Did people even want them there to begin with?

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Twitter, Square, Facebook and perhaps even Google are all allowing their employees to work from anywhere in the country, perhaps in the world … forever.

The question then becomes: do the employees of these companies still need to live in the Bay Area?

Apparently the answer is NO for the many who are streaming out of the Valley in droves. …


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Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

How have Republicans been able to convince people that Democrats are “the party of the elite” when Democratic voters in cities are no better off economically than Republican voters in the Heartland? That Republicans have been able to do this is especially baffling given that most Republican elected officials tend to be very wealthy and the leader of the Republican party is a billionaire who literally lives in a house covered in gold.

If you look at the average income of Democratic voters and compare this number with the incomes of independents and Republicans, you see that Democrats actually make…


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Photo by Alekzan Powell on Unsplash

Recently, Americans have had the pleasure of experiencing some phenomenal economic milestones, including the longest stock market boom and longest economic expansion in U.S. history. It’s surprising then, to learn of another economic milestone that bucks the trend of all this good news: the longest period in history without an increase in the federal minimum wage (which was last adjusted over a decade ago).

If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation, workers would be earning 17% more (about $3,000 per year) than they were in 2009. That’s 2–3 months of rent for most people. The story becomes harder…


As the number of Americans who use cash declines, businesses that refuse to accept cash are increasing. A good thing right? Not so fast (sorry).

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Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

If you are used to carrying cash around town, cashless establishments may be inconvenient. But for the newly affluent individuals who live in previously stagnant urban cores, cashless businesses make for a convenient and seamless experience.

Though the number of cashless businesses are still rare overall, their owners, like Amazon Go and Sweetgreen , argue that a cashless economy is the future and people need to get on board. Going cashless, they say, also discourages illicit activities such as money laundering, human trafficking and tax evasion.

There are also other practical reasons to eliminate cash, including:

  • Safety. Because cash can…


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Photo by Katie Harp — Pinterest Manager on Unsplash

A new dollar store will open up every six hours nationwide this year. There’s already more dollar stores in the U.S. than there are Walmarts and McDonalds combined. This unprecedented growth is threatening the very communities that rely on them.

Dollar stores make billions so their growth is unsurprising. In 2018, Dollar Tree made $22 billion in revenue and Dollar General’s stock was worth over $35 billion as of this summer. By stocking small, often private-label products for cheap prices, dollar stores are designed to get people to spend more, especially those who like finding a good deal.

Saturating a Saturated Market

Dollar stores…


One bag to rule them all

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Suspend disbelief and join me on a journey where you can travel anywhere with just one small bag. It’s not easy at first, but over time you’ll wonder how you ever lived with stressful trips to baggage claim and your fancy scam to sneak plastic bags on board as another carry-on.

As the summer travel season goes into full swing, here are my ten tips from over 3 million miles of global air travel:

  1. Buy it. Instead of packing multiple items of clothing because you think a shirt will stain or rip etc., just…

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Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Lots of people wear smartwatches and fitness trackers — nearly 40 million in the U.S alone. These fitness trackers not only measure steps, but also use sophisticated laser technology to monitor heart rate and other physiological measures of well-being. But the technology that manufacturers rely on was designed effectively with light-skinned people in mind, and according to researchers and reporters, is likely to provide erroneous readings for people with darker skin.

No wonder all that walking isn’t making me lose weight.

Not-So-Colorblind Tech

Let’s take Fitbit for example, which uses the industry-standard laser technology in its trackers. If you own one, you’ve…


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Photo by Joao Tzanno on Unsplash

Think about this: in just about any given market sector you’ll end up finding that only three companies dominate. In aviation: United, Delta and American Airlines control about 70% of the market share. The remaining 30% is held by all the other carriers. In telecom: AT&T, Sprint/T-Mobile, and Verizon control almost 100% of the market! I can go on … ok I will:

  • High-end retail: Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth
  • In personal computing: Lenovo (formerly IBM), HP, and Dell
  • Burger fast-food: McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s
  • Soft-drinks (and water): Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper
  • Social media: Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp (yes its all…


Amazon is a convenient way to shop online but their “take no prisoners” approach is bad for consumers in the long run.

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It’s not hard to understand why Americans love Amazon. An estimated 60 percent of households subscribe to Amazon Prime and almost half of all online dollars are spent on Amazon’s platform. Hitting Amazon’s “buy now” button kickstarts a cascade of complicated algorithms that deliver products to millions of American households in less than two days, sometimes in less than two hours. No other online retailers can match Amazon’s combination of product selection, price and delivery speed.

How is Amazon.com Possible?

Amazon’s entire business model is to lure consumers in with very low prices, establish market dominance and crush (or buy out) competition and once…


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Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

Traffic fines are rising and though they may be a minor nuisance for some people, for most Americans traffic tickets are a large, unexpected and difficult to pay life-changing event. A recent report from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights SF highlights some of these problems. More importantly, this report and other recent research points to the need for a more equitable fine assessment system as well as a fairer, more realistic way to allow drivers to pay these fines.

Why are traffic fines such a problem?

Because traffic fines can be VERY expensive

For instance, traffic fines in the state of California can involve late penalties…

Ehsan Zaffar 👨🏻‍🏫

Civil rights lawyer. Professor. Vagabond. Proud Board Member @teamrubicon @cfr_org | Teach @gwtweets | Latest book: https://amzn.to/2Wa0nNI

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