A new study out this week published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that school lunch programs with stricter nutrition standards may be helping to reduce obesity in children, especially those who receive free or reduced lunches.
The study focused on states whose nutrition standards for school lunch programs were stricter than is mandated by the USDA. Those states showed lower rates of obesity among low-income children who relied on the school lunch programs.
“So that basically provided stronger evidence that when you provide healthier school meals, it’s associated with lower obesity risk,” says Daniel Taber, the lead author of the study.
The study also found that kids who ate the reduced calorie lunches did not compensate by purchasing unhealthy foods outside the lunchroom. Executive director of the New York Coilition for Healthy School Food, Amie Hamlin wasn’t surprised by this finding.
“Our bodies need certain nutrients and when we give our bodies those nutrients it reduces our cravings” says Hamlin.
The issue of what foods we should recommend for healthy school lunches is pretty clear cut according to Dr. Sharon Akabas, director of the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University.
“And when we don’t make those recommendations, when we soften the regulations, usually they have been industry driven and not in the interest of children’s or the nation’s health” Akabas says.
The food industry opposed new stricter standards arguing that they did not provide enough calories in school lunches. Opponents also pointed to the estimated $3.2 billion cost of implementing the new regulation.
President Obama unveiled his budget proposal today, which includes tax increases on the wealthy as well as cuts to social security.
David Kelly, chief global strategist at JP Morgan Funds, joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to explain Obama's proposed budget and how it differs from House Republican plans.
This morning President Obama unveils his ideas for a federal budget. It's expected to include a proposal for higher taxes on the wealthy and an end to corporate tax loopholes. It's also expected to include a plan to change the way student loan interest rates are set. Right now, rates are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July.
"It's important to point out that the interest rate that's going to double is not on outstanding loans," says Jason Delisle, director of the federal education budget project at the New America Foundation.
"The interest rate that's going to double is on a subset of loans for undergraduate students, for the upcoming academic year," Delisle says.
Those loans, called Stafford loans, are capped at $5,500 a year. Delisle says even if the interest rate doubles it would only mean paying about $9 extra a month.
"Over the course of repayment, it's a lot," says Ethan Senack, who works with U.S. PIRG, a non-profit research organization. U.S. PIRG recently released a report saying the government stands to make billions off of student loans.
"By the end of a student's college career when they enter into repayment, they'll see a cost increase of about $4,000 to $5,000," says Senack, who adds that the government shouldn't be in the business of profiting off of higher education.
When you hear the word lobster, you probably think of Maine. Now the industry there is proposing to spend big bucks on advertising. Some lobstermen say that’s a waste of money, but others want in on new markets.
Lobsterman Nelson King fishes from the village of East Boothbay, about a third of the way up the Maine coast.
“It’s a nice place to live,” he says. “One of the best hurricane-hole harbors around here.” King has been a lobsterman there since 1959, when he says a license cost a couple bucks.
“They’re $167 today, and about to go through the roof,” King says.
Lobstermen’s license fees include a surcharge that pays for the Maine Lobster Council to plug the industry in the U.S. and abroad. A bill before the state legislature would more than double those fees over the next few years to boost the council’s annual budget to $3 million.
That’s ten times the current amount, and Nelson King doesn’t see the point.
“You’ve never heard anyone go into a restaurant and say, ‘I want a New Hampshire lobster, I want a Canadian lobster, give me one of them Massachusetts fellas’,” he explains. King says more marketing would benefit only restaurants and dealers.
Maine lobstermen are catching more lobster than ever but the prices they get for their catch hit record lows last summer. Boothbay lobsterman Mark Jones doesn’t mind the surcharge hike if it helps increase demand.
“You know, I’m looking at this through my own eyes as a business owner, that it's minimal effect and it could have huge payoff,” Jones says. “Five years down the road we may be looking at a huge spike in our price.”
If the new law passes, Maine lobstermen will spend about one percent of the gross value of their catch on promotion. The state got that number from commodities marketing expert Harry Kaiser at Cornell University.
“There’s a basic threshold in a marketing budget,” Kaiser explains. “If you spend under the threshold you’re really not going to have any impact because the message is just not going to get out there.” Kaiser points to successful campaigns like “Got Milk” or “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”
Some Maine lobstermen say their commodity is much higher-end, and it’ll never sell like hamburger, no matter how much they spend on marketing.
Tell us: If you were to come up with slogan for lobster, what would it be?
In the airplane-making business, there are really only two big names that matter: Boeing, which is based in the U.S., and Airbus, which is based in France.
This week, Airbus entered Boeing's territory by breaking ground on its first U.S. assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama. CEO of Airbus Fabrice Bregier joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to discuss the new venture and what's ahead for the company.
On opening an assembly plant in Alabama:
Bregier: "We are investing in an assembly line in a very complex part of the manufacturing process. What counts for us is to have a strong industry presence [in the U.S.], next to our customers. And we have a selected the state of Alabama because we have been partnering with them in the past. We enjoy very good support with the state of Alabama and the business community."
On competing with Boeing:
Bregier: "It’s an open market. Normally we enjoy a 50 percent market share. In the rest of the world we are leading actually. But in the United States, for legacy reasons, for historical reasons, we are lagging behind. We have a market share which is a bit lower than 20 percent and we believe we are getting closer to our customers. Investing in Alabama will help us increase our market share.
The competition with Boeing is very, very tough. We first have to communicate about the quality of our products. For the legacy companies linked to Boeing, it is more difficult to switch. But if you look at American Airlines, they procured 260 aircraft recently from Airbus, so we can make it. If we are seen as very good U.S. citizens, we produce our aircraft in America, when our competitor is outsourcing, I think it’s also a plus."
To hear more about the global airplane industry and the future of solar-powered planes, click on the audio player above.
The Pentagon won't say what they are, but the Air Force has now officially designated six cyber technologies as "weapons."
"This means that the game-changing capability [of] cyber is going to get more attention and the recognition that it deserves," said Lieutenant General John Hyten, vice commander of the Air Force Space Command.
Recognition and money, since military budgets tend to favor weapons.
"At the same time that there is this mounting pressure and competition for resources within the Pentagon budget, the U.S. government and intelligence agencies are reporting an exponential growth in the number of cyberattacks," says Reuters correspondent Andrea Shalal-Esa.
Shalal-Esa says putting the weapons label on certain cyber systems is about making computer warfare mainstream inside the Pentagon.
"It's all about normalizing, that this is a war fighting domain -- along with air, land, sea, space, and now cyber space," says Shalal-Esa.
If cyber warfare technology brings funding, the government will need to attract talent, and that could be a challenge.
"To really become a specialist in cyber-security, it takes a pretty strong technical background, says Professor John Moore, head of the Math and Computer Science department at South Carolina military college The Citadel. "Not everybody wants to go through that, but people respond to the needs of the United States and the needs of the military, and of course where the funding is."
Bed Bath & Beyond will release fourth-quarter earnings figures on Wednesday and analysts are expecting the company to post good results, despite stiff competiton posed by online retailers and other brick and mortar housewares stores.
Analysts say Bed Bath & Beyond seems to have found its niche -- benefitting from the Goldilocks syndrome. Patty Edwards, retail analyst at Trutina, says, for a lot of people, a company like Crate & Barrel is too expensive, while less-pricey Target doesn't have as much selection.
"[At Bed Bath & Beyond] you can buy a $20 towel or you can buy a $2 towel," Edwards says, "But you can do all of that in one spot."
Edwards adds that as the housing market improves, more people are shopping for home furnishings and housewares. And the threat from online retailers isn't really affecting Bed Bath just yet.
Sucharita Mulpuru, a retail analyst at Forrester, says that online giants like Amazon may dominate sales of books and electronics, but they still have a lot to learn about selling housewares. Mulpuru, who was herself recently trying to buy a hanging mirror which she knew was available at Bed Bath & Beyond, decided to look online as well.
"I couldn't find what I was looking for at all on Amazon," she says.
Hackathons are typically events where programmers gather to compete to solve a software challenge. But a food hackathon has just wrapped up in San Francisco, where programmers, designers, and investors spent a couple of days working on ways to improve the food system.
"There is a whole wave of innovation that is going to be happening around different food businesses -- both straightforward, as well as crazy," says Dave McClure, of the venture capital firm 500 Startups who participated as a hackathon judge. Among the things that captured his imagination: Harvesting edible insects, hand-gesture recognition in restaurants, and renting, instead of owning, a garden.
Avant-garde chefs are also part of the movement to bring new high tech thinking to the dining table. Wylie Dufresne, chef and owner of famous New York restaurant WD-50, joins Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio to discuss his approach to food and cooking.
To learn more about San Francisco's Food Hackathon, click here.
This final note today, in which President Obama chooses between cigarettes, soda and booze.
David Leonhardt points out on the New York Times website this afternoon that in the Obama budget, the President prefers taxes on tobacco over those on soft drinks and alcohol. The tax on a pack of smokes would just about double under the president's plan, to almost $2 a pack. Federal taxes on soda and beer, wine and hard liquor, meanwhile, haven't budged in 20 years or more.
Pick your sin, I suppose.
Imagine a scenario where a giant storm hits New York City. Manhattan gets flooded--low-lying areas are wiped out. Power goes out, people are homeless for months on end.
Superstorm Sandy, right?
Now add a twist--a futures forecasting firm that makes a bunch of money predicting that exact disaster -- and you've got Nathaniel Rich's new novel, "Odds Against Tomorrow."
The book is, in many ways, about fear. "I think it's about living in a culture in which we're constantly terrified by one piece of news or another," says Rich. "Whether or not you're looking for it, it's in your Twitter feed and Facebook and in your email."
Mitchell Zukor, the book's protagonist, finds he has a knack for predicting disaster, "he's discovered a niche market in high stakes fear, essentially. He's selling a form of catastrophe insurance." Sounds a little like the high stakes trades that have landed Wall Street in hot water on Main Street?
Rich says the idea for the book came long before the financial crisis of 2007 and Sandy last autumn. "It's short term, cynical thinking that's pretty common in high finance. He's profiting from disaster but personally, he's horrified because he's really afraid of all this stuff he's finding in his research."
The book touches on disasters in climate change, environmental damage, nuclear war, and terrorism. "I feel like we're past the point of dystopian novels that carry with them a warning, saying, 'if we don't get our act together, this is what we're going to inherit, this horrible future'," says Rich. "I feel like we're in that future already." Rich says the next step is to "understand how we can live in this new reality we've created so the end of the novel I think has some ambivalence. There's some hope but there's some real dread."
For all his success at Apple, Ron Johnson misread the J.C. Penney consumer. J.C. Penney's board ousted him after a year and a half in which his high-risk strategy backfired. Johnson famously tried to break the cycle of marking up prices just to mark them down.
Instead of discount coupons and sales, his idea was to have low prices everyday to make things easier for the company and its customers. But shoppers quite literally didn't buy it. It’s a reminder of just how strong a hold sales have on consumer psychology and the pricing games retailers play.
It may help to step back and consider the lifecycle of a V-neck dress on sale at J.C. Penney right now. Its color is Stardust, which apparently means purple in J.C. Penney’s language. The original retail price was $60. The store likely paid less than half that. But it has stuck around too long, so it’s time to put it on sale.
“The lightest promotion that you would probably see nowadays is 20 percent off, probably within four weeks of when it hit the merchandising floor,” says retail consultant Stacey Widlitz.
That’s close to where the dress is now, marked down to $50. If customers don’t snap it up at that price, it’ll be reduced further. Customers who buy the dress at the lowest price may feel pretty great about their purchase.
“They look at sales as a way of feeling like they’ve kind of gotten one over on the retailer, that for sure, they’ve won,” says Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University.
J.C. Penney’s rejection of sales made shoppers feel like losers all the time. The truth is, they always have been. At 20 percent, 30 percent or even 50 percent off, a retailer can still make money. But shoppers don’t know that.
“People are shopping with very little actual information about what the prices are and so they’re gonna rely a lot on cues,” says Jean-Pierre Dubé, a marketing professor at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. “The most commonly used kind of cue is a discount.”
J.C. Penney has long taught its customers to expect that cue.
“Over the years, they’ve just been trained,” Dubé explains.
It’s not that sales are mandatory for all businesses. Stores as different as Wal-Mart and Apple have long stuck with stable prices. But J.C. Penney shoppers await sales. And once that mentality is in place, anything less feels like a ripoff.
As if to underscore the point that Johnson’s attempt to break the sale cycle is fully rejected, a bright green 20-percent-off promotion dominated the J.C. Penney homepage the morning after he was let go. The deal caught the eye of at least one longtime customer. At the store in midtown Manhattan, the shopper cited the offer as the reason she had come in.
She had been confused when the J.C. Penney sales stopped. Now, she’s back among the clothing racks.
So here’s the rub: Fisker is not just risking investors' money, it’s received taxpayer loans, too. And if the company goes under, you can bet Washington D.C. is a lot less forgiving of failure than Silicon Valley.
Fisker owes the energy department nearly $200 million dollars. The point of the loan was to lure private investors. Think of it as East Coast money attracting West Coast money. Thing is, the two coasts have vastly different stomachs for failure.
“The entrepreneur’s motto is fail big and fail fast,” says Navigant Research analyst Sam Jaffe. “And the government’s motto is never ever fail, or else we’re out of our jobs. That’s two very different mindsets.”
He says the West Coast mindset is, let’s try it. A $100,000 car, with a cool design.
Indeed, it’s struggled with production problems, a dodgy battery supplier, and a fire during testing. This stuff happens.
Joseph Lassiter at Harvard Business School says start-up investors realize most ventures fail. Quietly. That’s why it’s called “private” equity.
“And that equity tends to be quite private,” Lassiter says. “They don’t announce successes until they’re quite proven. And the failures are kept quiet.”
Except in Fisker’s case, money is on the line.
So bring on the D.C. politicians, to pounce on the Fisker “mistake” by the Obama administration.
This of course follows the failure of taxpayer-backed Solyndra.
“A few year ago, in terms of the political environment, it probably made good sense to get the economy going, to support clean technology,” says Daniel Sperling of the transportation institute at the University of California-Davis. “Right now, in Washington that appetite has been greatly suppressed.”
Suppressed, even though one loan recipient, Tesla, is thriving. Even though a free-market Republican president started this program.
The two coasts keep growing apart. Recently, automotive entrepreneurs spoke to federal auditors. They said negative publicity makes the energy department more risk averse.
So do regional differences affect how you view failure? Our Facebook fans weighed in:
How's this for symbolic? Arizona lawmakers have put their trust in gold and silver. The House passed a bill Monday that makes the precious metals legal currency.
That means people in Arizona with a little extra gold lying around will soon have an easier time spending it.
"This gives them the ability to use it as tender and have the same recognition as the paper dollar coming out of the Federal Reserve," said Republican State Sen. Chester Crandell.
Crandell sponsored the bill, which models a law Utah passed in 2011. It's also got a supporter in Mike Rowlands, a broker with Scottsdale Bullion & Coin. Rowlands said gold protects against a U.S. dollar that's losing value because of the federal government's growing debt.
"We know in the situation where we're at they continue to pump money in and pump money in, which eventually that game is going to end," Rowlands said.
Still, putting gold to work will be complicated. For one thing, prices fluctuate rapidly. A $50-gold piece on the table at Rowlands' Scottsdale office would sell for more than $1,500 at today's prices.
"You're not buying a loaf of bread with that," Rowlands said.
Businesses would be able to decide for themselves if they want to accept bullion as payment. Monica Heizenrader says she won't risk it. She said she's afraid of getting counterfeit coins. Heizenrader runs MacAlpine's Vintage Clothing Boutique in Phoenix. Her shop is full of expensive vintage sofas.
She says she can't afford to get scammed. "Eight hundred, a $1,000 on a piece of furniture, that will hurt a lot," she said.
There is talk of repositories where people can deposit gold and then draw down the balance with a debit card. But how that will work is still unclear. The bill's sponsor said details will come later.
So Heizenrader will stick to what she knows best.
"We take cash or credit," she said.
We all know television is big business. And that how we get our television is possibly even more lucrative. Whether it's Netflix, Hulu, or HBO GO, innovations in broadcast are all the rage.
But there's one company that has TV executives tearing their hair out. It's called Aereo, and it's making a splash using a very old tool: the good old fashioned antenna.
Aereo grabs the broadcast networks' free-to-air signal and beams it to your iPad or computer. You as the consumer pay Aereo for the service. The broadcaster, however, does not get a slice.
"Supposedly there's a warehouse in Brooklyn full of tiny little sort of quarter-sized antennas," Kafka says. "You tell Aereo, 'hey I want to record something,' it tells one of these antennas."
That recording is then sent almost in realtime to your computer or tablet. Broadcasters call it piracy, but so far, courts have upheld Aereo's right to grab the free airwaves, in the same way consumers can use a personal antenna to watch TV.
Network executives are so perturbed, the COO of News Corp. told an industry conference, Monday, that it might take its subsidiary network Fox off the free TV airwaves altogether. Univision followed with a similar threat.
It's merely a threat, Kafka says. "This is the definition of saber rattling. Even if they wanted to take their ball and go home, they couldn't do so right away."
Univision acknowledged that going to cable-only would have a big impact on its viewership. In a press release the Spanish-language broadcaster noted that Hispanics watch free TV through an antenna at twice the rate of the average viewer.
So far, Aereo is available only in the New York City market. But it plans to roll out in 22 additional U.S. cities later this year. Interested consumers have two service plans to choose from, at a cost of $8 and $12 per month. Or $1 for a single day pass.
Whether the company can turn a profit on those supercharged rabbit ears remains to be seen.
"I'm not convinced this is a mainstream product," Kafka says. "Remember what they're doing is giving you access to broadcast TV, that's 4 or 5 major networks, and nothing else right now. I don't think most people who get cable TV would be satisfied with that."
We've been going around the country since the beginning of the year, asking people to finish this sentence: You know you're wealthy, when...
Here's what some of the answers sounded like in Dallas, Texas.
Her home base is in Dallas, but this 15-year-old attends Concordia International School in Shanghai. She’s seen a lot of economic disparity play out in her time abroad, so her answer was, "you know you’re wealthy when you live in China."
This mother of two works in retail at J.C. Penney. "You know you’re wealthy when you’re happy."
Danielle has three children and is going to school at Richland College to be a dental hygienist. "You know you are wealthy when you shop at the mall every week." If Danielle was the one shopping, she’d be zeroed in on shoes.
David lives in Dallas and works as a bank teller. To him, wealth is autonomy. "You know you’re wealthy when you can quit your job on the spot."
Jazmine works as a full time volunteer for a non-profit called the Dallas Metro Dream Center. This Christian organization does a lot of children’s ministry as well as food and clothing giveaways. She says, "you know you’re wealthy when you have no debt."
A Dallas resident and forklift driver, Jesse Stuart is a big fan of wheels. "You know you’re wealthy when you have a nice car." His dream machine? A new black Camaro.
Katrina has one year left of physical therapy school and defines wealth on a pretty luxurious scale. “You know you are wealthy when you can buy your own plane.”
This proud Dad of two, including four year old Nash, defines wealth through the great outdoors. "You know you are wealthy when you’re fishin’ with your boy." Malnory is a CPA who lives in Dallas.
Ludovic has lived in the Dallas area for eight years, but he came to Texas via France and is originally from Romania. "You know you are wealthy when you have a personal relationship with your creator Jehovah."
Maci is a fourth grader who lives in Dallas and attends Saint Monica Catholic School. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up, specializing in geriatric care. "You know you are wealthy when you have a really good job."
Stephen is a retired veteran of the U.S. Navy who served on several different ships, including the Newport News. "You know you are wealthy when you wake up and you don’t have to think, all you have to do is praise God."
Gore is a manager of a Dallas Autozone and lives in Sachse. He’s been in the auto care business for more than 30 years and says he’s watched more and more people adopt a do-it-yourself approach to car maintenance as the economy lags. "You know you’re wealthy when you don’t have to worry about livelihood."
Check out other photos from around the globe in the interactive map above. And see more from our series to find out what Washington, D.C., residents had to say about wealth in the nation's capital and to hear from Southern Californians we encountered along the boardwalk in Venice Beach.
And let us know how you would answer that question on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter -- use the hashtag #YouAreWealthyWhen.
A philandering billionaire, a former communist and a stand-up comedian all ran for high office. It may sound the beginning of a bad joke, but in fact it’s what happened in Italy’s recent general election. And the Italian people are not laughing.
The country is trapped in an eternal triangle . The election left the Italian parliament in a three-way split between Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right party, Pier Luigi Bersani’s center-left party and the Five Star Movement run by the one-time comedian Beppe Grillo. The parties cannot agree to form a coalition. And so more than a month after the poll, Italy remains in limbo without an elected government.
All good democrats deplore this political paralysis, but financial markets are relaxed. The euro has not collapsed; Italian government borrowing costs have actually fallen. Investors seem to relish the stalemate.
And here’s why: While the elected politicians posture and bicker and fail to reach agreement, the unelected technocrats are still in charge in a caretaker government. These are the people who pulled Italy back from the brink at the end of 2011 and have been delivering the kind of public spending cuts and economic reforms that the markets demand. So the markets are becalmed.
“It’s very important to say to the financial community that the technocrats are still in place and we are still committed to respect all the budgetary limitsm,” says Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Michel Martone.
Paradoxically, financial markets might be more unsettled if the three warring political parties sank their differences and formed a government. All three parties have criticized the technocrats' program of austerity and reform.
This prompts the question: Is Italy better off without an elected government?
Needless to say, the voters’ answer is a resounding 'no!'
“I think the failure to form a government is a complete disgrace,” says lawyer Elisabetta Girardi. And waiter Alessandro Lepore says, “Grillo, Berlusconi and Bersani are politicians who are useless to Italy.”
The impasse could come to an end within a few weeks. Fresh elections are likely to be called and it is possible that one of the three parties may win enough votes to form a government. Ironically, that might move the financial crisis into a higher gear.
You hear about it all the time -- elected officials get it in their head that their whole city or state needs to lose weight, and they promptly challenge residents to go on a group diet. Trimming the fat helps the heart -- and re-election efforts I guess.
Last April, my town's mayor challenged Bostonians to lose a collective one million pounds in a year's time. So far -- 11 and a half months in -- we've lost 96,000 pounds. Only 904,000 to go... by April 23.
Fellow Bostonians, now would be a good time to start that juice fast.
The mayor got the idea for a citywide diet after he met a very overweight boy while giving out Thanksgiving turkeys and worried the child was doomed. He also thought we'd have an easier chance slimming down if we avoided Dunkin' Donuts together.
It's not over until the fat lady sings, of course, but maybe the goal was just too ambitious. Perhaps a call to gain one million pounds would have better tapped into our strengths. Or to rack up $1 million in parking tickets.
But let's take a step back and examine the weight-loss target. Why one million pounds? After all, Corpus Christi, Texas, officials challenged their citizens to lose only 50,000 pounds, and that town was branded "America's Fattest City."
Not to brag, but Boston recently made a list of the fittest cities. Even so, the Boston Public Health Commission figured that we have about 200,000 overweight or obese adults, and if each lost five pounds, we'd be set. But the commission wasn't going to be picky. Each of our 625,00 residents could lose 1.6 pounds. Or one person could lose ... a million pounds.
Actually, a dieter doesn't even need to live in Boston. The Public Health Commission says it will take a pound of flesh from anyone who "works, plays, or lives" here. So by all means, if you come into town for a Celtics game, and you've had the stomach flu, please log onto the Boston Moves for Health website and share your loss.
The city has worked hard to promote its program. It's offering free fitness classes and pedometers, deeply discounted memberships to Weight Watchers, coupons for healthy food, community walks, and other incentives. So what's going on? As a lifelong dieter, I see two possibilities: either we're retaining water, or, even more likely, the scale is wrong.
As we enter a new earnings season, many market watchers are cautiously optimistic about the state of the U.S. economy and its recovery.Yet some, including former Obama White House economic adviser Larry Summers, worry that the recovery is not happening fast enough.
"When the economy goes down there is less capital investment, some people who lose their jobs and never come back to working, some young people never get on the track that they hope to," Summers told Marketplace. "So the temporary blemish of a downturn leaves a permanent scar."
Glenn Hubbard, who was Chair of the White House Economic Council of Advisers under President George W. Bush, joined Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to discuss the economy and where its headed from his point of view.
On why stocks are booming despite a tepid job and housing market:
Hubbard: "It's a complicated picture in the economy. I expect first quarter GDP growth to actually be relatively healthy. The economy has some underlying momentum in it, particularly coming from the housing sector and durable goods. But there is a lot of uncertainty in the economy, principally from public policy, and that really holds back the job market and long-term investments."
On his advice for Washington lawmakers:
Hubbard: "The first thing would be to reduce uncertainty by agreeing on gradual deficit reductions. Unfortunately the debate in Washinton and in Europe tends to be about austerity today -- that's not really the issue. The issue is gradual spending restraint, principally in entitlement programs. It needs to be fair -- let's do the entitlement adjustments progressively, slow down Social Security growth and/or Medical subsidy growth for more affluent people.
To hear more from Glenn Hubbard on tax increases, entitlement reform and the deficit, click on the audio player above.
Glenn Hubbard, former Chair of the White House Economic Council of Advisers under President George W. Bush, discusses the entitlement reform, the economic recovery, and taxes.
J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson has been given the boot after just 17 months as head of the struggling department store chain, but were his ideas really that bad?
The aluminum maker Alcoa kicked off corporate earnings season last night with a better than expected report. Alcoa kept its forecast steady at 7 percent growth in aluminum demand this year. Juli Niemann, analyst with Smith, Moore & Company, discusses the latest earnings reports and what they signal about the economy.
The aluminum maker Alcoa kicked off corporate earnings season last night with a better than expected report. Alcoa kept its forecast steady at 7 percent growth in aluminum demand this year.
Juli Niemann, analyst with Smith, Moore & Company, joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to discuss the latest earnings reports and what they signal about the economy.