Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas


Standard & Poor’s issues the latest wake-up call

As the fallout from downgrading America’s credit rating unfolds, it’s pretty clear the deal made to raise the debt ceiling amounts to nothing more than a down payment on the debt. It was the first time our sacrosanct Triple-A credit rating has been downgraded (to AA+), which means U.S. Treasury bonds are no longer considered among the safest investments in the world, the U.S. government will pay higher interest to borrow, and various consumer loans (think homes and autos) will be impacted, too.

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Debt-ceiling debacle: A pox on all their houses

So Congress and the Obama administration have finally reached a tentative deal to raise the debt ceiling. Maybe, sort of. I suppose they expect the American public, including the business community, to be grateful for ending this manufactured crisis, but given the economic harm they caused by causing this needless panic, they might not want to hold their collective breath.

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Diversity Plus

The age of diversity is far from over, but even some of its evangelists note that during the Great Recession, it took a back seat to survival. Long frustrated in its attempts to move beyond incremental progress in meeting diversity goals, corporate America, and soon companies of all sizes, will not only view "inclusion" as a way to drive business performance in a way diversity never could, but as a more effective way to finally make workforce diversity reflect the growing diversity of American society. Companies like JP Morgan Chase, Chevron, and Medtronics have begun to implement inclusion as a business strategy.

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Craftily brewing up an investment storm

“Beer is an affordable luxury.” Truer words were never uttered, and they were spoken recently by Carl Nolen, the former president and CEO of the Madison-based Capital Brewery.

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Time for a sub-minimum wage for teens

Summer is finally upon us – in terms of calendar and temperature – and teenagers are once again discovering the same weak job market that has plagued adults. With teen employment over 24% nationally for teens ages 16 to 19 (including 19% in Wisconsin), and averaging over 25% in half of the 50 states, according to the Employment Policies Institute, it’s time to rethink the minimum wage.

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