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Biz bits

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 9, 2003

You may be paying a higher income tax rate than some of the nation's largest companies. In 2001, eight of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, including General Electric and Microsoft, paid taxes amounting to less than 20 percent of their operating profit, according to Bloomberg News data. The top 2001 tax rate for individuals: 39.1 percent.

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A management change at a mutual fund company can raise a red flag. But says there can be a dramatic turnaround when a skilled manager is brought in from outside. AXP Growth and Neuberger Berman Manhattan added such managers in recent months, and says there's good reason for optimism.

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A temporary economic downturn may not be good for your bank account, but it may be good for your health. University of North Carolina-Greensboro economist Christopher Ruhm published a study in 2000 estimating that a 1 percent rise in unemployment reduced the death rate by 0.5 percent. In a paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Mass., Ruhm explains that when jobs are scarce, both workers and the unemployed are more likely to exercise, eat better and keep doctors' appointments.

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Ever long for a job that would let you see the world? Consider Mike Klinkhammer, who travels the globe for S.C. Johnson & Son to see how people clean their toilets, and then develop appropriate products. "No two people clean their toilet the same way," Klinkhammer has discovered. details this and other examples of what it considers the oddest jobs.

-- Compiled from Web sites and Times wires.

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