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The Financial Flipside Podcast
98 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
The Financial Flipside Podcast
Photo by Bruno Figueiredo on Unsplash Taxes took center stage at the Met Gala recently, when Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attended the event wearing a white gown with “TAX THE RICH” emblazoned on the back in red. The ensuing discussion was wide ranging, covering everything from the designer’s background to Ocasio-Cortez’s salary and net worth and the ethics of politicians attending the Met Gala at all. There were even articles that worked the dress into a wider discussion of the Democratic party’s tax plan. Whatever you think about the dress, politicians attending museum galas in general, or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez specifically, the message was clear and called attention to a real issue: the fact that the amount of tax some of us pay relative to the money we make doesn’t seem to add up. Further driving this point home is the recent release of the Pandora papers, the largest release of offshore financial information in history which shows how wealthy individuals from all over the world store their wealth and set up trusts in places like the Cayman Islands or South Dakota (yes, it turns out that South Dakota is a major tax haven), where it’s less subject to what they view as “unfavorable” taxation. Speaking of taxes and things that don’t add up, that brings us to the subject of this episode: we’re talking about the tax gap, that is the yawning void between how much tax is owed and how much tax gets paid to the IRS. Where does the tax gap come from (hint: not always where you think)? Why are some people so reluctant to pay their fair share, despite having more than enough money to do so? We also take a detour into dynastic wealth, moral millionaires, and what money does to our brains. Mentioned on the show: Millionaires asking billionaires to pay emergency taxes ProPublica’s The Secret IRS Files series of stories on the taxes of the ultra wealthy, including an article about how and why they conducted their reporting. Abigail Disney on what wealthy families teach their children about holding onto dynastic wealth. How the “famliy fund” loophole make its easier to avoid paying taxes Kelly Phillips Erb talks to Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Steve Rosenthal about whether or not billionaires pay income tax The IRS explains the tax gap Another primer on the tax gap and its components, this one from the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget A closer look at the IRS’s tax gap numbers. Examining who commits federal tax evasion and why. Who gets audited? The IRS has admitted that it’s just easier and cheaper to audit poor and working-class people. More than 130 countries have agreed to a 15% corporate minimum tax. US senators drop IRS enforcement from bipartisan infrastructure bill According to the International Monetary Fund, healthy countries run, in part, on tax revenue. The number of people renouncing US citizenship hit an all-time high last year, mostly out of a desire to pay less taxes? Looking at “golden passport” programs in Malta and Vanuatu Does money change the way we relate to others? [An interesting article to revisit in light of the global popularity of Squid Game, a South Korean series about heavily indebted people playing life-or-death versions of childhood games for an enormous cash prize-L] From the Cleveland Clinic: Why “retail therapy” makes us feel better From the Harvard Business Review: Don’t estimate the power of luck when it comes to success in business. Bonus: A new bill proposes forcing corporations to pay tax on their profits rather than what they report to the IRS Most Americans would actually be find with the rich paying more taxes (h/t @taxtweet) The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has done some really in-depth, excellent reporting on the Pandora papers: What’s in them, and what do they teach us the strategies wealthy individuals use to avoid taxes/hide their wealth? Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer joins the chorus of rich people asking to pay more taxes in order to grow the economy.
76 minutes | Aug 9, 2021
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 28
Infrastructure touches every aspect of our lives, from the roads we drive on to the water we drink to the electricity powering the laptop I’m using to type these show notes. Because of this, it’s also one of the areas in which the connection between money and everyday life is the clearest: if part of our country’s (or city’s or state’s) infrastructure falls apart, we often end up paying for it in ways both big and small. Building and maintaining a national infrastructure is also really expensive, which raises questions about who pays for it and what’s worth paying for that have led to a lot of political wrangling and debate (To wit, at one point, there were eight infrastructure bills circulating in Congress). In short, infrastructure is the perfect mix of everything we love talking about on the Financial Flipside (taxes, money, everyday life, citizenship, politics), so it seemed ripe for an episode. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed recording it (NB: LaTarsha was having audio problems this episode, so you may hear a echo or some background noise.). Also in this episode: a brief discussion of super-wealthy people avoiding taxes--if you want to hear more about tax avoidance and where wealthy people and corporations put their money instead of paying taxes, you’re in luck. We’ll be talking a lot more about it on our upcoming episode, which we’re recording this week (questions? Email us at email@example.com or send us a DM; were @financeflipside everywhere). Mentioned on the show: Flipping the News ProPublica’s “The Secret IRS Files” article on tax avoidance among the ultra-wealthy From Truthout: How family funds are used to squirrel away tax-free money The Main Event The Week’s satirical ranking of all of the Trump administration’s Infrastructure Weeks The American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2021 Infrastructure Report Card Dueling infrastructure definitions, from Investopedia and from the Boston Review: What is Infrastructure, Anyway? Why the definition of infrastructure depends on who you ask From the Washington Post: The lingering effects of the Hernando de Soto bridge collapse David Alff on The Hidden Stakes of the Infrastructure Debate Darkness and chaos and bears, oh my! How highways finally crushed black Tulsa New York University Law professor and ACLU President Deborah Archer talks to WBUR about race and the structural legacy of the Federal Highway Aid Act [with reading list!] From CNN: Many of the highways build as part of urban renewal projects are starting to fall apart Why does it cost so much to build infrastructure in the US? Derrick Z. Jackson on the promise and potential pitfalls of highway removal Bonus: From the NY Times: How ‘Infrastructure Week’ became a running joke From The New Republic: Will the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill suffer the same fate? From Bull City 150’s Uneven Ground project on the history of housing inequality in Durham, NC, a short series of pieces on Hayti and Urban Renewal [includes audio narration of page text] From the Durham County Public Library: Urban renewal records From the San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune: An op-ed from Julie Corrales, a Barrio Logan resident, about the environmental effects of having a highway run through your neighborhood From PBS NewsHour: breaking down the most recent bipartisan infrastructure bill’s impact on climate change From the Guardian: a visual explanation of what’s in the most recent bipartisan bill and what’s not From Don’t Mess With Taxes: 50% of voters surveyed in a new Morning Consult/Politico poll are on board with taxing cryptocurrency to pay for infrastructure improvements. As of this writing, the Senate is nearing a vote on a $1 trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill, nearly double the amount of money proposed in the first version of the bill. The bill would still need to make it through the House of Representatives and on to the President’s desk,but our long national Infrastructure Week may soon be at an end.
101 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 27
Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels Scarcity was with us long before images of empty store shelves and news stories offering explanations for the absence of yeast or Lysol or Mason jars. In fact, the idea of scarcity has been baked into economics and society to such a degree and for so long (at least in the US; your mileage may vary--L) that we think of everything from toilet paper to money to political power as finite resources to be acquired and closely guarded. On this episode of the Financial Flipside Podcast, we’re talking about scarcity, both the economic concept and how it plays out in our daily lives. Along the way, we’ll discuss sneaker drops, free markets, living wages, human nature, and moments when instinct takes over. We also dedicate our Flipping the News segment to examining the financial aftermath of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. As always, we want to hear from you: how have your shopping habits changed over the past year? How about your idea of what it means to have enough? Join the conversation in the pinned post on our Facebook page or by replying to our pinned tweet (@financeflipside). Let us know if you’d be comfortable with our reading your comments on our next episode (we won’t use your name unless you indicate that it’s okay to do so). Mentioned on the show: Flipping the News The Guardian investigates The Club for Growth, billionaire Republican lobbying group that has taken a turn into funding challenges to the 2020 presidential election. Also from the Guardian: My Pillow meets martial law. From Bloomberg: Citibank, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan pause their political spending in the wake of the attempted coup at the Capitol. From Axios: Facebook takes a quarter-long break from political donations as well. The Main Event The IMF explains supply and demand. From Investopedia: Understanding the scarcity principle. From Marketwatch.com: Examining pandemic-induced gaps in the supply chain. This article from Medium’s Marker blog explains what most reporting gets wrong about the toilet paper shortage. From the New Republic: Rotten Vegetables, Empty Luxury Apartments, and Fake Scarcity Also from Marker: The Pandemic Has Turned Us All Into Hoarders From The Washington Post: Data spanning 50 years and 15 countries shows that supply side (or “trickle down”) economics benefit the wealthy, but don’t do much for the economy as a whole. Bonus: How mutual aid has stepped into the gaps left by stimulus payments. (Truthout) Post-Scarcity Economics (LA Review of Books) Consumer Culture: A Brief History (Quartz) This is about personal financial planning, but is worth considering on a larger scale: The #1 New Year’s Resolution To Try For 2021: Determine Your Enough (Forbes)
78 minutes | Nov 27, 2020
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 26
A quick note: This episode was recorded on October 31, 2020, before Election Day or any of the subsequent events surrounding the results or the transition process. Like many Americans in the run up to the presidential election, we had politics on the brain, and our state of mind is reflected in this episode. After a quick check-in, we dive headlong into a discussion of the strong connection between money and politics in the US. First, in our Flipping the News segment, we examine the New York Times’ report on Trump’s tax documents, with brief digressions for beards, scamming, and the Constitution along the way. For the Main Event, we move beyond the soon-to-be ex-President’s taxes and business dealings to discuss the role that money has always played in US politics and all of the ways that money influences who holds political power. The Electoral College doesn’t meet until December 14, but even after the new administration takes office on January 20, 2021, huge questions remain: why is it so expensive to run for office? How representative can a democracy possibly be if elected officials are more likely to listen to a corporation than they are to their constituents? If it doesn’t have to be this way, what can we do to ensure that the US actually has a “government of, by, and for the people?” Mentioned on the show: The New York Times’ full reporting on Trump’s tax information 18 key takeaways from the full Trump tax documents story for those who’d rather read a digest. (The New York Times) What the emoluments clause of the Constitution says and what that actually means. Ethics experts on the potential problems with Trump’s personal debt. Why Trump’s debt could be a national security risk If the shoe fits… From the Conversation: Trump’s ultra-low tax bill as a consequence of using taxes as an engine of social policy. Speaking of taxes and social policy: More about one of the more unusual ways of using taxes to influence behavior tsar Peter I (The Great)’s beard tax. (Smithsonian Magazine) The costs of running for president over the last 40 years, visualized (Howmuch.net) Business organizations, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable are inserting themselves into public conversation about the upcoming election, releasing an open letter asking voters to “trust the process” amid what could be weeks or months of uncertainty about the results. [this is, of course, a preemptive attempt to head off social unrest around the election, which could be bad for business domestically and internationally]. How the Federal Election Commission limits political contributions From the Brenan Center: What was the decision in Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission, and what does it mean for US politics? What is a PAC? (Investopedia) How lobbying works in all 50 US states. From Opensecrets.org: The top federal lobbying spenders in 2020 so far. Also from Opensecrets.org: Dark money, explained. From the Associated Press: Judges in Florida rule that all of the people previously convicted of felonies who had their right to vote restored with the passage of Amendment 4 in 2018 will need to pay all court and legal fees, fines, and restitution associated with their cases before being allowed to cast a ballot. From the Pew Research Center: How address requirements are being used to disenfranchise Indigenous voters From NPR: How much does it cost to cast a ballot in the US? (Audio with transcript) The costs of voting in the United States go beyond money. From the National Council of State Legislatures: The state of public election funding in the US. From DCist: Assessing the impact of the District of Columbia’s public election financing program Bonus Material: From the Campaign Legal Center (h/t Marketplace): Who is paying for the Trump campaign’s lawsuits and recounts? Protect the Sacred founder Allie Young talks to Harpers Bazaar about organizing “Ride to the Polls,” an initiative aimed at increasing turnout among young Native American voters, the power of early voting on horseback, and the barriers to voting that still exist for Indigenous communities across the US.(Harper’s Bazaar) The important role of the Navajo Nation in turning Arizona blue.
79 minutes | Oct 7, 2020
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 25
NB: There were some mic issues in this episode, so you may notices that the audio sounds a little metallic in places. We hope that you'll join us for what we believe is an interesting dive into a complicated topic, sound not withstanding-L How does one right a wrong, when that wrong forms a crucial part of who you are? How does one right a wrong that you’d rather leave in the past, even while apologizing in the present? Is it possible to address the material consequences of slavery without monetary payments? The United States has been both wrestling with and dancing around these weighty and other weighty questions surrounding reparations for slavery in some form since the late 18th century. In this episode, we take a look at the history of reparations in the US in particular, examine some of the past and present barriers to reparations, and discuss what a national reparations program might look like. But first, in this episode's Flipping the News segment, we try getting to be bottom of a question that’s on lots of people’s minds lately, namely, what’s going on with the post office? The US Postal Service is a lifeline for many, even when the country isn’t in the middle of a both pandemic that has seen a boom in online shopping and an election season that might be conducted largely via mail. Given the circumstances and the postal service’s reputation for dependability, it’s no surprise that what appears to be a slowdown in the speed of mail the coincided with the appointment to of a new Postmaster General and a worrying lack of funding for USPS has resulted in public outcry, a Congressional hearing, and at least twenty threats of lawsuits. Mentioned on the show: Flipping the News: Checking the Mail, or what’s wrong with the post office? From Business Insider: Why the US Postal Service is in a funding crisis, and what that means for the upcoming election Why the post office is vital for small businesses. (NBC News) How postal service delays are hurting small businesses, many of whom were already struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (CNN, Vice, Chicago Tribune) Bonus: The NY Times set up a system to track the speed of mail delivery in an attempt to confirm that reports of mail slowdowns across the US were/are true. The Brookings Institution explains how the US Postal Service is governed and funded. From US Today:The postal service as a lifeline for those in rural areas. How did a business logistics specialist with no knowledge of the postal service end up running it? Ask the Secretary of the Treasury, writes the NY Times. The post office takes center stage in the fight over mail-in voting and stimulus funding, with the President threatening block stimulus spending in order to withhold funding from USPS in the hope of preventing widespread mail-in voting. The response: 20 state attorneys general threaten to sue the federal government, and Louis DeJoy ends up testifying in Congress about cost-cutting measures, delivery delays, and voting by mail. (CNN, CNN, NBCNews). Where we are now: The President walked back his threats about USPS funding, DeJoy agreed to pause many planned cost-cutting measures until after the election, though he didn’t specify which ones, which has been confusing for postal workers. The mail? Still delayed, according to the head of the Postal Workers Union. (Vox, Washington Post, Forbes) The Main Event NB: The prince mentioned at 22:54 is Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, a statesman, revolutionary, and campaigner for the rights of indigenous Hawaiians in the House of Representatives, who deserves much better than the name butchering that he received from me (L), even though I practiced. You can read a little more about his extraordinary life here. From History.com: A brief history of reparations in the US Kali Holloway on the Compensated Emancipation Act and the US Government’s history of refusing to make restitution for slavery. (The Nation) From The Atlantic: Ta-Nahesi Coates 2014 piece, “The Case for Reparations” and revisiting the article for The New Yorker in 2019. Coates’s opening remarks at his 2019 testimony before Congress on the legacy of slavery and restorative justice. You can view his remarks in video form here, and the entire hearing is available for viewing on C-SPAN and testimonies from all of the participants are available via the House Judiciary Committee’s website. The joint Congressional statement apologizing for slavery and segregation (2009) More about the late Representative John Conyers’ (D-MI) attempts to convene a working group to explore reparations for, and the long-terms impact of, slavery in the US. From Code Switch: The story behind “40 Acres and a Mule” Bonus: What reparations look like in New Zealand (Planet Money; audio with transcript) Another take on how reparations for slavery could work in the US (Quartz)
35 minutes | Jul 28, 2020
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 24
We’re back, and we’ve come bearing gifts in the form of retooled format (including a new segment!). Join us as we recap a weird tax season, take a look at the storylines that emerged after the Treasury Department finally released data about who received PPP loans, and wrap up our discussion of economic indicators with a deep dive into the stock market. Do you have money, tax, or small business questions? Did you come across a finance-related news story that you’d like us to cover? Reach out to us at @financeflipside on all social media or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions, be sure to let us know whether or not you’d like us to answer on the show. To continue the conversation, join us over on Facebook in the Financial Flipside Group chat. You can also find videos, blog posts, and more interesting stories from the intersection of money and everyday life on our Twitter and Facebook pages, and on the website. Mentioned in the episode: Flipping the News The Journal of Accountancy’s summary of the Paycheck Protection Program loan data. From the Treasury Department: SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Data Fortune magazine’s reporting on members of Congress receiving PPP funds, and The Huffington Post’s From Marketwatch: Over 500,000 businesses got PPP loans but are listed as retaining zero jobs, Treasury Department data showUp to 90% of minority and women owners shut out of Paycheck Protection Program, experts fear From Quartz: PPP data errors show that 98% of exposed names used Bank of America The Main Event From Investopedia: The history and current composition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average Also from Investopedia: What is the Nasdaq? From The Balance: Understanding the S&P 500 From Equitable Growth: Who benefits from the booming US Stock Market? From Business Insider: 3 charts that show why $6 trillion dollars in coronavirus-induced stock losses won’t immediately impact most Americans. From the Associated Press: Some small businesses are changing their strategies due to coronarvirus, including holding off on seeking investors. Everything is Awful, So Why Is the Stock Market Booming? (NY Times) The Economy is In Free Fall, So Why Isn’t The Stock Market? (Vox) The Stock Market Has Almost Always Ignored the Economy (Washington Post) When the White House first floated the idea of negative interest rates back in May, this NBC article looked at the possible effect on our wallets. How Robinhood Convinced Millennials to Trade Their Way Through a Pandemic (Marker) Why increased profits don’t always mean more business investment (Equitable Growth) Bonus: NPR explores a few theories explaning the stock market’s strong performance in the face of an economic downturn. Economists can’t agree whether or not negative interest rates make sense asreal-world economic policy. (CNBC) Why the disconnect between the stock market and the rest of the economy is harmful for the vast majority of people. (In These Times)
51 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 22
After some time off, a move (L), and a partial pivot to video (J), the Financial Flipside Podcast is back!For our first episode of 2020, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about a goal that heads up so many of our lists of New Year’s resolutions: getting organized. Specifically, we’re talking about business systems, those combinations of processes, workflows, and tools that we use to do everything from monitoring cash flow to training employees to literally keeping the lights on. Listen in for a discussion of our adventures in systematizing, processes vs. workflows, app addiction, and establishing good working relationships between systems and tech. Oh, and we also shout out some of the tools that help us save time and effort at work. As always, we want to hear from you: What has your experience with creating systems been like? If you find yourself in a perpetual state of “getting organized,” what are some of the barriers keeping you from taking the next step? If you’ve managed to implement and stick with a set of systems, let us know your secrets: are there tools or methods that have worked particularly well for you? We’re @financeflipside on all social media. Also, if you haven’t done so already, we hope you’ll subscribe —we’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, or anywhere else you get your podcasts! To catch up on back episodes of the podcast, head over to our website. Finally, if you’re looking to a place to engage in some post- or between- show #RealMoneyTalk, join us in our Facebook Group, the Financial Flipside Group chat. It’s a closed group to allow us to speak freely, but you can find it by searching on Facebook and join by answering a couple of quick questions. You can also contact us via Messenger. Mentioned on the show: The term tech stack comes from software development, and refers to the coding frameworks or programming languages used to build an app or website Our hunger for snappy jargon and tendency to use tech as a benchmark for other industries being what it is, there are now more than 4 million search results for “tech stack” that don’t mention programming at all, and advice about constructing tech stacks for marketing, human resources, and launching a startup. Techsmartboss.com Why companies of all sizes need project management. The 6 biggest benefits of using a CRM in your business This article from Harvard Business Review explains why it’s a good idea to write down your company’s unwritten rules. From Tallyfy: What is the difference between a process and a workflow? Business Mapping’s list of 12 key business systems. Recommended Reading: The Process Street Blog (full disclosure: we use Process Street, but we’re not being compensated for saying nice things about their blog. We just find it useful and hope you do as well). If you’re looking for checklists and templates that can help you create and manage processes in various parts of your business, look no further than the Process Street Blog. Process Street is a process management software service, and their blog consistently publishes well-researched articles about every aspect of organizing your business, from the benefits of employee task lists to implementing Six Sigma principles or creating a Knowledge Management System to support your customers and preserve institutional knowledge. Systems Rock! is run by Natasha Vorompiova, a consultant who helps businesses build systems that scale as they do. A lot of helpful tips and resources here, especially for companies that are going through a growth spurt. This post, about why the best systems come from within your business, is a personal favorite--L. The Emyth Blog, particularly their six-part series on developing business systems.
44 minutes | Nov 6, 2019
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 21
Today we’re giving you a peek behind the scenes with an episode about one of our favorite pre-show topics: college sports [note: we’re both dyed-in-the-wool Duke fans. What can we say? The idea of your college as “the mother of your soul” definitely holds for us when it comes to sports loyalties]. This is perhaps the best and the worst time for a discussion about the economics of college sports: on the one hand, basketball and football seasons are underway; on the other, things are moving so fast that we need to use part of the show notes for a news update. In a move that will likely not surprise you once you’ve listened to the episode, the NCAA Board of Governors made a unanimous decision to extend the right to receive compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses to all college athletes, an about-face from its earlier promise to contest California’s Fair Pay to Play Act. Of course, the NCAA is still a (non-profit) business, so this decision isn’t necessarily an indication of its newfound “wokeness.” They’re still obsessed with “student-athletes,” recruitment outcomes, and using amateurism as a barrier to further discussions about paying athletes, but the NCAA is at least paying lip service to a desire to move with the tide of history. More importantly, college athletes will get to reap some of the financial benefits of the enormous amount of time, energy, and effort they’ve put into playing the sports of their choosing. We definitely plan to keep an eye on this story as the NCAA rolls out its plan. Now that that’s out of the way, we hope you’ll enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed recording it. In addition to the fallout from the Fair Pay to Play Act, we discuss revenue sharing, Zion Williamson’s impact on the stock market, the history of NCAA vs. athlete lawsuits, position stacking, and what happens when a city hosts a college sports tournament. James also pours one out for EA Sports’s NCAA Basketball and Football franchises. There’s also a sports-related update from our Black Capitalism episode. Mentioned on the show: Is that your king? We discuss the products of Jay-Z’s “social justice and music” partnership with the NFL, namely image rehabilitation for the League, a free concert, and a clothing line in a pear tree. Oh, and backlash. Lots of backlash. Both Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid came forward to criticize the partnership and Jay-Z’s subsequent comments about needing to move on from protests and focus on “actionable items”. The response hasn't all been negative: there are also people who support the partnership for various reasons, including Cardi B, DJ Khaled, and former NFL player Marcellus Wiley. Both Wiley’s barbed (and, I’d argue, misguided-LaTarsha) comments about Kaepernick and his partner, Nessa Diab, and the wide range of opinions about this partnership demonstrate just how thorny and complex discussions of Black capitalism can be. From the Ringer: The Ripple Effects of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, which includes responses from players, coaches and the NCAA If you want to take your own deep dive into the NCAA’s finances, the full report is here. Speaking of finances, here’s the full assessment of the impact of San Antonio’s Men’s Final Four hosting bid From SB Nation: How much colleges make from the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament From the Chicago Tribune: Tournament Cinderellas don’t always reap the majority of the benefits from their victories From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: The case against using public money to fund tournament hosting The Nation takes on the NCAA’s nonprofit status From WBUR: The origins of college sports amateurism The Organization of American Historians busts the myth of the student athlete From Deadspin (solidarity/RIP-LaTarsha): The story of Ray Dennison, whose death led to the coining of the phrase “student-athlete” How Zion Williamson and his shoe affected both the price of Duke-Carolina game tickets and the stock market Athletes vs. the NCAA, part 1: White vs. NCAA (2008) Athletes vs. the NCAA, part 2: O’Bannon vs. NCAA and EA Sports (2014) From Forbes: Mark Cuban, the NCAA’s pro-amateurism attack entrepreneur From the Engaging Sports blog: Race, class, and position stacking in college football Bonus content: March Madness 2019 by the numbers, including the cost to businesses of time spent furtively checking scores or watching games at work. The history behind the debate around paying college athletes A group of economists recommend compensation for college athletes. Over at the New Yorker, Ekow N. Yankah makes the case against, but not for the reasons one might anticipate. We recommend listening to this episode of NPR’s Code Switch podcast on paying college athletes after reading the Yankah piece. Both take a look at the racial dimensions of the debate.
77 minutes | Sep 15, 2019
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 20
In which we finally get around to recording an episode about Black capitalism. This is a long one, and we have a lot of… thoughts, and feelings. So many feelings. Listen in as we talk about Jay-Z's NFL partnership, Reconstruction, economic anxiety, Booker T. Washington, shadow economies, entrepreneurship, space travel, Kamala Harris’s student loan proposal, self-sufficiency vs. self determination, and much more. Capitalism alone is a complex topic, as is Black people's relationship with it. Consider this episode a way of laying the groundwork for discussions that we will likely return to off and on in future episodes. Mentioned on the show A note before the show notes proper: Yes, it’s Dooboyz and not Doobwah. We regret the misstatement, which can be charged to late-in the-day fatigue. Speaking of both W.E.B Du Bois and economics, if you have some free time, it’s well worth checking out his painted data visualizations of Black American life in 1900. You can also read more about them here . On with the show notes... On Jay-Z's Nipsey Hussle Eulogy Mehrsa Baradan’s The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap and the origins of black capitalism. You can also read an adapted excerpt here and a longer review that discusses Baradan’s conclusions about the origins and perpetuation of the racial wealth gap here. Opportunity Zones and their (mis)uses. From the Atlanta Black Star: 20th century Black land ownership and land loss From the Atlantic Van Newkirk II’s investigation of the dispossession of Black landowners in the present An 1867 sharecropper contract, with some useful historical context From PBS: The connection between sharecropping and slavery From the Nation: exploring the legal loophole that often leads to Black landowners losing their land Indigenous and black scholars talk about settler identity for Vice LaTarsha’s not alone: writer Adele Thomas talks about her complicated relationship with land as a Black American On the National Negro Business Leagues Booker T. Washington and the” Atlanta Compromise” speech A Black Marxist take on self-determination from 1965 The roots and impact of Washington’s feud with W.E.B. Du Bois Boss: The Black Experience in Business (documentary, but you can read a full transcript if you’re not a PBS member/don’t have a local PBS station) Scalawag Magazine’s stories about Maggie Walker and St. Luke’s Bank and North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company Some background on the People’s Grocery (video) and the episode of the No Man’s Land podcast on Ida B. Wells’s first lynching investigation and subsequent work as a journalist and activist Ownership is not liberation: Killer Mike, Jay-Z and the pitfalls of black capitalism Jay-Z,conflicted (?) capitalist Kamala Harris’s opportunity gap reduction plan, including that viral student loan forgiveness proposal From Marketplace: The economy still isn’t working for people of color Can we turn economic disenfranchisement into a force for good? This article from Black Enterprise thinks so More interesting links: IndiVisible, a joint exhibit of the Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of African American History traces the history of African-Native American people in the US, and of the intersections of Black and Indigenous histories more generally. The Black/Land Project is a collective that collects and considers stories about Black people and land in North America. If you’re in for a longer, slightly more dense read that contains a lot of interesting personal stories and Black and Indigenous people talking about relationships with land, settler states, and one another, Not Nowhere: Collaborating on Self-Same Land is a great place to start. (content warning for language) Speaking of Killer Mike, you can listen to/watch him talk about community economics here. A look at the pitfalls of valorizing Black economic achievement that considers gender: Collective Success: The Myth of Progress through Black Capitalism From the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Let Us Put Our Money Together, a free, book-length history of Black banks Alternatives to black capitalism: Huey P. Newton’s intercommunalism and cooperative economics Another approach: The recently-revived Poor People’s Campaign of 1967-1968, Martin Luther King Jr.’s cross-racial plan to achieve economic justice via an active war on poverty
85 minutes | Jul 9, 2019
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 19
As of May 2019, the average price of a new house in the US was $377,200, a price that will buy you, on average, an apartment’s worth of space for every member of your household. Alongside expanding house sizes and the proliferation of luxury condos is a stark reality: the United States, like many other places in the world, is in the throes of a housing crisis. While there is plenty of physical housing to be had, very little of it is affordable , especially when one takes into account that most people’s wages have remained relatively flat. For example, as of June 2019, there is not a single place in the US or Puerto Rico where a minimum wage job would allow a person to afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Despite what looks like a bleak housing picture, people, especially in the United States, remain invested in home ownership, even if staying in their homes means stretching their salaries or spending hours commuting each week. Why are Americans obsessed with home ownership? Does the idea of one’s house as a source of wealth hold up? Is HGTV ruining the way we think about real estate? What are the ways out of our current mess? We take on these questions and more in this episode. How HGTV has changed the way we view real estate and our own homes: 1, 2 Millennial homeowners get real about how they were able to afford a home. In which the Brookings Institution decides that everything is (mostly) fine as far as (middle-class) housing goes. Charting the rise of housing costs in the US Views from the Six: Nearly 40% of Toronto’s homes aren’t occupied by the people who live in them, instead serving as rental properties, investments, or second homes. HUD explains the cost-burden index, or why we use 30% as a benchmark when budgeting for housing. Explaining the housing crisis. If visuals work better for you, here’s a breakdown in three handy graphics. How zoning laws have come to define what makes a family What is gentrification, anyway? How is it different from a neighborhood revitalization plan? Speaking of gentrification, can it be slowed by the presence of historic landmarks? What do we mean by the financialization of housing? From Dissent Magazine: a three-part series on the past, present, and possible (de-financialized) future of housing. Why many Americans are abandoning the dream of home ownership. Is Buying a House Overrated? Give people houses (and adequate social support)! It worked in Finland.
53 minutes | May 7, 2019
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 18
The first tax season after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was full of surprises. When the IRS published its weekly filing statistics during the last week of tax season , the numbers confirmed what many taxpayers were shocked to see when they finished their returns: namely, that tax refunds were both smaller and a bit harder to come by. The number of refunds decreased by 1.9%, while their size decreased by 1.3% (or about $36--this is a correction from the $55 reported on the show). In this episode we talk about what happened and why, our national love affair with tax refunds, corporate tax avoidance, and why the IRS isn’t pursuing as many investigations despite new data that reveals that more people are cheating on their taxes. Summary Intro: smaller refunds, unexpected bills JH’s notes from the field: an accountant’s-eye view of tax season How do we explain these changes? Tax refunds: why do we expect them? What are the benefits and drawbacks of receiving one? The number of people and businesses cheating on their taxes has increased, but not much is being done about it--why? Speaking of tax avoidance: how do large corporations manage to pay $0 in corporate taxes. How does tax avoidance affect the economy, and what are we going to do about it? What can individuals and business owners who received unpleasant surprises on their tax returns this year do to prevent the same thing from happening next year? Links: From the US Department of the Treasury: How much did the US government collect and spend in 2018? Fiscal Year 2020 Federal Spending A recent survey found that most Americans were uninformed about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act The Tax Policy Center has published a guide that explains how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed individual taxes. They also published their own look back at tax season. The truth about tax refunds for individuals (and for businesses). Here is another outline of tax law changes, this time for businesses. Tax Day used to be a party at the post office Large corporations like Amazon, Nextflix, and Salesforce paid $0 in corporate taxes this year. This article from Forbes explains why. ProPublica’s series on the gutting of the IRS If you want an inside look at the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that combines analysis (and admittedly, pointed critique) with journalistic flair, the Center for Public Integrity has partnered with The Guardian for a deep dive into the origins and impact of the law. “In 1998, only about 5,000 employers hadn’t paid their payroll taxes in at least five years. By December 2015, according to IRS records, the number had more than tripled to 17,000.” :Millions are cheating on their taxes, but fewer people are getting caught Some tax savings appear to be shaking out along party lines, with those in Republican-leaning states benefiting more from the new tax law’s limits on state and local tax deductions. Still stewing about your tax refund? Adjust your withholding. The IRS explains how here. Year-Round Financial Tips to Make Taxes a Breeze How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Will Impact Tax Planning in 2019 and Beyond “Half the respondents to a new survey [of small business owners] saw their tax bill drop. Some tout the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a reason. Another equal amount reported their tax bill remained the same.” How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Will Impact Tax Planning in 2019 and Beyond “Half the respondents to a new survey [of small business owners] saw their tax bill drop. Some tout the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as a reason. Another equal amount reported their tax bill remained the same.”
52 minutes | Feb 7, 2019
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 17
On December 22, 2018, the US government entered what was to become the longest shutdown in the country’s history, when the President refused to sign off on a Congressional budget that didn’t include a requested $5 billion in funding for a border wall. The government temporarily reopened 35 days later, but not before damaging the economy and pushing many federal employees and people who rely on government funding social programs to the edge of their own fiscal cliffs. How and why do shutdowns happen? What, if anything, did we learn from this experience? What can we do to prepare if the temporary funding lapses on February 15th without a budget in place? In this episode: “savings crises,” conference committees, grocery store negotiations, and only slightly less ire about borders than in our economics of immigration episode. Speaking of which, if you’ve missed any of our previous episodes, you can find them on Apple Podcasts , Google Play, Stitcher., or on our website. Questions? Comments? You can email us at email@example.com or find us @financeflipside on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Mentioned on the show: How the US government is funded, in one infographic A brief history of government shutdowns Shutdown stories The impact of the shutdown on government workers What the shutdown revealed about federal workers’ finances Government workers aren’t the only Americans living paycheck to paycheck Speaking of work, business leaders love automation, but they don’t want the public to think so. For many, the road to financial recovery post shutdown will not be a short one The US economy lost $11 billion dollars during the shutdown The gap between the rich and poor continues to grow Post shutdown plans abound, including having the president give weekly economic impact briefings during future shutdowns, ensuring back pay for contractors, and a bill that proposes a means to get rid of shutdowns altogether. Shutdown navigation tips for businesses and individuals And, to end things on a poetic note: Gwendolyn Brooks’s “Paul Robeson” [video with captions available. The poem originally appeared in Family Pictures (1970)]
46 minutes | Dec 19, 2018
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 16
As the year draws to a close, a lot of us carving out time between holiday parties and wrapping up projects to make a few New Year’s resolutions. After writing or typing out our lists, we roar into the new year with the best of intentions, armed with gym memberships, apps, and new gadgets. Yet, by the end of 2019, more than 90% of us will have abandoned our resolutio until December, when the whole cycle starts again. In this habit-forming episode, we talk about goal setting: why we succeed, why we fail, and some strategies for making your 2019 resolutions ones we’ll keep. Because we’re a money and finance podcast, and because financial resolutions are incredibly common (one poll taken at the beginning of the year found that saving money was tied with diet and exercise changes for the most popular resolution), we also discuss some things to do to get your finances ready for 2019. Mentioned on the show: 94% of millennials plan to make financial resolutions 77% of us can work on a resolution for a week, but only 8% of us can sustain that effort until the end of the year Why you should stop setting easy goals How long does it take to form a new habit? From CPA Practice Advisor: year-end advice from CPAs 10 essential things for small business owners to do before the end of the year And 10 more: https://succeedasyourownboss.com/10-things-to-do-to-get-your-business-ready-for-2019/ Should you incorporate your business at the end or beginning of the year? How working backwards can help you set achievable goals Setting goals that drive your business forward A scientific guide to achieving and setting goals 18 tricks to make new habits stick
52 minutes | Nov 9, 2018
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 15
Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, and Lyft all began life as startups, and their success has meant that the romance of rapid growth and multi-million dollar exits has permeated not only the world of business but almost every aspect of our daily lives. Popular business magazines draw readers in with breathless company profiles and promises that the morning routine or management style of this or that founder could transform your business too. Away from the office, television shows like Silicon Valley and Shark Tank have turned coding marathons and venture capital pitches into appointment viewing. Where does our collective fascination leave businesses that don’t follow the startup model? Is there any real difference between startups and small businesses? What can startups and small business learn from each other? These are just some of the questions we tackle in this episode. Enjoy! As always, we want to hear from you: tell us about your startup dreams, adventures in building a strong business culture, or even your favorite (or least favorite) entrepreneurship-entertainment. We’re on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @financeflipside, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Mentioned on the show: Growly.io’s history of startups Are you running a startup or a small business? What’s the difference? When does a business stop being a startup? Homogeneity and diversity in tech startups Flat vs. hierarchical business structures 5 startup founders discuss company culture The myth of flat hierarchy in startups (opinion) Do You Know Where Your Money Is? 3 Tips to Get Your Startup’s Finances in Order Accounting 101 for Startups [video] 5 reasons why small business owners shouldn’t ignore marketing 101 ways to market your small business and 40 more ideas for small businesses on a budget. Startup writer and entrepreneur John Westerberg argues that most entrepreneurs should focus on building small businesses instead of startups
49 minutes | Sep 23, 2018
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 14
According to a recent Banrkate.com survey 4 in 10 Americans have side hustles, or jobs that they work in addition to their primary source of income. Another survey of 1,000 Americans from CreditLoan.com found that 15% of side hustlers want to start a business of their own. If the legions of breathless articles about side hustling are any indication, we may be nearing a future in which everyone is living their entrepreneurial dreams and working 50 hour weeks. Today’s episode tackles the hows and whys of side jobs, including making friends with fear, adjusting to irregular income, ethical side hustling, and turning your side hustle into a full-time business. Discussed in this episode: The origins of the term “side hustle” and the aestheticization of poverty The dark side of side hustle mania, embodied in Fivver ads Why are millenials so obsessed with side hustles? This article argues that it’s (mostly) the economy, silly. 4 questions to help you work a side job without getting fired How to start a side business while working your day job Tips for building your side business while working full time How to know when it’s time to make the jump to full-time entrepreneurship Time management for side hustlers You may have as many hours in the day as [insert super-accomplished public figure], but research suggests that you should spend some of them away from work. 9 strategies for budgeting with irregular income Fear is the mind killer, but it can also be an entrepreneur’s best friend
59 minutes | Aug 20, 2018
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 13
The human consequences of the current administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy have been inescapable during this summer’s news cycle. Each day seems to bring with it new stories of parents separated from children, inhumane conditions in detention centers, and the stripping away of previously installed protections for asylum seekers and early childhood arrivals in the United States.As people, we found these stories impossible to ignore. As a show about how finance and economics interact with the rest of our lives, we thought it important to spend some time thinking about the economics of immigration. Specifically, why does so much of the rhetoric about immigration in the US revolve around money and labor? What do the numbers say? What are the effects of framing discussions about immigration in economic terms? Are there alternatives to this sort of thinking, and what might they be? We do not pretend to offer definitive answers or policy fixes, but we hope that this episode leads you to your own fruitful discussions. A correction: Switzerland held a referendum about introducing universal basic income in 2016, but it was rejected. At least part of the right-wing opposition to the measure centered on immigrant access to basic income payments. Mentioned on the show: The height of deportations in the US? 2012, when 34,000 people were deported each month The (big) business of immigration enforcement The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and more about the act’s history The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, which put a premium on skilled labor and family reunification 2017 Immigration statistics from the American Immigration Council , a nonprofit that bills itself as “powerful voice in promoting laws, policies, and attitudes that honor our proud history as a nation of immigrants.” It’s worth noting that The Center for Immigration Studies, a “non-partisan, non-profit, research organization” that seeks to “provid[e] immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.” presents its own set of statistics (2016) that frame immigration in a much less favorable light. This is perhaps in keeping with its tagline, “low-immigration, pro-immigrant” and with its almost exclusively partisan testimonials. On the sort of work done by immigrants to the US Federal taxes paid by immigrant households (2014) State and local taxes paid by undocumented immigrants (2014) DACA recipients’ tax contributions (2016) Immigrant impacts on native employment rates in the US Immigration’s impact on native wages in the US The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines free movement as a human right. While many arguments for open borders are accompanied by critiques of capitalism, there are some capitalist arguments for free movement as well. How some Indigenous people in the US and Canada are responding to the current administration’s policies Universal Basic Income is already being trialled in Stockton, CA. Give People Money, a recent book by economics writer Annie Lowery, argues that universal basic income has the potential to transform society as we know it.
37 minutes | Jul 11, 2018
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 12
Though it can be hard to imagine when you’re landing your first client, applying for a business loan, or opening a second location, there may come a time when you want to or have to stop being a business owner. That said, your business doesn’t have to come to an end because your time as an entrepreneur does (unless you want it to). There are a variety of ways to keep your company going if you step down, all of which require a plan--a succession plan. In this episode, we talk about what it takes to plan for the continued existence of your business: what you’ll need, who to involve, and how long it takes. We also talk about exit strategies, startup narratives, the potential consequences of short-term thinking, and one thing you can do now to prepare for the future of your business, whatever that looks like. As always, we want to hear from you: do you have a succession plan? How do you imagine the future of your business? Mentioned on the show: What is succession planning, anyway? What are the pillars or steps of a succession plan? The relationship between succession planning and an exit strategy Budgeting for a business transition What happens if I don’t have a succession plan? Also,some family business survival statistics. The E-Myth (book) From emyth.com: How to Build a Business That Doesn’t Depend on You: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 How business valuation can help with succession planning and with choosing the best way to transfer ownership of your company The role of managers in succession planning Bonus links: Research on succession planning from the Harvard Business Review The ins and outs of succession planning templates One sample template Another sample template, and 5 steps to creating a succession plan 5 ways to transfer ownership of your small business, with pros and cons for each Because nonprofits need plans, too: A toolkit for nonprofit succession planning from the Kansas City Federal Reserve 3 examples of succession planning done right
36 minutes | Jun 19, 2018
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 11
The last two weeks have been a bit of an economic whirlwind, with the US imposing steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada, the EU, and Mexico, a move that has driven US-Canadian relations in particular to a new low as Canada imposed its own tariffs on American goods. Just yesterday, the US launched another salvo in its ongoing trade conflict with China, threatening to place tariffs on a wide range of goods valued at around 450 billion dollars. This has resulted in a steep decline in stock prices and has provoked anxiety across industries. All of this antagonism has pushed the US to the brink of a trade war. In this episode, we engage in some trade talks of our own. Specifically, we try to answer three questions: Why is this happening? What is a trade war? Why should we, as regular citizens, care about politicians arguing over billions of dollars and unfathomably large quantities of goods? We also talk about manufacturing, nostalgia, and the future of the US economy. Mentioned on the show: Protectionism, and how protectionist policies differ from a trade war Trade Wars and How They Affect You What’s happening in manufacturing? Another, less rosy view The perils of economic nostalgia
35 minutes | May 22, 2018
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 10
For relatively small bits of paper and metal, money carries a lot of weight. It is (supposedly) both the root of all evil and the key to happiness In our particular capitalist society, we both venerate and distrust people who have managed to acquire a lot of money. It is at once a source of anxiety and a source of comfort. In short: our relationship with money is complicated. In today’s episode, we engage in literal #realmoneytalk. We discuss the history of money, its power in our lives, and how the almost mystical power we’ve ascribed to money can make it really hard to talk about. We also touch on the consequences of not talking about money because it’s scary or taboo or because we don’t know how. We can’t promise to demystify money in half an hour, but we do have some practical tips for building a less fear-based relationship with the contents of your wallet. Mentioned in this episode: Money makes the man. The history of money Who decides how much money is worth? What causes currency to change in value? Can money buy happiness? According to one study, it depends on how you spend it. What is the difference between fiat money (i.e., money that, like the US dollar, has value because of a government decree) and legal tender (i.e., money that you can use to repay a debt)? How to read financial news
43 minutes | Apr 16, 2018
The Financial Flipside Podcast Episode 9
What is cash flow? Put simply, it’s the money (cash and cash-equivalents, so CDs, shares of equity, government bonds, bank accounts) coming into and going out of your business. It’s an easy enough concept to understand, but day-to-day cash flow management is the Achilles’ heel of many a small business. A study by US Bank found that 82% of all failed business are undone by poor cash management. Admittedly frightening statistics aside, there are a number of reasons for small businesses to care about cash flow. In the first half the episode, we discuss what cash flow awareness can do for your company, where to look for cash flow information, and how to understand what you’re seeing. We generally talk about cash flow in a business context, but it's equally important to keep on top of the movement of money in and out of your life and personal bank account. In the second half of the show, we chat about applying cash flow management principles to your personal finances, including budgeting, expense planning, and whether or not skipping that latte will keep you from financial ruin. Related links: What is cash flow, and how does it work in your business? Cash flow is a leading cause of business failure, though the overall picture isn’t as bleak as it seems The relationship between profit and cash flow The difference between a cash flow statement and a cash budget How to create a personal cash flow statement
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