Joanna Cruz, a New Jersey mother of three who works as a cook at a convenience store, wrote in an online essay that "too often, people think that individuals on public assistance programs are lazy. I would like for them to spend one day in my shoes." She shares what it's like to support a family on minimum wage with guest host Wade Goodwyn.
People hoping to upgrade their old iPhone for a newer model now have the option of trading in their phone to get credit toward a new device at an Apple store. The technology company announced the new option Friday, ahead of the expected Sept. 10 release of updates to its iPhone line.
The new trade-in program, which Apple says is available at its 252 U.S. retail stores, has several requirements:
"I bought the stuff at full retail. I own it," says Michael Hallatt, owner of the _irate Joe's grocery in Vancouver. His store faces a lawsuit from Trader Joe's for infringing on its trademark and possibly confusing customers.
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:24 pm
For the past year and a half, Mike Hallatt has been driving across the U.S.-Canada border and back, bringing loads of groceries back to Vancouver. There's no food shortage in Canada — but there's an absolute lack of Trader Joe's grocery stores, and that created an opening for an entrepreneur who doesn't mind making a long drive.
Originally called Pirate Joe's, Hallatt's store serves a niche market: Canadians who wish Trader Joe's was in their country and who will pay a bit extra for triple ginger snaps and fanciful trail mixes.
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:44 pm
Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers across the Internet.
After years of sticking close to home, more Americans are eager to shake off the recession's remnants and have a final summer adventure, according to experts who track travel.
"We've noticed that vacation plans increased quite a bit in August," compared with June, said Chris Christopher, an economist who focuses on consumer markets for IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm.
If you want to know what prompted Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff to cofound Honest Tea, here's the simple answer they give on their website: They were thirsty. Goldman had taken Nalebuff's class at the Yale School of Management, and they were both tired of the super sweet iced teas available in stores. So in the late 1990s, they started their own company based on the hunch that other people out there felt the same way.
Pregnant doctors are less likely than other women to deliver their babies via C-section, recent research suggests. Economists say that may be because the physician patients feel more empowered to question the obstetrician.
Credit Library of Congress
In 1938, a Work Projects Administration poster urged pregnant women to look to their doctors for guidance.
Obstetricians perform more cesarean sections when there are financial incentives to do so, according to a new study that explores links between economic incentives and medical decision-making during childbirth.
Don Byles, 65, is a funeral director in New London, Conn. His grandfather started the family's business, Byles-MacDougall Funeral Service, in 1904. Now, Byles is getting ready to hand it over to his 25-year-old daughter Mackenzie.
"You have to teach me a lot of stuff before you can retire," Mackenzie tells her dad during a recent visit to StoryCorps. "I'm a little nervous about being on my own here. I've got big shoes to fill with you."
Click on the audio link above to hear their StoryCorps conversation.
Every time you turn around it seems like there's a new streaming music service. Pandora was among the first a decade ago. Rdio launched in 2010. Spotify came to the U.S. in the summer of 2011. Apple and Google plan to join the fray this year. Music producer Jimmy Iovine is launching a service tied to his headphone brand Beats by Dr. Dre.
What's odd is they are all jumping into a business that, so far, doesn't seem to be turning a profit.
Crude oil prices are up about 20 percent over the past two months. On Tuesday, the price of the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, hit $109. Events in Syria are driving the price spike. Syria doesn't produce much oil, but there is great concern that the conflict there might spill over and involve other Persian Gulf nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:29 pm
There's no question that dealing with mortgages, car payments and other bills takes up time and energy. But having a tight budget may also zap our ability to think clearly, scientists report Thursday in the journal Science.
In a series of clever experiments involving farmers in India and shoppers in New Jersey, scientists found that people are worse at solving puzzles — similar to those on the IQ test — when they're first reminded of money problems.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:16 pm
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday that when it comes to federal tax purposes, same-sex couples who have legally married will be treated the same as straight married couples, no matter what state they reside in now.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:11 pm
In perhaps the largest nationwide fast-food strike in history, the employees who make your 99-cent burgers and tacos were planning strikes in 50 U.S. cities Thursday. Workers are calling for a $15 minimum wage and hoping to raise attention to the fast-food industry's low pay and limited prospects. The current federal minimum wage standard is $7.25 per hour.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:41 pm
A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday indicated that he's leaning in favor of a allowing American Airlines to emerge from bankruptcy, clearing a major obstacle to the carrier's planned merger with US Airways.
The Monopoly game hitting store shelves contains a sleek kitty, which will join the classic Scottie dog and top hat. Fans adopted the cat in an online vote earlier this year. The company shelved the iron after a 78 year run.
Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has announced it's going to expand to Colombia.
The country is known for its Arabica beans and for the mythical coffee farmer Juan Valdez. He's helped sell Colombia's coffee for 50 years. Starbucks has cafes in 50 countries. And now, it's coming to perhaps the country most associated with coffee.
Howard Schultz, the company's chief executive, announced that the first shop will open in Bogota in 2014, followed by 50 more cafes and in other cities over five years.
Ford is ramping up production of the popular midsized car. The automaker is adding 1,400 workers, and a second shift at one of its Detroit area plants. The Fusion has helped deliver the best numbers the automaker has seen since 2006.
Bunol, Spain, held its annual La Tomatina food fight on Wednesday. About 20,000 people pelted each other with tomatoes. Money is tight in Spain these days, with the country deep in recession. So for the first time, participants had to pay for the right to smear each other with some 130 tons of overripe, dripping produce.
So let's get back to the home of Starbucks - Seattle. There, even as fast food workers have been protesting for higher pay, what they call a living wage in many cities, one of Seattle's best known restaurant owners has just upped the pay of his workers on his own.
Tom Douglas owns 14 restaurants and bakeries in Seattle. And even though he resents the idea of a law telling him how much to pay his workers, Douglas raised the pay for hundreds of his dishwashers and cooks. He joined us to talk more about why.
Losia Nyankale helps daughter Jonessa and son Juliean learn the alphabet. Nyankale, who works in a restaurant in Washington, D.C., says she needs food stamps and child-care subsidies to make ends meet.
Losia Nyankale, 29, didn't mean to make a career in the restaurant business. But after Nyankale was in college for two years, her mom lost her job as a schoolteacher and could no longer pay tuition. Then, Nyankale's temp jobs in bookkeeping dried up in the recession. So she went back to her standby — restaurant work.
"I did some kitchen work. The pantries or the salad station," she says. "I've also managed, supervised, wash[ed] dishes."
This week, Jess Jiang and Robert Smith visited the factory in Indonesia where U.S. cotton was spun into yarn for the Planet Money T-shirt. (They also visited several other factories.) Here are some of the pictures Robert posted to our T-Shirt Tumblr.
Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 6:34 am
When you go to the Dead Sea for a float in its extraordinarily buoyant waters, signs warn you not to drink a drop. "Did you swallow water?" one Dead Sea do's and don'ts list asks. "Go immediately to the lifeguard."