The Amazon Effect

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According to the New York Times, to create a Super Bowl snack, their authors bought the same ingredients at a new Whole Foods 365 store and a Walmart. The prices were different and so were the outcomes. Questions: 1. What did the authors want to cook? 2. What was the price difference? 3. Which cooked… Read more »

What was your past salary?

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According to the New York Times, laws prohibiting employers from asking job candidates about their past compensation before making a salary offer are gaining momentum, aimed at reducing pay disparities and other obstacles confronting women and minorities. Questions: 1. What does the article say about the way some researchers see it? 2. What does some… Read more »

No cash allowed

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In Sweden, “No cash accepted” signs are becoming an increasingly common sight in shops and eateries across the country as payments go digital and mobile. Questions: 1. Why is going cashless bad for tax cheats? 2. Why are authorities in Sweden worried about the cashless society? 3. What percent of Swedes never use cash? 4…. Read more »

Protect what?

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Under Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB, which once was the agency dedicated to preventing banks and credit-card companies from scamming ordinary Americans, now becomes an agency dedicated to protecting potential financial scammers from legal penalties. Questions: 1. Since Mulvaney took over, what has the Bureau done for payday lenders? 2. Since Mulvaney took over, what has… Read more »

We want REAL eggs!

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Panera petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to update its 40-year-old definition of the word “egg” to exclude most of the processed egg products that have become popular with fast-food chains and food-service. Questions: 1. How long has the egg product rule been on the books of the FDA? 2. Do you agree with Panera?… Read more »

Yummy!

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A team of scientists is hard at work behind the scenes to make meat by developing cell lines of various species of animals. Hampton Creek (now called JUST) is among a handful of startups with the goal of bringing “clean meat” and other cultured animal products into the mainstream. Questions: 1. What is the value… Read more »

More worries at Wells Fargo

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As the third-largest bank continues to suffer under a sales scandal that happened in 2016, Wells Fargo & Co detailed new regulatory restrictions imposed by the U.S. Federal Reserve. This news sent its shares down sharply in after-hours trading. Questions: 1. What are the growth restrictions on the bank imposed by the Feds? 2. Why… Read more »

More on Taxes

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The rush to enact the tax bill was designed to mask — as a break for the middle class — what is, in fact, a $1.4 trillion package of benefits for key donors and lobbyists, the richest members of Congress, President Trump, his family and other families like his. Questions: 1. What was the speed… Read more »

Inequality in Taxes

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Interestingly, in most places, a dollar is a dollar. However, under the new tax plans, that may change. Consider two chefs working side by side for the same catering company, doing the same job, for the same hours and the same money. The only difference is that one is an employee, the other an independent… Read more »

A Big Shout Out!

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According to Huffington Post, even though Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure in September, forcing TJ Maxx to shutter some stores there, the company has nevertheless been dutifully paying its employees ever since. Questions: 1. How much of the power had been restored to Puerto Rico when this article was written? 2. How… Read more »