Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, “Make Me Smart with Kai & Molly” is a weekly podcast about the economy, technology and culture. In a time when the world is moving faster than ever, this podcast is where we unpack complex topics, together. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

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    • May 24, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 21m AVG DURATION
    • 572 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

    Budgets show our priorities

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 19:09

    It’s Monday, and we’ve got a lot of news on our minds. We’ll talk about President Joe Biden’s comments about Taiwan and what Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, has to say about crypto. Then we’re diving into some recent writing about the scale at which the United States funds its military, even as we’ve withdrawn from active conflict in Afghanistan. How that money is spent, and isn’t spent, says a lot. Plus, Texas lawmakers may target business that help employees get abortions. Finally, we’ll consider some pointedly phrased communications for our make me smiles. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Lagarde Says Crypto Is ‘Worth Nothing' and Should Be Regulated” from Bloomberg “Biden: US would intervene with military to defend Taiwan” from the Associated Press Taiwan Relations Act “No Way Out but War” from the Chris Hedges Report “Four Ways to Understand the $54 Billion in U.S. Spending on Ukraine” from The New York Times “CBO Releases an Improved Interactive Tool for Analyzing the Military's Forces and Resources” from the Congressional Budget Office “Businesses that help employees get abortions could be next target of Texas lawmakers if Roe v. Wade is overturned” from The Texas Tribune Bear spray is not like bug spray from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Twitter A judge has this to say about a Jan. 6 defendant’s request to travel from BuzzFeed reporter Zoe Tillman on Twitter Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    What bear markets of the past can tell us about today

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 20:47

    It’s Friday, and the S&P 500 is at risk of becoming what economists call a bear market — when stock prices fall for a prolonged time. But how bad is that, actually? We’ve got some context. Plus, the Law School Admissions Test may become optional, and our hosts share their thoughts on the strong dollar and a pizza musical. We end with a round of Half Full/Half Empty. Here’s everything we talked about today: “The S&P 500 narrowly averts a bear market. How long do they last once they arrive?” from MarketWatch “No LSAT Required? Law School Admissions Tests Could Be Optional Under New Proposal” from The Wall Street Journal “Archbishop: Pelosi will be denied communion over abortion” from AP News “Tesla's Removal From S&P Index Sparks Debate About ESG Ratings” from Bloomberg “New York Now Has More Airbnb Listings Than Apartments for Rent” from Curbed “What does a strong dollar mean for the U.S. and world economies?” from Marketplace “In This Economy, Getting Fired Takes Hard Work” from The Wall Street Journal “Dolly Parton Joins the Star-Studded Cast of Taco Bell’s Tik Tok Musical, ‘Mexican Pizza’” from Taste of Country Tell us what you think about today's show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART. Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”

    Are slowing home sales a sign of things to come?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 20:07

    This Thursday, we talk about the news that home sales slowed in April, though prices still set records. And, the Joe Biden administration tries to increase the supply of baby formula using the Defense Production Act. It’s a welcome help to parents, but how did we get here? Plus, more stories from Ukraine that show the toll of the war. We’ll see you tomorrow for Economics on Tap, but before then, we share what geopolitical alliances and beer have in common. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Biden invokes Defense Production Act to increase supply of U.S. infant formula” from Politico “U.S. Home Sales Cool Amid Higher Rates, Record Prices” from The Wall Street Journal “Captive medic's bodycam shows firsthand horror of Mariupol” from AP News “Russian soldier asks Ukrainian widow to forgive him during first war crimes trial” from The Guardian “Finland brewery launches NATO beer with ‘taste of security'” from AP News Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We'll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

    When the stock market tanks, where does the money go?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 14:03

    It's Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, and Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams are answering your questions, including one from a listener who wonders what the Fed reducing its balance sheet means for mortgage rates. We also dig into what it takes to harness tidal power, and why it's not a bigger source of renewable energy. Here's everything we talked about on the show today: “To understand the Fed's bond-buying dilemma, picture a lake” from Marketplace “Hamsterkauf! Coronazeit! There's a German Word for Your Pandemic Experience” from Slate Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Send a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278). Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”

    The trouble with crypto

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 28:30

    Cryptocurrency has been having a rough couple of months lately. From bitcoin to ethereum and Coinbase, hundreds of billions of dollars have evaporated in crypto markets. But things got really bad last week, after a coin that’s supposed to be stable turned out not to be. All this is having consequences. People who jumped into crypto during the pandemic, amid the rising visibility of celebrity endorsements and crypto influencers on TikTok, are losing real money. On the show today, Ramaswamy explains what’s behind the crash and what it means for the future of cryptocurrencies. We’ll also provide a mini-explainer on “stablecoins.” Later, good news about little kids and COVID vaccines, and will Russia and the West break up their energy relationship? Plus, “Make Me Smart” fan art, and why you may be wrong about fly-fishing!

    It’s not partisan to call out white supremacy

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 20:11

    This Monday, we talk about the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend. It’s devastated the town’s predominantly Black community in multiple ways, including its central food supply. As the nation processes the tragedy, it’s critical to call it what is: a white supremacist act. We also discuss the baby formula shortage and the consequences of a Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance laws. Here’s everything we talked about today: Baby formula production is still several weeks out from Heather Long on Twitter One key chart on the baby formula shortage from Emily Peck on Twitter Third round of free COVID-19 test kits are available “Nearly half of Republicans agree with ‘great replacement theory'” from The Washington Post “It's time to call white supremacy by its name” from Andscape “Court sides with Ted Cruz and strikes down campaign-finance restriction along ideological lines” from SCOTUSblog “The Supreme Court Makes Ted Cruz A Half-Million Dollars Richer” from HuffPost Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    Political campaigns are secretly talking to PACs

    Play Episode Listen Later May 14, 2022 24:00

    For today’s Economics on Tap, we talk about a sneaky way campaigns are communicating with super PACS. Coordination between these big-time political action committees and campaigns is illegal, but a new practice called redboxing seems like a loophole. We’ll talk about it. Plus, we discuss the debate about facial recognition technology and follow up on a conversation we had yesterday about the news on sudden infant death syndrome. Before we leave, we’ll play a round of Half Full/Half Empty, featuring a piece of portable music history. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Voters Need to Know What ‘Redboxing’ Is and How It Undermines Democracy” from Campaign Legal Center “Enzyme in babies' blood linked to risk of sudden infant death syndrome” from The Guardian “U.S. cities are backing off banning facial recognition as crime rises” from Reuters “Why Fed might not be too upset when stocks fall” from Marketplace “Facebook reportedly already running out of money for Metaverse” from Futurism “Has collective bargaining come to Congress?” from Marketplace “End of an Era: Apple Discontinues Its Last iPod Model” from Bloomberg “Heinz working on paper ketchup bottle” from Axios Tell us what you think about today's show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART. Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”

    We learn (some of) what Jerome Powell is thinking

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 12:48

    Today, instead of guessing what Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is thinking, we asked. Our hosts talk about the newsiest and funniest parts of Kai’s interview with the Fed chairman. Plus, a scientific revelation about sudden infant death syndrome may provide some peace for parents. And, speaking of incredible science, we marvel at mind-blowing new pictures of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Fed Chair Jerome Powell: ‘Whether we can execute a soft landing or not, it may actually depend on factors that we don't control.’” from Marketplace “Researchers Pinpoint Reason Infants Die From SIDS” from BioSpace “World first breakthrough could prevent SIDS” from the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network “Black hole: First picture of Milky Way monster” from BBC News “Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy” from Event Horizon Telescope “Sagittarius A*: NASA Telescopes Support Event Horizon Telescope in Studying Milky Way’s Black Hole” from NASA Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We'll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

    Where do electric car batteries go when they die?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 16:39

    It’s Wednesday again, and we’re answering your questions about the labor market — like why we don’t aim for 100% employment. We’ll also give some extra context around the idea of a “skills gap” in our economy. And Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams dig into a bunch of questions from one listener related to the logistics of owning an electric vehicle. Here's everything we talked about on the show today: “How the U.S. Health Insurance System Excludes Abortion” from the Center for American Progress The Guttmacher Institute’s tracker on state regulation of insurance coverage for abortion “Funds that help low-income people pay for abortions are seeing a sharp uptick in donations” from Marketplace “There's a lot of money on both sides of the abortion debate. How much does it matter?” from Marketplace Consumer Reports’ research on electric vehicle maintenance costs “Cars Are Going Electric. What Happens to the Used Batteries?” from Wired University of California, Davis, researchers’ look at transportation costs for recycling old EV batteries “Hamsterkauf! Coronazeit! There's a German Word for Your Pandemic Experience.” from Slate Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Send a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278). Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”

    What we need to know about Title 42

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022 31:36

    As we often say on the show, immigration is a labor market story. Since last month, when the Joe Biden administration announced plans to lift Title 42, it’s been the immigration story of the moment. On today’s show, Denise Gilman, director of the immigration clinic and law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, explains how Title 42 was used at the start of the pandemic and what’s next for it.

    Is crypto ready for mom and pop investors?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 22:44

    Today we talk about a potential win for privacy advocates, as facial recognition company Clearview AI reaches a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union. But we still have questions. Another new story with a lot of questions? Crypto, of course. We’re still skeptical about the stability of cryptocurrency, but that hasn’t stopped investors and others from jumping right in. We’ll discuss what has us … a little nervous. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Authorities find human remains in Lake Mead twice in one week” from NPR “Cryptocurrency TerraUSD Falls Below Fixed Value, Triggering Selloff” from The Wall St Journal “40% of bitcoin investors are now underwater, new data shows” from CNBC “Clearview AI agrees to permanent ban on selling facial recognition to private companies” from The Verge “Opinion — Chris Murphy’s urgent abortion warning reveals a hidden GOP threat” from The Washington Post Trevor Noah's discussion of billionaires on “The Daily Show” Tom House Is (Still) Reinventing Pitching With Mustard App from The New York Times Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.” Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    We won’t make you wait for the book

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 21:19

    Today during Economics on Tap, we’re low-key celebrating this weekend’s Kentucky Derby and venting a little about the journalists and political figures who withheld critical information and news, only to finally reveal it in their books. For profit. Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper revealed in his soon-to-be-released memoir that, two years ago, then-President Donald Trump considered launching missiles into Mexico. In surprisingly less scary news, “Little Shop of Horrors” is celebrating its Broadway revival with festivities. Before we head into Kentucky Derby weekend, we go Half Full/Half Empty on coin collecting, children at work and more. “Trump Proposed Launching Missiles Into Mexico to ‘Destroy the Drug Labs,' Esper Says” from The New York Times “Little Shop of Horrors Will Celebrate 40th Anniversary With Block Party, Concert, More” from Playbill “Little Shop of Horrors: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert” from NPR “How Buy Now, Pay Later is changing how consumers think about travel” from Fast Company “What the Fed's rate hike means for one community bank” from Marketplace “Coin collecting is big business on social media” from Marketplace “It’s time for a non-white host of ‘The Late Late Show’. Here’s our critic’s shortlist” from NPR “After years of working from home, how has Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day evolved?” from Marketplace Tell us what you think about today's show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART. Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”

    *Looks at stock market* Everyone, take a deep breath.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 19:16

    We’ll start today’s show with a little pep talk about what you should and shouldn’t do if you caught a glance at the stock market today. Then we move on to one of the big business stories of the day, the news that Boeing is moving its headquarters from Chicago to the D.C. area. To understand why, you just gotta follow the money. Plus, the U.S. says it’ll give Sweden support as that country looks to join NATO. Finally, free child care and a beautiful canoe make us smile. To celebrate the upcoming Kentucky Derby, bring your mint juleps and fanciest hats to Economics on Tap tomorrow. “Boeing Plans to Move Headquarters to Arlington, Va., From Chicago” from The Wall Street Journal Jon Ostrower’s tweet on Boeing “Stocks Crater as Fed-Policy Jitters Rock Trading: Markets Wrap” from Bloomberg “Sweden says it received U.S. security assurances if it hands in NATO application” from Reuters “When a Beautiful Boat Becomes the Emblem of an Unlived Life” from Gotham Canoe “New Mexico to offer a year of free child care to most residents” from The Washington Post Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support Make Me Smart. Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We'll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

    If inflation has peaked, why are we still raising interest rates?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 19:10

    It’s the day we answer your questions and to start, one listener wants to know why Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell is still raising interest rates if inflation has peaked. We’ll also answer an urgent question about the blockchain and supply chains from a listener with a term paper deadline looming. Plus, a question about Airbnb and rents, and why doesn't the U.S. electrify its railways? Finally, we end with a sci-fi recommendation on this Star Wars Day. May the fourth be with you. Here's everything we talked about on the show today: “Has inflation reached a peak? Three sings that prices could soon come down” from CNN “Blockchain: A better way to track pork chops, bonds, bad peanut butter?” from The New York Times “Major container shippers Hapag-Lloyd, ONE integrate with TradeLens blockchain” from Ledger Insights “Study finds Airbnb units expand market but reduce long-term rentals, including affordable housing” from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Send a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278).

    What happened to the Federal Reserve’s inclusive employment goal?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 32:27

    If you’re a regular listener to this program, you’ve probably heard of the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate: price stability and maximum employment. But in the summer of 2020, the Fed made a little tweak. It added the words “broad-based” and “inclusive” to the employment part of the mandate, acknowledging the benefits a strong economy brings to low- and moderate-income communities. This is significant because for decades the Black unemployment rate has been double the rate for white workers in this country. So, the Fed started “running the economy hot” longer to try to close that gap. But the central bank has begun a campaign of raising interest rates to cool the economy because inflation is here. What now? On the show today, William Spriggs, a professor of economics at Howard University and chief economist at the AFL-CIO, explains why the Fed’s approach to closing the unemployment gap hasn’t worked and what can really be done to fix it. Then, the hosts will talk about the big story of the day: the draft Roe v. Wade decision and what overturning the 1973 ruling might mean for the health and economics of women, especially poor women, in this country. Here’s everything we talked about today: “The Fed wants to slow down the economy. It risks leaving Black workers behind” from Fortune “Interest rate hikes will hurt Black Americans the most” from Quartz “Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic: “Everything is just taking longer than I would have expected going in.” from Marketplace “Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows” from Politico ICYMI: “Reproductive rights are economic rights” “Make Me Smart” episode with economist Caitlin Myers We’re looking for your answer to the Make Me Smart question: What is something you thought you knew that you later found out you were wrong about? Leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278 or 508-U-B-SMART or email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

    Immigration is (still) a labor market story

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 15:54

    In today’s show, we flag one economic benchmark investors are watching, then dive into some recent stories that highlight the unequal ways the U.S. grants immigrant and refugee status. Don’t forget, what happens at the border impacts our labor force. Speaking of work, employees nationwide are voting on unionization. Finally, a new study validates dog owners’ premonitions about their special pups and makes us smile. Here’s everything we talked about today: “10-Year Treasury Yield Hits 3% for First Time Since 2018” from The Wall Street Journal “Amazon Workers Reject Union in New York After Labor Victory at Separate Facility” from The Wall Street Journal “Biden to comply with forthcoming order to keep Covid border restrictions in place” from Politico “Afghans subject to stricter rules than Ukrainian refugees, advocates say” from NBC News “Your dog's personality may have little to do with its breed” from AP News Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    Elon Musk is ponying up Tesla stock to buy Twitter

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 30, 2022 23:24

    We’re keeping an eye on Tesla after Elon Musk reached a deal to buy Twitter earlier this week. Musk has sold roughly $8.5 billion worth of Tesla shares in the last couple of days. We’ll get a little into the weeds about the dynamics playing out as the Twitter deal closes. Plus, the fallout after the Jan. 6 insurrection continues — we’ll update you on what’s happening in the courts. And a COVID-19 vaccine for young kids may be on the way. Then, the hosts play a round of Half Full/Half Empty. Finally, a big thank you to producer Marque Greene for all his hard work as he wraps up his stint on “Make Me Smart.” But don’t worry, he’s not going far. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Second Oath Keeper pleads to seditious conspiracy” from Politico “CNN Exclusive: New text messages reveal Fox’s Hannity advising Trump White House and seeking direction” from CNN “Elon Musk Sells $8.5 Billion of Tesla Shares After Deal to Buy Twitter” from The Wall Street Journal “The Risks of a New U.S. Approach in Ukraine” from “The Daily” “Moderna asks FDA to authorize first COVID-19 vaccine for very young children” from NPR Tell us what you think about today's show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    Wait, the Russians are making MORE money on oil?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2022 16:45

    Some days the news can really throw you for a loop, and this Thursday is one of them. President Joe Biden has asked Congress for an additional $33 billion to help Ukraine. The call for more funds comes as reports that Russia’s revenue from energy sales has almost doubled since it launched the war on its neighbor. We’ll look at why Russia continues to benefit despite the numerous sanctions levied against it. There’s also a hard conversation about the measures climate activists have taken in hopes of speeding up our response to the global climate crisis. And we do our best to bring you back up as we end things with a couple of Make Me Smiles. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, anxiety or depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: Biden Asks Congress for $33 Billion to Help Ukraine War Effort from The New York Times “Russia Nearly Doubled Its Income From Energy Sales To The EU During Wartime, Study Shows” from Radio Free Europe Why Wynn Bruce, climate activist, set himself on fire at Supreme Court” from The Washington Post “Climate Scientists Chained Themselves To A Downtown Bank’s Doors In An Act Of Peaceful Protest. Police In Riot Gear Shut It Down” from LAist Mehdi Hasan's video featuring the climate activists on “Good Morning Britain” “NASA’s Webb In Full Focus, Ready for Instrument Commissioning” from NASA “Duckin' Autocorrect: The Inventor of iPhone's Autocorrect Explains How It Works” from The Wall Street Journal Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We'll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

    What your grocery store is telling us about supply chains

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022 17:25

    This Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, Kai and Kimberly are tackling your questions about the supply chain — from how we could look at shortages and backlogs as pandemic indicators to why it seems like processed foods are less likely to sell out at the grocery store. And we’ll make you smart fast on Elon Musk's plan to purchase Twitter. Here's everything we talked about on the show today: “Twitter says mass deactivations after Musk news were ‘organic'” from NBC News “Materials and labor shortages continue to complicate construction industry” from Marketplace The Pew Research Center's data on social media use Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Send a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278).

    The American (rental) dream?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 26:41

    If you drive around suburbia these days, you might come across entire communities of newly constructed homes with all the amenities of an apartment. But these aren’t your average tract homes. These are subdivisions made exclusively for renters instead of homeowners. It’s all part of the build-to-rent trend, one of the fastest growing sectors in the housing industry. On today’s show, we’ll talk about the build-to-rent trend and what it means for the housing market, homeownership and building generational wealth in this country. For today’s Newsfix, we’re sticking with the housing theme. Amy Scott, our housing correspondent, talks about her biggest takeaways from the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index. It’s wild! Plus, what the heck is going on with Twitter’s stock? Then, we’ll hear from listeners about taxes, Taco Bell and dinosaurs! Here’s everything we talked about today: “The Market for Single-Family Rentals Grows as Homeownership Wanes” from The New York Times “Home Builders Bypassing Individual Home Buyers for Deep-Pocketed Investors” from The Wall Street Journal “Corporate investors spending billions in real estate” from Marketplace Home prices jumped nearly 20% in February “Tesla Stock Sinks After Twitter Deal” from The Wall Street Journal We’re still taking questions for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. You can submit yours at makemesmart@marketplace.org or (508) 827-6278, also conveniently known as 508-UB-SMART.

    I guess Elon wasn’t joking about Twitter

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 15:27

    Plenty of things to make us go huh on this Monday edition of Make Me Smart. Of course, there’s the news surrounding billionaire Elon Musk, who’s very real offer to purchase Twitter was accepted by the company’s board of directors today. We’ll get to that after we talk about a dip in global oil demand following the wave of lockdowns across China as that country deals with new COVID-19 outbreaks. We’ll end the show with a couple of Make Me Smiles, including one about a small town jumping through hoops for recognition. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “China’s Oil Demand Is Tumbling the Most Since Wuhan Lockdown” from Bloomberg For a firsthand look at the lockdown in Shanghai, follow Marketplace’s Jennifer Pak on Instagram “​​Musk’s Boring Company to begin ‘full-scale’ hyperloop testing this year” from TechCrunch “After years of failure, Elon Musk’s Boring Company claims it will finally test a full-scale hyperloop this year” from Fortune “Fed's Powell to Hold First In-Person Press Conference of Pandemic Next Week” from Bloomberg “Welcome to Herkimer, N.Y., the (other) birthplace of basketball” from The Washington Post Have a question or comment about something you heard on the show?  Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278 or 508-U-B-SMART.

    Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill could soon be easier to find

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 23, 2022 23:43

    Today on Economics on Tap, we’re talking about the Biden administration’s plan to make Paxlovid, Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral pill, available in pharmacies across the United States. It might be easier said than done. Plus, Iran has tolerated economic sanctions for decades. Will the same hold true for Russia? We’ll also discuss the speedy demise of CNN+ and Google’s time-lapsed images showing the effects of climate change. We end with a round of Half Full/Half Empty. Today’s categories: Netflix (with ads!), a slowed-down U.S. Postal Service, Earth Day, national parks reservation systems and the return of Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Earth Day 2022” from Google “Pfizer Paxlovid Covid Pill Will Soon Be Available Across the US in Biden Plan” from Bloomberg “Iran Shows Why Sanctioning Russia Won’t Stop Putin’s War in Ukraine” from Foreign Policy “CNN+ Streaming Service Will Shut Down Weeks After Its Start” from The New York Times “Streaming services are embracing cheaper, ad-supported tiers” from Marketplace “USPS slowing first-class package delivery to lower costs” from The Hill “Trash or Recycling? Why Plastic Keeps Us Guessing” from The New York Times “Reservation systems may be here to stay at popular national parks” from Marketplace “Taco Bell is bringing back the Mexican pizza — and South Asians are rejoicing” from NPR Tell us what you think about today’s show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    Corporations are doing just fine, thank you

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 22, 2022 19:13

    Some publicly traded corporations reported strong earnings today, despite inflation and supply chain shortages. This left consumers to foot the bill for rising prices. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is walking a fine line during a critical time. We talk about a key indicator we’ll be watching to gauge the economy’s health. We’ll leave you with some wicked humor from Capitalism herself and fictional pairings we’d like to see (Hamlet, meet the Ghost Busters). “Fed’s Powell, half-point hike in view, completes hawkish pivot” from Reuters “Fed's Powell Puts Half-Point Rate Hike on the Table for May” from Barron’s “Netflix’s collapse is a warning sign for stocks” from CNN “Nestle CEO says growth target conservative, margin more challenging” from Reuters “Big companies manage to pass on soaring costs to cash-strapped consumers” from Reuters If Peter Rabbit met Merry and Pippin … (Note: Contains some vulgar slang) @tessplease on capitalism Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We'll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

    The Federal Reserve isn’t setting your mortgage rate

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2022 14:22

    It’s Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, that time of the week when our hosts answer your questions! We’ll start with a couple of questions about the Fed’s interest rate policy. One listener asks why a jump in mortgage rates doesn’t seem to be in line with the central bank’s single rate hike, and another wonders why banks and credit card companies don’t raise their own interest rates instead of waiting for the Fed. We’ll also follow up with yesterday’s guest for a question about refugee placement in the United States, and explain how Elon Musk made it to the top rank of the world’s richest people. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “What the Fed’s move could mean for mortgage interest rates” from Marketplace “How Banks Set Interest Rates on Your Loans” from Investopedia “Tesla’s Elon Musk drives past Jeff Bezos in Forbes’ list of billionaires” from Sky News Elon Musk’s immense wealth — from emeralds to PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla from The Independent

    The economic case for taking in refugees

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022 28:27

    The U.S. has a long history of resettling refugees who are fleeing war and persecution. The current program goes back to the ’80s, after the Vietnam War. Today, as the Joe Biden administration prepares to welcome 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, we’re wondering what happens to an economy when refugees become part of it. On the show today: the costs associated with refugee resettlement along with the  contributions refugees make to our economy and why arguments about their being a drag on the labor force are overblown. In the News Fix, we’ll talk about why investment firm Blackstone is betting on student housing, even after a couple of years of remote learning. Plus, the story behind right-wing social media account Libs of TikTok. And later, a rooster makes a cameo on the show (see if you can spot it), and Kai and Amy give a listener career advice.

    Treasury Department issues “cry for help”

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2022 15:54

    Today is Tax Day, the deadline for filing taxes (or an extension, gulp). To mark the occasion, the Treasury Department called on Congress to relieve some of the pressure on an underfunded, understaffed and ill-equipped IRS. Tens of millions of Americans are waiting for their tax returns to be processed … from the last year. We’ll also discuss speculation about how big the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate hike might be. And a gentle reminder following a federal judge’s ruling striking down the CDC’s public transportation mask mandate: Don’t be a jerk. We wrap up with some Make Me Smiles about accessing banned books and a story about an interstellar visitor. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Mask Mandate Overturned for Planes, Public Transportation by Florida Judge” from Bloomberg “Fed’s James Bullard Says 75 Basis-Point Rate Hike Could Be Option If Needed” from Bloomberg “Tax Day is an ‘inflection point’ after challenging season, Treasury official says” from MSN “The IRS doesn’t have what they need to serve Americans well — Congress can help” from the Treasury Department “Military Memo Adds to Possible Interstellar Meteor Mystery” from The New York Times Bloomberg reporter Matt Levine's tweet about Twitter's poison pill  “Brooklyn Library Offers Access to Banned eBooks to Teens Across the U.S.” from Bookriot Do you have a story about a delayed return from the IRS? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    Layoffs reach record lows, and other thoughts

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 16, 2022 22:48

    One side effect of the current labor market: Workers are less likely to get laid off. That might not be so great for those of us with toxic bosses and co-workers. Speaking of toxic, Twitter launched a “poison pill” strategy to fend off Elon Musk’s bid to buy the company. We also talk about filing taxes and four-day workweeks. We close out today’s Economics on Tap with a round of Half Full/Half Empty. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Twitter Counters a Musk Takeover With a Plan to Thwart the Bid” from The New York Times “Odds of Getting Laid Off Are at Historic Lows in Tightest Labor Market in 50 Years” from The Wall Street Journal “California Considers the Four-Day Workweek” from The Wall Street Journal “Here are some last-minute tips as the April 18 tax filing deadline approaches” from CNBC News “File your taxes on time. Here’s what you should know about your refund” from NPR Life Kit “Crypto for kids?” from Marketplace “Pickleball is growing fast, with pros, prize money and business opportunities” from Marketplace “Spirit Halloween Store Film in the Works Starring Christopher Lloyd, Rachael Leigh Cook” from Variety “Krispy Kreme ties doughnut prices to average gas price on Wednesdays to offer inflation relief” from USA Today Got a question for the hosts? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    EU looks to break from Russian energy

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022 16:18

    The European Union is trying to end its dependence on Russian oil — but that may be costly and complicated. This Thursday, we talk about how Western countries are pressing Russia to terminate its war in Ukraine while minding their own energy supplies. Plus, China is watching. And earlier this week, we mused that Twitter-famous billionaire Elon Musk could probably just buy the company if he wanted to. He revealed today that he made an offer. Does Musk listen to “Make Me Smart”? Finally, we share signs of spring that made us smile. Here’s everything we talked about today: Europe starts drafting ban on Russian oil imports from The New York Times “Germany faces $240 billion hit if Russian gas is cut off” from CNN “German Gas Reserves Can Last Until Late Summer, Says Regulator” from VOA News “Musk Hints at Twitter Plan B, Lambastes SEC Over Settlement” from Bloomberg Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We'll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

    Russia’s ruble is strong … for now.

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022 17:39

    The strength of Russia’s ruble even in the face of sanctions from the West has surprised some. This Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, we’ll get into some of the ways Russia’s worked to prop up its currency, and how long those actions might work. We’ll also tackle your questions about shift work and health, the worker shortage and taxes. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Russia’s ruble rebound raises questions of sanctions’ impact” from the Associated Press “How Russia rescued the ruble” from Planet Money “Can the U.S. really reduce the Russian ruble to rubble?” from NBC News Janet Nguyen's reporting on The Night Shift for Marketplace “Recent News about Night Shift Work and Cancer: What Does it Mean for Workers?” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Night Shift Work Linked to Infertility in Women” from Fertility Science “The night shift is back as Americans work overtime to clear backlogs” from News7H “Omicron worries could keep some workers out of labor force” from Marketplace “Early Retirement During Covid vs Social Security Data Puzzle US Economists” from Bloomberg Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Send a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278).

    Cities are chasing crypto. But why?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022 22:27

    Government leaders all over the world are taking a hard look at cryptocurrencies. El Salvador made bitcoin a national currency last year. Cryptocurrency investors continue to move to Puerto Rico for its tax incentives. And Miami and New York are in a race to become the nation’s crypto capital. Supporters believe crypto could be a way to drive economic growth and address income inequality and a host of other issues. But how likely is that? “Right now, there are far better technology or even policy solutions to address the issues local leaders claim to want to address,” said Tonantzin Carmona, a fellow at The Brookings Institution. “Lawmakers do not, for example, need cryptocurrencies to address issues of financial inclusion, equity or wealth inequality. They need political will.” Carmona is skeptical that cryptocurrencies could solve a city’s problems. On an abbreviated show today (sorry, technical difficulties!), we’ll discuss why that is and the lessons we can learn from places that have already laid out the welcome mat for crypto business ventures. Plus, the Joe Biden administration announced plans today to suspend a ban on selling higher-ethanol E15 gas between June 1 and Sept. 15 in an effort to bring down gas prices. We’ll explain why the move might be shortsighted and what it’s doing to corn futures. Also, the subway shooting in Brooklyn is making our fill-in host rethink plans to go back to the office. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Mayors: Cryptocurrency won’t solve your cities’ problems” from The Brookings Institution “Is crypto good for cities?” from Tech Monitor “Tax Breaks Are Driving a Rush to Buy Property in Puerto Rico” from The New York Times “Biden will allow summertime sales of higher-ethanol gas as prices remain elevated.” also from NYT “Power restored in Puerto Rico nearly 5 days after blackout” from The Associated Press Live updates: Multiple shot in a Brooklyn subway station from CNN We want your answers to the Make Me Smart question. Send us an email at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

    Don’t put your mask away yet

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2022 13:43

    A month after lifting its mask mandate, Philadelphia is reinstating indoor mask requirements beginning next week as COVID-19 cases there rise. It will be the first major U.S. city to bring back a mask mandate. Other cities might not be far behind. Then, Elon Musk won’t be joining Twitter’s board of directors after all. We’ll discuss what it means for him to stay on the outside of the the social media platform. Plus, a group of Etsy sellers are going on strike to protest a fee hike. It sparks a discussion about the struggles of being a small business owner. To wrap things up, we’ll take you under the sea for a couple of Make Me Smiles. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Over 14,000 Etsy sellers are going on strike to protest increased transaction fees” from TechCrunch “Kmart demise 2022: former retail giant is now just 3 stores away from extinction in US” from Fortune This article on the world's last Blockbuster from last year “Philadelphia Revives Mask Mandate, Breaking With Big-City Peers” from Bloomberg “In major reversal, Elon Musk is not joining Twitter board” from TechCrunch Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal's company letter regarding Elon Musk An Instagram post that's an ode to the Little Mermaid! This bop about the risks of cooking salmon! Have a story or an article you’d like to recommend to your fellow “Make Me Smart” listeners and newsletter readers? Share it with us via email at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

    The wave of anti-transgender legislation is an economic story

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 9, 2022 22:30

    Alabama’s governor signed two bills into law on Friday: One criminalizes providing gender-affirming care for transgender youth, and the other requires students to use restrooms according to the gender on their birth certificate. We’ll discuss the business and economic consequences of new anti-transgender legislation across the nation. Plus, we catch up on the work behind the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Then we’ll send you off into the weekend with a round of This or That! Here’s everything we talked about today: “Alabama passes bill criminalizing medical care for transgender youth” from The Guardian “Alabama lawmakers vote to make providing gender-affirming care to trans youth a felony” from Politico “Business Statement on Anti-LGBTQ State Legislation” from the Human Rights Campaign Tweet thread from futurist Amy Webb on a bidding war behind new federal scientific research center “Donald Trump Jr. texted Meadows ideas for overturning 2020 election before it was called” from CNN “Proud Boys leader admits plan to storm the Capitol, will testify against others” from The Washington Post “Proud Boys leader pleads guilty to role in Jan. 6 conspiracy” from Politico Got a question for the hosts? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278 or 508-U-B-SMART.

    Buying a house? In this economy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 8, 2022 18:59

    Yesterday a listener asked about the real estate market, and we’ve still got housing on our minds. We’ll talk about fresh data that shows homes are less affordable across the country. Plus, the devastation of one Ukrainian city shows the brutality of Russian forces. Then, Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court today. Could this moment inspire change in the corporate world? Finally, some music news that made us smile. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Buying a home hasn’t been this tough since the Great Recession hit” from Business Insider “Home Affordability Gets Tougher Across the U.S. As Prices and Mortgage Rates Surge” from Attom Data Solutions “As Mortgage Rates Rise, Home Sellers Fear Time Is Running Out to Cash In” from The Wall Street Journal “In Bucha, the scope of Russian barbarity is coming into focus” from The Washington Post “Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first Black woman justice. Here's how she will change the Supreme Court.” from The 19th CEOs reflect on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic confirmation: ‘Let this be a stepping stone’ from Business Insider “Anita Hill: The Senate Judiciary Committee mistreated Judge Jackson. I should know.” from The Washington Post “McConnell won't commit to hearings for Biden SCOTUS picks if GOP retakes Senate” from Axios “Film at 11: How a Minnesota Station Found Old Footage of a Very Young Prince” from The New York Times “Film Of Prince At Age 11 Discovered In Archival Footage Of 1970 Mpls. Teachers Strike” from WCCO “How ‘Big Grrrls' Shatters Dance Norms in Lizzo's New Reality Show” from Variety Review: Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls is Joyful Love Letter to Plus-Size Women from The Root Join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We'll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

    More money, more problems?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2022 16:30

    With a dozen states considering sending payments to taxpayers to ease the sting of inflation, one listener is wondering whether more checks could actually have the opposite effect. We’ll break down the arguments on this Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. Plus, President Joe Biden announced this week that the pause on student loan payments would be extended to the end of August, but how would forgiving student loans altogether impact the nation’s economy? We’ve also got answers to your questions about bitcoin and the red-hot housing market. Here’s everything that we talked about today: “Stimulus checks for inflation: Here are the states planning to send money to residents” from CBS News “Another stimulus check could help fight inflation but a fourth is unlikely, experts say” from The Hill “How wiping out all student loan debt would change the economy” from Fortune “The student loan system has ‘layers of disfunction’” from Marketplace “What Would Forgiving Student Debt Mean for the Federal Budget?” from The Urban Institute “What Is Proof of Work (PoW) in Crypto?” from the Motley Fool Marketplace's series reporting on cryptocurrency mining and the environment “When Will Be a Good Time to Buy a House?” from The Atlantic National home price index since 1987, from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller and the St. Louis Federal Reserve Do you have a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? Share it with us and it could be answered on the show! Send us a voice memo or email to makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278)!

    How the Fugitive Slave acts and new “bounty hunter” bills are alike

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2022 30:17

    It's been more than six months since Texas' anti-abortion law went into effect. SB8 lets private citizens sue anyone who helped a pregnant person get an abortion after the six-week ban, which could come with a $10,000 payout. Idaho just passed similar legislation, and other states are considering copycat laws, too. Some experts refer to these kinds of measures as “bounty hunter” bills, and they say there are aspects of them that are similar to the Fugitive Slave laws that required civilians help capture enslaved people and led to the Civil War. “It’s not unconstitutional to create ways in which private citizens can enforce the law. What does start to offend the Constitution is when you are encouraging people to act as bounty hunters when other folks are exercising a constitutional right. That’s going to be a problem for us,” said Kim Mutcherson, co-dean and professor at Rutgers Law School in Camden, New Jersey. Mutcherson said these laws allow private citizens to line their pockets while undermining constitutional rights, which is outside the mainstream of lawmaking in this country. On the show today: the parallels between Fugitive Slave laws and civilian enforcement laws of today. Later, we’ll talk about the cost of owning a home versus renting, and a revealing study about racial disparities and COVID-19. Then we’ll hear from listeners about long COVID-19 and a twisted answer to the Make Me Smart question. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Texas’s abortion law created a ‘vigilante’ loophole, inspiring dozens of bills from both parties” from The Washington Post “Anti-Abortion Politicians Are Now Taking Inspiration From the Fugitive Slave Act” from The Nation Twitter thread about the cost of home buying vs. renting Twitter thread about study on racial disparities and COVID-19 “Study: Covid’s racial disparities made some white people less vigilant about the virus” from NBC News

    Everything comes back to politics

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2022 14:31

    The Senate approved an agreement for a new round of COVID-related funding today. The $10 billion package includes money for COVID testing and treatment as well as vaccine distribution, but without additional funds for foreign aid. We’ll see what happens when the House gets its turn to vote on the deal. There’s also a new report from the United Nations’ climate science agency suggesting that only drastic  emissions cuts will save us from some of the worst effects of climate change, and most countries lack the political will to do anything about it. Finally, we’ll end on a Make Me Smile that might count as good public relations for pop singer Rick Astley. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Democratic, GOP senators reach $10 billion COVID agreement, removes international aid” from PBS NewsHour “Senate strikes $10B Covid deal” from Politico “The IPCC says we already have the tech tools to stop climate change” from Protocol “‘Now or never’: Only severe emissions cuts will avoid climate extremes, U.N. report says” from Reuters “The world is running out of options to hit climate goals, U.N. report shows” from The Washington Post The “Electrify Everything” episode of “How We Survive” from Marketplace “Birkenstock Wants to Keep Rival Sandals Off Shelves at Nordstrom, Zappos, Other Retailers” from The Wall Street Journal “Drones create giant QR code to ‘Rickroll’ the city of Dallas” from United Press International Got a question for the hosts? Saw something interesting you want to share? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a message at 508-U-B-SMART(508-827-6278).

    Amazon workers vote to unionize in Staten Island

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 2, 2022 24:30

    Happy Friday, Smarties! Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, elected to unionize today. That’s a historic win, and we’ll talk more about what the road to a contract could look like during Economics on Tap. There’s also plenty to discuss about the new jobs report, but one area to focus on is construction. Plus, a look at the impact the Biden administration’s immigration plans could have on the  midterm elections and the worker shortage. And we’ve got a round of our old favorite, Half Full/Half Empty! Our hosts weigh in on April Fools marketing, streaming wins at the Oscars, rounding up for charity, the House vote on legalizing marijuana and Dunkin’ donuts makeup! Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: Amazon workers in NYC vote to unionize, a first for company from the Associated Press “We’re expecting a big increase in migrants at the US-Mexico border. But this time is different” from CNN “Biden administration border plan poses midterm danger for Democrats” from The Washington Post A look at the March construction employment numbers from Robert Dietz at the National Association of Home Builders Jobs report March 2022: Payrolls rose 431,000, less than expected from CNBC “Air guitar lessons, steak-scented deodorant and a job as a cat herder — all part of April Fools’ Day” from USA Today “Best picture win for ‘CODA’ a milestone for streaming services” from Marketplace “More businesses are asking us to ’round up’ for charity. How much change does it take to make change?” from Marketplace “House approves bill legalizing marijuana” from The Hill “e.l.f. Cosmetics and Dunkin’ launch a makeup collection” from CNN Have a question for our hosts, or thoughts on something you heard on the show? Send us a voice memo or an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART (508-827-6278).

    The lowdown on our backup oil

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 1, 2022 15:54

    As energy prices soar due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. is drawing on government petroleum reserves. But getting the oil flowing and to market isn’t easy. We’ll explain the realities of tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Plus, an hourslong gap in former President Donald Trump’s phone log on Jan. 6, 2021, is drawing scrutiny from Democrats in Congress. In Texas, parents of transgender kids are weighing the costs of staying or leaving the state, given new anti-trans orders. And finally, some very clever basketball-loving law students in North Carolina made us smile. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Biden Oil Plan Hinges on 1970s Reserve With Troubled History” from Bloomberg Green “White House records turned over to House show 7-hour gap in Trump phone log on Jan. 6” from CBS News “Revealed: Trump used White House phone for call on January 6 that was not on official log” from The Guardian “Parents of transgender children in Texas face a hard choice: stay or go” from Marketplace Lawyer Ken White on Trump’s RICO complaint “Trump's New Lawyer Has Been Fawning Over Him Since High School” from the Daily Beast Law professor receives a “motion” to extend an assignment deadline before UNC vs. Duke Final Four TikTok: Motion granted! Got a question for the hosts? Saw something interesting you want to share? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART(508-827-6278).

    The reason inflation is so hard to solve this time

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2022 18:45

    This week on Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, we answer your questions about why everything is so expensive and who’s going to fix it. So first, does the Federal Reserve need help solving inflation? Can someone please explain why the Jones Act is still around? Plus, what the heck is crypto mining and when are we getting good public transportation? Finally, Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams share their competing theories on headphone wearing. Here’s everything we talked about today: “The Fed has ways to put the brakes on rising prices” from Marketplace “The budget focuses on fighting inflation, but that's mainly a Fed project” from The New York Times “How should Democrats respond to rising inflation and high gas prices?” from The New Yorker “Inflation fuels drive to suspend state gasoline taxes” from Marketplace “Cryptocurrency stories on Marketplace“ “How bitcoin mining works” from Marketplace “Central Texas: famous for barbecue, boots and … bitcoin?” from Marketplace “Bitcoin Uses More Electricity Than Many Countries. How Is That Possible?” from The New York Times “The Jones Act” from Investopedia “Trump just lifted the Jones Act for Puerto Rico. Here's what that does.” from The Washington Post “The Jones Act Strikes Again” from The Wall Street Journal “How Much Oil Does the U.S. Import From Russia and Why Did Biden Ban It?” from The Wall Street Journal “Everything In The $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill: New Roads, Electric School Buses And More” from Forbes “The pandemic sank mass transit use. Data show its slow recovery.” from NBC News “How public transit systems can lure riders back” from Marketplace “It could take nearly a decade for public transit to return to pre-pandemic levels” from Fortune

    Is our economy ready for long COVID?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 30, 2022 24:52

    At the start of the pandemic, there was an overwhelming sense that once there were vaccines, you’d be less likely to die from COVID-19 and the risk would all but go away. Then came long COVID. According to one estimate, between 7 million and 23 million people in the United States have developed long COVID. That means that weeks or even months after an initial infection, they’re still suffering from a wide range of debilitating symptoms including shortness of breath, brain fog and heart palpitations. And, in some cases, symptoms are so severe, people have left their jobs. So is our economy prepared? “If you think about the way that our country manages disability, probably no,” said Jessica Malaty Rivera, an epidemiologist and senior adviser at the Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute. “We can barely get our disability to work for people who are pregnant and having children. So I can’t imagine that it’s going to be very accommodating to those who are experiencing long COVID.” On the show today, we’ll talk with Malaty Rivera about the health and socioeconomic effects of long COVID. In the Newsfix, we’ve got a quick and dirty explainer on the bond yield curve and why it’s all over the news today. Plus, we’ll hear from listeners about the Farmers’ Almanac’s weather predictions and the Oscars, and a veterinarian shares a surprising answer to the Make Me Smart question. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Is ‘long Covid’ worsening the labor shortage?” from the Brookings Institution “Evidence grows that vaccines lower the risk of getting long COVID” from NPR “NIH’s sluggish efforts to study long Covid draw patient, researcher ire” from STAT “Stock Futures Edge Up, Bond Yields Inch Closer to Recession Warning” from The Wall Street Journal “Covid-19 Coverage for the Uninsured Is Ending” from The Nation ICYMI: “Make Me Smart’s” Cherry Blossom party

    Biden is not hiding his opinion of Putin

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 29, 2022 21:34

    The “don’t sleep on this news” edition

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 26, 2022 20:03

    An ice shelf in Antarctica the size of New York City collapsed after a warm spell in that part of the globe, in case you needed a reminder that climate change is still happening. The trend toward globalization could be on the decline, though, as the world continues to watch the war in Ukraine and understand its greater significance for the global economy. And some shocking news out of Washington, D.C. We’ll talk about that and more for this special edition of Economics on Tap. It’s also the first-ever Make Me Smart Cherry Blossom Party. Trust us, you’re going to love it. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Ice shelf collapses in previously stable East Antarctica” from AP “How Russian sanctions could speed up the corrosion of globalization” from Marketplace “The End of Globalization?” from Foreign Affairs “BlackRock’s Larry Fink, who oversees $10 trillion, says Russia-Ukraine war is ending globalization” from CNBC “Virginia Thomas urged White House chief to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 election, texts show” from The Washington Post Got a question for the hosts? Saw something interesting you want to share? Send it to us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART(508-827-6278).

    Uber riders may be seeing yellow (cabs)

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 25, 2022 12:02

    “U.S. Housing Is So Hot Even a Fed Governor Can’t Buy a Home” from Bloomberg “Uber Partners With Yellow Taxi Companies in NYC” from The New York Times “Alcohol Killed More Under-65 Americans Than COVID in 2020” from New York magazine “Alcohol-Related Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic” from The Journal of the American Medical Association “What’s driving the dramatic rise in alcohol-related deaths during the pandemic?” from PBS NewsHour If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance-related issues, call the National Helpline “Star Chef José Andrés Is Sending Ibérico Ham Into Space” from Bloomberg “A Baby Shark movie is in the works!” from the AV Club Got a question for the hosts? Saw something interesting you want to share? Send it to us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART(508-827-6278). If you’re in New York City, don’t be surprised if the next time you request an Uber you get picked up in a yellow taxi — Uber has announced plans to team up with cab companies there. We’ll talk about what this might mean for the taxi industry. Plus, you know the housing market is red hot when a Federal Reserve governor is having trouble buying a home. And a staggering new report highlights the rise in alcohol abuse amid the pandemic. Finally, our hosts share some much-needed Make Me Smiles. Here’s everything we talked about today: “U.S. Housing Is So Hot Even a Fed Governor Can’t Buy a Home” from Bloomberg “Uber Partners With Yellow Taxi Companies in NYC” from The New York Times “Alcohol Killed More Under-65 Americans Than COVID in 2020” from New York magazine “Alcohol-Related Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic” from The Journal of the American Medical Association “What’s driving the dramatic rise in alcohol-related deaths during the pandemic?” from PBS NewsHour If you, or someone you know, is struggling with substance-related issues, call the National Helpline “Star Chef José Andrés Is Sending Ibérico Ham Into Space” from Bloomberg “A Baby Shark movie is in the works!” from the AV Club Got a question for the hosts? Saw something interesting you want to share? Send it to us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART(508-827-6278).

    The not-so-easy thing about taming inflation

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2022 16:47

    A week after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, some of us still have questions. Like, why did the stock market respond so positively? And how is making money more expensive really going to slow inflation? Plus, non-fungible tokens and disinformation, and who really owns the data collected by smart vehicles? And thank you! We’ve already hit our goal of $100,000 for this fundraising drive. We couldn’t have done it without you! Your support means we’ll be able to continue the journalism we do every day. There’s still time to give if you haven’t already — and to get one of those Marketplace pen sets! Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: Why is the Federal Reserve raising interest rates if supply chain issues are fueling inflation? from Marketplace Your questions about cryptocurrency answered from Marketplace Blockchain can help combat threat of deepfakes. Here’s how from the World Economic Forum Stock markets are supposed to drop when the Fed hikes interest rates. So why are they rallying now? from Fortune Who owns your connected car data and how is it used? from Tech Monitor John Deere unveiled an autonomous tractor. Will farmers dig it? from Marketplace

    There’s still money to be made in Russia

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 22, 2022 15:55

    Potato chips. Razors. Air fresheners. These are just a few of the items some of the world’s biggest brands are still selling in Russia after they said they’d suspend sales of nonessential products. But what’s classified as “essential” seems to be in the eye of the beholder, and some of the companies say they’re sticking around to support their employees. On an abbreviated show today (scheduling snafus happen to the best of us), we talk over the decision some companies have made to keep doing business in Russia even though pressure to cut ties has been mounting since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Plus, are Democrats really considering moving on from Iowa? Help us keep independent journalism going strong! We’re $28,000 away from our $100,000 goal, and our deadline is Wednesday! Give today to support Make Me Smart. And thank you! Later, listeners call in with their hot takes on plug-in hybrid minivans and “The NeverEnding Story.” And, we end the show with a musical answer to the Make Me Smart question. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: For Companies Still Selling in Russia, “Essential” Is a Loose Term from The Wall Street Journal “Renault resumes car production in Moscow as rivals cut ties with Russia” from The Guardian Opinion | Biden called Putin a war criminal. He was just saying what everyone can see” from The Washington Post “Democrats circulate plan for changing 2024 nomination calendar, moving against Iowa and welcoming new early states” from The Washington Post

    The White House is prepared for long-term inflation and supply chain issues

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 22, 2022 17:38

    Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo says the Biden administration is “prepared for the worst” when it comes to inflation and supply chain issues as global events continue to bring economic upheaval. We’ll also look at an eye-opening graphic that gives context to just how much the U.S. federal judiciary has been dominated by white men (we know we’re a podcast, but trust us, it’s worth your eyes). And we’ll talk about a harrowing story of Ukrainian journalists escaping the country as Russian forces closed in. That’s a lot of heavy news, but we’ll end with some Make Me Smiles. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: See just how much White men have dominated the federal judiciary from The 19th 20 days in Mariupol: The team that documented city’s agony from AP News The Smaller Bombs That Could Turn Ukraine Into a Nuclear War Zone from The New York Times Afghanistan’s last finance minister, now a D.C. Uber driver, ponders what went wrong from The Washington Post Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo's comments on Monday Here’s How To Celebrate The Cherry Blossoms In DC from the DCist PEAK BLOOM! Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

    One eye on the commodity markets, folks

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 19, 2022 20:32

    Today we’ll preview a story we think we’ll be talking about more soon, including on next week’s evening broadcast at “Marketplace.” There’s been increasing tumult in multiple commodity markets since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The markets for wheat, oil and various metals are being stretched to their limits as officials try to navigate both the war and prolonged supply chain issues. For Economics on Tap, our hosts discuss why getting things under control won’t be an easy fix. Then, the government is running out of the funding it uses to cover COVID costs, including tests, vaccines and treatments — the tools we need to bring life back to normal. And we’ll highlight another example of our totally skewed housing market and its implications. It’s a heavy news day, but we’ll finish things off with a round of Half Full/Half Empty! Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: LME: “The World’s Biggest Commodities Markets Are Starting to Seize Up” from Bloomberg “The White House says it’s running out of money to cover COVID tests and vaccines” from NPR “Homes Earned More for Owners Than Their Jobs Last Year” from The Wall Street Journal “The complications of adding background checks to dating apps” from “Marketplace Tech” COVID drove people to shop online, and some of those buying habits may stick from “Marketplace” Netflix Test Will Let Members Pay for Password-Sharing Users from Variety Cardboard cutouts of our favorite host! Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

    States move to limit telehealth options for women seeking abortion pills

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 18, 2022 15:25

    Since the beginning of the year, lawmakers in over 20 states have proposed bills limiting access to abortion pills by mail. The Food and Drug Administration had, in December, nixed a rule requiring that patients pick up their pills in person. There’s also an update on the continued detention of basketball star Brittney Griner in Russia and an insider look at how the Senate’s daylight saving time vote came to pass. After we wrap up the news, our hosts share a couple of technological marvels as Make Me Smiles! Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia extended to May 19” from ESPN “As Abortion Pills Take Off, Some States Move to Curb Them” from Pew's Stateline The Senate’s Daylight Saving Time Move Shocked Senators from BuzzFeed News Arnold Schwarzenegger tapes video to Russia, telling Putin: ‘Stop this war’ from The New York Times First photos from James Webb telescope better than expected from Cosmos magazine “How a game-changing transplant could treat dying organs” from National Geographic Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

    A big day for the Federal Reserve

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2022 15:09

    The Federal Reserve raised interest rates today for the first time in three years, and for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, we’re answering your questions about it. Plus, why gas prices are volatile, and how to avoid misinformation and disinformation coming out of Ukraine. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: The Price of Gas: Why It Goes Up and Down from The Balance The truth about gas prices and oil production from The Washington Post Biden demands faster drop in gas prices as oil tumbles from CNN Here’s what the Fed’s expected rate hike means for your wallet from CNBC How to spot false posts from Ukraine from BBC News UkraineFacts.org from the International Fact-Checking Network Fake Or Real? How To Self-Check The News And Get The Facts from NPR Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

    Consolidation is messing with the economy

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 15, 2022 26:10

    Corporate consolidation has been getting a lot of attention lately. But it isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been on the rise since the ’80s, and it’s led to just a handful of companies controlling entire industries and fewer companies out there to deliver goods and services. “One really good example would be health care — this is a pretty concentrated sector in the U.S. economy,” said Kate Bahn, director of labor market policy and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. “[Consolidation] is when there’s hospital mergers … maybe one big management company overarching a whole sort of sector in one location.” But it means a lot more than companies just getting bigger. Corporate consolidation has a big impact on the way our economy is shaped. On today’s show: How corporate consolidation influences wages and consumer prices — and why it calls into question the success of capitalism. In the News Fix, we’ll discuss how a spike in global food prices could trigger unrest around the world and the fate of Sarah Bloom Raskin’s nomination to the Federal Reserve board. (We taped today’s episode before she withdrew her nomination.) Also, listeners celebrate Kimberly’s official spot in the host chair and a debate over who is more introverted! Here’s everything we talked about today: “America’s Monopolies Are Holding Back the Economy” from The Atlantic Kate Bahn’s testimony on corporate power “Ukraine War Could Put Food Security on Pentagon’s Plate” from Government Executive “Manchin Won’t Support Raskin for the Federal Reserve” from The New York Times “Big container ship goes aground in Chesapeake, recalling Suez ordeal” from The Washington Post Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart. 

    “We’re not done yet”

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 15, 2022 16:04

    With everything else going on in the world, it can start to feel like the pandemic is pretty much over. But for What’d We Miss Monday, our hosts highlight new data that suggests COVID-19 could be back on the rise. We’ll have more on that, plus what kind of an announcement we can expect from the Federal Reserve this week. There are also updates on NASA’s latest mission, how the battle over the 2020 election altered local election offices around the country, and what we can learn from key moments throughout the pandemic. Finally, we’ll share a couple of Make Me Smiles from our audience to brighten up the day! Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Russia’s war on Ukraine: A sanctions timeline” from the Peterson Institute for International Economics Are Covid Cases Going Back Up? Sewer Data Has Potential Warning from Bloomberg “Powell Admires Paul Volcker. He May Have to Act Like Him.” from The New York Times “Officials Confirm Several Geomagnetic Storms Are Hitting Earth This Week” from Science Alert This update from NASA on the Artemis project “How Millions of Lives Might Have Been Saved From Covid-19” from The New York Times The gutting of a Georgia elections office that was targeted for takeover by those who believe the 2020 election was a fraud from The Washington Post “‘They're lying to you': Russian TV employee interrupts news broadcast” from The Guardian The tutu-wearing snowboarder and the San Francisco gardening group SF in Bloom from today’s Make Me Smiles! Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

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