Author Archives: Mark Lukach

Prop 29: Should Smoking in California Be More Expensive?

Includes: article, interactive map, radio and video clips

Dr. Jaus/Flickr

That’s the underlying question that Proposition 29 poses to California voters, who go to the polls in June to decide if smokers should pay an extra buck in taxes for a pack of cigarettes.

What would Prop 29 do?

If passed, the measure – called the California Cancer Research Act – would add an additional dollar to a pack of cigs and other tobacco products sold in California (amounting to five more cents/cigarette). It would more than double the current tobacco tax rate – the most dramatic increase in the state’s history.

The estimated $735 million (annually) in new revenue (adjusted for tax revenue lost from the projected decrease in sales) would go toward a special fund administered by an appointed committee to support research on cancer and other tobacco-related diseases, as well as prevention and enforcement initiatives. None of it would be used for medical treatment. Continue reading

Why Facebook Is Going Public (and how it made one graffiti artist rich)


Facebook CEO announces his company's plan to go public (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

When Facebook filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in February, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a public letter outlining Facebook’s mission: to bring the world closer together. With the additional investment money that an IPO would bring, he explained, Facebook would have the resources to better reach that goal.
Or, to put it another way, when Facebook goes public, it stands to make a whole lot of money. IPO’s can be a good way for companies
to have access to a lot of funding fast, Continue reading

IPOs, Investments, and Stocks, Oh My! Explaining the Business of Business


Credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Since 2004, when Mark Zuckerberg launched the first version of Facebook from his college dorm room, the company has been privately-owned. That means that only a handful of people – Zuckerberg,  a bunch of his early co-workers, and a few private investment firms – owned shares (parts) in the company. This February, though, Facebook announced it was going “public,” which opens the door for outside investors to start thinking about buying into it. Continue reading