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Entries posted by raphael.sassower

Looking for the right standard to implement wage fairness

As tax time comes around, and as the president keeps bringing up minimum wage, let’s consider our attitudes toward income, wealth and inequality. One of the basic tenets of the capitalist marketplace (Adam Smith) was that a moral code binds the community within which markets operate. Our moral sentiments provide the framework for fairness and… Continue Reading Looking for the right standard to implement wage fairness

Pope’s views against idolatry … and more

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We recall the image of Jesus entering the temple in Jerusalem, driving out the merchants and overturning the tables of the money changers. This was a stern reminder to separate the holy from the mundane. Likewise, we recall the image of a golden calf molten in the absence of Moses on Mount Sinai. Were precious… Continue Reading Pope’s views against idolatry … and more

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Labor, anyone? I grew up in Haifa, the Red City of Israel, where there were annual May Day parades with red flags and street dancing, speeches and a day off for all. I loved this carnival, though my parents hated unions and all they represented, especially their political power that could, at the drop of… Continue Reading Detroit’s lessons might affect answers on retirement

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Financial inequities persist under Obama

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You don’t have to be a Republican to sling some mud at our lame-duck president. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., dared suggest that student loan rates should equal those charged to large banks, 0.75 percent; she’s appalled by the “business-as-usual” mindset in Washington. After much haggling, Congress passed bipartisan legislation that pegs student loan rates to… Continue Reading Financial inequities persist under Obama

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New concepts change face of higher ed

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Years ago the University of Phoenix spooked higher education. What does it mean to have a for-profit university (a subsidiary of Apollo Group)? Despite drastic enrollment declines recently, it boasted some 600,000 students in 2010 (founded in 1976). Will this new model change the face of higher education? The answer is a definite yes. Labor… Continue Reading New concepts change face of higher ed

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Now that those who are punctual have paid their taxes in an annual ritual of disbelief and disgust — I still owe money? Where does it go? — perhaps it’s time to plan for next year. As Nathaniel Popper reported in The New York Times on April 21, corporate America not only is planning, but… Continue Reading Is the time right for tax reform, or is it already too late?

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Framing the campaign for Obama and Romney

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Having listened to both national conventions in consecutive weeks, you’d think these two characters, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, were demons from a bygone era. Not only are they probably nice people you’d like to have dinner with, they probably don’t mean most of what they say, and don’t say what they really mean. We… Continue Reading Framing the campaign for Obama and Romney

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We need to raise ethical expectations

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Just as behavioral economists incorporate the insights of psychologists in their economic models to portray a more accurate picture of human behavior in the marketplace and predict trends, commentators should be concerned to focus on ethical issues that are ignored when corporate lawyers sanction the behavior of their clients. As Michael Rothfeld reports in the… Continue Reading We need to raise ethical expectations

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Turn off your engine!

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As we read about yet another military experiment with biofuels, one associated with the Navy’s Pacific fleet, it seems as if waste is never going to be curbed. What has been termed a $12 million cocktail of biofuels has brought congressional scrutiny and the ire of at least some lawmakers who ignore the fact that… Continue Reading Turn off your engine!

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Why proximity matters

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In the Digital Age our reach is global, but our expertise is local. We have access to information from around the world, but we really know only what’s around us. We know whose coffee is best, and the bartender who fills your wine glass more than anyone else. This local knowledge is tacit; we may… Continue Reading Why proximity matters

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