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Column: Let's put Donald Trump's $750 annual tax payment in perspective

Business / Business News /

The headline nugget in the expose of Donald Trump's taxes published Sunday by the New York Times is that Trump paid $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017.

In many other years, he paid nothing, the Times reported. But let's put those $750 payments in context, so we can have a sense of the scale of his reported ripoff of all other American ...Read more

Susan Tompor/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Susan Tompor: Mystery shopper, fake job offers target people stretched for cash during pandemic

Business / Business News /

Tosha Waggoner, 33, of Newport, Mich., would love to land a job. But she wasn't sure that depositing a $6,000 check that arrived out of the blue was the right way to get one.

Admittedly, her job hunting prospects have been bleak after she gave birth to a daughter in April, when many businesses had closed their doors during the pandemic. Her ...Read more

Small firms less apocalyptic as 60% see survival past 6 months

Business / Business News /

America's small businesses are slightly more bullish about their own survival than five months ago, with a majority now saying they expect to be operating beyond six months even if current conditions persist, according to a new survey.

Sixty percent of business owners said they will be able to remain open for more than a half-year, up from 46% ...Read more

Christmas shopping poised to show inequity in K-shaped recovery

Business / Business News /

This Christmas will be one of exorbitant spending and lavish gifts for many American families. It'll also be one of tight budgets and difficulty putting food on the table for many others.

That's the effect of the pandemic recession, which is exacerbating inequalities between the rich and the poor.

High-paid U.S. workers are benefiting from a ...Read more

Croptober is going up in smoke amid wildfires

Business / Business News /

October usually heralds the harvest of outdoor cannabis plants, affectionately known as "Croptober." But this fall, something more serious is in the air: smoke from the wildfires that are ravaging California and Oregon.

Fires are clustered in Northern California's "Emerald Triangle" and a pair of Oregon counties, areas that are among the nation...Read more


Feds target predatory lenders to small business, but Pennsylvania remains a haven for the industry

Business / Business News /

Last summer, Philadelphia lawyer Shane Heskin told Congress that Pennsylvania has robust laws to prevent consumers from being gouged on loans - but none protecting business owners.

"Consumers have laws protecting them from usurious interest rates," he said. "But for small businesses, those protection laws don't apply at all."

Heskin defends ...Read more

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Delta to retire Boeing 717s, some 767s by end of 2025

Business / Business News /

Delta Air Lines said it will retire more jets earlier than planned as it cuts costs amid weakened travel demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlanta-based airline outlined the revised plans in a regulatory filing Friday announcing the completion of $9 billion in financing, including a $6 billion debt offering backed by its SkyMiles ...Read more

Pandemic makes economic and racial gaps worse, Fed's Bostic says

Business / Business News /

ATLANTA - The pandemic has intensified inequality in America and, without decisive action by the federal government, many minorities and poor people could be left out of any economic recovery, said the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on Friday.

Nationally, the unemployment rate for white people is 7.5%, compared to 13.1% for ...Read more


US files opposition to TikTok's request to halt Trump ban

Business / Business News /

The U.S. filed sealed papers opposing TikTok's request to halt a Trump administration ban on the video-sharing app that's scheduled to go into effect this weekend.

ByteDance Ltd., TikTok's owner, has sought a temporary block on the ban even as it pursues administration approvals for the sale of a stake in the video-sharing app to Oracle Corp. ...Read more

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This LA company was hit with state's largest-ever COVID-19 fine. Some say it's a model for worker safety

Business / Business News /

In late July, Gloria Lopez, a weight checker at a frozen food processing plant in Vernon, noticed that a plexiglass divider was missing between workers on the production line.

Two employees were left exposed to the coronavirus. Neither had said anything.

"I said to one of them, 'Do you feel comfortable the way you're working?' And she said, '...Read more


Carla Fried: How keeping a car 15 years can pay you $230,000

Business / Business News /

Nationwide, about one in five owners of a Toyota Highlander held onto the car for at least 15 years. More than 14% of Toyota Sienna, Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra owners kept their car for at least 15 years.

Want to guess what those Toyota buyers got besides a durable ride? The opportunity to redirect scarce household money to savings - and ...Read more


Google to increase push for apps to give cut of in-app purchases

Business / Business News /

Google plans to push harder for developers to give the company a cut of in-app purchases through its Play app store, according to people with knowledge of the move.

The Alphabet Inc. unit plans to issue updated guidelines as early as next week that clarify a requirement for most apps to use Google's billing service for in-app content downloads,...Read more

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Google's search business targeted in looming US antitrust case

Business / Business News /

Google's search engine, one of the most-profitable businesses in history, is about to face its biggest challenge as the U.S. government readies an antitrust lawsuit accusing the company of crushing competition to protect and extend its monopoly.

After a 14-month investigation, the Justice Department is homing in on whether Google skews search ...Read more


Housing boom in US threatened by shortage of available homes

Business / Business News /

The U.S. housing market, which has been a bright spot in the pandemic-battered economy, is running out of fuel.

With buyers eager to take advantage of low mortgage rates, the inventory of homes to buy is scarce. That's driving up prices and threatening to derail the boom by pushing homeownership out of reach for many Americans.

For ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Caught between Congress and the Court

Business / Business News /

The monthly jobs report usually is a prism for investors to play a guessing game over the Federal Reserve. But the Fed has taken itself out of play with its pledge to keep its target interest rate at zero for a good long time.

There's still plenty of opportunity for the September job numbers to move markets in the week ahead.

The unemployment ...Read more


Auto review: Toyota Tacoma Double Cab stingy on space, spendy at the pump

Business / Business News /

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Double Cab: Good things in small packages?

Price: $45,288 as tested. $1,670 for Advanced Technology Package; $485 for LED headlights; more below.

Conventional wisdom: Car and Driver likes that it is "great for off-roading, rugged and reliable, packed with driver-assistance tech," but not the "crew cab's tiny back ...Read more

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No, it's not your 'God-given right' to buy a new gas-powered car

Business / Business News /

For years, automakers have pleaded that, much as they'd love to lead the way to a zero-emissions vehicular future, they just can't wean Americans from their love of SUVs and other gas-guzzlers.

California just called their bluff.

An executive order signed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom aims to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and ...Read more

Mark Phelan/Detroit Free Press/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Auto review: 2021 Acura TLX rides new platform to become brand's best sedan in decades

Business / Business News /

Building a world-class sport sedan is tougher than it looks. Of course, that's true of everything from making an omelet to setting a broken bone, but a smart, focused student can generally master either of those in less than a decade.

The learning curve is a bit - shall we say "extended"? - for automakers who want to challenge cars like the ...Read more

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Auto review: Outstanding design and green credibility make Sonata Limited Hybrid a sedan to covet

Business / Business News /

Like any car buyer, I can be shallow, drawn to a car as much for its unique design as its utility. So I admit to loving the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited Hybrid's roof. It looks unlike that of any other car, due to its integrated solar panels that directly charge the batteries with 205 watts of electricity, enough to increase mileage two miles per...Read more

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In slumping energy states, plugging abandoned wells could provide an economic boost

Business / Business News /

WATFORD CITY, N.D. - It's rare for Tom Brooks to say no to work. Which is why, in the middle of a pandemic and a worldwide slump in oil prices, Brooks mustered up a crew to plug a 42-year-old oil well for the state of North Dakota.

"We fought our way through the slow times and didn't shut the doors," Brooks said one afternoon this summer as he ...Read more