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David Lazarus

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NEWS
April 17, 2013 | Watch now, http://graphics.latimes.com/vignette-ask-laz/
Our readers have consumer questions - our consumer columnist David Lazarus answers them in this video series.  
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
January 31, 2014
Re "Banks put cost ahead of card risk," Column, Jan. 28 David Lazarus is correct that switching to chip-and-PIN cards would make for a much safer credit-card system. But his repeated mantra that lawmakers should impose heavy fines on companies whose customers' personal data are compromised is rather naive. Companies don't have as much control over the more intelligent hackers as he might think. Yes, I was one of those customers whose card was compromised when I used it at Target, but I feel sorry for the corporation, not bitter.
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BUSINESS
October 19, 2008
Thank you for publishing David Lazarus' excellent article on the stupidity of tax cuts (Consumer Confidential, Oct. 5). I am absolutely appalled at how seemingly oblivious Congress is about the high cost of our debt. And China funds its rapid expansion along with the rape of its environment and the oppression of its people with our tax dollars. To call for tax cuts at a time like this is stupid beyond belief. I am glad the L.A. Times and David Lazarus are trying to raise awareness.
OPINION
October 13, 2013
Re "Wealth gap only getting worse," Column, Oct. 11 I agree with David Lazarus that we need a remedy to the wealth gap issue. But I cannot agree that we should raise the top marginal tax rate, which drives so many business decisions, including workforce size. Raising this rate would give the government more money to spend. That's not the same as giving workers more money to spend, as Henry Ford did in 1914 when he decided to pay his workers a good wage. Lazarus noted that last year, chief executives in the U.S. made 354 times what the average rank-and-file employee did, compared to 42 times the average worker's earning only 30 years ago. That's quite a change.
BUSINESS
August 8, 2007
Starting Sunday, The Times welcomes David Lazarus and his new column, Consumer Confidential, to the Business section. David will stick up for consumers who get the short end of the stick, sniff out suspect business practices and call authorities to account when they're not doing their jobs. David's dogged work for the San Francisco Chronicle attracted notice -- and action -- from lawmakers, corporations and consumers alike.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column "Everyone into a healthcare pool," Sept. 20: Employers should be proscribed from offering health insurance as a benefit, period. It's a competitive edge for larger companies and is snuffing very badly needed innovation in many industries. The right wing in this country claims to be "pro-small business," yet in this significant way, it sides with big business against the small guy. Bob Hillman Thousand Oaks :: Apparently David Lazarus does not let facts get in the way when there is a (misguided)
OPINION
May 22, 2012
Re "Is it possible to get a human on the phone at Google?," Column, May 18 I agree with David Lazarus that it is frustrating to be unable to contact a "live" person for customer service. Some companies offer free live help for a limited time after you buy a product. Before I buy a product that may require help to use, I always ask about the customer support policy. Google, however, is a totally different issue. It is not charging for the use of its search engine. Its revenue comes from advertisers, which I am sure have no problem contacting Google by phone to talk with a sales rep. I can understand Google not providing live telephone support because the users pay nothing for services.
OPINION
October 13, 2013
Re "Wealth gap only getting worse," Column, Oct. 11 I agree with David Lazarus that we need a remedy to the wealth gap issue. But I cannot agree that we should raise the top marginal tax rate, which drives so many business decisions, including workforce size. Raising this rate would give the government more money to spend. That's not the same as giving workers more money to spend, as Henry Ford did in 1914 when he decided to pay his workers a good wage. Lazarus noted that last year, chief executives in the U.S. made 354 times what the average rank-and-file employee did, compared to 42 times the average worker's earning only 30 years ago. That's quite a change.
OPINION
January 31, 2014
Re "Banks put cost ahead of card risk," Column, Jan. 28 David Lazarus is correct that switching to chip-and-PIN cards would make for a much safer credit-card system. But his repeated mantra that lawmakers should impose heavy fines on companies whose customers' personal data are compromised is rather naive. Companies don't have as much control over the more intelligent hackers as he might think. Yes, I was one of those customers whose card was compromised when I used it at Target, but I feel sorry for the corporation, not bitter.
BUSINESS
August 15, 2007 | DAVID LAZARUS
This was supposed to be the year that California finally did something about the roughly 7 million state residents who lack health insurance. Lawmakers proposed a broad range of fixes that got us, more or less, in the vicinity of genuine reform. So where are we now? Pretty much worse than ever. Sure, people are still talking about change, but the budget mess in Sacramento has derailed virtually all other legislative business for 2007 and sapped momentum from the healthcare movement.
NEWS
April 17, 2013 | Watch now, http://graphics.latimes.com/vignette-ask-laz/
Our readers have consumer questions - our consumer columnist David Lazarus answers them in this video series.  
BUSINESS
October 9, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Consumer columnist David Lazarus has been hearing complaints from CVS customers that their prescriptions are being filled without their permission. Lazarus and Business Editor Marla Dickerson will discuss his stories on the topic in a live video chat at 3 p.m. today. They would like to know if this has happened to you. To participate in the conversation, leave your comments below. LIVE VIDEO DISCUSSION: Join us at 3 p.m. today Lazarus reported last week about confidential emails from a CVS supervisor in New Jersey instructing pharmacists there to refill prescriptions and submit claims to insurers without people's approval.
BUSINESS
May 25, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Investors are still asking what Facebook is really worth. But a more apt question might be: What's the average CEO worth? The head of a typical public company pocketed $9.6 million in compensation last year, according to some number crunching from the Associated Press . This represents a more than 6% increase from the previous year and is the highest average figure seen since the AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006....
OPINION
May 22, 2012
Re "Is it possible to get a human on the phone at Google?," Column, May 18 I agree with David Lazarus that it is frustrating to be unable to contact a "live" person for customer service. Some companies offer free live help for a limited time after you buy a product. Before I buy a product that may require help to use, I always ask about the customer support policy. Google, however, is a totally different issue. It is not charging for the use of its search engine. Its revenue comes from advertisers, which I am sure have no problem contacting Google by phone to talk with a sales rep. I can understand Google not providing live telephone support because the users pay nothing for services.
OPINION
March 9, 2012
For the birds Re " Seabird rescues up sharply ," March 7 So, oil seeping naturally from the ocean floor off Santa Barbara is to blame for all these oil-soaked birds. I have a hard time believing that's all there is to it. Oil companies have drilled many a hole into the sea floor over the last 60-plus years and have sucked out many millions of barrels of crude. Surely that wouldn't have anything to do with leaks? Growing up in Long Beach and surfing Bolsa Chica in the early 1960s, I got used to cleaning tar off my feet, but it seemed that Huntington was as far south as the oil drifted back then.
OPINION
January 25, 2011
A peacemaker? Re "Palestinian leader an enigma to all," Jan. 21 As Israeli President Shimon Peres said, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad might be ? referring to Israel's founding father ? his people's "first Ben-Gurionist. " Just as President Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize to stimulate future accomplishments, the Norwegian Nobel Committee should consider doing the same for Fayyad and other key peacemakers. That was tried before, and the time is right to try it again.
BUSINESS
December 30, 2007 | DAVID LAZARUS
New Year's resolutions are typically as reliable as big companies' assurances that customer service is their No. 1 priority. But that doesn't stop people from making them. Here are mine: -- I will not give up hope for healthcare reform. Political leaders at the state and national levels vowed 12 months ago that 2007 would be the year we'd finally do something about the shameful statistic of 47 million Americans lacking health insurance.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2007 | DAVID LAZARUS
We all know that some airlines nickel-and-dime you with fees -- fees for baggage, fees for food, fees for blankets and pillows. But fees for death? Monrovia resident Jane Wilkens, 48, was looking forward to a getaway to Hawaii's Big Island this coming April with her 77-year-old mom and one of her mom's friends. In August, she booked three first-class tickets to Kona on Hawaiian Airlines for $4,287. But in September, Wilkens' mom underwent surgery for a back problem.
OPINION
October 31, 2010
Proposition 19 is the answer Re "Marijuana profiling," Editorial, Oct. 27 California has the chance to fix a broken system of marijuana laws that disproportionally impact Latinos. I am disappointed that The Times acknowledges this discrimination but still concludes that Proposition 19 is not the answer. Latinos are two to three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession even though studies consistently find that young Latinos use marijuana at lower rates than whites.
BUSINESS
June 4, 2010 | David Lazarus
A gaggle of transportation officials and community leaders gathered this week to help shape the future of public transit in Los Angeles County — to decide, in effect, whether it's time for revolutionary change, or whether the status quo should prevail. Status quo won by a knockout. The so-called Metro Blue Ribbon Committee was established by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority late last year to come up with "a new regional transit vision" for bus and rail systems.
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