The idea of increasing the federal minimum wage above the current $7.25 per hour has gained momentum in recent years, as 29 states and a number of major cities have experimented with significantly higher earnings floors while debate over income inequality has taken center stage in the national political discourse. But can the country afford a higher minimum wage, and how many people would this quick fix really help, anyway?
British voters shocked the world and sent ripples through the global economy with their 52% to 48% decision to leave the European Union on June 23, amid vociferous concern regarding immigration, terrorism and joblessness. And while the so-called Brexit conflates a variety of interconnected socioeconomic issues into a complex topic capable of sparking heated emotions, it’s difficult to tell whether Britain’s impending departure is actually a good or bad move.
The Rio 2016 Olympics are going to be … interesting. Lurking behind the standard fanfare and athletic intrigue that accompany any Summer Games, the first Olympics on South American soil brings with it a certain element of danger. Although Rio de Janeiro isn’t one of the 21 Brazilian cities on the list of the world’s 50 highest murder rates, its 1,202 homicides in 2015 are more than the three most violent U.S. cities combined.
And then there’s Zika. The mosquito-borne virus capable of producing severe birth defects has prompted at least 17 would-be Olympians – including the world’s top four golfers, in the sport’s Olympic return – to pull out of the Games, while putting very reasonable doubt in the minds of visitors from abroad. Olympic officials have, in turn, tried to downplay the dangers and emphasize the millions spent to promote public health during the Games. And yes, Zika cases are down compared to early in the year, but how much solace does that really provide?
Every parent wants the best for their children, including safety, success, love and happiness. And in this day in age, much of that is predicated on a good education. After all, the average person with a bachelor’s degree earns nearly twice as much as the average high school graduate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while other research has shown that murder and assault rates tend to fall as graduation rates rise.
The United States has the oldest minimum drinking age of any country where alcohol consumption is legal, at 21 years. In contrast, roughly 61% set their minimum age at 18 or 19 years old – including France, Russia and the United Kingdom – while 12% range from 10 to 17 years old and another 10% have no such restriction, according to the World Health Organization. So is this a sign of superior American judgment or an example of us stubbornly lagging behind much of the global community?
Held on the hallowed, brick-laden ground of Indianapolis Motor Speedway each July, the Brickyard 400 has long been one of NASCAR’s most-watched races. It’s an event with cherished traditions, such as the post-race kissing of the bricks, and a healthy dose of intrigue – with Indiana native Tony Stewart seeking his third Brickyard win in his Indianapolis Motor Speedway finale.
Food presents a number of quandaries for folks these days. We obviously love to eat, but trying to balance health consciousness, time constraints, the differing tastes of family members and perhaps even environmental concerns can be difficult, not to mention expensive. The average American spends roughly $6,759 on food each year, which makes dining our third largest expense category, and buys 5.8 meals or snacks from restaurants each week, according to the United States Healthful Foods Council.
Call it a sign of society’s moral erosion, an act of economic desperation or folks finally coming to their senses, but a record-high number of Americans – 61% – now support marijuana legalization, according to a March 2016 survey by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Such sentiment is the product of a decades-long shift in perspective, which has taken this hot-button issue from the realm of “I didn't inhale, and I never tried again” to "When I was a kid I inhaled frequently; that was the point." And that’s just commanders in chief talking!
College athletics generate nearly $1 trillion in annual revenue for the NCAA and its member institutions, yet relatively little of that goes to the real stars of the show. The average top-tier football or men’s basketball player earns his school roughly $200,000 per season, according to NCAA data, while being compensated to the tune of $14,000 in education, food and housing each year. And all of that can disappear just as quickly as an ACL can tear, as scholarships are not guaranteed.
Fireworks and freedom: That’s what America does on the Fourth of July, in celebration of the nation’s birthday on July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 of our founding fathers. Plus we eat a whole lot of hotdogs: 150 million in total, making Independence Day the calendar’s top dog, if you will.
Everyone knows that credit scores are important…to a point. Some of us value these three-digit representations of financial responsibility far more than others, due in large part to the combination of our varying financial literacy levels and inconsistent monetary pressures.
Exciting news, Hubsters! We are proud to announce that WalletHub has earned a pair of prestigious accolades: the Gold Stevie for 2016’s best financial services website from the American Business Awards and a gold medal as one of the products of the year from the Consumer World Awards.
Everyone seems confounded as to whether the U.S. economy is improving, with experts’ opposing views, cherry-picked data points and political gamesmanship causing the political winds to swirl and making it tough to chart our course. Arguments over the domestic economy’s health have taken center stage in the ongoing Federal Reserve rate-hike watch, but the fundamental issues at hand have far broader implications. Not only is the U.S. one apparent bright spot in a turbulent global economic landscape, but most Americans are not prepared to ride out another significant recession.
This year marks La Copa America Centenario, or the centennial celebration of the semi-regular battle for American dominance on the pitch – soccer or fùtbol, whichever you’d prefer. Although the size of the tournament’s field and the countries that participate have fluctuated over the 44 previous events – the U.S. doesn’t always partake – the 2016 version is on home soil and features a 16-nation bracket sure to create a lot of buzz among fans of the beautiful game.
This special event also figures to open a lot of wallets. After all, 1.75 million fans are expected to attend the 32 matches across 10 U.S. cities, spending at least $56 per ticket, and we already know that Fox and Univision paid a combined $75 million for the television rights. And then there’s the more than $110 million in bribes paid in connection with the assignment of commercial contracts for the tournament, which led to 14 arrests and two lifetime bans from FIFA, but we don’t need to go into that now.
If you were to ask Thomas Jefferson (227 years ago) about the foundation of America’s “Great Experiment,” he would have told you, “The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate.” That means it’s our civic duty to stay informed and subsequently keep our political leadership honest by wielding our votes wisely.
Memorial Day is more than just a day off, an excellent occasion for a backyard barbeque or a chance to travel, though all of those awesome staples ultimately speak to the holiday’s true spirit. Above all else, Memorial Day honors Americans who have died in service to their country, and this patriotic tradition can be traced back to Waterloo, NY in 1866 (though Memorial Day wasn’t a federal holiday by law until 1967). History aside, however, this holiday is not one of somber reflection. We instead choose to celebrate by enjoying the many freedoms that American servicemen and women have perished protecting.
It’s been dubbed the “most exciting two minutes in sports,” in homage to the frenetic pace at which the half-ton racers carry their 100-pound riders around the 10 furlong (1.25 mile) track (millions in wagers probably play a role, too). It’s also referred to as the “run for the roses,” after the giant floral garnish awaiting the fastest pair in the winner’s circle. But you probably know this grand celebration of hats, horses and hooch as the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, held each May at Louisville’s historic Churchill Downs Racetrack.
You spent roughly two decades in school, plus a few years as a resident, working to become the doctor of your dreams. Congratulations, you made it! Your income has jumped from about $50,000 as a resident to anywhere from a low of $130,000 to upward of $500,000. So what now?