The Custom Group trains workers at its school to use many of the latest high-tech machines. But for simple tasks, workers still use some of the original equipment from 1969, when the company started. Chris Arnold /NPR hide caption

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A homeowner fills out a form to request mortgage information at a Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center in Culver City, Calif. Politicians and economists are debating the merits of a grand plan to offer many homeowners the opportunity to refinance. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Damian Dovarganes/AP

Charles Gibson and his wife, Michelle, are helped by a Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America staff member in getting a reduction on their loan for their Riverside, Calif., home. Some economists are pushing for a plan that would streamline refinancing for all government-backed loans. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

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A house under foreclosure that will soon be auctioned in Las Vegas. The Obama administration's foreclosure prevention efforts were blasted this week in a report from a federal auditor. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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John and Nancy Longval are on the verge of getting a loan modification after petitioning their lender, CitiMortgage, for two years. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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Some economists want the government to automatically refinance homeowners to prevent further foreclosures. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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The SawStop saw can sense a slight electrical current that human fingers (and hot dogs) create. When it senses the current, the saw triggers a safety brake, which stops the blade in less than 5/1,000th of a second. Courtesy of SawStop hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of SawStop

At Expressway Toyota in Boston, co-owner Robert Boch says sales are rebounding thanks to loyal customers and big incentives such as zero percent financing. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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The Boston Tea Party of 1773, as depicted in an old engraving. Bostonians dressed as Indians dumped 342 chests of tea overboard from three British ships in protest against "taxation without representation." The famous Tea Party took place at Griffin's Wharf, where the ships were tied up. The site remained a landmark even after the waterfront was filled in, leaving the spot several hundred yards inland. AP hide caption

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U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying on Capitol Hill this month about how the U.S. economy still needs the assistance of the Fed. At the end of March, however, the agency plans to stop purchasing mortgage-backed securities. hide caption

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