The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 23, 1996 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 23, 1996
Page 8
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AB WEDNESDAY. OCTOBER 23. 1996 NATION THE SALINA JOURNAL Is THE PRICE RIGHT? Computer scanners often wrong but consumers usually benefit By HARRY DUNPHY The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Computer scanners at grocery, department store and drugstore checkout counters ring up the wrong price about 5 percent of the time, say federal inspectors who fanned out to check stores nationwide. But when eiTors occur, shoppers usually come out on top, the Federal Trade Commission study released Tuesday indicated. Grocery stores, which pioneered scanners more than two decades ago, had the most accurate scanners, the study found, 'while department stores had the highest rate of error. And researchers found the most problems with the hundreds of items on sale in stores because of frequent price changes. Although the FTC called the mistake rate surprisingly low, area shoppers said scanners should not make any errors. "I don't think it's done on purpose," said Laurie Savage, 34, Hyattsville, Md. "But I don't believe the computers are always up to date compared to the price on the shelf— and they should be." Sheila Green, in her 30s, of Lanham, Md., said she could believe the study's finding that consumers are undercharged more often than they are overcharged, "but that's no comfort when you get home and find you're the victim of a mistake." Jodie Bernstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the study was "good news and should reassure uneasy consumers that they are not being systematically cheated." But some retailers "have some work to do to push back a swelling of consumer mistrust in technology." The study showed that department stores, where items are more expensive, had the highest error rate at 9.15 percent. The average overcharge was $7.52 and the The Associated Press Ken Kane, manager of Easter Foods In Des Molnes, Iowa, Is seen through the mask of a computer price scanner. A report says such scanners often are Inaccurate. average undercharge was $5.29, but there were more undercharges than overcharges. In grocery stores, with cheaper goods on sale, the error rate was 3.47 percent, with the average overcharge at 53 cents and the average undercharge at 72 cents. The study suggests that scanner errors are more likely to result from inattentiveness or carelessness rather than on purpose. A typical food, drug or discount store may stock as many as 40,000 differ- ent items and may change prices on hundreds of them every week. Over a year and a half, FTC researchers made 17,000 purchases of randomly selected items at 294 stores in seven states — Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin. They found they were overcharged 2.24 percent of the time and undercharged 2.58 percent of the time, for a total error rate of 4.82 percent. T IMMIGRATION Immigrants to cost taxpayers $65 billion in '96, study says By Cox News Service WASHINGTON — The 24.4 million legal and illegal immigrants who entered the United States since 1970 will cost taxpayers $65 billion this year, according to a study released Tuesday. More than 62 percent of the cost comes from legal immigration, said economist Donald Huddle, author of the report. This is "obvious," since illegal immigrants are not eligible for many services and benefits and many of them "actually work," said Huddle, a professor at Rice University. Huddle caused much controversy three years ago with a study that calculated unusually high immigration costs. The 1993 study was widely criti- cized by the Urban Institute, a Washington-based research group, and other immigration scholars who concluded that pay more in taxes than they receive in public services. Jeffrey Passel, director of the Urban Institute's Program for Research on Immigration Policy, said several researchers looked at the details of Huddle's 1993 study, and concluded "it was completely wrong." "He systematically underestimated revenues and systematically overestimated the costs," he said. "I would not say this is research, I'd say this is advocacy." A large part of Huddle's new study addresses these criticisms. "The data produced by the Urban Institute just ain't so," Huddle said. 2hdAnnual • Dried • CmfU Volunteer -\ imnij iirifliiffiiji'ir™! ns ^5i. (L^e Vic^an K(6usej)J{[ ^i;66SunJ -'ilinilii'.\ \<'rtliin; I niinii'liil ,./„ /...,..•„,, /-,,,\ /,,•/„ ,„„.... V LABOR Religious groups work to fight sweatshops Organizations to carry anti-sweatshop message to their congregations By The Associated Press WASHINGTON - Calling the existence of sweatshops a moral issue, Labor Secretary Robert Reich introduced 36 religious groups Tuesday that have volunteered to help combat the problem. "The power of the pulpit is an extraordinary power," Reich said in introducing the leaders of the national and local organizations whose memberships number in the millions. "The additional power of the pulpit will have a dramatic and sustained effect." The organizations include Baptist, Episcopal and United Methodist groups, the U.S. Catholic Conference and various Jewish organizations such as B'- nai B'rith, the oldest with 350,000 members in 56 countries. The organizations will carry the anti-sweatshop message to their congregations by speaking out from the pulpit, mobilizing communities and youth groups and contacting local retailers. Reich acknowledged the department's 800 inspectors alone cannot protect the rights of 110 million workers in 6.5 million workplaces. "While the Department of Labor is the enforcer of our nation's labor laws, these religious leaders — and their congregations — are the reinforcers," he said. Noting the approach of the holiday season, Reich said individual shoppers must make retailers and manufacturers aware of their concerns so that they do not do business with garment shops that do not adhere to government wage and hour laws. The National Retail Federation said in a statement that its members "are taking proactive and responsible steps ... to underscore the importance of full compliance by their suppliers with labor laws and to hold their suppliers accountable when those laws are not upheld." AUDUBON SEED SALE Is your backyard wild yet? We're wild about birds and want to help you enjoy them. For these two days, all proceeds from bagged seed sales go to benefit the SMOKY HILLS AUDUBON SOCIETY. Also enjoy 15% off all birdfeeders, baths and houses. SALINA "Pickup & Pay" Friday, October 25,8:00-5:30 WildBird.Crossing,S.9thSt. and Galaxy Shopping Mall Parking Lot Saturday, October 26,8:00-1:00 Across street from Central Mall ABILENE "Pickup and Pay" Fair Grounds N of Sterl Hall Saturday, October 26,8:00-1:00 Only Authentic Chinese Food Prepared From Scratch By Our Skilled Oriental Chefs Pint Serving Choice of Appetizer, Choice of Rice, Choice of any 3 Entrees IttCAPADfS HOLLYWOOD STYLE! MUHII movici ncvcR movco LIKC THII. Mm UETRO-QOLOVWN-MAYEN INC Toll Free 888-82A-SHOW Bicentennial In Sallna, 816-Show Center FRI. OCT. 25 THRU SUN. OCT. 27 FM OCT. 25 ... SAT OCT. 26 SUN OCT. 27 - * 2:OOPM* 7:30PM 2:OOPM* • -^- .—- --_-- = ^____, • —.---—_ -.- ---—- •--~~- —fc COt»Ui«MTl Of QMBf (XMH All Scats Reserved $14.50 ft $12.50 • to *«x«W> •«*.l* * <«*rt "«< wnkw Woo lUownc f« (row. a if cat m-sze-thc.. 7fck« Available Only at our Chinese Kitchens at the following locations In Salina: • 9th and Magnolia Prices good October 23-29,1996 to the following cnntrnrtors for all their hard wnrk? A 430 N, Santa Fe • 823-9119 nnnr We were proud to have been the general contractor on this project. Commercial • Industrial Mobile Home 825-0475 224 S. 4th

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