What are you doing in the Summer of 2014?

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Country singer Dolly Parton is set to expand her entertainment empire and open a water-snow theme park in Nashville, Tennessee. The 66-year-old launched Dollywood in the Pigeon Forge area of Tennessee in 1986 and added a water park next door in 2001. Now Parton is working on a new addition to her popular attractions and… Read more »

First-Class Travel Has Never Been So Good, For Those Who Can Afford It!

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Though first class represents less than 5 percent of all seats flown on long-haul routes, and business class accounts for 15 percent, those seats combined to generate 40 to 50 percent of airlines’ revenue, according to Peter Morris, the chief economist at Ascend, an aviation consulting firm. After its merger with Continental last year, United… Read more »

The Cost of Sweet Music

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Manuel Rodriguez III owns the century-old family business of the same name, heir to a tradition of guitar manufacturers which dates back to 1905 when his grandfather gave up fishing in Cadiz to dedicate his life to his musical passion. Now the Spanish guitar factory is looking beyond Europe to keep the company competitive. Questions:… Read more »

Shadow Work: How does it affect the Economy?

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Shadow work is a term coined 30 years ago by the Austrian philosopher and social critic Ivan Illich. For Dr. Illich, shadow work was all the unpaid labor — including, for example, housework — done in a wage-based economy. The conventional wisdom is that America has become a “service economy,” but actually, in many sectors,… Read more »

The Big Bank of America Settlement

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On November 7, 2011, a federal judge gave final approval to a $410 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit affecting more than 13 million Bank of America customers who had debit card overdrafts during the past decade.  The settlement became final a week after Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America backed off a plan to charge… Read more »

Brother, can you spare $5

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Beginning Tuesday, Starbucks coffee drinkers can get their morning caffeine fix and help create jobs in small businesses across the country. According to CEO Howard Schultz of Starbucks, the company will accept donations for a program that helps raise money and spurs job creation by small businesses, at its almost 6,800 locations across the nation,… Read more »

Eneslow Shoes: Change is Good!

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Eneslow – The Foot Comfort Center was founded in 1909 and is a family owned business providing high quality, stylish and comfortable shoes, as well as therapeutic accessories, on-site shoe makeovers and repairs and custom-made footwear. When New York State dropped Medicaid support for orthopedic shoes, Robert Schwartz saw his business drop by nearly 50%…. Read more »

Food – Beautiful – Food!

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Have you ever wondered how restaurant chains get the food to look so good on TV?  This is the work of a micro-niche of advertising.  While you may not know the names of the directors, like your favorite movie, there are five or six major players in this industry that fill the $4 billion in… Read more »

Financial Crisis in Greece

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While banks and European leaders hold abstract talks in foreign capitals about the impact of a potential Greek default on the euro and the world economy, something frighteningly concrete is under way in Greece: the dismantling of a middle-class welfare state in real time — with nothing to replace it. Since 2010, the government has… Read more »

Expensive Snacks?

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By now you have probably heard that an audit of the Department of Justice by the Inspector General says that taxpayer money was wasted on overpriced food and drinks. At one conference, the DOJ spent $4200 on 250 muffins–that’s about $16 a muffin. But what did the report actually say? Considering the EOIR reported that… Read more »