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Earlier this week, as torrents of rain fell on Houston, Craig Boyan, CEO of the H-E-B supermarket chain, went on a video-taped tour of his company's emergency operations center in San Antonio, Texas. The company later made the video available online.

Property owners started filing insurance claims before the rain even stopped. They wanted to get to the front of what's expected to be a long line of flood claims, according to Joel Moore, an independent insurance adjuster for Gulf Coast Claims in Houston.

"They filed claims before they evacuated," he says. "So they actually have no idea if there's damage or not. They just wanted to be at the front end of the curve."

In the United States, there's a record number of jobs open: around 6 million. That's just about one job opening for every officially unemployed person in the country.

Matching the unemployed with the right job is difficult, but there are some things employers could do to improve the odds.

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How To Help After Harvey

Aug 31, 2017

A crisis can bring out the best in people … and the worst.

We see this on display as Harvey causes severe flooding in Texas and along the Gulf Coast. Many people have rushed to donate to disaster relief, but warnings about scams have also proliferated. How can you make sure your goodwill goes to help those in need?

Perhaps start here.

GUESTS

Michelle Singletary, Syndicated columnist of “The Color of Money” for The Washington Post.

Wells Fargo just can't get past its fake account scandal.

On Thursday, the bank acknowledged it had created more bogus customer accounts than previously estimated. An outside review discovered that 1.4 million more potentially unauthorized accounts were opened between January 2009 and September 2016.

That brings the total to 3.5 million potentially fake accounts — two-thirds more than the 2.1 million the bank had previously acknowledged.

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It is not over yet. Harvey has battered the Texas-Louisiana coast for almost a week now. And while the storm has weakened - it's now a tropical depression - Harvey is still really dangerous for a whole lot of people in the region.

Don't Fall Victim To Harvey Flood Scams

Aug 31, 2017

As Harvey, the largest rainstorm in the history of the continental United States, floods homes in Texas and Louisiana, many Americans want to send money for relief efforts.

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President Donald Trump is making his pitch to overhaul the nation's tax system. He laid out his vision yesterday in Springfield, Mo. And with Congress back in session next week, he included a message for them.

President Trump pitched a tax overhaul package on Wednesday in a speech that was heavy on politicking and light on the particulars.

Trump's tax policy ideas are still sketchy — when pitched in April, they amounted to one page of bullet points. In his Wednesday remarks, he didn't add much more detail beyond the broad strokes, saying he wants lower rates for the middle class, a simpler tax code, lower corporate rates and for companies to "bring back [their] money" from overseas to the U.S.

President Trump, with a well-known fondness for golf hats bearing slogans, toured post-Hurricane Houston on Tuesday wearing white headgear emblazoned with "USA." It had a U.S. flag on one side, and on the other side — maybe this was the giveaway — the numeral 45. Trump is the 45th president.

Episode 791: Tips From Spies

Aug 30, 2017

Talking to spies is hard! You'll ask an innocuous question and they just clam up. But, after interrogating spies and a spy reporter, we teased out a few bits of advice that you might find useful.

The thing is, real spies don't like car chases and rooftop shootouts. What they want to do is fly below the radar, stay out of trouble, and always have a getaway. But pulling that off takes a lot of training and practice. It means keeping your wits when everyone is panicking, staying cool under pressure, knowing how to size up a complicated problem in a second.

At 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, Fox News went off the air in the U.K. But why its parent company decided to pull the network from Britain's airwaves is the question.

The channel's parent company, 21st Century Fox, said it was a matter of poor ratings.

Zillionaire To Other Zillionaires: "Pay Up"

Aug 30, 2017

You probably don’t know Nick Hanauer, but he has more money than you. As a self-proclaimed “unapologetic capitalist,” Hanauer deals in millions the way many Americans deal in hundreds … or tens.

A few years ago, Hanauer called on his fellow one percenters to address America’s growing income inequality.

A federal judge has dismissed Sarah Palin's defamation lawsuit against The New York Times. U.S. District Judge Jed S.

On Sunday morning, as soon as she woke, Jessica Hulsey peeked outside her home in Houston's East End to see the impact of Hurricane Harvey. But it wasn't the rising water that surprised her.

"As soon as I opened the door, the smell hit my nose," she says.

At first she thought she may have left the gas can for her lawnmower out, because she says the smell was kind of like gasoline. But she hadn't. And, as it turns out, her neighbors say they smelled it, too.

"I was just asking myself, 'I wonder where this strong smell is coming from,'" she says.

The massive flooding in the Houston area has brought much of the city's commercial life to a halt. For those venturing out it can be hard to find a place to eat. The Houston Chronicle posted a list of bars and restaurants that are open in the aftermath of Harvey. It's not a big list. There are some cafes and diners serving up meals, but most of the locations are McDonald's or Waffle House restaurants.

Uber says it has ended its tracking of users after they complete their rides — a practice that caused immediate concern when the company added it in November.

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Gentrification of neighborhoods can wreak havoc for those most vulnerable to change.

Sure, access to services and amenities rise in a gentrifying neighborhood. That is a good thing. But those amenities won't do you much good if you're forced to move because of skyrocketing housing costs.

That is why neighborhood and housing advocacy groups have spent decades searching for ways to protect longtime residents from the negative effects of gentrification.

Houstonian Jim McIngvale, known as "Mattress Mack," has turned his two furniture stores into temporary shelters for Tropical Storm Harvey evacuees.

As the city started to flood, he posted a video online with a simple message: Come on over. He gave out his personal phone number. And hundreds of people streamed in.

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Local, state and federal agencies have mobilized to provide relief for victims of Harvey in east Texas and in the state of Louisiana. Now businesses are joining that effort. Here's NPR's John Ydstie.

Disasters like the flooding that has followed Hurricane Harvey, displacing thousands of people, always create a tremendous need for help — and a tremendous desire to provide that help.

But those who have dealt with disasters before say people need to be careful about how they contribute to disaster relief, and when. Cash donations are almost always preferred over items — such as blankets, clothing and stuffed animals — often sent into overwhelmed disaster areas by well-meaning donors.

Bill Gilmer remembers spending the night listening to the winds of Hurricane Ike tear through his suburban Houston neighborhood in September 2008. He also recalls waking up the next morning to hear something completely different.

"The first sound I heard was chainsaws, and I looked out and all my neighbors were out there clearing the streets, clearing their yards, cleaning up their yards," says Gilmer, who directs the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston's C.T. Bauer College of Business.

The strongest storm to hit Texas in decades has forced thousands of people into shelters and is incurring what some disaster experts project will total tens of billions' worth of damage. Though Harvey is no longer classified as a hurricane, the National Weather Service is calling its aftermath "unprecedented" and "beyond anything experienced."

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The National Weather Service says Hurricane Harvey has brought unprecedented levels of flooding to the state of Texas.

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Money can't buy happiness, right? Well, some researchers beg to differ. They say it depends on how you spend it.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that when people spend money on time-saving services such as a house cleaner, lawn care or grocery delivery, it can make them feel a little happier. By comparison, money spent on material purchases — aka things — does not boost positive emotions the way we might expect.

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