Far more than half of Americans pay some form of federal, state and local taxes. But one thing all parties seem to agree on is that the proportion of people not paying federal income taxes has grown larger in recent years.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Less talked about is that policies backed both by Democrats and Republicans, combined with an aging population and a high unemployment rate, have fueled that growth.
NPR's David Welna has this brief history of federal taxes.
Facing competition from cheap natural gas, coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said it's cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide. The cuts include 400 jobs with the immediate closing of eight mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.
In Chicago, parents were fuming over a weeklong strike by teachers. Around the rest of the country, in the face of growing evidence that many U.S. students are falling behind, administrators have tried to devise different ways to motivate teachers.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:09 pm
Senegalese vendor Cheikh Fall prepares his stall in front of Brooks Brothers on 51st Street, just off the Avenue of the Americas in New York City. Fall runs an association of Senegalese vendors that deals with the city over licensing and regulations.
Careful planning can transform the shape and life of a city. But sometimes, a city's features develop spontaneously — like the immigrant enclaves that grow around certain jobs and trades in urban centers like New York.
Occupational cliches have been a fact of life in the Big Apple for generations. Historically, New Yorkers thought of Jewish tailors, Italian greengrocers or Irish policemen, says Philip Kasinitz, a sociologist with the City University of New York.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:22 am
Dr Pepper's Facebook ad is the latest riff on a 1965 evolutionary graphic, which apparently still has the power to provoke.
Credit Dr Pepper/Facebook
I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper, but clearly, some people are not Peppers.
Dr Pepper's new Facebook ad campaign featuring an ape moving from all-fours, to seeing a soda on a rock, to an upright man, enjoying a Pepper, is apparently red meat to some creationists who are loudly expressing outrage at the idea that humans evolved from soda-discovering apes.
Demand for Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to be so big that one economist predicted sales could boost the U.S. economy 1/2 percent. And Apple's going to court to shut down what it sees as copycats. Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo talks about who's competing with Apple, and whether it's working.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:37 pm
By Adam Frank
Imagine every thousandth blood cell in your body has a tiny radio transmitter in it. Imagine that 10 times a second that transmitter sends each cell's location to a computer storing the data. Along with position, it also sends the concentration of a list of 10 chemicals encountered at receptors distributed at 10 sites over the surface of each cell. Now imagine following all those blood cells for an hour. That makes a billion blood cells being sampled 10 times a second for 3,600 seconds.
NPR's business news starts with a delay in Arctic drilling.
A controversial oil drilling project in Arctic waters off Alaska is being pushed back to next year. Oil giant Shell blames a combinations of problems with an oil containment device, drifting sea ice and the need for permits. This is the second delay this year in oil companies search for oil in the Arctic. In July, BP shelved its plans to drill in the Beaufort Sea because of new stricter safety standards. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.