Business

NPR Ed
3:24 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead

A rooftop view of East Baltimore, 1979.
Elinor Cahn Courtesy of Elinor Cahn Photographs, The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 6:21 pm

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

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Economy
4:44 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Construction Industry Missing Key Tool: Skilled Workers

After laying off roughly 2 million workers during the recession, the construction industry may not have enough crews to keep up with demand for building projects.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:56 pm

It's a beautiful day and Jeremy Smith, the business manager for a school district in northern Wyoming, is showing off the new Tongue River Elementary School — or at least the plot of land where the school should be.

"What you're going to see when you get up here a little bit closer is you are going to just see pasture," Smith says.

The school was supposed to be under construction by now, but last month state officials said they didn't have the money.

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Africa
4:44 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

The Obstacles And Opportunities Of Nigeria's Exploding Economy

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:29 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Salt
6:13 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Missouri Constitutional Amendment Pits Farmer Against Farmer

Jeff Jones and his daughters feed grain to their foraging cattle once a day in Callaway County, Mo. They're concerned about the health and environmental effects a potential hog farm next door might have.
Kristofor Husted/KBIA

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 12:33 pm

Agriculture is a cornerstone of the Midwest economy. In some states, it may even become a right.

That's what unofficially happened in Missouri on Tuesday when voters approved the so-called "right to farm" in the form of an amendment to the state Constitution. (With less than a half of a percent vote differential, a recount is likely.) And the controversial provision could be a model for Constitutional additions in other big ag states.

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Africa
5:13 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Summit Focuses Investors On Africa's Energy Opportunities

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:45 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

More than 50 African heads of state are here in Washington D.C. for a summit this week.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Parallels
5:53 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Obama Says U.S. Exports Have Room To Run In Africa

President Obama speaks Tuesday at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington, D.C. "I want Africans buying more American products," he said.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 7:02 pm

President Obama, speaking at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on Tuesday, spotlighted $14 billion in new investments in Africa by U.S. companies involved in construction, technology and finance.

"The United States is determined to be a partner in Africa's success," Obama said. "I want Africans buying more American products. I want Americans buying more African products."

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

1.2 Billion Web Credentials Said To Be In Russian Gang's Hands

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:45 am

In what's believed to be the largest stockpile of stolen Internet credentials in history, a Russian hacking ring has gathered more than 1.2 billion unique Internet credentials, according to Web security experts. The relatively small group has reportedly collected passwords along with user names and email addresses.

"This year is already on track to be the year of the mega-mega breach," Orla Cox, director of security response for the anti-virus software company, Symantec.

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Shots - Health News
2:56 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Health Law Calls For Automatic Enrollment Of Some Workers

When is no choice a good choice?
endopack/iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 4:28 pm

Newly hired employees who don't sign up for health insurance on the job could have it done for them under a health law provision that may take effect as early as next year.

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Business
6:42 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Self-Storage Operators Top List Of Best Alternative Investments

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 11:19 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
5:15 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Obama Touts Improved Climate For U.S. Businesses

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 10:47 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
3:39 am
Tue August 5, 2014

From 'Good Times' To 'Honey Boo Boo': Who Is Poor On TV?

The Evans family from Good Times. Bern Nadette Stanis is second from left.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 10:47 am

Like it or not, television has the power to shape our perceptions of the world. So what do sitcoms, dramas and reality TV say about poor people?

In life and on TV, "poor" is relative. Take breakfast: For Honey Boo Boo's family, it's microwaved sausage and pancake sandwiches; for children in The Wire's Baltimore ghetto, it's a juice box and a bag of chips before school; and on Good Times, set in the Chicago projects back in the 1970s, it was a healthier choice: oatmeal.

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Parallels
4:14 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Africa: The Richest Region For Young Workers And Consumers

NPR

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 9:14 am

Africa does not have the wealth that has piled up on the North American and European continents over many centuries.

But it does have something richer regions now lack: lots of young people.

While other continents have aging populations, Africa is giving birth to a new generation of consumers and workers. Sub-Saharan Africa is the youngest region in the world, with 43 percent of its population under age 15.

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Shots - Health News
11:52 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Hospitals And Health Plans See The Future Very Differently

Analysts who fear health spending is accelerating got plenty of evidence in Wall Street's second-quarter results to support their thesis. But so did folks who hope spending is still under control.

Now everybody's trying to sort out the mixed message.

The answer matters because deficit debates and affordability concerns revolve around forecasts that health spending will speed up as the economy revives. National health spending rose only 3.7 percent in 2012, the most recent year for complete results.

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U.S.
3:33 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Proposed Gondola For Grand Canyon's Rim Has Community On Edge

The place where the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers meet on the floor of the Grand Canyon is known as the Confluence. Many see it as holy ground; others see it as an opportunity for economic development.
Laurel Morales KJZZ

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 10:19 am

(Editor's note: The audio introduction to this story incorrectly states that developers want to build a casino on the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon as part of a new development project. In fact, a casino is not part of the project.)

About 100 miles north of Flagstaff, Ariz., a long dirt road ends at a precipice. Thirty-five-hundred feet below, the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers meet at the floor of the Grand Canyon.

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Code Switch
3:04 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Forgoing School To Pay The Bills

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:12 pm

Starting a career in a struggling economy is difficult, no matter what your background. But for young people in Langley Park, Md., a predominantly immigrant community near Washington, D.C., it is fraught with additional economic and family pressures.

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Arts & Life
5:04 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Customer Dissatisfaction: The Fine Art Of The Funny Complaint

Anthony Matthews collects letters from dissatisfied customers — including himself — at his website, Dear Customer Relations. He's crowd-funding a book based on the site.
Courtesy of Anthony Matthews

Originally published on Sun August 3, 2014 7:10 pm

  • Hear Anthony Matthews read his complaint about Barry.

Anthony Matthews is something of a master of the customer complaint. He's sent detailed, humorous letters to car companies, hotels and airlines — with successful results. He posts his carefully composed missives and the companies' responses at his website, Dear Customer Relations, which is also his characteristic opening line.

The letter that started it all was written on a typewriter 25 years ago.

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Around the Nation
9:22 am
Sun August 3, 2014

As Wildfires Burn Through Funds, Washington Seeks New Way To Pay

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:06 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Sunday Conversation
9:22 am
Sun August 3, 2014

Crushed Under Credit Card Debt: A Tale Of Survival

After two kids and her husband's bouts with cancer, Claire Shrout's family was wracked with debt. Instead of declaring bankruptcy, they worked themselves out of it and hope to be relatively debt free by spring.
Courtesy of Claire Shrout

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 12:04 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

The average household with a credit card carries more than $15,000 in credit card debt, and more than one-third of those with credit card debt have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study this week from the Urban Institute.

Claire Shrout is a registered nurse, and the mother of two boys. What Shrout and her husband went through is familiar to a lot of Americans.

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Economy
5:09 pm
Sat August 2, 2014

Economic Growth Hits Headlines, But Not Wallets

Dollar Tree recently announced it will buy Family Dollar Stores for about $8.5 billion in cash and stock. Discount stores have been doing well in the recession.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:56 am

In a finance move you might have missed this week, Dollar Tree bought up Family Dollar. It's a marriage made in cheap, plastic goods heaven, at a time when dollar stores can provide a glimpse into the disconnect between an improving economy and stagnating wages.

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Economy
5:09 pm
Sat August 2, 2014

Stock Markets Take A Dive After Months Of Growth

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 2:35 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

From the studios of NPR West in Culver City, California, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Eric Westervelt.

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Business
4:14 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Some Public Pension Funds Making Big Bets On Hedge Funds

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 2:28 pm

Public pension funds have been doing something new in recent years — investing in hedge funds.

Hedge funds are often secretive investment firms led by supposedly supersmart fund managers. Though, sometimes they implode spectacularly — think Long-Term Capital Management. Another prominent firm, Galleon Group, recently got shut down for rampant insider trading.

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Economy
4:01 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Addressing The State Of The Union's Job Market

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:00 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And we're joined now in the studio by Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Welcome to the show.

TOM PEREZ: Always a pleasure to be with you, Ari.

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Economy
4:01 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

In July Jobs Numbers, Fodder For Cautious Optimism

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 2:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Economy
11:52 am
Fri August 1, 2014

As Labor Market Advances, Millions Are Stuck In Part-Time Jobs

People attend a hiring fair for veterans in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., July 16. About 7.5 million people in the U.S. are working less than 40 hours per week even though they want full-time jobs.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 4:18 pm

Treading water in July is really fun — if you happen to be in a swimming pool.

But if you find yourself stuck in the part-time labor pool, drifting is disappointing.

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that while employers hired 209,000 workers in July, the growth rate was not strong enough to push part-timers forward.

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Economy
7:14 am
Fri August 1, 2014

For One Recent College Grad In D.C., Job Interviews Are Dead Ends

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 10:15 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Business
7:14 am
Fri August 1, 2014

July Jobs Report Less Stellar Than June's, But Still Strong

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 12:14 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
5:48 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Minnesota's Minimum-Wage Workers Get 75-Cent Increase

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:48 am

Copyright 2014 Minnesota Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.mpr.org/.

Business
5:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Tensions Stir At EPA Hearings On New Emission Rules

Some 5,000 union members, led by the United Mine Workers of America, march outside the William S. Moorhead Federal Building on Thursday in Pittsburgh. The city hosted two days of public hearings by the Environmental Protection Agency on stricter pollution rules for coal-burning power plants.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:14 am

The coal industry made its presence known in Pittsburgh this week for public hearings on President Obama's controversial plan to address climate change. A key element is rules the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in June. They would cut greenhouse gas emissions — chiefly carbon dioxide — from existing power plants. The national goal is 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Dow Dives 317 Points, Erasing A Month Of Gains

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 5:43 pm

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 317 points today, closing at 16,563, wiping out the index's gains for the month of July.

The Nasdaq fell 93 points, closing at 4,369. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 2 percent to 1,930.

It was the worst daily decline since April and the first monthly drop since January.

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Economy
4:15 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

In Debt Duel, It Was Argentina V. Paul Singer

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 8:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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