December 5, 2019

Although gum companies like Wrigley have been in business for more than a century, today’s consumers aren’t nearly as interested in chewing gum as past generations. From 2010 to 2018, gum sales dropped by 23 percent in the U.S. and 4 percent globally. “Chewing gum is becoming less socially acceptable,” said Mondelez Foods CEO Dirk Van de Put. As the maker of brands like Trident and Dentyne, Mondelez and its competitor Wrigley are trying to convince consumers that gum can Continue reading

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December 3, 2019

Analysts at Adobe estimate that consumers spent more than $29 billion online last week between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Although brick-and-mortar sales rose slightly as well, e-commerce sales surged to record highs as consumers increasingly turned to online retailers for their holiday shopping needs. In fact, experts predict that companies like Amazon earned as much as $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday alone. 

But while Amazon enjoyed another successful start to the festive season in the U.S., the e-commerce giant Continue reading

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November 15, 2019

This week, Google announced that it’s launching a banking service next year that will offer “smart checking” accounts to mobile-focused customers. Known as Cache, the program is the result of a collaboration between the search giant and two banks: Citigroup and Stanford Credit Union. Although details of the partnership remain limited at this time, Google eventually wants Cache to become an extension of its Google Pay app. The company also claims that customers will “benefit from useful insights and budgeting Continue reading

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November 14, 2019

Earlier this year, McDonald’s spent $300 million acquiring a data analysis and artificial intelligence startup called Dynamic Yield. Along with providing the fast food chain with tons of information about its operations, this new technology will also help the company upgrade its growing fleet of self-ordering kiosks. Customers can place orders on these large touchscreens rather than wait in line, which the company claims improves efficiency and increases sales. As a result, McDonald’s wants to place these machines in as Continue reading

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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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October 18, 2019

At the end of summer, weather-tracking services in California began issuing reports that many in the state have come to dread: extreme winds and dry conditions had increased the risk of wildfires. The previous year had been one of California’s worst due to disasters like the Camp Fire, an enormous blaze that killed more than 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the aftermath of this tragedy, many blamed the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for failing Continue reading

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September 26, 2019

In the lucrative world of data analytics, few companies are more prominent than Comscore. The Virginia-based tech firm analyzes much of the country’s web traffic which then serves as a key reference for pricing online ads. Similar to the television ratings tracker Nielsen, Comscore measures how many people visit a website, the amount of time they spend on it, and other important metrics that can determine its popularity. As a result, the company’s data is vital for media companies and Continue reading

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September 19, 2019

On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a landmark labor law that guarantees wage and benefit protections for gig economy workers. The primary targets of this legislation are the state’s many Uber and Lyft drivers who are currently classified as independent contractors. When the new law comes into effect next year, the state will reclassify these contracted workers as regular employees entitled to a minimum wage, sick days, and other benefits. 

“Today the so-called gig companies present themselves as Continue reading

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September 12, 2019

On Monday, attorneys general for 50 U.S. states and territories announced that Google would face a broad and bipartisan antitrust investigation. Lawmakers said the search giant’s domination of “all aspects of advertising on the Internet and searching on the Internet” could be harmful to consumers as well as the web at large. Google currently captures 75 percent of all spending on search ads in the U.S., leading to more than $48 billion in revenue from ads alone.

According to lawmakers, Continue reading

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September 6, 2019

So far this year nearly 50,000 fires have been detected in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, the most recorded in almost a decade. According to international experts, the majority of these fires are not simply natural occurrences. In fact, a 2016 report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization found that cattle farmers were responsible for 80 percent of deforestation in Brazil. These enormous agricultural operations often burn rainforest in order to clear land for cattle grazing. Experts believe that Continue reading

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