Economy & Business

The Salt
4:30 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.

But the numbers have started to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

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Economy
3:28 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back

Auto sales rebounded in March and consumer spending remains strong, signs that the economy won't stay down for long, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:58 pm

The Commerce Department on Thursday said the U.S. economy shriveled during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.

So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?

How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.

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Media
3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

For TV Advertisers, A Hunt For Live Audiences

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now, if you're a company wanting to buy advertising on television, nowadays you'll find some heavily watched programming more attractive than some other heavily watched programming, for example the old reliable.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: A big, live sports event, or a more novel idea, the familiar musical, performed live.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSICAL)

CHORUS: Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun.

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Environment
3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Conservatives, Environmentalists Found Common Ground In Cap And Trade

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now more about the history of cap and trade and how conservatives and environmentalists came together to establish that approach to reducing emissions. To tell us that story, joining us is C. Boyden Gray who assist in the formulation of the policy during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. He was later U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Ambassador Gray, welcome to the program.

C. BOYDEN GRAY: Thank you very much.

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U.S.
3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

As Oklahoma Drought Continues, Farmers Prepare For Losses

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The agricultural economies of southern Great Plains states have withered after four years of extreme drought. Farmers in Oklahoma are bracing for one of the worst wheat crops in the state's history. As StateImpact's Joe Wertz tells us, that poor wheat harvest could have national consequences.

JOE WERTZ: Wayne Schmedt adjust's his faded, blue baseball cap and crouches down in a wind-whipped field of stunted wheat.

W. SCHMEDT: We don't have any use for this, so we'll give it to you as a souvenir.

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Economy
3:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Germany's Economy Is Doing Well — And That's Bad For The Eurozone

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 6:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: Germany's economy is having a pretty good year so far. Manufacturing is high, unemployment is low. The economy is expanding, and yet the strangest report has recently come out of Europe. It says all of that success is actually a problem for the rest of the Eurozone. Zoe Chase of our Planet Money team wondered why Germany's success isn't considered a good thing.

ZOE CHASE, BYLINE: Germany's got a thing about making stuff the world wants.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Ford Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles For Various Defects

2010 Ford Explorers move through final assembly at the Louisville, Ky., plant. The Explorer is one of several vehicles subject to Thursday's recall.
Sam VarnHagen AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:33 pm

Ford announced Thursday a recall of some 1.4 million vehicles, including more than 1 million SUVs with a power steering defect and nearly 200,000 Taurus sedans with a corrosion problem. The company also said it was recalling 82,576 sedans with floor mats that could interfere with the accelerator.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said the recall involves 915,000 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs. A separate recall covers 196,000 Ford Explorer SUVs. The SUVs affected are from model years 2008 to 2011.

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All Tech Considered
11:37 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Google's White Male-Heavy Staff Underlines Tech's Diversity Problem

A long line for a men's room at a 2009 tech conference in Omaha, Neb. Photos of this situation have now inspired a Twitter feed.
SleepyJeanne Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 2:38 pm

When it finally published a demographic breakdown of its workforce this week, tech giant Google admitted, "We've always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it's time to be candid about the issues."

This is what the numbers showed: Google's staff is made up of 70 percent men, is 61 percent white, 30 percent Asian, and all other races and ethnicities don't register above 5 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu May 29, 2014

U.S. GDP Fell 1 Percent; First Drop In 3 Years

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:39 pm

Revising its early numbers for the first quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent at an annualized rate. Last month, estimates of the quarter's gross domestic product had shown a small gain of 0.1 percent.

Government analysts blame the slump on "a significant decline in inventory investment," especially among car dealerships. They also say U.S. exports declined along with spending on housing and government programs.

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Business
6:33 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Apple's Beats Acquisition Could Facilitate Streaming Service

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And with that, our last word in business is winners and losers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

According to Zack O'Malley, Greenburg of Forbes, thanks to that Beats sale, Dr. Dre stands to surpass Sean Diddy Combs as hip-hop's richest man.

O'MALLEY: We placed Diddy's net worth at 700 million as of a couple of months ago. Dr. Dre was at 550 million.

GREENE: Greenburg says the deal with Apple will likely bump up his net worth between 700 and 800 million.

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