raniel-diazSince 1967 customers have flocked to Trader Joe’s to stock up on such unusually named items as Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers and Chocolate Dilemma Cheesecake. And while the grocery chain has attracted thousands of loyal patrons over the years, perhaps no other customer has been as dedicated as Mike Hallatt. For years this Vancouver native would drive 3 hours south of his Canadian hometown to Seattle where he would pack his car with as many Trader Joe’s products as he Continue reading

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restaurants-strugglesWhile retailers have seen sales drop in the years since the Great Recession, restaurants have largely enjoyed a boom time. American eateries benefitted from a shift in consumer spending habits away from products and towards “experiences” like meals and travel. And as demand increased, so did the supply of restaurants. Chipotle, for instance, has added 57 stores so far this year on top of the 240 locations it opened in 2016.

The burrito chain’s aggressive expansion is even more astounding Continue reading

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January 24, 2017

QuinnDombrowskiIn the years since the economic crisis of 2008, wealth inequality has been an increasingly alarming problem both for scholars and regular people. Last year, the development charity Oxfam estimated that 62 billionaires owned just as much wealth as the poorest 50 percent of the globe. This month, however, the agency had worse news: a group of just eight men are worth a combined $426 billion, equivalent to the wealth held by 3.6 billion people.

Along with foreign billionaires like Continue reading

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November 21, 2016

CurranKelleherThe end of November is always a trying time for travelers. Each year millions of Americans crisscross the country to reach their loved ones for Thanksgiving, leading to congested roads and crowded airports. And for those who hoped this year might be easier, think again. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), nearly 49 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday and Sunday. That amounts to an increase of 1 million people compared to last Continue reading

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September 14, 2016

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ranks among the most important laws passed in recent history. It’s also extremely complicated, amounting to some 14,000 pages of various regulations and restrictions. The video below takes a look at one of the key provisions of this landmark bill: The Volcker Rule, or the stipulation that banks cannot act like hedge funds and gamble with their own cash reserves. Although reviled by many on Wall Street, supporters say the rule Continue reading

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August 29, 2016

As the Trans-Pacific Partnership inches closer to ratification in the U.S. and abroad, the debate surrounding free trade agreements like it has grown more intense. This video takes a look at one of the first of these tariff-eliminating multinational deals, NAFTA, and the ways that it has remained controversial.

Questions:

 

  1. Do free trade deals like NAFTA or TPP provide enough of an economic benefit to justify their potentially negative effects on the U.S. job market?
  2. How do tariffs encourage Continue reading
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A week has passed since more than 17 million voters in Great Britain chose to leave the European Union, leading to confusion and plummeting stock markets throughout the world. And while the immediate economic fallout from the “Brexit” decision has tapered off in that time, political leaders as well as regular people still don’t know what will happen next. In fact, British citizens aren’t even sure who will be running their country in a few months. Prime Minister David Cameron Continue reading

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March 23, 2016

According to economists and government officials, the Great Recession officially ended in the middle of 2009. If you ask an average American, however, you’ll likely hear a different answer. 64 percent of people surveyed last year in a Fox News poll said they believed the U.S. economy was still in a recession. A poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal the year before came up with similar results. And now thanks to an in-depth study by the Continue reading

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July 30, 2015

Trading commodities is a complicated business. Employees in the industry not only have to possess financial intelligence, they also must be able to seemingly predict the future based solely on projections and estimates. For years traders like these thrived in the “pits” of Chicago and New York’s stock exchanges, shouting about everything from livestock to produce as they searched for deals. These financial foot soldiers eventually became pop culture icons, with frantically yelling floor traders appearing in everything from serious Continue reading

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March 30, 2015

Near the end of February, the Wisconsin legislature passed a controversial bill that could change the face of labor in the state. Under the new “right-to-work” law, employees in unionized, private sector workplaces can choose whether or not to pay their union dues. According to Governor Scott Walker and his supporters, the law grants more freedom for individuals to choose where they work. “This legislation will ensure that Wisconsin’s workers have the sole power to determine whether they wish to Continue reading

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