How Can An Extended Shutdown Hurt the Economy?

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According to the New York Times, a partial stop with this shutdown costs the economy productive work time; historical evidence suggests, along with revenue that the federal government collects from daily fees at parks and museums that private-sector companies that contract with the government have their work temporarily disrupted, and travel spending is reduced, affecting… Read more »

Driving a Car in Manhattan may get pricey!

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Under a major proposal prepared for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, driving a car into the most congested parts of Manhattan under the new pay-to-drive plan would cost about $11.52. Questions: 1. What are the two goals of the plan? 2. What will trucks and taxis pay? 3. Who originally promoted the plan? 4. How much… Read more »

Avoiding the Taxman in Paradise!

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If you have not had a chance to read about the Paradise Papers, you owe it to yourself to read this article about Nike. Nike is avoiding taxes by charging themselves for intellectual property. This is a story involving grey areas and loopholes, tax havens and zero tax rates, and the movement of money and… Read more »

Good Bye Old Friend!

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According to Axios, Sears and Whirlpool are severing ties after a 101-year relationship. You will no longer be able to buy Whirlpool appliances at Sears, but Whirlpool will still make Kenmore appliances for the firm. Questions: 1. Why does this matter? 2. What other relationships has Sears changed in the recent past? 3. What did… Read more »

Change Afoot?

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According to the Guardian, fathers and adoptive parents are demanding more paid family leave similar to that paid to new moms. Executives were confronted at the annual meeting of Starbucks shareholders in March by a barista claiming unequal family leave for some. Questions: 1.What group is going to pressure the company to be more equal… Read more »

Now you see it, now you don’t! The disappearing down payment!

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Because many real estate markets across the U.S. are in the middle of an affordability crisis, the trend of rising home prices, tight access to credit, and slow homebuilding has resulted in a group of millennials that cannot find enough rentals, but do not have a downpayment for buying new homes. That’s where Unison Home… Read more »

Bachelor Parties and Millennials

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According to Time magazine, millennials spend an average of $1,532 to be a guest at a single weekend for a bachelor party. Questions: 1. How much on average do millennials spend to be a guest at bachelorette parties? 2. How much on average do millennials spend on the big day of the wedding? 3. Does… Read more »

The Cost of Drugs: Generic or Maybe Not….

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The standard advice for consumers is: if you are prescribed a medicine, always ask if there is a cheaper generic. Questions: 1. According to the article, why are consumers told the opposite on some drugs – take name brand drugs and pay a higher co-pay? 2. What does Dr. Diller mean by “It’s Alice-in-Wonderland time… Read more »

Gosh, D.C., maybe it really IS a crisis!

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When you look at middle-class manufacturing jobs. many do not even require a high school diploma but pay $15 to $25 an hour and offer full benefits. So why aren’t they being filled? As Nelson Schwartz indicates in this article, the problem is that too many applicants — nearly half, in some cases — fail… Read more »

ER Bill Surprise!

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New data suggests that EmCare, now one of the nation’s largest physician-staffing companies for emergency rooms, is showing a disturbing pattern. In the case of a small Spokane, Washington hospital, the number of patients coded as having billing for the most complex, expensive level of care quadrupled after the hospital contracted for services through EmCare…. Read more »