Anyone with a 401(k) retirement plan has been painfully aware of the gyrations in the stock market in recent years. The market has come back up lately, but the economy is still in low gear, so many analysts aren't too bullish in the short term. Also, treasuries and CDs are offering tiny returns.
So what's the average American trying to save for retirement to do? Answers are percolating at an annual economics retreat in Maine.
Every Tuesday night at the 5 Spot, some 200 people show up the East Nashville bar for Two Dollar Tuesdays: a $2 coverage charge, $2 beers and five musical guests. It's hosted by Derek Hoke, an unassuming, laid-back guy with the cowboy hat and retro-vintage eyeglasses.
"I call it a speed showcase," Hoke says. "Everybody plays five songs, and I tell them to play the 'best of' — you know, get up there, kill and get off. There's somebody coming up right after you, and we have to plow through this thing."
President Obama's re-election campaign won a big victory today in Ohio. A federal judge in Columbus has ordered the state to restore early voting in the three days prior to the November election. The state had eliminated it, except for voters in the military, and Ohio's attorney general insists he will appeal.
NPR's Pam Fessler has been covering this story. She joins me now. And, Pam, why is it such a big deal for the Obama campaign?
Corey Sharpe is one of the many people out working to restore electricity in Louisiana. He's a lineman with DEMCO. That's the Dixie Electric Membership Corporation, the state's largest power co-op. We reached him on the job in Denham Springs just outside Baton Rouge.
COREY SHARPE: Right now we actually just pulled up to an outage. A huge oak tree just fell on kind of - by one of our power lines and knocked down a service, the one at someone's house. So that's what we just came up to right here.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
As they leave the convention in Tampa, Republican Party leaders are hoping their efforts in Florida will win over more Latino voters. Hispanic lawmakers were given high-profile speaking roles, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who introduced Mitt Romney last night. Recent polls suggests President Obama leads Romney 3 to 1 among Hispanics.
NPR's Cheryl Corley reports from Tampa on this week's Republican efforts at outreach.
Sophia Greenwalt, 13, is the founder of Helping Hats, a fundraising program in the Reeds Spring School District. Once a month, students and staff can wear a hat to school for a dollar donation. The money raised that day goes to a non-profit organization in the community.
In 2012, Sophia has gotten nine local businesses on board to match the money raised by the school. Helping Hats has raised more than $20,000 for organizations such as the Joplin School District (after a devastating tornado), the Humane Society and others.
Time now for your letters about an interview we aired yesterday. My co-host, Robert Siegel, sat down with Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire to talk about women and the GOP, specifically why polls show that women favor President Obama over Mitt Romney.
SENATOR KELLY AYOTTE: One of the things that is helpful about this convention - and that's why I think Ann Romney's speech resonated - is women do want to know about the whole person, and something about the person that will lead the country.