April 1, 2016

This week, America’s labor lobby scored a major victory thanks to a split Supreme Court decision that upheld unions’ right to collect membership fees from public sector workers. The short video linked below brings clarity to this complicated story and focuses on the perspectives of both sides.

http://on.wsj.com/1VSf1RU

Questions:

  1. Is it ethical to require teachers like Rebecca Friedrich to pay for membership to unions they oppose?
  1. What benefits do union members receive from the dues they pay?
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March 2, 2016

For decades China’s industrial economy grew at a breakneck pace thanks to heavy investment from the state. This expansive age may be at an end, however. Over the last few years, demand for Chinese goods has dropped and its stock market has become increasingly unpredictable. Analysts say that China built up far too much manufacturing infrastructure that has now become an excessive drain on resources. As a result, last week the Chinese government announced the drastic measures it would take Continue reading

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February 5, 2016

In Silicon Valley’s immensely competitive entrepreneurial environment, many startups end up failing shortly after they launch. But among these many fallen firms stand a few “unicorns,” or private tech companies with valuations worth more than $1 billion. At these lucky startups, the strategy is to increase the firm’s value as much as possible until it can be sold to the highest bidder. Not only does such a sale grant enormous payouts for founders and investors, it can also enrich regular Continue reading

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January 27, 2016

For years, skilled workers from around the world have used H-1B visas as their tickets into the U.S. These visas are intended to provide companies with a pool of specialized foreign labor in case they can’t find any qualified domestic candidates. According to a recent lawsuit, however, one of the world’s biggest brands may have been abusing the H-1B system in order to boost their own bottom line. Rather than filling open positions with outsourced labor, The Walt Disney Company Continue reading

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July 11, 2015

The online shoe retailer Zappos has always set out to be an innovative employer as well as a successful business. Along with quality benefits and perks, CEO Tony Hsieh grants his staff the freedom to do their jobs according to their terms. In fact, recently the Zappos boss put a radical new corporate structure into place that eliminates all traditional managers or job titles. Instead of a traditional hierarchy, employees now work in “circles” that encourage more collaboration and agility. Continue reading

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June 13, 2015

While nonprofit organizations do the world an immeasurable amount of good, their restrictive structure can prove frustrating for some entrepreneurs. After all in order to stay afloat, many nonprofits depend on the generosity of donors, a source of capital that could suddenly dry up at anytime. That’s why a few startups are combining the social drive of nonprofits with sustainable business models to form benefit corporations, or “B-corps” for short.

On the surface these companies seem like normal firms: they Continue reading

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March 30, 2015

Near the end of February, the Wisconsin legislature passed a controversial bill that could change the face of labor in the state. Under the new “right-to-work” law, employees in unionized, private sector workplaces can choose whether or not to pay their union dues. According to Governor Scott Walker and his supporters, the law grants more freedom for individuals to choose where they work. “This legislation will ensure that Wisconsin’s workers have the sole power to determine whether they wish to Continue reading

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March 10, 2015

For many companies recruiting new employees, a traditional one-on-one interview only tells part of a potential hire’s story. Some small businesses simply don’t have time to hold deep conversations with interviewees: one family-owned car wash in Kentucky said that it receives more than 1,000 applications each year.

In order to streamline its hiring process, Finish Line Car Wash turned to a personality assessment company called PeopleClues. The service’s 30-minute online test gives applicants a series of statements and then asks Continue reading

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March 3, 2015

For years, Walmart has been criticized for not adequately sharing its success with its employees. After all, the retailer is not only the largest private employer in the U.S. but also the largest retail chain in the world. With so much capital at its disposal, critics have long argued that Walmart has enough resources to spend on its staff. And now at long last it appears the retailer agrees. Last month Walmart announced a plan that will raise the wages Continue reading

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January 29, 2015

In mid-December 2014 President Obama shocked the world by announcing that the U.S. would reestablish a diplomatic relationship with Cuba. Reversing more than six decades of American foreign policy, the decision is expected to have an enormous impact on Cubans living both on the island and abroad. Diplomats are even discussing lifting the trade embargo that the U.S. imposed in the 1960s in response to Cuba’s hostile Communist regime.

Besides opening up channels for travel and trade, the easing of Continue reading

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