Rick Newman

March 2013


How a 10-Year-Old Helped Create the HondaVac

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Why didn't I think of that?

Clever people ask themselves that question all the time, which is why a collective forehead slap went through the auto industry recently. Automotive engineers who have produced talking cars, swiveling headlights, retracting cupholders and ferocious amounts of horsepower ...

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TAGS:
Honda
cars

Consumer Confidence Is All Over The Map

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Do economists know anything at all about consumers?

 They sure act like they do. There are endless efforts to measure spending, saving, plans for the future and everything that makes consumers feel elated or glum. And all of that matters, because consumer spending still accounts for two-thirds of ...

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TAGS:
consumers
economy

The American Revival Is Underway

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You're familiar with the story of America's decline. It may now be time to start talking about a new story: America's revival.

The litany of problems with the U.S. economy is familiar—chronic high unemployment, an overindebted federal government, a ruinously expensive healthcare system—and those ...

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TAGS:
economy
United States

The 10 Most Underpaid Jobs

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A lot of workers these days have an exaggerated sense of their own value. They think they ought to be paid more simply because they show up on time every day or work really hard, even if there are thousands of other people with the same skills or work ethic.

But some workers truly are underpaid,

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TAGS:
business
employment

The New Underground Economy

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Something fishy is going on in consumers' wallets.

Household spending has held up surprisingly well in recent months, even though new taxes have reduced paychecks and other problems are holding back the economy. Incomes haven't risen by nearly enough to explain the entire boost in spending. Nor has ...

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TAGS:
economy
tax code
tax exemptions

Google Glass? A Smartwatch? No Thanks

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Did you rush out and buy an Eyetop wearable DVD player when it debuted in 2004? Neither did anybody else, which is why the contraption—which included a portable disc player, a carrying bag, earphones, and goggles that contained a mini video screen—promptly flopped.

The excitement of new technology ...

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TAGS:
Google
technology

Maybe Groupon's Problem Isn't Its CEO

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Now that Groupon has fired its colorful and controversial CEO Andrew Mason, it may finally be time to find out if the daily deal site has a sustainable business model.

Mason founded Groupon in 2008 and led it to a successful public offering in 2011, with shares priced at $20 each. That set the value ...

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TAGS:
business

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