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Hanky Panky, Made In The U.S.A. Since 1977

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      This success story is about two women who started with a small business that became a bigger business, which continues to operate right here in the USA. Their story might fit into the category of women's voices, but since it is about their company - a business built from the partnership of two women with imagination, inventiveness, ability, risk, and perseverance - I have put it into the business category.


      Their story is about them and their underwear company that has become well known for making colorful thongs. They are now so successful that their company has recently implemented an employee ownership structure.


      The entire article, along with some nice visuals via photography, is well worth reading, but due to length I am offering some excerpts.

      Lida Orzeck, left, and Gale Epstein, the founders of Hanky Panky. CreditCaroline Tompkins for The New York Times

      The Thong That Changed Everything

      By Valeriya Safronova

      April 18, 2018

      Before converting a set of handkerchiefs into a bra and panties that began a 40-year career for her and her best friend, Gale Epstein dabbled in many varieties of D.I.Y.Ms. Epstein’s designs have certainly proven popular.

      The thong she created for Hanky Panky in 1986, known simply as 4811 and priced at about $20, is still a top-selling item for the company, which counts Rihanna, Beyoncé, Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Emma Watson, Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian West and many others as customers.

      Thongs, which Hanky Panky produces in a rainbow of hues and several styles, make up more than half of the company’s $50-million business. The other half is made up of different types of stretchy, form-fitting bottoms and lacy, colorful bras.

      Underwear at Hanky Panky's showroom on Park Avenue in Manhattan.CreditCaroline Tompkins for The New York Times

      The company’s products have all been made in the United States — primarily in the New York area— since its founding, a considerable feat given that the number of manufacturing jobs in the city has been declining since the 1950s and significantly dropped after 9/11 as one apparel company after another has moved production overseas.

      In October, Hanky Panky’s employees — a significant portion of whom work at a 90,000-square-foot multiuse warehouse in Queens — discovered that they would soon be part owners of the company. At a party celebrating Hanky Panky’s 40th birthday, Ms. Epstein and Ms. Orzeck announced that the company had established an employee stock ownership plan, which transfers the ownership of the company over to a trust for the benefit of its workers.

      An ESOP is similar to a 401(k) but does not require employee contributions. The right to shares will be earned after six years of working continuously full-time. When employees leave the company, they retain their vested ownership until attaining full retirement age, and upon retirement they can redeem their shares. “Gale and I are still in charge,” Ms. Orzeck said. “But we no longer wholly own the company.”
      Employees, including those who work at Hanky Panky's warehouse in Queens, recently found out that they would soon be part owners of the company. CreditCaroline Tompkins for The New York Times

      In recent years, Ms. Epstein and Ms. Orzeck have scaled back their involvement in the company. “I’m not in the weeds the way I was the first 25 years,” Ms. Orzeck said. Why shouldn’t they take it a little bit easier after turning the thong into a classic cut, one that remains a staple in many drawers (despite what the millennials may have you believe)?

      But despite handing over some of their ownership, they have no plans to leave. “Why would I retire?” Ms. Orzeck said. “This is still our baby.”

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/18/style/hanky-panky-thongs.html

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      Pundit Post

      A Complete List Of Donald Trump’s Business Disasters

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          [Bad Business]

          We've talked about Trumps supposed business acumen many times before but I can't recall seeing such a thorough listing of his failures as the one included here. Though it is two years old it is worth a glance. It is good head shaking material. Me thinks he needs to stick to hotels and resorts --which basically operate themselves. He fails miserably at everything else.

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          Why Would The Trump Administration Go After Workers' Tips?

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              "The idea is called “tip pooling,” which may sound harmless, but the Trump administration’s approach to the policy would be dangerous for millions of working-class Americans.

              "Last year, the Trump administration unveiled a proposal to undo Obama-era safeguards, which required employers who pooled tips and gratuities to distribute them back to waitstaff. Under the new plan, employers could “use workers’ tips for essentially any purpose, as long as the workers were directly paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.”

              "Among the possible outcomes: employers could legally put some of the pooled tips in their own pocket. The Economic Policy Institute estimated that workers would stand to lose roughly $5.8 billion a year.

              "And as it turns out, the Republican administration came to a similar conclusion. Trump’s Department of Labor prepared a study on the possible consequences of the plan, and researchers found significant losses for workers. According to a Bloomberg Law report last month, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and his team were “uncomfortable” with the findings, so they “removed” the data they didn’t like.

              "Yesterday, the story got a little worse.

              Labor Department leadership convinced OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to overrule the White House regulatory affairs chief and release a controversial tip-sharing rule without data showing it could allow businesses to skim $640 million in gratuities.
              Mulvaney sided with Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta over the government’s rulemaking clearinghouse – a little-known but critical wing of the White House called the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs – three current and former executive branch officials told Bloomberg Law. That allowed the department to delete from the proposal internal estimates showing businesses could take hundreds of millions in gratuities from their workers.

              "So to review, Team Trump unveiled a plan to screw over waitstaff workers. The administration then did a study, didn’t like the results, and edited the report to take out the embarrassing parts. Those officials then went to the White House’s far-right budget director, who endorsed hiding the data on the administration’s plan.

              "No, seriously, that’s what happened."

              http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/why-would-...

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              Trump Takes Aim At $50 Bn In Chinese Imports

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                  'President Donald Trump will impose tariffs on at least $50 billion in Chinese goods imports to retaliate against the alleged theft of American intellectual property, White House officials said Thursday.

                  'Saying it would be the "first of many" trade actions, Trump signed the order that also will look at restrictions on Chinese investment in the US.

                  '"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on," Trump said.

                  'The new import duties will target industrial sectors where "China has sought to acquire an advantage through the unfair acquisition or forced technology transfer from US companies," senior White House economic advisor Everett Eissenstat told reporters.

                  'The products subject to the new tariffs have not yet been identified.

                  'But the move sent stocks diving on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about two percent ahead of the announcement, and ratcheted up Trump's confrontational stance with trading partners.

                  'Trump will direct US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify publish a proposed list of products that could be subject to tariffs.

                  'He will also direct Lighthizer to take action against China at the World Trade Organization, charging Beijing with preventing US companies from licensing their technology in China.

                  'The measure also directs the US Treasury to develop new proposals to increase safeguards on investments that could compromise US national security.

                  'White House officials said Thursday the actions capped years of efforts to encourage China to end the alleged unfair practices through negotiations.

                  '"Those dialogues failed under the Bush and Obama administrations," White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro told reporters.'

                  https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-takes-aim-50-bn-c...

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                  'Dirty Meat': Shocking Hygiene Failings Discovered In US Pig And Chicken Plants

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                      'The findings are worrying, according to Prof Erik Millstone, a food safety expert at Sussex University, “because of the risks of spreading infectious pathogens from carcass to carcass, and between portions of meat. The rates at which outbreaks of infectious food poisoning occur in the US are significantly higher than in the UK, or the EU, and poor hygiene in the meat supply chain is [a] leading cause of food poisoning in the US.”'

                      Well well. The US is really racking the dirties up: dirty politics, dirty wars, and now dirty meat!

                      __________________________________________________________________

                      "Shocking hygiene failings have been discovered in some of the US’s biggest meat plants, as a new analysis reveals that as many as 15% (one in seven) of the US population suffers from foodborne illnesses annually.

                      "A joint investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and the Guardian found that hygiene incidents are at numbers that experts described as “deeply worrying”.

                      "US campaigners are calling once again for the closure of a legal loophole that allows meat with salmonella to be sold in the human supply chain, and also warn about the industry’s push to speed up production in the country’s meat plants. And UK campaigners warn that the UK could be flooded with “dirty meat” if a US trade deal is signed post-Brexit.

                      "The unpublished US- government records highlight numerous specific incidents including:

                      • Diseased poultry meat that had been condemned found in containers used to hold edible food products;
                      • Pig carcasses piling up on the factory floor after an equipment breakdown, leading to contamination with grease, blood and other filth;
                      • Meat destined for the human food chain found riddled with faecal matter and abscesses filled with pus;
                      • High-power hoses being used to clean dirty floors next to working production lines containing food products;
                      • Factory floors flooded with dirty water after drains became blocked by meat parts and other debris;
                      • Dirty chicken, soiled with faeces or having been dropped on the floor, being put back on to the production line after being rinsed with dilute chlorine.

                      "All of the reported breaches resulted in immediate remedial action with no risk posed to consumers, according to the companies involved."

                      https://www.theguardian.com/animals-farmed/2018/fe...

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                      Alert! 2018. Ingenuous Income Tax Scam.

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                          [Tax Business]

                          This past weekend while listening to the Clark Howard consumer advice show, where he gives tips on good home economics, pensions, college loans, mortgages, savings, trip advisories and so on, he made us, the audience, aware of a new income tax scam unlike any other ever before. I thought I would pass it along to readers of Yabberz.

                          Here is how it works. The scammers steal the identity of federal taxpayers by hacking online tax preparation service and they then use the taxpayers information to file a tax return in the name of the taxpayer. You read that right, they use the name of the taxpayer making it a legit filing. The ingenuous part of the scam, to make it appear legitimate, is that they carry the scam a step further; the IRS payment of the income tax return, as filed, is seen as legit because the tax return payment is indeed direct deposited in the bank of the correctly named taxpayer in their account; and only they have access to the account. It all looks legit. Though it was fraudulently done, the payment is real and the money is actually in the account of the real people taxpayers. Then comes the warning to the taxpayer. "This is the IRS ( it really is not), we are calling you to let you know that a tax return made in your name to your bank must be returned to us. If you do not return this money to us criminal actions may be taken against you." The tax payer knowing that the money is real, it is in their account, and that they hadn't filed a return yet, follows the orders of the (Supposed) IRS and returns the money ...to a bogus account, an account set up by the scammers.

                          If this happens to you, don't fall for it and don't spend the money. Contact the IRS. And remember, the IRS doesn't make calls to taxpayers. Unless you call them, they use the postal service for communication.

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                          Company That Sells Bulletproof Gucci And Hermès Bags Sees Huge Sales In School Backpacks

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                              Here's another way to make money off the slaughter of the innocents in Parkland, Fla.--bulletproof student backpacks.

                              _____________________________________________________________________

                              'The Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead has triggered a rise in the sales of bulletproof backpacks.

                              'On Thursday, one day after former student Nikolas Cruz stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people and injuring dozens more, Massachusetts-based company Bullet Blocker was inundated with orders for bulletproof backpacks, comprising a 30 percent spike in sales.

                              'The concept for the company originated in 1999 by father of two Joe Curran, a self-described “helicopter dad” and former U.S. Army Ranger in Lowell, Mass. Curran became concerned about school security after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colo., during which teens Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 students and injured 20 others.

                              'But would be eight years and three more school shootings before Curran had the resources to go into business. “Virginia Tech was the final straw for me,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle, referring to Virginia Polytechnic student Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people on the Blacksburg, Va., campus before committing suicide in 2007. “I started asking local schools for their security plans in the event of armed intruders and there weren’t any concrete plans, so I wanted to promote the idea of kids protecting themselves.”'

                              https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/company-sells-bull...

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