United States’ New Currency Notes Cause Controversy

The United States Treasury Department has recently announced it is going to change the look of the $5, $10, and $20 bills. It plans to have these changes out into the market by 2020 according to money.cnn.com

The new changes to the $5 and $10 dollar bills are yet to be finalized. However, the new plans for the $20 dollar bill have been announced. The United States plans to put Harriet Tubman on the face of the $20 bill.

Tubman was the leader of the Underground Railroad during the 19th century. She was a prominent figure in the efforts to abolish slavery in the United States. She is someone who virtually everyone recognizes in the U.S.

Harriet Tubman will be booting 19th-century President Andrew Jackson from the face of the old $20 bill. Andrew Jackson is most likely being removed from the bill because his policy and treatment of Native Americans recently came under scrutiny.

This decision to remove Andrew Jackson and replace him with Harriet Tubman has come with a wave of controversy. In an article by Paul Thornton, published by the LA Times, he cited letters which the paper received in response to this decision.

One of these writers, Jacqueline Kerr, wrote, “‘Having a woman’s face, and a black woman’s face no less, on the $20 bill will lift the status of women everywhere. It’s impossible to imagine how this will affect some cultures in Africa, Asia and elsewhere, especially those in places where a woman’s face must be covered. Go for it, Treasury Department: Alter civilization.’”

Another one of the writers, Wayne E. Williams, wrote, “‘The decision to replace Jackson with Underground Railroad hero Tubman is a slap in the face by the Obama administration to American Indians who suffered from the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

It would only have been right to replace the image of Jackson on the $20 bill with one of our Indian heroes from the nations affected by the Indian Relocation Act.'”

These responses are just a few of the opinions of the widely disputed decision to change the $20 bill.

Mr. Morrissey noted that this is a good change. He said, “It is good to see different types of leaders be recognized other than just old presidents.”

Is the UK Leaving the European Union?

The United Kingdom is going to be voting on a referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union on June 23rd. This is a hot topic in global news because it is widely debated among the UK’s citizens.

The referendum ballot will look like this:

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This is the extent of the vote: yes or no. The country is pretty much divided 50/50 on this issue according to recent polling conducted by the Telegraph, a British news company. It is of the UK’s best interest to really think about their choice because either way it has some large ramifications.

If the UK decides to stay in the European Union it could render them more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. This is because of the EU’s open border policy. This policy basically states that members of the EU must allow citizens of the other members to pass through with minimal to no restriction.

This idea that everyone can come and go as they please leaves the EU  more susceptible to homegrown terrorists or other followers to wage an attack against them. This policy is simply irresponsible and doltish. People against the referendum do not seem to be able to support this in all of the recent articles by Time.com, The Telegraph, and the BBC.

Supporters of this referendum say that the vote is about letting the UK be able to make its own decisions. In a recent article written by the BBC, Peter Bone, founder of Grassroots Out (an organization dedicated to getting the UK out of the EU), said: “We look forward to working closely and productively with all those who want to see the UK set free to determine its own destiny.”

Bone’s point is in correlation with the pro-referendum constituency.  Besides the obvious security benefits, the ability to be independent is of great value to Brittan.

The UK would be free to set its own travel restrictions and trade agreements with each individual member of the EU. Also, since Brittian does not use the Euro, it would not even need to rely on the European Central Bank for currency. The UK could be completely free in no time.

Jay-Z’s New Business Off to Slow Start

On March 30, 2015, Jay-Z released his TIDAL website which has been in the making since October.  This website is for streaming quality audio and high definition music videos.  He believes this is a whole new experience for online music streaming.

Jay-Z reports to The Muse that “TIDAL is for all, but not everybody.”   He continued to discuss that this process is exactly like Spotify and Beats Music.  “We won’t know until real people start testing it out,” Jay-Z stated as he discussed his new business.

For the release party, Jay-Z had many other respected artists come out and help him present.  People like Usher, Kanye West, Rihanna, and many more celebrities came to support the new business.

People have made the assumption that this website is the same as Spotify.  However, TIDAL  does not have a free subscription, and it is made by artists.  In an interview Jay-Z had with Billboard, he explained that “it’s about the future of the music business.”

Unfortunately, things haven’t been going too well for this company.  More and more people continue to download music illegally because it is free.  However, this causes less money to go to the artist for the music.

Because there is no free subscription for TIDAL,  people do not want to try it.  This has caused the website and app to drop very low.  Many people do not have faith that it will work.

Jay-Z believes in his idea and thinks that it can become a huge success.  He came up with an idea to save his company.  He announced that he will be playing a private concert to support the business.

According to The Verge, Jay-Z talked about how he is planning to perform songs that have never been performed before or haven’t been performed in decades.  This concert will be held in New York on May 15.

Jay-Z hopes that the concert will bring awareness to TIDAL.  He also believes that the concert will gain more users for the new website.  According to Jay-Z, “TIDAL is here for the long haul.”

Jay-Z announced that TIDAL users need to follow some guidelines in order to get a free ticket for the concert.  Before May 8, users must create a playlist and upload it to twitter.  While making the tweet, users must also use #TIDALXJAYZ.

Jay-Z tweeted that he will pick a winner based on how diverse the artists and genres are in the playlists.  There is no doubt that Jay-Z will continue to work hard for his new business.

Looking for a Summer Job?

When summer comes and school is out, a job is a very smart decision. It allows teens to be able to earn money and gain some level of independence. There are many options teens can consider when looking for a job that suits almost everyone.

The best jobs that a teen could get are as a server, busboy, or barback for people over 18. The reason is because these positions are paid by tips which will most likely amount to more than the salary ones.

The food industry is a fantastic option for more social teens. This job has a variety of positions. The average income is $9-$10 hourly, but most make the majority of money off tips.

Retail is another great option for people into clothes or certain products. There are multiple positions usually involving working the cash register or stocking the shelves. The typical income for these workers is $11-$12 hourly.

Retail is great for someone also looking to be inside. In the heat of summer, a good air conditioned job can be priceless.  However, there is not much room for promotion with most retail jobs.

Another great option for swimmers or teens who want to be outdoors is a lifeguard. This job will take more time in preparation because training is needed. Lifeguards can expect to make around $9-$10.

A golf caddy is a great job for people interested in golf. Caddies can expect to make around $50-$100 for four hours of work. Most of the time, caddies will also receive tips from the golfers.

Internships are a great option for people looking to find experience. It is great for a person interested in a certain field to get a head start. The downside is that they usually are unpaid, but the experience could be worth more than any job.

Sources used: Forbes.com

Kraft and Heinz Merge; Profits Increase, Jobs Decrease

In late March, Kraft and Heinz merged, making them the third-largest food company in America. Typically, when food mergers occur, they are overlooked due to the obscureness of these companies. However, Kraft and Heinz are common household names, making this headline news for stockholders and consumers alike.

After this merger, the Kraft Heinz Company became the fifth-largest food company in the world with an expected market value of over $80 billion, according to an article written by Leah Douglas of Time Magazine. Kraft’s stock increased 34% according to The Toronto Star. This lucrative move has made investors confident, but many employees fear for their jobs.

This merger was financed through Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, a Brazilian investment firm. This fact alone makes employees worry about their job security. In recent history, the result of a 3G Capital merger has created a significant loss in jobs.

“I know people are saying it’s too early to say there will be job losses, but it seems inevitable given the history of these two companies,” said David Dunne, a professor from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

3G’s history of cutting jobs to appease shareholders is quite evident especially after the Anheuser-Busch merger where 1,400 jobs were cut, primarily in St. Louis. Even after 3G Capital acquired Heinz, the global investment firm excised 600 jobs across North America. These cuts are all due to a recent budget cut of $1.5 billion.

Many consumers are worried that supermarkets are stocked by many of the same corporate players. “Kraft alone controls 80% of packaged macaroni and cheese sales, and Heinz controls 60% of ketchup sales.” This domination in markets make small business owners concerned about huge mergers.

Kraft’s stock has skyrocketed since the merger, closing at $61.33 a share on Wednesday. Making the stockholders happy seems to be at the forefront of this conjoined effort. Kraft and Heinz consumers will expect savings around 2017.

After the movie “Food Inc,” people are concerned that food products come from the same food processing  plants. Kraft and Heinz intend on making healthier options for their customers; however, Kraft is slowly lagging behind its competitors. In mid-March, Kraft had to recall 2.5 million boxes of Macaroni due to the possible presence of metal pieces.

Food companies, like Campbell’s Soup, currently use social media to promote its healthy and organic line of food. Many companies attempt to progress their image through acquisitions of other, healthier companies. General Mills bought the organic mac and cheese brand Annie’s last year, commonly known for it’s rabbit logo, while Coca-Cola acquired Honest Tea four years ago.

Ruby Tuesday’s Gender Discrimination

Ruby Tuesday, a popular chain restaurant, is being sued for discrimination of men as only women were hired to work at the Park City, Utah location. The lawsuit claims Ruby Tuesday violated the Civil Rights act. The EEOC (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Committee) is suing on behalf of two men, Andrew Herrera and Joshua Bell.

Ruby Tuesday advertised for summer positions in Park City, Utah, offering to give free housing. According to newser.com, Ruby Tuesday only hired women to avoid the difficulties of co-ed living.
Ruby Tuesday made it explicit and clear they were favoring women over men for the hiring of the jobs. The result of this was some men being upset with Ruby Tuesday’s discrimination.

According to the civil rights act, gender discrimination can’t take place in choosing employees. The amount of money they are suing for is currently unspecified.

The EEOC believes that Ruby Tuesday should pay losses to Herrera and Bell. They also want Ruby Tuesday to stop gender discrimination in the future.

EEOC San Francisco attorney William R. Tamayo said, “It’s rare to see an explicit example of sex discrimination like Ruby Tuesday’s internal job announcement.” It is pretty clear discriminating against gender is wrong and unjust no matter the circumstance.

This case is out of the norm in terms of gender based discrimination lawsuits. Often, women tend to be on the wrong end of gender discrimination.

Not only do people believe this will help men, but people believe this law suit will benefit women as well in terms of discrimination. People believe this will allow for equal wages to take place in the work place.

People also believe this could possibly improve the work conditions in Ruby Tuesday as all will be treated as equals. Everyone will be held to the same standard, and Ruby Tuesday will be expected to treat each of their employees fairly no matter the age, race, or gender.

Many people are in favor of this lawsuit.

Gender discrimination is certainly not right or acceptable no matter which gender is being discriminated against. Hopefully, events such as this will raise awareness to the serious issue of gender discrimination. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this case as time passes.

‘Pay With Lovin’ Draws Criticism

McDonald’s has been turning heads with its new “Pay with Lovin'” promotion this past week. At locations all across the country, select customers get the choice to pay with their Happy Meal with whatever the cashier tells them; a morning coffee and a McMuffin can be paid for with a number of suggestions, from asking another customer to dance, to giving the next person that walks in a hug. While the idea seems like a novel one, if only from afar, in practice it can be nothing short of annoying.

McDonalds has faced a difficult time the past few months. With stock prices flat-lining, the fast food tycoon has chosen to introduce a new CEO on March 1. With chains like Chipotle and Shake Shack coming in to take a significant share of McDonald’s young adult demographic, the company has made a few choices to stay trendy in a changing market. More ingredient transparency to comply with the modern consumers’ need to know exactly what they’re eating, to customizable burgers, a la Chipotle or Qdoba. McDonald’s has also put a significant amount of resources into viral marketing. Spotify ads, Facebook and Twitter post boosts, and billboards across the country have the McDonalds brand plastered on them like a public service announcement.

And then there’s this marketing campaign, which has drawn as much attention as criticism.

Kate Bachelder of the Wall Street Journal writes

“If the “Pay with Lovin’ ” scenario looks touching on television, it is less so in real life. A crew member produced a heart-shaped pencil box stuffed with slips of paper, and instructed me to pick one. My fellow customers seemed to look on with pity as I drew my fate: “Ask someone to dance.” I stood there for a mortified second or two, and then the cashier mercifully suggested that we all dance together. Not wanting to be a spoilsport, I forced a smile and “raised the roof” a couple of times, as employees tried to lure cringing customers into forming some kind of conga line, asking them when they’d last been asked to dance.

The public embarrassment ended soon enough, and I slunk away with my free breakfast, thinking: Now there’s an idea that never should have left the conference room.”

With a Big Mac costing just $3.99, many people are asking a simple question: why? Social media is blowing up with horror stories of employees asking them to dance or call their mother. And while any publicity is good publicity, the fact that some people are terrified to buy an Egg McMuffin for fear that they’ll be publicly embarrassed is keeping customers away from McDonalds.

And consider that the average McDonalds crew member makes $8.25 an hour. On top of the tedium of working in the fast food business, you’re now asked to be a circus-master at 6 in the morning? Getting people to dance around the restaurant isn’t in your job description, and its well above your pay grade.

The idea certainly is a fun new way to get customers excited about their payment options. But it needs tweaking. The demographic that is being usurped by the, what the Wall Street Journal calls “fast-casual” restaurants like Chipotle and Panera, and this gimmick isn’t going to grab that demographic back. For every out-going 25 year old who would rather dance for their burger than pay, there are 15 other customers who would rather not.

McDonalds, and the business marketing world in general could learn a few lessons from this campaign. What’s trendy is trendy not because its forced, but because its desired. People at BL, for instance, go to Chiptole instead of McDonalds because they want “more control over what they’re eating,” (Mrs. Fenstermaker) or they “don’t like fast food.” (Myles Cohen) So, McDonalds, if you want young adults to start going back to McDonalds again, make some changes, don’t throw out gimmicks.