The widespread disruptions caused by the pandemic resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs last year and subsequently applying for unemployment benefits. In one especially bleak week in spring 2020, new unemployment claims topped out at more than six million as businesses locked down to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Although the amount of new claims steadily began to decline after this historic high, hundreds of thousands of Americans have nevertheless applied for unemployment week after week since the Continue reading

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April 29, 2021

The current vaccine rollout that is going strong throughout the country is largely the result of multi-billion dollar deals struck between economic powers like the U.S. and U.K. with pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer and Moderna. But while bilateral trade agreements across the globe allowed for the largest vaccine rollout in history, this video looks at why these deals are also delaying the vaccination process in struggling countries like Brazil and India.

Questions:

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of bilateral Continue reading
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April 22, 2021

Earlier this week, we looked at how pandemic lockdowns led to increased consumer demand as well as supply chain problems that are delaying deliveries around the world. Large-scale disruptions such as the Suez Canal blockage and the traffic jam at the Port of Los Angeles have resulted in wide-ranging financial damage to all sorts of small operators who cannot get their hands on vital merchandise. For instance, one restaurant in Oklahoma must pay $200 for a case of gloves that Continue reading

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April 13, 2021

Spring is in full swing with seasonal showers leading to blooming flowers and growing lawns across the country. But with these idyllic scenes come unpleasant sounds as roaring leaf blowers and rumbling lawnmowers tear through American neighborhoods. Along with raising an almighty racket, these gas-powered machines also emit more pollutants than most cars and trucks. According to California’s Air Resource Board, a commercial leaf blower operating for one hour emits as many contaminants as a Toyota Camery driving for 1,100 Continue reading

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April 8, 2021

Movie theaters across the country closed for months last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then struggled to recover once other businesses began to reopen. After Tenet disappointed at the box office during the summer, other would-be blockbusters like Wonder Woman: 1984 and Raya and the Last Dragon were simultaneously released in theaters and on streaming services. This radical change in distribution made industry observers and uneasy theater owners wonder if moviegoers would continue to remain at home as Continue reading

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April 6, 2021

Starting in March 2020, new unemployment claims in the U.S. seemed to reach record levels every week as businesses closed all over due to the pandemic. And while that number has gradually been decreasing in recent months, thousands of people continue to file fresh unemployment claims each week. 719,000 workers filed for unemployment last week, an increase from 658,000 initial claims the week before.

Although the U.S. unemployment rate remains high, some experts are optimistic that the economy is on Continue reading

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April 2, 2021

As the NCAA March Madness tournament enters its final stages, politicians and labor advocates have reignited a debate about compensating college athletes. This video takes an extensive look at the discussion as it currently stands and how possible legislation could change matters in the future.

Questions:

  1. What is the NCAA’s reasoning for not compensating student athletes?
  2. Do you think NCAA athletes should receive compensation for participating in college sports? Why or why not?
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March 30, 2021

Last week, one of the world’s most important commercial waterways shut down as a 200,000-ton vessel became lodged in the Suez Canal. After the enormous ship could not be removed immediately, experts started to worry that Ever Given would remain stuck for weeks and wreak billions of dollars in economic havoc. Then yesterday, the container ship was finally dislodged from the canal with the help of high-powered tugboats and an unusually high tide brought on by a full moon.

Now Continue reading

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March 19, 2021

Last month, we looked at how NBA Top Shot sells digital basketball cards for thousands of dollars through its online marketplace. Since then, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) like Top Shot cards have skyrocketed in value, with one viral gif selling for $600,000 while a NFT artwork was sold through Christie’s auction house for tens of millions. This video explains how NFTs operate along with their possible drawbacks. 

Questions:

  1. How did some NFTs come to be worth thousands or even millions Continue reading
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March 18, 2021

Last week, Congress passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package aimed primarily at easing the financial burdens that many Americans have felt during the pandemic. While previous stimulus bills were directed more towards businesses, this latest package provides $960 billion in aid towards individuals through $1,400 checks, unemployment coverage, and provisions for child care. The bill also includes tax credits as well as programs that seek to make rent, food, and healthcare more affordable.

According to economists, low-to-middle income Americans will Continue reading

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