Business news

As hundreds of protesters loudly demanded higher wages outside McDonald's headquarters in suburban Chicago, the company's CEO told an audience inside that the fast-food giant has a heritage of providing opportunities that lead to "real careers."

"We believe we pay fair and competitive wages," Donald Thompson said at the company's annual meeting on Thursday.

We learn from life as we live it.  This month Joe shares with us some important life tactics that he learned from a friend who recently passed away.  The lessons all have to do with keeping our minds alert and learning from our mistakes.  We must free our lives of clutter by getting things done.  The best way to achieving a freer lifestyle is the Nike motto, "Just Do It." Take a look at this thoughtful video and see if the advice fits your lifestyle.

In honor of college graduation season, we made a graph. It answers a few questions we had: What is the mix of bachelor's degrees awarded today, and how has the mix changed over the past several decades?

Hover over the graph to see how the popularity of each category changes over time. Click or tap to see a category individually.

A few notes:

We often talk about income as if it's this fixed thing. Those people over there are the 1 percent. These over here live in poverty. That other group is the people in the top 20 percent. That's not the way it is.

While economic mobility hasn't increased in this country over the past few decades, there is still churn. Lots of people move up and down the income ladder over the course of a career.

This post has been updated.

The nation's economy added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, far more than forecast, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, its lowest level in five years, according to the Labor Department.

The rate, which is the lowest since September 2008, was down from 6.7 percent in March.

Women today are nearly half the workforce, and two-income couples are the norm. But the U.S. tax code? It's straight out of Ozzie and Harriet.

When it comes to paying taxes, economists say, a lot of secondary wage-earners are getting a raw deal. It's called the marriage penalty.

"The system was never designed to penalize working spouses," says Melissa Kearney, director of the Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution. "It was just designed in a different era."

On Thursday, President Obama rolled out his plan for strengthening overtime pay protections for millions of workers. In his view, if more workers got fatter paychecks, they could spend more and stimulate the economy.

But if his critics are right, then employers would end up laying off workers to make up for the higher wage costs. And that would hurt the already painfully slow recovery.

Which scenario is right?

For the first time since it legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado is releasing revenue figures: The state made $3.5 million in taxes and fees in January.

As KUSA-TV reports, $2.1 million of that came from the sale of recreational pot and $1.4 million came from medical marijuana.

KUSA adds:

Chornyak & Associates

Joe Chornyak uses a recent personal experience with being patient to illustrate a basic financial investment strategy.  Markets today are volatile and more than likely always will be, but being patient and riding through the storm will always pay off in the long run.  After the 2008 economic downturn markets eventually rebounded and hit record highs.  Every market correction is different, and patience eventually pays off.

"The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency," The Associated Press reports.

Also Tuesday, all the posts had been erased from the Mt. Gox Twitter account.

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about pay-as-you-go coffee shops popping up around the world that offer a place to work "without any kind of moral shame" or pressure to spend money on coffee and snacks.

They also discuss how the rise of the bioscience sector in Cleveland is revitalizing the city's economy.

Moviefone To Go Silent, App Will Continue

Feb 24, 2014



NR business news starts with good-bye movie phone.


Apple founder Steve Jobs, a man who probably did as much as anyone to set in motion the slow but steady demise of snail mail, will be featured on a U.S. postage stamp, according to a document from the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee.

In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it's $60,000 a year. "It's staggering," says Duke freshman Max Duncan, "especially considering that's for four years."

But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that's actually a discount. "We're investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student," he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it's one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.

Back in 2012, reporter Kevin Roose went undercover at a very exclusive party.

It was a dinner for a secret society, held once a year, at the St. Regis hotel in New York City. The secret society is called Kappa Beta Phi, and it's made up of current and former Wall Street executives — people like Michael Bloomberg, former heads of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs. And every year the group holds a dinner to induct new people into the group — they're called neophytes.

(We put a new top on this story at 9:25 a.m. ET and added an update at 10:15 a.m. ET.)

As NPR's David Folkenflik pointed out earlier today, Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of fellow cable company Time Warner will receive some scrutiny from federal officials. Here's some more about that part of the story:

Politico writes that:

In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.

Yes, a new study of young people finds. The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Paul Taylor, executive vice president of special projects at Pew, says it's pretty much case closed when it comes to the benefits of going to college.

Preparing Your IRS Forms

Feb 11, 2014
Chornyak Assoc.

Preparing your IRS forms? Commonwealth Financial Network gives you a sound introduction on what changes are in place for 2013 and what we can expect in 2014.

Graco Recalls Nearly 3.8 Million Child Car Seats

Feb 11, 2014

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car seats because buckles may be hard to release, posing a danger in the case of an accident.

The AP reports that despite the massive recall, which involves 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is unhappy with the company.