While more people are saving, a startling number of people have no pensions or savings as they head toward retirement years. If you are lucky enough to have investments, the key question for our show is, how do we protect and grow our assets at the same time? Too conservative means you miss the gains; too risky means you can lose a bundle if the market sinks, and never make it up if retirement is near.
I root for the Green Bay Packers...and not casually. As I speak, there's a Green Bay Packers mug nearby, on weekends I wear a Packers cap and use Packers shopping bags. Most disturbingly, in the long, long off-season, I subscribe to services which provide me with daily obsessive updates on anything going on in Packers land. And, I read them even though nothing really is going on.
At the corner of 87th Street and South Wabash in Chicago, an intersection that has a McDonald's on one corner and a Burger King on the other, workers chanted "$15 an hour" or sang "We Shall Not be Moved" as they blocked traffic.
Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 10:58 am
Labor unions are looking for lessons in the recent worker victory at New England supermarket chain Market Basket. By using Internet technology to rapidly coalesce around a single demand, nonunion workers forced a sale of the company to their beloved CEO.
"I've never seen anything like it, that's for sure. And they prevailed, which is even stranger. They took on this and forced these people to sell their shares to this one guy," says Dennis Irvin with United Steelworkers Local 12012. "It's amazing, totally amazing!"
It’s been years since the housing market crashed. But in that time, increased job insecurity and the rising cost of living have left many questioning whether the American dream of homeownership is still a practical one, especially for the nation’s low- and middle-wage earners.
Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 12:24 pm
After operating for only two years, the Revel Casino Hotel has closed down, part of a trend that will reportedly shutter a third of Atlantic City's big gambling halls by the end of September. It cost $2.4 billion to build the Revel facility.
"It's a tragedy," massage therapist Lori Bacum, who worked at the resort's spa, tells NJ.com. "There were some warnings, but none of us thought it would happen. We felt so safe, because this was the place that was going to take (the city) to a new level."
In 1894, a new national holiday was created -- a day when American workers could retreat from harsh work conditions and long hours to spend some time with family and friends. The holiday was called Labor Day.
Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:00 am
Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, used to have a habit of describing the American people in two categories. There were the "makers" — people paying taxes — and the "takers" — people getting government benefits.
Today, the Wisconsin Republican says he was wrong, and that the country needs to overhaul how it thinks about poverty. In his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, he offers ways to redirect federal spending to fighting poverty.
Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:12 am
Millions of families are heading to Target or Wal-Mart this month to make sure their kids have what they need for the first day of school. And, as many parents know, those glue sticks and gym clothes can really add up.
Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 12:26 pm
Shoppers in Massachusetts can look forward to a sales tax holiday later this month. The Massachusetts legislature in the closing minutes of the legislative session last week set the sales tax-free shopping days for August 16 and 17.
The sales tax holiday was included in a comprehensive economic development bill that contains dozens of programs and incentives designed to create jobs. State Senator Gale Candaras of Wilbraham, who helped write the bill, acknowledges there is scant evidence the sales tax holiday does much to grow the Massachusetts economy.
Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 12:28 pm
Sales incentives helped U.S. auto sales rise in July, as major auto companies reported selling more than 120,000 more vehicles than the same month last year. GM retained its spot as the U.S. sales leader.
Sales of passenger cars rose by nearly 5 percent this July compared to last year, with sales of light trucks even higher, at 13.4 percent, according to data released Friday by research firm Autodata Corp.
GM sold 256,160 vehicles last month, beating Toyota's 215,802 and Ford's 211,467.
Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:44 am
The nation's unemployment rate moved up a bit in the month of July, to 6.2 percent, as more Americans who'd been sitting on the sidelines started looking for work, according to the latest monthly report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 209,000 jobs, a bit less than economists had expected.
Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 2:50 pm
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is under fire for signing off on a building plan that allows a new luxury high-rise on Manhattan's western edge to have a separate entrance for low-income residents.
About 20 percent of the units in the 33-story tower will be reserved for low- and middle-income residents. But all the affordable units will be grouped in one area, and those tenants will have to enter through a separate door.
The 93rd annual Santa Fe Indian Market is only a month away. It's the biggest and best-known destination for Native artists and Native art collectors on the planet, and this year, it's got competition — a new event called the Indigenous Fine Arts Market.
Native American art and culture is big business. If you don't believe that, look no further than the controversial or illegal sides of the market. If you've been paying attention over the last year, you've seen some lurid and fascinating headlines:
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy hopes for a strong vote in the Senate this week on the Bring Jobs Home Act. The bill would take away the ability for businesses to get a tax break for sending jobs overseas, and instead incentivizes companies to bring jobs back to the United States.
Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 10:24 am
New data released by the Department of Labor shows that raising the minimum wage in some states does not appear to have had a negative impact on job growth, contrary to what critics said would happen.
In a report on Friday, the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not. The data run counter to a Congressional Budget Office report in February that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as the White House supports, could cost as many as 500,000 jobs.
A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of the layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division the company acquired in April. Microsoft says it might shed as many as 18,000 jobs as it restructures itself.
The company says it will complete most of the layoffs by the end of this year, and complete the restructuring by next June.
Connecticut is fully engulfed in campaign ad season and candidates are already spending big money to get the message out to voters. What's the message? "Like me! The other guy, not so much." On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, Colin McEnroe guest hosts a conversation with a panel of reporters and political analysts to catch you up on the week’s news.
It looks like the world's largest hedge fund won't build a new headquarters in Stamford . What does that say about the state's economic development plans? A charter school organization faces investigations of its finances and operations. What does it say about the school reform movement? We'll look at those stories, plus the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and whether the employer-based insurance model makes sense today.