What a relief?

Money | It's too early to know the final donation totals after the latest catastrophes, but a severe downward trend is apparent
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 10/29/05, 12:00 am

By the Acts 20:35 standard ("It is more blessed to give than to receive"), Americans over the past several months have been blessed.

After the South Asian tsunami in December, Americans reached into their pockets and gave $1.3 billion to relief efforts. They gave even more, $1.7 billion, after Hurricane Katrina's devastation. But as the disasters keep coming-deadly mudslides in Guatemala on Oct. 5; a 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan on Oct. 8-donations to relief groups are drying up.

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Roman holiday

Money | The roots of European economic stagnation go back to the 1960s and '70s
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 10/22/05, 12:00 am

Western Europe over the past few months had the classic trappings of labor unrest: millions of workers walking out on their jobs, and companies, unable to hire replacement workers, struggling to cope with the loss.

You probably didn't read about it in the news, though, because it wasn't a strike; it was summertime as usual in France, Germany, and other European nations. Every year, a large portion of the full-time European work force leaves work at the same time, taking advantage of lavish paid vacation and holiday time mandated by law.

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High on the hog

Money | The Energy Information Administration predicts that heating oil prices will rise 34 percent this winter and that electricity bills will go up 11 percent
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 10/15/05, 12:00 am

He wasn't wearing a sweater, and he didn't mention anything about solar panels for the White House, but Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman last week still sounded a bit like Jimmy Carter, circa 1979.

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