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Tim Fernholz

Tim Fernholz covers state, business and society for Quartz.
Results 1-10 of 104

Utah Is Demanding an Insurance Startup Charge Its Customers More Money

December 3, 2014 Zenefits, a startup that uses free human resources software to help market its insurance brokerage business, has been banned in the state of Utah for not charging enough money. It’s the latest case of regulation clashing with a disruptive business idea, à la Uber or bitcoin, where well-intentioned rules become ...

Don’t Blame Immigration If the Government Shuts Down

December 1, 2014 As is traditional, Congress is flirting with a government shutdown 10 days before it must approve a spending plan for the year. You can expect to hear lots of arguments about how brinksmanship is a result of president Obama’s executive order allowing some unauthorized immigrants to earn legal status, but ...

How SpaceX Leapfrogged NASA and Became a Serious Space Company

October 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow This post has been corrected. The Space Exploration Technology rocket factory is a large, white hangar-like building near Los Angeles international airport, with a parking lot filled with late-model motorcycles and Tesla electric cars. The vast metal structure once churned out 737 fuselages for Boeing. When you get through the ...

The US Government Actually Stood Up To a Would-be Corporate Tax Dodger

October 21, 2014 This summer, Richard Gonzalez, the CEO of US pharmaceutical maker AbbVie, said of his company’s plan to merge with UK-based Shire: “We wouldn’t be doing it just for the tax impact.” Today, after scuttling the deal, the CEO blamed the US Treasury Department, which “re-interpreted longstanding tax principles in a ...

Top-Secret US Space Drone Returns to Earth

October 14, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow America’s top-secret space drone is coming home today after a record 22 months in orbit—and we have no idea how it spent its time up there. The X-37B, made by Boeing for the U.S. Air Force, is catnip for space fans, but despite lots of public interest and plenty of ...

The Air Force's Top-Secret Space Drone Is Finally Coming Back Home

October 14, 2014 America’s top-secret space drone is coming home today after a record 22 months in orbit—and we have no idea how it spent its time up there. The X-37B, made by Boeing for the US Air Force, is catnip for space fans, but despite lots of public interest and plenty of ...

The U.S. Is Saving Nukes So It Can Blow Up Asteroids

October 1, 2014 Why is the U.S. falling behind on its promises to destroy old nuclear weapons? Here’s one reason given to government auditors (pdf): Government Accountability Office That’s right, the U.S. isn’t dismantling its old nuclear weapons, because we might need them to destroy an asteroid hurtling toward earth. To clarify some ...

The Strange But True Reason the US Isn't Destroying Its Old Nukes

October 1, 2014 Why is the US falling behind on its promises to destroy old nuclear weapons? Here’s one reason given to government auditors (pdf): For potential use in planetary defense against earthbound asteroids.NNSA officials told us that CSAs associated with a certain warhead indicated as excess in the 2012 Production and Planning ...

US Is Saving Nukes So It Can Blow Up Asteroids

October 1, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Why is the U.S. falling behind on its promises to destroy old nuclear weapons? Here’s one reason given to government auditors (pdf): ​ That’s right, the U.S. isn’t dismantling its old nuclear weapons, because we might need them to destroy an asteroid hurtling toward earth. To clarify some of the ...

Meet the Other Terror Group in Syria That Could Actually Threaten the US

September 22, 2014 For all the barbarity of ISIL and the focus on the military campaign against them, security analysts say the group doesn’t have the capability to directly attack the US—its threat is regional disruption. But US intelligence officials have spent the last week dropping hints about another al Qaeda off-shoot that ...