October 25, 2018

In today’s retail environment, the most successful companies aim to be one-stop shops where customers can purchase everything they need in a single trip. And while modern shoppers might associate this strategy with firms like Walmart and Amazon, experts agree that Sears was the first business to perfect the all-in-one retail plan. Starting out in the late 1800s as a mail-order catalog, the company eventually built thousands of department stores across the country. Consumers at the time had never before Continue reading

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October 23, 2018

Earlier this year, Toys ‘R’ Us announced that it would be closing most of its U.S. stores after filing for bankruptcy in 2017. And while this was certainly bad news for anyone who loved the store “where a kid can be a kid,” it was especially unpleasant for toy manufacturers like Hasbro and Mattel. These companies depended on large holiday orders from Toys ‘R’ Us to fund operations throughout the entire year. Without a big retailer to sell to, though, Continue reading

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October 18, 2018

Every day, thousands of huge cargo ships criss-cross oceans delivering products to markets all over the globe. But that’s not the only thing these vessels bring to port: they also emit sulfuric gases and fine particles that settle over cities as smog. In order to combat all this toxicity, a couple of years ago the United Nations passed a resolution to reduce the amount of sulfur content in maritime fuels. According to the guidelines, by 2020 shippers must switch to Continue reading

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October 12, 2018

Last week representatives from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada reached an agreement to update NAFTA, the international trade deal that went into effect in 1994. Now known as the USMCA, this video looks at how the new deal could affect various industries throughout North America. Click here to watch it.

 

 

Questions:

  1. Which industries will be most affected by the USMCA?
  2. What is the purpose of international trade deals like NAFTA or the USMCA?

 

Photo by Nicoguaro.

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October 5, 2018

Finding and keeping qualified employees is a constant struggle for companies across the nation. That’s why some businesses require staffers to sign non-compete clauses, which basically prevent them from jumping ship to a competitor. In the fast food industry, though, there’s another type of employment restriction that has long kept workers tied to a single location within a franchise. Called “no poach” policies, these strict guidelines prohibit staffers from switching jobs within a national chain.

For instance, say that a Continue reading

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September 13, 2018

While songwriters and filmmakers can protect their intellectual property through copyrights, many fashion designers can’t do the same when it comes to their creations. The video below shows why legislators consider clothing to be different from other forms of art and how that affects designers, especially those at the high-end of the market.

Questions:

  1. Why have legislators been reluctant to grant clothing designs the same protection as movies or songs?
  2. Do you think fashion designers should be able to copyright Continue reading
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September 4, 2018

A couple of months ago, we took a look at Starbucks’ plan to eliminate its use of plastic straws by 2020. While the coffee chain remains the most high-profile business to ban straws, several cities throughout the country have joined the effort by passing legislation regulating their use. For instance, last month San Francisco passed an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from distributing any single-use plastic utensils or accessories. The cities of Seattle, Malibu, and Vancouver have recently put similar laws Continue reading

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August 30, 2018

With the summer winding down, people across the country are returning from vacation and settling back into their normal routines. And while many Americans would certainly rather be back on the beach than at work or school, many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations seem happy to see their visitors go. According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, international trips increased by 6 percent in the first half of 2018. Although this amount of growth would usually be Continue reading

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August 24, 2018

By now it’s no secret that big tech companies routinely collect tons of data about their users’ online habits. And as Facebook’s recent scandal with Cambridge Analytica showed, sometimes they sell that information to outside parties without first telling users about it. As a result, people must always be careful about sharing too much information online. According to a new study conducted by a Vanderbilt University professor, however, even the most cautious users probably can’t escape the all-seeing power of Continue reading

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August 21, 2018

Last week the legendary soul and gospel singer Aretha Franklin passed away at the age of 76. Her legacy includes a wide catalogue of classic hits that will long be remembered by music lovers, especially her signature song “Respect.” But while she earned millions of fans over the years with the anthemic tune, she unfortunately did not earn millions of dollars directly from it. That’s because all of the song’s radio royalties have gone to the estate of its writer, Continue reading

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