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The Retired Investor: Can Neighborhood Ice Cream Man Keep Trucking?
By Bill Schmick,
04:13PM / Thursday, September 29, 2022
The demise of the neighborhood ice cream truck business has been predicted several times over the years. Higher costs, new delivery methods, and lots of competition from grocery stores and other sources threaten the business. But don't count them out quite yet.   Earlier this summer, The New York Times published an article, "Melting Profits Threaten the Ice Cream Man," which prompted me to delve a little deeper into this business on the local level.   Nationally, most ice cream vendors are individual entrepreneurs who lease their trucks from a regional company on a yearly basis. Many lessees also buy their ice cream products from the same company.

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The Retired Investor: The Dishwasher Debates
By Bill Schmick,
04:12PM / Thursday, September 22, 2022
In most new homes there is a litany of appliances that buyers almost automatically purchase, one of which is the dishwasher. While ovens, refrigerators, washers, and dryers are used almost daily, the dishwasher is among the least-used appliances in American homes.   The global dishwasher market is well over $7 billion and projected to grow by 7.5 percent to $10 billion by 2025. Much of that future growth is due to smaller-sized food service organizations. This list includes companies, businesses, institutions, and organizations that prepare meals and serve them to consumers and other customers. Of course, restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, and catering businesses are included

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The Retired Investor: Too Late to Stop Climate Change?
By Bill Schmick,
04:31PM / Thursday, September 15, 2022
Invest in energy infrastructure now. Our grandchildren's future depends on it.   The argument over climate change has been going on for years. Disagreement over how bad the effects will be, how long we have left to act, and, how much needs to be spent in combating this worldwide danger has resulted in delays, underspending, and even ignoring the threat altogether. And now it may just be too late.   Here in the U.S., we tend to focus on our own needs. After years of wrangling, we have finally passed the $1 trillion, bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It promises to address America's dilapidated infrastructure. On the shopping

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The Retired Investor: Where Have All the Workers Gone?
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Thursday, September 08, 2022
Help wanted posters continue to populate storefront windows in a multitude of service-related businesses across the nation. The U.S. has 3 million more job openings than it did before the pandemic. This labor imbalance is entering its third year. Why has it been so difficult to remedy?   First, I would like to dismiss any assumption you may have that American workers are lazy and simply don't want to work. That attitude is neither true, nor particularly helpful, in understanding the major forces that are at play in this nation.  Instead, I see four main areas that largely explain America's labor dilemma.   Let me start with older workers

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The Retired Investor: The Supreme Court Loves Business
By Bill Schmick,
05:55PM / Thursday, September 01, 2022
Over the past seven decades, the U.S. government has embraced business. Both political parties and their leaders have continued and expanded a broad, business-friendly agenda. However, the judiciary tops the list when it comes to ruling in favor of American business.   In fact, the current Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) appears to top the tape in handing down favorable decisions to corporations and small business, according to a research paper by the Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research. The authors, Lee Epstein of the University of Southern California, and Mitu Guli at the University of Virginia School of Law compared the last decade and a half of

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