Must Read Money Stories for Thursday, Oct. 27

by October 27, 2016
ProPublica investigated the doctor who denied Agent Orange exposure created health problems for vets (public domain image via Wikimedia Commons).

ProPublica investigated the doctor who denied Agent Orange exposure created health problems for vets. (Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons)

“Dr. Orange”

ProPublica has a profile of a man known to some as “Dr. Orange.” The man’s real name is Alvin Young, and ProPublica reports he has been the Pentagon’s go-to expert on questions of the potential health hazards of Agent Orange, an herbicide used by the U.S. military in Vietnam. Many war veterans say Agent Orange caused health problems for them. But ProPublica reports Young has consistently denied there’s any connection between Agent Orange and health problems suffered by vets. That’s even though many other experts disagree. So why has the Pentagon used Young’s assessment for so long? One reason, ProPublica points out, may be that it saves the government from having to pay out millions of dollars in medical benefits.

Tech conference news

The Wall Street Journal wrapped up its 2016 digital conference yesterday. These conferences has become a staple of tech journalism, and they seemed designed to spit out so many headlines the rest of us can hardly keep track. But, if you’re willing to give it a go, and possibly find some new leads, you can check out all of the highlights from the WSJ.

Tesla turns a profit

Tesla posted its first quarterly profit in three years yesterday. Reuters reports it’s wasn’t a huge profit – just $21.9 million for the third quarter. But it was significant for a company that has struggled to make money as it invests heavily in future vehicles. Back in September, Bloomberg reported Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent around a memo urging workers to keep a lid on costs so the company could beat expectations and turn a profit. Looks like the memo worked.

Economics of race

Racial inequities aren’t just unfair, they pose an actual risk to local economies. That’s the view in the Twin Cities anyway, according to The Atlantic. Based on a lot of the traditional economic measures, the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is doing fantastic. But when local leaders looked behind the numbers, they found deep disparities based on race. And their analysis showed that if the disparities persist into the future, it could have a huge negative impact on the economy. So, addressing racial problems in the community has now become an economic imperative.