NPR's Planet Money team is manufacturing its own T-shirt. After the women's shirt was assembled in Colombia, they voyaged by container ship to Miami. The container, a big standardized box that moves easily from truck to ship to train, is the unsung hero of the global economy. It was invented in the 1950s and dramatically reduced shipping costs, ushering in a new era vastly different than the world retired stevedores remember. There's a whole lot more about what it takes to make a simple T-shirt — the journey from cotton to completion — here.
Workers rallied in 100 cities on Thursday to raise awareness for increasing pressure to raise wages. The push comes as 19 cities and states already raised minimum wages. A report from Berkeley economists finds the low-wage fast food jobs are costing taxpayer billions of dollars in public assistance — everything from food stamps to Medicaid.
NPR's Planet Money team is manufacturing its own T-shirt. After the women's shirt was assembled in Colombia, they voyaged by container ship to Miami. The container, a big standardized box that moves easily from truck to ship to train, is the unsung hero of the global economy.
Thousands of restaurant workers protested Thursday in cities around the country, calling for an increase in wages to $15 an hour. Many fast-food workers make so little that they rely on public assistance to get by, even as profits at many franchises have nearly doubled in recent years. But not everyone agrees that raising the minimum wage will fix the problem.
Wireless phone carrier China Mobile has signed a deal with Apple to offer iPhones on its network. According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal would give Apple access to China Mobile's 700 million subscribers. That's about seven times more subscribers than Verizon — the largest mobile carrier in the U.S.
Wal-Mart has opened its first two stores in Northwest Washington D.C., earning cheers from the Mayor and residents who said they'd be happy to shop in the city and not in the suburbs. But there have been months of debate over the wages the big box store pays its employees. Some activists and lawmakers say employees aren't being paid enough.
Workers and advocates for higher minimum wages will be staging protests at fast-food restaurants and major retailers on Thursday. They want these companies to significantly raise the wages for their lowest paid workers. So what would happen, if for example, McDonald's raised its lowest wage to $15 an hour? In some cases, that would double the pay workers get now.
Probably the best feature of the retooled HealthCare.gov website is that you can actually use it. People are now able to get a customized list of plans and prices, and click through to see an insurer's provider directory. Still, better though it is, it's clearly not 100 percent.