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Olympic Medalist Dotsie Bausch Wants You To Switch4Good

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Dotsie Bausch, founder of Switch4Good, has a question for everyone. 

Have you ever wondered why milk is required in public school lunches? The United States is the only country in the world that requires children to drink cow’s milk.

Holy crap, what are we doing? Why are we feeding – especially to children, of which 70 percent of them cannot digest – Why are we making them drink this fluid?

It’s a little weird, no? 

Maybe it wasn’t so weird in the 1940s… 1840s… or 840s… 

Today, however, we’ve learned a thing or two about how cow’s milk affects our bodies. 

Upwards of 70 percent of the world’s population cannot digest cow’s milk, and it makes you quite sick – this lactose intolerance. I’ll tell you, it’s pretty awful. 

“Wheezing, stuffy nose, coughing. And then big-time gut distress: constipation, diarrhea, bloating, cramping. 

“It’s pretty gnarly.”

Dotsie Bausch, Olympic medalist and founder of Switch4Good

It may take some time for us to shake the familiarity of cow’s milk in our diets. We’ve been inundated with cow’s milk (or just “milk,” for the layperson) from ads, culture, government requirements, lobbyist pressure, and dairy farmers. 

Here’s The Truth About Milk…

Milk is meant for the babies of the mammals producing it. Cow’s milk is for calves. Human milk is for babies. Cat’s milk is for kittens. You get it. 

Mammalian milk contains the necessary fats and vitamins for us to grow into strong healthy grown mammals. We, and every other infant mammal, contain an enzyme that allows us to digest that milk. That enzyme disappears once breastfeeding has concluded. 

Northern European farmers were among the first to go “You know what? I want to try that cow’s milk. I mean… why not, right?” roughly 6000 years ago. Or so the theory states. Over time, they developed a genetic mutation to the enzyme that allows us to digest milk. These humans evolved to digest cow’s milk for as long as they were alive. 

This familiarity with cow’s milk extended into the business world when it came time to make money off of that sweet, sweet utter juice. Milk was everywhere: delivered to our door by the milkman, in our schools, in our breakfast cereals. 

Imagine getting made fun of for not putting milk in your cereal as a kid. Guess who’s the weirdo now, Stacy?!

Soon enough, “Got Milk?” entered the zeitgeist. Along with it, the idea that to be a successful athlete, you needed to drink milk. If Cal Ripken can play more consecutive games than any other baseball player, it must be the milk, right? 

Speaking of athletes. Did you know that milk is the official sponsor of Team USA

PED – Performance Enhancing Dairy

New Zealand and the United States are the only countries in the world whose Olympic Committees are not government funded. They have to go out and get private funding.” 

Enter the dairy industry to save the day! With “Got Milk?” featuring every famous athlete under the sun, it makes total sense that they would sponsor the Olympics. Since the government can’t be bothered, apparently. 

I have been exposed to and definitely pressured upon throughout that journey that milk – the mammalian secretions of the cow – are the only real way for athletes to recover from hard workouts, the only real way to build muscle and muscle tissue, and to repair and recover.

“I started to peel back all of the layers on everything that I had been taught and learned and really recognized that it was truly coming from a marketing perspective, not from an evidence-based perspective.

It was at that moment, during the 2012 London Games (after winning the Silver in cycling), that inspired Dotsie Bausch to start Switch4Good.

I had this idea to put on a commercial on the closing ceremonies of what then was the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on NBC that basically has seven of us, all Olympic athletes from four different countries. 

“We’re standing up and saying, ‘Hey, guess what? We don’t need cows’ milk to recover. This isn’t the truth. It’s not a thing. And there are thousands of athletes that are finding a new way forward.’

“The dairy industry got it kicked off after it aired three times.

Angering The Milk Masters

That move only served to fire Dotsie Bausch and her fellow athletes up. After being silenced by the dairy lobby, Switch4Good only got deeper and more motivated. The best way to crush your adversary is to silence them, right? 

Smooth move, milk hawkers. You couldn’t just let it be. You just had to keep making your milk money. 

Thanks to Big Milk’s fear and power, Switch4Good got strategizing. 

We work in two ways: behavior and culture change, but we also work on systemic change. We do quite a bit of work right now specifically to change the laws in the United States: that children have to be fed cow’s milk in schools. And if they don’t want one, they have to have a milk note from their parents. 

“So, we’re working with members of Congress. It’s actually a regulatory change, not a statutory change. So it doesn’t have to be voted on.”

They even had a win. 

One of our big wins from last year was getting the dietary guidelines of America to put soy milk in as nutritionally equivalent so that here is a choice. 

“Now we have to implement the choice into schools.

Soy milk?! In public schools?! How… reasonable. 

Dairy Nonsense

Some of you may consider soy milk in public schools to be hippie nonsense. But you’d be wrong. What is nonsense is drinking mammalian secretions from a mammal that is not at all related to humans.

Frankly, gorilla milk would make more sense. 

Switch4Good and its mission to convert all dairy consumers into non-dairy consumers is an uphill battle. There isn’t just resistance from the powerful dairy industry. There’s personal resistance from smaller communities. 

It wouldn’t be America without someone yelling, “You can’t tell me what to do!” Right? 

Dotsie Bausch understands this better than you think. 

I grew up for thirty-five years of my life eating animals and the products of animals . . . loving animals, but mistreating them via I was a competitive horseback rider. So, it’s a journey and it’s painful to unpack 100 percent.”

If you believe that we’re all equal – and I mean all – whether you have four legs or two, whether you have hair all over your body or just on your head – that [humans and animals] should have a relationship of mutuality and respect, not extraction. 

“And that is how we treat so many animals – especially our food – as a product to extract from. 

“That’s not equality, and I don’t think that’s fair.”

Convincing The Milk Drinkers

When it comes to convincing people to Switch4Good (see what I did there?) the strategies vary. What often gets people in the door is their own health. Say you want to cut dairy out and you start by drinking your coffee black. The idea of keeping yourself healthy is enough to check out Switch4Good and what they have to offer. 

That, as Dotsie Basuch has pointed out, isn’t the “stickiest” of strategies. People give up on themselves for a variety of reasons. 

If Dotsie Bausch and company want people to Switch4Good (look, I did it again!) they need to consider all strategies. One of the “stickiest,” according to market research, is the ethics side to this debate. 

How Does Bessie Feel?

Imagine, just for a moment, that you’re a cow. You’re just trying to live your life, eating your cud, enjoying the sun, lying down when it’s about to rain. It’s kinda nice, no?

All is well when – suddenly – your perfectly nice day is interrupted by forcible impregnation. 

Wait, what?!

You carry your calf to term, about nine months or so. Then you give birth (hopefully with the help of a ranchhand in the midst of their own coming-of-age story).

THEN, if forced impregnation wasn’t enough, you have your beautiful baby calf taken away from you. 

Bruh. 

Now, the milk you have produced to make your calf big and strong is now being harvested and extracted for some other entitled mammal to consume from a tiny paper carton in between math and gym.

Not only that, but sometimes it’s wasted through the nose of some snotty child, or mixed with chocolate like some kind of dessert! It’s even been used to ruin perfectly delicious coffee.

So, you’re forced to have a calf, it’s taken from you, and so is the milk you produce. All for the glorious pleasure of wealthy industry tycoons. Then, next year, it happens all over again.

Not so fun being the cow, is it? 

Taking On Big Milk

Dotsie Bausch and Switch4Good have their work cut out for them. They’re fighting an uphill battle against industry, government, culture, and the stubborn. 

We’re still at the beginning. So quite honestly, I feel proud of the team that goes out every day –  no matter how many doors are slammed in our face – because the door slams multiple times a day. It’s not like we’re getting water to children in sub-Saharan Africa. Everybody on planet Earth is like, ‘Yup, that’s a good idea!’ We are still seeding the idea that [consuming dairy] is not a good idea.

“We’re not doing something that’s popular. We’re doing something that’s straight up against the grain . . . eye-to-eye with the status quo. And it’s hard to get up every day with hope because it’s not wildly popular what we’re doing – nor do many people want to lean into it – it’s very hard to get attention and recognition. 

“It’s the fierceness and the grit of the team to wake up every day and get creative and keep fighting.”

If anyone can get everyone in the world to Switch4Good (last time, I swear) it’s Dotsie Bausch and company. 

Will you Switch4Good?

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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Billionaires Be Warned: Organized Labor on the Rise

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Last week, Apple retail workers in Towson, Maryland, voted 65-33 to seek entry into the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers trade union. It’s a story that’s consistent with a promising trend.

In the last several months, a number of victories have been tallied for worker’s rights around the country.

In December, a Starbucks in Buffalo became the first of its company-owned U.S. locations to form a union. Since then, at least 150 of the 9,000 company-run U.S. stores have voted to unionize, with 10 stores rejecting the union. 

In January, engineers and other Google workers announced that they had formed a union—the Alphabet Workers Union— named after Google’s parent company, Alphabet. It represents about 800 Google employees.

April saw Amazon workers in Staten Island, New York vote to unionize, marking a first for the retail giant.

In May, video game workers at a division of game publisher Activision Blizzard voted to unionize, making them the first to create a labor union at a large U.S. videogame company.

Per a 2021 Gallup Poll: at least 68% of Americans approve of labor unions, the highest since Gallup found a 71% approval in 1965.

A resurgence of unions after years of decline.

President Biden has been vocal about his support for the decision. 

“I am proud of them,” 

Biden said in a statement to reporters. 

Workers have a right to determine under what condition they are going to work or not work.”

This is a far cry from the days of President Reagan publicly firing striking air traffic controllers, a move that signaled to the weakening labor movement that times were changing. Of course, labor rights weren’t always such a contentious topic. 

In the mid-1950s, approximately one out of every three non-farm workers were unionized. This was, of course, the peak of labor’s power in the US. 

In subsequent decades, the ranks of unionized workers would shrink. By the 80s and 90s, due to a combination of economic and political developments, the decline in unions accelerated.

The opening of overseas markets and the emergence of outsourcing put organized labor at a severe disadvantage. 

Around this same period, U.S. employers developed a set of legal— and illegal—practices that could effectively rid establishments of existing unions and prevent new unions from organizing. 

These practices included: threatening union sympathizers with firings and holding a mandatory meeting wherein workers would be subject to anti-union propaganda. Additionally, many employers hired permanent replacements for striking workers.

But Biden has been relatively labor-friendly. In February, a Biden administration task force issued a set of recommendations aimed at making it easier for federal workers and contractors to unionize.

The report argues that the trend of declining union membership has coincided with a rising share of income going to the top 10% of earners.

Youth movement gives labor unions a new hope.

After decades of decline, U.S. unions are finding hope in a growing movement among the youth. Union approval is high— and growing—with the youngest workers. This is reflected by membership levels, which are trending upwards for workers between the ages of 25 and 34. Even as they decline among other age groups.

According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of union members among workers aged 25-34 rose from 8.8% to 9.4% 

The aforementioned Alphabet Workers Union, for example, is run by five people under the age of 35.

This is consistent with a greater political trend among young people: the youth is less susceptible to the anti-socialist boogeyman rhetoric that successfully fleeced previous generations of working people’s rights.

It’s important to remember that many of the things we take for granted today are the products of union involvement. The eight-hour work day? Labor unions. Job safety laws? Labor unions. Overtime pay? Labor Unions. Weekends? Labor unions. Worker’s Comp? Labor unions. Employer-based health coverage? Labor unions.

And the list goes on.

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Who Does Tori Dunlap Think She Is?

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If you haven’t heard of Tori Dunlap, you’re probably not seeking financial advice. If you are seeking financial advice, you can do a lot better than Tori Dunlap. 

Tori Dunlap is an entrepreneur who claims to have saved $100,000 by the age of 25. After achieving such astonishing success so early in life, she simply had to quit her corporate job so she could devote her energy to helping women learn their financial independence and unassumed dominance in our white cis male-run society. 

Her mission? To create the brand HerFirst100K and…

Idk man… seems kinda gimmicky. 

Disclaimer: I am a cis white male with no financial expertise to speak of criticizing a cis white female financial pundit. I have zero doubts that Dunlap could balance a checkbook better than I ever could. I am not here to offer any financial advice. Rather, I am criticizing Dunlap’s approach to fiscal responsibility and her overall authenticity. 

In short: We’re not buying it and neither should you. 

How Did She *Really* Get $100K by 25? 

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At 25, I was working as a barback in a local gay bar and on the cusp of starting my first professional writing job. I had maybe $600 to my name and very poor financial instincts – you could call me a ‘spendthrift.

My peers around the same age were all fairly financially inept or carefree. Sure, we would meet our responsibilities but we sure as hell weren’t saving – and not for lack of trying. We all worked incredibly hard, dirty, thankless jobs for very little money and could be fired on a whim. None of us would have been able to save up to $100K by 25. 

By 25, I had been working steady jobs for 10 years. Even if I didn’t spend a single cent over those 10 years I don’t think the number would have ever reached $100K. Pardon my doubts, but how is a 25-year-old, any 25-year-old, able to save up to $100,000 all by themselves? After some digging, it turns out she did it with a lot of discipline and a lot of luck. 

She graduated college with zero debt, landed a job in digital marketing with a salary of $55K/year, and put a disciplined percentage of her take-home into saving and an investment fund. These are all great, very privileged ways to save $100,000 in three years. 

I’m curious to know how a 22-year-old snagged an investment fund and knew which investments would pay off and how much they earned but… I digress. 

I don’t sneeze at this kind of discipline. Many people would benefit from a financial discipline such as that. I do sneeze a little by using this as a marketing tactic. While she qualifies this by admitting her privilege, she makes her achievement the main marketing point of Her First $100K. 

I did this and so can you!” the sentiment screams. Except most people can’t. And I think Ms. Dunlap knows that. 

Tori Dunlap Is Not Qualified To Give Anyone Financial Advice

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The only thing I trust Tori Dunlap to do is market and brand herself effectively. She’s cool, she’s hip, she can play along with the broader trends, she TikToks with the best of ‘em, and it all feels so desperately empty and deeply phony. 

I think Tori Dunlap has a keen eye for self-promotion that masquerades as “woke financial advice.” This would be fine if it wasn’t potentially f*cking with people’s money. There are people out there with some serious financial issues and concerns. If they trust Tori Dunlap, they could be misled because she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

I don’t mean she doesn’t know how to assert her value and practice financial discipline. I mean she doesn’t have the financial authority to be profiting off the advice she gives. It’s like getting medical advice from a sickly friend – they’ve got experience but no expertise. 

TikTok Advice Isn’t Real Advice

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If you take a look at Dunlap’s TikTok, it looks pretty much like every other TikToker out there. On her page, the financial advice is few and far between. It appears that TikTok is the space where she promotes her brand, podcast, and book – with a whole lot of cookie-cutter trends you will find on any account. 

When you finally do get to her financial advice, it’s no different than if you were to ask your fiscally savvy friend. For example, “know your worth and advocate for it” is a great bit of advice, it’s one I tell my peers at work – but it’s not expertise. It’s a good ol’ fashioned, “you can do it!” Which is nice, but it’s not practically helpful. What you’re getting from Dunlap are educated tips from someone who is being nice to you. 

When you present yourself as an authority figure you have a responsibility that comes with it. Telling people you are the savior from the patriarchy if you pay for her course doesn’t exactly scream “hero.” 

There’s nothing wrong with providing a service and charging for it. There is, however, something really gross about masquerading as a feminist hero when you’re actually an unqualified financial nobody with no serious credentials to speak of. 

Tori Dunlap is not qualified to be giving financial advice to anyone. She says so on her site: 

LEGAL STUFF: I am not a licensed financial advisor. I offer education, not prescriptive advice. The information that is found here are my opinions and the opinions of other readers/contributors and should be taken as such.” 

Legal stuff.” Cute, so relatable. 

All of Dunlap’s success stories are social media posts, texts, and emails. Hardly a case study. 

Dunlap claims to be “leading a movement of financial feminists,” but a quick Google search on female financial advisors yields no results for Ms. Dunlap. What exactly is she leading? You cannot be a leader when you don’t show up on the first 12 pages of Google. 

Here’s What An Actual Financial Expert Says

We spoke to Danetha Doe, an economist with over 10 years of experience in the financial industry. She has worked as an accountant and a CFO. She also created Money & Mimosas, a financial education resource for ambitious folks. 

In short, Ms. Doe knows her sh*t.

We asked Ms. Doe about how the average person could save up to $100K by the age of 25. 

I don’t think it’s reasonable to believe the average person can save $100K by 25. 

“In order to do that, they would either need to be born into wealth, have zero student loans, work for a startup that goes public or gets acquired, or start a business that is financially successful. 

“All of those scenarios do not apply to the average person.

“The median salary for an individual is under $40,000. Therefore, the average person earns about $40,000. In order to reach $100K in savings on an average salary could take decades in the United States.

Ms. Doe has a lot of excellent financial advice without being patronizing or weaponizing oppression for profit. She has a professional and personal background that makes her an effective authority when it comes to fiscal responsibility.

My two grandmothers [are the financial experts I admire most]. 

“They came to the United States as immigrants and became real estate investors during a time when Black women were systematically shut out of wealth-building opportunities in this country. 

“Their lasting legacy guides my financial decisions.

If you want to learn finance tips from someone who can relate to or understand your experience fully, Danetha Doe is the way to go

Besides, who doesn’t love a mimosa? 

What In The Hell Is ‘Feminist Financial Advice?’

What is it about financial advice that needs to be tailored specifically for women? Let’s take a super casual and lazy glance at successful women, shall we? 

Suze Orman is a trusted financial authority and has been around for a minute

Madonna has built herself an entertainment empire by being unapologetically female

Rihanna became a billionaire through her music and some super-savvy business moves. 

Laverne Cox bulldozed expectations and helped establish a foundation for trans artists. 

Sheryl Sandburg is the most powerful woman in Big Tech – did you see what happened when she resigned from Meta?

There is no shortage of female financial advisors. What kind of niche does Dunlap think she’s tapping into? Dunlap says on her site

I watched female friends get paid less than they were worth. I read stories about women being denied career opportunities because they were seen as ‘less.’ 

“Male colleagues said sexist, negative comments to me at work. I learned that women hold the majority of debt in America and that they invest less of their money than men, yet live for seven years longer. 

“So I knew that I had to fight back.

Sure, Jan. 

Fighting Sexism By Leaning Into Sexism

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I don’t think anybody disagrees (save for a few members of the Republican Party) that women have a tougher go of it than men. To be honest, it’s a bit of a stretch to connect general sexism with financial education. I learned how to budget from my mother, a woman who has had to fight her own battles with sexism and misogyny as the only female partner at her law firm. 

Frankly, I think the assumption that women need help from an unlicensed non-expert in order to learn fiscal responsibility is teetering on sexism. At the very least, it’s grossly condescending and certainly inauthentic. 

If you’re in a position where you need financial advice, you want it from someone who is a serious advisor, not a trending influencer with no qualifications. With inflation at a 40-year high and an underpaid workforce fighting for its value, we cannot afford to take financial advice from someone clearly more interested in self-promotion and branding. 

Dunlap appears to be less focused on offering genuine financial advice and far more focused on hitting woke buzzwords in an effort to patronize marginalized communities for profit. If you want to find a female-focused financial authority, try Ellevest instead. 

Tori Dunlap’s Communications Lead declined to comment.

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Vince McMahon Stepped Down From WWE. Or Did He?

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The news rang out around the world on Friday. 

Vince McMahon, father and face of the modern WWE, is voluntarily stepping down from his CEO position. The news came amid allegations of misconduct, affairs, and hush money.

And then, the strangest thing happened. Moments later, WWE announced that McMahon would make an appearance during Smackdown. Many speculated that McMahon would take the opportunity to admit remorse, address the new path, or prepare a last goodbye for fans.

Instead, he did this.

“It is a privilege, as always, to stand before you here tonight, the WWE Universe. Especially a privilege to stand here in this ring in Minnesota.

I’m here simply to remind you of the four words we just saw in what we call the WWE signature. Those four words are then, now, forever, and the most important word is together.

Welcome to SmackDown!”

“Bizarre spectacle” is a phrase that could appear under the dictionary definition for World Wrestling Entertainment.. But even fans were left scratching their heads by this appearance, with one caught on camera appearing to ask “That’s it?”

What really happened to Vince McMahon

Image credit: CNN

If you didn’t read past headlines about stepping down amid misconduct allegations, you might be stunned that McMahon would appear on TV at all. The truth, as is often the case, is a bit more complicated.

Per The Wall Street Journal, an inquiry began in April concerning a secret payout of $3 million that a WWE paralegal received in January. McMahon allegedly had an affair with the employee. The investigation opened up other, older NDAs relating to sexual misconduct by McMahon and talent relations chair John Laurinaitis.

The misconception at hand comes from WWE’s announcement. While it’s true that McMahon is stepping down from his chief position while the investigation continues, that’s not the whole picture.

McMahon is maintaining creative control of the WWE. For an entertainment company, the creative aspect is a pretty massive slice of the pie. As evidenced by Friday’s appearance—and another appearance on Monday—he’s not stepping down from the public eye either.

Image credit: WWE

McMahon’s WWE character, “Mr. McMahon,” it seems, is not under the same scrutiny as his actor. There are no signs that his exaggerated persona will cease making appearances on SmackDown and at other WWE events.

In a way, it’s a delicate PR chess move. The headline, “Vince McMahon Steps Down Amidst Investigation,” reads like a victory. The sticky truth, that he’s not really exiting at all, will have little impact on the general public.

Wrestling fans, on the other hand, are seeing both sides play out, and it’s leaving some confused. It’s an interesting twist on “kayfabe,” the suspension of disbelief at the root of the WWE community. In reality, Vince has stepped down, but in kayfabe, Mr. McMahon hasn’t gone anywhere.

This bizarre in-and-out response might reflect the inherent flaws in wrestling’s mesh of fantasy and reality. In pursuit of kayfabe, what happens if McMahon is fully ousted? Will an attachment to his fictional persona keep justice from being served? At this point, it’s hard to say.

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