United States

Apple’s web of tax shelters saved it billions, panel finds

by Nelson D Schwartz and Charles Duhigg New York Times May 20, 2013

WASHINGTON — Even as Apple became the nation’s most profitable technology company, it avoided billions in taxes in the United States and around the world through a web of subsidiaries so complex it spanned continents and went beyond anything most experts had ever seen, Congressional investigator...

Wells dry, fertile plains turn to dust

by Michael Wines New York Times May 19, 2013

HASKELL COUNTY, Kan. — Forty-nine years ago, Ashley Yost’s grandfather sank a well deep into a half-mile square of rich Kansas farmland. He struck an artery of water so prodigious that he could pump 1,600 gallons to the surface every minute....

84 percent of NYC fast food workers report wage theft in a new survey

by Josh Eidelson The Nation May 16, 2013

At an 11 am press conference outside a Brooklyn KFC restaurant, fast food workers and activists will release a new report alleging rampant wage theft in their industry, one of the fastest-growing in the United States. The report includes results from an Anzalone Liszt Grove research survey of 500...

Supreme Court rules for Monsanto, says farmer violated genetically modified soybeans’ patent

by Robert Barnes Washington Post May 13, 2013

Farmers must pay Monsanto each time they plant the company’s genetically modified soybeans, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, rejecting an Indiana farmer’s argument that his un ­or­tho­dox techniques did not violate the company’s patent....

Millions of Americans live in extreme poverty. Here’s how they get by.

by Dylan Matthews Washington Post May 13, 2013

The decline of extreme poverty — defined by the World Bank as living on less than $1.25 a day, which is derived from the average poverty line in the world's poorest countries — in recent decades has been nothing short of remarkable. As Howard Schneider noted here last week, not only has the per...

Federal contractors employ more low-wage workers than Wal-Mart and Mc Donald’s combined, new study indicates

by Jim Tankersley and Marjorie Censer Washington Post May 7, 2013

Federal taxpayers employ more low-wage workers than Wal-Mart and McDonald’s combined, a new study calculates.The report from a public policy organization Demos, set to be released Wednesday, estimates that taxpayer dollars fund nearly 2 million private-sector jobs that pay $24,000 a year — about...

Working for hours on end under a punishing sun, the pickers are said to be crowded into squalid camps, driven without a break and even cheated of wages.  Photo: Grant Blankenship/New York Times

Workers claim race bias as farms rely on immigrants

by Ethan Bronner New York Times May 6, 2013

VIDALIA, Ga. — For years, labor unions and immigrant rights activists have accused large-scale farmers, like those harvesting sweet Vidalia onions here this month, of exploiting Mexican guest workers. Working for hours on end under a punishing sun, the pickers are said to be crowded into squalid c...

There may be millions more poor people in the US than you think

by Erin McClam NBC News May 3, 2013

It is responsible for an estimated half-trillion dollars in federal spending every year, is hated by nearly everyone who studies it and is based on an American lifestyle older than the space program....

Shift to a service-driven economy delays job recovery

by Jim Tankersley Washington Post May 3, 2013

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Proposal for changes in food aid sets off infighting in Congress

by Ron Nixon New York Times May 2, 2013

WASHINGTON — A proposal by the Obama administration to overhaul the international food aid program has set off a jurisdictional fight among members of several House and Senate committees, threatening to derail the most significant change to the program since it was created nearly 60 years ago....