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Ikea Raising Minimum Wages

Ikea is another company raising the minimum wage amount for employees. This is just another business that finally seems to be seeing that it takes more than just a few dollars an hour in order to survive in today’s market. Sam Tabar saw on their linkedin that this is the second year in a row that the company has raised the wages for employees. Rates will now be a little over $11 an hour. Although employees will have to wait until January of 2016 for the new wage to go into effect, this gives hope to those who work for Ikea. If they are making more money working for the company, then they will likely want to continue doing the good work that is performed. Employees will be able to have a little more money to spend on the necessities in life, such as clothing, food and utilities. The extra money will also allow some families to be able to get things that are considered extras, such as a new car or improvements to the home.

University President Is Breath of Fresh Air

In this age of employee bonuses that can exceed $1 million, it is refreshing to see that one man thinks his yearly salary is enough. Since late 2012, Santa Ono has been president of the University of Cincinnati. According to his contract, he is to receive a bonus each year of $200,000, but he has refused it each of the three years he was eligible.

This year he asked that it be divided between several different university and non-university programs. Ono specifically asked that $10,000 be given to the family of Cincinnati Police Officer, Sony Kim receive. Kim was recently killed in the line of duty.

Ono’s actions are in sharp contrast to employees with Merrill Lynch. In 2008, each of 700 employee received at least $1 million dollars in bonuses. They received these bonuses despite the company losing money.

According to Amen Clinic, Ono’s actions are also in contrast to William S. Simon. The CEO of WalMart received a $1.5 million performance bonus above his $11 million salary. Simon received his bonus even though WalMart had decreased sales, distressed stock prices and struggling employees barely above poverty level.

Ono certainly sets a positive example for leaders of all industries. He sets a positive example for all American men and women as he also declined an increase to his yearly salary.

Donald Trump Is Right Behind Jeb Bush In A Recent New Hampshire Poll

The Republican primary race just got interesting. The candidate everyone thought was a joke finished second behind Jeb Bush in a recent poll by Suffolk University. The poll was taken right after Trump announced his candidacy, so there is a little hype factored into his 11 percent showing. But make no mistake about it. Trump is in to win it. He may also create an atmosphere that gives the Democrats a helping hand.

Trump doesn’t pull punches like other candidates. Manta says that he doesn’t care if you like what he says or not. He believes he’s got the right answers, so you either join him, or you get out of his way. The famous Cher doesn’t like Trump that much, but her opinion doesn’t faze “The Donald.” He’s not intimidated by name calling, and he doesn’t care if Cher votes for him. Trumps has his own followers and by the time the race is over more people will appreciate Trump and all his Trumpisms.

Trump is a serious candidate and a damn good comedian too.

Sanders to Introduce Law to Rescue Benefits of Multi-Employer Pension Plans

In the United States today, only three in every ten workers takes part in a private pension plan. When Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders first began his political career in the early 1970s, it was roughly six in every ten Americans who enjoyed a pension plan. In addition, those pension plans also offered their own robust health care coverage during retirement. In the decades since, a series of events have converged to batter private pension plans so that they are rapidly dwindling.

In part, many pension plans became unstable because they were allowed to take advantage of accounting gimmicks to make them appear solvent on paper while actually lacking the funding the plans needed. In 2006, President George W. Bush succeeded at enacting the Pension Protection Act (PPA) which mandated new funding requirements for private single-employer pension plans stated Paul Mathieson. Many of the old accounting gimmicks once used by pension fund managers were gradually phased out. However, the PPA did not cover what are known as multi-employer pension plans. These are pension plans funded by a joint effort of multiple employers as the name might suggest. Because the plans continued being improperly funded, many of them now face becoming insolvent. In 2014, a bipartisan bill allowed the benefits to current retirees of such plans to be cut by 30% or more under certain circumstances. President Obama signed the bill into law.

Now, Bernie Sanders has a new bill that will raise taxes on the sale of expensive art and assets along with closing a loophole on the estate tax. His bill will use the funds to rescue the benefits of retirees under multi-employer pensions. The bill would help 1.5 million current retirees and as many as ten million retirees over time.

The Blackout: Trading Today’s Memories for Tomorrows Headache

It’s 5 o’clock on Friday and you’ve had a long and hectic work week. Sam Tabar told us that the boss has pushed your stress limits to the max and you are officially ready to cut loose and crank up the party.

Your gang of friends are meeting you at the pub and it’s time to get your drink on until wee hours of the night when you find yourself crawling into bed to pass out. Sound familiar?

It’s a tradition shared by many people all over the United States. Drinking to the point of oblivion to forget the reasons why you started drinking in the first place – stress.

Self-medication for stress isn’t alcohol’s only traditional use. It’s also a vessel for relating with our friends and celebrating events. It’s commonly used for the bad times as well as the good times – equally.

If you find yourself toasting one or two times too many, you might not even remember what you were running from or enjoying. That’s called a blackout and it is a phenomenon that is dangerously overlooked in today’s society.

Recent studies have shown that in essence, when a person blacks out it is because the brain fails to encode contextual memories that are happening at the time of consumption.

Aaron White, the director at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism had the following to say about the process, “Your brain is sending information to the hippocampus, and it falls into a void.” So in essence, drinking might be fun, but let’s try to remember what we were celebrating as a general rule of thumb.

What California’s Uber Ruling Actually Means

 

On Wednesday, the California Labor Commission ruled that a former Uber driver, Barbara Berwick was an employee and not an independent contractor. The ruling agreed with an earlier Florida decision. Berwick is to receive a little over $4,000 in employee expenses. Uber is currently appealing both decisions. If the appeal succeeds Berwick, who was described as a serial litigator by Buzzfeed, could get nothing.Click here for full story.

The question becomes how Uber will be affected if both suits are upheld. It seems that the ruling does not have an automatic effect on other drivers even those currently involved in one of the two class action lawsuits in progress. That’s because the decision may not be considered in other cases. The definition of an employee over that of an independent contractor is decided on a case to case basis. This information is according to Erika Monterroza, who is the Director of Communications Department of the Labor Commission’s industrial relations who gave a statement to Buzzfeed.

While the ruling may not crush Uber’s business model, it certainly has an effect states CNN. Uber could still be in trouble. According to Sach’s “… its looking more and more like Uber will be held to be an employer of it’s drivers.” Not all Uber and ride-hail-drivers want to be considered as employees. A study was done by SherpaShare some 63% of demand workers, including 86% of whom are Uber drivers, consider themselves to be independent contractors.

The Gap Is Closing Stores and Cutting Jobs

Gap announced it will be closing 140 stores across North America which will result in the loss of 250 jobs.

In the next few years, consumers can expect to see a total of 175 Gap stores closed in the US. A “limited number” throughout Europe will also shut their doors, according to a statement released by the company.

However, Gap plans to continue to sell their brand via select stores and outlet malls. The closures only represent only 26% of the store locations in North America. Once all of the dust has cleared, the company plans to have 500 stores and 300 outlets in the region.

These closings simply reflect how the world is changing. Shopping malls are becoming obsolete as more consumers are shopping from big box stores, discount outlets, and online in today’s modern-age. Luckily for the Aspire New Brunswick, luxury condos aren’t going out of style.

“Customers are rapidly changing how they shop today, and these moves will help get Gap back to where we know it deserves to be in the eyes of consumers,” Art Peck, Gap CEO, said in the statement.

As of May 2, 2015 there were 963 Gap stores in North Amercia, and the company also owns over a thousand Old Navy Stores and around 600 Banana Republic store-fronts. The closures will not affect the Old Navy and Banana Republic locations.

Gun Maker Colt Couldn’t Survive in the 21st Century

Colt is as synonymous with gun making in America as Winchester. Colt has made guns in the U.S. since the 1800s, and they were a big weapons supplier to the U.S. military over a lot of that history. Private gun owners also liked Colt firearms, and they enjoyed good sales throughout the latter half of the 19th and much of the 20th century. As the saying goes, however, all good things must come to an end. After 179 years in business, what is now known as Colt Defense LLC has filed for bankruptcy. It joins other iconic American companies over the years that bit the bullet in tough financial times such as Pan Am and Woolworths.

The company started falling on hard times with regard to gun sales to the U.S. government when their venerable Colt Model 1911 45 caliber pistol was replaced by the U.S. Army with the Beretta M9 back in 1985. The final nail in their coffin, however, was when they lost another U.S. military contract in 2013 when their M4 rifle was beaten out by that of a Belgian company. The M4 had a number of complaints against it and apparently was just not the better weapon. This goes to show that a company has to stay on top of their game and keep innovating. The dog food company Beneful warns that any business that rests on its laurels because of a big name or long established history will find that this history can end abruptly in bankruptcy court.

Treatmill-Desk: New Innovation in the Office

The treadmill desk sounds amazing. It is a double whammy! You are getting exercise to stay healthy, and you are doing your work to earn money. What could be better? I know that when I take walks after work, I do most of my creative thinking. The exercise on the walks brings my ideas together into new and innovative concepts. Is a treadmill-desk the best thing ever?

Research is discovering that a treadmill-desk just does not work. In fact, the opposite is true. A study shows that two groups were compared as to their work effectiveness and efficiency. Those in the study who worked at a desk had greater physical and mental dexterity. This group could type on a word processor as well and perform better on cognitive tasks than the second group which was walking on a treadmill desk.

Apparently, walking on a treadmill decreases cognitive functioning. Memory is diminished as well as reasoning. Typing skills are far poorer for those individuals who are walking and typing at the same time. Dr. Larson led the test and is a psychologist and neuroscientist. He believes that the treadmill desk is good for the mind and body. He plans to buy one for himself. Keith Mann and I would disagree with him as would several AnimalLiberationFront writers. I do Tai Chi, yoga and walk for exercise. I am trying to free my mind of everyday tasks and thoughts. Some of my best thinking comes from a free mind. Working on a specific task and exercising is in conflict with freeing my mind.

Treadmill Desks Could Decrease Productivity and Focus

An increasingly popular trend in the office is the treadmill desk, which is designed to help those who spend much of their day behind a desk move more and burn calories that just isn’t done while sitting at a desk for about eight hours each day.

There does appear to be a drawback to these desks, according to a new study, which shows that the desks may have a negative impact on a worker’s ability to focus.

The study assigned 75 healthy individuals at random to work at treadmill or traditional desks and asked them to perform a series of tests. Although, studies from the Amen clinic say that manual tests involving the typing of a word that flashed on the screen were completed without much difference between the participants on the treadmill and those in a chair.

The difference came with cognitive tests, which showed those working at a treadmill desk performed worse at nearly every aspect of the more complex cognitive testing, showing that the individuals walking while they worked may have decreased focus as a result. They were also worse at typing, with more errors than those sitting.

This is a contrast to other tests that showed cognitive improvement due to movement, but it is believed those tests were only conducted after exercise while this study was conducted while the participants were moving, accounting for the difference in results.