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By Sarah Senseman
Posted on: August 31, 2015
We’ve all probably been there - you’re out on the town, maybe going to a movie or a nice restaurant, but instead of being able to enjoy yourself, you’re forced to listen to someone who’s being way too loud or playing with a cell phone. Much as you try, you can’t ignore that. Your night is ruined.That may not have a lot to do with policy, but to some extent, that is an example of an externality: a cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit.When thinking about externalities in the more traditional sense, we’re usually talking about negative... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: August 24, 2015
In the recent GOP presidential debate, the candidates practical fell over each other in their fervor to condemn Obamacare. Critics of Obamacare – including many politicians and healthcare industry executives – argue that America would be better served by a system that relies more on competition and less on regulation.It's ironic that while health care CEOs and their allies praise competition in theory, in practice they run full speed to get away from competition.The main strategy to avoid competition is mergers and acquisitions. More than 100 deals were completed in the industry last year, a... read more
By Regine Martin-Benn
Posted on: August 21, 2015
In order to engage your employees, you have to understand them. Clearing sessions are a unique approach that Best for Workers B Corp Dharma Merchant Services uses to help their employees engage their emotions, share their experiences, and build trust in the workplace. We recently spoke with Nick Bencivenga from Dharma, who gave us a better insight on how their weekly clearing sessions have helped them build a Best for Workers workplace. By sharing their experiences weekly, Dharma’s staff creates an atmosphere of safety, honesty, and effective conflict resolution that resonates throughout the... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: August 17, 2015
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is starting to falter as negotiators wrestle over the last, deeply contentious issues. This might not be a bad thing. I have pointed out earlier (here, here and here) the problems with the treaty.But some supporters, who prioritize the economic benefits of trade, have challenged me to offer a better alternative. So let's recap the legitimate points of both sides. Then, I'll sketch out an approach to capture the benefits of freer trade without the problems of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.The deal's opponents make four key arguments: It will lead to job loss and... read more
By Michael Peck
Posted on: August 12, 2015
“For what’s it’s worth,” the 1967 Buffalo Springfield song as lyrical, close-up socio-economic observation, still resonates. Last week, The New York Times reported that none other than Harvard’s business professors flew out to study Gravity CEO Dan Price, of Seattle, Washington after he unilaterally capped his seven figure remuneration and raised the annual “minimum wage” for all of his employees to $70,000 each.In “Love letters to the Gravity Boss (video)” and “A Company Copes with Backlash Against the Raise that Roared,” New York Times reporters, Erica Berenstein & Jessey Dearing, and... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: August 7, 2015
In politics you often hear people call for "states' rights" as a way to justify certain positions. This argument sounds like recourse to a high Constitutional principle, but really, it's anything but that. Regardless of the issue, both liberals and conservatives respect states' rights when they don't have enough power to win in Washington. And both sides conveniently forget about states' rights when they can prevail at the federal level. It's just a flag of convenience.For example, Southern conservatives waved the banner of states' rights when they fought the civil rights battles of the 1960s... read more
By Taylor Walsh
Posted on: July 28, 2015
The summer of 2015 could be a turning point for making integrative health services the preferred healthcare choice for patients under their employer’s healthcare benefit. This is good news for companies looking for ways to reduce their health care costs as well as provide proven wellness approaches such as therapeutic massage, acupuncture and other ‘complementary’ modalities. Important forces are in play that will push insurance carriers and employers to take a serious look at this emerging class of care.For instance, in Minnesota, the Penny George Institute for Health & Healing (part of... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: July 28, 2015
One of greatest threats to the U.S. economy in the long term is the absurdly high cost of U.S. health care. We spend nearly 18 percent of GDP on it, whereas the rest of the developed world spends around 11 percent and gets about the same results.The difference damages the competitiveness of American businesses, and prevents American workers from prospering in the global economy. 7 percent of extra spending amounts to $1.2 trillion each year. If we didn't waste that money on health care that didn't work, we could double the number of K-12 public school teachers. And then we could make public... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: July 23, 2015
The U.S. now enjoys abundant energy supplies at lower prices, largely due to fracking, which uses hydraulic pressure to extract oil and gas from rock. Fracking is widely criticized for polluting groundwater, triggering earthquakes and delaying the switch to renewable energy sources. But without question, it has boosted America's energy supplies enormously.Prices have come down as production has soared. Total U.S. oil and gas output has roughly tripled from 2007 to 2014. In parts of New Jersey, which gets much of its gas from the Marcellus Shale deposit, "energy costs for residential and... read more
By Graham Willard
Posted on: July 13, 2015
The Community Wealth Building Network of Metro Denver released a report entitled “An Introduction to Financing for Cooperatives, Social Enterprises and Small Businesses.” Despite its Denver, Colorado origins, sustainable business organizations across the nation should take note.ASBC member Jason Wiener was one of the lead authors of the report, which discusses the ways businesses, foundations, and developers are acquiring funding to foster economic opportunity within low-income communities. There is general agreement that creating a business friendly environment in these communities requires... read more