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You Know Who’s Not Working This Summer? Teenagers.

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

Teenagers are not working like they used to.

New data shows that the number of teens with a job while in still in school has dropped to an all-time low, according to this report in the Washington Post. Back in 1991, almost 40 percent of high-schoolers worked during the school year or summer. It’s now down to 20 percent.

No, it’s not what you think. Today’s teens are no more lazy than we were. There are other things going on. Some blame increased requirements from colleges that encourage taking additional courses or programs to enhance an application. Others say that it’s tough for teens to get to and from work, particularly for late shifts in areas that discourage after-hours driving. Some blame the lack of low-wage jobs available for teens and employers who are unwilling to be flexible. Technology replacing jobs could be a factor. And then of course there are the increasingly extended calendars for things like sports and other activities that may help kids land scholarships to pay for today’s outrageous college tuitions.

But these are all just excuses. If your kid’s in high school, he or she should have a job. If they’re not, you’re mostly to blame. Read More…

Forget Trump and Macron — We All Suck at Handshakes

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

If you’re honest with yourself, you know this: You suck at handshakes. I totally do. And so does Donald Trump. I sympathize.

Trump had a few, very type-A handshakes with French president Emmanuel Macron this week that caught the world’s attention for their comic vigor. And this wasn’t our president’s first handshake drama: He famously avoided shaking hands with Angela Merkel at a White House meeting in March, and had a bizarre yank-and-move interaction with Canadian prime minster Justin Trudeau in February. Read More…

Nordstrom Rack’s Roving Cashiers Are Exactly What We Want

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

C’mon, admit it: You hate people like I do, right? OK, maybe not hate hate — but the fewer of them around, the better. Well, here’s a secret the next time you go shopping.

At the Nordstrom Rack on Chestnut Street, you don’t have to wait in line with other annoying people to purchase an item any longer. You can if you want. But instead, just find a store employee on the floor and ask to checkout. Chances are that the floor employee will be able to ring up your purchases and take your credit card with a smartphone that they’re now carrying around. They’ve only been doing this for about a month. Unfortunately for the employees at Nordstrom, this will ultimately result in fewer cashier jobs. That’s bad for them. But it’s reality. And it’s our fault. Read More…

Actually, There’s a Very Simple Way to Protect Yourself From Ransomware

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

So, now you know what ransomware really is.

For the past year, I’ve been talking to my clients about it. I’ve been speaking and writing about it. I’ve watched it turn into an enormous, profitable, underworld industry. Now you’ve seen the effects. You read the reports over the weekend about how the WannaCry virus found a flaw in Windows XP and infected something like 10,000 organizations and 200,000 individuals in more 150 countries, even risking lives by shutting down Britain’s National Health System. You now know how real (and dangerous) it is. Read More…

If Pennsylvania’s Drinking Age Were Lower, Timothy Piazza Would Be Alive

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

I have a niece who is British. A couple of years ago she visited and stayed with my daughter, who attends a large out-of-state university. Both had a great time together. But when I asked my niece what she thought of the social scene at my daughter’s college, her response wasn’t as great — in fact, she was kind of shocked. “The Americans drink way too much,” she told me. “It’s like their whole life revolves around alcohol.” My niece was 19 years old at the time. Read More…

This Is Why You Should Respect the People Who Voted for Trump

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

“The first 100 days used to be a honeymoon period for presidents, but not for him. Everybody’s hammering him, especially the news media, but he’s doing the best he can.”

That was said by Jack Bednarksi in this recent Philly.com article. Bednarski is a small-business owner in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. I don’t know him. But I’m going to bet, like most people, he’s a pretty good guy. And yes, for Pete’s sake, he’s a Trump supporter.

Can you still respect him? Of course you can. Read More…

Bill O’Reilly’s Firing Wasn’t “Capitalism at Work”

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(This post originally appeared on PhillyMag)

Ellen Gray, who is an excellent TV critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote a commentary last week in which she said that Fox News’s recent dismissal of Bill O’Reilly was just “capitalism at work.”

“Make enough money for a company, and allowances get made,” she wrote. “Threaten the bottom line, and even the most understanding bosses get antsy.”

From a business owner’s perspective, I really don’t agree. O’Reilly’s firing had nothing to do with capitalism. Read More…