Commentary

With multinationals like nike capable of moving production from one cheap source to another — shifting production from Japan to China and now to Vietnam — and with uber-efficient importers like Costco, Walmart and Amazon bringing goods straight from factory to consumer, the United States has become the bargain basement of the world.

How many transgender people are employed in your business? Do you know how their coworkers are treating them? Surveys show that large numbers of transgender employees report having endured harassment or discrimination, or having hidden their identity at work to avoid insults or to protect their safety.

It’s impossible to pinpoint the moment at which the phrase “tech company” ceased to have meaning. It’s easy to detect that, wherever and whenever that point was, we’re well beyond it now.

Imagine getting a call inviting you to work for your country. Now imagine your new boss is Donald J. Trump. Would you move to Washington, D.C., to work for the president of the United States? For this president of the United States?

Higher minimum wages will also result in jobs that never show up to begin with because they were created somewhere else.

Despite its origins in the rugged north country, Alaska Airlines is a button-down shirt and wingtips. As recently as five years ago, it distributed Bible verses with its in-flight meals. Virgin America, meanwhile, with a provenance linked to the flamboyant entrepreneur Richard Branson, is more T-shirt and flip-flops.

The end of January marks the Chinese New Year as well as the elevation of a volatile, capricious new leader to the highest office on the planet. Had we been more attuned to the finer points of Chinese astrology, we would have predicted the election-year peculiarities that produced this result.

For decades, scientists have been warning us about The Big One — the looming magnitude 9.0 earthquake that is expected to cause devastating damage to a substantial portion of the Pacific Northwest coast. While it’s uncertain exactly when this megaquake will hit, Seattle has recently taken major steps toward getting in front of the threat.

As every first-year business student knows, a city’s economy is not considered “world class” until said city has erected at least four shrines to professional sports and these shrines remain empty and unused most days of the year.

It’s easy to be pessimistic about the outlook for 2017. After 90 months of growth, the economic expansion is aging and may not have much life left.