Economy

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Does the U.S. tax system encourage promiscuous spending?

Dan Ariely explains why the U.S. tax system may be inadvertently encouraging us to spend more money than we really have.

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Camden, an impoverished city, struggles to survive budget cuts

One of the poorest, most violent cities in our nation recently lost half of its police force. Need to Know goes to Camden, N. J., to see first hand the challenges on the ground and explore possible solutions for the city.

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Fed belatedly discloses top ‘discount window’ borrowers

A lawyer for the Federal Reserve dropped off previously undisclosed loan documents at the Washington, D.C,. office of Bloomberg News this morning, marking the end of a three-year struggle to compel the Fed to disclose who borrowed from its “discount window” during the 2007 financial crisis.

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Nebraska bill renews debate over killing horses for food

Congress effectively outlawed the horse meat industry in 2007, but a state bill aims to revive the issue and the industry. Animal rights activists are fighting it.

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  Income inequality in America: An illustrated interview

Editorial cartoonist Steve Brodner conducts an illustrated interview with author Eduardo Porter about income inequality in America.

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  Are public employee unions to blame for states’ budget woes?

Governors from across the country say that public union workers’ salaries and benefits are wreaking havoc with their state budgets. But are state workers really to blame for the economic plight of states?

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What to do about the states’ budget crises?

States and cities across the country are in financial straits right now. The recent recession caused steep declines in state revenues, while simultaneously driving up the demand for government social services. This one-two punch has left many localities reeling.

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  Sis, boom, bust: The high cost of college sports

While state budget deficits force administrators at public colleges and universities to make painful cuts, one area not feeling the budget knife much is intercollegiate sports. Need to Know travels to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, to see how the pressure to compete as a NCAA Division I program is affecting the classroom.

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  Greg Wawro on ‘filibuster by flight’ in Wisconsin and Indiana

Jon Meacham talks to Professor Gregory Wawro of Columbia University about the controversial political tactics being used by legislators in Wisconsin and Indiana to avoid being forced to vote on legislation cutting benefits and collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.

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Obama and Republicans stand on opposite sides of the high-speed tracks

With the 2012 elections not that far off, Republicans are taking on President Obama’s high-speed rail plan.

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Train in vain? Obama’s high-speed rail plan is more ‘I think I can’ than ‘Yes, we can’

Transportation Desk: Despite $8 billion proposed for high-speed rail, Obama’s plan is more ‘I think I can’ than ‘Yes, we can.’

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Seniorville, the suburbs turn 65

What can communities do to make the suburbs more senior friendly? An interview with Elinor Ginzler of AARP.