Economy & Business

Business news

If presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were consumer products, they wouldn't exactly be flying off the shelves, according to a firm that studies brand loyalty.

The Reputation Institute, which gauges how consumers view companies, politicians and even countries, gives Republican nominee Trump what it calls an overall "pulse score" of 31.7. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton rates a bit better, at 38.7.

Any score less than 40 qualifies as having a "poor reputation," the firm says.

It's the most pressing problem, but fire-prone phones aren't the only challenge facing the world's leading seller of mobile phones. In Samsung's home country of South Korea, the conglomerate was already feeling the heat from investors, who want to streamline its complicated corporate structure, and from critics, who say it's not changing from its previously top-down, "militaristic" ways.

National graduation rate hits a new high

Oct 18, 2016
Amy Scott

We learned this week that the national high school graduation rate is higher than ever. More than 83 percent of high school seniors finished on time in 2015, according to federal figures released Monday. The biggest gains were made by students learning English, low-income students, and black and Hispanic students, though big gaps remain.

What's a "good job"?

Oct 18, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Marketplace-Edison Research Economic poll asked respondents what attributes were important for a job to be considered a “good job.” The top selection among the choices offered was that the job provide health benefits — picked as “essential” by 73 percent of respondents. Next in line was “provide a good working environment,” followed by “provide opportunities for advancement,” and “make you feel valued.”

Political divides are causing tech deals to fall apart

Oct 18, 2016
David Brancaccio

They say not to talk politics around the dinner table, but what about in the workplace? The outcome of the election will have big consequences for many parts of the economy, from construction and manufacturing to finance and health care. And that's causing a lot of uncertainty for businesses, their employees and their customers. 

Paul Kedrosky, co-founder and managing partner at SK Ventures, spoke to us about how the election is impacting tech companies and startup funding.  

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Oct 18, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the end of Apple's ambitions to build an electric car; a protest by Instacart workers against the company's plans to replace tips with service fees; and Netflix's higher-than-expected earnings this past quarter. 

If you feel like Internet ads are more pervasive and invasive than ever before, you're not alone. Author Tim Wu tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Web has gotten worse over the years, not better — and unrelenting ads are to blame.

"I think you spend 50 percent of your mental energy trying to defeat ad systems," Wu says. "It's amazing that we've got this great scientific invention, the Web and the Internet, and then it has come to the point where using it reminds me of swatting mosquitoes."

The Nobel Committee can't find Bob Dylan

Oct 17, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Let me preface the following with my long standing, widely unpopular opinion — I never was a big fan of Bob Dylan.

Is Walmart’s investment in employees paying off?

Oct 17, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

A year-and-a-half ago the company announced a higher starting salary and other employee benefits. 

Walmart is generally known for its low, low prices. The catch is that those prices were made possible by pay for Walmart workers also being low, low.

Economics being what it is, that bottom tier pay structure brought some not so intended consequences sales-wise.

So a year-and-a-half ago the company promised to raise pay and make things better for its workers.

Goldman transcripts show how Clinton has evolved

Oct 17, 2016
Lane Wallace

The transcripts of Hillary Clinton’s expensive speeches to Goldman Sachs came out over the weekend, and while they don’t contain any bombshells, they do reveal some differences between Clinton circa 2013, and Clinton on the campaign trail today.

Where did 'I approve this message' come from?

Oct 17, 2016
Adam Allington

Given that it is election season, there is a particular bit of audio we’ve all heard dozens, if not hundreds of times. “I’m candidate X, and I approved this message.”

So we at Marketplace wondered — when exactly why did “approving a message” become a thing?

Personally, I physically cringe every time I hear that ubiquitous phrase pop up on TV or radio.  It just seems obvious, and more than a little bit dorky.

Turns out there is a good reason for forcing candidates to add the disclaimers, and that reason is accountability.

Pepsi looking for sweeter returns, but cutting sugar

Oct 17, 2016
Adam Allington

PepsiCo is rolling out plans today that would, among other things, reduce the amount of sugar in its soft drinks and improve water efficiency.

According to the company, at least two-thirds of its drinks will have 100 calories or less, per 12 ounces.

The move comes as there is increasing pressure on “Big Soda" for the role they play in the obesity epidemic.

What Americans should value

Oct 17, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Pepsi's decision to reduce the amount of sugar in its drinks; Netflix's efforts do dominate the online programming space; and the values Americans think are most important as part of our "Secretary of the Future" series. 

Yana Shapiro is a partner at a Philadelphia law firm with an exhausting travel schedule and two boys, ages 9 and 4. When she feels run-down from juggling everything and feels a cold coming on, she books an appointment for an intravenous infusion of water, vitamins and minerals.

"Anything to avoid antibiotics or being out of commission," the 37-year-old says.

Sex with someone new has always made me nervous. Now, TV is making it even worse.

I keep seeing scary ads featuring young people asking their parents why they didn't get the vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus — HPV. If you're unfamiliar with HPV, it's a sexually transmitted infection that has been linked to various cancers, including cervical cancer in women.

I didn't get vaccinated. So lately I've been wondering: Now that I'm 29, is it too late for me to get the vaccine?