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Cheers and Jeers

On the list this week: Ras Baraka, Ikea, Obamacare and more …

Each week in Face Time, NJBIZ editors approximate Chris Christie's mood and facial expressions based on the news.

FACETIME: REPUBLICAN

Tax hikes on millionaires — and a host of other tax increases — in the state budget? C’mon. The Democrats knew Christie was going to veto all of those things. But this was a case of both sides playing to their base. For Christie, trying to be on the comeback trail, this was a welcome exercise.

CHEERS

Rutgers

Its entrance into the Big Ten cannot be understated. And that’s just talking about the academic research and collaboration benefits. Make no doubt about it, this is a big deal. And the fact that top-level athletics will be coming to campus is a really nice (money-making) perk.

Ras Baraka

It’s hard to be anything but positive on inauguration day, but Baraka knows life as mayor of Newark is far from a celebration. The city is better off because of Cory Booker, but it still has plenty of room for growth — that’s Baraka’s job now.

Ikea

The Swedish brand announced it will raise the minimum wage at all of its store locations. And get this: the wage will be based on the cost of living index for the area of the store. That sounds like a better solution than an across-the-board adjustment.

JEERS

Obamacare

This isn’t about the Hobby Lobby case — or another revelation that the system still can’t handle the data (meaning it’s still not clear how much in subsidies, if any, some are getting). No, we’ll continue to jeer this legislation for the hurried and partisan way it was passed and implemented.

Sandy gouging

Comfort Suites of Mahwah was the latest to agree to a settlement with the state over price gouging during the aftermath of the big storm. It’s still stunning to us that any business would take advantage of a natural disaster.

South Jersey

Cumberland, Salem and Atlantic counties were recently ranked as the three hardest counties in which to live in New Jersey. The rankings took education, median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy and obesity into consideration.

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