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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: Snapshots of Europe: Open roads, winding lanes, hushed cathedrals beckon

By Jack Markowitz
Mile after mile through the golden farmlands of France and Germany, a tourist misses one thing: farmhouses. There are major haystacks and snaky irrigation machines that spray in quarter-mile circles as in Kansas and Nebraska, but no apparent “homesteaders.” ...

Markowitz: Diligence still in demand, even in Europe

By Jack Markowitz
All the world loves a worker. And anybody in business who loves good workers has a natural antagonist in the government. Because one way or another, by tax, regulation, quota, restriction or forms, forms, forms, it becomes harder to ...

European tourism can be a great teacher

By Jack Markowitz
Business isn’t everything. It’s nice to see commercialism keep a distance from scenes of wartime heroism and sacrifice. The D-Day beaches of Europe still reach the heart and mind unpriced. At the end of an interstate-quality turnpike, through a French ...

Markowitz: Building a fortune was simple

By Jack Markowitz
Verna Oller’s way of life cannot be recommended for everyone. Some lifestyle between hers and how the “1 percent” live would probably be about right. Yet Mrs. Oller survived in health to a ripe age — very ripe — sticking ...

Markowitz: Always look on bright side of a crisis

By Jack Markowitz
Business people could take a leaf from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who once advised never to let a crisis go to waste. His sense was political, but the formula fits any opportunity in business or the economy. Take the demographic ...

Fifth and Smithfield will flourish again

By Jack Markowitz
Pittsburgh has witnessed the life cycle of an industry. Macy’s will hold a final sale at its Fifth and Smithfield flagship Downtown — and will keep selling at a dozen smaller suburban stores — but an American institution, the ...

Illegal immigrants taking U.S. away from us, conservative author Coulter says

By Jack Markowitz
She’s funny, but she stings. Conservative author Ann Coulter is as tough on business as she is on leftism in her book “Adios, America.” She reams business leaders for trying to bring in immigrants — even legal immigrants, even the ...

Markowitz: People must overcome the bull-bear battle

By Jack Markowitz
A bull and a bear met halfway through the year 2015. The bull, an investment optimist, and the bear, a pessimist, crossed paths where the sunny pasture of the bovine abutted the bruin’s dark forest. “Bull, your days are ...

Markowitz: Give Sen. Paul’s ‘Fair and Flat Tax’ plan a fair shake

By Jack Markowitz
“Blow up the tax code” and replace it with a flat 14.5 percent income tax on everybody? An idea like that from a business leader would get instant respect. Headlines, maybe. But it came from a politician running for president. So ...

Markowitz: The cheapskate life could pay dividends

By Jack Markowitz
You don’t need a king’s ransom to retire comfortably. Sensible spending is the key, says Washington-area lifestyle adviser Jeff Yeager. He has written a lively book on the subject, “How to Retire the Cheapskate Way” (Three Rivers Press, NY, 308 ...

Sports cars put a quick jolt into economy

By Jack Markowitz
A new car model received a rave review the other day, unintentionally funny. “You’d have a hard time,” wrote Detroit Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan, “proving that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 isn’t the best sports car on ...

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