4 overlooked elements of the latest COVID stimulus package

A minimum wage increase isn’t the only element of the COVID-19 relief bill that arguably doesn’t belong there. Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled Thursday that including the wage increase in the bill would violate Senate rules on legislation for budget reconciliation. The House version of the bill still includes the increase, which the Senate will…

Why there is hope the U.S. might avoid the worst of the new COVID-19 variants

As concerns intensify over variants of the COVID-19 virus, the U.S. has solid grounds for thinking it might escape the full fury of the most frightening variants. Luck is a large part of the reason. Variants, which arise inevitably as a virus spreads, have become a major concern as more are discovered and prove to…

The wage gap is only going to get worse after the pandemic

Even as the U.S. economy expands, the post-pandemic outlook for low-wage workers has become significantly worse than it was before the pandemic. The effect is so large that it’s a looming problem not just for those workers, but also for the larger society and the economy. At the same time, high-wage workers face an even…

How cannabis actually affects productivity

New research suggests that wide availability of marijuana does indeed affect people’s ability to work productively—but not in the way you’re thinking. Common sense, supported by previous research, says increased use of any intoxicant will not be good news for productivity or workplace safety. But a closer look shows that many of these findings are…

The GameStop madness isn’t even close to over yet

The madness of crowds that briefly engulfed GameStop stock has entered its post-mortem phase, with the share price down some 90% from its delirious January high, the Justice Department issuing subpoenas, Congress scheduling hearings for next week, and Netflix, HBO, and MGM working on movies about the convulsion. But the GameStop madness isn’t over. The…

Which Super Bowl advertiser got the worst return on its investment?

Which Super Bowl LV advertiser got the worst return on its hefty investment? The winner, or rather loser, is clear: Jeep. As usual, America’s most-watched TV broadcast was quite possibly the most ad-dense broadcast: 57 minutes of commercials in the game itself, as distinct from pregame and postgame coverage, a new record, says the Kantar…

These three big numbers explain the stimulus debate

As President Biden tries to negotiate a bipartisan compromise on his promised stimulus bill—which he wants Congress to deliver by mid-March—the main battlefield will be how narrowly to target the payments. A consensus is coalescing around the notion that his original proposal was too broad, sending at least partial payments to married couples earning over…

What the hell happened at GE? Former CEO Jeff Immelt has some thoughts

Why would Jeff Immelt write a book about his troubled tenure as General Electric’s CEO from 2001 to 2017? He confronts that question on page one. “My tenure had ended badly,” he acknowledges in the first paragraph of Hot Seat: What I Learned Leading a Great American Company. “My legacy was, at best, controversial … Maybe it…

The Super Bowl proves it: The NFL rules the television world

Who really rules television? It isn’t the top broadcast network (CBS) or the top cable channel (Fox News) or streaming services like Netflix or media mega-players like Disney or Comcast. It’s the National Football League by a mile. And sometime soon after Super Bowl LV, the NFL will demonstrate its awesome power when it signs new, costlier multi-year contracts with…

Meet the U.S. economy’s new power players under President Joe Biden

  As director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, 42, will help set the agenda.Ken Cendeno—CNP/Bloomberg/Getty Images“Personnel is policy,” says a Washington maxim invoked at the dawn of each new administration. The point is valid; you don’t really understand policy until you know who’s creating it and executing it. President Biden’s economic team, still…

Why $1,400 stimulus checks could do more harm than good

As the battle over President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan intensifies, he must contend with more than just Republican opposition. Some Democrats are skeptical also. At the same time, some congressional Republicans may come around to supporting it. This unusual bipartisanship for and against the plan centers on one simple question: Is $2,000 too much? Specifically, is…