___ Lower prices offer Americans slight reprieve from inflation WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling prices for gas, airline tickets and clothes gave Americans a little bit of relief last month, though overall inflation is still running at close to its highest level in four decades. Government data released Wednesday showed that consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier. That’s down from a 9.1% year-over-year increase in June. On a monthly basis, prices were unchanged from June to July, the first time that has happened after 25 months of increases. The reprieve offered no certainty that prices would stay on the decline. Inflation has sometimes slowed only to re-accelerate later. ___ Social media offers parents more controls. But do they help? SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As concerns about social media’s harmful effects on teens continue to rise, platforms from Snapchat to TikTok to Instagram are bolting on new features designed to make their services safer and more age … [Read more...] about Business Highlights: Inflation data, social media controls
United first class vs business class
President Joe Biden’s Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is now begging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) not to target working and middle-class Americans after Senate Democrats voted down a measure that would have banned such practices. On Sunday, Senate Democrats passed the “Inflation Reduction Act” which includes $80 billion for the IRS to conduct widespread “enforcement” and “criminal investigations” via audits into American taxpayers. Democrats, on a party-line vote, voted down Sen. Mike Crapo’s (R-ID) amendment that would have banned any of the new IRS funds from being used to target Americans earning less than $400,000 annually. Crapo said the amendment ensured that President Joe Biden would not break his promise to not raise taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000 a year. Instead, Democrats tried to include language that only suggested the IRS not to go after working and middle-class Americans with more audits — vowing “nothing in this subsection is intended … [Read more...] about Yellen Begs IRS Not to Target Middle-Class After Dems Greenlight Audits
Retirement can loom like a dark cloud for small-business owners. Many invest blood, sweat and tears — and every penny — into building their business but never set cash aside for the future. A huge number of entrepreneurs have reported putting aside no retirement savings at all. For some, selling the business is their only retirement plan. That’s a risky bet, says Keith Hall, president and chief executive officer of the National Association for the Self-Employed. “You’re putting all of your eggs in one basket. Not just your current lifestyle, but your future,” Hall says. “If something goes wrong, you sacrifice both.” And the list of things that could go wrong is long: Your business could fail. Your health could fail. You may not find a buyer. You may have to sell for less than you need. You may not be able to retire fully. Rather than gamble on everything going right, diversify your nest egg so it will last you well into your later years. MAKE RETIREMENT PLANNING A … [Read more...] about Don’t bank on your business to fund your retirement
The University of Massachusetts Boston is cutting more than 20 summer courses as the school desperately attempts to manage a $30 million operating deficit that is due in part to a project labor agreement that requires unions to be the “sole and exclusive” source of job-site labor. The University has been plagued by controversy, ranging from declining enrollment to lackluster fundraising, but the project labor agreement (PLA) is one reason why the university must now cut classes in the summer, and into the fall, reports the Boston Globe . The university system’s building authority approved a 10-year master plan that called for $750 million in construction with a union work requirement. The requirement effectively excluded the 80 percent of Massachusetts construction workers that are not members of a union. The PLA, means less competition, fewer bidders and higher costs, the Boston Globe reports. The school’s Chancellor, J.Keith Motley, announced last week that he would step … [Read more...] about School Forced To Cut More Than 20 Classes In Order To Pay Labor Union
Opendoor Labs, an online home buying platform, agreed on Monday to pay $62 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle claims that it used misleading marketing practices to persuade people to sell their homes on the site. The company, which claims it allows homeowners to sell their homes more quickly than through a broker, deceived customers into offering their properties to Opendoor for less than they would have made on the market, the F.T.C. said Monday in a news release . The agency said Opendoor had presented home sellers with charts that showed they would make thousands of dollars more by selling their properties on the platform compared with in the traditional marketplace. Opendoor said in a statement on Monday that it disagreed with the F.T.C.’s allegations, which the company said were tied to its business activities from 2017 to 2019. “While we strongly disagree with the F.T.C.’s allegations, our decision to settle with the commission will allow us to … [Read more...] about Home buying firm settles deceptive marketing claims for $62 million.
New York (CNN) Shell and Chevron both said on Thursday that the companies halted oil production at several platforms in the Gulf of Mexico following a leak that knocked a pair of pipelines offline. Shell shuttered three deepwater platforms. In a statement provided to CNN, Shell said it is "coordinating with local authorities and mobilizing personnel and equipment to assess the situation." Biden caught between climate goals and high gas prices as administration releases new drilling plan The company confirmed that its Mars and Amberjack Pipelines have been shut because of a leak at the Fourchon booster station. That outage prompted Shell to shut its Mars, Ursa and Olympus platforms. Those three platforms produced an average of 202,000 barrels per day in 2021, according to Shell. The United States produces nearly 12 million barrels of oil per day. Shell said it is looking at "alternative flow paths." The company's "top priorities … [Read more...] about Shell and Chevron shut Gulf of Mexico oil platforms after leak halts pipelines