Amazon.com recently acquired Whole Foods Markets. Will this purchase seriously affect other grocery stores that are currently competitors of Amazon?

From our Prescott Valley, AZ Corredspondent

Online grocery deliveries through retailers like Walmart, Costco, Target, Kroger and others will more than likely feel the crunch of Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Food Markets. Even though Amazon already offers grocery-delivery services in a number of markets, the Whole Foods acquisition will allow the online giant to further expand those services and with the actual ownership of brick and mortar Whole Foods Markets, Amazon will have access to perishable foods and other consumables for distribution within its present and expanded market areas. Continue reading

McDonald’s is planning on rolling out automated ordering kiosks. Has the fast food giant done this in order to stifle $15 an hour fast food employment?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent– Fast food chains like McDonald’s have contemplated automation for some time and are either now using or planning to use robotics or some type of automatic ordering to save time and money spent on higher wage fast food workers. As of now, McDonalds is considering the use of burger flippers, robotics and automated ordering kiosks that will replace cashiers in over 2,000 of their restaurant/stores across America. Continue reading

Upselling has become part of internet sales tactics. Is this practice turning off consumers, or has it simply become a distraction from an original point of sale?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent– Upselling is a sales technique that is most often used with various internet sales and services as well as everyday purchase interactions. The seller attempts to persuade a customer to buy more costly items, upgrades or other add-ons to bring about a more profitable sale. Usually the process involves the marketing of more money making services or products, or it can simply involve exposing customers to other available options that are at low to no cost. Continue reading

Should airlines be able to kick off paying passengers once they are onboard a flight?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Most travelers forget that their airline ticket is a legally binding contract with the carrier. They all have provisions for what can be done with extra passengers on overbooked flights. In the case of most airlines, their entire contract could fill a hefty book, and the section on removing passengers from their seats on the plane once they are onboard is detailed and extensive. Continue reading

Bill Gates recently called for a tax on robots that take jobs from humans. Does this proposal have merit?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent– Taxing robots certainly has merit for the government, which relies on taxing humans to feed its spending addiction.

It’s presumed a corporation that employs robots will be responsible for paying the robot tax. How will that be assessed if robots don’t receive compensation similar to what human employees receive? Should it be based on the robots’ productivity? And how should those tax dollars be spent? It makes the most sense to spend robot taxes on displaced workers who can’t find jobs because of automation. However, anyone who believes that government will faithfully dedicate all collected robot taxes to helping displaced workers, there is still plenty of swampland for sale in Florida. Continue reading

Would Eliminating Taxes be Disastrous for Society?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-Eliminating taxes will likely not happen as there will be tax shifts to make up for any termination of state or federal income taxes. If taxes are done away with, there will always be replacements through other sources of revenue.

If alternative sources were to be eliminated, there likely would be negative consequences but with many states currently proposing tax shifts, there will be replacements offered that will, in the long run, compare to the cost of taxes. People will challenge the productivity of the alternatives, but if they know that the tax replacement will help the infrastructures of their states, the alternative to state income taxes might be an easier pill to swallow. With state and federal entities needing monies to support the state and federal decline in infrastructure, any impending doom will be absorbed by individual taxpayers who share most of the burdens anyway. Continue reading

Have CEO’s become too publicly involved in politics?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent-Corporate executive officers (CEO’s) have become too publicly involved in politics, particularly those who have taken on hotbed issues that have affected Americans in less than positive ways. Rather than looking at those issues from the standpoint of the Constitution and the laws that govern the nation, they support issues that are unfavorable to the lives of everyday Americans. Continue reading

Statistics released from the Labor Department report that over 94 million Americans are either out of work or underemployed. How can this crisis be solved and out-of-work Americans returned to the job force?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-In the long run, the unemployment/underemployment crisis will resolve itself because Baby Boomers, the largest demographic group in the country, are retiring at an increasing rate. Their positions will be filled by younger workers as all generations after the Boomers move up a notch in the workforce.

The real crisis is in the short term—the next five years or so. Training is the big issue. New jobs are being created due to new technology, but schools can’t possibly be at the forefront of training because they are slow-moving dinosaurs with regard to responding to what employers and the marketplace want and need for job skills. Continue reading

Is Donald Trump’s Election as President of the United States a Black Swan Event? If so, What Effect will it Have on Wall Street?

From Our Owatonna, MN Correspondent

According to the website Investopedia, “A Black Swan is an event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and is extremely difficult to predict. The term was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor, writer, and former Wall Street trader. Black Swan events are typically random and are unexpected.”
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