December 6, 2019

This week, multiple news outlets reported about a poor potato crop in Canada and the U.S. that could potentially affect the nation’s French fry supply. With winter weather arriving early throughout North America, potato growers lost thousands of acres of crops due to freezing temperatures. As a result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that American spud production will drop by six percent this year. And since potatoes used for French fries tend to be harvested later in the season, Continue reading

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November 26, 2019

If you have plans to travel this week for Thanksgiving, then you should already know that you won’t be the only one. According to experts, a record number of travelers will either fly or drive at least 50 miles to celebrate the holiday. As a result, the nation’s airports and highways will be jammed with travelers, inevitably leading to widespread traffic and plane delays. 

The trade organization Airlines for America estimates that a record 31.6 million people will fly Continue reading

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November 22, 2019

Yesterday, we looked at how video game companies earn billions of dollars annually by selling virtual products to an ever-growing market. Inspired by the success of this unusual industry, some clothing companies have started selling digital outfits that don’t exist in the real world. For instance, the fashion label The Fabricant recently sold a virtual dress for $9,500 to the wife of a San Francisco tech executive. Although she cannot actually put on her expensive new outfit, she can Photoshop Continue reading

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November 21, 2019

Analysts estimate that last year consumers spent more than $50 billion on virtual items in video games like Counter-Strike and World of Warcraft. This lengthy but highly informative video explains why the market for virtual items has grown bigger than global box office returns for the movie industry. 

Questions:

  1. How are in-game economies similar to real-world economic systems?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of online marketplaces that sell virtual goods?
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September 10, 2019

Last week, Hurricane Dorian tore through the Caribbean and up the Southeastern Coast of the U.S., causing major damage all along the way. Two islands in particular, Abaco Island and Grand Bahama, faced huge devastation as a result of the tropical storm. According to the United Nations, more than 70,000 people in the Bahamas are now homeless and in need of food and water. (Click here to view a list of vetted relief organizations that are currently seeking donations.) Continue reading

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September 5, 2019

In recent years, progressive policymakers have advocated to increase the minimum wage across the nation while other legislators oppose the measure entirely. Along with looking at the reasoning behind both sides, this video also explains how foreign countries deal with the complicated issue of the minimum wage. 

Questions:

  1. How does minimum wage policy in the U.S. differ from other countries?
  2. Should the U.S. develop a minimum wage system that is tied to inflation? Why or why not?
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August 29, 2019

On August 12, Popeyes announced that it was adding a new chicken sandwich to menus across the nation. The first of its kind at the fast food chain, Popeyes said this was its biggest product launch in more than 30 years. The sandwich soon became a hot topic on social media and grabbed the attention of more than just hungry customers. In the days following the launch, Chick-fil-A started a social media feud with Popeyes over which chain had the Continue reading

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August 27, 2019

Today’s top sneaker brands like Nike and Adidas are constantly releasing new designs in limited supplies. As a result, many “sneakerheads” often miss out on the latest styles while they’re available at retailers. That’s where resale sites like StockX come in. Unlike eBay, StockX doesn’t rely on straightforward auctions to move its merchandise. Instead, the company treats sneakers like tradable commodities that can quickly gain and lose value. For example, a pair of Nike’s Jordans could debut on StockX at Continue reading

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August 23, 2019

Last Wednesday, the stock market tanked after the yield curve for the bond market became inverted, meaning that interest rates on short-term bonds grew higher than those paid on long-term bonds. The video below takes a look at this complicated concept and explains why the “inverted yield curve” can be a warning sign of a recession. 

Questions:

  1. What is the difference between short-term and long-term bonds? 
  2. Why do investors consider the inverted yield curve to be a potential sign of a recession?
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August 15, 2019

In 2017 Ricky Lopez opened a Top Round franchise in San Francisco’s Mission District. With all sorts of well-established competition in the area already, the chef and entrepreneur says that his roast beef business lost tens of thousands of dollars in its first eight months. Then last year a representative from Uber Eats informed Lopez that his area had a high demand for burgers and ice cream that was going unmet. To take advantage of this opportunity, the food delivery Continue reading

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