Chip Wilson’s dad, an athletics instructor, was coaching his son during a swim meet, with the advice: “Why don’t you just go full out from the start, instead of saving it up and looking good at the finish.”  Wilson won the race, and the advice would guide his future entrepreneurial exploits, which he recounts in his recently published memoir Little Black Stretchy Pants -- pointedly subtitled The Unauthorized Story of Lululemon, the game-changing athletic wear company he started.  The company changed the way people dress, not just for sports, but for life, with functional yet stylish clothes that could be worn outside the gym or yoga studio, launching a sartorial revolution that would later be known as athleisure (a term he dislikes, but acknowledges).  The reasons for the unauthorized subtitle reveal themselves in this account of corporate intrigue that later led to Wilson’s departure from the iconic company he started. But Wilson’s innate entrepreneurial drive and creativity manifested themselves long before Lululemon.  Even as a teen swimmer, he sensed an unarticulated demand for more diverse swimsuit options among his peers, and with the help of his mom (from whom he learned the craft of sewing and pattern design) imported colorful Speedos into Canada, and re-sold them for a tidy profit. Wilson worked a variety of odd jobs after school, including time spent on the Alaskan pipeline, where he remembers how union rules hampered productivity,...
I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around. I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me. We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought. We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful. Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.” Never saw American prosperity. Let that sink...
Editor’s Note: Friends and members of The Atlas Society are among our greatest resources -- providing energy, ideas, and support that actively shape our work. Their individual stories are testaments to Ayn Rand’s ideals of reason, achievement, and ethical self-interest. Diana Amsden is an author, archaeologist, and anthropologist. The Atlas Society Senior Editor, Marilyn Moore, Ph.D., interviewed Diana about her work and family, the role Ayn Rand played in shaping her outlook, and her Index to Atlas Shrugged.   MM: Diana, how long have you been associated with The Atlas Society? DA: Since the early 1990s. David Kelley introduced himself at a Reason Foundation event (perhaps John Stossel or Margaret Thatcher was speaking), and invited me to an Atlas Society meeting in Washington, D.C. I also enjoyed a meeting in New Hampshire. MM: Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? DA: Northern New Mexico, between Santa Fe and Taos. My mother home-schooled me (mail order, Calvert School in Baltimore) some of my elementary school years.  I was a high school cheerleader, began college at 15, and graduated from the University of New Mexico (UNM) at 19, major anthropology (specialty archaeology), minor art history. My family included archaeologists and anthropologists. My father, Theodore (“Ted”) Price Amsden, was the expedition artist (this was before color photography) for Harold Gladwin at Casa Grande and for A. V. Kidder at his classic excavation at...
There seems to be no guaranteed safety in the great American so-called safety net of Social Security. Sorry to say it folks, but the vault they promised would be filled with gold and treasure, the measurable output of the time and labor working people put into their jobs to fill that state-protected space is essentially empty, with cobwebs in the corners and dust on the shelves. According to the Wall Street Journal, the overall cost of Social Security will surpass its income next year. A recent report from CNN paints another dark layer onto this grave picture as well, warning taxpayers that Social Security won’t be able to pay full benefits by 2035: If Congress doesn't act soon, tens of millions of Americans will only receive about three-quarters of their Social Security benefits when they retire. Social Security's trust funds will be tapped out by 2035, according to an annual report released Monday by trustees of the government's two largest entitlement programs, the other being Medicare. That's one year later than last year's report projected. The new projection doesn't mean retirees will no longer get checks in 16 years. But the program will at that point only have enough revenue coming in to pay three-quarters of promised benefits...
There has been considerable debate on the science of climate change and global warming on both ends of the spectrum from “deniers” to “alarmists” and everywhere in between. Yet the majority of people in the U.S. believe global warming is happening and is mostly caused by human activities. From the Yale Climate Change Opinion Communication for 2018, 70% of people believe global warming is happening and 57% believe global warming is caused mostly by human activities. Moreover, 77% recommend governments should regulate CO2 as a pollutant. In short, it would seem the general public believes climate change is real and the government should be doing something about it. Yet according to a survey by the Cato Institute (March 8, 2018) 68% of Americans would not be willing to pay $10 a month in higher electric bills to combat climate change. Contrast this to an estimate that the Green New Deal would cost at least $10 trillion, which if spread out over 10 to 30 years would in fact cost thousands of dollars per year per household. Clearly people are conflicted between what they believe should be done and what they are willing to pay for...

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