David Kestenbaum http://wamc.org en When Ikea Raises Its Minimum Wage, Where Does The Money Come From? http://wamc.org/post/when-ikea-raises-its-minimum-wage-where-does-money-come Ikea, a company famous for keeping its costs down, recently announced that it would raise the average minimum wage for its retail workers to $10.76 an hour. Why would the company volunteer to pay its workers more?<p>"By taking better care of our coworkers," says Rob Olson, the acting president of Ikea U.S., "they will take better care of our customers, who will take better care of Ikea. We see it as a win-win-win opportunity."<p>Win. Win. Win. Sounds like a free lunch. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 07:49:38 +0000 David Kestenbaum 94594 at http://wamc.org When Ikea Raises Its Minimum Wage, Where Does The Money Come From? Volatility Index Indicates Wall Street Is Bored http://wamc.org/post/fear-index-rate-reflects-investor-boredom An economic indicator commonly called the VIX, volatility index, is also known as the fear index. Whatever you call it, the index is hitting lows not seen since before the financial crisis. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:12:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 92414 at http://wamc.org Why A Pack Of Peanut Butter M&M's Weighs A Tiny Bit Less Than A Regular Pack http://wamc.org/post/why-pack-peanut-butter-mms-weighs-tiny-bit-less-regular-pack The other day I went down to the little shop in the lobby of our building for a snack. I couldn't decide whether I wanted regular M&M's or Peanut Butter M&M's so I bought them both. On the way back upstairs to the office, I noticed something strange on the labels. Each had cost $1, but the pack of Peanut Butter M&M's was a very tiny bit lighter: 0.06 ounces lighter!<p>I wanted to know why, so I called a couple of experts and asked for their theories:<p><strong>Theory No. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 22:08:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 92041 at http://wamc.org Why A Pack Of Peanut Butter M&M's Weighs A Tiny Bit Less Than A Regular Pack On The Internet, A Penny Is Nothing To Sneeze At http://wamc.org/post/internet-penny-nothing-sneeze <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=On+The+Internet%2C+A+Penny+Is+Nothing+To+Sneeze+At&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAxODc1ODA5MDEyMjg1MDYxNTFiZTgwZg004)"/></div><p>Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Our Planet Money team this week is taking a look at the lowly penny. People discard pennies in bowls by cash registers. They walk by them on the street without a thought of picking them up. In fact, a lot of us don't even pick them up when we drop them. Thu, 22 May 2014 09:05:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 91018 at http://wamc.org In 4,000 Years, One Thing Hasn't Changed: It Takes Time To Buy Light http://wamc.org/post/4000-years-one-thing-hasnt-changed-it-takes-time-buy-light Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And now, 4,000 years of economic growth in seven minutes. This story comes, of course, from our Planet Money team. David Kestenbaum and Jacob Goldstein bring us the history of light and how the world came what it is today.<p>DAVID KESTENBAUM, BYLINE: Before you could get light at the flick of a switch, there were other options - none of them very good. Jane Brox wrote a book called "Brilliant: The Evolution Of Artificial Light." In the tropics, she says, people would catch fireflies and make a sort of firefly lantern. Fri, 02 May 2014 20:44:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 89603 at http://wamc.org How One State Convinced Its 'Young Invincibles' To Get Health Insurance http://wamc.org/post/how-one-state-convinced-its-young-invicibles-get-health-insurance Buying insurance doesn't always feel like it makes economic sense, especially for young healthy people. So why are they still willing to pay? <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:37:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 88959 at http://wamc.org How One State Convinced Its 'Young Invincibles' To Get Health Insurance New Web Addresses Provide Alternatives To Crowded Domains http://wamc.org/post/new-web-addresses-provide-alternatives-crowded-domains Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>On a Friday it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Think of the Internet as a group of islands. There's one island for all the Web addresses with .COM. That one's very crowded. There is the less popular .NET island. Also our personal favorite, .ORG. Well, now the number of islands is expanding dramatically. There's .BIKE and .PLUMBING, .NINJA and more islands to come. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 08:59:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 87423 at http://wamc.org Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs? http://wamc.org/post/does-raising-minimum-wage-kill-jobs President Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage, saying it will help some of the poorest Americans. Opponents argue that a higher minimum wage will lead employers to cut jobs.<p>Figuring out the effect of raising the minimum wage is tough. Ideally you'd like to compare one universe where the minimum was raised against an alternate universe where it remained fixed.<p>Economist David Card found the next best thing. In 1992, New Jersey was about to raise its minimum wage. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 22:18:52 +0000 David Kestenbaum 85305 at http://wamc.org Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs? A Venture Capitalist Is Betting A Pair Of Socks (And $50 Million) On Bitcoin's Future http://wamc.org/post/venture-capitalist-betting-pair-socks-and-50-million-bitcoins-future Ben Horowitz is a big-time venture capitalist. His firm <a href="http://a16z.com/portfolio/" target="_blank">invested in Facebook and Twitter</a>. More recently, his firm <a href="http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/why-bitcoin-matters/" target="_blank">invested some $50 million</a> in startups related to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/08/24/138673630/what-is-bitcoin" target="_blank">bitcoin</a>, the virtual currency that works like online cash. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 08:33:36 +0000 David Kestenbaum & Jacob Goldstein 83294 at http://wamc.org A Venture Capitalist Is Betting A Pair Of Socks (And $50 Million) On Bitcoin's Future The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America http://wamc.org/post/birth-minimum-wage-america In 1895, legislators in New York state decided to improve working conditions in what at the time could be a deadly profession: baking bread.<p>"Bakeries are actually extremely dangerous places to work," says Eric Rauchway, a historian at the University of California, Davis. "Because flour is such a fine particulate, if it gets to hang in the air it can catch fire and the whole room can go up in a sheet of flame."<p>New York passed a law called the Bakeshop Act. It didn't set a minimum wage — the minimum wage didn't exist yet in the U.S. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 08:57:26 +0000 David Kestenbaum 82038 at http://wamc.org The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America