Google is shaking things up again, rolling out a new logo that indicates where the company is going even as it keeps the colored letters that have become so familiar. The company’s most significant redesign since 1999 does away with the old font and its serifs (those little lines at the end of each character) and replaces them with the same custom typeface used in the logo for Google’s new parent company, Alphabet.
The new look does more than just make the logo sleeker and more modern while echoing the newly created holding company. It also speaks to where Google is going — namely, its increasing presence on our mobile devices. Google’s Vice President of Product Management Tamar Yehoshua and Director of User Experience Bobby Nath explained the transition on the company’s blog:
“Once upon a time, Google was one destination that you reached from one device: a desktop PC. These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop!”
Google said in May that the number of searches on mobile devices had surpassed those on computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan. Its simplified new logo will load faster and read better “even on the tiniest screens.” And when six letters are still too much to fit on one of those tiny screens, the company will present a four-color “G” icon that matches its new logo, or four animated dots that morph into other forms; the swirling new feature is meant to “represent Google’s intelligence at work and indicate when Google is working for you,” according to a post on Google’s Design blog.
In other words, they’re a tiny bit of swirling fun that will placate you as you wait for your information to load — and remind you that you’re using a Google service and not some other company’s product. Together, the new logo, the new “G” icon and the colored dots are Google’s way to keep stamping its brand on our increasingly mobile world.
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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.