Meghan Markle turned 40 last week, “and marked the occasion with an unparalleled bid for obnoxiousness even the most out-of-touch could only aspire to”, says Finn McRedmond in The Irish Times. To celebrate her birthday, the Duchess of Sussex asked 40 of her friends to offer 40 minutes of mentorship to a woman re-entering the workforce. The line-up includes Adele, actress Melissa McCarthy and youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman.
“In a climate of ineffective nonsense moonlighting as meaningful feminism, this might just take the biscuit.” Yes, Markle has identified a real problem – millions of women across the world have left the workforce in the past two years. But how are a bunch of gushing A-listers going to help? What exactly could Adele or Markle tell someone in need of employment? “Marry a prince? Win a Grammy? Be impossibly beautiful?”
Life isn’t bright in America
There are many wonderful things about America, says Sean Thomas in The Spectator: glorious national parks, dynamic cities, excellent universities and world-class tech companies. But would modern Europeans migrate there, as their ancestors did? I don’t think so. The US has a higher GDP per capita than most European nations, but that’s skewed by the “vast incomes” at the top. It’s “really bad” to be poor in America. The bottom 10% are just over half as rich as the bottom 10% of Brits.
And Americans really have to work for their money. At least 28 million have zero paid days of holiday, and most people don’t get more than 15. In many European countries, workers get at least 30. This “lack of downtime”, coupled with extortionate medical bills and sky-high gun crime, “may explain why Americans drop dead earlier”. Life expectancy in the US is 78.54 years. In the UK it’s 81.26 years and in Italy 83.35 years. Let’s give every American a passport and five weeks’ paid holiday in Europe, so they can see how we live. They will “come home and vote social democrat for the rest of time, and they might even return with a decent spaghetti recipe”.