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They both lost an arm. But one guy's workers' comp was 10 times the other's.

A Renoir will cost you an arm and a leg (if you live in Nevada. In Wyoming, more like an arm and 15 legs).

This is the story of two guys. Josh and Jeremy. They were both in their mid-20s. Both worked in industrial plants. They lived only 75 miles apart. They were family guys. They each had two kids. They even both had tattoos of their kids' names.

And each of them lost a piece of his left arm on the job.


But Jeremy received workers' compensation of only $45,000. Josh was awarded ongoing benefits that could approach three-quarters of a million dollars. For essentially the same injury.

What's the difference?

Here, I'll show you.

(Average workers' compensation for loss of an arm in Georgia and Alabama)

It turns out that the value of a body part, though debated since ancient Sumeria, is far from settled. Even from one state to another, the laws and guidelines differ wildly.

Is this fair? An arm is an arm, right?

The system is broken, but most people have no idea how severely.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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