December 20, 2012 The ability to customize products began with computers more than a decade ago. Now, you can create your own T-shirts, jeans, custom-blend cosmetics and candy. Even luxury brands like Burberry, Prada and Louis Vuitton now let customers design their own looks.
December 15, 2012 Republicans are insisting on more austere entitlement programs as leaders negotiate a deal to keep the nation from going over the "fiscal cliff" in the new year. But many Democrats are wary of including any far-reaching and long-lasting entitlement reforms in a hastily thrown-together deal.
December 13, 2012 Many people earning more than $250,000 a year — the 2 percent — admit they can afford to pay more in taxes. However, they don't necessarily like the idea, especially when they're made to feel like skinflints even though they're already sending significant sums to Washington.
December 11, 2012 The estate tax is yet another piece of the fiscal cliff that needs to be worked out. Those who want to the raise what they call the "Paris Hilton tax" say it applies only to the very rich, who can afford to pay. Opponents of the increase, however, brand it the "death tax" and say it hurts farmers and small-business owners.
December 10, 2012 Cash registers may be on the wane in some stores as more retailers help customers complete purchases using mobile devices. It's convenient for shoppers, and retailers benefit by leaving customers less time to change their mind about a purchase.
December 10, 2012 WNYCCrowdfunding is a simple way for anyone to ask for money online from friends, family and even strangers. One woman raised $10,000 to help her neighbors affected by Hurricane Sandy. She's been hand-delivering checks to owners of damaged businesses and people who just need the extra lift.
December 9, 2012 As Congress and the White House wrestle over a variety of expiring tax breaks due to take effect Jan. 1, accountants and other financial professionals face tough questions from their clients. The pros are also in the dark; the best they can offer is advice on various possible outcomes in the fiscal cliff talks.
December 8, 2012 Once a mainstay of the labor arsenal, strikes have largely fallen off since the early 1980s. So a recent spate of high-profile disruptions has labor experts wondering if we're seeing a resurgence. They say worker frustrations over stagnant wages and reduced benefits may have finally hit a tipping point.
December 7, 2012 An unexpected boost in hiring, with employers adding 146,000 jobs last month, might make it more difficult for Democrats to argue in favor of renewing benefits for the long-term unemployed. More than 2 million people who get extended jobless benefits may lose them in January if Congress doesn't act as part of discussions on the fiscal cliff.
December 5, 2012 If Congress fails to reach an agreement on tax increases and spending cuts this year, it will mean sharp reductions in a broad swath of federal spending, from defense and Medicare to education and unemployment benefits. Economists say the cuts would be a serious setback for the economy as a whole.