The Coca-Cola bottle, with its distinctive contoured glass, was created a century ago as a way for the soft drink company to give its product a competitive edge. As the company website explains, “In 1915, Coca-Cola attempted to fend off a host of copycat brands by strengthening its trademark. The company and its bottling partners issued a creative challenge to a handful of U.S. glass companies: To develop a “bottle so distinct that you would recognize if by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground.”
The winning design, created by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Ind., worked — so well, in fact, that a century later the company is still using that basic concept to market its signature brand. Coca-Cola this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the bottle — and its influence in pop art and other realms — through a global advertising campaign, art exhibitions and a photo book, among other avenues.
Now the bottle and its history will also be the subject of a new “authorized” documentary, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (Coke will help pay for the movie’s marketing.)
“When I can hold up a Coca-Cola bottle and ask, ‘is this art or is this commerce?’ and most commonly hear ‘it’s both,’ that sets the stage for an intriguing narrative,” the movie’s producer and co-director, Matthew Miele, told THR.
That narrative could include how the Coke bottle became the first commercial product to make it to the cover of Time magazine in 1950, or how it provided fodder for artists like Andy Warhol — and, especially if the film touches on today’s backlash against soda, it might even mention that the 10- and 12-ounce bottles that made their debut in 1955 were called “King Size” and a 26-ounce bottle was marketed as “Family Size.”
Miele and his team reportedly hope their documentary will premiere in November to coincide with the Nov. 16, 1915 date that the bottle design first won a patent.
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As expected, groups representing hospitals sued the Trump administration Wednesday to stop a new regulation would require them to make public the prices for services they negotiate with insurers. Claiming the rule “is unlawful, several times over,” the industry groups, which include the American Hospital Association, say the rule violates their First Amendment rights, among other issues.
"The burden of compliance with the rule is enormous, and way out of line with any projected benefits associated with the rule," the suit says. In response, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said that hospitals “should be ashamed that they aren’t willing to provide American patients the cost of a service before they purchase it.”
Between December 2017 and July 2019, enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) fell by 1.9 million, or 2.6%. The Kaiser Family Foundation provided an analysis of that drop Monday, saying that while some of it was likely caused by enrollees finding jobs that offer private insurance, a significant portion is related to enrollees losing health insurance of any kind. “Experiences in some states suggest that some eligible people may be losing coverage due to barriers maintaining coverage associated with renewal processes and periodic eligibility checks,” Kaiser said.
Billionaire John D. Arnold, a former energy trader and hedge fund manager turned philanthropist with a focus on health care, says Big Pharma appears to have a powerful hold on members of Congress.
Arnold pointed out that PhRMA, the main pharmaceutical industry lobbying group, had revenues of $459 million in 2018, and that total lobbying on behalf of the sector probably came to about $1 billion last year. “I guess $1 bil each year is an intractable force in our political system,” he concluded.
The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin says Elizabeth Warren’s proposed taxes could claim more than 100% of income for some wealthy investors. Here’s an example Rubin discussed Friday:
“Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6% return, or $60, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $35 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., at least $60. The result: taxes as high as $95 on income of $60 for a combined tax rate of 158%.”
In Rubin’s back-of-the-envelope analysis, an investor worth $2 billion would need to achieve a return of more than 10% in order to see any net gain after taxes. Rubin notes that actual tax bills would likely vary considerably depending on things like location, rates of return, and as-yet-undefined policy details. But tax rates exceeding 100% would not be unusual, especially for billionaires.