Economics in the News - Nov. 9-15 How Economics impacts our lives on a daily basis

Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics.

"There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." -- Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company.
A coronavirus vaccine may be coming soon. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced an analysis that suggested its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing patients from getting the virus. Pfizer developed their vaccine with German pharmaceutical company BioNTech.

Pfizer plans to pursue an emergency authorization for the two-dose vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this month. The company says that it will have manufactured enough doses of the vaccine to immunize 15-20 million people. However, questions remain in properly storing the vaccine at the low temperatures needed to keep the vaccine effective. [The New York Times]

Bad news may be on the way for those working from home. Experts from Deutsche Bank recently suggested in a report that white collar workers should be taxed to help other workers who aren’t receiving the same benefits. The bank suggested the tax to assist in rebuilding the economy.

Deutsche Bank proposes a 5 percent daily income tax on those that continue to work from home to combat the shift from companies allowing their employees to work from home on a permanent basis. The bank says that employees who work from home benefit from convenience and flexibility, while saving money from commuting, eating out and dry-cleaning services. [Associated Press]

Is it a good time to start a business? Despite an economy in the middle of a recession and a global pandemic, millions of Americans are starting their own businesses. New business applications across the United States were up in the third quarter of 2020.

Millions of those applying in the startups are recently laid off due to businesses being shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the businesses are coming in the form of online retail, continuing a trend that has seen a reduction in brick-and-mortar stores. This article compares the German approach, where the government subsidizes companies to retain employees to the American approach which provides unemployment insurance. [NPR]

Chinese technology giant Alibaba brought in more than $75 billion in sales during Singles Day -- the world’s largest e-commerce sales day that takes place in China each Nov. 11. It generates more revenue than Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States combined.

The strong sales from Singles Day is a further signal of China’s economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers were drawn to steep discounts and splurged on luxury items instead of overseas vacations. It’s another sign of how online shopping has become consumers preferred method of shopping, especially in a year of a global pandemic. [The Wall Street Journal]

The Miami Marlins named longtime baseball executive Kim Ng as their general manager. She becomes the first female GM in North America’s four major leagues – MLB, NBA, NHL and the NFL. Ng also becomes the first Asian-American GM in MLB history.

Ng most recently worked in MLB’s commissioner’s office in a senior vice president role. Prior to that, she worked in the front office of the New York Yankees, contributing to a team that reeled off three straight World Series titles from 1998 to 2000. [The Wall Street Journal]


All photos from iStock