Jim and Greg are glad to see the public opposed by lopsided margins to many of the extreme provisions in the “Build Back Better” legislation. They also discuss new revelations about how involved Chris Cuomo was in helping his brother try to weather his many scandals. And they call foul on Twitter’s new policy banning any media unless everyone in the video or photo agrees to it.

 

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with virologist, Dr. Peter Kolchinsky, about the explosion of vaccine technologies and innovations brought into the spotlight by the massive investment to fight the pandemic, and dives deeply into the exciting promise of vaccines to combat an ever-widening range of disease.

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Prof. Paul Israel, Director & General Editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University, and author of Edison: A Life of Invention, the definitive biography of America’s greatest inventor. Professor Israel describes Edison’s public and private life, as well as the impact of his world-changing inventions, such as the hot-filament light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion-picture camera. Called the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” Edison is still the American with the most individual patents — 1,093 in the U.S. and 1,200 in 34 foreign countries. They discuss what educators and students in the 21st century can learn from how Edison ran the country’s first industrial research laboratory in New Jersey, and the importance of the U.S. Patent Office in protecting inventors’ exclusive right to profit from their inventions. They also discuss what students should learn about the role inventions have played in the historic success of the United States and in the highly dynamic and competitive global economy. Professor Israel concludes with a reading from his biography.

Stories of the Week:  The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) is celebrating its 75th anniversary of providing education for the children of American service members. Today, DoDEA operates 160 schools in eight districts across 11 countries, seven U.S. states and two U.S. territories for more than 67,000 students. (Read Pioneer’s related 2015 report.) In West Virginia, the Professional Charter School Board approved three applications for the state’s first ever charter public schools, which will provide another option for families who want and need a different learning environment.

The Republican/Big Business Divorce

 

Last week, I posted a Tweet from Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (a.k.a., Frank Luntz’s roommate) in which he excoriated big business. “If Corporate America thinks jumping on the bandwagon after Tuesday’s election and before the impending red wave will make conservatives forget the role they played in subjecting the U.S. to open borders and runaway inflation, they are sorely mistaken.” I received it with the same skepticism I treat a Democrat president who shows up to church only on election years when there’s press around, or Oprah when she used to go on diets.

On the other hand, this widely circulated opinion piece (It’s been in the Washington Post, The Guardian, Business Insider, and a lot of other outlets) posits that “Big Business Can’t Rely on Republicans Anymore.”

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Larry Kim, founder of WordStream in Boston, which was acquired for $150 million, and MobileMonkey, a chatbot marketing platform for marketing and customer support on Facebook Messenger, web chat and SMS. Larry’s parents fled to Canada after the Korean War on a one-way ticket. That in turn gave him the opportunity to purchase his own one-way ticket to the U.S. to fulfill his American dream. Larry is creating hundreds of meaningful jobs for Americans, something he’s not only proud of but feels is at the core of his values, to give back to the country that gave him the opportunity to actualize bold new ideas. Through his technology, he’s helped tens of thousands of companies to grow their businesses, and, with nearly 750,000 followers on Medium.com, he mentors budding entrepreneurs from around the world, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

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No good martinis today, but join Jim and Greg as they react to the Biden administration urging employers to mandate vaccinations regardless of how courts rule on the new OSHA rule. They also fume as Biden considers shutting down a key Great Lakes pipeline even though energy prices are set to skyrocket this winter. And they wade into the bizarre internet guessing game of where California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been for the past two weeks.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the Fifth U.S. Circuit of Appeals for placing a stay on President Biden’s order mandating vaccinations for everyone at companies employing 100 or more people. They also welcome the latest indictment from the Durham investigation into the origins of the Russian collusion probe and what it may foreshadow about where Durham is focused next. And they fume as 13 House Republicans vote in favor of the bloated $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and save Democrats from even more political dysfunction and embarrassment.

Join Jim and Greg for all good martinis today! First, they celebrate Glenn Youngkin’s win over Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor’s race and other good news for GOP candidates in Virginia. They’re also pleasantly surprised by the very strong showing by Jack Ciattarelli in the New Jersey governor’s race, suggesting Republicans can be competitive just about anywhere next year if they play their cards right. They react to Democrats and liberal media pundits learning nothing from the election results and preparing to double down on the same failed strategies. And they highlight more results from around the country that give conservatives reason to smile.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they dissect new polls that show voters trusting Republicans more on several key issues and by wide margins.  They also roll their eyes at the climate summit in Scotland and at climate envoy John Kerry’s effort to end energy derived from coal altogether. And they unload at the Lincoln Project and its Democratic operative allies for Friday’s stunt aimed at looking like white supremacists were supporting the GOP candidate for governor in Virginia.

This week on Hubwonk, Joe Selvaggi talks with global supply chain expert, MIT Professor Yossi Sheffi about the unprecedented global supply and demand shocks created by the Covid-19 pandemic and how effective supply chain managers in an integrated world economy adapted to provide consumers with food, goods, and vaccines in record time.

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Jim Geraghty is back! Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the National School Board Association no longer accusing parents of being domestic terrorists but they still have a lot of questions. They also wince as evidence piles up that an economy that should be in a robust recovery is slowing down and possibly headed into a recession. And they get a kick out of Terry McAuliffe saying Stacey Abrams was the real winner of the 2018 Georgia governor’s race after falsely accusing Glenn Youngkin for months of disputing the 2020 election results.

 

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with John Dearie, founder and president of the Center for American Entrepreneurship, a Washington, D.C.-based research, policy and advocacy organization. Immigration is core to his mission to build a policy environment that promotes entrepreneurship because he knows all too well that the United States was and continues to be built by entrepreneurial immigrants who had the drive and determination to pick up, leave everything they know behind, and build a new life in a new homeland. So to John, it is no surprise they are twice as likely to take another risk: start a business. He’s also seen across the country frustration among business owners, both U.S.-born and foreign-born, at an immigration system that works against this country’s interest. Why? Because it doesn’t seek to actively attract or retain talent from the rest of the world. John sees the decline in U.S. entrepreneurship and believes that more immigration, not less, would power the nation’s economy and innovation, which have made us the global leader. Instead, he’s seeing an unnecessarily partisan and toxic approach to immigration that, he says, harms us all and is inherently unamerican, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

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This week on Hubwonk (our debut video & audio edition), Host Joe Selvaggi talks with research analyst Andrew Mikula about the findings from his recent report, A Timely Tax Cut, in which he explored the relationship between state tax rates and policy and the direction of interstate migration.

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Biden Strikes Again!

 

One more time, Biden is supposedly going to rescue the country. This time he’s going to solve the supply chain mess. And you’ll never guess what he’s done: He’s “convinced” the port authorities to work 24/7 to unload the containers stuck on ships. Depending on whose estimates you accept, there are 500,000 to 1 million containers waiting to be unloaded.

Biden also boasted about how businesses were going to help him out:

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Bernat Olle, co-founder and CEO of Vedanta Biosciences, about his journey from Catalonia, Spain, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he continued his Chemical Engineering studies at MIT. Navigating the complex immigration system while seeking purpose in his career, he eventually found his calling and was lucky enough to remain in the U.S. to see it through: designing a new class of medicines to modulate the human microbiome. They duscuss how everyone wins when foreign-born talent is welcomed into vibrant, entrepreneurial ecosystems like those in the U.S., when they’re able to collaborate with others from the U.S. and around the world and come up with incredible ideas to benefit all people. Bernat also expresses a sense of kinship with immigrants far removed from the labs and boardrooms. He knows that the same aspiration – opportunity – attracted those who came here with nothing but a suitcase and a dream, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

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Dr. Bernat Olle is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vedanta Biosciences. He has been a member of the founding teams of several companies of the PureTech portfolio and served as a member of the Board of Directors of Vedanta Biosciences and Follica Biosciences. In 2013 Dr. Olle was named “Innovator of the Year” in MIT Technology Review Spain’s “Innovators under 35” awards. He also received the 2019 Barry M. Portnoy Immigrant Entrepreneur Award from The Immigrant Learning Center. He completed his doctoral work at the Chemical Engineering Department at MIT, where he developed a novel method for large-scale bacterial culture. During his graduate work, Dr. Olle was awarded the “la Caixa” fellowship. Dr. Olle received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Universitat Rovira i Virgili, in Catalonia, his M.S. and PhD. in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT, and his M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has published his work in journals including Nature and Nature Biotechnology.

Labor Markets Don’t Need The Antitrust Cudgel

 

Modern progressive thinkers are united in their newfound determination to ramp up antitrust enforcement to respond to their perception of greater monopoly risks. Lina Khan, the new head of the Federal Trade Commission, spearheaded the agency’s decision on a straight party-line (3–2) vote to withdraw the revised Vertical Merger Guidelines the FTC and the Department of Justice had issued in June 2020. The reason: to combat the twin problems of rising prices and shrinking wages, without saying exactly how these means and ends are connected. That wage motif was even more prominent in acting head of the Antitrust Division Richard Powers’s assertion that any violation of the antitrust law is “just as irredeemable as agreements to fix product prices and allocate markets, conduct that the division has prosecuted for over one hundred years.”

Powell’s remarks did not arise in a void, but were inspired by a large body of recent scholarship that claims that powerful quantitative techniques induce large wage reductions through excessive concentration in labor markets. As in other areas, the antitrust violations could be of two sorts. First, competitors may explicitly seek to lower wages or divide markets, using, as in the tech industry, so-called “no-poach” agreements, as between different tech firms. Here, the issues of proof are relatively easy, because the needed evidence is all on the paper record, so that all that remains is to apply sound, well-established antitrust principles.

Often these “naked” restraints justify some combination of financial penalties looking backward and injunctive relief looking forward, just as in the market for products and services. But often a “rule of reason” analysis is appropriate to let firms explain why their behavior is efficient. For example, there is a constant risk that workers know the trade secrets or customer lists of their current employers, which they could easily carry to their competitors if allowed to freely shift jobs. The competitors can then improve their relative position by the cost advantage they obtain by using, without charge, valuable information generated by their competitors.

Join Greg and Rob Long as they try to figure out exactly what’s causing hundreds of Southwest Airlines flights to be cancelled for the third day in a row. The airline is clearly lying but is this resistance to the vaccine mandate or something else? And if it is about the mandates, what happens next? They also shudder as the Biden administration joins most other countries in supporting a global minimum tax for corporations. And they cry foul as some Virginia Democrats look to loosen absentee voter requirements now that the Virginia governor’s race might not be going their way. They also touch on Columbus Day and the latest insane law in California.

 

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome Sen. Manchin’s furious response to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s partisan response to extending the debt ceiling. They also wince as the job numbers for September come in way below expectations and the unemployment rate drops for the wrong reason. And they fire back as Dr. Leanna Wen suggests the U.S. adopt vaccine mandates for planes and trains and forcing people to get the shot if they want to see their family members. Plus, they assess Pres. Biden’s shaky vaccination math.

 

Be Kind or Leave!

 

Ever since some restaurants have opened up full time following partial or full shutdowns due to the pandemic, many of them are experiencing an uptick in abuse by customers. One restaurant owner in Erie, Pennsylvania, Chris Sirianni, decided he’d had enough. He decided to hold customers accountable for their bad behavior. Recently he posted the following sign on his business window:

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Boston Athletic Association’s CEO Tom Grilk about the leadership challenges of cancelling the world’s oldest continuous marathon, a $200-million benefit to the region involving eight municipalities and 10,000 volunteers, in the face of a pandemic – and how cooperation among stakeholders brought back the epic event to be run this October.

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