May 23, 2023

😰 What the June 1st debt ceiling breach would mean for construction

A live look at the debt ceiling negotiations

Happy Thursday,

In a shocking turn of events, we've officially reached peak sell-out mode and are featuring cute fluff content like Buildr babies wearing our swag and calling it "brand awareness."

Believe it or not, they drag the average age of the SLAB audience all the way down to 12 years old

Believe it or not, they drag the average age of the SLAB audience all the way down to 12 years old

Special thanks to our models: Micah Liam Amelia (Millie) Dean (the Bean) Reagan To field some of the expected questions at once before you ask:

  • Yes, a baby wearing a dad hat is an oxymoron and if you were to feed the image into an AI and ask "What is this?" it would break.

  • We don't know if coffee this young stunts your growth but we'll surely keep an eye on it.

  • Yes, that's a limited edition 1-of-1 SLAB scarf.

  • No, dressing up kids in funny outfits isn't the (whole) point of having kids.

How it feels when you accidentally order an XXL Buildr hoodie instead of XL.

How it feels when you accidentally order an XXL Buildr hoodie instead of XL.


😰 Raising the roof of the debt ceiling. Soon, would be great…

Construction Dive reported on the the issue of the U.S. reaching its borrowing limit through the construction industry's lens. The debt ceiling of $31.4T, yes a T, has been reached and the government has been trying to figure out their way out of this pickle since January. To put that number in perspective, that's 421 million Spot the robot construction dogs, bringing a carry on and asking for water on Spirit Airlines 523 billion times, or ending homelessness in America 1500 times.

One side won’t agree to raise the debt ceiling until spending is sliced, while the other wants a debt increase with no strings attached. Affiliations aside, a default on June 1st could result in an economic calamity that affects us all—which means owners and developers are rushing to recession-proof their businesses. Here are some more highlights from the article:

  • Business and construction leaders are urging a quick resolution to the looming debt catastrophe

  • President Biden and congressional leaders will continue chatting this Friday as the threat of a default on the country’s $31.4 trillion debt grows

  • The CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America said that the debt ceiling debate “should be resolved immediately in a way that avoids near-term calamity while ensuring financial stability over the long run.”

  • If a default occurs on the national debt by June 1st, as the Treasury Department believes, the U.S. economy will see catastrophically high interest rates, while some estimate that 7.8 million jobs could be lost and the jobless rate could double to 8%.

🔨 Here's the Thing

With America incessantly saturated with crisis news, and most of us taking for granted that this issue will figure itself out one way or another (we say "us," because, The SLAB also leans toward this baselessly optimistic projection), there's a low level of concern or pressuring of officials towards compromise, aside from industry leaders saying things like "You should really figure this out."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, word-for-word, that America’s decline into default would trigger an “economic catastrophe.” U.S. businesses would see failing credit markets, the cost of borrowing would skyrocket, and the government wouldn’t be able to support military families and seniors who need Social Security to survive. As far as construction goes, it's bleak. The country as a whole's Credit Karma score would drop to a frowny face emoji and recent bank failures are already putting a strain on construction borrowing. This would also create more scrutiny on borrowers. And you can bank on (sorry) further interest rate hikes to account for now-proven risk.

Raising the debt ceiling seems like the safest option—and most Americans (58%) agree. Both Biden and the Republicans have too much to lose on this one; Biden doesn't want to lower his already low approval rating so close to reelection, and the right can’t risk being the cause of a default due to agreement gridlock since their wish list spending cuts aren’t likely to make a dent in the debt ceiling issue anyway.

⚡️ Punch List


When you see the news that the phrase "Taco Tuesday" might go away

RIPTok: The clock's ticking down on TikTok's demise in the US—Montana becomes the first to move forward with banning TikTok over privacy concerns. Meanwhile Meta just has to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in privacy breaching fines every now and then and continue on their merry way.

Just perfect: Based on social media data and results on the internet, AI put together an amalgam of what the perfect male and female would look like. The results are as skewed and unachievable as you'd expect—the female is if a Disney princess was a Wilhelmina model and the male has a "natty" fitness YouTube channel with 7.5 million subs.

FreeV: There's a free 55'' TV... with a catch: a secondary screen below the TV that's constantly showing ads. "But couldn't you just drape a towel over the second TV?" you, an anti-capitalist, ask.

Strike 3: With writers on strike, here's what's happening to all our favorite shows. Severance, Yellowjackets, and Stranger Things are fully on hold while House of the Dragon remains unscathed, the writing completed months ago.

Driving Miss Daisy: The 19 best movie car chases, ranked. Checks list. Okay, we have Mad Max, Baby Driver, Matrix Reloaded, this list checks out. The only thing missing is our personal favorite, this car chase from The Raid 2.

For Whom the Taco Bell Tolls: In your classic David vs. Goliath setup—Taco Bell squares off against Taco John's over the rights to using "Taco Tuesday." Taco Bell claims that Taco John's legally withholding the phrase for themselves "is like depriving the world of sunshine itself."

HighQ: 13 phrases that show high emotional intelligence; number 14 would have likely been "Losing 'Taco Tuesday' is like depriving the world of sunshine itself."

The Biggest Loser: The Spurs will draft the best NBA prospect in a decade, and the rest of the winners (and losers) of the 2023 NBA draft lottery. Technically only losers get the best picks.

Speedrun IRL: Jamie "Adventureman" McDonald set a new world record by visiting the Seven Wonders of the World in less than 7 days. This sounds as physically and emotionally daunting as when we have to go to the DMV, Costco, and Home Depot in the same day.

Job Site

  • Utah-based Mint Construction is looking for a Senior Estimator in the Salt Lake City area. If you or someone you know might be interested, here's the link to apply.

Catch wind of an open pre-construction role? Fill out our job post submission form for a chance for the posting to be featured in a future edition of The SLAB.

See you next week, The SLAB

PS: No, the SLAB scarf can't be won through referrals (at this time).

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