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Another way to pay for health care

Dec 9, 2004
As health care costs escalate, U.S. Firms are finding it hard to provide competitive benefits without breaking the bank. Some businesses are trying a new approach with a simple, but controversial premise: The more money you make, the more you pay for health care. From WFAE in Charlotte, Jaime Bedrin reports on one company's experience.

Mia hangs up her cleats

Dec 8, 2004
One of this country's most famous female athletes is retiring. Soccer player Mia Hamm will hang up her spikes after tonight's game between the U.S. and Mexico in Carson, California. Hamm rose to fame during the 1999 World Cup, and as Marketplace's Matthew Algeo reports, she became a marketing icon.

Crossing the Chamber line?

Dec 8, 2004
This week, the Washington Post reported on a unique new newspaper in Southern Illinois. The Madison County Record was launched in September as a kind of local legal journal. Recent front pages have carried a variety of stories about lawsuits against businesses. What readers probably don't know is that the Record is a creation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Post story called the Madison County Record a weapon in the Chamber's multimillion-dollar campaign for 'tort reform'. The expose was written by Post reporter Jeff Birnbaum, who argues the Chamber is wielding a lot more power right now than many may suspect.

A Palestinian business boom ...

Dec 8, 2004
At a conference in Oslo today, the Bush administration announced that it was giving $20 million to the Palestinian Authority to help it through a financial crisis. The Palestinians say in the short term, money's needed to support elections set for January to pick a successor to Yasser Arafat. Many Palestinians say the relatively smooth political transition so far has created a sense of optimism - and as Marketplace's Adam Davidson discovered in the West Bank, that has started to spur a bit of business...
Posted In: Canada

Toledo, Ohio... Really

Dec 8, 2004
At a hotel in Washington tomorrow, several mayors from around the country plan to meet with business leaders to release an economic forecast for America's cities. But there's another item on the table: how cities can attract private investment. There's a growing sense that something's gotta give--because cities are giving away far too much to woo corporations. In the new edition of the New Yorker magazine, Economics writer James Surowiecki explains why Toledo, Ohio could be a turning point.

You just can't find good help these days

Dec 8, 2004
The number of new applications for home loans rose last week. In its report today, the Mortgage Bankers Association credited lower interest rates - a '30 year fixed is now an average 5.68 percent. Many folks would prefer to patch up the place they already have. You many have a tough time finding qualified carpenters, electricians, plumbers and others to help out. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says it's going to keep getting worse - more than a million of these skilled jobs are going unfilled every year. We sent Marketplace's Lisa Napoli to find out what some are trying to do to fill a growing blue collar gap.

The Airbus impact

Dec 8, 2004
America has long been considered the leader in global aviation. But its leadership position has been overshadowed during the past couple of decades by the emergence of the European consortium Airbus. Host Kai Ryssdal talks to Stephen Aris, author of Close to the Sun, about how Airbus changed the world's aircraft industry.

A pricey place to rest

Dec 8, 2004
An announcement yesterday from the Egyptian government: 20 more gilded mummies have been found at an oasis in Western Egypt. 214 others have been discovered in the region. Guess that's why they call it the 'Valley of the Gilded Mummies'. Five bronze coins were found with the mummies--payment for the trip to the afterlife. Nowadays, you pay up front. From upstate New York, North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports on a final resting place that could set you back a million and a half dollars.

CAFTA: do we hafta?

Dec 8, 2004
Get used to hearing about CAFTA: the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Like its predecessor, NAFTA, the NORTH American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA would reduce tariffs on trade between America and its neighbors - in this case, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. CAFTA is high on the agenda of the Bush administration. But, it's already the subject of a bitter fight between U.S. businesses and labor. Marketplace commentator Robert Reich tells us why he thinks that battle is a sideshow.

Wine without borders

Dec 7, 2004
The Supreme Court heard arguments today about whether wineries will be able to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states. It pits two amendments of the constitution against one another - and two powerful lobbies in the $21 billion wine business. Host David Brown speaks to US News reporter Betsy Streisand about the case.