National / International News

About half of America has zero net wealth

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-04 12:20
Monday, April 21, 2014 - 05:17 TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York.

Wealth is the value of everything you own: stocks, bonds, your home, your car -- minus your debts. And while income inequality has taken center stage in debates about the growing gap between rich and poor, what's happening with wealth paints an even more staggering picture.

The wealth share of the 0.01 percent, or the top 16,000 families in America, has skyrocketed. That tiny group now owns 12 percent of the wealth in America.

The wealth of the larger one percent  -- and even the .5 percent -- isn't rising.

These days, if you want to be among the biggest winners, says UC Berkeley researcher Gabriel Zucman, who co-wrote a new report on wealth, it helps to be in the 0.1 percent or better.

Around 50 percent of the US population, Zucman said, has zero net wealth. Their debts, effectively, equal their assets. 

Marketplace Morning Report for Monday, April 21, 2014by Noel KingPodcast Title About half of America has zero net wealthStory Type News StorySyndication Flipboard BusinessSlackerSoundcloudStitcherBusiness InsiderSwellPMPApp Respond No

Yes, the Hard Rock Cafe still exists

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-04 12:17
Friday, April 4, 2014 - 15:13 Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for Food Network SoBe Wine & Food Festival

Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray during the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival at Beachside at The Ritz Carlton on February 21, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. 

There are fewer than ten Planet Hollywood locations still open -- but for the Hard Rock Cafe, life after the recession has been one marked by growth.

And that has to do with their post-recession strategy, says Venessa Wong, a reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek.  The Seminole Tribe of Florida bought the struggling themed restaurant chain in 2007. Since then, the company has focused on building more restaurants overseas and expanding into a line of hotels and casinos.

In the U.S., they’ve also tried to update the brand by changing restaurant décor and playing new music. Wong thinks the changes and growth strategy could very well prove successful.

"As long as they offer tourists a good enough experience while they’re there, they’re probably likely to visit another Hard Rock at another location the next time they’re traveling to a place where it’s hard to find a good hamburger,” Wong said.

Marketplace for Friday April 4, 2014Interview by David GuraPodcast Title: Yes, the Hard Rock Cafe still existsStory Type: InterviewSyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No

When being cheap isn't worth it

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-04 12:16

TLC's reality show ,"Extreme Cheapskates," showcases people who go to, well, extremes to save money. There's the woman who refuses to spend money doing laundry, so she uses a free sample of detergent and  her time in the shower to give her clothes a cleaning of sorts. And then, there's the couple who, as self-described cheapskates, decided to bestow a crib found in a dumpster unto their unborn daughter. 

There is quite a difference between cheap and frugal, according to Daryl Paranada, a reporter for MyBankTracker.com, the differences are pretty clear. 

"Frugality means you're conscious about how you use and spend your hard-earned money," Paranada says. "Being cheap means you want to spend the least amount of money possible, no matter what. And that's not always the best approach to spending money. There are times when being cheap just isn't smart."

Many people try to save money when making home improvements by doing it themselves,  but Paranada says that when undertaking home improvement projects, going the cheap route is not the way to go. 

"Before you take out the hammers and you start a DIY project for your house, you should ask yourself three questions," he says. "First, do I know what I'm doing? Could I hurt myself or my house? And finally, is it worth my time?" 

Paranada also says that there are some things that are worth the money you pay for them. 

"If you think about it, you spend half your time in a mattress and half your time in shoes. A good mattress might cost you about $1000, but it's worth it because in the end it's all about value. What kind of things do you value? What kinds of things might improve your quality of life ," he says. 

For more tips on how to save money without being a miser, see Daryl Paranada's article, "13 Instances When Being Cheap Doesn't Pay Off."

Yes, the Hard Rock Cafe still exists

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-04-04 12:13

There are fewer than ten Planet Hollywood locations still open -- but for the Hard Rock Cafe, life after the recession has been one marked by growth.

And that has to do with their post-recession strategy, says Venessa Wong, a reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek.  The Seminole Tribe of Florida bought the struggling themed restaurant chain in 2007. Since then, the company has focused on building more restaurants overseas and expanding into a line of hotels and casinos.

In the U.S., they’ve also tried to update the brand by changing restaurant décor and playing new music. Wong thinks the changes and growth strategy could very well prove successful.

"As long as they offer tourists a good enough experience while they’re there, they’re probably likely to visit another Hard Rock at another location the next time they’re traveling to a place where it’s hard to find a good hamburger,” Wong said.

Paula Deen's Restaurant, Site Of Seafood And Slurs, Shuts Down

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-04 12:07

The restaurant at the center of a lawsuit involving celebrity chef Paula Deen has closed. Uncle Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House in Savannah, Ga., surprised employees by handing out final paychecks Thursday. Deen owned the eatery with her brother Bubba Hiers. A 2012 lawsuit accused the two of sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

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In March Jobs Report, Market Awakens From A Winter Swoon

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-04 12:07

The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, according to data released this morning. The unemployment rate refused to budge, though, holding steady at 6.7 percent.

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The world's biggest election loser?

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-04 12:02
But is Dr K Shyam Babu Subudhi the world's biggest election loser?

Life Without Jobless Benefits: Watching, Searching And Praying

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:49

More than three months have passed since the long-term unemployed saw their federal jobless benefits cut off abruptly. One Michigan woman is looking for work while watching for congressional action.

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It's Complicated: When A CEO's Personal Position Becomes Public

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:46

The new CEO of Mozilla was forced to step down amid controversy over his anti-gay-marriage donation in 2008. How much should the public judge chief executives for their private views?

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US man fired for corpse mistake

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:43
A Florida apartment concierge who mistook the dead body of a 96-year-old resident for a mannequin has been fired, local media report.

BBC presenter and cameraman honoured

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:41
Broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and BBC cameraman Darren Conway are among those to receive honours from Prince Charles at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

VIDEO: Video of skydiver's 'meteorite' near miss

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:37
Video footage emerges of what some people have claimed is a meteorite falling to Earth and narrowly missing a skydiver.

U.S. Taps New Energy Sources, And Potential Geopolitical Clout

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:24

Thanks in large part to hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. finds itself awash in domestic energy — and moving rapidly toward self-sufficiency and a position of strategic and economic strength.

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New rules questionable - Newey

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:21
Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey criticises Formula 1's new rules, saying their merit is "questionable".

Kerry: 'Reality Check Time' In Middle East Peace Talks

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:16

The secretary of state says both Israel and the Palestinians need to "spend some time thinking about making some very difficult decisions."

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Congressman's Lament: $174,000 Isn't Enough To Make Ends Meet

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-04 11:05

Rep. Jim Moran argues that members of Congress are underpaid. His claim has been greeted with derision, but there's evidence the cost of living in D.C. makes it tough for members of modest means.

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Cuisine And Culture Transform A Dallas Neighborhood

NPR News - Fri, 2014-04-04 10:58

Trinity Groves, a 15-acre restaurant incubator, brought Chinese-Latin food and economic vitality back to West Dallas. What was once a dangerous neighborhood is now a hotspot for international eats.

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'Huge variation' between hospitals

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-04 10:35
The chairman of England's health watchdog tells the BBC there are hospitals "where you would not want to go as a patient".

Missing river man is serving soldier

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-04 10:33
An 18-year-old man who is missing having tried to swim across the River Ouse in York is named as a serving soldier.

VIDEO: 'The high street isn't dead'

BBC - Fri, 2014-04-04 10:18
An analysis has found that only 20% of high street stores are vacant - a lower rate than that for shopping centres or retail parks.
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