Made in the USA used to stand for quality and pride. It meant buying high quality products made by American workers earning good wages and benefits. Products made in the USA aren’t as common anymore, especially as more American jobs are outsourced to places like China or Bangladesh. But when something says “Made in the USA” today, is it still a positive thing?
After reading this New York Times article “When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue,” I’m considering revoking all my ‘likes’ on Facebook. Apparently certain companies like General Mills are starting to rewrite their policy rules. Now simple actions can unknowingly void your ability to sue them. Apparently if you like their page, print their coupon, or in some cases even buy their product, you’ll now have to settle any problems with them via email arbitration, instead of taking them to court. Why did GM rewrite their rules and why is this a problem?
When the December 2013 unemployment rate came out on January 10, some news sources were glad to see that it decreased to 6.7% from 7%. Sounds good, right? In reality, it doesn’t explain everything. Actually, it hardly explains anything. That number only captures people who are still in the job market, who are also still actively searching for a job. So when you hear “unemployment rate,” feel suspicious. Who doesn’t it include?
In the last two posts, we discussed Starbucks donating money for World AIDS Day. In part 1, I discussed now Starbucks donates money to The Global Fund, which in turn buys antiretroviral (ART) drugs for HIV patients in poorer countries. In part 2, I discussed why pharmaceutical companies don’t have incentive to actually cure HIV/ AIDS, since they can profit off lifetime customers by simply prolonging the disease. So what’s the light at the end of this depressing tunnel?
In the last post, I discussed Starbucks’ donation for World AIDS Day. Starbucks gives 10 cents for each drink sold on December 1. Starbucks gives to The Global Fund, who buys antiretroviral (ART) drugs for those infected with HIV in lower income countries.
ART drugs aren’t a cure
Those infected with HIV must take ART drugs for the rest of their life, or they’ll die. So ART pharmaceutical companies make a guaranteed profit for the lifetime of each HIV patient infected. Does this mean they have no incentive to actually cure HIV or AIDS?
NPR Planet Money episode 482 asks why the US keeps sending weapons to Egypt. We continue to give Egypt $1.5 billion a year, $1.3 billion of which goes to the Egyptian military. Policy proponents say this money comes back to the US, since Egypt spends this money on American weapons.
What does the shutdown mean to the average American? Besides all the political drama and childishness between Republicans and Democrats, what does the average person actually know? What do they think about our debt ceiling and how much do they care?
On the October 10, 2013 episode of The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann, Thom discusses why privatized prisons are a problem. The US leads the world with the most incarcerations. It’s because the more people privatized prisons jail, the higher…