Month: April 2016

Article of the Week: The Gender Pay Gap in the Hiring Process

If you’ve interviewed for a new job in the last few years, you probably remember one of the stickiest parts of the process: when your prospective new employer asks about your current salary. Particularly if you’re looking to make an upward move, or if you feel your current employer is undercompensating you, then your current salary isn’t just irrelevant, it’s potentially harmful to the prospects for your next job. This opinion piece, written by a Google vice president, explores how the salary question is perpetuating the gender pay gap and how a change in companies’ hiring processes could narrow...

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New Kid on the Block: Benefit Corporations

If you’ve ever considered forming a new company, then you’re probably familiar with the many types of entities available: corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships among them. You have even more choices within the category of corporations, including for-profit, non-profit, closely-held, and publicly-traded. And now, there’s another option: the benefit corporation. The benefit corporation – alternatively called mutual benefit or public benefit – is a cross between a for-profit and a non-profit corporation. Technically, it’s a for-profit entity and largely functions in the same way as a for-profit. But it also, like a non-profit, has a defined social purpose...

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Article of the Week: The Rich-Poor Life Expectancy Gap

It’s well established that the rich have a longer life expectancy than the poor. A recent study suggests that there’s a life expectancy gap among the poor as well: poor people who live in rich cities tend to live longer than poor people who live in poor cities. This geographic discrepancy only seems to affect the poor; rich people have similar life expectancies regardless of where they live. It’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for the gap, but it’s not hard to find compelling correlations. Cities with more affluence are more likely to create an overall healthier atmosphere for...

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Article of the Week: The Offshore Haven That’s Not Offshore

The revelations of the Panama Papers have captured our attention this week, bringing up issues related to tax shelters, shell corporations, and possibly-questionable-but-not-quite-illegal corporate structurings. Today’s article from The Washington Post raises another interesting point: The United States itself is a leading tax haven for the rest of the world. The article points in particular to how easy it is to set up a corporation in the US, with registered agent companies making it possible for the real owners of a corporation to remain hidden. Although the Panama Papers have not implicated any Americans (yet), the disclosures could have repercussions in the American legal system. The Washington Post: “How the U.S. became one of the world’s biggest tax...

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News Brief: The Other Danger of Health Care Cyberattacks

Even as 50 world leaders descended on Washington, DC last week for a nuclear security summit, the story that grabbed the most column inches was the cyberattack on MedStar Health. MedStar is one of the largest healthcare systems in the Washington area. It operates 10 hospitals and more than 250 other facilities. And last Monday, a virus forced MedStar to shut down its entire electronic system for the better part of a week. Patients were turned away, procedures were postponed, and staff had to resort to paper records and faxes to keep things running. MedStar has refused to say what kind of virus attacked it, but employees reported to The Washington Post that they had seen messages on their computers indicating it was a ransomware attack. (You can read our recent post about ransomware here.) Cyberattacks on the health care sector are on the rise. The industry has itself partly to blame: they haven’t invested enough in their cyberdefenses. Hospitals, for example, typically spend only 2 to 3 percent of their budgets on IT. They also need to train their employees better. Many attacks start with phishing: getting an employee to click on a link or an attachment. Traditionally, health care cyberattacks have been seen as a danger to individual patient data; the risk is that the data could be used for fraudulent purposes by hackers. But the Medstar...

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