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Bait-and-Switch

In retail sales, as defined by Wikipedia, first, customers are “baited” by merchants advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are either not available or are not as good as expected, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, […]

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Is the U.S. Facing a Jobs Crisis?

Recently reported employment data suggests that there are now as many unfilled job openings (6.55 million), as there are unemployed Americans (6.59 million).  This is the narrowest gap, between available jobs and those seeking jobs, in nearly 20 years of record keeping.  At the same time, workforce participation rates remain near record lows. This is […]

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U.S. Small Business Earnings At Record Levels

According to the results of a recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), a lobbying organization that represents small business owners nationwide, small business earnings are at record levels and optimism is also at very high levels. NFIB’s chief economist attributes improving consumer spending, the new tax law and lower regulatory barriers […]

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Crime and Punishment

Corporate misfeasance is not a new problem.  While there are exceptions, such as Enron, the perpetrators, including employees, supervisors, senior management and directors, face little or no serious punishment.  On the other hand, shareholders nearly always take a hit. For example, Wells Fargo has engaged in a number of unacceptable practices and recently agreed to […]

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Killing the Golden Goose?

Seattle is proposing to levy a tax on local employers that make $20 million or more in taxable gross receipts.  Amazon has announced that it is pausing further construction planning of a building to be built in downtown Seattle and is reconsidering plans to occupy a building that is already built, potentially jeopardizing 7,000 new […]

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Universal Basic Income – A Setback?

We have previously commented on proposals by economists and political scientists that would substitute universal income polices as credible alternatives to existing social programs such as unemployment insurance.  (see blogs dated 2015-12-17 and 2016-11-22) The idea is straight forward:  Provide citizens with a minimum allowance, without means-testing, that would give everyone the wherewithal to live […]

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