Must Read Money Stories for Thursday, Jan. 29

by January 29, 2015


The financial toll of an outbreak. The measles virus is popping up around the U.S., especially in Arizona where a government official said the situation was at a “critical point.” The virus undoubtedly puts public health at risk, but it also forces hospitals to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to control the outbreak. KJZZ says Arizona’s last major encounter with measles in 2008 forced two Tucson-area hospitals to spend $800,000. The latest outbreak is believed to have originated in Disneyland, and has spread to many Western states.

Is your job about to be uberized? New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo thinks more professions and businesses could emulate the app-driven ride service in the near future. Companies that offer services ranging from grocery shopping, laundry and even medicine and law are already popping up, according to Manjoo, and this development offers pros and cons for workers. On one hand, working for an Uber-like service could give someone more freedom to shape their schedule around specific needs, but it could never offer the stability of a full-time salaried position. Are you ready for the gig economy?

Sullivan calls it quits. Andrew Sullivan, one of the last “true” bloggers, has decided to pull the plug on The Dish, at least temporarily. After 15 years of non-stop blogging, Sullivan says he wants to move onto the next thing, maybe write a book and focus on his health. The 51-year-old D.C. resident took a big risk in 2013 when he went independent and created The Dish, which raised money from loyal readers and installed a pay-meter to make ends meet. BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith has a great eulogy for who he calls “One of the first, and last, great bloggers.”

Fewer racy ads. Super Bowl ads will be noticeably reserved this year, the AP reports. Many advertisers are avoiding ads that could offend viewers, and for good reason: a 30-second Super Bowl advertisement costs $4.5 million. GoDaddy, which is famous for its risqué spots during the championship game, moved away from its racy focus last year and decided to run an ad featuring a puppy being sold online on a GoDaddy-created site. The video didn’t sit well with early viewers, however, and the company pulled it completely.