Business

The Salt
1:09 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Does Your Gas Tank Hold Enough Food To Feed 22 People?

Robert Byron iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:35 am

Here's a little math problem for you: How many calories go into the ethanol that's in your tank of gas?

Enough to feed 22 people, if you're talking the bare minimum calories needed in a single day, according to researchers at the New England Complex Sciences Institute.

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It's All Politics
12:36 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

For Obama, 7.8 Could Be Lucky Number

President Obama smiles during a rally Friday at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:09 pm

To become president and to be re-elected president takes much luck (among other factors, like money and political skill.) And President Obama appears to be one of the most fortunate presidents in recent memory with the release of the latest employment report.

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Business
12:33 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

One Jobs Report, Two Different Political Spins

Democrats say the economy is growing and jobs consistently are being added. But Republicans note that the pace is far too slow to absorb the more than 12 million people still looking for work.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:22 pm

With a new report showing the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the Obama administration got good news Friday: Jobs are indeed growing. But, as Republicans noted, the pace remains well below the level needed to provide paychecks for the 12.1 million people seeking them.

The truth is, each party could find evidence to support either a positive or negative spin on the labor market, which is recovering — yet weak.

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Presidential Race
11:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Does Jobs Report Mean Things Are Getting Better?

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:30 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, the sweeping move to modernize the Catholic church known as Vatican II turns 50. We'll talk about that in Faith Matters in just a few minutes.

But, first, it's still all about the economy. The economy is still center stage this election season. This morning's jobs numbers are providing fresh material for the ongoing contest between the candidates and their philosophies and records.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.8 Percent; 114,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:27 am

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August even though just 114,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Those hard-to-reconcile figures — a decline in the jobless rate even though job growth was relatively weak — appear to be at least partly explained by a sharp increase in the number of Americans who found part-time jobs and counted themselves as employed.

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Economy
6:00 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Campaigns Wait To See If Jobs Data Will Help Or Hurt

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:45 pm

For the first time since President Obama took office, the unemployment rate is back at 7.8 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday. It's been above 8 percent for nearly four years. The number of new jobs added was in line with expectations — 114,000.

Planet Money
3:40 am
Fri October 5, 2012

No One Trusts China's Unemployment Rate

Mark Ralston AFP/GettyImages

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 4:09 pm

Ask an economist like Eswar Prasad, who used to work at the International Monetary Fund, "So, do you know, what the unemployment rate in China is?"

And he'll answer, "We don't."

The official unemployment rate, put out by the government, Prasad says, is 6.5 percent, but according to him, "that number has no credibility at all."

He's not the only dubious one.

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Europe
3:18 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Not Everyone In Spain Eager To Wager On EuroVegas

Spaniards protest the construction of the EuroVegas gambling complex at Puerta del Sol in Madrid last month.
Gustavo Cuevas EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 4:03 pm

American billionaire, casino mogul and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson has a new project: a $35 billion gambling megacity in Europe. He has chosen debt-ridden Spain as the location for "EuroVegas," which is expected to bring up to 250,000 much-needed jobs.

But many Spaniards are divided over whether they want casinos in their backyard.

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Author Interviews
3:15 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Preventing Silicon Valley's 'Immigrant Exodus'

Wharton Digital Press

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 4:02 pm

A new study from the Kauffman Foundation shows that the number of immigrant entrepreneurs in the United States has fallen slightly. But according to Vivek Wadhwa, an author of the study, the drop is especially steep in Silicon Valley, long a magnet for the brightest and most ambitious minds from around the world.

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The Salt
3:15 am
Fri October 5, 2012

In Haiti, Aid Groups Squabble Over Rival Peanut Butter Factories

Alex E. Proimos Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 4:00 pm

Can there be too much life-saving peanut butter?

In Haiti, two different humanitarian groups have built new factories to make this product, which is used to treat severe malnutrition and maybe someday prevent it. The problem is, Haiti doesn't appear to need two of them. Each factory, all by itself, could satisfy Haiti's current demand.

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Friday's Jobs Report Is Campaign's Next Key Moment, Here's What To Expect

The welcome sign at a job fair earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

With the first presidential debate now behind us, what's the next big item on the campaign calendar?

It's Friday's 8:30 a.m. ET release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the September unemployment rate and how many jobs were added to payrolls last month.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:39 am

There were 367,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The bottom line: This doesn't mark any significant change in the jobs market, especially considering the "4-week moving average was 375,000, unchanged from the previous week's revised average." That figure is a better measure of labor market trends.

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Asia
3:47 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Faltering Economy Threatens Pakistan's Stability

A demonstrator reacts after Pakistani policemen fire tear gas during a protest against power cuts in Karachi in June. Pakistan suffers from a massive energy crisis, one of several factors contributing to the country's severe economic troubles.
Rizwan Tabassum AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:19 am

If you want to gain a good insight into Pakistan's economic situation, just look at a few of the country's newspaper headlines on any given day. The language says it all: prices soar, stocks plunge, budget deficit swells, foreign investment evaporates — and the list goes on.

Now, analysts are increasingly worried that the faltering economy could join Pakistan's pervasive insurgency and repeated political upheavals as another serious threat to the country's stability.

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The Salt
3:42 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Despite Greek Economy, Athens Cupcake Business Thrives

Nicole Kotovos arranges cupcakes in the case at her store in Athens.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:19 am

Nicole Kotovos was searching for a way to start a new life when the idea struck her: She would go to her ancestral homeland of Greece and open an American-style bakery cafe. She would bring the cupcake fad to Athens.

What she didn't figure on was the historic downturn in the Greek economy.

The former New York TV producer arrived in 2008, just as the country's debt-mired economy was falling into a deep recession it still hasn't emerged from.

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Presidential Race
5:16 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Romney, Obama Have Parallel Points On The Economy

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 6:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And you can listen to tonight's debate live on many NPR stations. We'll also have analysis and fact checking at NPR.org. Now, our next story looks not at the differences between the candidates, which we're sure to hear about tonight, but at a similarity. President Obama and Mitt Romney share something that goes to the core of this campaign. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, it comes up in every stump speech they give.

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The Picture Show
10:34 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Portraits From Slab City: 'The Last Free Place On Earth'

Neil Mallick. A musician.
Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum

People come to Slab City, a squatter campsite in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California, for many reasons. But one sentiment seems to unite many of them: They want to avoid people like photojournalist Jessica Lum. That is: City people. Taxpayers. Media types.

Which is a tough situation, if you happen to be Lum and you hope to document the people of this community.

"People feel they can determine their level of isolation or engagement," Lum says.

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It's All Politics
7:37 am
Wed October 3, 2012

OMG! A Deb8! What Young People Really Want To Ask Obama And Romney

Students wait in line to vote last Friday on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, a day after the swing state began in-person early voting.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:55 pm

Generation Y is asking why.

Why is it so hard to find a job? Why is health care so expensive? Smart questions from a smart generation. Their inquiries — and the presidential candidate they think can provide the best answers — could be a decisive factor in the 2012 election. If not the Tipping Point, as least a Tilting Point.

For many millennials, economic prospects are murky.

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Election 2012
7:35 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Before The Debate, Brush Up On Buzzwords

The General Motors headquarters in Detroit. The U.S. government bailout of GM and Chrysler has been a key economic issue in the presidential campaign.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:56 am

In their first debate Wednesday night, the two presidential candidates will explain their plans for fixing the U.S. economy.

Good luck.

The problems are complicated and long-standing, so the solutions may not be easy to spell out in the two minutes allowed for each answer under the debate rules.

But President Obama, the Democratic incumbent, and former Gov. Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, will try, and about 60 million people are expected to tune in. This first debate will focus on domestic issues, with the economy topping the list of homefront problems.

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Business
4:20 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Get New Protections

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Salt
3:25 am
Wed October 3, 2012

In Washington State, Picker Shortage Threatens Apple Boom

Amilia Magno, 23, of Pasco, Wash., carries a heavy load of buckeye gala apples in Broetje Orchards near Prescott, Wash.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 5:57 pm

In western Michigan, there aren't enough apples to pick because bad weather decimated 85 to 90 percent of the crop. But Washington state has the opposite problem — there's an abundance of apples, but not enough pickers.

This should be the happiest, busiest time of year in Washington apple orchards. But now — just as the peak of apple harvest is coming on — Broetje Orchards manager Roger Bairstow is wincing.

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Your Money
11:40 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Can Saving Money Cost Money?

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 9:55 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, style maven Stacy London tells us about the psychology of fashion and what messages you're sending with your choice of clothing. That's in a few minutes.

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The Salt
10:16 am
Tue October 2, 2012

High Food Prices Forecast More Global Riots Ahead, Researchers Say

A Tunisian protester holds a baguette while taking to riot police in January 2011.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:34 am

When French peasants stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, they weren't just revolting against the monarchy's policies. They were also hungry.

From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, high food prices have been cited as a factor behind mass protest movements. But can food prices actually help predict when social unrest is likely to break out?

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NPR Story
5:05 am
Tue October 2, 2012

2013 Car Models

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

'Tis the season for new car buying. Fall is when automakers roll out their latest models - with new technologies and better fuel efficiency. And to talk about the latest trends, we reached Michelle Krebs in Detroit. She's a senior analyst at the auto information website Edmunds.com.

Good to have you back, Michelle.

MICHELLE KREBS: Glad to be back.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
5:05 am
Tue October 2, 2012

JPMorgan Sued Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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Solve This
3:32 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Candidates Say Little On Difficult Issue Of Housing

Despite millions of troubled mortgages around the country, housing hasn't been a major issue in the presidential race so far.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Housing continues to be a big issue for the economy, and for many voters. But so far it hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign. Perhaps that's because both sides agree that there's no easy fix for the problem of millions of troubled mortgages.

The Problem:

Cathy Busby and her husband co-owned a realty office in Denver when they bought their house in 2006. The next year, the market for houses dried up, leaving them with little income as their house lost value.

Now, she says, she considers herself "poverty level."

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Report: If Congress Ignores 'Fiscal Cliff,' Most Americans Will Pay More Taxes

In this Nov. 19, 2011 fie photo the U.S. Capitol building is seen in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Unless Congress passes legislation in a lame-duck session, taxes will be higher by a half-trillion dollars next year, costing the average household nearly $3,500 a year, according to a just-released report by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

After studying details of the tax changes now set to take effect for 2013, the researchers were struck by "how big the tax increase is," said Eric Toder, one of those researchers. "It's a huge, huge number."

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Business
5:13 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Maker Faire Celebrates Do-It-Yourself-Culture

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Thousands of people gathered at the New York Hall of Science this weekend for what's called the World Maker Faire. It was the third an annual celebration of 21st century Do-It-Yourself culture, with workshops, speakers and demonstrations.

But, as reporter Stan Alcorn discovered, the main attraction is the makers themselves.

STAN ALCORN, BYLINE: At the center of the World Maker Faire is Katy Perry.

JESSE GREEN: Katy Perry is the unicorn that we made for a friend's wedding.

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Fiscal Cliff Notes
3:31 am
Mon October 1, 2012

For High Earners, Expiring Tax Cuts Would Hit Hard

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:22 pm

This story is part of our occasional series Fiscal Cliff Notes.

If the Bush-era tax cuts are allowed to expire, the majority of Americans will see their taxes rise. Those who will see the largest increase are the wealthy.

Dr. Hamilton Lempert, an emergency room doctor in Cincinnati, works almost exclusively on overnight shifts.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Income And Spending Both Basically Flat In August

Higher prices at the pump meant the amount of money consumers spent went up last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Americans' personal income grew by just 0.1 percent in August from July and consumer spending would have been basically flat as well if it hadn't been for higher gasoline prices, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning.

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Economy
5:14 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Spain's Budget Cuts Likely To Provoke Protests

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:29 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

European finance ministers have asked Spain if it might need a few bucks to tide it over - in particular, $125 billion to prop up failing banks. The Spanish government is expected to announce today how much of that sum it will need.

Shoring up banks is one step Spain is taking to prevent economic collapse. Another step is to slash more than $50 billion dollars in spending.

Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid on Spain's new budget, unveiled last night.

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