The Federal Reserve ‘Beige Book’ is released:
Fed Beige Book: Modest Wage Growth Is Broadening
In a couple regions, “worker shortages and increased labor costs were restraining growth in some sectors, including manufacturing, transportation and construction,” the Fed said Wednesday in a roundup of anecdotal information on regional economic conditions, known as the beige book. The latest report was based on anecdotes covering mid-February through the end of March across the central bank’s 12 districts.
The report found that “modest wage increases broadened” and “employers in most districts had more difficulty filling low-skilled positions, although labor demand was stronger for higher skilled workers.”
Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal
Russia bombers showboat off Alaska coast for second day:
Russian Bombers again fly near Alaska
For the second consecutive night, Russia flew two long-range bombers off the coast of Alaska on Tuesday, this time coming within 36 miles of the mainland while flying north of the Aleutian Islands, two U.S. officials told Fox News.
The two nuclear-capable Tu-95H bombers were spotted by U.S. military radar at 5 p.m. local time.
Unlike a similar incident Monday night, this time the U.S. Air Force did not scramble any fighter jets.
Instead, it launched a single E-3 Sentry early warning aircraft, known as AWACS, to make sure there were only the two Russian bombers flying near Alaska, and not other aircraft flying underneath the large bombers.
Read the rest of the article at FoxNews.com
The situation is increasingly dire in Venezuela, with opposition increasing daily:
Venezuelans March as Maduro Comes Under Increasing Scrutiny
Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro took to the streets of Caracas, striving for their biggest show of force in months as they push against a government that has presided over the erosion of Venezuela’s economy and democratic institutions.
. . .
“If the march is very large, it will mark a great advance for the opposition’s strength,” said Angel Alvarez, a political analyst at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. Maduro is “still very powerful in the sense that the repressive capacity of the government is very high. But his popularity is low and he doesn’t have much international support, so in that sense he’s weak.”
Read more about opposition protests at Bloomberg.com
Most Americans have no idea how many of their fellow citizens pay $0 annual income tax:
Poll: Americans underestimate how many people pay zero income taxes
Given four choices of how many Americans pay zero or negative federal income taxes (11, 27, 45, or 63 percent), fully 70 percent of poll respondents chose the options under the correct answer, which was 45 percent. Some of these people simply have no taxable income, and others get money back as a result of refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit. (Of course, these people might pay other taxes, like payroll taxes, as well as whatever sales and property taxes their states impose.)
(Ironically: 57% of Americans think they pay too much Federal Income Tax.)
To read the full story visit MPRnews.org
When old fashioned ‘elbow grease’ will do the job just as well, and for less money:
Silicon Valley’s $400 Juicer May Be Feeling the Squeeze
Doug Evans, the company’s founder, would compare himself with Steve Jobs in his pursuit of juicing perfection. He declared that his juice press wields four tons of force—“enough to lift two Teslas,” he said. Google’s venture capital arm and other backers poured about $120 million into the startup. Juicero sells the machine for $400, plus the cost of individual juice packs delivered weekly. Tech blogs have dubbed it a “Keurig for juice.”
But after the product hit the market, some investors were surprised to discover a much cheaper alternative: You can squeeze the Juicero bags with your bare hands. Two backers said the final device was bulkier than what was originally pitched and that they were puzzled to find that customers could achieve similar results without it. Bloomberg performed its own press test, pitting a Juicero machine against a reporter’s grip. The experiment found that squeezing the bag yields nearly the same amount of juice just as quickly—and in some cases, faster—than using the device.
Find out more at Bloomberg.com