Business

Economy
4:17 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

'Financial Times' Picks Apart Picketty, Sparking An Argument

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 7:58 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The feeling among the super-rich that capitalism is under siege may be heightened by the release of the book "Capital In The Twenty-First Century." It's by the French economist, Thomas Piketty. The book, which deals with growing inequality, has been a publishing phenomenon. It currently tops many non-fiction best seller lists. But late last week, The Financial Times published a story citing errors in the book and suggesting that some of its conclusions are mistaken. NPR's John Ydstie reports.

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Books
2:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

China Turns To Africa For Resources, Jobs And Future Customers

Over the next few years China will build a multi-billion dollar railway linking the Kenyan port of Mombasa to Nairobi (shown here), based on an agreement signed earlier this month by East African and Chinese officials. It's one of many examples of China's increasing economic engagement with African countries.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

China's economic engagement in Africa can be measured in dollars — for instance, the $71 million airport expansion contract in Mali, funded by American foreign aid, that went to a Chinese construction firm.

More remarkably, it can be measured in people: More than a million Chinese citizens have permanently moved to Africa, buying land, starting businesses and settling among local populations.

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Commentary
2:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

150 Years After Marx, 'Capital' Still Can't Shake Loose Of 'Das Kapital'

A lot of things had to come together to turn Thomas Piketty's controversial Capital in the Twenty-First Century into the tome of the season. There's its timeliness, its surprising accessibility and the audacity of its thesis, that capitalism inevitably leads to greater concentrations of wealth at the very top.

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Parallels
2:38 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

World's Richest People Meet, Muse On How To Spread The Wealth

Prince Charles talks to Lynn Forester de Rothschild (left), organizer of the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism, and Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, before Tuesday's conference. The 250 corporate and financial leaders who attended control some $30 trillion, about a third of the world's investable assets.
WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 8:17 pm

Talk of economic mobility and the wealth gap is hardly new. From the Occupy movement to President Obama's re-election campaign, income inequality has been in the spotlight for years.

Even so, the "inclusive capitalism" conference in London on Tuesday broke new ground. Not because of the conversation, but because of the people having it.

The 250 people from around the world invited to attend this one-day conference do not represent "the 99 percent," or even the 1 percent. It's more like a tiny fraction of the 1 percent.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Median CEO Pay Tops $10 Million For The First Time

Are you getting rich off the rising stock market? America's CEOs are.

Median compensation for the chief executive of a Standard & Poor's 500 company was $10.8 million last year, according to a study by The Associated Press.

That represents an 8.8 percent increase over 2012 and marks the first time that median compensation crossed the eight-figure mark.

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Shots - Health News
3:27 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Frustrated By The Affordable Care Act, One Family Opts Out

Nick and Rachel Robinson welcome their son Cash, who was born in a midwife's birthing pool.
Jessica Hooten Courtesy of Nick Robinson

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:21 pm

The Robinson family of Dallas started out pretty excited about their new insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act.

Nick Robinson had turned to Obamacare after he lost his job last summer. He had been working as a youth pastor, and the job included benefits that covered him, his two young daughters, and his wife, Rachel, a wedding photographer.

Nick says he wasn't too nervous at first, because everyone was healthy. Then, he recalls, they found out Rachel was pregnant.

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Business
3:23 am
Tue May 27, 2014

States Consider Bills To Crack Down On Workplace Bullies

Workplace bullying even happens at the NFL. Investigators concluded that Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin was harassed by other teammates.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 4:44 pm

Bullying is a behavioral problem often associated with children in grade school, but according to a recent Zogby poll commissioned by the Workplace Bullying Institute more than a quarter of American workers say they've experienced abusive conduct at work.

Now, many states are considering laws that would give workers legal protections against workplace abuse.

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U.S.
3:23 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families

Toni Smart points to the oven that she uses to heat her one-bedroom apartment, which has no heat. Smart says she and her kids stayed in homeless shelters a few years ago. She says she'd rather be without heat than in the shelter.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:02 pm

The U.S. is in the midst of what Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan calls the "worst rental affordability crisis" ever. Poor families are being hit the hardest: An overwhelming majority spend more than half of their incomes on rent. Others live in substandard housing, or are homeless.

The problem is especially acute in Washington, D.C., in a bustling neighborhood just a few blocks from the Capitol Building.

A Tale Of Two Cities

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All Tech Considered
11:49 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Wash And Deliver: Startups Aim To Solve First World Problems

Washio offers on-demand laundry pickup and delivery for $1.60 a pound.
Courtesy of Washio

Sick of doing the laundry? The latest hot Silicon Valley startup, Washio — the subject of a new profile in New York Magazine — lets you press a button on your phone and someone will come and pick up your laundry, or your dry cleaning.

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Around the Nation
5:20 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Ozark Tourist Town, Branson, Mo., Debates How To Diversify

Originally published on Mon May 26, 2014 7:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now we go to Missouri were roughly seven and a half million people visit the tourist town of Branson every year. They mostly come to listen to country music, visit the theme park and take in the events that go on in Branson every year. But Branson is facing pressures from a changing economy and changing demographic. From member station KSMU, Scott Harvey reports.

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Business
5:29 am
Sun May 25, 2014

It's Geithner Vs. Warren In Battle Of The Bailout

In a war of words between Timothy Geithner and Elizabeth Warren over the bank bailout, who's the victor?
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

The financial crisis of 2008 caused such an enormous upheaval that future historians will long be asking: Who caused it? Who fixed it? Could it have turned out better?

Recently, two key players looked back: Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote Stress Test, Reflections on Financial Crisis, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote A Fighting Chance.

The two reached opposite conclusions. Geithner believes the bank bailout proved its worth. Warren remains outraged that wealthy bankers have not been jailed.

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Your Money
7:49 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Could You Be Driving A Car With A Recall?

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 2:09 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Lots of people, of course, are on the road this Memorial Day weekend. The big news for many drivers is there's been more GM recalls. General Motors has recalled some 15 million cars, trucks, and SUVs around the world this year. The spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also known as NHTSA, told Reuters that faulty ignition switches may have led to more than 13 deaths previously reported.

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The Two-Way
5:28 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Economist Piketty's Work Doesn't Add Up, 'Financial Times' Says

French economist and academic Thomas Piketty, in his book-lined office at the French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, in Paris, earlier this month.
Charles Platiau Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 6:16 pm

French economist Thomas Piketty became a publishing superstar this year by putting two and two together and concluding that the rich are getting richer.

His best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, uses mountains of data to calculate Western wealth over the past two centuries. He says the historical statistics, drawn from many sources, show unrestrained capitalism inevitably leads to immense income inequality.

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Business
5:01 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Summer Travel Season Expected To Heat Up

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 1:46 pm

AAA predicts that more Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend than any other since the start of the Great Recession. Those who do may find higher air fares but gas prices have leveled off.

Economy
1:25 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

In Charge Of Nearly $20 Trillion, Are Women The New Global Players?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we'd like to talk about an overlooked economic force. We are talking about women. In recent years, a lot of advocates and activists have talked about the global economic importance of educating girls and women. But there's an aspect of this that seems to have been overlooked, and that is the financial education of women.

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Around the Nation
1:25 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Poor People Can Pay Twice After Committing A Crime

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 4:43 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn now to an unexpected consequence of getting caught up in the justice system. By now, many people know that getting involved in a criminal proceeding can be expensive. But they're probably thinking about attorneys' fees. What you might not know about - unless you've been there - are the other fees that are increasingly being charged to defendants when they go through court or to prison or receive probation or parole.

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The Salt
9:50 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Amish Leave Pa. In Search Of Greener, Less Touristy Pastures

The tourism attracted by the Amish population in Lancaster, Pa., is now making it harder for Amish to maintain their traditional lifestyle. Some families are leaving the area as a result.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Rolling pastures dotted with grazing cows, fields of corn and classic buggies driven by Amish in hats and bonnets — these are the images that attract visitors to Lancaster County, home to more than 30,000 of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

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Economy
5:05 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Russian Economic Forum Boycotted Over Ukraine Crisis

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 9:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Each spring Russian president Vladimir Putin welcomes international business and political leaders to an economic forum in St. Petersburg. It started today and Putin told those who arrived that Russia is ready to do business, although it expects to be treated as an equal.

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The Salt
3:29 am
Thu May 22, 2014

In A Coal Town Where Jobs Are Few, Wild Ramps Are Plenty

The wild leek, or ramp, is one of the first edibles to appear in spring in Appalachia.
Wendell Smith Flickr

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 9:18 am

The air in Richwood, W.Va., is saturated with the smell of ramps — a pungent, garlicky, peppery smell so strong that it eclipses almost everything else in the room. Under this smell there's the faint aroma of bacon grease, in which the ramps have been fried. They're served with brown beans and ham.

As hundreds of people wait in line for their meal, local songwriter John Wyatt plays his Richwood Ramp Song, including this verse:

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Economy
4:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Penny Hoarders Hope For The Day The Penny Dies

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Every year, the U.S. government loses money minting pennies. They cost around twice as much to make as they're worth. And some politicians and economists say we ought to just get rid of them. They want the U.S. to kill the penny, take it out of circulation. If that happens, a small group of people plan to make a bunch of money.

NPR's Zoe Chace has that story from our Planet Money team.

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Economy
4:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

JPMorgan Chase Announces Detroit Investment

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:21 pm

JPMorgan Chase will invest $100 million into the Motor City. The bulk of the money will go to small business development, blight removal and job training. Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett reports.

The Two-Way
10:14 am
Wed May 21, 2014

GM Announces Its 30th Recall Of The Year Thus Far

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:15 pm

General Motors' recall problems continue to mount. On Wednesday, the automaker announced it was recalling 218,000 additional vehicles from its Chevrolet Aveo line.

The daytime running light system in the dashboard of cars from the 2004 to 2008 model years can overheat, melt and cause fires, The Associated Press reports.

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Business
5:35 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Koch Brothers' Group Tries To Derail Detroit Bankruptcy Deal

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:06 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Michigan lawmakers are debating a big aid package for Detroit, nearly $200 million. The city has been in bankruptcy court for almost a year. And until now, the state hasn't been willing to help it with anything that could be called a bailout.

While Michigan Governor Rick Snyder supports the current deal, many of his fellow Republicans appear to be balking, especially after a threat of political retribution from the Koch Brothers political network.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.

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All Tech Considered
5:19 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Big Deals: We Charted Billion-Dollar Tech Buyouts Since 2002

NPR

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 2:25 pm

Lately, there have been so many billion-dollar tech acquisitions in the headlines that it's hard to keep them straight. We await Apple's buyout of Dr. Dre's Beats for $3.2 billion. YouTube is reportedly close to a purchase of the video game streaming service Twitch, for $1 billion.

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Your Money
11:19 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Wait! Don't Spend That Graduation Cash Just Yet

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:26 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's turn now to matters of personal finance. Graduation season is here, and many newly minted graduates are hoping that there's more in those cards than the well wishes of aunts, uncles and godparents. Yes, we're talking money. There's likely to be a $20 bill or two for high school grads and, perhaps, some more serious cash for those who are finishing college or graduate school.

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Planet Money
10:43 am
Tue May 20, 2014

How Far Your Paycheck Goes, In 356 U.S. Cities

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 2:16 pm

There's this thing people say all the time in New York and other expensive cities: If I could move somewhere cheaper, and keep my income the same, I'd be much better off.

Alas, in places where the cost of living is lower, pay tends to be lower as well.

So what you really want to know is this: How much do workers make in different cities? And how far does that money go in each city?

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Guilty And Charged
6:17 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Unpaid Court Fees Land The Poor In 21st Century Debtors' Prisons

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:43 am

Debtors' prisons were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War. But an NPR state-by-state survey found that people still get sent to jail for unpaid court fines and fees.

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Economy
5:12 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Foreclosure Overhaul Comes Too Slowly For Many Homeowners

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:43 am

The biggest U.S. banks are still foreclosing on homeowners who qualify for new loans, according to a coalition of non-profits. That's despite settlements aimed at preventing unnecessary foreclosures.

Business
5:09 am
Tue May 20, 2014

St. Louis Holds Competition To Attract Startups

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 3:40 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Many cities are trying to attract startups. In St. Louis, the goal is to nurture the budding tech scene. To do that, the city sponsors a startup competition called Arch Grants - which awards 20 young businesses $50,000 a piece.

St. Louis Public Radio's Maria Altman reports.

MARIA ALTMAN, BYLINE: FoodEssentials has the typical startup vibe. The company gathers and organizes food label data for retailers and brands, like which products are gluten-free or are heart healthy.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHATTER)

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Economy
12:08 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

3 Million Young People Missing From Housing Market? It's Everyone's Problem

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 12:43 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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