The idea behind a referendum is to give voters a direct voice in making their community better. These ballot questions can cover anything from stem-cell research to the fate of an empty lot. They may be binding or just advisory. Last month, referenda were on ballots in nine Chicago precincts.
American consumers sent out decidedly contradictory signals Tuesday, spending more in December while telling researchers they were less confident about the economy.After showing a slight improvement in November, the Conference Board's index of consumer confidence dropped to 52.5 in December.
This year, some retailers are hoping for a Black Thursday in addition to a Black Friday.The economic slump is pushing some retailers to encroach on a once sacrosanct holiday. For the first time, Sears will open Thanksgiving morning.