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

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 ...

Markowitz: Better way than raising minimum wage exists to help low-paid workers

By Jack Markowitz
If helping low-paid workers is the goal, there’s a better way than raising the minimum wage. For authority on that: Warren Buffett. The country’s most famous investor, billionaire, philanthropist and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. instead would raise the earned ...

Markowitz: Banking giants: Too big to fail ... or control

By Jack Markowitz
What is it with this country’s largest banks, the “too big to fail” crowd? Take your eyes off them for awhile, and they’re up to mischief again. Even criminal mischief, not just collective stupidity, as when they brought on ...

Markowitz: Trail of American history a pleasant jaunt

By Jack Markowitz
Americans love their country and revere the countrymen who shaped its history. So don’t knock patriotism as a market. It’s a subset of a $1.5 trillion,  7-million-job industry: travel and hospitality. Want to see where George Washington lived or ...

Markowitz: Socialist Sanders is right on cutting down to size too-big-to-fail banks

By Jack Markowitz
Who says no good idea ever comes from a socialist? Bernie Sanders has a good idea, and he’s an avowed “democratic socialist.” He’s also a U.S. senator from Vermont, officially an Independent but caucusing with Democrats. And oh yes, he’s ...

Hot air aplenty in climate documentary

By Jack Markowitz
You aren’t going to stand there and claim that man-made global warming is a hoax, are you, knucklehead? It’s in this spirit of gentle persuasion that the latest anti-Big Business documentary just blew through town. Titled “Merchants of Doubt,” it’s ...

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