Business Ideas

Big business, political strategy and corporate involvement in US state politics

<span class="caption">Protesters rally to have Colorado's then-incoming governor put an up-to-nine-month moratorium on oil and gas development.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images">Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images</a></span>
Protesters rally to have Colorado’s then-incoming governor put an up-to-nine-month moratorium on oil and gas development. Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Political spending by corporations is big business.

As one corporate executive with experience in business-government relations says, “A company that is dependent on government that does not donate to politicians is engaging in corporate malpractice.”

Our research group heard that statement during a series of interviews with industry insiders that we conducted for a study on corporate political strategy and involvement in U.S state politics.

In the 2018 election cycle, for example, private interests spent US$500 million on campaign contributions to U.S. federal election candidates and nearly $7 billion to lobby federal officials.

As shown by campaign finance monitor the Center for Responsive Politics, those firms most affected by government regulation spend more. The operations of Facebook, for example, could be heavily affected by government legislation, whether from laws concerning net neutrality, data privacy, censorship or the company’s classification as a platform or publisher. Facebook spent over $2 million in contributions and $24 million in lobbying during the same period.

This kind of political spending is also common across state governments. From Alaska to Alabama, firms spend huge sums of money to influence policymaking because they depend on their local business environments, resources and regulations.

For example, after Citizens United, a landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that freed corporations (as well as nonprofits, unions and other associations) to spend

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How can high school and college students fill their summer? We’ve got loads of ideas

Zachary Tabatchnikoff was looking forward to working with 9th- and 10th-graders at a Wisconsin summer leadership camp this summer.

But when the pandemic led to the camp being canceled, Tabatchnikoff, 19, was left finding ways to salvage his summer.

He had already spent about eight weeks of his first year in college at home and knew he couldn’t do nothing for several more months.

“I felt like a sloth,” he said. “I needed a schedule, something to keep me busy.”

Tabatchnikoff is not alone. With the pandemic canceling camps, limiting volunteer hours and reducing the amount of jobs available, teens across South Florida are trying to find ways to be productive, earn money or clock volunteer hours.

Volunteer and testing requirements for the class of 2020 to receive an award from the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program were lightened, but nothing has been decided for future graduating classes.

Tabatchnikoff got creative. He and a friend decided to team up to run an in-home camp of sorts for younger kids. They planned a full day of activities for five kids from age 3 to 6.

“It actually felt good getting up early,” he said “I felt accomplished.”

Zachary Tabachnikoff and Lindsey Greenstein ran their own in-home camp. Here they are pictured with Benji, 7, Lena, 5 and Cora, 3.
Zachary Tabachnikoff and Lindsey Greenstein ran their own in-home camp. Here they are pictured with Benji, 7, Lena, 5 and Cora, 3.

For Gabriella Bonwitt, 16, losing the opportunity to be a counselor in training at a North Carolina camp has turned into a chance to “get things accomplished.”

She found a job at

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Hedge Funds Are Coming Back

In this article we will check out the progression of hedge fund sentiment towards PS Business Parks Inc (NYSE:PSB) and determine whether it is a good investment right now. We at Insider Monkey like to examine what billionaires and hedge funds think of a company before spending days of research on it. Given their 2 and 20 payment structure, hedge funds have more incentives and resources than the average investor. The funds have access to expert networks and get tips from industry insiders. They also employ numerous Ivy League graduates and MBAs. Like everyone else, hedge funds perform miserably at times, but their consensus picks have historically outperformed the market after risk adjustments.

Is PS Business Parks Inc (NYSE:PSB) the right pick for your portfolio? The smart money is taking a bullish view. The number of bullish hedge fund bets improved by 2 in recent months. Our calculations also showed that PSB isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q1 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

So, why do we pay attention to hedge fund sentiment before making any investment decisions? Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able

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Working From Home? Tech Ideas Can Make It Easier

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Millions of Americans are working from home because of the coronavirus, many of them struggling to focus at makeshift desks in a spare bedroom or the kitchen table, with kids or roommates doing the same.

It’s easy to become frustrated by distractions or a slow home WiFi network, or simply wonder about the best way to hold a videoconference. Here are some tools that can make working from home easier, helping you stay focused, productive, and sane.

Free Videoconferencing Apps

Even though you’re working from home, you’ll probably continue to meet with clients and co-workers, and videoconferencing can help with that, as well as keep you in touch with friends and professionals like tax preparers.

If you’re going to be holding small, simple group meetings—essentially conference calls with smiling faces—try a consumer-oriented videochat app such as Google Duo (which can accommodate up to a dozen participants), Apple FaceTime (up to 32 people), or Microsoft’s Skype or Facebook’s new Messenger Rooms (each has a capacity of 50).

If you need presentation features such as document sharing or whiteboarding, consider the free version of a business-oriented platform such as Zoom, Google Meet (which is replacing Hangouts), Microsoft Teams (which is going to replace the company’s Skype), or Cisco Webex. You’ll face some restrictions compared with paying users, but they may not matter to you.

The free versions of Google, Zoom, and Webex limit meetings to 100 participants, and Microsoft maxes

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