Mar 30, 2012

Marketplace Morning Report for Friday, March 30, 2012

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The company that makes Apple products in China, Foxconn, is pledging to improve working conditions at its factories, saying it'll hike pay and limit work hours after an investigation found the firm was regularly violating labor rules. Here in this country, many jobs are being replaced by machines, and Economy 4.0's David Brancaccio is currently driving 3,200 miles across the country
without interacting with humans. The amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country has reached $1 trillion, and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is trying to address this issue at the federal level. And the Master's tournament tees off next week at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It's tradition that CEOs of major tournaments sponsors are invited to join the all-male club.

Segments From this episode

Consumer spending up 0.8% in February

Mar 30, 2012
Consumer spending was the big surprise of the morning. The government said Americans spent 0.8 percent more in February.

Golf's 'grass ceiling' on women

Mar 30, 2012
The Master's tournament tees off next week at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It's tradition that CEOs of major tournaments sponsors are invited to join the all-male club. Thing is, the CEO of a major sponsor IBM is a woman.

Foxconn, Apple agree to improve worker conditions

Mar 30, 2012
Foxconn says it'll hike pay and limit work hours after an investigation found the firm was regularly violating labor rules.

Senator Dick Durbin on student loans and student debt

Mar 30, 2012
The amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country has reached $1 trillion. And if you scan the headlines this week, you'll find school after school raising tuition, which will almost certainly send that $1 trillion number up even further.

How much of a financial bazooka does Europe need?

Mar 30, 2012
European finance ministers are meeting in Denmark today. They're reportedly adding $670 billion to their bailout fund. Ministers have been trying to figure out how big of a financial bazooka they need to defend Europe from speculators.

Down on the farm, the economy is up

Mar 30, 2012
But Illinois farmers give little credit to the political party in power.

PODCAST: Foxconn workers get a raise, Quaker Oats gets a makeover

Mar 30, 2012
The company that makes Apple products in China, Foxconn, is pledging to improve working conditions at its factories, saying it'll hike pay and limit work hours after an investigation found the firm was regularly violating labor rules. Here in this country, many jobs are being replaced by machines, and Economy 4.0's David Brancaccio is currently driving 3,200 miles across the country without interacting with humans. The amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country has reached $1 trillion, and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is trying to address this issue at the federal level. And the Master's tournament tees off next week at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.
A large box of Quaker Oats is displayed in a first-floor lobby window at Quaker''s headquarters in Chicago. Soon, the brand will get a facelift.
Tim Boyle/Newsmakers

Canada scraps the penny coin

Mar 30, 2012
We speak to one Canadian member of parliament about why he is such an anti-penny crusader, and whether the penny could ever be dropped here in the U.S.
Canadian fans celebrate in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Community college raises prices on popular classes

Mar 30, 2012
Now to a community college here in Southern California that has been losing funding from the state. And to make up for that, Santa Monica College is jacking up tuition for its most popular classes by 500 percent.

Bee population decline linked to common pesticide

Bee populations in the U.S. -- and even other parts of the world -- have been on the decline, which has many worried. Well, two new studies out might have figured out a reason why.
A bumblebee collects nectar from a flower during a warm spring sunny day. World bee populations have been dwindling, and two new research papers might have a reason why.
SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Robots lose out in hospitality

Mar 30, 2012
If there's one industry where robots have tried and failed so far, it's hospitality -- seems humans prefer humans for hotel customer service.

The company that makes Apple products in China, Foxconn, is pledging to improve working conditions at its factories, saying it’ll hike pay and limit work hours after an investigation found the firm was regularly violating labor rules. Here in this country, many jobs are being replaced by machines, and Economy 4.0’s David Brancaccio is currently driving 3,200 miles across the country
without interacting with humans. The amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country has reached $1 trillion, and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is trying to address this issue at the federal level. And the Master’s tournament tees off next week at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It’s tradition that CEOs of major tournaments sponsors are invited to join the all-male club.

The team

Stephen Ryan Producer, BBC