Economy & Business

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What will Trump critics do about conflicts now?

Jan 12, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to deal with his business conflicts is under fire from government ethics experts of the Republican, Democratic and non-partisan variety. Trump is transferring control of his businesses to his adult sons and a Trump Organization executive, but not selling his assets and not forming a blind trust. The ethics community doesn’t like it, but Trump says that’s the deal, setting up a fight. Can they turn to the courts? 


Roughly 240,000 tickets have been distributed for the inauguration. Factor into that some 150,000 protesters turning up for Women’s March on Washington scheduled for the following day, and Washington D.C. will be welcoming two very large, and very different, crowds of people into the city next week.

That creates both an opportunity and a challenge for businesses. While both Republican and Democratic money is green, as political activists look to put their money into businesses that support their politics, things can become complicated.

How to make lunch at your desk less sad

Jan 12, 2017
Kai Ryssdal

A limp salad thrown into Tupperware. A PB&J served on a paper towel. A stolen slice of breakroom birthday cake.

This is the "Sad Desk Lunch," a familiar, sorry sight for many an office worker. They're often eaten quickly, while hunched over a keyboard.

01/12/2017: D.C. prepares for Inauguration Day

Jan 12, 2017

What the heck is reconciliation? For starters, it's the latest way Congressional Republicans are hoping to get rid of Obamacare. We'll look at how it's used and whether it's a winning tactic. Then: hundreds of thousands are people are due in Washington, D.C. for next week's inauguration, and all the protests and parties that come with it. Local businesses and merch-sellers are preparing for a crush of business, and opening themselves up to criticism in the process. Then: the civil rights divide in charter schools and how to make your desk lunch less sad. 

Oklahoma lawmakers are staring into a budget hole that's nearly $900 million deep — and they might not be able to cut their way out of it. Legislators are considering tax increases to help fund state government, and one idea is gaining traction: Hiking taxes on gasoline and diesel.

We'll look at the markets this morning, a day after Trump's first press conference since the summer. Next, we'll preview highlights from our interview with outgoing Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, which includes his thoughts on Wall Street and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Finally, we'll look at the Sundance Film Festival's new climate change category.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Going into yesterday's press conference with Donald Trump, there were all kinds of questions about the president-elect's potential conflicts of interest. This morning, there are still questions.

At about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, Republicans moved one step closer to repealing a law they have railed against since the moment it was passed nearly seven years ago.

By a final vote of 51-48, the Senate approved a budget resolution that sets the stage for broad swaths of the Affordable Care Act to be repealed through a process known as budget reconciliation. The resolution now goes to the House, where leaders are hoping to approve it by the end of the week.

Andy Uhler

This year’s Sundance Film Festival will open with the follow-up to Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" (it's called "An Inconvenient Sequel"). The festival will feature a subset of 14 documentaries and special projects specifically about climate change.

Minimum wage hikes may not help the poorest workers

Jan 12, 2017

Nineteen states kicked off 2017 by increasing the minimum wage — some because of cost of living increases, others because of ballot initiatives or legislation. Economists agree that even significant hikes cost minimal job loss, although those generally come at the lowest end of the wage scale. And there’s also little evidence that the minimum wage reduces poverty. 

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01/12/2017: The future of working-class families

Jan 11, 2017

Trump says he'll turn over control of his businesses to his two sons, but he won't divest completely. We'll look at whether ethics watchdogs who think he should be held more accountable can do anything. As for those who are still a part of the current administration, outgoing Treasury Secretary Jack Lew joined us to chat about his legacy and where he sees our economy heading.

01/12/16: Meet the real-life R2-D2

Jan 11, 2017

During his first press conference as president-elect, Trump said he's requesting a "major report" from intelligence agencies on Russia and hacking. Computer science professor Matthew Green stopped by to talk about whether the U.S. needs to improve its defenses against cyber threats. Next, we'll check out the startup Knightscope, a company that makes egg-shaped security robots that protect against crime.

Are autonomous robots the future of mall security?

Jan 11, 2017
Bruce Johnson

One of the big tech topics of 2017 is automation — whether and how robots can replace or augment work done by humans. One company leading the way in the security area is Knightscope. The Silicon Valley startup makes egg-shaped robots designed to roll around using sensors and software to help security officers protect against crime. Knightscope has already put its autonomous technology on patrol at Microsoft's and Uber's facilities.