business & economy
Orley Ashenfelter is a professor at Princeton University and the author of the Big Mac Index, a measurement of a nation's wealth based on the average wages of a McDonald's employee over the cost of a Big Mac. For example, McDonald's employees in poorer countries would not be able to afford the food they serve.
Saranac Lake lost its only department store in 2002. When that happened, locals had to travel 50 miles to buy socks or sheets. So they banded together, made a plan and late last year they opened a community-owned department store. They're happy to say that they're selling more than they projected they would at this point in time.
An oil refinery in Pennsylvania that was set to be closed has a new lease on life after Delta Airlines bought it to try and bring some stability and cost savings to its jet fuel purchases. Jet fuel accounts for more than one-third of the airline's costs.
The Netherlands is one of the richest and strongest economies in the euro zone. But, in recent months, the country has dipped back into recession as it tries to shave nearly $20 billion from its budget. It's forced some people living on the margins to seek assistance.
While the recession seems to loosening its grip on the U.S. economy, but one group isn't seeing it. The cultural creatives, small businesspeople like photographers, architects and graphic designers have seen their ranks thinned by 20 to 30 percent and are still waiting for the bounce back.
The Gloucester Marine Terminal, a gigantic produce warehouse in New Jersey, has completed construction on the largest rooftop solar installation in America. The installation has drawn attention to the potential for more corporate rooftop solar projects.
Bentonville, Ark., is perhaps the best example of the modern company town. Wal-Mart dominates the town. But as Wal-Mart deals with allegations of bribery and cover-ups in its Mexican subsidiary, the scandal hasn't taken over discussion in the town.
The Chinese auto market was the biggest market in the world last year. More cars were sold there than any year in the United States -- and that number is rocketing upward. With Auto China, also known as the Beijing International Auto Show, underway right now, that global position is on display.
A new investigation from The New York Times accuses Wal-Mart of a massive corruption scandal, stemming from a network of bribery in the company's Mexico stores in the early 2000s. The Times investigation alleges that payoffs allowed Wal-Mart de Mexico to grow at a record pace.
Most casino workers in Las Vegas are members of a union -- and by-and-large they speak highly of their union and the benefits it has afforded them. But a smaller group of employees aren't members of a union, and they want what their unionized brethren have. So they're trying to get organized, but the casino owners are pushing back.