Weekend News & Commentary — June 25-26, 2016

Concerns continue to mount over Brexit.  EU leaders are calling on Britain to make a speedy exit (“[T]his is not an amicable divorce,” said the European Commission president), but the consequences of its departure remain unclear.  The Financial Times looks at what Brexit might mean for immigration, predicting greater barriers for immigrant workers.  Many Leave campaigners have advocated for an immigration regime similar to Australia’s, which admits immigrants based on certain characteristics — language, qualifications, work experience — and enforces occupation-based quotas.

Meanwhile, in the United States, small steps are being taken to improve job opportunities for former prisoners.  More than half of those released from prison will return within three years, without having found employment.  The New York Times reports on an ambitious prison-to-work program in the Eastern District of Missouri and its recent successes matching former prisoners with the right employers.

Lastly, more businesses are starting to experiment with employee stock ownership programs (ESOPs), with now about 7,000 ESOPs nationwide.  The New York Times explores the benefits of one such program at King Arthur Flour in Vermont, which has experienced significant growth since becoming 100% employee-owned — and which could become a model for other businesses, too.