The bottom line
▪The number of Americans older than 60 with student loan debt quadrupled from 700,000 in 2005 to 2.8 million in 2015, making the over- 60 set the fastest-growing age group with student debt. More than two-thirds of the debt is owed for children or grandchildren.
▪Starbucks is eliminating its evening beer and wine menus just two years after announcing plans to offer booze and small plates at up to a quarter of its U.S. outlets. The 400-plus locations that currently offer alcohol went back to being normal Starbucks locations this week.
▪Amazon now uses 45,000 robots, deployed in 20 of its delivery fulfillment centers, relying on the bots for tasks like fetching merchandise and lifting heavy pallets. That’s up 50 percent from 2015’s holiday season, when the company had roughly 30,000 robots.
The Seattle Times
▪China is easing the government’s 2,000-yearold monopoly on table salt by letting producers set prices and sell directly to the market. The monopoly has supported Chinese rulers from the Han dynasty to the Communist Party, even helping to pay for the construction of the Great Wall.
▪The estimated cost of raising a child in the U.S.— from birth to age 17—rose by 3 percent in 2015 to $233,610, or nearly $14,000 a year. Housing accounts for up to a third of the total cost.