7, after taxes and transfers, at 0.39, followed by the UK at 0.34 and Italy at 0.32. In the US, the richest 1% of the population controls about 40% of the country’s wealth. According to a Credit Suisse’s 2013 global wealth report, about 1% of the world’s population holds 46% of its total assets. The richest 10% of earners own 86% of all wealth, and the bottom half owns less than 1%.

2 How to job search using social media (Belo Cipriani in San Francisco Chronicle) Not every employment opportunity is posted on traditional job boards, leaving staffing professionals to develop other creative ways to find candidates. Many recruiters are relying on social media. Here are six ways social media can help you land your next job.

Before using social media to job search, make sure that your profiles are updated and look professional. Use the same cover photo in all of them and ensure you are using an image employers would not frown upon. Check the privacy settings and see how your profile is displayed to others.

Social media accounts give companies a better idea of who you are than a resume or cover letter. So, make sure you are branding yourself correctly by having a few friends glance over your social media accounts. You don’t have to use all of your social media profiles to hunt for a job. Make sure the ones you do use are polished.

3 Being anxious is being human (Chong Siow Ann in Straits Times) Various explanations have been advanced for this inexplicable and spectacular failure of a football powerhouse like Brazil. Much had been said about the excessively high expectations placed on a team whose nerves were stretched as they inched closer to that coveted trophy. On that day and on that pitch, the Brazilian team could not show grace under pressure. Instead, they buckled and crumpled under the German onslaught.

Collectively, they seemed to have “choked”. “Choking” is the sports colloquialism for that stress reaction that happens under high-pressure situations and where athletes become self-conscious, over-think their actions, and end up not being able to perform.

It is a classic illustration of the Yerkes-Dobson law. Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson were two Harvard psychologists who, a century ago, demonstrated that moderate levels of anxiety improve performance by focusing the mind and readying the body for action, but only up to a point. The level of performance increases with anxiety until it reaches a peak. Thereafter, it barrels downhill as the anxiety continues to ratchet up.

Social commenters like to describe our present time as the age of anxiety to refer to that abstract collective sense of uneasiness in the face of the constant threats of religious fundamentalism, terrorism, economic crisis, unemployment, devastating viral pandemic, et cetera. As a group, they are the most common type of mental illness.


About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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