The extension on federal jobless benefits is set to expire. If no deal is reached, 2 million people will see their benefits dry up by the end of January. Guest host Allison Keyes speaks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax and Vincent Brandon, who has been unemployed since March.
Though its economy is usually strong, the Netherlands' emphasis on exports makes it vulnerable to the euro crisis. Most of Dutch trade is with other European countries, and as they head into a recession, the Netherlands will follow, says one economist.
With the House rejecting the Senate's extension of the payroll tax cut Tuesday, it is unclear if anything will be resolved between the two houses before the new year. Robert Siegel gets the view of the standoff from Capitol Hill from NPR's Tamara Keith.
President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday, urging him again to pass the bipartisan Senate bill allowing for a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment insurance. That the idea appears stalled in Republican-controlled House. As the Dec. 31 deadline for action nears, the White House, families and businesses are looking at the real-world consequences of congressional inaction.
More than 40 percent of the long-term unemployed say they've received a lot of help from family and friends, while only 1 in 10 reports getting much help from churches or community groups, according to an NPR/Kaiser Family Foundation poll. But these groups say they're in high demand.
With Greece in turmoil, a look at the debt defaults a decade ago in South America could prove instructive. Had Europeans diagnosed problems and acted quickly, they might have come out of this like Uruguay, in 2002. But it looks like Greece may be following Argentina, which defaulted on $100 billion in 2001.
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