Business

Opinion
2:50 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

New Republic: Obamacare Means Higher Employment

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks about the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act at George Washington University on July 11 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a technical consultant to the Obama administration during the development of the Affordable Care Act.

Forget death panels. Lately critics of the Affordable Care Act have been promoting a different claim — that "Obamacare" is a job-killer. Specifically, they say, it will stifle the economy with regulations and taxes. But the economic literature doesn't support this claim. If anything, it suggests the opposite: The Affordable Care Act will boost the economy.

Read more
News
11:51 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Homeowner Bill Of Rights For 'Flawed System'

Guest Host Maria Hinojosa talks with Kamala Harris, California's Attorney General about the state's newly passed "Homeowner Bill of Rights." The law, which was signed yesterday by Governor Jerry Brown, makes it harder for lenders to seize a property and allows homeowners to sue to stop a foreclosure process.

All Tech Considered
3:08 am
Thu July 12, 2012

New Online Users Have A Longer Timeline

More older adults are using the Internet, thanks in part to introductory classes offered offline.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 1:50 pm

Facebook started as a social network for college students. But now that anyone can join, here's a status update: Many of its newest members are senior citizens.

At 101 years old, Florence Detlor is one of the oldest people on Facebook. She says she's always been someone who wants to keep up on the cutting edge of technology.

"Because that's what makes one time different from another," she says.

Read more
Poverty In America: The Struggle To Get Ahead
5:15 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

To Beat Odds, Poor Single Moms Need Wide Safety Net

Shyanne (left) holds 1-year-old Makai, as Stepp checks to see if all of Shyanne's homework has been completed.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:27 am

Single mothers have an especially hard time getting out of poverty. Households headed by single mothers are four times as likely to be poor as are families headed by married couples.

Still, many of these women are trying to get ahead. Some know instinctively what the studies show: Children who grow up in poor families are far more likely to become poor adults.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:40 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

With Only $150K In Cash, Calif. City Goes Bankrupt

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 1:24 pm

The city of San Bernardino, east of Los Angeles, has become the latest California city to declare bankruptcy.

Poverty In America: The Struggle To Get Ahead
4:30 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Single Mothers And The Cycle Of Poverty

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 5:33 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with Olivia Golden, fellow at the Urban Institute, about why there has been an increase of single mothers who are in poverty.

Around the Nation
2:36 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

What Happens When A City Declares Bankruptcy

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

San Bernardino is expected to become the third California city in the past month to file for bankruptcy. That follows Stockton and Mammoth Lakes. Even after layoffs and cuts to public employees' pay and pensions, officials in San Bernardino said the government could not cover upcoming bills. So what happens now to city services like police and fire protection, garbage collection, road repairs? Who gets paid, and who doesn't? If you have questions about municipal bankruptcy, give us a call, 800-989-8255.

Read more
Planet Money
1:42 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

The Failure Of The Candy Tax

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 5:13 pm

Last week, we re-aired an episode recorded in 2010 with economist Joshua Gans, author of the book Parentonomics. In the episode, Gans' 11-year old daughter, B., told us about his technique for keeping her from spending too much allowance money on candy:

Read more
Economy
11:52 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Did The Great Recession Bring Back The 1930s?

Thousands of unemployed people wait outside the State Labor Bureau in New York City to register for federal relief jobs in 1933.
AP

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 2:00 pm

The long economic downturn that began in late 2007 came to be known at the Great Recession –- the worst period since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Even though both events were momentous enough to earn the word "great" as a modifier, they really are not comparable, according to recent research by economist Mark Vaughan, a fellow at the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy at Washington University in St. Louis.

Read more
Planet Money
10:24 am
Wed July 11, 2012

The Value Of Taxing The Wealthy: $56 Billion

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 2:06 pm

The debate is back over what to do with the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire at the end of the year.

The Obama administration wants to extend them only for families earning less than $250,000 a year. Republicans generally favor extending them for everyone. What hangs in the balance are tax breaks for wealthier Americans.

Read more
NPR Story
5:06 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Manchester United Hopes To Score With Its IPO

Manchester United is the most famous soccer team in the United Kingdom, and one of the world's most popular sports teams. Now its owners are hoping the team's popularity will translate into big bucks. They're planning to sell Manchester United stock on the New York Stock Exchange. Roger Blitz, of the Financial Times, talks to Renee Montagne about the team's IPO.

Economy
3:22 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Euro Currency Still Faring Well, For Now

Over the last 13 years, the euro has been worth on average $1.21, only a penny less than its current price of $1.22 per euro.
Michael Probst AP

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 12:42 pm

The euro touched a two-year low against the dollar Tuesday, as concerns about the eurozone debt crisis continued.

Despite a recession across much of the eurozone and even predictions of the currency's demise, however, the euro has held up relatively well during this crisis.

Over the last 13 year, it has taken on average $1.21 to buy a euro. Now, even in this midst of this crisis, it's worth virtually the same ($1.22).

Read more
Europe
4:35 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

'Vultures' Swoop In For Deals In Debt-Ridden Spain

A "For Sale" sign hangs outside mostly empty apartment blocks in the Madrid satellite town of Sesena in February. Banks are trying to sell billions of euros worth of property left by bankrupt developers. This is attracting bargain-hunting investors from abroad.
Andrea Comas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:34 pm

Back in the day, Madrid's Palace Hotel was Ernest Hemingway's old haunt, or at least the bar was. Now, rooms at the posh hotel just down from the famed Prado Museum go for up to $6,000 a night. And gathering in its lobby these days? An altogether different type of foreigner: the kind in expensive suits.

"Probably they are institutional investors, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds," says Federico Steinberg, an economist at Madrid's Elcano Institute.

There's a lot of cash around the world, he says, and a lot of people looking for bargains.

Read more
Education
4:30 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Struggling Michigan City Privatizes Public Schools

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 3:13 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A small public school district is about to go private. The emergency manager for schools in Muskegon Heights, in western Michigan, is turning the entire system over to a charter school operator.

And as Lindsey Smith of Michigan Radio reports, that's already a model for the state's other financially-troubled districts.

Read more
Poverty In America
3:52 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Poverty In The U.S. By The Numbers

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 2:54 pm


Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Poverty In America
3:42 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Cycle Of Poverty Hard To Break In Poorest U.S. City

Devora Trapp, 24, picks up her 8-month-old son, Dardarius Taylor, late one evening at the Opportunity House's Second Street Learning Center, a 24-hour day care center for low-income families in Reading, Pa.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 11:31 pm

In the middle of the night, most children are home in bed. But at the Second Street Learning Center in Reading, Pa., a half-dozen tiny bodies are curled up on green plastic floor mats, fast asleep.

Conversations are hushed. The lights are dim. At 1:30 a.m., day care worker Virginia Allen gently shakes two little sisters, snuggled under the same blanket, to tell them that their mother is there to pick them up.

Read more
Economy
2:07 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Downward Mobility A Modern Economic Reality

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:54 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last week's disappointing jobs numbers offer little hope of change anytime soon for the millions of long-term unemployed and underemployed Americans. For too many, this crisis has extended so long that cherished plans have been set aside and sights lowered: owning a home maybe, a college fund for the kids, family vacations.

Read more
Economy
12:24 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Out-Of-Work Teens Struggle Later

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:42 pm

Transcript

MARIA HINOJOSA, HOST:

I'm Maria Hinojosa, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, murders in Chicago are on the rise. We'll ask why and what's being done about it. That's in a few minutes.

But, first, to matters of personal finance. Remember pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps? Well, economic mobility is getting tougher in this country, especially for the poorest people in our society. That's according to a new Pew Research report released on Monday.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Even As Jobless Rate Stays High, Job Openings Continue To Grow

Applicants wait to enter a job fair in New York City last month.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 11:59 am

There were 3.6 million jobs open and ready to be filled in May if the right candidates came along, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning.

That was up from 3.4 million in April, was the second-most for any month so far this year and was up 16 percent from the 3.1 million in May 2011.

Read more
Planet Money
9:58 am
Tue July 10, 2012

NYT Excerpt: Why The Bronx Seems Gentrification-Proof

The Bronx has lagged as the rest of New York City has boomed.
Chris Hondros AFP/Getty

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:57 pm

This week in The New York Times Magazine, Adam Davidson asks why the borough hasn't been able to catch up with the rest of New York City's phenomenal economic growth:

Read more
Planet Money
8:03 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Scranton Workers See Pay Slashed To Minimum Wage

Roger Leonard saw his pay plunge to $340 from about $900 for two weeks' work, after Scranton's mayor unilaterally cut city-employee pay to minimum wage.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 12:02 pm

A fight between political leaders in Scranton, Pa., has left each and every city employee earning $7.25 an hour — minimum wage.

Last week Mayor Chris Doherty slashed pay, on his own, saying Scranton had run out of money. Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse issued an injunction telling the city it must recognize pay rates spelled out in union contracts. But Doherty continues to violate that court order.

Read more
Election 2012
3:57 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Bush Tax Cuts: The New Middle-Class Norm

Josh Walling and Randi Cartmill with their children, Jacqueline, Josh and Ryan. Josh Walling says his family, whose household income is below the national median, would lose a substantial amount of money if the Bush tax cuts expired.
Courtesy of Randi Cartmill

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:42 pm

The first in an occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes, which breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.

Much of the political focus when discussing the Bush-era tax cuts is on the wealthy, but they're not the only ones who would be affected if the tax cuts are allowed to expire at the end of this year.

The vast majority of American taxpayers would take a hit, including Randi Cartmill and Josh Walling, who live in Madison, Wis., with their three children.

Read more
Business
3:16 am
Tue July 10, 2012

For Manufacturing Jobs, Workers Brush Up On Math

Brian Gasiewski removes the external housing for an industrial shock absorber from a CNC, or computer numerical control, machine at Fitzpatrick Manufacturing Co. in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Duane Burleson AP

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:52 am

Politicians have touted modern manufacturing as the solution for lifting the economy and providing good jobs.

But today's manufacturing work requires strong math skills — not just adding and subtracting, but a good grasp of fractions, decimals and basic trigonometry. And job applicants who want to go into manufacturing often don't have what it takes.

So colleges and nonprofits, especially throughout Illinois, are stepping in to bridge this skills gap by combining manufacturing training with basic reading and math.

Doing Math On The Job

Read more
All Tech Considered
5:20 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

The Next Silicon Valley? Berlin Startups Catching Up With The Hype

Simon Fabich (center) is CEO and co-founder of the Berlin-based online shopping startup Monoqi. Artsy and relatively inexpensive, Berlin is an up-and-coming city for European tech startups.
Courtesy of Monoqi

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:29 pm

California's Silicon Valley remains by far the dominant arena for high-tech startups and venture capitalists looking to back innovative projects.

But Europe is starting to make its mark on the startup scene. London, Paris and Berlin are starting to hold their own as more and more European startups look to compete on the global stage and attract investors.

A 'Crazy Green Field' For Creative Types

Read more
It's All Politics
4:03 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Who 'Owns' The Bush Tax Cuts?

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:53 pm

They're called the Bush tax cuts for a reason. And when they were passed in the early 2000s, most Democrats opposed them.

Cut to a decade later: President Obama is calling for a second extension in as many years of the "temporary" cuts, but it won't come without a fight from congressional Republicans.

Given the apparent role reversal, who owns the George W. Bush-era tax cuts now: Democrats or Republicans?

Read more
Judging The Health Care Law
2:55 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Congress' Big Stick Just Got a Little Shorter

Susan Clark (left) argues with another protester about the Affordable Care Act outside the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts likened the law's Medicaid expansion provision to "a gun to the head" of states.
Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:58 pm

Nothing breeds lawsuits like uncertainty. That being the case, the Supreme Court's landmark health care ruling is almost certain to open the door to lawsuits challenging the federal government's authority.

The court ruled the federal government can't force states to participate in a major expansion of Medicaid or else risk losing existing Medicaid funds from Washington. That threat amounted to unconstitutional coercion.

Read more
Planet Money
1:18 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

What ever happend to the TED spread?

TED spread charts like this one — from June 2011 — have been used to judge whether the financial markets are worried about the health of the big banks.
Bloomberg News

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 1:32 pm

Over the last week or so, we've been watching the scandal over manipulation of LIBOR, perhaps the single most important global interest rate: See Robert Smith's piece on Morning Edition, and Tuesday's podcast.

Read more
Economy
11:23 am
Mon July 9, 2012

No June Gloom For American Auto Sales

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 12:04 pm

Recovery has been creeping at a slow pace for much of the American economy, but sales by US auto makers have revved up. Chrysler and General Motors both saw double digit growth in June, and Ford wasn't too far behind. Guest host Maria Hinojosa and NPR's Sonari Glinton talk about what's driving the rise.

Planet Money
11:08 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Identifying The Real Victims In The LIBOR Scandal

LIBOR affects many consumer credit rates, from mortgages to credit cards.
Theo Francis NPR

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 5:16 pm

A lot of the coverage of the LIBOR scandal has focused on the ways that Barclays tried to manipulate LIBOR lower during the financial crisis, to make the bank look more secure. This has led some listeners to ask a good question: if rates were being shoved down, doesn't that help consumers? LIBOR, after all, is a financial benchmark that shows up in adjustable rate mortgages and other loans.

Read more
Business
5:28 am
Mon July 9, 2012

Stafford Loans Interest Rate To Remain Steady

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 6:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And for one more year, college students can access a certain kind of loan for the low rate of 3.4 percent. It's known as a Stafford loan, and the interest rate was set to double, until lawmakers managed to reach an agreement to keep the rate low, which in turn will keep college more affordable for more people.

Read more

Pages