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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Although there may be plenty of things in the GOP tax bill to complain about, critics can’t say it didn’t work – at least as far as stock buybacks go. TrimTabs Investment Research said Monday that U.S. companies have now announced $1 trillion in share buybacks in 2018, surpassing the record of $781 billion set in 2015. "It's no coincidence," said TrimTabs' David Santschi. "A lot of the buybacks are because of the tax law. Companies have more cash to pump up the stock price."
Budget deficits normally rise during recessions and fall when the economy is growing, but that’s not the case today. Deficits are rising sharply despite robust economic growth, increasing from $666 billion in 2017 to an estimated $970 billion in 2019, with $1 trillion annual deficits expected for years after that.
As the deficit hawks at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget point out in a blog post Thursday, “the deficit has never been this high when the economy was this strong … And never in modern U.S. history have deficits been so high outside of a war or recession (or their aftermath).” The chart above shows just how unusual the current deficit path is when measured as a percentage of GDP.
About 4.2 million uninsured people could sign up for a bronze-level Obamacare health plan and pay nothing for it after tax credits are applied, the Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday. That means that 27 percent of the country’s 15.9 million uninsured people could get covered for free. The chart below breaks down the eligible population by state.
Vox’s Ezra Klein says that retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan’s legacy can be summed up in one number: $343 billion. “That’s the increase between the deficit for fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2018— that is, the difference between the fiscal year before Ryan became speaker of the House and the fiscal year in which he retired.”
Klein writes that Ryan’s choices while in office — especially the 2017 tax cuts and the $1.3 trillion spending bill he helped pass and the expansion of the earned income tax credit he talked up but never acted on — should be what define his legacy:
“[N]ow, as Ryan prepares to leave Congress, it is clear that his critics were correct and a credulous Washington press corps — including me — that took him at his word was wrong. In the trillions of long-term debt he racked up as speaker, in the anti-poverty proposals he promised but never passed, and in the many lies he told to sell unpopular policies, Ryan proved as much a practitioner of post-truth politics as Donald Trump. …
“Ultimately, Ryan put himself forward as a test of a simple, but important, proposition: Is fiscal responsibility something Republicans believe in or something they simply weaponize against Democrats to win back power so they can pass tax cuts and defense spending? Over the past three years, he provided a clear answer. That is his legacy, and it will haunt his successors.”