The bottom line

No new jobs in August for small business; Lowest corn harvest in 17 years; Louboutin wins battle over red soles; The growing American lower class; U.S.'s competitive ranking drops; The expanding wealth gap

No new jobs in August for small business

Small businesses created essentially zero new jobs in August, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The Washington Post

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Lowest corn harvest in 17 years

For the third month in a row, the Agriculture Department has lowered its estimates for this year’s U.S. harvest of corn and soybeans, citing the effects of the summer’s record heat. Corn yields per acre are expected to be the lowest in 17 years.

The New York Times

Louboutin wins battle over red soles

After a lengthy court battle, French shoemaker Christian Louboutin has won trademark protection for the red soles on his pricey high heels. The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Louboutin alone can market red-bottomed shoes, except when the rest of the shoe is also red.

The Wall Street Journal

The growing American lower class

The share of Americans who consider themselves lower class has grown from a quarter of the population four years ago to just under a third today, according to polling by the Pew Research Center.

Los Angeles Times

U.S.'s competitive ranking drops

The U.S. fell in the ranking of the world’s most competitive economies this year, dropping from fifth to seventh place. The World Economic Forum, which compiles the ranking, blamed the drop on “inefficient government bureaucracy” and a growing budget deficit.

The expanding wealth gap

The wealth gap between the richest Americans and the average family has more than doubled over the past 50 years. In 1962, the top 1 percent had 125 times the net worth of the median U.S. household. By 2010, they had 288 times more.

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