Things to Talk About: U.S. Households Spend Half Their Wage on Rent

  • More than one million U.S. households spend half their wage on rent, and it’s getting worse. As a general rule, households shouldn’t spend more than 30% of their income on housing, but a report out today from Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable-housing nonprofit group, and Harvard’s Joint Center on Housing Studies shows the number of U.S. households spending at least 50% on rent could increase 25% to 14.8 million over the next decade. — Bloomberg
  • Groupon is downsizing its operations across seven countries, with 1100 people expected to lose their jobs. The site known for its daily deals and coupons announced the restructure today and that it will “cease operations in several markets internationally: Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Thailand and Uruguay.” The restructure of the company will cost them a pre-tax charge of $35 million. — TechCrunch
  • The CEO of the company that hiked life-saving drug Daraprim’s price 5000% has defended its move. Turing Pharmaceutical founder and CEO Martin Shkreli said that even with the increase, the drug is “still under-priced relative to its peers” and that the company was “practically giving it away.” It doesn’t cost much to make Daraprim, and the company was making a profit, but not enough it seems. “This drug was making $5 million in revenue,” he said, “and I don’t think you can find a drug company on the planet that can make money on $5 million of revenue.” — Salon
  • After being caught for trying to make its diesel cars appear cleaner than they are, Volkswagen admits discrepancies in 11 million vehicles worldwide. U.S. regulators found that the German company had "programmed some 500,000 vehicles to emit lower levels of harmful emissions in official tests than on the roads." Volkswagen has put aside $7.3 billion to cover the cost of recalls and to try to win back its customers’ trust. — Money
  • A portable wind turbine has nearly raised its entire Kickstarter goal in just one day. Created by a company in Minnesota, the Janulus portable wind turbine consists of four easy-to-use models and only weighs 1.4 lbs, with the largest model the size of a car trunk. The renewable-energy company has already raised already raised over $43,000 of their $50,000 goal, and if successful, the turbines will be ready to ship in April 2016. — Inhabitat