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Retired business editor Jack Markowitz writes Thursdays. Jack Markowitz can be reached via e-mail or at 412-380-8551

Markowitz: It never hurts to brace for days of reckoning

By Jack Markowitz
Let’s have a little respect for doomsday, please. Give it a place in your thinking. The stock market might fall and the oceans rise. Iran may get the Bomb. Out of control immigration, as Sen. Jeff Sessions, R. Ala., wrote ...

Markowitz: Income tax has 1 redeeming quality

By Jack Markowitz
The income tax season should not be allowed to pass without celebration. For the law-abiding citizen, few acts bring as much seasonal satisfaction as sending the income tax off to the Internal Revenue Service with a patriotic murmur of ...

Markowitz: Starbucks should have stuck to its coffees

By Jack Markowitz
An eminent Seattle businessman had great intentions. He wanted to spur a national discussion on a subject of importance: race relations. Trouble is, the main conversation he stirred up was about the ham-handed way he went about it. What could have ...

Slow and steady paid big dividends for Irving Kahn

By Jack Markowitz
Follow your instincts, we’re often told. But not in the stock market, Irving Kahn might add. “Human beings have precisely the wrong instincts when it comes to the markets,” Kahn told a British magazine just last year. (He was still ...

Markowitz: Casino layoffs at odds with building craze

By Jack Markowitz
The house always wins, it’s often said of the gambling industry. But how about when the house is overbuilt? Casino gambling — or “gaming,” as the operators and their political enablers like to call it — looks like a ...

Markowitz: It’s just a matter of time before Pa. goes to pot, too

By Jack Markowitz
Two states have done it already, and activists are itching to bring “progress” to others. So in due course — a year, a decade, a century — Pennsylvania may legalize marijuana. The economic prospects are fascinating. • First, thousands fewer ...

The right idea for minimum wage boosts

By Jack Markowitz
The right way to raise minimum wages is how Wal-Mart is doing it. That is, competitively, strategically, and on its own. Government compulsion, a statutory hike in the $7.25 minimum wage, wasn’t needed. Wal-Mart either started, or has jumped aboard, ...

Markowitz: Appearances don’t always tell the story

By Jack Markowitz
Nobody dreamed Ronald Read was a rich man. In a long life he never let on. It could be said that Read, a New Englander who died last summer at age 92, lived frugally to a fault. A neighbor once ...

Markowitz: We pay a lot for ‘weaponized compassion’

By Jack Markowitz
Compassion doesn’t come cheap at the government store. Americans spend so much being good to fellow Americans — by way of government programs — that social programs now account for $2 of every $3 Uncle Sam spends. Everything else the government ...

Markowitz: ‘Ladies around the corner’ being pushed out under Obama

By Jack Markowitz
Aren’t there any “ladies who live around the corner” anymore? And would they be allowed to ply their natural trade if there were? About four decades ago, a 2-year-old girl was bundled up by her mother every school day of ...

Markowitz: Entitlement wheel just keeps on spinnin’

By Jack Markowitz
President Obama’s $4 trillion federal budget for next year ought to be so much better for business and jobs. First, it would slap a “one-time” tax — as if it wouldn’t happen again in a pinch — on foreign profits ...

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