– The Atlantic
Last week, four economics experts publicly debated whether the Walmart represents the best capitalism has to offer, or the worst. The same arguments could be made for any major employer. “We want a different Walmart, and a different retail sector in general,” one debater said in his closing remarks. The Atlantic explores the two sides of the debate and their place relative to the business, government, and social trends impacting the brand.
Back in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan was president, there was a lot of buzz around the idea that the states would become – in the words of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis – “laboratories of democracy,” where policy innovations could be hatched and experimented with and then spread across the nation. Ever since Donald Trump and the Republicans swept the November election, there has been a growing chorus of urban experts saying that cities will be the new laboratories of democracy. But there are two reasons that might not happen.
– The Ringer
The future of agriculture is happening in cities. After years of experimentation, Silicon Valley may finally be making urban farming viable. The premise is simple: America’s current farming system is wrought with inefficiencies. Climate change is threatening our ability to efficiently grow crops. And, on top of that, food must be hauled great distances to reach highly-populated city centers. In the process, taste, quality, and shelf life are sacrificed. But will residents be able to afford the crop?
Farmworkers, many of whom are in the country without legal authorization, are worried about deportation. But farm employers are worried, too, because if they lose their workers, they could also lose their harvest. H-2A visas let workers stay in the country temporarily, usually for no more than 10 months – but many farmers have refused to use the H-2A program, due to the extensive regulations that come with it. NPR explores the obstacles farmers are facing due to new immigration enforcement.