A tax refund is a lifeline for a lot of Americans

Mar 4, 2020
Last year, after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 went into effect, a lot of people saw their tax refunds shrink or disappear.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Auto loans are taking longer to pay off

Oct 2, 2019
That could hurt consumers but benefit banks and dealerships.
Ford F-150s are lined up at a dealership in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

"Why can't I make ends meet? Why can't I make this math work?"

Jun 28, 2018
In her new book, Alissa Quart examines the lives of middle-class families struggling to get by.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Cutting the federal income tax rate is just a start, some economists say

Nov 9, 2017
Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, told CNBC this morning that it would be hard for the current tax bill to reduce federal tax rates further for a family earning median income without going into negative tax rates. But…

I went to the world's largest Applebee's to figure out why chain restaurants are dying

Oct 20, 2017
The decline of chain restaurants coincides with the growth in income disparities.
The second floor dining room at an Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Manhattan.
Peter Balonon-Rosen/Marketplace

How African-Americans were 'shut out' of the American dream

Apr 25, 2017
Discriminatory employment and housing practices have made it difficult for black men and women to enter the middle class, according to a new documentary.
Kathy Region (L) and Jimmie Alvin with his dog, pimp, sit next to the shanty town going up next to their apartment complex in the Liberty City neighborhood in Miami, Florida. 
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Indie musician Conor Oberst takes the Marketplace Quiz

Mar 17, 2017
He says that the music industry is a reflection of the general economy.
Conor Oberst has a carousel horse in his living room.
GrandstandHQ

What Homer Simpson can tell us about the economy

Dec 14, 2016
He's had more than 100 jobs, but hasn't progressed economically.
Fox

Starbucks doubles down on China

Oct 21, 2016
The company plans to open more than 2,000 additional stores in the next five years.
A Starbucks coffee shop, built in traditional Chinese style, in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.
MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images