For Ron Lieber, personal finance writer for TheNew York Times, it'sa tool to help teach values and character traits like patience, moderation, thrift and generosity. And Lieber, who's writing a book, The Opposite of Spoiled, about kids, money and values, tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep there are three basic ways that parents approach an allowance.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 5:24 pm
Robots are working alongside humans on car production lines, taking what Technology Review calls "a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots" at car factories. Previously, robots had been seen as being too unsafe to place them shoulder-to-arm-joint with humans on the assembly line.
Now that Larry Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration to lead the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, Vice Chair of the Fed, has emerged as the frontrunner. For more on Yellen and her career, Audie Cornish talks with Alan Blinder, a professor of economics at Princeton University.
As news traveled about the mass shootings at the Navy Yard, there were some missteps by the media. At first, some news outlets reported there were up to three different gun men. So far, that's turned out not to be the case. There were reports that there was a second shooting at Bolling Air Force Base, that turned out not to be the case.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just added fuel to the fire already raging in Washington over what to do about the deficit. A new CBO study paints a grim picture of the nation's long-term debt and deficit.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports that despite three years of fighting over it, Congress hasn't done much to improve things.
It all started out so promisingly. She was young, still in her teens, and she'd landed her first job. As is the custom in Brazil, to get your salary you have to open an account with the bank the company deals with — and with that new account came the woman's first credit card.
"The banks say, 'I want to help you,' " she says. "And if you have a credit card, it's a status symbol, you are well-regarded."
She switched jobs. That company dealt with another bank — which issued her another credit card. She got a store credit card, too.
For the first year since the recession, median household incomes did not decline in 2012. But it's hardly a reassuring picture. Incomes were flat despite the economic recovery and big gains in the stock market. That's a troubling aspect about today's labor market. It's four years since the official end of the recession and many households are worse off than when it started.
Reports show that Latinos are plugged into social media, but does this mean they are turning from traditional media? Host Michel Martin speaks with Viviana Hurtado, founder of The Wise Latina Club, and entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas about how social media is helping to empower Latinos.
Entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas speaks with host Michel Martin about why he thinks more Latino business leaders need to step up to the plate. Espuelas was named by PODER Magazine as one of "The Nation's 100 Most Influential Hispanics" in 2012.
Laborers stand on a new ship at a Rongsheng Heavy Industries shipyard in Nantong, China, in 2012. The troubles at Rongsheng, China's largest private shipbuilder, mirror what's happening in the global industry.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 10:43 am
There's news this week that shipbuilder STX Finland will close what it describes as "the world's leading ferry builder," a yard where the company also built small cruise ships, icebreakers and naval craft.
The company blamed economic conditions for the closure of the Rauma Shipyard. Work from there will be shifted to the company's facility in Turku. About 700 people will lose their jobs.
Next, we go to a wildly successful Japanese export that specializes in cute. I'm talking about the white cat with a red bow and a button nose, whose image adorns everything from school supplies to rifles to RVs.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Yes, our last word in business today is: Hello Kitty - in a can.
The Japanese company Sanrio has licensed the pudgy face cartoon cat to a Taiwanese beverage maker which is selling fruit-flavored beer in China and Taiwan.
And we are following other stories this week, including possible action by the Federal Reserve. Many analysts expect the Fed to announce the first reduction in its massive intervention in the economy, $85 billion per month, a decision that may come at the end of a two-day meeting. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.
When the Affordable Care Act was working its way through Congress, Gary Lauer was nervous. Part of the bill sounded grim. It said people could buy required health coverage online, but only through websites run by state and federal governments.
"That was going to pretty much delete us from the landscape," he says.
The Japanese city of Narita is best known to the outside world for its major airport that serves Tokyo, the nation's capital city.
Narita is also a rural area of Chiba Prefecture, however, with a long tradition of rice farming.
Toward the end of the summer, Narita's rice farmers gather to pray for bountiful harvests. They dance, play music and ride elaborate festival carts. From afar, the wagons appear to glide through a sea of lush green paddy fields as villagers pull them down Narita's placid country lanes.
When critics of industrial agriculture complain that today's food production is too big and too dependent on pesticides, that it damages the environment and delivers mediocre food, there's a line that farmers offer in response: We're feeding the world.
It's high-tech agriculture's claim to the moral high ground. Farmers say they farm the way they do to produce food as efficiently as possible to feed the world.
The whole beauty of fantasy sports is that you can manage teams of pro athletes without ever leaving your couch. The process of drafting teams, betting on the success of individual players and trash-talking with your similarly obsessed friends takes place on Web and mobile platforms, and that makes the fantasy sports pastime about more than just bragging rights. It's become a billion-dollar business.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:46 pm
It's mostly the usual suspects on the latest Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans: Bill Gates tops the list for the 20th consecutive year, with a net worth of $72 billion, followed by investor Warren Buffett and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
The Koch brothers, Charles and David, tie for fourth place, while Walton family members with an interest in retail behemoth Wal-Mart occupy positions 6 through 9.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:39 pm
A decade ago, Atkins was undeniably the fad diet of the moment: Back then, nearly 10 percent of Americans said they were either on the low-carb weight-loss plan or had tried it.
But after Dr. Robert Atkins, its namesake and mastermind, died of a head injury in 2003, the brand went downhill fast. Nutritionists berated the plan for promoting saturated fats and cholesterol-rich foods. Sales of Atkins books and food products dropped precipitously. And Atkins Nutritionals filed for bankruptcy in 2005.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:35 pm
By taking his name out of consideration for the Federal Reserve chairmanship this weekend, Lawrence Summers became a metaphor for the difficulties President Obama has had in pursuing his economic agenda.
And the end of Summers, at least as Ben Bernanke's potential successor, signaled that the president's inability to get traction on his economic agenda is likely to get worse, not better. Now even lawmakers in his own party are willing to break with him on high-profile economic decisions.
Financial markets rallied Monday, a day after Lawrence Summers took himself out of the running to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. Summers had been seen as a front-runner to replace Ben Bernanke, whose term expires in January.
His exit improved the odds for his chief rival for the position — Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen — as well as those of Donald Kohn, the former vice chairman of the Fed board.
South Korean managers are heading back to their factories at a complex located just north of the Demilitarized Zone. They're teaming up with North Korean workers to test-run idle assembly lines. The complex has been closed for five months because of political tensions between the two countries.
A 60-foot section of pipe is lowered into a trench during construction of the Gulf Coast Pipeline in Prague, Okla., in March. The Gulf Coast Pipeline, a 485-mile crude oil line, is part of the Keystone XL project and will run from Cushing, Okla. to Nederland, Texas. Although this southern stretch of the pipeline is nearly finished, the northern stretch is still under study.
Five years ago this week, a Canadian company proposed building a pipeline to send heavy crude oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. Although the Obama administration's answer on the Keystone XL pipeline is not expected anytime soon, politicians in Washington and Canada are ramping up the pressure for the project, while environmentalists are pushing hard against it.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has withdrawn from consideration as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. He cited a potentially divisive nomination hearing. Summers was widely thought to be President Obama's top choice to replace Ben Bernanke next year.
Chili's Grill & Bar is leading the way in digital dining. The restaurant chain is installing table-top computer screens to allow customers to place orders and swipe their credit card, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Carlos Mesquita (left) and Filipe Preto invented Vem aí a Troika (Here Comes the Troika), a satirical card game that pokes fun at Portugal's economic crisis and its creditors.
Credit Lauren Frayer
The dreaded troika card, decorated with a caricature representing the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. In Vem aí a Troika, the game ends when the troika card is played.
In a typical cafe in downtown Lisbon, old men play cards or dominoes over cups of milky coffee or cold glasses of vinho verde and commiserate about the economy.
One of their favorite ways to do this is through a new card game that's all the rage in Lisbon these days. Vem Aí a Troika, or Here Comes the Troika, is a satirical cross between Monopoly and Old Maid, in which players try to stash away savings in offshore accounts, win elections — and avoid the dreaded troika card.