April 2, 2020

After a long debate, last week legislators finally approved and signed into law a $2 trillion stimulus package that provides much needed economic relief during this unprecedented health crisis. The video below looks at how the money will be allocated to companies and the logistics behind expanded unemployment benefits as well as a $1,200 stimulus payment to American adults. 

Questions:

  1. What sort of restrictions does the stimulus package place upon companies that accept government relief?
  2. Do you think this Continue reading
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March 20, 2020

With many businesses altering their day-to-day operations, millions of Americans working in restaurants, bars, hotels, or for gig companies like Uber have seen their hours and pay cut drastically. This video looks at how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting regular people working in the San Francisco Bay Area and the solutions that they are asking for to relieve this crisis. 

Questions:

  1. Why do small businesses like restaurants and bars face so much uncertainty during the current coronavirus pandemic?
  2. Do Continue reading
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March 6, 2020

Last year, we looked at how open office plans can discourage communication between employees despite claims about their supposed collaborative benefits. This video explains the history of open offices and how modern workplaces often fail to live up to the standards of the past due to concerns about cost. 

Questions:

  1. How do modern open office plans tend to discourage communication and collaboration between employees? 
  2. Do you think more companies should create open office plans based on the principles Continue reading
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February 21, 2020

For much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, train travel was the primary mode of transportation for millions of Americans. Once cars and air travel rose to prominence, however, trains fell out of use in the U.S. while other European and Asian nations greatly expanded their railway capabilities. Along with looking at the history of American train travel, this in-depth video examines a modern company that wants to connect the nation with high-speed trains like so many other countries Continue reading

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February 7, 2020

Targeted advertising has become the economic engine of the Internet for big companies like Facebook and Google that collect all sorts of data about their users. This video details how tech giants track people online in order to gather information for advertisers, a widespread practice that is nevertheless hugely controversial. 

Questions:

  1. How has the use of cookies changed from the early days of the Internet to today?
  2. Do you think legislators should regulate how companies track people online for Continue reading
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January 9, 2020

In recent years, many Silicon Valley tech firms have pledged to make sustainability a top priority. But as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft develop environmentally friendly operations, oil companies are also using their technology to extract more petrochemicals from the earth. The video below takes an in-depth look at the history of oil extraction and how modern tech companies are risking their reputations by getting involved with the fossil fuel industry. 

Questions:

  1. How does machine learning help tech companies become Continue reading
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December 12, 2019

Although only 6 percent of the U.S. identifies as vegan, animal-free foods like meatless burgers and veggie-based snacks have exploded in popularity recently. This video looks at why the animal alternative market could grow into a $140 billion industry as consumers include more vegan foods in their diets. 

Questions:

  1. Why are more American consumers starting to supplement their regular diets with vegan foods?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic meat like the Impossible Burger?
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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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October 24, 2019

This in-depth video explains how stock buybacks work and why they have possibly contributed to rising income inequality over the years. Along with providing a detailed history of this controversial practice, the video also takes a close look at the closing of GM’s factory in Lordstown, Ohio. 

Questions:

  1. Do you think lawmakers should pass regulations against corporate stock buybacks? Why or why not?
  2. How did the closing of GM’s Lordstown factory affect the community as a whole?
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