Business

3:20am

Wed April 10, 2013
Business

Construction Booming In Texas, But Many Workers Pay Dearly

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:12 pm

Marchers at the state capitol building in Austin, Texas, in February protest working conditions in the state's construction sector.
Jason Cato Courtesy of Workers Defense Project

Like almost everything in the Texas, the construction industry in the Lone Star State is big. One in every 13 workers here is employed in the state's $54 billion-per-year construction industry.

Homebuilding and commercial construction may be an economic driver for the state, but it's also an industry riddled with hazards. Years of illegal immigration have pushed wages down, and accidents and wage fraud are common. Of the nearly 1 million workers laboring in construction here, approximately half are undocumented.

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3:19am

Wed April 10, 2013
Financial Basics For Baby Boomers

Debt And The Modern Parent Of College Kids

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 9:44 am

How will you pay for your kids' college?
iStockphoto.com

It's college touring season, and many parents are on the road with their teenagers, driving from school to school and thinking about the college application — and financial aid — process that looms ahead.

Many baby boomers have already been through this stage with their kids, but because the generation spans about 20 years, others still have kids at home. So how should boomers plan to pay for school when, on average, students graduate from college in the U.S. with $25,000 in debt?

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6:46pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Your Money

Will You Be Chained To A Smaller Check In Retirement?

Opponents of President Obama's expected proposed changes to Social Security rallied at the White House on Tuesday. Among them were lawmakers like Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan.
J. David Ake AP

When President Obama on Wednesday unveils his blueprint for the government's 2014 budget, he'll offer lots of ideas for changes in taxes and spending.

But the proposal likely to grab the most attention will be the one dealing with cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients. Many economists would applaud a change in the way Social Security officials measure inflation, but many older Americans may hiss, fearing a new formula will cut their benefits.

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5:47pm

Tue April 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Bitcoin Surpasses $200 Mark, Continuing 'Epic' Rise

A chart shows the sharp rise of bitcoin against the U.S. dollar in the past five days. Only two months after exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20, it surpassed $200 Tuesday.
Bitcoin Charts

Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt.Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be "epic."

Bitcoin's rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20.

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5:34pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Technology

Kansas City Slow To Connect With Google's Super Fast Internet

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:34 pm

Google has already rolled out an experimental broadband network in parts of Kansas City.

5:34pm

Tue April 9, 2013
All Tech Considered

Austin Is Latest Testbed For Google's High-Speed Experiment

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:34 pm

Matthew Marcus works at his desk in the basement of Kansas City Startup Village in Kansas City, Kan., in January. The village houses several startup companies and takes advantage of the high-speed Internet. Google announced on Tuesday it would be installing its Google Fiber network in Austin, Texas, next.
Orlin Wagner AP

Google announced Tuesday that its Google Fiber project would be hitting Austin, Texas, next. The company says Austin, famous for its South by Southwest festival, is a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities."

Google Fiber is the tech giant's blazing fast Internet service, with current rates at 1 Gpbs, about 100 times faster than your typical cable broadband Internet service. It debuted in Kansas City in 2012.

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5:34pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Business

After Missteps, Does J.C. Penney Stand Another Chance?

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:34 pm

After an unsuccessful face-lift attempt by Ron Johnson, J.C. Penney will be led by former CEO Myron Ullman. Some analysts say this might be it for the retailer; others say it must "embrace" its customers to recuperate.
Mary Altaffer AP

A year and a half ago, J.C. Penney's then-brand new CEO Ron Johnson undertook what was supposed to be a transformation of the 110-year-old department store. Yesterday, the retailer cut his tenure short.

J.C. Penney lost nearly $1 billion last year as customer traffic dropped off.

Now, it's bringing back former Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman to try to stanch the bleeding.

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5:34pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Environment

Keystone XL Pipeline Could Be Huge Boon For Canada

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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2:04pm

Tue April 9, 2013
The Two-Way

KPMG Partner May Have Traded Inside Information

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 3:20 pm

KPMG has withdrawn as auditor of Herbalife and Skechers USA after the accounting firm revealed that one of its partners may have sold inside information on the companies to a third-party stock trader.

Nutrient-supplement seller Herbalife briefly halted activity in its shares after the revelation, only reopening trading Tuesday afternoon. The company's stock was down 21 cents at $38.18 Tuesday. The broader market was mixed.

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12:31pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Intelligence Squared U.S.

Should We Abolish The Minimum Wage?

Jared Bernstein and Karen Kornbluh, who argued for keeping the minimum wage, celebrate their win in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Adelaide Mandeville Intelligence Squared U.S.
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

In the 75 years since it was introduced, Americans have been arguing over the minimum wage.

Some say government intervention to artificially raise wages lowers demand for workers and interferes with economic freedom — preventing people who would be willing to work for less from getting jobs at all. They argue that the minimum wage especially hurts teenagers and young adults with few or no skills.

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