National / International News

Keep the change: The psychology of tipping

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-21 16:19

Let's say you walk into Starbucks.

While you're paying, you look down and see that jar:

So what do you do? Do you drop your loose change in it? A dollar? Or do you turn around and drink your soy latte.

Starbucks is trying to make that decision as easy as a text message. This week, the coffee giant changed their app, allowing you to tip directly from your phone.

Which got us wondering, why do we tip in the first place? How do you choose who to tip and who not to tip? 

According to Michael Lynn, professor at the Cornell Hotel School, economists believe tipping comes into play where you, the consumer, are going to be a better judge of how they did in their job. 

“We tend to tip service providers more, the less they make, and also more the more the customer makes. So the greater the income disparity between the server and the customer, the more likely you are to tip.”

We are also tend to tip better when there’s some sort of social contact. You're much more likely to tip your hairdresser with whom you've had a conversation with, than someone you only have a few seconds of contact with.

How do you tip? Take our survey here!

Keep the change: The psychology of tipping

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-21 16:19

Let's say you walk into Starbucks.

While you're paying, you look down and see that jar:

So what do you do? Do you drop your loose change in it? A dollar? Or do you turn around and drink your soy latte.

Starbucks is trying to make that decision as easy as a text message. This week, the coffee giant changed their app, allowing you to tip directly from your phone.

Which got us wondering, why do we tip in the first place? How do you choose who to tip and who not to tip? 

According to Michael Lynn, professor at the Cornell Hotel School, economists believe tipping comes into play where you, the consumer, are going to be a better judge of how they did in their job. 

“We tend to tip service providers more, the less they make, and also more the more the customer makes. So the greater the income disparity between the server and the customer, the more likely you are to tip.”

We are also tend to tip better when there’s some sort of social contact. You're much more likely to tip your hairdresser with whom you've had a conversation with, than someone you only have a few seconds of contact with.

How do you tip? Take our survey here!

Police Scotland makes £72m savings

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 16:04
Police say savings they have already made could mean they will achieve their £1.1bn target two years earlier than forecast.

Brazil hails 'iconic' player Bellini

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 15:57
President Dilma Rousseff leads tributes to legendary World-Cup winning Brazil football captain Hilderaldo Luiz Bellini, who died this week.

Satellites' Scope And The Search For A Plane

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 15:57

Satellites have focused the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on the southern Indian Ocean. But without results yet, the effort also highlights the technology's limitations.

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Police to be quizzed on rape report

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 15:44
Five Greater Manchester officers are to be investigated by the police watchdog over the handling of a report of a rape.

Spooked markets and that sort of thing

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-21 15:42

Some weeks, it's almost impossible to fit the news into 4 minutes.

We did our best: Cardiff Garcia of the blog FT – Alphaville and  Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post joined Kai to wrap the week's financial headlines. On the agenda: "Is the market an idiot?" 

Stop doing evil, Pope tells mafia

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 15:31
Pope Francis launches a stinging attack on the mafia, warning gangsters that they will go to hell unless they repent and stop doing evil.

Wenger ready for 'game of the season'

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 15:04
Arsene Wenger says his 1,000th match as Arsenal boss will be the "game of the season" as his side face Chelsea on Saturday.

VIDEO: Turks voice defiance over Twitter ban

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 14:53
Some 2.5 million tweets were posted within three hours of Twitter getting blocked in Turkey.

Defense Of 'Whitey' Bulger Has Cost Taxpayers More Than $3 Million

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 14:49

The notorious Boston gangster was given a public defender for his trial. He was found guilty of multiple murders and racketeering by a federal jury in August.

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Houdini, debt, and dandelions

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-21 14:42

Here’s a look at what’s coming up next week (March 24 - 28):

  • Let’s start things off with some magic. Harry Houdini was born on March 24, 1874. Not an easy guy to lock up. Internet sources say he showed soldiers how to escape from German handcuffs during World War I.
  • On Tuesday—lots of stuff to talk about. The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to discuss “Why Debt Matters.”
  • The Conference Board releases its monthly Consumer Confidence Index.
  • They had lots of confidence. The TV series “Cagney and Lacey” premiered in 1982. The crime drama shook up the norm, placing two female detectives in lead roles.
  • And feminist and “Ms Magazine” founder Gloria Steinem turns 80.
  • Mid-week the Commerce Department reports on durable goods orders for February.
  • On March 27, 2006 Graceland, home to Elvis Presley, was declared a national historic landmark. And sixteen years ago on the same date the FDA approved Viagra.
  • Finally now that we’re a week into spring, gardening may be on your to-do list. Well, March 28th is Weed Appreciation Day. Did you know that some weeds are edible? We here at Datebook headquarters say pull those ugly dandelions. 

Caterpillar and crazy tax avoidance contortions

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-21 14:36

Bloomberg reports that a Senate hearing next month will investigate construction machinery maker Caterpillar on whether it improperly shifted profits abroad to dodge U.S. taxes. Caterpillar isn’t commenting, but often when companies are under fire for avoiding taxes by moving money internationally, they say they pay their share and obey the law. And that’s generally true. Complicated tax laws make it possible for American companies to lower their bills by spreading money around the world.

To make sense of this, you need to understand two things. First, don’t think of these multi-nationals as single companies.

“Whether it’s Apple or General Motors or General Electric, it doesn’t matter,” says Ed Kleinbard, former chief of staff of Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation and now a University of Southern California law professor. “These in fact are constellations of hundreds of companies located all over the world.”

Second, remember that companies don’t just make money off stuff. They profit from ideas, in the form of patents, copyrights and other types of what are called intangible assets.

Their intangibility makes them easy to move around the world, including to the foreign arm of a company in a tax haven. With the stroke of a pen, piles of money a drug company, for example, might make from its research are off limits to the IRS.

It’s legal, and critics say the tax code that makes it possible advantages large multinational companies over small businesses and ordinary taxpayers. But unless Congress changes the law, American companies will keep paying accountants to take full advantage.

Mark Garrison: If you wanna make sense of this, understand two things. First, don’t think of these multi-nationals as single companies. Ed Kleinbard is the former chief of staff of Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation.

Ed Kleinbard: Whether it’s Apple or General Motors or General Electric, it doesn’t matter. These in fact are constellations of hundreds of companies located all over the world.

Second, remember, companies don’t just make money off stuff. They profit from ideas.

Kleinbard: What makes a Nike sneaker more valuable than an Acme sneaker? It’s the intangible assets associated with that company. It’s the brand name. It’s the secret sauce. It’s the patents.

An American firm can move those intangible assets to a foreign arm in a tax haven. All with the stroke of a pen. So piles of money a drug company, for example, might make from its research are off limits to the IRS. David Cay Johnston at Syracuse’s law school thinks this is all unfair to small business.

David Cay Johnston: If you own a purely domestic company, and that’s the mom and pop businesses in America, you are not allowed to do this.

Rebecca Wilkins is with Citizens for Tax Justice, which thinks these multi-nationals should pay more. When they say they’re just following the law, that’s not enough for her.

Rebecca Wilkins: They act as if they’re innocent in this whole process and quite the opposite is true. They have lobbied for these tax breaks.

Unless Congress changes the law, American companies will keep paying accountants to take full advantage. In New York, I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.

Insurance Chief Suggests Adding A New, Lower Level Of Health Plan

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 14:24

Representing U.S. health insurance companies, Karen Ignagni says she would add a "lower tier" to the Affordable Care Act options. That could entice healthier people to join the law's new risk pools.

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Canada 'webcam killer' in plea offer

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 14:19
A Toronto man accused of killing a Chinese student whose last moments were witnessed via webcam by her boyfriend offers to admit manslaughter.

Declined: Visa, MasterCard Freeze Out Targeted Russian Banks

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 14:14

The U.S.-based credit card companies responded to sanctions imposed on Moscow in the wake of its annexation of Crimea.

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Leeds Rhinos 54-6 London Broncos

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 14:04
Ryan Hall's first-half hat-trick against the London Broncos helps the unbeaten Leeds Rhinos go top of Super League

VIDEO: Migrants rescued off Sicilian coast

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 13:51
The Italian navy says more than 4,000 migrants have been rescued from overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily in the past four days.

VIDEO: One very long night on Twitter

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-21 13:29
Key moments of how the site was blocked

Federal Judge Strikes Down Michigan Gay-Marriage Ban

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 13:28

The state follows Texas and several others who have seen their same-sex marriage prohibitions overturned in court. Michigan's attorney general has said he will appeal the decision.

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