Saving for retirement is a challenge facing most Americans. Research shows the challenge is made harder by our basic human impulses. We know we should be saving. But we don't. We consistently make bad financial decisions.
One thing that leads us astray is what behavioral economists call "loss aversion." In other words, we hate losing. And that gets in the way of us winning — if winning is making smart financial decisions.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
And now, Delta Airlines and Virgin Air go together like Ford and Jaguar? That one didn't go so well. But in the case of these two very different airlines, which are global partners, marriage appears to be working out. So say our next two guests, Delta CEO Richard Anderson and Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, they're both in Washington attending the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit this week.
And they've joined me in the studio. Welcome to both of you.
The big jobs report that comes out at the beginning of every month has tons of data on how the job market is doing. But it doesn't tell us much about what peoples' jobs are really like.
Last month, we asked people to tell us what they really do at work. This month, we asked: What's your biggest source of work-related stress? Tell us in one word and a photo, and explain why. Here are some of the responses.
Although the number increased, claims remained at the lower end of the range they've been in for the past year and were running at a pace close to where they were before the economy sank into its latest recession in December 2007.
Around the country, millions of parents of prospective college freshmen are puzzling over one big question: How will we pay for college?
The first step for many families is reviewing the financial aid award letters they receive from each school. But often those letters can be confusing. Some are filled with acronyms and abbreviations, others lump scholarships and loans together. And because they're often very different, they're also difficult to compare.
The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed this week that they're both investigating the world of high-frequency stock trading. They did so at a time when a new book on the subject, Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, is causing an uproar on Wall Street.
To read Lewis' book is to be reminded of how drastically the stock market has changed in a decade — and how opaque it remains. Lewis says this opacity serves to cover up some disturbing developments.
For years, cyclists have faced long odds in Texas, where sprawling highways teem with trucks. Dallas was ranked the worst city for bicycling in the country, several years in a row. But in recent years, the two-wheeled form of transportation has begun to gain ground.
It's no surprise that progressive Austin — where the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong still lives — has plenty of cyclists.
For lovers of fatty tuna belly, canned albacore and swordfish kebabs, here's a question: Would you be willing to give them up for several years so that you could eat them perhaps for the rest of your life?
If a new proposal to ban fishing on the open ocean were to fly, that's essentially what we might be faced with. It's an idea that might help restore the populations of several rapidly disappearing fish – like tuna, swordfish and marlin — that we, and future generations, might like to continue to have as a food source.
Day Two of General Motors CEO Mary Barra's time testifying before Congress about safety problems with her company's cars has been highlighted by a top senator saying the company "repeatedly lied" about its problems and has fostered a "culture of cover-up."
For many decades, baseball had a reserve clause, which essentially tied a baseball player to a franchise in perpetuity. The statute fell into legal jeopardy, and a few wise men amongst the owners said, maybe we ought to toss these players a bone, before we blow the whole scam.
But the owners were arrogant and stood pat, and, soon enough, the reserve clause, kit and caboodle, was outlawed as, essentially, un-American.
And this is what a protest sounded like a few days ago in Taiwan, more than 100,000 people protesting a new trade agreement building ties between Chinese and Taiwanese businesses. Students are also upset. They've been occupying Taiwan's legislature for almost two weeks now.
NPR's Frank Langfitt explains why people are so angry.
Ask Anne Valdez what poverty means for her, and her answer will describe much more than a simple lack of money.
"It's like being stuck in a black hole," says Valdez, 47, who is unemployed and trying to raise a teenage son in Coney Island, New York City. "Poverty is like literally being held back from enjoying life, almost to the point of not being able to breathe."
For years, researchers have complained that the way the government measures income and poverty is severely flawed, that it provides an incomplete — and even distorted — view.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep.
There was only one thing the new head of General Motors could really say about its recall of defective vehicles. The recall was a decade in coming, and the defect has been linked to at least 13 deaths.
Mary Barra faced questions about it yesterday before Congress.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene. Elsewhere on the program today we heard of President Obama's push to raise the minimum wage. Maybe it will become law; maybe it won't. Either way, Democrats believe it helps them in this election year. Now let's hear about Republicans.
That's what millions of Americans are doing with ranch dressing. A new report says it is the salad topping of choice in cafeterias and restaurants in the United States. Its sales and shipments are doubled that of the number two dressing: blue cheese.
We are using ranch on salads, on broccoli, baked potatoes, chicken wings, even pizza.
A federal criminal investigation is focusing on Duke Energy and a North Carolina state environmental agency. A couple of months ago, as you may recall, a storm water pipe ruptured and poured as much as 39,000 tons of potentially toxic carbon byproduct into the Dan River in North Carolina.
North Carolina Public Radio's Jeff Tiberii reports.
The birth mother of Amber Marie Rose, the teen whose 2005 death was the first linked to an ignition switch problem that's triggered a massive recall of General Motors vehicles, says that through a Facebook group for families of victims, she's identified at least 29 fatalities due to the defect. GM only acknowledges 13 deaths.
If you've ever been driven to rage and despair trying to pry open one of those plastic blister packs, Paul Tasner says it doesn't have to be that way. According to the 68-year-old Tasner, all it would take is for more products to use the packaging he's developed for his company, Pulpworks.
As you might guess from the name, it specializes in packaging made from pulp — from paper, cardboard, even sugarcane fiber — that's molded to fit a product.
"I just loved the idea of turning [what is] basically garbage into packaging," Tasner says.