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How is the economy recovering?

Howdy howdy, money nerds. It’s Thursday, and we have some cool stories about money to share with you. Today’s email is pandemic-themed (although not heavily so). Let’s dive in.

During the pandemic, a small town in Washington has been printing its own currency. [The Hustle] — “Fournier’s central idea is pulled straight from Tenino’s own history. During the Great Depression, the city printed sets of wooden dollars using that exact same 1890 newspaper printer. Within a year, the wooden currency had helped bring the economy back from the dead.” [This isn’t as wild as it might seem. The U.S. didn’t have a standardized currency until just after the Civil War. Instead, there were lots of local currencies like this.]

Gardening is associated with greater happiness of urban residents. [Princeton University] — “As civic leaders and urban planners work to make cities more sustainable and livable by investing in outdoor spaces and recreational activities such as biking and walking, Princeton researchers have identified the benefit of an activity largely overlooked by policymakers — home gardening.”

“What I learned from trying all 81 MasterClasses.” [SF Gate] — “I found that the classes are worth the time, but the real question for most people is the price. Even though I’ve revisited more writing courses since the end of my quest, I don’t think there are enough to keep my attention for more than another month.”

How is the economy recovering? Watch the dentists. [The New York Times, so possible paywall] — “Dentist offices tend to be stable businesses that stick around for decades, unlike restaurants that open and close frequently…If you need your teeth cleaned or a cavity filled, the dentist is the only option. This makes them, in the eyes of some economists, the perfect barometer for gauging the country’s recovery from the shock of the pandemic.”

My girlfriend is a dental hygienist, so I’ve been able to watch second-hand how her dentist’s practice is struggling to cope with the coronavirus. It hasn’t been easy. And you know what makes it worse? Asshole clients who want to get all political because the office has basically become a hazmat zone. It’s not really a choice. And besides, this is one of the most at-risk professions out there. Even if you’re a virus denier, don’t be a dick when you go to the dentist this summer. It’s tough enough for the employees already.

Okay, that’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow to see you into the weekend. Take care!