The future is now (in beta).

Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg

Will Cashiers Exist In 2050?

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When the Checkout Lines Go Away

Amazon plans to open a cashier-free grocery store in Seattle next year, and more are likely to come. What does that mean for all those workers who ring customers up for a living? They may lose their jobs, Justin Fox says  — or they could evolve into salespeople.

A Republican Corporate Tax Plan Liberals Can Like

A lower tax rate and fewer loopholes would save U.S. companies money while making exports more competitive. Noah Smith applauds a rare tax plan with bipartisan appeal winding its way through Congress. 

Exxon’s Failing Public-Relations Strategy

The heirs to the Rockefeller fortune have started a reputation war with ExxonMobil, and the oil giant’s defensive response just isn’t cutting it. Kara Alaimo explains what will. 

Monorails Are the Future (for Real, This Time)

In the developing world, an old technology suddenly makes a lot of sense. Adam Minter examines why monorails have been springing up in China, Brazil, Malaysia and beyond. 

If You Can’t Trust People, Try a Smart Contract

The technology might not subvert the world order, but it could save banks billions. Elaine Ou lays out how “smart contracts” could automate contract enforcement in areas where social capital is lacking.

Ritholtz’s Reads

(Read Barry Ritholtz’s full daily news roundup.)

Bloomberg Gadfly 

  • JPMorgan’s race against the Fed
  • Hedge funds must go big or go home
  • For Chipotle, a little more anxiety is a healthy thing

(Read more from BV’s sister site for fast business commentary.)

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.