September 23, 2014

In the 1950s, more than 150 television manufacturers called the U.S. home. Today, not even component parts for TVs are produced on American soil. Still, that hasn’t stopped Wal-Mart from slapping “Assembled in the USA” stickers onto many flat screen TVs stocked in its stores. That’s because the company buys the televisions from South Carolina’s Element Electronics Corporation, which imports all their items from China.

That doesn’t mean Element is simply a middleman operation though. TVs that arrive at the Continue reading

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September 10, 2014

Walmart became the largest retail chain in the U.S. by offering customers the same low prices every day. As it expanded globally, however, the company found out that not every culture responds to this pricing strategy. For instance, Walmart has had a hard time winning over Brazilian consumers despite opening 550 stores in nearly 200 cities. That’s because most people in the large South American nation are happy to hunt for the best deals at a variety of stores rather Continue reading

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September 2, 2014

In the mid-20th century, many struggling nations around the world relied heavily on outside governments for assistance. Foreign aid of this nature accounted for 71 percent of all worldwide capital flows as recently as 1960. As the years progressed, however, governments largely removed themselves from the global development game. Today, foreign aid accounts for less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget and only 9 percent of current capital flows.

To fill this void, non-governmental organizations and groups such 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 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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April 16, 2014

If there’s one snack Americans love, it’s chips and dip. But more than a few snackers would be turned off if they found a big bowl of hummus next to their tortilla chips. That’s because 80 million people in the U.S. have no idea the popular Mediterranean chickpea dip even exists. Over the last few years the food company Sabra has been trying to change that fact by making hummus more accessible to American palettes. After all, with only 26 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 26, 2014

For many people, learning a second language is often a necessary step to take in order to climb up the career ladder. Of the 1.2 billion people across the world currently learning a foreign language, more than 800 million are studying English to get a better job. But language learning is such a time-consuming and expensive enterprise that many people are forced to end their instruction before reaching fluency. Even alternatives to personal tutoring, such as the popular software line Continue reading

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