October 30, 2013 |
Anticipating the Securities and Exchange Commission's actions can feel like waiting for Godot. The SEC has been sitting on a petition for a new rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose to shareholders what corporate funds are spent on political activities. The petition was filed in August 2011 by 10 corporate law professors, yet the formal rule-making process on it still has not begun. More than 640,000 people - including senators, representatives, state treasurers, comptrollers, former Vanguard Chief Executive John Bogle, investors and me - have filed public comments endorsing the need for such a rule.
October 28, 2013 |
Now that the Supreme Court has endowed corporations with the right to have their voices heard via unrestrained spending on political campaigns (in the Citizens United decision of 2010), there aren't many frontiers left to test the idea that corporations are "persons. " But one test is heading our way with the speed of a freight train. This is the claim that corporations can have a religious conscience -- more to the point, that they can impose their own religious beliefs on their employees. The issue is raised by three corporations' challenges to Obamacare, specifically its requirement that employer health plans cover a wide range of contraceptives.
October 27, 2013 |
For years Americans have led the world in business travel spending. That is about to change. With China's economy surging, business travel spending from the world's most populous country is expected to jump 14% in 2013 and 17% next year, according to the Global Business Travel Assn., the trade group for corporate travel managers. China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world's largest business travel market by 2016, the trade group says. About 95% of that business travel traffic will stay in Asia, with trips to South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong the top destinations.
October 21, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - With the tap of a finger, Christian Gastón Palmaz can use his iPad to remotely control one of the most sophisticated winemaking operations in Napa Valley. The apps Palmaz and his information technology staff created for the iPad tablet enable them to monitor and adjust the temperature in large tanks lined with sensors to more precisely control fermentation. With the iPad at its heart, the system has replaced a labor-intensive process that required a winemaker to constantly draw and test samples and then manually adjust the temperature.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2013 |
Los Angeles was the scene last week of two events that took on corporate-style school reform, which emphasizes competition and accountability and is promulgated by many state governments and the U.S. Department of Education. The first consisted of two L.A.-area appearances by education historian Diane Ravitch, whose new best-selling book is “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools.” Ravitch spoke at Occidental College in Eagle Rock and at Cal State Northridge.
October 1, 2013 |
Los Angeles has more charter schools than any other school district in the nation, and it's a very bad idea. Billionaires like privately managed schools. Parents are lured with glittering promises of getting their kids a sure ticket to college. Politicians want to appear to be champions of "school reform" with charters. But charters will not end the poverty at the root of low academic performance or transform our nation's schools into a high-performing system. The world's top-performing systems - Finland and Korea, for example - do not have charter schools.