Some businesses thrive on the misfortune of others, making unfavorable deals with the poor and desperate to improve their bottom lines. While it’s tough to discern the intentions and ethics of management, it’s easy to identify the results of their reckless practices. [More]
Credit card reforms may have made it more difficult for banks to exploit college students, but it turns out there is more than one way to turn an unsuspecting post-adolescent into a debt monkey. The trick is to issue students debit cards that run up their student loans rather than over-regulated credit cards. [More]
Dale writes to us that his two kids came home tasked with a lame magazine subscription assignment on behalf of a classroom magazine called Weekly Reader. It’s a little sleazy to use kids to pry cash out of the pockets of relatives and friends, and I hold that opinion as both a kid who has had to do it and an adult who has received the manipulative “please help my school!” plea in the mail. [More]
Despite fierce opposition from the local water management district staff, and concerns that it would deplete an already scarce natural resource from the people who live there, Nestle managed to secure a deal to pump nearly 1.5 million gallons of water a day into their Deer Park bottling plant for the next ten years. Nestle pays no other fees for the water beyond the $230 license—in fact, “Nestle has received two [tax] refunds totaling $196,000 and requested a third tax refund.” To make the matter even more offensive, the plant hasn’t delivered on its commitment to employ 300 workers, and it so far has failed to bring in the estimated $12 million-a-year to the local economy. The St. Petersburg Times has a rich, infuriating history of the Nestle fiasco and how they’ve conned Floridians out of their own water with the help of state politicians.