Marilyn Geewax http://www.kplu.org en Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It http://www.kplu.org/post/economists-say-inflation-tame-consumers-arent-buying-it Economists regularly issue reports calling inflation tame or mild, or some other word that suggests consumers shouldn't be feeling much pain.<p>One example: "Inflation has been tame and this is providing households with some relief" from economic stress, according to an assessment done this week by PNC Financial Services.<p>But if you happen to be buying gasoline or groceries, you may not be feeling relieved — at all.<p>"It's kind of hard to even buy milk and bread," said Kimberly Acevedo, a bank teller who was shopping at a Best Market in Harlem. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:39:48 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 17694 at http://www.kplu.org Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling? http://www.kplu.org/post/how-many-companies-will-be-touched-courts-contraception-ruling When the Supreme Court ruled Monday that "closely held" corporations <a href="file:///C:/Users/aschneider/Documents/My%20Documents/326926331">don't have to pay for workers' contraception</a>, you may have assumed the decision applied only to family-owned businesses.<p>Wrong. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:37:33 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 17493 at http://www.kplu.org How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling? Job Outlook Brightens For Graduates, Though Problems Linger http://www.kplu.org/post/job-outlook-brightens-graduates-though-problems-linger Congratulations Class of 2014! You are entering a labor market that offers a record number of paychecks.<p>On Friday, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy now has <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/06/06/319404238/will-the-u-s-finally-gets-past-pre-recession-jobs-total">138.5 million jobs</a>, slightly more than the previous high set in early 2008 — just as the Great Recession was tightening its grip.<p>The post-recession peak came after employers added 217,000 jobs in May. That marked the fourth straight month when payrolls increased by at least 200,000. Sat, 07 Jun 2014 20:12:38 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 17032 at http://www.kplu.org Job Outlook Brightens For Graduates, Though Problems Linger Economist Piketty's Work Doesn't Add Up, 'Financial Times' Says http://www.kplu.org/post/economist-pikettys-work-doesnt-add-financial-times-says French economist Thomas Piketty became a publishing superstar this year by putting two and two together and concluding that the rich are getting richer.<p>His best-seller, <em>Capital in the Twenty-First Century</em>, uses mountains of data to calculate Western wealth over the past two centuries. Fri, 23 May 2014 22:17:15 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 16821 at http://www.kplu.org Economist Piketty's Work Doesn't Add Up, 'Financial Times' Says Housing Is Perking Up, But Realtors Worry About Young Buyers http://www.kplu.org/post/housing-perking-realtors-worry-about-young-buyers The U.S. Thu, 15 May 2014 20:25:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 16604 at http://www.kplu.org Housing Is Perking Up, But Realtors Worry About Young Buyers Bill Clinton Says His Wife's Brain Is Just Fine, Thank You http://www.kplu.org/post/bill-clinton-says-his-wifes-brain-just-fine-thank-you Bill Clinton says he was "dumbfounded" by Republican strategist Karl Rove's recent comments about Hillary Clinton's brain. But the former president was hardly left speechless.<p>"First they say she was faking her concussion; now they say she's auditioning for a part on <em>The Walking Dead,</em>" Clinton said on Wednesday when asked about Rove's remark that Hillary may have suffered "brain damage" from a fall in 2012.<p>"She is strong; she is doing great. As far as I can tell, she's in better shape than I am," Clinton said of his wife. Wed, 14 May 2014 19:24:02 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 16563 at http://www.kplu.org Bill Clinton Says His Wife's Brain Is Just Fine, Thank You German Fears About U.S. Spying Could Hurt Trade Deal http://www.kplu.org/post/german-fears-about-us-spying-could-hurt-trade-deal Most Americans and Germans agree: More trade between the United States and the European Union would be a good idea.<p>But when you get down to details of a possible trade pact, suspicions pop up, <a href="http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/04/09/support-in-principle-for-u-s-eu-trade-pact/">according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center</a> in association with Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation.<p>"There is a lot of fear" now in Europe about how much Americans might pry into Europeans' lives if they could impose their more relaxed privacy standards on the EU, Aart De Geus, CEO of the Ber Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:02:17 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 15909 at http://www.kplu.org German Fears About U.S. Spying Could Hurt Trade Deal Wonk Week In Washington: When Briefings Are Better Than Blossoms http://www.kplu.org/post/wonk-week-washington-when-briefings-are-better-blossoms Let the senior-citizen tourists stare at the fluffy pink cherry blossoms.<p>Let the Midwestern seventh-graders tilt their heads back and gaze gape-mouthed at the Washington Monument.<p>Sure, this is a lovely week for them to be in Washington, D.C. It's April. It's gorgeous.<p>But no one is happier to be here this week than the wonks. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:34:30 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 15872 at http://www.kplu.org Wonk Week In Washington: When Briefings Are Better Than Blossoms 21st Century Energy Outlook: Quite Similar To The Last Two Centuries http://www.kplu.org/post/21st-century-energy-outlook-quite-similar-last-two-centuries The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's <a href="http://www.energyxxi.org"><em>Institute for 21</em><em><sup>st</sup></em></a><em><a href="http://www.energyxxi.org"> Century Energy</a> </em>sponsored the event.<p>But the speaker, Anthony Alexander, the chief executive of FirstEnergy Corp., offered a vigorous defense of that 20th century invention — nuclear power. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:10:23 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 15817 at http://www.kplu.org Expecting A Spring Thaw, Shops And Restaurants Warm To Hiring http://www.kplu.org/post/expecting-spring-thaw-shops-and-restaurants-warm-hiring As winter loosens its grip, employers are taking on more help.<p>Hotels, bars and restaurants added 33,000 workers, while retailers tacked on 21,000 jobs in March, the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Labor Department said Friday</a>. Economists say those increases suggest employers are growing more confident that Americans will be spending more this year.<p>"Consumers still have the wherewithal to make discretionary purchases and were just waiting for the snow to be plowed and the temperatures to rise to resume spending," IHS Global Insight chief U.S. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 21:02:40 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 15701 at http://www.kplu.org Expecting A Spring Thaw, Shops And Restaurants Warm To Hiring After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend http://www.kplu.org/post/after-winters-chill-economists-predict-warming-trend Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.<p>"Adverse weather conditions" have hurt economic growth so far this year, but things are headed in the right direction now, according to a forecast released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics.<p>"Conditions in a variety of areas — including labor, consumer and housing markets — are expected to improve over the next two years, while inflation remains tame," Jack Kleinhenz, NABE president and chief economist for the National Retail Federation, said in a statement.<p>Each month, the association surveys pr Mon, 24 Mar 2014 05:32:25 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 15219 at http://www.kplu.org After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend Overtime Pay Proposal Triggers A New Debate About Wages http://www.kplu.org/post/overtime-pay-proposal-triggers-new-debate-about-wages On Thursday, President Obama <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/13/289826847/obama-if-you-work-more-you-should-get-paid-more">rolled out his plan</a> for strengthening overtime pay protections for millions of workers. In his view, if more workers got fatter paychecks, they could spend more and stimulate the economy.<p>But if his critics are right, then employers would end up laying off workers to make up for the higher wage costs. And that would hurt the already painfully slow recovery.<p>Which scenario is right?<p>Economists are divided. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:33:54 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 14794 at http://www.kplu.org Overtime Pay Proposal Triggers A New Debate About Wages Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club? http://www.kplu.org/post/obamas-budget-magic-wand-or-club Think of the <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview" target="_blank">budget plan released Tuesday</a> by President Obama as a magic wand. If he could wave it and make every line come true, how would the U.S. economy look?<p>Like this:<p>Wealthier Americans would be paying more in taxes, while poorer ones would be getting new tax credits. More roads would be under construction and scientists would be receiving more funding. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:53:14 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 14457 at http://www.kplu.org Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club? Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise http://www.kplu.org/post/marching-spring-realtors-hopes-rise For real estate agents, March Madness has begun.<p>The rush is on to throw out clutter, paint walls and clean carpets. Historic data show the peak time for selling homes is April through July, and that means this is the month for spring cleaning.<p>"Freshen up the landscape and add that mulch now," Dallas Realtor Jeff Duffey recommended in a phone interview. Sun, 02 Mar 2014 20:47:08 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 14335 at http://www.kplu.org Marching Into Spring, Realtors' Hopes Rise After A Weak Holiday Season, Wal-Mart Profits Shrink http://www.kplu.org/post/after-weak-holiday-season-wal-mart-profits-shrink Wal-Mart on Thursday reported that its annual profits failed to grow. And failed by a lot.<p>Full-year net income tumbled to $16 billion, down by nearly $1 billion from the previous year.<p>That tells you a great deal about how hard the economy has been on the lower-income shoppers who make up Wal-Mart's core customer base, according to Charles Fishman, author of <em>The </em><em>Wal-Mart</em><em> </em><em>Effect</em>.<p>"This clearly reflects the economic constraints on people who shop at Wal-Mart," Fishman said.<p>The holiday season was especially disappointing. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:58:52 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 13900 at http://www.kplu.org After A Weak Holiday Season, Wal-Mart Profits Shrink