Jennifer Ludden en Outdated Tax Code Gives Some Working Spouses A Bad Deal Women today are nearly half the workforce, and two-income couples are the norm. But the U.S. tax code? It's straight out of <a href=""><em>Ozzie and Harriet</em></a>.<p>When it comes to paying taxes, economists say, a lot of secondary wage-earners are getting a raw deal. It's called the marriage penalty.<p>"The system was never designed to penalize working spouses," says Melissa Kearney, director of the Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution. "It was just designed in a different era."<p>That era was 1948, when the U.S. Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:59:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 58416 at When Planning For The Future, Women Have Been Hands Off It's a truism in the financial industry that women need to get more out of their money than men since they live longer and make less, especially if they take time out to care for children or aging parents. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 07:28:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 57371 at Rural Appalachia Helps Some Women Save For Retirement Anita Wallace has run a day care in her home in rural Athens County, Ohio, for eight years. The schedule is more family-friendly than when she logged 60 hours a week as a manager at Wal-Mart, and the pay is about $27,000 a year — not bad for the area.<p>Wallace adores the children, getting down on the floor to let toddlers snuggle on her shoulder. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:35:16 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 56616 at Efforts To Close The Achievement Gap In Kids Start At Home When Andrea Riquetti taught kindergarten in Providence, R.I., the disparity between more affluent students and those from poor families was painfully clear.<p>"We would read <em>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</em>," she says, "and I would ask them, 'What is this fruit?' And they would call all the fruits just 'fruits,' because they didn't have the specific name."<p>Two-thirds of Providence children entering kindergarten already fall short on state literacy tests. Wed, 19 Mar 2014 03:28:57 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 56467 at Telework: Not Just For Moms And Millennials Many people may think of a "remote worker" as a harried mom in her bathrobe or a 20-something at a coffee shop. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 22:46:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 54910 at Push To Change Custody Laws: What's Best For Kids? Fathers today spend more time than ever with their kids, experiencing just as much stress as women in balancing work and family, <a href="">if not more</a>. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:35:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 54794 at Going To College May Cost You, But So Will Skipping It In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.<p>Yes, a new study of young people finds. <a href="">The study, released Tuesday</a> by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 22:41:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 53974 at Paid Leave Laws Catch On Across the Nation This month, Rhode Island became the third state in the nation to offer workers paid family leave to care for a loved one. And on Tuesday, Newark, N.J., became the latest in a small wave of cities to mandate paid sick leave.<p><a href="" target="_blank">The policies</a> cover both public and private sector workers, and a dozen more areas are considering some variation of them.<p>In New York City, a new paid sick leave law hasn't even taken effect yet, but already Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to expand it. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 19:51:31 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 53386 at Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die Rain is so important in Malawi's agriculture-based economy that there are names for different kinds of it, from the brief bursts of early fall to heavier downpours called <em>mvula yodzalira</em>, literally "planting rain." For generations, rainfall patterns here in the southeast part of Africa have been predictable, reliable. But not now.<p>In the village of Jasi, in the hot, flat valley of Malawi's Lower Shire, farmer Pensulo Melo says 2010 was a disaster.<p>"I first planted my maize on Nov. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 08:04:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 51256 at With National Treasures At Risk, D.C. Fights Against Flooding The nation's capital is not exactly a beach town. But the cherry-tree-lined Tidal Basin, fed by the Potomac River, laps at the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. And, especially since Superstorm Sandy, officials in Washington have a clear idea of what would happen in a worst-case storm scenario.<p>"The water would go across the World War II memorial, come up 17th Street," says Tony Vidal of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "And there are actually three spots where the water would come up where we don't have ... Thu, 26 Dec 2013 21:36:00 +0000 Jennifer Ludden 50936 at