How were back-to-school sales at Walmart last month? Nobody knows for sure.
How were back-to-school sales at Walmart last month? Nobody knows for sure. - 
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The government shutdown means no official economic data. But economist Chris Low tells Marketplace Morning Report Host David Brancaccio what we do know about back-to-school retail sales without the government's official report for September, or sales numbers from the nation's largest retailer, Walmart.

The Affordable Care Act increases the size of the health care discount employers can give, as long as those workers take steps to get healthier. Up to 30 percent of health care costs can now be tied to participation in workplace wellness plans. But instead of just asking employees to submit medical histories or do lunchtime yoga, some workplaces could try something more high-tech: using health tracking devices that count your every step.

Despite the government shutdown, some official news managed to come out of Washington this week. President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve when revered chairman Ben Bernanke steps down in January. Shortly before the news broke, The New Yorker published “At Home With Ben Bernanke,” a comic that had us chuckling. It depicts a stiff Bernanke, waiting alone at the dinner table as someone shouts from the kitchen. And it is these charming words that we want to hear come out of your mouth: 

“And if you think that every time you open your mouth around here everyone is going to dance to your tune, you’ve got another thing coming, Mr. Federal Reserve!” 

We know some of you are probably brilliantly talented, undiscovered voice actors. So let’s hear it! We’ll compile the best renditions on our brand new Marketplace Voice Mail channel on Audioboo, and we may even use it on air.

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Follow David Brancaccio at @DavidBrancaccio