Big Oil's big subsidies
Oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process. BP, for example, was getting a tax deduction of $225,000 a day for renting the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
The New York Times
Prohibition's continued hold
In the Bible Belt, the fight over Prohibition goes on: One in nine counties in the U.S. still prohibits the sale of alcohol, but in Texas, Tennessee, and Kansas, dozens of “dry” counties have voted to go “wet” in recent years.
Time out for the World Cup
Work in European and South American nations comes to a virtual standstill during World Cup games. The Netherlands sent all employees home at 1 p.m. so fans could watch its team play; Italian auto workers went on strike rather than miss a game; Brazil closes all offices and schools. All told, the Cup’s TV audience has totaled 26 billion viewers.
The value of a stiff scotch
Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker whisky, has dedicated 2 million barrels of whisky in Scotland to its employee pension fund. The whisky, valued at $645 million, will ensure that retirees get a check even if the company were to go bankrupt.
The New York Times
States raise billions in taxes and fees
States, which may not run deficits, have been busy enacting tax and fee hikes to balance budgets. Over the last two years, 36 states have raised $25 billion in new taxes and fees.
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