National / International News
If you've consumed media this week, listened, read or watched the news, no doubt you've followed the events in Ferguson, Missouri, where a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
The protests that followed that decision and rippled out across the country tell a story about how we consume and communicate the news today.
The Ferguson story was first told on social media, and those same social networks have been a powerful tool — both for sharing, and not sharing, information.
Zeynep Tufekci, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina and a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society, joined Marketplace Weekend to talk about these contradictions. Click play above to hear our discussion.
The actor, writer and director was a staple of Mexican television comedies and children's programs for decades.
This week, a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. Writer Syreeta McFadden turns to Audre Lorde's poetry to make sense of this decision.
AMC's hit zombie drama The Walking Dead airs its midseason finale Sunday. It's now one of TV's most diverse shows, but critic Eric Deggans says it hasn't always served non-white characters well.
The former Baltimore Ravens running back had been suspended indefinitely after a video surfaced showing him hitting his then-fiancee.
The end of November doesn't just mean holiday shopping and leftover turkey. For people lucky enough to have jobs with benefits, it also means the end of open enrollment-- time for choices about health insurance, flexible-spending accounts, and how much they plan to invest for retirement in the coming year.
Let’s skip to the hard part: Saving for retirement. Many people have a nagging feeling that they haven't been doing enough.
They're right, as indicated by the title of Andrew Eschtruth’s new book, written with colleagues at the Boston College Center for Retirement Research, "Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It.”
People are living longer, so nest egg needs to last longer. Social Security and Medicare are both headed for shortfalls in the next 20 years — so it would be smart to think about benefit cuts as a risk factor. That leaves savings and pensions.
"Roughly half of current workers are not participating in any kind of employer-sponsored retirement plan at their current job," says Eschtruth.
The average household that’s approaching retirement, ages 55 to 64, has just $110,000 socked away in retirement accounts. He looks up what that would buy you if you bought an annuity — guaranteed monthly income.
The answer: $500 a month. That, plus Social Security, he says, "is all most people have."
And the lower your income, the lower your total savings tend to be — if any.
The Boston College Center for Retirement Research used 2013 figures from the Federal Reserve System's Survey of Consumer Finances to calculate average 401k savings for workers.Center for Retirement Research, Boston College
The Center estimates that more than half of everyone will fall significantly short of what they need to have a standard of living in retirement that’s like what they have now.
Andrew Biggs, with the American Enterprise Institute, does the math differently. He concludes that just a quarter of people will fall short. For instance, he says, young adults may have different, but not necessarily unwise, financial priorities — like paying for school.
And if keeping your standard of living is the yardstick, then he says people who are poor today have a different problem.
"Your problem is not that you’re not saving enough for retirement," he says. "Your problem is that you’re poor."
What if you didn’t go shopping for an entire year? It would probably save you some money, time and space. Sarah Lazarovic went on a shopping diet and wrote a book of essays and illustrations called “A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy.”
Lazarovic says the only secret to not shopping is just…well, not shopping. But she does have some tips.
Sarah Lazarovic’s six rules for better shopping:
1. Buy things that will last a long time: “Aim for seven years, hope for ten.”
2. Don’t get rid of something just because you bought another thing: “That said, if you never wear something, pass it on.”
3. Don’t purchase love-at-first-sight items: “Unless it’s the thing you’ve been searching for all your life and it is flying by on a speeding train, never to be seen again. Even then, don’t buy it."
4. Beware the door buster sale!: “Never buy anything just because it’s on sale.”
5. Before buying something new, check to see if you already have it in your closet: “If they are closer than a clog’s length apart, don’t buy the new thing.”
6. So, you’re a conscious consumer?: “It may be a fair-trade, organic leg warmer, but if your legs aren’t cold, it’s still a frivolous purchase.”
Black Friday may be known as one of the busiest shopping days, but it’s also one of the biggest protest days.
The fight for higher wages is going strong and is seeing positive results in a few states. But there's not much movement on a federal level.
Marketplace host Lizzie O’Leary talks to Marketplace’s Wealth and Poverty correspondent Krissy Clark to find out more.