Business

7:47pm

Thu December 5, 2013
Economy

Meet The Humble Container That Moves The Global Economy

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 2:49 pm

The container carrying the Planet Money women's T-shirts is loaded onto a ship in Cartagena, Colombia.
Eric Helton for NPR

NPR's Planet Money team is manufacturing its own T-shirt. After the women's shirt was assembled in Colombia, they voyaged by container ship to Miami. The container, a big standardized box that moves easily from truck to ship to train, is the unsung hero of the global economy. It was invented in the 1950s and dramatically reduced shipping costs, ushering in a new era vastly different than the world retired stevedores remember.

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7:47pm

Thu December 5, 2013
Around the Nation

Fast Food Workers Rally Across Country For Better Pay

Workers rallied in 100 cities on Thursday to raise awareness for increasing pressure to raise wages. The push comes as 19 cities and states already raised minimum wages. A report from Berkeley economists finds the low-wage fast food jobs are costing taxpayer billions of dollars in public assistance — everything from food stamps to Medicaid.

7:00pm

Thu December 5, 2013
Politics

To Fix Social Security, Some Democrats Want To Lift Wage Cap

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 7:39 pm

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D- Mass., listens to testimony during a Banking Committee hearing on Nov. 12. In a Senate floor speech on Social Security last month, Warren said, "With some modest adjustments, we can keep the system solvent for many more years, and we could even increase benefits."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

For the past three years, there's been a shortfall in the payroll taxes collected for Social Security. And as more baby boomers join the ranks of the 57 million people already receiving benefits, that deficit is bound to keep growing.

At the same time, the overall share of wages being taxed for Social Security is shrinking as the higher wages that are exempt have soared. The Social Security Board of Trustees predicts a nearly $3 trillion trust fund built up over decades will vanish within 20 years.

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3:51pm

Thu December 5, 2013
Planet Money

The Job Market Is Still Awful, In 3 Graphs

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:05 am

Quoctrung Bui / NPR

Update: The jobs report is out. The U.S. added 203,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent. The job market is improving, but it's still very bad.

When the big jobs report comes out Friday morning, we'll hear a lot about what happened in November in the job market.

But whatever happened last month, it won't change this fact: The job market is still terrible.

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2:59pm

Thu December 5, 2013
Parallels

The World's Largest Vessel Enters The Water In South Korea

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:24 pm

A rendering of the world's largest vessel, the Shell Prelude, which comes in at just over 1,600 feet. It has just left its dry dock in South Korea, where it is being built. It will eventually head toward Australia, where it will be anchored off the coast and used as a liquefied natural gas facility.
Shell

1:47pm

Thu December 5, 2013
The Salt

Fast-Food Workers Across The U.S. Cry Poverty Wages, Demand Better Pay

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 11:57 am

Fast-food workers march toward the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Similar rallies occurred in about 100 cities across the U.S.
Morgan Walker NPR

When you're making eight bucks an hour, which is pretty typical in the fast-food industry, it's tough to make ends meet.

And increasingly, the working poor are asking this question: Why am I living in poverty, even when I'm working full time?

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10:37am

Thu December 5, 2013
The Two-Way

Ford Hopes New Mustang Will Get The World's Motor Running

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 12:19 pm

The new 2015 Ford Mustang was unveiled Thursday. The car's new design includes features that are geared toward global markets.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Ford unveiled its new Mustang on Thursday, in a splashy event that was undermined a bit by leaked photos that showed the new model's design. And the Mustang will be sold around the globe for the first time since the car was introduced nearly 50 years ago.

From Michigan Radio, Tracy Samilton filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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9:53am

Thu December 5, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Economy Grew At 3.6 Percent In Third Quarter; Jobless Claims Dip

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:23 am

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the third quarter, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's a rise from the second quarter, when the real gross domestic product tallied a 2.5 percent gain.

The pace of growth is the fastest since the first quarter of 2012, which clocked in at 3.7 percent.

Thursday's release is the "second" estimate for the third quarter, following up on data released in November that put the GDP's increase at 2.8 percent.

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9:36am

Thu December 5, 2013
The Two-Way

China Bans Bitcoin Trading By Banks

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 12:03 pm

Chinese banks cannot trade in Bitcoins, the digital currency that doesn't recognize international boundaries, China's top regulators said Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

China says banks in the country are no longer allowed to trade in Bitcoin, the digital currency whose value has sharply risen this year. Chinese citizens, however, are not forbidden from using the currency.

The Bitcoin exchange rate took a hit following Thursday's news from China's central bank.

From Shanghai, NPR's Frank Langfitt filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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6:56am

Thu December 5, 2013
Business

Reviewers On Amazon Poke Fun At $40,000 TV

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Samsung is selling an HD television for $40,000. That price tag prompted the following customer reviews on Amazon.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

I was going to send my kids to college, but I had to do what was best for my family.

INSKEEP: Glad it has low energy costs, as I'm on a very tight budget.

MONTAGNE: I hesitated to buy, but I saw double-A batteries were free with the remote.

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