September 2, 2022

Last year, the Danish building-block company Lego earned more than 7 billion euros in sales, making it far and away the top toymaker in the world. Once on the brink of bankruptcy in the early 2000s, Lego turned things around when it focused exclusively on construction bricks along with licensed sets based on popular franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter. Now the company’s dominance extends even into the offices of the world’s biggest corporations as part of team-building exercises Continue reading

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August 31, 2022

Earlier this year, we looked at how the nationwide shortage of baby formula was poised to continue for months after Abbott Nutrition shut down a Michigan plant in February. An inspector from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) discovered a leaking roof in the facility, pools of water on the floor, and cracks in production equipment used to produce the brand Similac. FDA commissioner Dr. Robert Califf described the conditions as “egregiously unsanitary” while acknowledging that the federal agency should Continue reading

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August 26, 2022

Global supply chains have been all out of sorts since the start of the pandemic, but for the most part traffic and delays have been isolated to ports on the Pacific. As the video below explains, though, bottlenecks have now moved to East and Gulf Coast ports that are unprepared for this influx of ships and container boxes. 

Questions:

  1. What are some reasons why shipping traffic and delays have moved from Pacific ports to East and Gulf Coast ports? Continue reading
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August 24, 2022

exasperated woman working at computerLike other social networks, TikTok users share almost everything about their lives on the app, from their favorite music and TV shows to their anxieties about work. In fact, talk about the latter has increased significantly in recent weeks as videos about “quiet quitting” generate millions of views among young professionals. The phrase is meant to convey the opposite idea of “hustle culture,” another popular work-related topic on TikTok that encourages people to devote themselves entirely to their careers. Quiet Continue reading

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August 19, 2022

Since 1994, Rap Snacks has sold chips, popcorn, and even instant noodles featuring hip hop stars like Snoop Dogg, Migos, and Lil Baby on the packaging. The most recent addition to this lineup of talent is Nicki Minaj, who launched her “Barbie-Que Honey Truffle” potato chips earlier this summer. While Rap Snacks hoped this high-profile partnership would make a big splash on social media, the brand instead attracted the attention of an entirely different audience: the notoriously litigious toy company Continue reading

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August 17, 2022

Most people who rent rooms or houses from Airbnb use their short term rentals as home-base for a vacation or business trip, nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary. Occasionally, though, the company must deal with customers who host unauthorized gatherings, potentially leading to noise complaints and safety issues. In fact, numerous incidents of violence have occurred at Airbnb parties that got out of control, leading the company to institute a new set of policies to prevent these illicit Continue reading

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August 12, 2022

Thousands of workers at Amazon warehouses and Starbucks stores across the country have voted to unionize in recent months, potentially reversing decades of declining union membership in the U.S. This video takes a close look at the history of unions in postwar America, examining the reasons why service industries largely stayed unorganized and how that could change in the coming years. 

Questions:

  1. Why did union membership start to decline in the 1970s and 1980s?
  2. Do you think U.S. legislators Continue reading
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August 9, 2022

Seeking out qualified employees and then hiring them is a costly process for even the biggest companies, which is why most managers strive to keep their staff around for as long as possible. Sometimes fresh hires don’t feel the same way, though, and they leave their new jobs as swiftly as they joined. These “quick quits” are especially prevalent in the current job market where employee turnover remains high. As a result, companies are focusing on a key milestone: a Continue reading

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August 3, 2022

Last year, the movie studio Warner Bros. announced that it was working on a slate of films created specifically for the streaming service HBO Max. Among these titles was Batgirl, whose budget ballooned to more than $90 million after completing most of the film. But rather than release this star-studded adaptation of a DC Comics character, Warner said yesterday that the movie would never stream online nor would it ever appear in theaters. 

Along with ditching Batgirl, Continue reading

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July 29, 2022

Consumer confidence in the economy has taken a nosedive as prices climb higher due to rising inflation, potentially indicating that the U.S. is on the road to a recession. This video looks at how the government collects data on consumer confidence while also examining the ways that low economic expectations can further fuel inflation.

Questions:

  1. Why does the government collect data on consumer confidence? What sort of questions do they ask participants?
  2. How can declining consumer confidence potentially drive inflation even higher?
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