Economy
Fresh Air

Prepare For 'The End Of College': Here's What Free Higher Ed Looks Like

In his new book, Kevin Carey envisions a future in which online education programs solve two of colleges' biggest problems: costs and admissions.

From War To Plow: Why USDA Wants Veterans To Take Up Farming

Sara Creech's nursing career fell apart after she returned from Iraq with PTSD. She found purpose — and a new path — on the farm. Now, the USDA is giving veterans like her more financial support.

Morning Edition

States Face Correctional Officer Shortage Amid A Cultural Stigma

Administrators are trying new recruiting tactics and offering bonuses to make up for the shortfall. But for now, open shifts in some states have to be covered with mandatory overtime.

Morning Edition

Ever Cheat At Monopoly? So Did Its Creator: He Stole The Idea From A Woman

The game Charles Darrow sold in the 1930s bore a striking resemblance to a game Lizzie Magie patented in 1904. In The Monopolists, Mary Pilon tells Monopoly's origin story.

Seattle Cuts Public Transportation Fares For Low-Income Commuters

Low-income riders can now qualify for a program that will slash their fares by more than half of peak rates. But the cost will be offset by fare increases for everybody else.

All Things Considered

Free Wi-Fi On Buses Offers A Link To Future Of 'Smart Cities'

A new service in a Portuguese city not only provides commuters with free Internet connections but also helps collect data that make the municipality run more efficiently.

All Things Considered

Increase In Subprime Car Loans Could Lead To Trouble

When it comes to buying cars, there has been a growth in lending to people with sub-prime credit. Lenders are also extending loan terms. But both could be signs of danger.

All Things Considered

Wi-Fi Everywhere May Let You Roam Free From Your Mobile Carrier

To get the most out of your smartphone, do you really need a cellphone plan? That's the question a Wall Street Journal reporter tried to answer by relying only on Wi-Fi networks for a month.

Tinder's Premium Dating App Will Cost You More If You're Older

Tinder launches a new version with added features, including the ability to have another look at a potential match you swiped away. But there's a catch: Your age will determine how much you pay.

Your Grandparents Spent More Of Their Money On Food Than You Do

Shelling out dough at the grocery store can often feel painful. But Americans on average actually spend far less on food relative to their income than they did 50 years ago.

Is Nasdaq’s 15-Year High Another Bubble?

March 3, 2015
The Times Square NASDAQ MarketSite is seen on March 2, 2015 in New York City. The NASDAQ composite climbed over 5,000 points for the first time in 15 years when it briefly peaked over 5,000 points at 10:30 a.m. ET. (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)

The Nasdaq Composite Index broke 5,000 Monday for the first time in 15 years. The last time was at the height of the dot-com bubble.

Seattle Public Transit Reacts To Income Inequality

March 2, 2015
Low-income residents of the Seattle area can now ride public transit at reduced fares. (Sound Transit/Flickr)

People in low-income households in the Seattle metro area can now ride buses, trains and ferries at reduced fares.

The Beanie Baby Boom And Bust – What Happened?

March 2, 2015
Beanie Babies (dominiquegodbout/Flickr)

Zac Bissonnette drew on hundreds of interviews to write a book about “mass delusion and the dark side of cute.”

Northeastern Gives $886,000 In PILOT Payments To Boston

March 2, 2015

Northeastern University recently paid the city of Boston $886,000 to help cover the costs of municipal services, but that was far less than the $2.5 million the city requested.

Why Are Prices Falling As Wages Nudge Higher?

February 26, 2015
Saul Trana stands in the check-out line as he shops at a Walmart store on February 19, 2015 in Miami, Florida. The Walmart company announced Thursday that it will raise the wages of its store employees to $10 per hour by next February, bringing pay hikes to an estimated 500,000 workers. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Consumer Price Index fell in January from a year earlier, the first annual drop in five years. NPR’s Marilyn Geewax explains why.

Gov. Baker Establishes Cabinet On Job Training

February 26, 2015
By executive order, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has created a Workforce Skills Cabinet. (Steven Senne/AP)

Hoping to boost the Massachusetts economy over the long term, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday established a panel on bridging the so-called workforce skills gap.

On City Hall, Mayor Walsh Should Borrow An Idea From Candidate Walsh

February 25, 2015
It's time for the mayor to revive his City Hall campaign promise. (Daniel Schwen/ Wikimedia Commons)

It’s time for the mayor to revive his City Hall campaign promise.

Companies With Pension Benefits Grapple With Cost Of Longer Lives

February 24, 2015
General Motors is among the companies still offering pensions, but its pension plan is facing a growing shortfall as retired employees live longer. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

For companies that still offer pensions, longer lives for retirees could hurt the bottom line, to the tune of billions of dollars.

Yellen Delivers Assessment Of Economy

February 24, 2015
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies during a U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., February 24, 2015. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is testifying before Congress, as the Fed remains concerned about low inflation and weak job growth.

Redesigning Houston’s METRO System Without Breaking The Bank

February 23, 2015
Maps of the existing Houston transit system (left) and the new plan (right). (transitsystemreimagining.com)

Houston has approved a plan to broaden the bus network, allowing riders to get to most areas of the city. But it comes with a trade-off.

White House Pushes For Tougher Rules On Retirement Funds

February 23, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks at the Department of Homeland Security about the administration's fiscal year 2016 budget request released earlier today February 2, 2015 in Washington, D.C. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

The measure would make it harder for brokers to push their clients toward higher-fee retirement products and funds.

Greece And Eurozone Creditors Reach Deal, Official Says

February 20, 2015
The euro logo is pictured in front of the former headquarter of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, on February 13, 2015. (Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images)

An official close to discussions says a deal was reached between the two sides over the country’s request to extend its bailout.

Trillions Of Dollars In Household Debt Dragging Americans Down

February 19, 2015
Credit cards (Sean MacEntee/Flickr)

Household debt – including mortgages, credit cards, car loans and student loans – has been shooting up in recent months.

Wal-Mart Gives Minimum Wage Workers A Raise

February 19, 2015
A worker pulls a line of shopping carts toward a Walmart store in North Kingstown, R.I. in November 2012. (Steven Senne/AP)

The retail giant will raise the minimum pay for half a million workers to at least $9 and hour in April and to $10 by February 2016.

Many In Mass. Await The Next Blizzard With No Heat

February 13, 2015
An oil tank in Robbin Taylor’s basement is empty and she has no money to fill it. The $900 in oil assistance she received at the beginning of winter is long gone. (Martha Bebinger/WBUR)

Roughly 200,000 Massachusetts households qualify for federal home energy assistance. And about half of those who receive aid have already exhausted that benefit.

Report: To Reduce Mass. Family Homelessness, Focus Less On Shelters

February 11, 2015

A report argues family homelessness in Massachusetts is beyond crisis levels and it’s time to shift our approach.

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