From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
The Treasury and Justice Departments today sought to clarify for banks how they might navigate the murky legal waters of the marijuana business. Murky because pot is legal in a growing number of states but remains illegal under federal law. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on these new terms under which a bank must operate if it wants to offer financial services to this emerging industry.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Much of the East Coast is digging out from ice and snow including Washington, D.C. But members of Congress beat the bad weather out of town and are back in their districts for a two week recess, this after a vote to raise the debt ceiling - a vote that came unusual for these times without an ugly showdown.
On this Valentine's Day, Renee Montagne talks to a young economist about how he tried to apply the rules of the market to his love life. William Nicolson chronicles his journey to find a girlfriend in the memoir, The Romantic Economist.
This week Getty Images teamed up with LeanIn.org, the nonprofit foundation of Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, to release a new collection of stock photos. There are about 2,500 new images of modern women and families.
Iran's economy may be struggling, but that doesn't mean everyone is suffering.
In a downtown Tehran restaurant, a well-dressed young man who asks to be identified only as Ahmad sits with a friend enjoying a water pipe of flavored tobacco.
Ahmad is a bit vague about what he does — first he says he's in the petrochemical business, then describes himself as an independent trader. He shares the general consensus that President Hassan Rouhani has brought a better atmosphere to the country but no real economic changes.
The new head of the Federal Reserve made her debut this week in a marathon hearing before the House Financial Services Committee. Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center at the Brookings Institution about Janet Yellin's first days as chair of the Fed, and what message she sent to Congress in six hours of testimony.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It's been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty so all this year we've been looking at poverty here in the U.S. We've been talking about strategies to end poverty, what's worked, what hasn't and what's on the table because according to the U.S. Census, the rate of poverty seems to be stuck at 15 percent. That's about 46 million people.
Community college leaders are in Washington this week, pushing for a bigger role in getting more people to enroll in two-year schools. They're also pushing the job training that business and industry say they desperately need.
Still, community colleges are significantly underfunded. And as NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports, it's unclear whether these schools can open their doors to more people or offer programs that are likely to cost a lot more.
Despite efforts by two-thirds of its 28 member states to block the move, the European Union took a large step toward approving a new genetically modified corn Tuesday. It opponents say the corn, a DuPont Pioneer product called TC1507, has harmful qualities. They also predict the decision will prove to be controversial in Europe.
In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.
Yes, a new study of young people finds. The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Paul Taylor, executive vice president of special projects at Pew, says it's pretty much case closed when it comes to the benefits of going to college.
Tuesday saw a rarity in Congress these days: a "clean" bill.
The House passed one to raise the debt limit, a move that avoids a possible default later this month.
In the past, House Republicans have used this debate to extract concessions from President Obama and congressional Democrats.
But not this time. House Republicans demanded nothing in return. The House passed the no-strings-attached debt hike Tuesday evening — though just 28 Republicans voted with the Democratic minority to pass the extension, 221 votes to 201 votes.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Janet Yellen made her first appearance on Capitol Hill today as the new leader of the Federal Reserve. Her message was clear. There will be no sudden changes in Fed policy. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep pulling back its big stimulus program despite concerns about the economy.
Teacher salaries are losing ground fast in North Carolina.
Jennifer Spivey has been a teacher for three years at South Columbus High School, on the north side of the border between the Carolinas. She's been recognized as an outstanding teacher; she has a master's degree, and last summer she won a prestigious Kenan fellowship to improve education. But she still lives in her parents' basement.
One of the biggest problems facing low-income families in the U.S. today is a lack of affordable housing.
According to a recent report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, more than 7 million low-income households now spend more than half of their income for rent, which leaves little money for anything else. And the situation is expected to get worse.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 4:21 pm
When Woody Harrelson's character got hired as a bartender on Cheers, he was so excited, he insisted on working for no more than the minimum wage. "I'd work like a slave," he said, "and, of course, I'd wash your car."
Most bar and restaurant workers would prefer to bring home a little more cash. They may be in luck.
As part of his plan to raise the minimum wage, President Obama has called for substantially increasing the base wage paid to tipped workers for the first time in decades.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now to matters of personal finance as we get close to Valentine's Day, which is Friday. And don't say I didn't remind you. Romance is in the air, and you might be looking for ways to touch your beloved's heart. But some scammers are thinking about ways to touch your wallet.
Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:
"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."
The U.S. Treasury is now in its fourth day of resorting to what it calls extraordinary measures to ensure all the nation's bills get paid. Officials estimate they can keep doing that for only 16 more days without risking a default on the debt. But the House of Representatives has only six working days left to raise the debt ceiling, and this morning, House Republicans were back behind closed doors, gauging support for a plan to do that. NPR's David Welna as at the capital, and he joins us know with the latest.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the program today by talking about Friday's jobs report which was once again disappointing. The report also shared bad news for people who are working that wages remain stagnant.
There was good news, though, for employers. Worker productivity has gone up. We wanted to talk more about what productivity means and what this whole issue means for the economy, so we've called once again on NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax. Welcome back, Marilyn.
In January, Lenovo struck deals with two American companies. In a span of one week, the company spent roughly $5 billion to purchase both IBM's low-end server business and Google's Motorola mobile phone business. The moves help establish Lenovo as a global player.
When Congress reached a bipartisan budget deal last December, there was much fanfare about the compromises made by both parties. And immediately afterwards, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle began working to reverse one of the spending cuts - a small reduction in military pensions. One plan to restore those pensions is up for a vote today in the Senate. As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, resistance against the small cut is calling into question whether Congress has the political will to reduce the long-term debt.
Wayne Warren shakes wet dirt out of a plastic bucket and into a metal chute, tossing aside bigger rocks. For him, California's drought is golden.
Yes, golden. Warren is knee-deep in the San Gabriel River, an hour outside of Los Angeles. That chute next to him is a sluice box. The water washes away the dirt in a muddy cloud, and he leans over the box. Out of the creek, he taps his findings into a green, plastic gold pan and gives it a few swirls. What's left ...
In an open dump, in a village outside of Tacloban in the central Philippines, we're sloshing through rainwater and leachate — that's the goo that comes out of rotting trash — while Tim Walsh surveys the site.
"Just walk on the dry bit," he says. "I've got used to the smell over the years and you get immune to it. But for most people the smell of decaying rubbish is not really very pleasant."
We wondered if some of the numbers in recent jobs reports might reflect a finding in a Department of Education study that came out in January about a group of high school students they began to study 12 years ago. That group of students is now pushing 30, and 23 percent are living with their parents. A Pew national study puts the percentage of that generation called millenials who live with their parents even higher.
The U.S. added just 113,000 jobs in January, instead of the 180,000 analysts had predicted. Despite the anemic gains, the unemployment rate inched down to 6.6 percent, the lowest level since October 2008.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. And we'll begin the hour with the latest snapshot of the American economy. Once again, the news is mostly disappointing. Employers added a scant 113,000 jobs to payrolls last month. That's the second straight month where hiring fell far below expectations. On the other hand, the unemployment rate fell slightly and a good number of people who've been out of work for a long time found jobs.