National / International News
The economy is growing at 4 percent per year. Unemployment is down. But that's not always how the economy feels, day to day.
Lisa Goldenberg is the president of Delaware Steel Company of Pennsylvania, where she has a front-row seat to how the economic outlook is making life easier — or harder — for businesses. In a July interview, Goldenberg lamented that things weren't going as well as she had hoped. She has that same grinding sense of progress today.
"We should have had a stronger September. We're doing okay, but okay isn't good enough. It's a struggle," Goldenberg says.
The bright spots: construction, energy and cars.
"For the steel business, construction is a good thing," Goldenberg says. "People go out, they need washers and dryers made out of steel."
But are things better than July? No, she says. People have a little more money to spend, but not enough to pay off debts from the past few years. And definitely not enough savings to buy a house.
"It's painful to live through slow, even, deliberate growth," Goldenberg says. But even so, "it's the best way, in my opinion, to build a solid economy."
The story of Excalibur, whose Spanish owner has Ebola, raises many questions. Can dogs catch the virus? How would we know if they did? Could they infect humans? We asked a specialist for answers.
Passengers arriving from some countries in West Africa will have their temperatures taken upon arrival. They will also be asked to keep
Tipping can be a contentious issue in the U.S., especially in light of the debate over raising the minimum wage. Whether tipped employees should even be paid minimum wage is still a question up for debate in most states.
With the hardships of low-wage workers on their mind, consumers might be compelled to increase the percentage of their gratuity in instances like dining in a restaurant. Concerns over low wages might be the reason why, percentage-wise, we tip more compared to past decades.
Or is it some other economic reason tied to the rise or fall of food prices? Does the average diner even pay attention to those factors?
Looking at historical data on the U.S., there does seem to be a general rise in how big of a percentage people tip, says Mike Lynn, a marketing professor and expert in tipping behavior at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
“If you look at etiquette books, going back pretty far, etiquette books were recommending 15 percent tips,” Lynn says, “But there was a survey by Leo Crespi in Public Opinion Quarterly in 1947, and what was clear was that people were tipping 10 percent on average in restaurants.”
Other etiquette books reinforced the 10 percent norm for tipping as well.
An excerpt from \"The itching palm; a study of the habit of tipping in America,\" an anti-tipping etiquette book published in 1916.William R. Scott/The Penn publishing company of Philadelphia via California Digital Library
The rise of tipping to a more 15 percent standard may have more to do with how the tipper wants to be perceived, Lynn says.
“My theory is that some people tip as a positional good. To get ahead of others,” Lynn says, “They want better service than other people get. They want the server to look up to them and respect them more. They tip to get out ahead of others, and once some people do that, it puts pressure on everybody else.”
Lynn cautions that his theory is based more on his own observations rather than hard evidence on tipping, which is difficult to come by, but he does say there is evidence that tipping is more common in countries that are more status-oriented.
Lynn also says we shouldn’t totally discount people who say they do tip to rectify what they see as unfair wage practices for servers, in which they are paid below the state minimum wage. He also points out that in states like California, where tipped employees do make at least the state minimum wage, tipping rates aren’t significantly lower than in states with different policies.
Five U.S. airports will begin screening passengers arriving from West Africa for Ebola starting this weekend. Kennedy International will be the first, the New York Times reported, followed by O'Hare, Washington Dulles, Hartsfield-Jackson and Newark Liberty international airports.
The announcement comes right after the death of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. since the outbreak began, on Wednesday morning.
In other news, the Fed minutes are expected later today, along with the usual combing for clues about interest rate hikes. In the meantime, here are the other numbers we're watching Wednesday:25 minutes
That's how long one employee says he waited, unpaid, to be screened for stolen merchandise following a 12-hour shift at an Amazon fulfillment center. Jesse Busk sued the staffing agency that placed him in the job, Bloomberg reported, and several other suits against Amazon followed. The allegations will be heard by the Supreme Court Wednesday.5
Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Facebook all compromised with the Justice Department in January over disclosing details of government requests to the public. Those firms are now able to give some more general information about data requests that were previously confidential. Twitter argues the remaining restrictions infringe on its First Amendment rights, the Washington Post reported, and the tech company is suing the government.$27 billion
Netflix's estimated market cap, making its recent deals for a "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" sequel and four Adam Sandler movies seem downright affordable to a streaming service that already spends $3 billion on content annually. Those numbers come from a Variety analysis of Netflix's recent push to the big screen, which posits big theater chains might be forced to get on board with the streaming model... or go the way of Blockbuster.