California’s secret climate deal with automakers bypasses Trump administration regulations

Juliet Eilperin explains the secret deal between California and four major automakers. Plus, Elizabeth Dwoskin on the lives of content moderators across the ocean and Jeff Stein on whether we can expect a four-day workweek anytime soon.
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California’s secret emissions deal with automakers
Four major automakers covertly negotiated a deal with California to produce more fuel-efficient cars in coming years, undercutting one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive climate policy rollbacks. 

Under the new compromise, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW of North America — which represent 30 percent of the U.S. auto market — have agreed to raise mileage requirements to 51 miles per gallon for their U.S. fleets over the next six years. This move comes as the Trump administration works to finalize its own new policy, which would freeze requirements at 37 miles per gallon.

Reporter Juliet Eilperin says the growing gulf between federal and state priorities has created uncertainty for American businesses as state lawmakers change rules that, under past administrations, were more likely to be set at the federal level.

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Internet gatekeepers pay a psychic toll
Over the past couple of years, social media companies have hired tens of thousands of people around the world to vet and delete violent or offensive content in an effort to shore up their reputations after failing to adequately police content such as live-streamed terrorist attacks and Russian disinformation.

But the firms keep these workers, contracted through giant outsourcing agencies, at arm’s length, often providing inadequate support to address the psychological consequences of the work. And in the Philippines, content moderators are especially vulnerable. 

“They have to pause the video, they have to rewind the video. They have to zoom in on the video, to see what’s really happening. They have to see it,” says Silicon Valley correspondent Elizabeth Dwoskin. “And they say they can’t unsee it.”

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Thank God it’s … Thursday?
In recent years, the idea of a four-day week has been championed primarily by industry executives in business niches, such as software development and sales, as a way to boost employee morale and hourly productivity. 

The United States has seen working hours stay flat over the past four decades, while across Europe, trade unions, leftist organizations and academics have begun to propose a broader, economy-wide transition to the four-day week as a way to give workers a larger share of the benefits of growth. 

“Traditionally, you hear people talk about taxing the rich and redistributing those gains to the poor,” says economic policy reporter Jeff Stein. “Let’s also talk about redistributing time as a valuable commodity for most people.”

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the premier daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Every weekday afternoon.