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

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO billionaire wants a commitment to basic universal income. Should this be a universal right?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent– The Basic Universal Income is a pipe dream much beloved by overly peppy future theorists, fuzzy headed socialists and the sort of people who think that if you put a freshly baked cookie on the table among six children, they’ll divide it up evenly out of the goodness of their hearts. 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

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

The Federal Reserve finally ended their zero-interest-rate stance after about seven years. Will rising interest rates cause a recession in the next year or two?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent– The U.S. economy has been chugging along at a slow-to-moderate pace since the current recovery began back in 2009 after the Great Recession ended. Part of the reason for that steady growth and lack of volatility in the stock market must be chalked up to historically low interest rates. Rising interest rates may precipitate a recession, but that’s not a certainty. Continue reading

Symposium 2016: Minimum wage laws were passed in a number of states during the last election to raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, and a national campaign has been initiated to institute a $15 an hour minimum. Will these increases be detrimental to jobs and job security?

Myrtle Beach, SC Correspondent- Will it hurt job security? I would say probably. Here is the issue here, rather than paying their workers a higher dollar amount some companies will probably just automate their process more. Companies who can’t afford to automate will either pay the going rate, slim down their company, put more people on salary and work them harder, or close. There are too many scenarios here. Continue reading

Will the Middle Class Become a Thing of the Past in the United States?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Much hand wringing has been done over the fact that the middle class in America seems to be shrinking. The richest one percent widens its income gap over the rest of us. A few lucky or hard-working or entrepreneurial souls claw their way toward the top from poverty or the depths of the middle class. But most people who grew up in middle-class homes in the 80s, 90s, and 00s seem to be struggling with wage stagnation, excessive student debt, housing prices that put a serious strain on incomes, and a diminishing number of higher-paying jobs blamed more or less equally on automation and global competition.

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