Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson declared his "War on Poverty," President Obama issued his own plan to combat poverty Thursday with the nation's first five "Promise Zones."
All "Promise Zones" will receive a competitive advantage when applying for federal grants, on-site support from federal officials, and, pending congressional approval, tax incentives for businesses hiring and investing in the community.
At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, a bevy of tax breaks expired in Washington D.C., everything from a tax benefit for people who commute to work using mass transit, to a subsidy for NASCAR racetracks. Some of these are probably less crucial for the national economy, but others are vital to the health of certain industries. At least that's what the businesses that benefit say, as NPR's Chris Arnold has been finding out.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:50 am
Whatever Friday's monthly jobs report says, it won't change the big picture. There are roughly 137 million jobs in this country. About two-thirds of those jobs are in private-sector services; the remaining third are split between goods-producing jobs (mainly manufacturing and construction) and government work (mostly at the state and local level).
Here's a closer look, drawn from the same data that the government collects for the monthly jobs report. (You can see this data, in glorious detail, here.)
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:37 pm
Thanks to epic problems with HealthCare.gov's rollout, the federal government's out-of-date technology processes have received more attention than most of us could have expected. The main doorway for millions of Americans to get health insurance was unusable for two months, but that screw-up is just one in a long line of government IT failures.
Workers at Boeing were in a difficult spot last week. Their employer offered a new contract cutting back retirement and health benefits. It came with what looked like a threat. The company said it might have to move important operations out of Washington State and hire new workers. Union members approved the contract, barely, and Boeing is staying put.
Journalist Hedricks Smith written about the decline of the middle-class. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, he says Boeing just contributed to that.
During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in National Parks and forests in the Civilian Conservation Corps. President Obama's Secretary of the Interior wants to bring back that spirit, to create jobs and a new generation of conservationists.
But as NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, it's not the easiest thing to do in tight budget times.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
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This week, and in the coming year, we're marking the anniversary of a famous declaration. It's been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson called for an unconditional war on poverty in his first State of the Union Address after the assassination of President Kennedy.
NPR's business news starts with layoffs at Macy's.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: Macy's has announced it's letting go 2,500 employees and closing five stores as part of a major reorganization. The company says it will save $100 million a year with the changes. It will also move hundreds of employees to its other department stores and to the company's online operation.
It was a two-step move for Republicans at the Capitol Wednesday: to both praise the sentiment of the War on Poverty – but also to critique it.
"We are here to mark the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's declaration of the War on Poverty," said Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida. "And while this war may have been launched with the best of intentions, it's clear we're now engaged in a battle for attrition."
The New York Times unveiled a major redesign of its digital offerings Wednesday. With a new scroll feature, readers will never again have to click to read the second half of a story, and the site is crafted to appeal to a mobile audience.
But the redesign has also embraced a controversial shift in journalism: Some posts on the site that look like articles are reported and written by people working for the paper's advertisers.
Cold weather this week has boosted demand for heating fuels across the country. Natural gas prices are up, especially in the Northeast. At one point prices for natural gas into New York City jumped nearly tenfold from an average winter price of $5.68 per million BTU to $55.49, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics company.
Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 6:21 pm
Companies from Sony and Samsung to Netflix and Google's YouTube are putting their money into TVs that pack more pixels. Several models are on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We start the program today with reflections on money, speaking broadly. In a few minutes, we'll talk about some myths and facts about credit. Consumer columnist Sheryl Harris will help us clear up some confusion over what exactly helps and hurts your credit. That's in just a few minutes.
This is the time of year when many people make an effort to get a handle on their credit. But you might be confused about what actions can actually help your credit and those that can harm it. Consumer columnist Sheryl Harris joined Tell Me More host Michel Martin to share some tips and debunk consumer credit myths.
Tip: Understanding your credit report
A credit report shows your credit and loan accounts, the balance owed on each account, and your payment history on each account.
One month after its merger with US Airways, American Airlines has introduced some procedural changes for its customers. The world's largest airline is assuring its best clients they'll keep their perks.
The average American eats 5.6 pounds of butter — a 25 percent increase over the past decade. Its jump in popularity is due to an overall trend towards natural foods, and a "smear" campaign against processed butter alternatives.
Intel was a powerhouse in the age of personal computing, making its revenues from powerful chips built into PCs. But it has largely missed the mobile computing revolution. With PC sales slumping, Intel is intent on becoming relevant in the next wave of computing — wearables.
A Swiss banker has pleaded not guilty to charges he helped thousands of Americans evade paying their taxes. Raoul Weil was one of the top managers at UBS, a Swiss bank that helped nearly 20,000 Americans hide their assets in secret accounts.
Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education, and tax cuts to help create jobs.