As Washington chewed over the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal, the Treasury Department announced a walloping drop in red ink. Turns out government didn’t need a “grand bargain” to get its fiscal house in order.
The Murray-Ryan budget deal was anti-climactic. After all this—three years of failed grand bargain talks, the sequester, a shutdown—we have a deal that will cut deficits by a grand total of $22 billion over ten years. No wonder the Tea Party crowd is incensed. Yet the outrage over the federal debt—$17 trillion and rising—won’t stand in the way of this deal. That’s because, thanks in part to the sequester, but thanks largely to the miracle of sustained growth, the annual deficit is shriveling.
A bipartisan proposal to trim the sequester and forbid shutdowns for the next two years means Washington may finally be ready to quit kneecapping growth.
On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray announced a budget deal. Should it pass, the deal would undo a portion of the sequester and raise discretionary spending in fiscal 2014 by $45 billion, from the sequester level of $967 billion to $1.012 trillion. It would offset the spending increases slated for the next two years with new revenues raised from jacking up airline ticket fees and boosting federal employees’ pension contributions.
Starbucks sold out 1,000 rose-gold $450 gift cards in seconds last week. Turns out they’re just more free loans for the super-rich coffee chain.
Huge companies like Starbucks have it pretty good. They don’t have to pay their employees all that much. They don’t pay much taxes. Thanks to the Federal Reserve, they can borrow at very low costs. Oh, and customers are rushing to lend them money for free.It’s not that Starbucks has asked caffeine addicts for a loan. Rather, last Friday it held a flash sale on the luxury online retailer Gilt.com of 1,000 $450 limited edition rose-colored metal Starbucks card.
General Motors, the largest U.S. auto-manufacturer, has named Mary Barra its first female CEO. Here are a few facts to get you up to speed.
Girls rule, boys drool.That may become the new catchphrase in the auto industry. Women are accounting for a rising share of car purchases. And on Tuesday, General Motors, America’s largest auto manufacturer, tapped its first female CEO.GM announced today that Mary Barra, its current executive vice president of global product development, purchasing, and supply chain, will become CEO on January 15, 2014, replacing current CEO and Chairman Dan Akerson, who led the company through its bailout and recovery.
As Obama and others press to raise the federal minimum wage about $7.25, skeptics say such a move could bruise the economy. Who’s right? Let’s the consult the data!
The fight for minimum wage is on.From Capitol Hill to Main Street, the question of how much money our lowest-paid workers should earn is being answered with an emphatic “more.” President Obama supports a bill to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over the next two years. In a speech on Wednesday, he rallied progressive troops once again for the cause. That same day, a group of 53 members of Congress wrote a letter urging McDonald’s and other fast-food outlets to “super-size” their struggling workers’ paychecks.
From the pitfalls of aid in Africa to the epic downfall of Blackberry, The Daily Beast brings you the best in business journalism from the week of December 7, 2013.
Is Marissa Mayer Helping Yahoo—Or Hurting the Struggling Tech Giant? Bethany McLean – Vanity FairA year-and-a-half into her tenure at longtime Silicon Valley zombie Yahoo!, many are still trying to figure out whether Mayer, with all her press attention and razzle dazzle, is the real deal.The Rise and Fall of Blackberry Felix Gillette, Diane Brady, and Caroline Winter – Bloomberg BusinessweekHow did BlackBerry, the phone product made by Research in Motion, go from being the manufacturer of an item powerful people could not do without to a company on the verge of failure?Africa’s Aid Mess Paul Theroux – Barron’sPhilanthropy by westerners in Africa is almost as old as the imperialiasm that ravaged the continent.
The economy added 203,000 jobs in November, according to today’s data—and the unemployment rate dipped for the right reasons. There’s just one downside: stubbornly stagnant wages.
We’ve learned at least one thing this fall. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the approach of the health insurance mandate isn’t causing companies to fire workers en masse, hold back from hiring, or rush to place employees on part-time status.Quite the opposite. In the last few months, hiring has been ramping up. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 203,000 payroll jobs in November. The unemployment rate, which is compiled from a separate survey, dipped to 7.
As fast food workers strike for higher wages, pundits are dismissing their demands as unrealistic. But an exploding burger chain in Detroit proves the naysayers are thinking in a box.
Around the country Thursday, fast-food workers and their allies demonstrated to call attention to the plight of low-wage service workers. One of the demands is that highly profitable, massive enterprises like McDonald’s and Burger King should pay employees $15 an hour, which is more than double the legally-required minimum wage in most parts of the country.Many observers regard such a suggestion as absurd on its face— “economic fantasy at its most delusional and counterproductive,” as my colleague Nick Gillespie put it here on Wednesday.
The latest wild commodity is none other than one of the oldest: gold. A new book by journalist Matthew Hart takes readers on a while ride from South African gold mines to the trading desks where gold fortunes area made and broken.
“We are on the biggest gold binge ever,” writes Matthew Hart. “Never has there been so much to buy and such a frenzied trade.” The economic meltdown certainly played a part in this binge; gold prices doubled between 2008 and 2011 as investors sought refuge from the rocky financial markets. But as Hart whisks us around the globe and across the centuries with the breezy panache of a seasoned journalist, we see that the origins of the current gold boom lie in policies and practices implemented well before 2008—and that anyone who thinks gold is a “safe haven” should think again.
When will corporate America realize it doesn’t pay enough?
President Obama gave a big, progressive, somewhat impassioned speech about inequality, wages, and the economy on Wednesday.Welcomed by the left, and sure to be jeered or ignored by the right, it was full of plenty of old-time Democratic economic gospel and present-day center-left thought leadership. But it was a little bit light on the main factor that can combat the scourge of low wages and rising inequality: an appeal to the conscience and self-interest of businesses.
With an Ohio Walmart hosting a holiday food drive for its own workers, The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky criticizes the notoriously stingy company for not paying them more.
He was arrested for graffiti, but Clayton Pettet won't rest until the world sees his art. And by art, we mean he's going to lose his virginity in front of a live audience.