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HERB ALPERT, ENTREPRENEUR - JOHN BERLAU
Many musicians have gotten their start in garages and, in the tech era, so have many entrepreneurs. But Herb Alpert has the rare distinction of beginning not only a successful career as a musician but a multinational entertainment corporation at the same time in one of them.
"It was a two-car garage that I converted into a studio," Mr. Alpert, 77, said during a telephone interview, recalling the events in his West Hollywood home more than 50 years earlier. "I made a room inside a room, and I was able to go out there at any time, day or night, and blow the horn and not disturb anyone."
Mr. Alpert and his wife, the singer Lani Hall, are currently performing with a backing trio at New York's Café Carlyle through March 16.
MINIMUM WAGE - DAVID BIER
An overlooked argument in the minimum wage debate is that a high minimum wage gives big businesses an artificial competitive advantage over their smaller competitors. As I noted recently:
When states are considering hiking their minimum wages, big companies like Walmart routinely lobby in favor of the increases. They know that while they can afford the extra payroll, the mom-and-pop store down the road might not be able to. Advantage: Walmart.
As if on cue, the Huffington Post reports today that Costco CEO Craig Jelinek came out in favor of increasing the minimum wage to $10 per hour, even higher than President Obama’s proposed $9 per hour. The article notes that Costco has a reputation for paying its employees very well, and would be mostly unaffected by such an increase.
FCC REGULATORY BURDEN - RYAN YOUNG
FCC imposes a burden on taxpayers
In Beltway terms, the Federal Communications Commission’s $350 million budget request for 2013 is practically a rounding error. Yet it costs the American people a lot more than that. In fact, it is the third-most-expensive federal agency, but thanks to a lack of transparency, very few people are aware of that fact. That’s because the FCC’s regulations impose compliance costs of $142 billion per year — more than 400 times its budget. Only the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services cost American taxpayers more.
To put that in context, consider that the cost of FCC regulations is in the same ballpark as the entire 2011 national gross domestic products of Vietnam ($123 billion) and Hungary ($140 billion). >