Team Disney – Its a Small World After All

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Nothing could be worse than losing your job, except maybe being required to train your replacement. That is what happened in the Magical Kingdom when cheaper H-1B workers from an India outsourcing firm replaced about 250 U.S. employees at the end of January this year. Questions: 1. What explanation did Disney executives give for this… Read more »

Spies Everywhere!

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A U.S. District Judge ordered Yahoo Inc to face a nationwide class-action lawsuit and accused the company of illegally intercepting email content sent to Yahoo Mail subscribers from non-Yahoo Mail accounts. Subsequently, Yahoo used the information to boost advertising revenue. Questions: 1. Which subscribers and non-subscribers does this class-action allow to file suit? 2. What… Read more »

The Hidden Costs of Beautiful Nails

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Manicures were once for special occasions only. Now they have become a staple for women across the economic spectrum. With more than 17,000 nail salons in the United States, there are about 2,000 nail salons in New York City alone. This New York Times research article looks at the dirty little secret of exploitation of… Read more »

How would you like a Big Raise?

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Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Systems—a credit card processing company based in Washington—shocked his employees by raising the minimum wage to $70,000 over the next three years. Questions: 1. What percentage raise will that be based on the average wage now? 2. Where did Dan get the idea? 3. Do you think that his… Read more »

Need a Repair? Need Drum Lessons?

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Need a plumber? If Amazon.com succeeds, it will soon be a very large marketplace of home services and will connect customers with electricians, plumbers and painters in a move to have its services tied to every product sold on its website. Questions: 1. How will this change Amazon’s chart of accounts? 2. Provide three accounts… Read more »

Why Can’t I Get A Break on Airline Tickets, with Gas Down to Record Lows?

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Even with oil prices down, it seems like airline tickets are either increasing in price or staying level. In fact in October 2014, there were four separate attempts by U.S. airlines to hike airfares with mixed success. But why? Questions: 1. To what conditions does Seany attribute the high airline ticket prices? 2. Do you… Read more »

Let’s Have Pizza!

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According to the New York Times, the uptick in pizza sales in Brooklyn at Domino’s Pizza is due to stolen credit card numbers being used to order to see which cards were still active and could be used for bigger purchases. Questions: 1. Explain why the article called this a blend of high-tech fraud and… Read more »

That’s the Walmart Way!

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An Oklahoma City Walmart is asking employees to donate food to help their coworkers make ends meet during the holiday season. The company drew criticism for similar employee food drives a year ago. Besides incurring a total public assistance cost of $6.2 billion per year, Walmart has been criticized for running a corporate charity called… Read more »

Investment Bankers: Less trustworthy than prison inmates?

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According to The Atlantic, a new paper in Nature takes a scientific approach to the accusations of dishonesty in the banking industry. Participants in the study indicated that they thought bankers would be more dishonest than prison inmates in over-reporting successful coin flips. Questions: 1. According to economist Marie Claire Villeval, what are the implications… Read more »

The Untouchable Alaska Bypass

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Under a federal program exclusive to Alaska, the Postal Service is responsible for shipping more than 100 million pounds a year of apples, frozen meat, dog food, diapers and countless other consumer items to off-road villages in the sparsely populated outposts known as the bush. Over three decades acting as freight forwarder, the agency has… Read more »