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Farm subsidies don't lack for critics. Free-market conservatives and welfare state-defending liberals alike have called for deep cuts in these payments to farmers. After all, farmers, as a group, are wealthier than the average American. Why should they get tens of billions of dollars each year in federal aid?

Starting in 2016, the federal health law requires small employers to offer their full-time workers health insurance. In anticipation of the change, some fast-food restaurants looked to get around the law by making more workers part time. Now some owners are rethinking that approach.

At a Burger King off Highway 99 in California's Central Valley, a half-dozen workers in black uniforms scurry around, grabbing packets of ketchup and stuffing paper bags with french fries.

Two E. coli outbreaks linked to Chipotle restaurants "appear to be over," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The first, larger outbreak hit 55 people in 11 states, with Washington having the most cases, the CDC says. The second outbreak, which was caused by a different strain of E. coli, infected five people in Oklahoma, Kansas and North Dakota.

The CDC says it last received a report of an illness related to the outbreaks on Dec. 1, 2015.

Over the holidays, my family drove across the beautiful voids of West Texas and New Mexico and stopped at a lot of convenience stores for gas. Every time I went inside to use the loo, I saw them: giant displays of dried meat in every size and flavor.

I remember jerky almost ripping my molars out on car trips when I was kid. It's been around forever. So why the comeback?

Pharmacies across the U.S. will begin receiving shipments of a generic form of the revolutionary cancer pill Gleevec this week after the drug lost its patent protection on Monday.

The generic version of drug, known as imatinib, is likely to cost about 30 percent less than brand-name Gleevec, says Kal Sundaram, the CEO of Sun Pharmaceuticals, the Mumbai, India-based company that will make the first generic.

It was billed as a successful peer-to-peer lending company. Instead, police say, online lender Ezubao used fake business listings to take in about 50 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) from nearly 1 million people who thought they would get a 14 percent return.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reached a long sought-after agreement with two major airlines — United and American — to build a new runway at O'Hare airport. The $1.3 billion project will increase capacity at the congested airfield in hopes of reducing delays.

However, the deal does not include an agreement with the airlines to increase terminal space and add new gates, which some travel industry experts say is critical to reducing congestion at O'Hare, an airport notorious among frequent fliers for delays.

"Full employment" is a phrase economists use to explain how the job market recovers from a recession. We'll be hearing this phrase a lot as the Labor Department releases the latest jobs data on Friday. It's expected to show that employers added even more workers in January.

But the phrase doesn't tell the full story for millions of Americans either still out of work or who are looking for something better than part-time work.

What is full employment and what does it mean?

Can drone racing be the next NASCAR? That's what Nick Horbaczewski is banking on. He is the CEO of the Drone Racing League, and he has lined up millions in venture capital to bring his vision to reality.

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Atlantic City has been in decline for decades. And now the state of New Jersey has made a deal with the city to take over its finances and try to turn the formerly high-rolling town around.

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The Obama administration is proposing a new rule to address unequal pay practices by requiring companies with more than 100 employees to submit salary data by race, gender and ethnicity.

The announcement comes seven years after President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — his first piece of legislation as president — which makes it easier for women to challenge discriminatory pay in court.

Farm workers in two of the nation's most important agricultural counties joined other low-wage food sector workers on Wednesday, demanding better wages with a new Bill of Rights.

The thrust of the bill, which is aimed at workers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in California, is to establish a "rule of law" in the fields, observers say.

Xerox will be splitting into two companies — one dedicated to document management, including the printing and copying technology that made Xerox's name, and another for business process outsourcing.

The split will be completed by the end of the year. The names of the two companies, as well as their leadership structures, have yet to be determined, Xerox says.

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I'm comfortable to talk about anything, Bob Woodruff says. I'm lucky to be alive.

In January 2006, Woodruff stood on the precipice of stardom as the new co-anchor, together with Elizabeth Vargas, of ABC's World News Tonight, the heir in many ways to the legendary globetrotting anchor Peter Jennings, who had died of cancer the previous summer.

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Happy times are here again at the gas pump. The price of oil keeps falling, and Americans are filling their tanks for less than $2 a gallon. The government says cheaper gasoline put an extra $100 billion into drivers' wallets last year alone.

That seems like it would be good for the economy. Turns out, it might not be.

"Is it possible that lower oil prices could actually hurt the U.S. economy?" asks Vipin Arora, an economist with the U.S. Energy Information Administration. "I think the answer could be yes."

You know it in your heart. You might not keep your New Year's resolutions. Your good intentions might fall on hard times. The plot might twist. You have no crystal ball.

Emily Dickinson noted it — the inscrutability of what's to come.

"The Future—never spoke—
Nor will He—like the Dumb—
Reveal by sign—a syllable
Of His Profound To Come—"

Tickets to the most popular concerts and other live events are often hard to find because of abusive practices by vendors who illegally use computer programs called bots to grab them up, according to a report released by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

In some cases, tickets to live events sell out within minutes, only to appear right away at enormous markups on sites such as StubHub, according to the report, which calls for major reform to the ticketing process.

Less than two weeks after international sanctions were lifted, Iran is already cutting megadeals with Europe. The French automaker Peugeot-Citroen said Thursday it will return to Iran, while Iran appeared poised to buy at least 100 planes from Airbus.

Thursday's developments came during a visit to France by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, and follows his stop in Italy earlier this week, where he announced business agreements valued at around $18 billion.

This summer, Lego will release its first-ever minifigure that uses a wheelchair, the company says, confirming reports that emerged after one of the toys was seen at a toy fair. In recent years, the company has been urged to show more diversity in its offerings.

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In citrus-growing areas, you see lots of old converted school buses on the road; these are company buses, carrying the workers who will harvest oranges and grapefruit. And in the evening, some of those buses roll into a truck stop on a two-lane country road south of the town of LaBelle. Young men scramble out, trot into the store and line up at the taco counter.

This is where I met Esteban Gonzalez and his brother Isaac, from the Mexican state of Veracruz.

Made in China.

You can see those words stamped on countless consumer products — electronics, clothes, but not cars. For the first time on a mass scale, a car built in China will be on sale in the United States — the Buick Envision.

China is the largest car market in the world. Chinese shoppers easily buy twice as many cars as Americans do. Chinese companies have been investing billions in the auto industry. The latest example is Volvo — the Swedish carmaker known for its boxy, safe, brazenly unstylish vehicles is pride of the Swedish car industry.

Episode 679: You Asked For It

Jan 27, 2016

We ponder the origins of money, the economics of Santa, and the business of cemeteries. Why? Because you asked.

Today on the show, we answer listeners' questions.

Music: Matt Heaton's "Happy You Made It." Send us questions : Twitter/ Facebook.

The DeLorean Motor Co., which hasn't made a car in more than 30 years, is planning to build several hundred new replicas of the stainless steel, gull-winged car featured in the sci-fi movie trilogy Back to the Future.

Thanks to the Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturing Act, which was inserted in last year's transportation bill, companies can build small batches of replica vehicles.

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