Jim and Greg comment briefly on the news that President Biden tested positive for COVID Thursday morning. Then they dive into the New York Times series on columnists admitting things they got wrong. They welcome the admission from Bret Stephens that he was very wrong about Trump voters and they had many, many good reasons to be thoroughly fed up with politicians who stiffed them culturally, economically, and otherwise for decades. They also slam Gail Collins for her self-serving column about writing too much about Mitt Romney’s dog during the 2012 campaign. And they hammer Paul Krugman for saying he was wrong about inflation but then spending the rest of the column trying to explain how he really wasn’t.


This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Aki Balogh, immigrant from Hungary and cofounder of MarketMuse, which created an artificial intelligence powered content intelligence and strategy platform; and cofounder of dlc.link, which aims to decentralize Bitcoin. Moving to the U.S. after fleeing post-communist Hungary, Aki and his family did whatever they could do to survive, and that included delivering newspapers and phone books, and even starting a computer repair business, as a young teen.  Today, Aki is a pioneer in content intelligence technology and has created more than 90 jobs in the past eight years. But he didn’t come up with groundbreaking software or build a successful business alone. He had help, from a diverse group of collaborators who built something great, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers podcast.


This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Chet Manikantan, immigrant from India and founder of Aegis Studios, which builds crypto games. Chet was founder of a string of companies and a partner at two venture firms, but he was almost denied the opportunity to innovate and create jobs in the U.S. by our outdated immigration system, if not for a chance encounter that led to a workaround for select foreign-born entrepreneurs. And he’s keenly aware and grateful that this country gave him what he needed to succeed, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers podcast.


This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Jean Strouse, author of the award-winning biography of J.P. Morgan, Morgan: American Financier. They discuss why the general public and students alike should know more about the life and accomplishments of the controversial, late 19th- and early 20th-century American banker. She explains Morgan’s role as a stabilizing figure while serving as the de facto central bank during financial booms and panics, and his importance in the creation of U.S. Steel, Edison General Electric, and the railroad empire, all of which helped propel the nation’s economic ascent. He was also involved in public disputes with Theodore Roosevelt and other Progressive-era figures over the power of business trusts and monopolies. Finally, Ms. Strouse describes Morgan’s famous art collecting, and one of the most interesting figures in his life, Belle da Costa Greene, who was director of the world-renowned Pierpont Morgan Library. The interview concludes with Ms. Strouse’s reading from her biography of J.P. Morgan.

Stories of the Week: Survey data show more Americans are considering foregoing college in favor of alternatives to career pathways, and enrollment has not seen a post-COVID rebound. For those families who do plan for college, U.S. News offers some tips, including starting the search early, talking to recruiters, learning effective study habits, and more.

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Pedro Zamora, executive director of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Greater Kansas City. Pedro and his organization work on initiatives that are crucial to the economic vitality of the area, and they’ve helped more than 4,700 businesses. Immigrants there are having an outsized economic and cultural impact, and so Kansas City is yet another example of how localities can bounce back and benefit from immigrants and refugees, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers podcast.


Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Dr. Hussain Lalani about his recently published research on the potential for more than $3 billion in savings were Medicare to use Mark Cuban’s new direct-to-consumer drug company to purchase generics.


This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Mei Xu, immigrant from China and founder of Chesapeake Bay Candle, which was acquired by Yankee Candle parent company Newell Brands for $75 million. Mei describes the journey to entrepreneurship, and how she created opportunities for herself. Today, she seeks to empower women business owners around the world, to show them that they too can expand economies and horizons with a little guidance. As she says in her new book, Burn: How grit, innovation, and a dash of luck ignited a multi-million dollar success story, “I hope to convince you, the American Dream remains vital and accessible to all of us,” as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.


(Photo courtesy Ken Fisher)

For the next two episodes we’re joined by Ken Fisher, the storied, successful, insightful analyst, New York Times best-selling author, and founder, executive chairman and co-chief investment officer of the $197 billion Fisher Investments fund. We think you’ll enjoy this wide-ranging conversation about the psychology of markets, stocks, public policy, technology and much more.

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I am a big fan and shareholder of Costco, and anything derogatory about them worries me.  But then, I read the story on Fox News, and I just had to laugh.  It seems that the 400,000 patio umbrellas subject to recall weren’t just ordinary patio umbrellas.  These big umbrellas have LED lights on the ribs. […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they cheer the Supreme Court decision confirming that gun owners do not need to “show cause” to get a concealed carry permit. They also criticize four Senate Democrats for demanding Google not include any information on pregnancy resource centers when people search for abortion services. And they wonder why the Biden administration is banning Juul vaping products.

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Cris Ramón, son of immigrants from El Salvador, immigration policy analyst, and coauthor of the new report, Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Economic Potential and Obstacles to Success published by the Bipartisan Policy Center. For the report, he scoured the nation to learn not only what immigrant entrepreneurs need, but what municipalities and the federal government can do, to help build up these businesses. The report shows that immigrants are primed to take risks due to their willingness to move to the United States, but politicians aren’t doing much to facilitate that entrepreneurial spirit. The report offers case studies, recommendations, and stories that demonstrate the value and impact immigrant business owners can bring, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.


Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Bloomberg Columnist and National Review Editor Ramesh Ponnuru about the reasons for the sustained spike in inflation, its impact on savers and consumers, the possible policy remedies, and the likely intensity and duration of this cycle.


This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Julie King, immigrant from Mexico and founder of Villa Mexico Café in the financial district of Boston. They discuss the challenges of re-launching a career in a new country. It’s not atypical for an immigrant to start at a lower rung of the economic and social ladder than they previously enjoyed – but it’s a win they persevere despite the pains, and thrive. A powerful lawyer in Mexico City, Julie at first found the American Dream elusive, initially delivering newspapers at 3 am for work. Then, a new opportunity arose, driven by a yearning for real Mexican cuisine. Today, she is full of admiration and respect for the country that allowed her to become a successful business owner, as you’ll hear in this week’s JobMakers.


Posting Under the Influence of Chocolate


My chocolatier died back in 2019 or maybe it was early 2020. He and his wife had already sold the shop shortly before then. The new owners started messing with how the chocolate was sold and the prices. For years, we had been buying a half-pound box of chocolates for most of our family members at Christmas. Suddenly, they no longer sold it in half-pound boxes. There were seven-ounce boxes and fourteen-ounce boxes. And the price seemed to have jumped a lot to get less chocolate. When I said something, the new owner promptly blamed the old owner, “They hadn’t raised the prices in 25 years!” Except, that wasn’t true. I had been coming there longer than that, and the price had been less five years ago and less than that ten years ago, and so forth. Well, good luck to the new owners there, but lie to me and blame my friends, you won’t get my business. But it left me without a good chocolate source.

But, there is this guy on Ricochet, @bobw, who has mentioned that he is involved in the chocolate trade. The last time he mentioned it, I took note of it. Now, Bob and his shop are in California, and I am in Michigan. But, I figured if their chocolate is good, is reasonably priced, and Bob supports Ricochet as a member, they would be worth a try. My wife’s birthday is coming up. It seemed like a good time to try out Pieces of Heaven and see how the chocolate is, and then if they pass the test maybe get some for the wife when her birthday rolls around. They passed the test.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Chris Sinacola and David Ferreira, co-editors of Pioneer’s new book, Hands-On Achievement: Massachusetts’s National Model Vocational-Technical Schools. They share information from their new book on the story of the Bay State’s nation-leading voc-tech schools, and how accountability tools from the state’s 1993 education reform law propelled their success. They talk about the pivot from the singular focus on occupational education, to a more balanced approach that required a solid grounding in high-quality reading and math skills. They review Massachusetts’s voc-tech schools’ status as high schools of choice, and how this impacts these schools’ remarkable graduation rates, and high demand. They discuss voc-tech schools’ success at educating special needs students, who enroll in these schools at disproportionately high rates. They explore how best to close racial achievement gaps, and how voc-techs have partnered with businesses and unions alike to help place their students in careers. The interview concludes with a reading from their new book.

Stories of the Week: In New Mexico, the Governor has submitted an education reform plan, after a 2018 court order requiring statewide education reforms to address inequities impacting students with disabilities, English language learners English, Native Americans, low-income students. Has the focus on raising academic achievement pushed out physical education from K-12 schools?

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with communications expert and cofounder of South & Hill Strategies Lizzy Guyton about what the research on the profiles and preferences of rideshare drivers tells us about the industry, and the possible effects of designating independent contractors as employees.


Join Jim and Greg as they credit the Washington Post for calling out a blatant Biden lie about energy policy in his recent Wall Street Journal column. They also shake their heads as Biden’s messaging on the economy appears to be that the economy is great and we just don’t appreciate it and that he has a plan for inflation when he already admits that he doesn’t. Finally, they slam the Boston Globe for urging Biden to remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from our terrorism list on the very same day FBI Director Christopher Wray says Iran tried a cyberattack against Boston Children’s Hospital.

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Daniel Perez, immigrant from Colombia and founder, president and CEO of DPV Transportation Worldwide, based in Everett, Massachusetts. Daniel shares what it meant to tap into his entrepreneurial spirit and become a success, pivoting into healthcare and community service when the transportation sector was impacted by the pandemic, and finding a way to use his fleet for good. He discusses his work to help communities like the one where he grew up, East Boston, long a gateway for immigrants. Not only is Daniel’s firm minority-owned, its staff of 200 is 80-percent minority, and he is focused on building opportunities for youth of color, including in entrepreneurship, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.


Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with real estate expert and broker/owner Pauline Donnelly about the disruption and trends created by the Covid-19 pandemic and steps buyers and renters can take to become more informed, prudent, and competitive in the frenzied market of Greater Boston and Martha’s Vineyard.


This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Mariam Nusrat, immigrant from Pakistan and founder and CEO of both the venture-backed Gaming Revolution for International Development and the not-for-profit Gaming Revolution for Inspiring Development, both with the acronym GRID. GRID, the for-profit arm, is democratizing the creation of video games with a software-as-a-service platform called Breshna, while the not-for-profit arm creates low-cost social impact games that educate, engage and empower people towards positive behavior change. Nusrat, economist-turned-tech entrepreneur, stands out as a Muslim immigrant woman in tech. She aims to empower the world’s 3.2 billion smartphone users, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.