David Kestenbaum http://www.kplu.org en When Ikea Raises Its Minimum Wage, Where Does The Money Come From? http://www.kplu.org/post/when-ikea-raises-its-minimum-wage-where-does-money-come Ikea, a company famous for keeping its costs down, recently announced that it would raise the average minimum wage for its retail workers to $10.76 an hour. Why would the company volunteer to pay its workers more?<p>"By taking better care of our coworkers," says Rob Olson, the acting president of Ikea U.S., "they will take better care of our customers, who will take better care of Ikea. We see it as a win-win-win opportunity."<p>Win. Win. Win. Sounds like a free lunch. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:40:45 +0000 David Kestenbaum 17696 at http://www.kplu.org When Ikea Raises Its Minimum Wage, Where Does The Money Come From? Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin? http://www.kplu.org/post/stradivarius-just-violin The Stradivarius violin gets its name from master craftsman Antonio Stradivari. When he died in 1737, his secrets died with him: No one has ever been able to duplicate the sound of the violins or violas he made.<p>His instruments have taken on a mythical quality. Fri, 16 May 2014 20:59:06 +0000 David Kestenbaum 16633 at http://www.kplu.org Is A Stradivarius Just A Violin? 'The Numbers Are Getting Better, The People Are Getting Worse' http://www.kplu.org/post/numbers-are-getting-better-people-are-getting-worse When we talked to Katerina Margaritou two years ago, she was worried about how she would pay for her wedding dress. She was working for the government as a chemist, but hadn't received a paycheck in months.<p>Katerina was starting to lose faith in her country, starting to think she and her fiancee, Elias Tilligadas, would be better off leaving Greece.<p>The Greek economy has continued to shrink since we last talked to Katerina. But this year the Greek government and the IMF are predicting the economy will finally turn around. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 21:41:49 +0000 David Kestenbaum 15150 at http://www.kplu.org 'The Numbers Are Getting Better, The People Are Getting Worse' Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs? http://www.kplu.org/post/does-raising-minimum-wage-kill-jobs President Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage, saying it will help some of the poorest Americans. Opponents argue that a higher minimum wage will lead employers to cut jobs.<p>Figuring out the effect of raising the minimum wage is tough. Ideally you'd like to compare one universe where the minimum was raised against an alternate universe where it remained fixed.<p>Economist David Card found the next best thing. In 1992, New Jersey was about to raise its minimum wage. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 01:29:49 +0000 David Kestenbaum 14513 at http://www.kplu.org Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs? A Venture Capitalist Is Betting A Pair Of Socks (And $50 Million) On Bitcoin's Future http://www.kplu.org/post/venture-capitalist-betting-pair-socks-and-50-million-bitcoins-future Ben Horowitz is a big-time venture capitalist. His firm <a href="http://a16z.com/portfolio/" target="_blank">invested in Facebook and Twitter</a>. More recently, his firm <a href="http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/why-bitcoin-matters/" target="_blank">invested some $50 million</a> in startups related to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/08/24/138673630/what-is-bitcoin" target="_blank">bitcoin</a>, the virtual currency that works like online cash. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 00:38:40 +0000 David Kestenbaum & Jacob Goldstein 13294 at http://www.kplu.org A Venture Capitalist Is Betting A Pair Of Socks (And $50 Million) On Bitcoin's Future We Found This 20-Year-Old T-Shirt In Kenya. The Internet Found The Original Owner http://www.kplu.org/post/we-found-20-year-old-t-shirt-kenya-internet-found-original-owner We recently <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/12/10/247362140/the-afterlife-of-american-clothes" target="_blank">published a story</a> about how used clothes that get donated in the U.S. often wind up for sale in markets in Africa. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 19:47:54 +0000 David Kestenbaum 11604 at http://www.kplu.org We Found This 20-Year-Old T-Shirt In Kenya. The Internet Found The Original Owner What A U.S. Default Would Mean For Pensions, China And Social Security http://www.kplu.org/post/what-us-default-would-mean-pensions-china-and-social-security What would happen if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling and the U.S. defaults on its debt later this month? The broad economic implications are unpredictable, but a default could cause huge trouble for the global economy.<p>But whatever happens to the global economy, one thing is clear: People all over the world who have loaned the U.S. government money won't get paid on time.<p>And lots and lots of people have loaned the government money. Those people are commonly referred to as owners of Treasury bonds. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 07:46:31 +0000 David Kestenbaum 10378 at http://www.kplu.org What A U.S. Default Would Mean For Pensions, China And Social Security The Accountant Who Changed The World http://www.kplu.org/post/accountant-who-changed-world The story of the birth of accounting begins with numbers. In the 1400s, much of Europe was still using Roman numerals, and finding it really hard to easily add or subtract. (Try adding MCVI to XCIV.)<p>But fortunately, Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) started catching on, and with those numbers, merchants in Venice developed a revolutionary system we now call "double-entry" bookkeeping. This is how it works:<p>Every transaction gets entered twice in financial records. Thu, 04 Oct 2012 23:15:49 +0000 David Kestenbaum 6606 at http://www.kplu.org The Accountant Who Changed The World