August 5, 2014

Even though the U.S. has a gross domestic product (GDP) valued at nearly $17 trillion, that huge figure still doesn’t come close to providing a complete picture of the American economy. Each year billions upon billions of transactions go undocumented, untaxed, and ultimately unrecorded by official GDP statisticians. Whether it’s earning a few bucks by mowing a neighbor’s lawn or by selling drugs, these concealed deals all form what’s known as the underground economy.

Many economists have said that it’s Continue reading

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August 1, 2014

For decades big companies have done their best to avoid hefty corporate tax rates levied by Uncle Sam. The U.S. government collects 35 percent of a domestically based corporation’s income, a figure based on the entirety of the company’s worldwide revenue. This mighty bite from the bottom line leads many firms to reincorporate their companies in places like the Cayman Islands or Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is just 12.5 percent. While this process of “inversion” is entirely legal, Continue reading

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July 23, 2014

On the surface, it might seem like bungee jumping and fine dining don’t have much in common. But at a company called Dinner in the Sky, elements of these two seemingly unrelated concepts are combined to create an incomparable dining experience.

The business began in 2007 when a European restaurant association hired marketer David Ghysels to put together a suspended aerial dinner for promotional purposes. Ghysels teamed up with bungee-jumping expert Stefan Kerkhofs to design an advanced high-wire table that Continue reading

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July 11, 2014

 

A few years ago, a rash of employee suicides at Foxconn Technology prompted investigations into the working conditions at the Chinese manufacturing giant. As the maker of such in-demand items as the iPad and Hewlett-Packard servers, Foxconn employs tens of thousands of people who work long shifts and live on-site. The monotonous work and the dorm-like living quarters can make for a grey life on the Foxconn campus, leading to depression and worse.

Foxconn responded to this bleak state Continue reading

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For many working Americans, leaving the office in the early evening doesn’t necessarily mean your workday is done. Answering emails and phone calls can stretch one’s workday far past the standard five o’clock threshold. That is, unless you happen to be a consultant working in France. Under a new agreement between labor unions and corporate representatives, more than 250,000 French employees at consulting, computing and polling firms are required to “disconnect” from work once they clock out.

Under the Continue reading

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Smartphones have granted people unprecedented access to information, but many users don’t realize they’re giving away just as much access to themselves simply by using the devices. As we’ve previously discussed, retailers and search engines compile loads of data gathered from users’ browsing habits. And if these legitimate operations can easily obtain this info, then it stands to reason that people with more nefarious intentions can find a way into your data as well.

However, many hackers these days Continue reading

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March 31, 2014

The slow reemergence of American manufacturing has been touted by politicians on both sides of the aisle as an essential force in the recent economic recovery. But in many cases, the manufacturers driving production across the nation aren’t American at all. In fact, Honda recently announced that it built and shipped more cars from the U.S. than it imported here from Japan.

According to Honda executives, the company’s current status as an American exporting power wasn’t the intention when it Continue reading

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March 19, 2014

For many years, the famous phrase “location, location, location” served as one of the most unfailing maxims in the business lexicon. But as the digital age has broken down borders and streamlined commerce, the importance of physical locations has diminished. In fact, some intrepid entrepreneurs have given up permanent addresses entirely in order to cut down costs and increase mobility.

The types of business best suited for going off the physical grid are tech companies, service providers, media firms and Continue reading

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January 23, 2014

As emerging markets like India and Brazil continue to grow, more and more of their citizens will enter the middle class. This relatively untapped consumer group presents plenty of lucrative opportunities for companies across the globe. However, finding the right products to sell to this expanding class is not so simple, even for companies operating in their home countries. For instance, Tata Motors launched its ultra-cheap Nano model as an introductory vehicle for Indian consumers. But with a price tag Continue reading

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January 12, 2014

When people think about the average American college student, their minds often wander to images of fresh-faced teenagers hitting campus right out of high school on their parents’ dime. But in reality, only one-third of the nation’s more than 20 million students enrolled in two- and four-year universities fit that description.

Though it may not surprise seasoned professors, the idea of the “traditional” college student is becoming increasingly outdated. According to recent data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, Continue reading

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