economy

We Be Jammin'
2:55 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Could Tolls End the I-95 Traffic Nightmare Through Connecticut?

A picture of the high-speed tolling system on CityLink, a network of tolled urban Freeways in Melbourne, Australia.
Contributed Photo Connecticut Department of Transporation

Highway tolls are again being discussed in Connecticut as part of an 18-month study conducted by the state Department of Transportation. It's got road planners asking an interesting question, can one type of toll actually reduce traffic?

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State Growth
9:21 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Connecticut Economy: Good News! We're Not Dead Last

Credit Tracy O / Creative Commons

Connecticut's economy is showing positive growth, but it's very modest, according to newly-revised figures from the federal government.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Public Policy in the Dark; Metro-North Problems; and Resolution in East Haven

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announces the deal to bring baseball to town.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford’s “done deal” on minor league baseball once again has our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse thinking about the process behind government decisions. The plan to bring the New Britain Rock Cats' franchise to town was months in the making behind closed doors. 

We also check in on East Haven where a racial discrimination settlement was reached, closing another chapter in the painful history of the town. A very old bridge is creating new problems for Metro-North commuters down the shoreline too and officials are pointing fingers.

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Polish Stories
9:57 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Poland's Anniversary of Democracy a Time to Remember

Lech Wałęsa speaks at Gdańsk Shipyard's gate during the strike of 1980.
Polish magazine "Znak" Creative Commons

This week's big anniversaries of the Normandy Beach invasion 70 years ago, and the crackdown in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago have taken away from another important milestone: the 25th anniversary of Polish freedom from Communist rule. 

President Obama marked the anniversary in a speech, but the real reason for his visit was to highlight the success of Poland in the last quarter-century, while vowing NATO support for Ukraine in its struggle for independence from Russian influence. 

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Connecticut First
5:30 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Malloy Commemorates Sexual Assault Bill; $3.5 Million in Grants Awarded to Municipalities

Governor Dannel Malloy commemorated passage of  a new law strengthening sexual assault prevention and response on college campuses. He held a ceremony today at the offices of the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services in East Hartford.

Municipalities Awarded Grants 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Promises, Promises, Promises: Who Keeps Them?

President Barack Obama
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Promises, promises -- all politicians make them, but they don't always keep them. Just last month, Gov. Dan Malloy canceled the $55 tax rebate he’d promised residents earlier this year. 

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Regulating Risk
11:50 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner to Speak at Yale

Timothy Geithner at the United States Department of Treasury in 2009.
White House

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will give a lecture series at Yale this fall, based on his experiences during the financial crash.

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Climate Change
9:08 am
Tue May 6, 2014

New Report Finds Climate Change Already Having Broad Impact

People survey the damage on Scenic Highway in Pensacola, Fla., after part of it collapsed following heavy rains and flash flooding on April 30.
Marianna Massey Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:22 am

A new U.S. government report released Tuesday finds that climate change is already having a broad impact on both weather and the economy.

NPR's Elizabeth Shogren tells our Newscast unit the third National Climate Assessment is the most comprehensive look at climate change that the government has ever produced. It was put together by more than 300 experts "guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee."

She filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Saving For a New Kind of Retirement

Steven Depolo Creative Commons

After decades of stagnant incomes, the inability to save, and disappearing pensions, 75 percent of Americans nearing retirement have less than $30,000 saved, which won’t last long. One third of Connecticut residents are baby boomers -- a big demographic that is headed straight towards retirement. In fact, Connecticut’s population of 65 and up is growing ten times faster than the general population.

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College
6:03 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Poll: Prestigious Colleges Won't Make You Happier In Life Or Work

Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 2 percent of college graduates with $20,000 to $40,000 in undergraduate loans said they were "thriving."
TPapi Flickr

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:38 am

There's plenty of anxiety in the U.S. over getting into a top college. But a new Gallup poll suggests that, later in life, it doesn't matter nearly as much as we think. In fact, when you ask college graduates whether they're "engaged" with their work or "thriving" in all aspects of their lives, their responses don't vary one bit whether they went to a prestigious college or not.

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Connecticut First
6:13 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Examining the State's Heroin Problem; Danbury's Economic Boost; Republicans' Alternative Budget

Heroin use is rising at an alarming rate here in Connecticut and in the northeast. According to U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, 257 state residents have died from heroin overdoses, many in her district, which covers Torrington and Waterbury. Thursday, Esty met with the mayors of those two cities, along with law enforcement and public health professionals to explore options to combat the problem. 

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Tax Day
4:56 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Sending Money On An Overseas Round Trip To Avoid Taxes

Round-tripping occurs when American citizens open bank accounts in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, funnel money into the accounts and then use it to buy stocks and bonds back in the U.S.
David McFadden AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 6:03 pm

Some investors avoid paying taxes in a move called round-tripping — sending money offshore, then investing it in U.S. stocks or bonds. A study estimates it costs the U.S. billions in lost revenues.

Recently, MIT professor Michelle Hanlon and two colleagues set out to find out all they could about round-tripping.

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U.S. Economy
8:56 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Job Growth Picked Up Some Speed In March, Survey Signals

Kiara Crawford, Brittney Winkler and Jessyca Freeman (left to right) were among those applying for work last month at a job fair in Washington, D.C. Early data from that month signal that job growth may have gained some speed.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The first slice of data about job growth in March offers some hope that the U.S. labor market gained some strength:

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Saving For a New Kind of Retirement

Steven Depolo Creative Commons

After decades of stagnant incomes, the inability to save, and disappearing pensions, 75 percent of Americans nearing retirement have less than $30,000 saved, which won’t last long. One third of Connecticut residents are baby boomers -- a big demographic that is headed straight towards retirement. In fact, Connecticut’s population of 65 and up is growing ten times faster than the general population.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Secrets of the Sea

Credit Jagadhatri / Wikimedia Commons

   I get way too much of my information from movies and  this year large container ships played a role in two major films.

The first was Captain Phillips, an account of piracy in the Indian Ocean. The problem with that movie is that it didn't ask any fundamental questions about the method of moving stuff around.

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Economic Forecast
6:09 am
Mon March 24, 2014

After Winter's Chill, Economists Predict A Warming Trend

A cold, snowy winter in most of the country hurt economic growth, but forecasters see conditions improving for the rest of the year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:09 am

Somewhere under all of that melting snow, there's a warming economy.

"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.

"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.

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U.S. Economy
9:34 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Jobless Rate Ticks Up, But Job Growth Is Better Than Expected

The scene at a job fair for veterans earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:14 am

This post has been updated.

The nation's unemployment rate edged up to 6.7 percent in February from 6.6 percent the month before, but employers added more jobs than expected, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

According to BLS, the number of jobs on public and private payrolls grew by 175,000 last month — about 25,000 more than economists had expected.

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International Fracking
3:17 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Seeking Energy Independence, Europe Faces Heated Fracking Debate

Many countries in the European Union are drawn to the benefits of fracking: cheap energy and energy independence. But many Europeans, including these protesters standing outside EU headquarters in Brussels, object to the practice on environmental grounds.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:39 am

While watching the turmoil in Ukraine unfold, you may feel as though it has little to do with the United States, but the conflict is stirring a contentious debate in Europe over a topic familiar to many Americans: fracking.

Much of the continent depends on Russian natural gas that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. European countries are asking themselves whether to follow the U.S. example and drill for shale gas.

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E-Commerce
7:09 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Facebook Moves To Restrict Posts About Gun Sales

Facebook is planning to roll out new restrictions on posts about gun sales on its social networking site and on Instagram.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:01 pm

This post was updated at 10:30 a.m. ET on March 6.

Facebook said Wednesday that it will limit minors' access to pages and posts that offer firearms for sale, along with other measures intended to curtail illegal gun trafficking.

"This is something we've been working on for a while," says Facebook spokesman Matt Steinfeld. "We want to balance the interests of people who come here to express themselves while promoting an environment that is safe and respectful."

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Cities
7:01 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Growing An Urban Neighborhood, One Store At A Time

Communications store owner Donny Seto (right) says other business owners shouldn't be so hesitant to set up in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
Leah Binkovitz NPR

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:30 am

Across the country, communities stranded in food and retail deserts are asking how they can enjoy the bounty afforded to other urban centers. One Washington, D.C., community thinks it might have an answer.

Just a 10-minute drive south of the U.S. Capitol, across the Anacostia River, sits Congress Heights. The Southeast D.C. neighborhood is less than 2 miles long and home to more than 8,000 people, many in single-family houses. But if you're looking for a sit-down meal, options are scarce.

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U.S. Economy
7:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club?

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on his 2015 budget plan Tuesday at Powell Elementary School in Washington.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:02 am

Think of the budget plan released Tuesday 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?

Like this:

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Wed March 5, 2014

For Black And Latino Americans, A Glass Mysteriously Half-Full

Why are these stock photo models of color so smiley? (You could ask that question about all stock photo models of color.)
istockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:55 pm

Over the last few years an unusual phenomenon has kept popping up in public opinion surveys: Blacks and Latinos have become much more sanguine about the country's prospects as white folks have become more pessimistic. It's a stark reversal of decades of data in which white folks were almost always more optimistic.

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Minimum Wage
5:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Economists' Views Differ on Whether Minimum Wage Would Hurt Job Growth

Reverend Samuel Saylor of Hartford spoke at a rally outside the Connecticut State Capitol last May to support raising the minimum wage.
Credit Connecticut Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama will be in Connecticut on Wednesday with four governors to push for a higher minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

The increase is controversial, but what might actually happen if it goes up? Increasing the minimum wage is a contested political issue, but it's also an economic question that can be studied.

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Wants To Raise The Wage
11:55 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Obama Comes to Connecticut to Sell Minimum Wage

President Barack Obama
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama will visit Connecticut Wednesday to call for an increase in the minimum wage. The president wants the raise the base pay rate by nearly three dollars an hour.

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Winter Weather
5:29 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Severe Weather Socks The Economy, But Full Impact Is Unclear

It's too cold to eat out.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 6:31 pm

The economy often absorbs the impact of snowstorms, such as this week's storm, without much trouble, but this winter the weather is doing more damage than usual.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

How is Connecticut's Fiscal Health?

Donald Boyd, Keith Phaneuf, Spencer Cain, and Benjamin Barnes at the MetroHartford Alliance panel discussion, "Fiscal Sustainability: Critical to Connecticut's Growth."
Credit MetroHartford Alliance

Connecticut’s state budget faces a series of problems that have been building for some time. It’s why the Office of Fiscal Analysis shows looming budget deficits in the next two fiscal years.

But we’re not alone. A study of several states shows some of the same trends: Medicaid costs growing faster than states can raise money, which means less funding for education; the federal government cutting aid to states in an effort to cut their own deficits; reliance on volatile tax structures and massive underfunding of public pensions.

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Economic Development
7:59 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

State Strikes Major Tax Credit Deal With United Technologies

An artist's impression of the planned new Pratt & Whitney headquarters building.
Credit Pratt and Whitney

The state of Connecticut has struck a multi-million dollar deal with United Technologies, which it hopes will safeguard the future of research and manufacturing operations here.

Under the agreement, the state will allow UTC to exercise tax credits it has already built up. The conglomerate can exchange $20 million in tax credits each year, up to a maximum of $400 million.

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Pizza Strategy
11:44 am
Thu February 27, 2014

74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza

Somebody check the cheese.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:28 pm

One day last year, an engineer and I went to a pizza place for lunch. The engineer told me he wasn't very hungry, but he said he was going to get the 12-inch medium instead of the 8-inch small — because the medium was more than twice as big as the small, and it cost only a little bit more. This sort of blew my mind.

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Pizza Prices
11:02 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Price Of A Pizza In 237 U.S. Neighborhoods

tk
tk

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:44 pm

Yesterday, we crunched thousands of pizza prices from around the country, and argued that you should always buy a bigger pizza. (And in a separate post, we presented the case against buying a bigger pizza.)

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:00 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Broccoli is Best!

Credit whologwy, Flickr Creative Commons

Somehow, kale has become trendy in the last few years, although its moment in the sun seems to be almost over. How did a thing like that happen? Would it be possible to infuse an old standby like broccoli with a similar hip panache? Broccoli is the warmest vegetable, and the coolest.

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