June 30, 2020

According to experts, the coronavirus pandemic has deepened economic inequality and expanded the racial wealth gap across the U.S. While the unemployment rate for white workers sits at 12.4 percent, the rate among black and Hispanic workers has gone up to 16.8% and 17.6% respectively. But while many poor Americans struggle to make ends meet, the wealth of the nation’s 614 billionaires has increased by $584 billion.

These top-end earners make most of their money on the stock market, which Continue reading

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June 26, 2020

For the 14th week in a row, more than 1 million people filed for unemployment benefits as fallout from the pandemic continues to hurt workers across the nation. The last three weeks have each seen the number of newly unemployed Americans hover around the 1.5 million mark, an ominous sign that economic recovery could still be a long time coming. 

Although some people have returned to work as states reopen, the rising number of coronavirus cases threatens to once Continue reading

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June 25, 2020

After months on lockdown, states across the country have relaxed stay-at-home orders and allowed businesses to gradually resume operations. This slight return to normalcy caused the stock market to rally over the last few weeks to levels approaching its January 2020 highs. But even though many Americans are desperate to return to something resembling normal life, coronavirus remains a dangerous threat to public health. In fact, cases of infection have been steadily rising as states and businesses reopen.

As a Continue reading

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June 23, 2020

For months, movie theaters around the country have sat empty as Americans remained in their homes to curb the spread of coronavirus. With many businesses now gradually reopening, though, last week the nation’s largest film exhibitors also announced their plans for returning. AMC Theatres, for instance, will reopen by July 15th with a number of precautionary measures in place. Along with filling theaters to a maximum capacity of 30 percent, the company will also use advanced cleaning technology such as Continue reading

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June 19, 2020

Back in April, we looked at how American dairy farmers were dumping thousands of gallons of milk due to drastic drops in demand from businesses and schools. This video illustrates how this problem has grown in the months since and offers potential solutions that could keep supplies and prices stable.

Questions:

  1. How have dairy cooperatives responded to the supply crisis that was caused by the pandemic?
  2. Do you think independent farmers should receive more relief from federal regulators? Why or why not?
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June 16, 2020

Before the pandemic, Starbucks cafes across the country bustled with people grabbing all sorts of caffeinated beverages before work. With millions of Americans now telecommuting, however, these once crowded coffee houses are not nearly as busy as they used to be. As a result, last week Starbucks announced that it would close hundreds of locations across North America and shift its focus to takeout orders.

“This repositioning will include the closure of up to 400 company-operated stores over the next Continue reading

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June 11, 2020

Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. This historically high number increased by another 1.5 million last week as many people continue to struggle to make ends meet. Although the gradual reopening of businesses has sent some back to work, nearly 21 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits. All together, more than 44 million people have applied for unemployment over the course of the pandemic. 

“That means 29 percent of the workforce Continue reading

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A couple of weeks ago, we looked at how Airbnb hosts are struggling after the travel industry came to a standstill due to widespread stay-at-home orders. This video explains in greater detail why the once successful startup was so vulnerable to an economic downturn and what that means for both Airbnb and its hosts in the long term.

Questions:

  1. What factors made Airbnb so successful for nearly a decade?
  2. Do you think Airbnb will be able to recover from this Continue reading
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With tens of millions of Americans currently out of work, the U.S. is experiencing an unemployment crisis on a scale not seen since the height of the Great Depression. This video looks at the devastating effects of rising joblessness while also explaining how several European governments intervened to avoid disastrous unemployment rates. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the U.S. unemployment insurance system not equipped to face the current crisis?
  2. Do you think the U.S. should take a more active role in Continue reading
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Before the coronavirus pandemic, takeout and delivery orders made up just a small portion of total sales for most restaurants. With countless customers now homebound, though, to-go business has never been more important for eateries across the country. Many restaurants use apps like Grubhub, Seamless, or DoorDash to handle delivery orders, but these services come with quite a few problems for all their convenience. Besides signing up companies that don’t offer delivery, food startups have also deceived restaurants and Continue reading

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