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Money & The Economy

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Customers Are Paying Nearly 100% Of Seattle’s New Soda Tax, Study Says

Seattle soda drinkers are paying nearly every penny of a tax on sugary drinks that the city council put in place in January 2018, according to a new study. University of Washington researchers studied the effects of the soda tax on the prices of taxed and untaxed drinks at various types of stores. The study found that, on average, 97 percent ...

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US Steel Prices Dip Below Pre-Tariff Levels

The price of steel in the United States has fallen below levels prior to President Donald Trump’s announcement of a 25 percent tariff on imported steel in March 2018, according to benchmark prices compiled by S&P Global Platts. The price of steel jumped considerably after Trump announced the tariffs, rising to a peak of $920 per ton in July. Since ...

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New York City’s Minimum Wage Increase Is Crushing Small Businesses

New York City skyline

New York City hiked its minimum wage for the third time in three years on Jan. 1 and small business owners are struggling to adapt to the steadily increasing labor costs. New York City’s minimum wage rose to $15 an hour for all employers with more than 10 employees at the start of 2019. Small businesses have set about adapting ...

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Conservatives Give Congress Their Top Ten Energy Priorities In 2019

The free-market think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released its conservative list of demands for policymakers on energy and environment issues in the 116th Congress Tuesday. CEI’s list contains ten policy goals to promote accessible and affordable energy by repealing and opposing burdensome regulations, encouraging fossil fuel energy development and cutting subsidies and other market-distorting programs in the energy industry. ...

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Starbucks Plans To Sell Mixed Drinks In Upscale Cafes; Faces Challenges From Within

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson is scaling back the vision of his predecessor to revamp the coffee chain’s sales and expansion goals through opening hundreds of high-end coffee shops, The Wall Street Journal reports. Starbucks founder and former CEO Howard Schultz envisioned opening 1,000 Starbucks Reserve cafés that would sell more-expensive coffee, cocktails and artisanal baked goods. Schultz also wanted to ...

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Tax Refunds Will Be Paid During Shutdown, White House Says

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget said tax refunds will still be paid out by the IRS, despite the ongoing partial government shutdown. OMB deputy director Russ Vought told The Daily Caller during a Monday meeting that the White House would work quickly to make the process as “painless as possible” for taxpayers. During a government shutdown, the IRS is usually ...

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Taxing The Rich Probably Isn’t Enough To Fund Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal.’ Who Else Would See Higher Taxes On?

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s call for “60 or 70 percent” top tax rates likely won’t pay for a “Green New Deal.” Democrats will likely have to come up with other ways, including a possible carbon tax, to pay for it. Many trillions of dollars will be needed to meet the Green New Deal’s goal of 100 percent green energy. New York Democratic ...

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2019 Rig Count Outlook Foreshadowed by Borrowing Base Cuts, Price Drops & Seasonal Dip in Rigs

Offshore oil rig

The total U.S. rig count for December 2018 was 1,147, down 36 (-3%) from November 2018, and up 117 (+11%) from December 2017, according to analysts at S&P Global Platts, the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for commodities and energy markets. This rig count includes U.S. onshore, U.S. inland waters, and U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico drilling rigs. December U.S. land rig count: 1,116, ...

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Trump Effect: New Jobs Report Astounds Experts, Blows Out Expectations

On Friday, the Labor Department released the jobs report for December – and it’s amazing. The economy added 312,000 new jobs last month much more than the 181,000 Wall Street analysts were expecting. “It’s much higher than expected,” said Julia Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter. “The overall picture is that there is strong job growth on Main Street and ...

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Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 271,000 Jobs in December

Private sector employment increased by 271,000 jobs from November to December according to the December ADP National Employment Report®.  Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics.  The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment ...

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Apple Blames China’s Floundering Economy For Recent Dwindling Holiday Revenue

Apple issued a rare earnings warning Wednesday after the iPhone makers claimed China’s recent economic downturn caused the company’s revenue stream to dip lower than expected over the Christmas holiday. CEO Tim Cook blamed slow iPhone sales over the holiday on China’s recent economic downturn. Most of the unforeseen drop in sales revenue is a result of economic deceleration in ...

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Tesla’s Stock Takes A Big Hit As The Company Deals With Losing Federal Tax Credits

Tesla’s vehicle deliveries fall well short of Wall Street analysts’ expectations as the Silicon Valley automaker wrestles with the realization that its federal tax credits are quickly running out. Tesla disappointed investors Wednesday after announcing that it delivered 90,700 vehicles during the fourth quarter, more than 2,000 vehicles short of what Wall Street analysts expected. The company cut prices on ...

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Activity Is Plummeting In America’s Biggest Coal Region

The steady decline of the U.S. coal industry is dragging down operations in the country’s biggest coal-producing region: the Powder River Basin. Spread across southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming, the Powder River Basin is geographically the country’s largest coal basin and its most productive. The Powder River Basin — where developers are able to operate more efficiently than other coal ...

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‘Big Progress Being Made’ In China Trade Negotiations

Donald Trump success

President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he had a “very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding progress on a comprehensive trade deal. Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China. Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress ...

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The Booming Job Market Is Leading Teachers To Quit At Record Levels

Good teachers prefer school choice

Public education employees such as teachers and janitors are quitting jobs in record numbers, an uncommon trend in a profession that often rewards longevity, The Wall Street Journal reported. Many industries in the past year have seen a historically high rate of workers quitting. A tight labor market and sluggish wage growth are making job transfers less risky and long-term ...

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