Business

Business
9:09 am
Sun February 16, 2014

The Green Rush Begins: Investors Get In On Pot's Ground Floor

Marijuana is sold for recreational use in Denver. Legalization of pot has set off a "green rush" to invest among venture capitalists.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 11:44 am

In the past, you could go to jail for selling marijuana. Now, depending upon where you live, you could end up going to the bank.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states, and legislation is pending in 13 others. It's become a $1.5-billion-a-year industry, and it's expected to triple in just a few years. With legal cannabis one of the world's fastest growing market sectors, investors are seeing green.

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Around the Nation
11:13 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Tenn. Workers Vote To Reject Union At VW Plant

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 1:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Tough night for the United Auto Workers. The union hoped employees at Volkswagen's only U.S. plant might help give them a foothold into foreign-owned auto plants across the South, but VW workers voted no, and Volkswagen had not opposed their efforts. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN in Nashville has been covering the story and joins us now. Blake, thanks for being with us.

BLAKE FARMER, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: Didn't the union think they had the numbers?

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Health Care
9:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

A Love Of Medicine Runs Through Three Generations

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 1:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Being a physician today bears little resemblance to the Rockwellian family doctor who generations ago made house calls. The Affordable Care Act is one reason, but just the latest among many factors that have reshaped the practice of medicine. We wanted to get a view of those changes through the eyes of doctors.

Eric Whitney spend time with a father and son who are part of three generations of physicians. We're airing this encore story that looks at whether medicine will still be a good career choice for a fourth generation.

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The Two-Way
10:56 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Tenn. VW Workers Reject Move To Join Union

Volkswagen's car plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., is the company's only one in the U.S. Its employees voted this week on whether to join the United Auto Workers union.
Volkswagen

Some 1,500 workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee have voted not to join the United Auto Workers union. The tally of the three-day vote follows days of political prodding from both sides of the issue.

The 712-626 vote was a devastating blow to the UAW, which had tacit support from VW. The union had hoped to make inroads in auto plants in the South, where organizers have been striving for decades to represent factory workers.

VW had even allowed organizers into the plant to make their sales pitches.

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Law
6:32 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

With New Rules, Pot Business Gets A Little Less Hazy For Banks

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

The Treasury and Justice Departments today sought to clarify for banks how they might navigate the murky legal waters of the marijuana business. Murky because pot is legal in a growing number of states but remains illegal under federal law. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on these new terms under which a bank must operate if it wants to offer financial services to this emerging industry.

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Politics
11:57 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Why 'No One is Running With The President In Missouri'

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Much of the East Coast is digging out from ice and snow including Washington, D.C. But members of Congress beat the bad weather out of town and are back in their districts for a two week recess, this after a vote to raise the debt ceiling - a vote that came unusual for these times without an ugly showdown.

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Business
5:03 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Romantic Economist Applies Economic Terms To Relationships

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:18 am

On this Valentine's Day, Renee Montagne talks to a young economist about how he tried to apply the rules of the market to his love life. William Nicolson chronicles his journey to find a girlfriend in the memoir, The Romantic Economist.

Media
3:46 am
Fri February 14, 2014

'Harried Mom' Becomes Dynamic Woman In These Stock Images

Getty's new collection of stock images of women and families veers away from the "overworked mom" stereotype.
Cavan Images Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 10:46 am

This week Getty Images teamed up with LeanIn.org, the nonprofit foundation of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, to release a new collection of stock photos. There are about 2,500 new images of modern women and families.

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Parallels
3:44 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Iran's Hope Is Sanctions Relief, But Reality Is Struggling Economy

Low-income Iranians line up to receive food supplies in south Tehran. Iran remains an economy of subsidies, although some direct cash payments have been replaced by food baskets for the poor.
Davoud Ghahrdar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 11:07 am

Iran's economy may be struggling, but that doesn't mean everyone is suffering.

In a downtown Tehran restaurant, a well-dressed young man who asks to be identified only as Ahmad sits with a friend enjoying a water pipe of flavored tobacco.

Ahmad is a bit vague about what he does — first he says he's in the petrochemical business, then describes himself as an independent trader. He shares the general consensus that President Hassan Rouhani has brought a better atmosphere to the country but no real economic changes.

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It's All Politics
4:46 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Debt Ceiling Vote Relied On GOP's 'Tough Vote' Caucus

House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (left), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (right) were among the 28 Republicans whose votes made it possible for most other Republicans to vote against the debt ceiling hike.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 3:08 pm

Within the House Republican Conference, an unofficial "tough vote" caucus is taking shape.

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Planet Money
3:15 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

It's Great To Be A Woman In California, Unless You're Hispanic

Wage-gap calculations by the Center for American Progress based on data from the U.S.Census Bureau, 2012 American Community Survey

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 3:54 pm

Here's a conundrum.

The Golden State ranks as the second best place for a woman to achieve economic security, according to 14 key measures. That's according to a study from the Center for American Progress.

Paid family leave? Check!
Great early childhood education? Check!
Paid sick leave? Check!

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Rise, As Do Hopes For Better News In Spring

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 3:26 pm

There were 339,000 first-time claims filed last week for unemployment benefits, up 8,000 from the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

So this week's takeaway would seem to be a lot like last week's and several before that.

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Business
5:39 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Fed Chief Yellen Testifies Without Market-Moving Mistake

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:29 am

The new head of the Federal Reserve made her debut this week in a marathon hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center at the Brookings Institution about Janet Yellin's first days as chair of the Fed, and what message she sent to Congress in six hours of testimony.

Economy
12:01 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Fixing Poverty Is More Complicated Than Handing Out Cash

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 1:43 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It's been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty so all this year we've been looking at poverty here in the U.S. We've been talking about strategies to end poverty, what's worked, what hasn't and what's on the table because according to the U.S. Census, the rate of poverty seems to be stuck at 15 percent. That's about 46 million people.

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Business
7:03 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Can Underfunded Community Colleges Provide More Job Training?

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 7:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Community college leaders are in Washington this week, pushing for a bigger role in getting more people to enroll in two-year schools. They're also pushing the job training that business and industry say they desperately need.

Still, community colleges are significantly underfunded. And as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, it's unclear whether these schools can open their doors to more people or offer programs that are likely to cost a lot more.

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The Two-Way
7:38 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

European Union Moves To Approve U.S. Genetically Modified Corn

Despite efforts by two-thirds of its 28 member states to block the move, the European Union took a large step toward approving a new genetically modified corn Tuesday. It opponents say the corn, a DuPont Pioneer product called TC1507, has harmful qualities. They also predict the decision will prove to be controversial in Europe.

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Around the Nation
6:41 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It

A new study shows that the income gap between young adults who go to college and those who don't only continues to grow.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:00 pm

In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.

Yes, a new study of young people finds. The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Paul Taylor, executive vice president of special projects at Pew, says it's pretty much case closed when it comes to the benefits of going to college.

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Politics
5:33 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

House Passes 'Clean' Debt Limit Bill

A woman looks at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 31 in Washington.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:00 pm

Tuesday saw a rarity in Congress these days: a "clean" bill.

The House passed one to raise the debt limit, a move that avoids a possible default later this month.

In the past, House Republicans have used this debate to extract concessions from President Obama and congressional Democrats.

But not this time. House Republicans demanded nothing in return. The House passed the no-strings-attached debt hike Tuesday evening — though just 28 Republicans voted with the Democratic minority to pass the extension, 221 votes to 201 votes.

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Economy
5:33 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Fed Chair Promises Continuity Before Congress

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Janet Yellen made her first appearance on Capitol Hill today as the new leader of the Federal Reserve. Her message was clear. There will be no sudden changes in Fed policy. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep pulling back its big stimulus program despite concerns about the economy.

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Education
5:33 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Pay Cuts, End Of Tenure Put North Carolina Teachers On Edge

Elementary school students in North Carolina stand outside their school in November, during an event organized by teachers to protest changes in public education.
Dave DeWitt WUNC

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:00 pm

Teacher salaries are losing ground fast in North Carolina.

Jennifer Spivey has been a teacher for three years at South Columbus High School, on the north side of the border between the Carolinas. She's been recognized as an outstanding teacher; she has a master's degree, and last summer she won a prestigious Kenan fellowship to improve education. But she still lives in her parents' basement.

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U.S.
5:33 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Nonprofits Pull In Investors To Tackle Housing Affordability

Melissa Conklin, 23, stands in the kitchen of her two-bedroom apartment at Woodmere Trace in Norfolk, Va. She earns about $30,000 a year at a nearby car dealership, and says these apartments are not only convenient, but affordable. She pays about $900 a month here, far less than other apartments in the area.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:56 pm

One of the biggest problems facing low-income families in the U.S. today is a lack of affordable housing.

According to a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, more than 7 million low-income households now spend more than half of their income for rent, which leaves little money for anything else. And the situation is expected to get worse.

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The Salt
3:55 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

After 23 Years, Your Waiter Is Ready For A Raise

A Denny's waitress delivers breakfast to customers in Emeryville, Calif. The tipped minimum wage has been stuck at $2.13 since 1991.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:21 pm

When Woody Harrelson's character got hired as a bartender on Cheers, he was so excited, he insisted on working for no more than the minimum wage. "I'd work like a slave," he said, "and, of course, I'd wash your car."

Most bar and restaurant workers would prefer to bring home a little more cash. They may be in luck.

As part of his plan to raise the minimum wage, President Obama has called for substantially increasing the base wage paid to tipped workers for the first time in decades.

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Money Coach
11:57 am
Tue February 11, 2014

How Not To Get Swept Off Your Feet By A Sweetheart Scam

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:38 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now to matters of personal finance as we get close to Valentine's Day, which is Friday. And don't say I didn't remind you. Romance is in the air, and you might be looking for ways to touch your beloved's heart. But some scammers are thinking about ways to touch your wallet.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Tue February 11, 2014

No Change In Fed Policy, Yellen Signals

Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:

"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."

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Politics
4:58 am
Tue February 11, 2014

House Has 6 Working Days Left To Raise Debt Ceiling

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:28 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The U.S. Treasury is now in its fourth day of resorting to what it calls extraordinary measures to ensure all the nation's bills get paid. Officials estimate they can keep doing that for only 16 more days without risking a default on the debt. But the House of Representatives has only six working days left to raise the debt ceiling, and this morning, House Republicans were back behind closed doors, gauging support for a plan to do that. NPR's David Welna as at the capital, and he joins us know with the latest.

Good morning.

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Business
4:55 am
Tue February 11, 2014

AOL Reverses Changes To Retirement Contribution

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

AOL drew much criticism after it fumbled the rollout of changes to its employee retirement plan last week. The protests grew so loud the company had to reverse itself, and the CEO issued an apology.

From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz reports.

ILYA MARRITZ, BYLINE: AOL got in trouble, not so much for the changes it tried to make, but for its explanation for why those changes were necessary.

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Economy
12:05 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Worker Productivity Is Up, But Are Employers Sharing The Wealth?

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:06 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the program today by talking about Friday's jobs report which was once again disappointing. The report also shared bad news for people who are working that wages remain stagnant.

There was good news, though, for employers. Worker productivity has gone up. We wanted to talk more about what productivity means and what this whole issue means for the economy, so we've called once again on NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax. Welcome back, Marilyn.

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Business
5:30 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Chinese Tech Giant Lenovo Extends Its Reach In U.S.

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

In January, Lenovo struck deals with two American companies. In a span of one week, the company spent roughly $5 billion to purchase both IBM's low-end server business and Google's Motorola mobile phone business. The moves help establish Lenovo as a global player.

Politics
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Does Congress Have Enough Political Will To Reduce The Debt?

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When Congress reached a bipartisan budget deal last December, there was much fanfare about the compromises made by both parties. And immediately afterwards, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle began working to reverse one of the spending cuts - a small reduction in military pensions. One plan to restore those pensions is up for a vote today in the Senate. As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, resistance against the small cut is calling into question whether Congress has the political will to reduce the long-term debt.

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Around the Nation
3:54 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Prospectors See A Golden Lining In California's Drought

A man looks for gold in Woods Creek in Jamestown, Calif., in 2011.
David Paul Morris Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 6:33 pm

Wayne Warren shakes wet dirt out of a plastic bucket and into a metal chute, tossing aside bigger rocks. For him, California's drought is golden.

Yes, golden. Warren is knee-deep in the San Gabriel River, an hour outside of Los Angeles. That chute next to him is a sluice box. The water washes away the dirt in a muddy cloud, and he leans over the box. Out of the creek, he taps his findings into a green, plastic gold pan and gives it a few swirls. What's left ...

"Sure is pretty in the sun, huh?" he says.

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