February 7, 2015

As the world’s manufacturing superpower, China is home to thousands of factories producing millions of items each day. Keeping track of all that industrial output is far from easy, though. With little oversight to monitor them, some Chinese factories make knock-off or simply poor quality products, and then sell them to retailers as if they were up to standard.

While pirated items are mainly a headache for the company that gets ripped off, products made cheaply or without regard for Continue reading

Continue reading...

November 30, 2014

The stock market crash of 2008 sent shockwaves across the world’s economies, leading many to speculate about the future of American financial policy on the global stage. In the eyes of many experts at the time, the U.S. dollar was especially at risk of losing its decades-long dominance. After all, the inferno of the financial crisis spread so fast because many nations measure their own currency against the dollar. When its value plummeted, so did countless other currencies.

The debacle Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 28, 2014

For more than 50 years, the Red Delicious has dominated the American apple market. But while no one can dispute the fruit’s famous color, many consumers have begun to take exception to the “Delicious” portion of its name. Even though the U.S. still produces 54 million bushels of Red Delicious annually, production of the fruit has dropped 40 percent since 2000 as demand for other varieties has increased.

The Red Delicious began its ascent way back in the 1870s when Continue reading

Continue reading...

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

Continue reading...

November 1, 2013

In the fall of 2013 the U.S. came perilously close to defaulting on its debt. Already reeling from a two-week government shutdown, lawmakers were able to come together at the eleventh hour to raise the debt ceiling through February 7, 2014. If it had failed to do so, then for the first time in history the U.S. would have been unable to pay the interest on Treasury bonds. This would have sent global markets into disarray while almost certainly setting Continue reading

Continue reading...

July 17, 2013

China’s surging economy has provided its citizens with a constellation of benefits that would have been scarcely imaginable even a decade ago. But of all China’s consumer-enabled freedoms, the opportunity for worldwide travel perhaps represents the nation’s biggest leap into modernity. After all, Chinese tour groups were forbidden from traveling to the U.S. until 2007. The following year, 493,000 Chinese tourists flooded America. That number has since grown to more than a million visitors annually. But that’s nothing compared to Continue reading

Continue reading...

In today’s modern economy, statistics are supreme. GDP, unemployment and interest rates all play dominant roles in the allocation of the government’s budget. No spending bill can hope to pass into law without a battery of statistics and figures charting how such legislation will benefit the country. But just how accurately do those numbers reflect the world we live in?

Take GDP, for instance. The famous figure has only been reliably collected in the U.S. since the 1930s and didn’t Continue reading

Continue reading...