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economy

News coverage of the economy.

The pre-opening hype would be hard to deny. Just ask the people who spent two nights camping out to be among the first to enter the new Merriam IKEA on opening day. So what is the IKEA story, and how do we expect the global furniture retailer to affect the local economy?

Guests:

Gender Wage Gap Persists

Aug 27, 2014
Sarah Stierch / Flickr-CC

The inequality of pay between men and women isn't a new issue-- and that's the point. Since the wage gap first received lots of publicity years ago, why hasn’t it closed?

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine why, on average, women still earn 23 percent less than men and what solutions are in the works.

Guests:

How Microloans Are Affecting KC Businesses

Aug 26, 2014
file photo / Flickr-CC

Just what is a microloan and how can we use it to help a local business?

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with a Kansas City, Mo., councilman and local business owners about a new program that's making a big difference in the city.

Guests:

  • Scott Taylor, councilman for Kansas City, Mo.

Phil Dowsing Creative / Flickr-CC

A new campaign is urging parents to spend more time reading with their kids, and Kansas City is at the front of this push for early childhood education.

On Monday's Up to Date, Kansas City mayor Sly James and a representative from the U.S. Department of Education join us to discuss what cities can do to promote early learning for kids. We also talk with Mayor James about what the situation in Ferguson means for Kansas City residents. We also take a look at some economic and development issues facing the city.

For the uninitiated, IKEA is just a big furniture store.

But for those in the Kansas City area who have been to IKEA before, the grand opening of a new store in Merriam, Kan., on Sept. 10 is a big deal. The Swedish furniture chain is allowing people to line up 48 hours before the Merriam store opens. And they will.

Why? Well, because of all the possibilities.

Nathan Haley / Flickr-CC

The recession hit more than five years ago, but its effects are still rippling through this country-- and that's what President Obama is here to address. In Wednesday morning's speech, he will be talking to a crowd at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Mo., about the economic challenges facing middle-class families and why he has taken executive action on issues such as minimum wage.

Up to Date will provide coverage of the event, with a live feed of the speech and post-speech analysis from local experts.

Who has the power in capitalism? The critics of capitalism say the rich have the upper hand. But author John Hope Bryant thinks the story is more complex than that. He thinks that capitalism works best when it benefits not the few, but the many.

Building Up KC With Local Entrepreneurs

Jul 22, 2014
Photoguyinmo / Flickr-CC

Whether it’s a bakery or a tech firm, running your own business is no cakewalk. Developing one from the ground up takes a lot of hard work and planning.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with some local entrepreneurs about how they got started, the difficulties they encounter and what the future might hold for them. We also talk about why their relationship with the community matters so much and how they stay profitable. 

Guests:

Cara McClain / KCUR

Entrepreneurship group 1Week KC wants to make Kansas City a top destination for innovative businesses and start-ups, a goal they're promoting with a week-long celebration that began Monday.

The obstacles and challenges that entrepreneurs face are wide and varied, but here is what some of the people who attended this week's events had to say about the climate in Kansas City:

MARC

The Mid-America Regional Council presented a sobering assessment of the Kansas City area economy Thursday, one showing the metro is having trouble bouncing back from the recession.

The report, called "Prosperity at the Crossroads," says that fewer than half of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, including the greater Kansas City region, had recovered all the jobs they lost during the recession by the end of 2013. 

Data in the report show that Kansas City employment rates, wage growth and job growth are all down.

deanstarkman.com

Following the 2008 financial meltdown, many were left asking, "where were the journalists at?" 

On the second half of Wednesday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske discusses the lack of investigative journalism in recent years with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dean Starkman

Guest:

Figuring Out The Federal Reserve

Apr 8, 2014
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

You know the Federal Reserve is important to the government, but what does it really do?

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George about why Kansas City has a Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. We'll also look at the history of the bank at its centenary.

Guest:

  • Esther George, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City 

You can post just about anything you want on the internet, but when it comes to e-commerce, the online world is dominated by a few major players.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the corporate giants that control the online marketplace and discuss how consumers might revolt against their monopolies.

Guest: 

If you look at America through journalist George Packer’s eyes, you’ll see a landscape where familiar staples of society, such as Social Security and privacy, are disappearing in a country-wide decline in civilization.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with the National Book Award winner about his latest book, why he sees such a bleak picture for the country and how we might make it to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Guest:

Repairing The Economy With City Policies

Jan 10, 2014

The economy has been in trouble for a while — that's no secret. But a new idea about the "metropolitan revolutions" proposes investments in things like infrastructure and manufacturing on a city level.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk about the implications of this philosophy and where it could lead.

Guest:

Fixing Fiscal Policy

Sep 24, 2013
David Iliff/Wikimedia Commons

With the House of Representatives and the president once again butting heads over the federal budget, a government shutdown is looking more likely by the day.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Bob Bixby of the Concord Coalition joins Steve Kraske to talk about the economy, the effect a shutdown could have on the country if Congress doesn’t pass a new budget and how the debt ceiling debate figures into the equation.

Guest:

What Is A Bitcoin?

Sep 17, 2013
Gastev / Flickr - CC

In a society where we pay bills online, transfer money via the internet, and can buy virtually anything on the web, would you be surprised to know that a currency has been developed that only exists in digital form?

BitCoin is a currency invented not by a government, or a large bank, but by a person or perhaps few people, nobody actually knows exactly who.  It has no government backing, no tie to any precious metal and is entirely unregulated.  However, on the afternoon of Monday, September 16 the exchange rate for one Bitcoin was more than 126 dollars.

Proudfood / WikiCommons

Topeka narrowly beat out Charleston, West Virginia to be named as the home for the 2015 World Horseshoe Pitching Championship. The event will be held in July 2015 at the Kansas Expocentre.

Jeffrey Alderman, with the organization Visit Topeka, says the event is a big economic opportunity. He says the competition could draw more than 1,500 participants, known as horseshoe pitchers.

Third Shift Workers Start At Claycomo Ford Plant

Aug 6, 2013
Dan Verbeck / KCUR 89.3

As promised in May, Ford Motor Company began a third assembly line shift Monday at the Claycomo Plant.

The 900-worker expansion brings the total of rank and file UAW jobs to some 4,500. The emphasis of the additional team will be making the F-150 pickup.

Plant manager Dan Jowiski said potential workers went through pre-interview testing to see if they were qualified to do the job. That was in late April, just before Ford started beefing up the force.

Jowiski cited strong company ties to the area when the jobs were announced this spring. 

President Obama's Warrensburg speech drew unified and quick disapproval from Republican officials. In one case, the critique came before the president spoke.

The White House was very open in advance about the fact that the president would be urging acceptance of his existing priorities, including investment in education, infrastructure and health care.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt took advantage of the pre-release information to make a speech of his own on the Senate floor before Air Force One had touched down in his state.

Dan Verbeck / kcur

Speeches on the economy and the middle class in Illinois and Warrensburg, Mo. Wednesday were parts of a plan by President Obama.

President Obama said in Warrensburg he will take his message to a series of American towns in coming weeks.

In total, it was not a new theme. 

At University of Central Missouri the President talked of making a college education more affordable.

He also spoke of building more ladders for people to climb to the middle class, if willing to work for it. He said he would make early childhood education a priority.

Tracing The Economy's Roots

Apr 17, 2013

The financial crisis may have started in this century, but the economic system that built up to it has been part of this country since its founding.

History host Monroe Dodd speaks with Michael Lind about his most recent book, Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States.  They explore the curious history of the United States from its inception to today through the lens of three distinct economic republics.  These three periods of American history are distinct in their incredible transformation brought about by technological and subsequent economical changes that also transformed the very way America understands itself.

Getting A Handle On The Financial Crisis

Apr 11, 2013

With the financial crisis, it seems everyone’s got economics on the brain—and for good reason.

Ambassador Talks African Economy Emergence

Jan 30, 2013
usembassy.gov

The global economy isn’t just about trading with China, India and European countries-- Africa is making an impact as well.

In Sunday's Kansas City Star, Up to Date host Steve Kraske wrote about "the fiscal cliff."

In the next two installments of Solve This, NPR's series on the major issues facing the country, we'll examine each presidential candidate's approach to boosting employment. First, President Obama's strategy, then Mitt Romney's.

Job creation is the centerpiece of President Obama's campaign speeches.

Kansas and Missouri say they’d like to work together, but they keep poaching each other’s businesses.

Economic Roundtable: Post-Keynesian Theory

Sep 27, 2012

Want to satisfy your inner econ geek? 

You've come to the right place. On Thursday's Central Standard, we’re having a roundtable talk on all things Post-Keynesian with distinguished UMKC research professors William Black, Randall Wray and Michael Hudson.

Find out why the dynamics of private sector are essential to understanding the economy. Plus, we’ll discuss government transparency and accountability. If you're just little rusty on your economic theory and policy, join us at the table for the perfect refresher course.

As this presidential election year was kicking off, strategists were saying the focus would be on the economy. But now — even as absentee ballots are being filled in — the candidates are still dodging details about how to improve growth.

"President Obama doesn't have a plan," says Kevin Hassett, an economic adviser to Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Jeffrey Liebman, an economic adviser to President Obama, says Romney has revealed no plan other than "going back to the failed policies of the past decade."

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