Make Me Smart

By Marketplace

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Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 3411
Reviews: 14

Brianne
 Nov 14, 2020
They keep me sane while delivering education about current topics.


 Sep 24, 2020

Alex
 Sep 19, 2020
Love this show!

A Podcast Republic user
 Aug 14, 2020

Aman
 May 29, 2020
This is incredibly essential podcast, coronavirus or not. Kai, Molly and the crew are a joy and cut through the partisan bs straight to the facts.

Description

Each weekday, Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams make today make sense. Along with our supersmart listeners, we break down happenings in tech, the economy and culture. Every Tuesday we bring on a guest to dive deeper into one important topic. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.

Episode Date
What Trevor Noah’s departure says about late-night show biz
00:27:58

After seven years in the host’s chair, Trevor Noah is leaving “The Daily Show” to do more stand-up and touring. We’ll talk about the evolution of the late-night TV business. Plus, a case before the Supreme Court could determine what’s considered the “waters of the U.S.” And, we play a round of Half Full/Half Empty with a surprise guest emcee!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

It’s Half Priced Hoodie Weekend! Get our popular new Make Me Smart or Marketplace hoodie when you contribute $8/month: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn

Oct 01, 2022
What flood insurance?
00:14:03

Hurricane Ian left behind vast destruction in Florida. But what’s actually making the situation worse is the state’s insurance crisis. We’ll explain. Plus, some people who thought their student loans would be forgiven are learning they won’t eligible for President Biden’s relief program after all. And, if you like Fat Bear Week, you’ll love Fat Bear Junior.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We’re in the middle of our fall fundraiser! For a limited time, donate $8 a month and we’ll thank you with the popular new Make Me Smart hoodie. Donate today.

Sep 29, 2022
Why is the U.K. cutting taxes and raising interest rates at the same time?
00:15:25

The United Kingdom’s economy is hurting. But the plan to get it under control — cutting taxes and raising interest rates — is a bit of a head scratcher. We’ll explain why we can’t make this one make sense (well, I guess we can, but the answer is not great). Plus, guest host Reema Khrais answers questions about boycotts and the multilevel marketing world.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question about the economy, business or technology, let us know. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART.

With the midterm elections approaching, help us make everyone smarter about the economy. Donate today.

Sep 29, 2022
The racist backlash over Black characters is a labor story
00:28:34

By now, you’ve probably heard about the racist backlash against the live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” the GOT prequel “House of the Dragon” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” for casting Black actors. But hobbits and dragon riders aside, this is a story about so much more than casting decisions.

“We’re really talking about labor … who gets work gets to work in the entertainment industry. Who gets work as an actor. Who gets work as a director, as a producer,” said Adam Serwer, staff writer at The Atlantic. “And if you’re trying to push companies to be less diverse, in part, what you’re saying is you should not hire Black people, Hispanic people to do these jobs.”

On the show today, Serwer discusses the pressure media companies are under to conform to conservative politics, how it impacts the industry and what it says about this political moment.

In the Newsfix, more from the files of “this is what’s supposed to be happening.” This time, we’ll check in on the housing market and what high mortgage rates are doing to home prices. Then, women everywhere are feeling validated after a new study on COVID-19 vaccines and menstrual periods confirmed what many suspected.

Plus, Kai Ryssdal describes what it was like at Dodger Stadium when Albert Pujols made history with his 700th home run. Also, one writer explains what he got wrong about writing.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

With the midterm elections approaching, help us make everyone smarter about the economy. Donate today.

Sep 27, 2022
The home care worker shortage just got worse
00:17:39

More seniors are aging at home, alone. Today, we’ll explain why the home care worker shortage just went from bad to worse and why we likely blew a chance to fix it. Then, how a 100-year-old law is getting in the way of Puerto Rico recovering from Hurricane Fiona. Plus, spooky airplane sounds. And what’s that really bright star in the sky? Grab your binoculars. You won’t want to miss this!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

With the midterm elections approaching, help us make everyone smarter about the economy. Donate today.

Sep 27, 2022
The economy isn’t cute
00:23:30

Central banks all over the world are on a interest-raising spree. We’ll explain why that raises the risk of a recession. Buckle up, folks! Plus, how a volcano eruption led to the discovery of a new island in the Pacific Ocean. And Kimberly Adams gives us a lesson in pawpaw fruit harvesting!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Got a question for a our hosts? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 24, 2022
Making it easier to get life-saving drugs
00:10:43

Today we’re getting caught up on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Putin’s announced he’ll draft 300,000 Russian reservists to fight in that conflict. Is this the moment we look back on as the moment he overreached? Then, the Food and Drug Administration issued new guidance on some drugs used to reverse opioid overdoses that would make the life-saving drugs more accessible. Also, we got an update from listeners about our SodaStream/beer query!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Sep 22, 2022
How does the Fed’s quantitative (un)easing plan work?
00:18:24

The Federal Reserve continued its interest-rate-raising spree today to help curb inflation. The other thing the Fed has been working on is unwinding its “quantitative easing” program. One listener wants to know how that works. We’ll explain. Plus, why can members of Congress buy and sell stocks so freely? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? We’re wondering the same thing.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Keep sending your questions. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice memo at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 22, 2022
China’s economy is going through a phase
00:32:00

For years, China has been forecast to overtake the U.S. as the world’s top economic superpower. But recently, the second-largest economy has been slowing under its zero-COVID policy. There’s also problems in its housing market, and its currency, the yuan, is falling.

On the show, Jennifer Pak, Marketplace’s China correspondent, makes us smart about China’s standing in the global economy and whether it’s still on track to topple the U.S. from the top spot.

In the News Fix: Supply chain problems aren’t over, and neither is the pandemic. Plus, Hurricane Fiona is still on a tear.

Then, are Make Me Smart listeners trolling the hosts? We’ll also hear about a potential solution to the beer shortage. Fizzless beer, anyone? We’re calling on all cicerones out there!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. Submit your question about money, business or the economy at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice mail at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 20, 2022
Eyes on Puerto Rico
00:13:50

Almost five years after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is reeling (again) after Hurricane Fiona flooded large parts of the island and left it in the dark. We’ll talk about the big mess behind Puerto Rico’s energy problems. Plus, John Kerry: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. And, is a beer shortage on the horizon?

Here’s everything we talked about:

If you’ve got a question, comment or suggestion, let us know. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 19, 2022
Is this our ’80s tribute show?
00:21:25

It’s Friday, and we all wish we could be Ferris Bueller. Well, one reporter actually tried. Kimberly Adams and guest host Amy Scott discuss what happened when said reporter skipped work for a day of fun. Plus, could this be “Phantom of the Opera’s” last hoorah on Broadway? Then, our favorite game stumps the hosts (oops).

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Got a question for a our hosts? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 17, 2022
Republican governors take a page from history
00:19:26

A couple of Republican governors are paying to send migrants to Democratic strongholds, including Washington, D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard. We’ll talk about the history of using people to make political statements. Plus, Patagonia’s founder gave away his company, but the deal might not be what you’re thinking. And, congrats, Lizzo!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Grab a beverage and join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We’ll be on the YouTube livestream starting at 6:30 Eastern time/3:30 Pacific. We’ll have more news, drinks and a game.

Sep 16, 2022
Questions about inflation, questions about the queen
00:16:18

Inflation is still high (sigh), which means the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again next week. One listener is wondering why the Fed has pursued incremental rate hikes as opposed to one jumbo increase. We’ve got answers! Plus, why is the Fed’s inflation target 2% anyway, and what does it have to do with New Zealand? Then, questions about the queen, the Commonwealth and currency!

Here’s everything we talked about:

Keep sending your questions. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice memo at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 14, 2022
These aren’t your grandpa’s high interest rates
00:28:56

High(er) interest rates are here and probably not going anywhere anytime soon. Today’s inflation numbers almost guarantee that the Federal Reserve will raise rates again by another three-quarters of a percentage point.

But it’s been such a long time since the U.S. economy has been in a high-interest-rate environment that many of us are wondering exactly how to navigate our personal finances.

On the show today, we’ll discuss what high interest rates mean for consumers and why they aren’t translating into higher savings rates. As always, consult your own personal finance expert before making financial decisions.

Later, we’ll talk about the latest inflation report and whether child poverty really is getting better. We’ll do the numbers.

Then, stick around to hear what artificial intelligence has to do with French fries, and a philosopher drops some wisdom on us.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. And if you’ve got a question about money, business or the economy, leave us a voice mail at 508-U-B-SMART or email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Sep 14, 2022
COVID is still here. And it’s costing the economy.
00:15:35

COVID-19 has been circulating for well over two years, and new research looks at what the disease has meant for the workforce. Kimberly and guest host Amy Scott dig into it. Plus, who’s in charge of investigating a crash in space? Then, is it too early to start talking about leaf peeping and Halloween? Welp, we’re going to do it anyway.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We’re taking them all. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 12, 2022
Thank you, Black Twitter
00:21:01

We pick up today’s show where we left off yesterday, talking about global reaction to the death of Queen Elizabeth. Plus, we’ll discuss the role of social media in driving counternarratives to stories from mainstream media organizations. Then, we play a round of Half Full/Half Empty. And, corgis FTW!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question about money, business and the economy, give us a shout. We’re at 508-U-B-SMART or email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Sep 09, 2022
Thoughts on the queen, and more
00:11:40

From the death of Queen Elizabeth to lifesaving vaccines, we’re mostly talking about news from the other side of the pond today. Plus, we’ll discuss the economic power of royal fashion, and what’s Jerome Powell thinking? Kai’s got answers!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear how you’re feeling about the death of Queen Elizabeth. Leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART or drop us a line at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Sep 09, 2022
The price of your burrito isn’t going down. Here’s why.
00:16:09

Let’s face it, it’s getting more expensive to eat out these days. One of our listeners noticed the price of his burrito went up by $2 and wonders if it’ll go back down now that inflation is a slowing a bit. Probably not. We’ll explain. Plus, we take your questions about student loan debt relief, electric vehicles and the military, and one of our listeners makes us smart about cherries!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t make this show without you! Keep submitting your questions at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 07, 2022
What’s going on with AI?
00:28:28

Artificial intelligence. It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot. But what are we really talking about?

“Artificial intelligence is not one thing. It’s not a single technology. It’s a term that is applied to all sorts of technologies that vaguely behave like the human brain, and in some cases, aren’t even close to behaving like the human brain,” said Cade Metz, a technology correspondent covering artificial intelligence at The New York Times and author of the book “Genius Makers: the Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook and the World.”

When the artificial intelligence field was created in the 1950s, the aim was to mimic human intelligence. Today, some researchers believe we’re already there or really close. But the thing is, there’s still lots about human intelligence we don’t understand.

On the show today, we’re going to get smart about the state of AI as Metz walks us through how far AI has come, where it’s at, where it’s headed and what it has to do with cat photos!

In the News Fix, Russia is saying the quiet part out loud, and an important marker in the ongoing aftermath of Jan. 6 insurrection.

Then, we’ll hear from a new mom about quiet quitting, and what happened after one listener switched Siri’s voice to the one that sounds like Kimberly. Plus, a TikTok finance wiz answers the Make Me Smart question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. If you’ve got a question you’d like us to answer, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART. 

Sep 06, 2022
The UK’s got a pound problem
00:22:24

There’s another problem to add to the list of issues piling up in the UK right now: The pound sterling took a dive. We’ll discuss the economic situation there and how it compares to what’s happening on this side of the pond. Plus, could Alaska’s voting system help our polarized politics? Then, we play a round of Half Full/Half Empty.

Here is everything we talked about:

We can’t make this show without you. If you’ve got a question, comment or suggestion, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 03, 2022
Our hollowed-out shells make a surprise appearance
00:15:22

Hit the dark place sting, we’re discussing some news stories that got our shells feeling a little hollow. First, residents of Jackson, Mississippi, have no clean water. Though help may be finally on the way, we still have questions. Also, a new survey shows just how devastating the pandemic was for students in the classroom. But we’ve at least got a Make Me Smile, thanks to a listener email on the physics of dragons. Get ready to laugh cry.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you want to send us your delightful voice memos and emails, you can reach us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 02, 2022
Time to talk student loan forgiveness and inflation
00:13:45

Student loan relief is here. But (and this is so awkward), so is inflation, still. One of our listeners wants to know whether the government’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt will make inflation worse. Plus, we’ll take your questions on electric cars, credit scores and LeVar Burton!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question you’d like us to find the answer to, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Sep 01, 2022
Productivity: an early warning sign?
00:28:42

American workers are becoming less productive, which means we’re producing fewer widgets per hour worked. The data shows there’s been drops in productivity for two back-to-back quarters. But the recent slowdown isn’t anything new. While productivity did spike momentarily last year, it’s actually been slowing for more than a decade.

On the show today, we get smart about the productivity slowdown, how the “quiet quitting” phenomenon factors into this trend and what it all means for our economy.

Later, the Federal Reserve is manifesting lower inflation, and the markets are finally getting with the program. A birth control pill for men is in the works, plus could our electric car future mean range anxiety for gas car drivers? And, an answer to the Make Me Smart question that got us all a bit misty-eyed.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

What is something you thought you knew, but later found out you were wrong about? We’re looking for your answers to the Make Me Smart question. Submit yours at makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 30, 2022
We’re going into the dragon’s den
00:12:58

This isn’t your usual “Make Me Smart” episode. From the delayed Artemis space shuttle launch to the decline of crab populations and the weight of dragon eggs, we’re going down a big rabbit hole or, shall we say, into the dragon’s den. Get ready to get smart about the news you probably didn’t hear anywhere else.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We love hearing from you. Write us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 30, 2022
The fight over mRNA tech is on
00:27:37

Today, we’re going to get smart about two legal fights with big implications. First, we get into the weeds of the Mar-a-Lago affidavit. Then, we move to the world of pharmaceuticals, where a lawsuit could determine who owns the future of mRNA technology. And finally, we lighten up the mood with a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We love hearing from you. If you’ve got a question, comment or suggestion, send us a voice memo at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 27, 2022
Bye, gas-powered cars
00:16:21

Picture this: In the not-too-distant future, gas cars will be a thing of the past. This week, California moved to ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. We’ll discuss what it means for our clean-er economic future. Plus, big ups to the person running the White House Twitter account. And, if you paid a fee for being tardy on your taxes, the IRS might be sending you a check.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Grab a beverage and join us Friday for Economics on Tap. We’ll be on the YouTube livestream starting at 6:30 ET/3:30 PT. We’ll have more news, drinks and a game.

Aug 26, 2022
Another solution to our student loan debt problem?
00:15:54

It’s happening! After months of debate, President Joe Biden is forgiving up to $20,000 in student loan debt. One listener wants to know whether the bankruptcy system can offer an alternative solution to the student loan debt crisis. We’ll help break it down. Plus, more of your questions about how congressional staffers get paid, congestion at our ports and hard seltzer.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Have more questions for our hosts? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 25, 2022
It’s raining dark money this election season
00:29:06

Have you heard of Leonardo Leo?

He’s basically a kingmaker in conservative big money politics, and he’s making it rain! His dark money group just received $1.6 billion, what’s believed to be the largest single donation to a political nonprofit, and it’s expected to have an immediate impact on the November midterms.

On the show today, Sheila Krumholz, executive director at Open Secrets, discusses what voters need to know about money in politics before they head to the polls. She explains how political contributions have evolved and why the system is not expected to change anytime soon.

In the News Fix, we’ll talk about the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine and what it has to do with how much it might cost to warm your home this winter. Plus, what’s up with all the pearl clutching over “quiet quitters?”

Then we hear a listener’s hack that’ll save you money in the kitchen. And actor and TV host LeVar Burton (we’re fangirling right now) answers the Make Me Smart question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

What is something you thought you knew, you later found out you were wrong about? We’re looking for your answers to the Make Me Smart question. Submit yours at makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 24, 2022
Growing pains toward a clean energy economy?
00:14:07

Ford announced it’s slashing 3,000 white-collar jobs as part of its transition to electric vehicles. We’ll discuss what the layoffs reveal about our changing economy. Plus, could a free tax filing system finally be in the works at the IRS? Then, want to hear what outer space sounds like? Listen till the end to find out.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear from you. Write us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 23, 2022
Some mortgage lenders call it quits
00:23:18

The housing market has slowed, and that’s caused some mortgage lenders to go out of business. Kai and Amy Scott explain why we’re not in 2008 territory and what to actually take away from this news. Then, in today’s Half Full/Half Empty, we discuss muscle cars, creative inflation compensation, store brands and automatic college admissions!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear from you. If you’ve got a question, comment or suggestion, send us a voice memo at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 20, 2022
Goodbye cable, hello streaming!
00:12:53

We’ve got a lot to talk about today! First, we’re still considering the ways in which the Inflation Reduction Act is going to change our economy. Speaking of change, in July, Americans for the first time spent more time streaming than watching cable. Pause for quick detour into what we’re streaming now. Then, a Make Me Smile for those looking for a solution for hair loss: There might be a pill for that.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap! We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, 3:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Aug 19, 2022
Should we just call the Inflation Reduction Act the “Climate Bill”?
00:17:14

We’re still getting your questions about the newly passed Inflation Reduction Act, and we’ll try to answer them! Like, why is it called the Inflation Reduction Act and what is it actually going to do about inflation? Kimberly and Kai share some insight on that and field a few more questions, like where are we going to get all the water needed to make more semiconductors in the United States? And how do you measure productivity in an economy that doesn’t make as many widgets as it used to?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you have more questions about the Inflation Reduction Act or anything else, send them our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 18, 2022
Reviewing a decade of DACA
00:33:37

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program set up by the Obama administration. Under the program, hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants have received protection from deportation and the opportunity to officially participate in the American economy.

It’s estimated that DACA recipients contribute more than $9 billion in federal, state and local taxes annually.

But DACA was supposed to be a temporary fix in lieu of comprehensive immigration reform. So a decade later, why is it still on shaky legal ground, and where’s the real reform?

“The dollars and cents, the costs and benefits of DACA are very clear in terms of positive impacts to individuals, families and to the broader American economy. But when we think about DACA, it is very much steeped in the broader debate over comprehensive immigration reform. And when we talk about that debate over comprehensive immigration reform, we are talking about a highly political, highly partisan and highly contentious debate over who we are as a country,” said Tom Wong, professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Center at the UCSD.

On the show today, we discuss how DACA has changed the economic lives of recipients, where it stands today and how it’s influencing the broader immigration debate.

In the News Fix, we’ll also discuss the promise of commercial supersonic airplanes and the economics of hearing aids.

Plus, we’ll hear from listeners about DACA, a lesson about inflation for kids and what an EV driver learned about her car.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Have a question for the hosts? Send it our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART. 

Aug 17, 2022
WeWork founder has reentered the chat … how?
00:19:12

Adam Neumann, the guy who built and then nearly drove WeWork into the ground (we’ve talked about it, a lot) just got a ginormous check for his new business venture. We’ll talk about how that’s even possible (see, WeWork?). Plus, gas prices are falling like a feather, and why is China cutting interest rates? Then, the only guide you need to really understand Kai’s favorite type of beer!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Keep sending your voice messages. If you’ve got a question, comment or suggestion, send us a voice memo at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 16, 2022
Mar-a-Lago, here we come
00:28:48

We couldn’t end the week without talking about the story we’ve (quietly) been avoiding: the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. Kimberly and guest host Meghan McCarty Carino explain how the story went from an investigation about classified documents to espionage. Plus, is polio making a comeback? Then, the hosts weigh in on Serena Williams’ retirement, Peloton getting pricier and splooting!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear from you. If you’ve got a question, comment or suggestion, send us a voice memo at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 13, 2022
Welcome to a new phase of the pandemic
00:20:18

Timing is everything. While Kimberly Adams is working from home with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidelines for quarantines, social distancing and testing. Does this mark a turning point in the pandemic? Kimberly joins guest host Meghan McCarty Carino to discuss. Then, private companies use consumer data often without permission, and the government wants to know how you feel about it. Plus, look up at the sky before you go to bed tonight. And, do spiders dream?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap! We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 6:30 p.m. Easter time, 3:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Aug 12, 2022
We answer your questions about the “Inflation Reduction Act”
00:17:39

We’re getting lots of question about the Inflation Reduction Act. We know, weird name for the major climate and tax legislation the Senate passed earlier this week. We’ll explain how Democrats plan to pay for it and what it means for prescription drug prices. Plus, the meaning behind the phrase “paycheck to paycheck.”

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you have more questions about the Inflation Reduction Act, or anything else, send them our way. Our email is makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 11, 2022
Monkeypox and the era of overlapping health crises
00:35:16

Another virus, another public health emergency. Since monkeypox was first detected in the United States in mid-May, the number of confirmed cases has grown to more than 7,500. Is our public health infrastructure equipped to respond while we’re still dealing with the lingering COVID-19 pandemic? On the show today, Kimberly and guest host Meghan McCarty Carino speak with epidemiologist Celine Gounder, about monkeypox, why our public health system is unprepared to handle another crisis and what climate change has to do with this new normal.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question: What is something you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about? Send us a voice memo at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 09, 2022
The complicated economics of electric vehicles
00:18:11

After a little summer hiatus, we’re back and digging into the Inflation Reduction Act — specifically the part that would offer thousands of dollars in tax credits to electric car buyers. But will the incentives actually make EVs more affordable and lead to mass adoption that leads to curbing climate-warming emissions? Kimberly and guest host Meghan McCarty Carino get into it. Plus, a major investigation into the real origins of the government’s family separation policy. Then, it’s a bird … it’s a plane … it’s a slice of salami?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Let us know what’s on your mind. Our email is makemesmart@marketplace.org. You can also leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 09, 2022
From “Million Bazillion”: What is cryptocurrency?
00:30:33

“Make Me Smart” is on summer break this week, but we’re thrilled to share an episode from our sister show “Million Bazillion,” which answers questions kids have about money.

Today’s episode tackles a question many of our grown-up listeners have too: what is cryptocurrency? Join “Million Bazillion” hosts Ryan Perez and Bridget Bodnar as they dive into the complicated world of crypto (you’ll probably recognize some familiar Marketplace folks too).

We’ll be back in your feeds on Monday, Aug. 8. Until then, keep sending your thoughts, comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

Aug 02, 2022
Enjoy the summer, because the Fed drops the hammer this fall
00:19:07

The largest U.S. oil companies reported record revenue for the second quarter. We’re talking a LOT of money here, folks. Guest host Andy Uhler explains. Plus, why this month’s stock market rally means we might expect the Federal Reserve to “drop the hammer” this fall. And we’ve got a round of Half Full/Half Empty! Our hosts weigh in on robotic dead spiders, the CHIPS Act, Choco Tacos, Beyonce’s new album and office parties!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

We’re off all next week, but we’d still love to hear from you! Send your questions, comments or thoughts on the show to us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 30, 2022
Berry, berry, quite contrary
00:17:53

Yes, we know, the GDP numbers are in. The United States reported today a 0.9% drop in gross domestic product in the second quarter. We’ll discuss. Also, Chinese officials expect to miss economic growth targets. On today’s show, Kai Ryssdal and guest host Matt Levin discuss the “squishy” situation China could find itself in. Plus, a bold move from the Federal Trade Commission could signal a new path to regulating Big Tech. Then we’ll wrap up the show with a “berry” delicious Make Me Smile from Down Under!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap! We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 6:30 p.m. Easter time, 3:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Jul 29, 2022
As oil prices drop, consider this!
00:13:33

Today Kai Ryssdal and guest host Samantha Fields answer questions from listeners about negative GDP growth and how the global helium shortage will affect the balloon market. Plus, how to *not* handle an inflation crisis, carnival revenue sharing and some big thoughts on whether the decreasing cost of oil is good news or bad news.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Got a question you’d like us to answer? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 27, 2022
The Fed could use an assist
00:26:08

The Federal Reserve could put a quick end to inflation on its own, economist Claudia Sahm says, but be careful what you wish for. Remember that thing we were talking about yesterday? Sahm, formerly of the Fed and the White House, now the founder of Sahm Consulting, says the central bank can only do so much to tame prices without throwing the economy into recession. For this week’s deep dive, she tells us some ways Congress can pitch in.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Have any thoughts on the show? Something interesting to share, or perhaps an answer to the Make Me Smart question? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 27, 2022
No, we’re not in a recession
00:14:21

Second-quarter reports on the economy are coming in this week, as well as corporate financial results. The expectation is that gross domestic product will take a dip for the second consecutive quarter. But don’t start in with the R-word. Kai and Marketplace’s Amy Scott discuss why this isn’t a recession (seriously). We’ll also discuss some energy news from overseas, including Russia’s decision to restrict its supply of natural gas to Europe. And Kai’s got an opinion on teasers that are “too teasy.”

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Have thoughts or questions for the show? Share them with us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 26, 2022
Tell us what you really think
00:29:38

Get ready for some spicy hot takes. Andy Uhler joins Kai for Economics on Tap and to discuss the state of our food supply, from wheat to hard seltzer, and what low water levels at Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, have to do with high prices at the grocery store. Plus, Kai has something to say about a recent op-ed piece by retired generals. During Half Full/Half Empty, the hosts weigh in on Meta v. Meta and MLB v. the minor leagues, and Kai tells us how he really feels about crypto.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear your spicy hot takes. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 23, 2022
The James Webb Space Telescope is out of this world (rerun)
00:34:44

Hey everyone, we’re taking a short break today, but we’ll be back tomorrow with an all-new Make Me Smart. In the meantime, here’s a deep dive episode you may have missed, all about the James Webb Space Telescope. NASA released its first images earlier this month.

For the first deep dive of 2022, we’re going to space! OK, not really. But we’re talking about the most powerful space telescope ever. The James Webb Space Telescope cost $10 billion, a lot of tech went into developing it and we can’t stop obsessing over it. Neither can our guest.

“I cannot contain my excitement. It’s been a wild roller coaster getting to this point. And to have this telescope now launched in space, it’s just so thrilling for astronomers everywhere,” said Caitlin Casey, professor of astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, who will be leading the biggest project on the JWST.

The telescope is expected to help researchers discover some of the most distant galaxies and study the atmosphere of planets outside our solar system to see if they’re habitable.

On the show today: what the JWST tells us about the future of public and private investment in space exploration.

Casey will also highlight the technological developments created by the JWST and its predecessor, Hubble, and how they’ve impacted industries from medical equipment to GPS technology.

In the News Fix, some companies have stopped predicting when they’ll be back in the office. Plus, an in-depth investigation into the House and Senate members who enslaved Black people. Later, we’ll discuss why some people want to tone down our use of the term “deep dive” and an answer to the Make Me Smart Question from the 2011 Nobel Prize winner in physics.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Jul 21, 2022
Where have all the minivans gone?
00:17:50

Have you heard? Minivans are cool again, and one of our listeners wants to know why she can’t find a minivan for sale at reasonable price. Our minivan-driving host has answers. Plus, we’ll take your questions about ethanol, consumer spending here and abroad, along with how we’re all managing to still go to work amid everything happening around us.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question you’d like us to find the answer to, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 21, 2022
How to end the roller coaster ride of high gas prices
00:29:47

From gasoline prices to decoupage, we’ve got a little bit of everything.

First, let’s start with gas prices. Yes, they’ve been coming down a bit lately, but gas prices are on a roller coaster, and the ride isn’t likely to end anytime soon.

“By participating in this global market for oil and gas, we have hitched our economy to a roller coaster ride that we don’t have any control over. We’re all part of one big market, and a policy change in Beijing or a war in Europe, those have the same effects on our prices as if something had happened here in the U.S.,” said Clark Williams-Derry, an analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

But what if there’s a way off this ride? Is there another way to put our energy economy together that doesn’t take consumers for a spin and shields us from the whims of the global market?

On the show today, the economic and geopolitical forces behind gas prices and why pivoting to renewables might be the only way out.

In the News Fix, we’ll discuss the actions the Biden administration is considering to fight climate change. We’ll also check in on an unusual economic indicator: What’s Apple up to?

Later, if you’re an ’80s music fan, you’ll love this hack a listener shared that he uses at the grocery store checkout line. And, what would you do with old, worthless baseball cards? Help out a fellow “Make Me Smart” listener, will ya? Plus, decoupage, anyone?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a hack you’d like to share, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 19, 2022
What happened to the global tax deal?
00:14:14
Jul 18, 2022
“We’re done. The virus is not done with us”
00:22:10

This is your Friday reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic is still here. Today, the World Health Organization warned about new viruses driving up cases, hospitalizations and deaths around the globe. We’ll discuss the latest wave. You know what else is here? Climate change. The United Kingdom is experiencing record-breaking temperatures. Plus, Kimberly Adams and Kai Ryssdal give us their hot takes on BMW’s heated seats, some frozen treats and more.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear from you. Send us your thoughts or questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 16, 2022
How Social Security deals with inflation
00:14:34

The Social Security Administration is debating how much to increase payments in 2023 due to inflation, and the boost could be the biggest since the ’80s. We’ll explain the obscure measure it uses to calculate its annual cost-of-living increase. Plus, taking the ferry in New York City is about to get more affordable for some riders. And, Worldle meets board games!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join Kimberly and Kai tomorrow for Economics on Tap. We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

Jul 15, 2022
If child care is so expensive, why are child care workers paid so little?
00:16:39

Amy Scott fills in for Kai today to answer listener questions with Kimberly. One listener has a followup question on a Marketplace story from last week about how little child care workers get paid. He wondered, then why is child care so expensive? Where does the money go? We’ll dig into the costs. We’ll also answer your questions about money in politics and what’s behind the baby formula shortage. Then, our hosts give a listener some drink recommendations.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question about money and politics, let us know. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 14, 2022
This is not your grandpa’s union
00:30:25

Labor organizing looks a lot different today.

The workplaces are different compared to decades ago. Think less industrial factories with thousands of workers and more Starbucks, REI and Trader Joe’s with bargaining units of a couple of dozen employees, all organizing one location at a time.

“On one hand, it could be easier because you’ve got a smaller group of people to be making the demands. But then you have this challenge of power … it’s hard when you’re looking at a massive corporation, but you’re organizing it piece by piece,” said Sarah Jaffe, labor journalist and co-host of the podcast “Belabored.”

The AFL-CIO’s goal is to unionize 1 million workers in the next decade. Could organizing smaller workplaces be the path toward reversing decades of declining union membership?

On the show today, what labor organizing looks like in the modern economy, why it’s different from what we saw in the past and what it means for the workplace of 2022 and beyond.

In the News Fix, the wild story of an Olympic athlete and what it says about modern-day slavery. Plus, we’ll tell you about an airport to avoid if you’re traveling this summer. Later, we’ll hear from listeners about deep sighs and coupons, and we’ll make you smart about flapjacks!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Got a question for our hosts? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 12, 2022
Get your euros
00:18:31

If you’re planning a trip to Europe anytime soon, now is the time to exchange your dollars for euros. For the first time in 20 years, $1 is nearly equal to one euro. We’ll talk about what it means for the global economy. Plus, mini-explainers on carry trades and Sri Lankas’s economy. And the moment space geeks have been waiting for: The first image from the James Webb Space Telescope is here, and it’s a beauty! Finally, Kimberly has a 7/11 tradition, and we’re here for it!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear your answers to the Make Me Smart question: What is something you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about? Send them our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message at (508) 827

Jul 12, 2022
“The world’s richest man is a troll”
00:16:49

Not to say, “We told you so,” but we did see this coming. Earlier Friday, Elon Musk announced he was backing out of the deal to purchase Twitter. Twitter’s board of directors has told Musk they’ll see him in court. We’ll discuss the possibility of the deal falling through. Then, some thoughts on a new AP report about election workers who are weighing the decision to return to their jobs at the polls this fall. And what’s a Friday show without a round of Half Full/Half Empty? Our hosts weigh in on state tax rebates, eerie green skies, grocery coupons and a possible Pokémon bubble.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show:

Have any thoughts or questions about the show? We want to hear from you. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 09, 2022
The criminal consequences of Silicon Valley’s “fake it till you make it” culture
00:15:24

“Fake it till you make it” has long been a mantra in Silicon Valley. It’s a culture that often brings financial consequences but very rarely criminal ones. We’ll talk about the significance of the criminal case against the former chief operating officer of the Theranos medical tech company, Sunny Balwani. He and his former romantic partner, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, faced charges of defrauding investors and patients. Speaking of consequences, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin gets sentenced again, this time for violating George Floyd’s civil rights, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces his intention to resign. We have the “purr-fect” tweet on the BoJo saga.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap. We’ll be on the YouTube livestream starting at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. We’ll have more news, drinks and a game!

Jul 08, 2022
Minions are everywhere
00:14:41

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for us to answer questions from you! With “Minions: The Rise of Gru” becoming the latest movie to dominate grocery store advertising, one listener wonders how these massive cross promotions work. We’ve got the inside scoop. Plus, answers to your questions about employers offering to cover abortion costs, El Salvador’s efforts to make bitcoin a national currency, and big news in the world of beer!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Have a question about the economy, tech or culture? Send it our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org. You can also leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 07, 2022
Can capitalism solve climate change?
00:26:00

Capitalism is often talked about as one of the big drivers behind climate change. The belief is that our obsessions with buying stuff and growing the economy have destroyed the planet.

But what if capitalism isn’t the real problem?

“Capitalism only goes in a direction that political choices steer it. And we’ve just made a couple of bad political choices that have caused polluting industries to overpollute,” said Shi-Ling Hsu, D’Alemberte professor at Florida State University College of Law and author of the new book “Capitalism and the Environment: A Proposal to Save the Planet.”

Whether or not you believe capitalism is to blame for our climate crisis, Hsu says we could harness the power of capitalism to get us out of this mess. On today’s show, we’ll talk about the tools that could help us reverse course and why that hinges on having a healthy democracy.

In the News Fix: Is natural gas the new Big Oil? We’ll explain how it’s shaping geopolitics. Plus, our social, political and economic lives may start to look really different depending on where we live, thanks to the Supreme Court.

Later, the debate over how many spaces to use after a period is far from settled. Listeners weigh in. And, what about a Kai-sigh index?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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? Send it to makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 05, 2022
Make Me Smart: Athletic Edition
00:20:04

U.S. officials called for the release of WNBA star Brittany Griner as her trial began in a Russian court Friday. Russia has been accused of wrongfully detaining the All-Star center for political purposes since her arrest in February, just one week before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And there are plenty of questions surrounding the U.S. effort to secure Griner’s return. We’ll look at some of those concerns. Plus, the story behind the annual celebration of a memeworthy contract in baseball. And we’ll send you off into the holiday with a game of Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

We’re off for the Fourth of July on Monday. Join us Tuesday for our deep dive into capitalism and the environment. In the meantime, keep sending your inflation- and non-inflation-related questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jul 02, 2022
How bad is inflation? It depends.
00:13:53

Depending on which inflation numbers you look at, you either believe inflation is bad or really, really bad. So which is it? We’ll discuss the difference between the consumer price index and the personal consumption expenditures index, and why it matters. Plus, the Supreme Court delivers a major blow to environmental regulation. And, we get even smarter about the Mason jar-NASA connection.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap. We’ll be on the YouTube livestream starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time/3:30 p.m. Pacific time. We’ll have more news, drinks and a game!

Your donation powers the journalism you rely on. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.

Jul 01, 2022
Can I help fight inflation and still have fun?
00:16:46

It’s listener question time! A few weeks ago, Kai Ryssdal said consumers who want to help slow our inflated economy should stop spending money. But now one of our listeners wants to know if there’s anything they can do with their disposable income that helps the economy but is also fun. We offer some advice. Plus, the hosts take more of your questions on what role the dark web might play in a post-Roe era, and more than one question about gas prices!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you have a question about business, tech and the economy, send it our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org. You can also 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.

Jun 29, 2022
What to know about affordable housing
00:26:06

Following up on our recent deep dive into the housing crisis, today we’re taking a deeper look at affordable housing. There’s not enough of it in this economy, but getting more built is a hard nut to crack.

But what exactly is affordable housing? And, what’s considered affordable these days?

Experts say there are generally two large buckets. Big “A” affordable housing is publicly subsidized units that are intended for low-income households. Small “a” affordable housing is generally considered housing priced at no more than 30% of a household’s budget.

Either way, there’s a shortage.

“Part of the issue is that after the last recession, we had more higher-income renters who were stuck in the rental market or who chose to stay in the rental market longer. So then we just see rents continue to rise,” said Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, a senior research associate at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, which just released a report on the state of the nation’s housing.

On today’s show, Airgood-Obrycki makes us smart about the realities of America’s affordable-housing crisis and its impact on the broader economy.

In the News Fix, we’ll discuss a new report that may offer clues about where all the affordable homes may have gone. Plus, the Federal Reserve takes consumers’ attitudes about inflation seriously. But it turns out that measuring those attitudes isn’t exactly a hard science. We’ll explain.

Then, we hear from listeners about the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, mortgage rates and old school typing rules.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Do you use two spaces after a period? Let us know. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org. You can also 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.

 

Jun 28, 2022
Post-Roe, business not as usual
00:15:52

After last week’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, we’re tracking the fallout from the business perspective. From CVS to Meta, companies are making changes that may impact reproductive health care. Plus, listen up, space geeks! We’ve got news about NASA’s return to the moon. And, what do Mason jars have to do with space exploration? We’ll make you smart.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear from you. Leave us a question or comment at makemesmart@marketplace.org or at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 27, 2022
“Everything is on the table”
00:23:50

Between today’s Supreme Court ruling on abortion, its recent decision on guns and the Jan. 6 hearings, our democratic system is in a bit of shock. And it might not end anytime soon. On the show today, we’re talking about the Supreme Court’s abortion decision and what it could mean for rights we thought were protected, from contraception to same-sex marriage. Plus, we wrap the week with a round of Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear from you. How are you coping with the deluge of news? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 25, 2022
A vibe check on the economy
00:13:45

It’s not just you. Housing affordability is getting worse. Marketplace’s Amy Scott, who covers housing, is here for a news fix on the state of the market. Plus, the economy is giving us bad vibes, and so is the Supreme Court. Then, would you like to sleep in a giant windowless (fake) potato, or what about a submarine? Finally, why Airbnb listings are about to get wild.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap. We’ll be on the YouTube livestream starting at 6:30 ET/3:30 PT. We’ll have more news, drinks and a game!

Jun 23, 2022
Are recessions normal?
00:22:22

Recessions are on lots of people’s minds these days, including Jerome Powell’s. The Federal Reserve chief told Congress on Wednesday that a recession is a “possibility” as the Fed tries to tame inflation. So today, a listener wonders whether recessions are inevitable in our modern economy. We’ll break it down. Plus, we take more of your questions about the effectiveness of gas boycotts, why the Sunshine State — Florida — isn’t leading on solar energy and Kimberly’s favorite cocktail ingredient, bitters!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Keep sending us your questions. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 23, 2022
Inflation: Nobody really knows what the what
00:33:55

Inflation is the economic story of the day. And, even though it’s been percolating for over a year, last week the inflation story kicked into high gear with the Federal Reserve making big moves to get rising prices under control. So what changed, exactly?

For starters, a combination of reports showing the worse of inflation isn’t over and that consumers expect inflation to keep rising.

“And so, that was one of the reasons why we saw the Fed do, a bigger rate hike than they were originally expecting, said Victoria Guida, who covers the Federal Reserve for Politico. “It wasn’t just because they wanted to get interest rates up faster, it was also sort of a message to the American public: ‘Hey, we’re really serious about getting inflation back down. So, you know, don’t get it into your heads that inflation is going to stay this high forever.'”

On the show today: How the Fed miscalculated inflation, and why we may not know how well the Fed navigated this moment until years down the road. Plus, we’ll answer a couple of your inflation questions.

Later, we’ll discuss how companies are responding to inflation and the scale of China’s surveillance state.

Then, if you have a hard time remembering the weather in Celsius, a listener shares a hack that’ll make you sound smart in front of your friends. And an answer to the Make Me Smart question that has many of us nodding along.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. And if you’ve got a question you’d like us to answer in a future show, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 21, 2022
Will corporate America stand up?
00:30:22

Today we’re looking ahead to next week, when kids 6 months to 5 years old should finally get access to a COVID vaccine. It’s giving us spring 2021 flashbacks. Then we’ll touch on the latest in rising infla — HEY, PAY ATTENTION, THIS IS IMPORTANT! Plus, climate change and the significance of corporate America speaking out about the threats to our democracy. We’ll wrap up the week with a round of our favorite game, Half Full / Half Empty.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We’ll be off Monday to observe Juneteenth. Join us Tuesday for a deep dive about inflation. In the meantime, keep sending your inflation- and non-inflation- related questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 18, 2022
Making sense of the Jan. 6 hearings, Day 3
00:21:03

During today’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, we learned about the role former Vice President Mike Pence played in responding to the insurrection at the Capitol. On the show, the hosts breakdown some of the key testimony and look to history as a guide for what they hope might come next in the hearings. Plus, we’ll introduce you another TikTokker with ridiculous geolocating skills. And good news for the ship that inspired the film “The Goonies”!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’re watching the Jan. 6 hearings, tell us what your biggest takeaways have been so far. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 17, 2022
The Fed hiked interest rates. Here’s what you can do about inflation.
00:13:52

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates today by the largest amount since 1994 to try to get inflation under control. One of our listeners is wondering what the average consumer can do to keep inflation at bay. We’ll offer a potential solution. Plus, we tackle your questions about rent control, private equity and the costs of all those canceled flights.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for us, send it to makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 15, 2022
If you care about the economy, you should care about Jan. 6
00:26:47

For days now, we’ve been talking about something that happened 17 months ago, the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Congressional hearings into the events of that day started last week. The details can feel removed from the day-to-day economic struggles of the average American, but they are crucial.

The Jan. 6 committee wants Americans to “understand that not only what happened was bad, it’s ongoing. This is still a threat to the country, is still a threat to democracy. And that if you do care about the economy, you need to make sure that we have a functioning government to confront those problems in the future too,” said Kyle Cheney, senior legal affairs reporter at Politico.

On the show today, we’re talking about the aftermath of Jan. 6, what may come after the hearings and why this is important for the stability of our democracy and our economy.

Later, we’ll discuss the rising tide of white nationalism and extremism after the arrests of dozens of people who police say were plotting to attack an LGBTQ pride event in Idaho. Also, crypto winter is here! Are the layoffs at Coinbase the first of many?

Plus, listeners weigh in on the housing market and Taco Bell ditching dine-in service. Then, we end the show with a fatherly answer to the “Make Me Smart” question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. If you’ve got a question you’d like our hosts to answer, send it our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 14, 2022
Big lie “big rip-off”
00:14:10

It’s Day 2 of the Jan. 6 hearings, and we’re learning more about the money involved in perpetuating false election claims. On Monday, the panel said the Trump campaign raised $250 million from donors who believed their money was going to investigate potential voter fraud. “The big lie was also a big rip-off,” Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California said. We’ll explain where the money really went. Plus, the markets are getting clobbered. How should the Federal Reserve react? And a fun fact we learned that’ll impress your friends the next time you pop champagne. Cheers!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Got a question or comment for us? Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 14, 2022
Let’s talk about that prime-time Jan. 6 committee hearing
00:22:48

Last night we tuned in to the prime-time airing of the Jan. 6 committee hearing (we’d love to hear your thoughts if you were too). And today we’re going to talk about it. We’ve also got updates on COVID testing for international flyers to the U.S. and a possible falling out between Meta and its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. Then during Half Full/Half Empty, Kai and Kimberly weigh in on financial literacy classes, the Novavax COVID vaccine, converting classic cars into electric vehicles, a new European Union tech rule and Taco Bell’s new drive-thru architecture.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Are you keeping an eye on the Jan. 6 hearings? Send us an email with your thoughts or questions at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 11, 2022
A big “huh?” moment in crypto regulation
00:20:59

This week, U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York introduced a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies. Then, they went on TV pumping up bitcoin. We’ll explain why that’s not cool, starting with the fact that, according to her financial disclosures, Lummis is a big-time crypto investor. Consult your own financial advisers, and think twice before investing in crypto via your retirement account. Plus, tonight’s Jan. 6 committee hearings are this generation’s Watergate moment. Will you be watching? And, are UFOs real? NASA wants to find out.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about today’s show or anything else that’s on your mind. You can reach us at makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 10, 2022
Where do the terms “bear” and “bull” markets come from?
00:16:44

A major stock index entered “bear” market territory recently. One of our listeners is wondering why we call it a “bear” or “bull” market and where those terms come from. We have some answers. Plus, more of your questions about gun manufacturing, the Federal Reserve and why the heck Mariah Carey is getting sued over her holiday hit “All I Want For Christmas Is You” almost 30 years after it was released?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you have a question you’d like us to find the answer to, send it our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 08, 2022
America’s housing crisis is bananas
00:26:01

This country had a problem with housing before the pandemic. But it got real bananapants in the midst of it.

A large part of why we’re in this mess comes down to supply and demand. There’s just not enough homes to go around, which is driving up prices. Housing prices are up 20% from last year, and experts say we need up to 6.8 million units to meet demand.

So if it’s a supply problem, why can’t we just build more homes?

“Builders like to talk about the three L’s that go into housing: land, labor and lumber. And all of those things are harder to get. And more expensive,” said Amy Scott, a senior correspondent at Marketplace who covers housing.

On today’s show: Amy explains how we got here and why solving the housing shortage is a lot more complicated than it sounds.

In the News Fix, as the Jan. 6 committee prepares for public hearings this week, authorities continue to make arrests in connection with the attack on the Capitol. Plus, we’re talking stagflation.

Then, we’ll hear from an educator who is rethinking the teaching profession. And, who knew so many of you loved popcorn?!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

When you’re done listening, send us your answer to the “Make Me Smart” question. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org and (508) 827- 6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 08, 2022
The cost of our comfort
00:16:49

There’s a lot competing for our attention these days, from the Jan. 6 committee hearings that get underway this week to the aftermath of the massacre in Uvalde, Texas. On the show today, we discuss whether our ability to turn away from seeing horrific images and witnessing history has a price. Plus, the Elon Musk-Twitter saga continues.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Let us know what you think about today’s show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or call us at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B- SMART.

Jun 07, 2022
The lobbyists who spend more money on gun rights than the NRA
00:24:15

Move over, NRA. There’s a new gun rights group that’s spending more money on lobbying Congress. On the show today, we’re talking about the National Shooting Sports Foundation and its surprising connection to Kimberly’s neighborhood bar. Plus, more crypto scams, and a Texas teen wins the national spelling bee. C-o-n-g-r-a-t-u-l-a-t-i-o-n-s-!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

When you’re done listening to the show, tell us what’s on your mind. Send us an email at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 04, 2022
Enter, Judge TikTok
00:20:23

We’re not huge celebrity news watchers, but we just couldn’t avoid the coverage of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial. This week, a jury sided with Depp and awarded him $15 million in damages. Today, we’ll unpack how the case played out on social media platforms and what it could mean for the future of the #MeToo movement. Plus, the baby formula shortage is still really bad. And Ukraine might be headed to the World Cup. Gooooal!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

What cultural norms have you become smart about? Email us makemesmart@marketplace.org or call us at 508-827-6278 or 508-U-B-SMART.

Jun 03, 2022
Does inflation disprove Modern Monetary Theory?
00:18:12

Regular listeners of this podcast might recall an episode we did a few years back on Modern Monetary Theory. MMT is the economic theory that basically says a country that controls its own currency can’t go broke because it can always print more money. But with inflation at 8.3%, one listener is wondering whether rising prices disproves MMT. We call the expert on MMT to find out. Plus, we take your questions about how canceling student loan debt might affect the wealth gap, using a single world currency and the economic consequences if part of Oregon really secede to Idaho.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you have a question for our hosts, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at (508) 827-6278 or (508) U-B-SMART.

Jun 01, 2022
Can America fix its gun problem?
00:28:26

After the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, it’s easy to feel discouraged about guns in America because we’ve been here before, and little has changed.

But one person who remains hopeful in times like these is Dr. Garen Wintemute. He heads the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, and has been studying gun violence for decades.

“Violence is a health problem,” he said. “It kills more people than motor vehicle injuries. And, yes, I’m constitutionally hopeful. But my hope is born out of having done this for 40 years.”

On the show today, Wintemute walks us through some of the policies that could make a real difference, from “red flag” laws to universal background checks, and discusses why this time could be different despite the gun control gridlock in Washington.

In the News Fix, the nation’s highest court is going to great lengths to find the person who leaked the draft opinion on overturning Roe v. Wade. Plus, if you’re tired of paying high gasoline prices, get used to it. We’ll explain why.

Then, listeners sound off on Uvalde, and we all get smart about bourbon!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

May 31, 2022
When President Trump almost pushed gun control
00:23:11

At the end of a long week, it’s Friday. We talk about what changed then-President Donald Trump’s mind following his call for gun control after a shooter killed 23 people at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart. Plus, baseball teams use their social media platforms to speak out about gun violence. Before we go, our hosts ponder sharks, farmyard pets and more in a game of This or That.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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.

May 28, 2022
Police response to Texas school shooting draws scrutiny
00:15:56

In today’s show, we’re talking about the aftermath of the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. As further details emerge, law enforcement’s response during the shooting is raising questions. We’ll be watching for more information about the timeline of events. Plus, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s open to working with Democrats to address gun violence. But the Senate is adjourned for a week in observance of Memorial Day. Finally, we get a much-needed smile out of an interesting idiom.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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.

May 27, 2022
Let’s talk about the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas
00:18:45

The country is reeling from yet another mass shooting. A gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, yesterday, killing 19 children and two adults. We’re shifting from our usual Wednesday show because all we can ask is: “How are we here again?” The answers are not satisfying.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

May 25, 2022
Money isn’t leaving politics any time soon
00:30:13

Remember the Supreme Court case we talked about last week, Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate? Yeah, we’re doing a deep dive on it today.

At the heart of the case is an obscure campaign finance rule that limits the amount of post-election day contributions that can be used to recoup personal loans a candidate makes to their campaign. It was intended to crack down on corruption. But the court sided with Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, and said the law is unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.

On the show today, Weiner talks about what this means for the midterm elections, the future of campaign finance and this court’s approach to the First Amendment.

Then, sales of new homes fell to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. We’ll explain why this is exactly what we’d expect to be happening in the economy right now.

Plus, if you’ve forgotten some of the faces you’ve met over Zoom during the last two years, you’re not alone. Listeners have a name for that phenomenon. We’ll also get smart about lifetime warranties and bear spray!

May 24, 2022
Budgets show our priorities
00:19:09

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:

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.

May 24, 2022
What bear markets of the past can tell us about today
00:20:47

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:

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.”

May 20, 2022
Are slowing home sales a sign of things to come?
00:20:07

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:

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.

May 19, 2022
When the stock market tanks, where does the money go?
00:14:03

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:

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.”

May 19, 2022
The trouble with crypto
00:28:30

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!

May 17, 2022
It’s not partisan to call out white supremacy
00:20:11

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:

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.

May 17, 2022
Political campaigns are secretly talking to PACs
00:24:00

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:

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.”

May 14, 2022
We learn (some of) what Jerome Powell is thinking
00:12:48

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:

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.

May 12, 2022
Where do electric car batteries go when they die?
00:16:39

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:

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.”

May 11, 2022
What we need to know about Title 42
00:31:36

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.

May 10, 2022
Is crypto ready for mom and pop investors?
00:22:44

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:

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.

May 09, 2022
We won’t make you wait for the book
00:21:19

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.

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.”

May 06, 2022
*Looks at stock market* Everyone, take a deep breath.
00:19:16

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.

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.

May 06, 2022
If inflation has peaked, why are we still raising interest rates?
00:19:10

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:

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).

May 04, 2022
What happened to the Federal Reserve’s inclusive employment goal?
00:32:27

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:

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.

May 04, 2022
Immigration is (still) a labor market story
00:15:54

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.

May 02, 2022
Elon Musk is ponying up Tesla stock to buy Twitter
00:23:24

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:

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.

Apr 30, 2022
Wait, the Russians are making MORE money on oil?
00:16:45

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:

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.

Apr 29, 2022
What your grocery store is telling us about supply chains
00:17:25

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:

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).

Apr 28, 2022
The American (rental) dream?
00:26:41

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:

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.

Apr 27, 2022
I guess Elon wasn’t joking about Twitter
00:15:27

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:

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.

Apr 26, 2022
Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill could soon be easier to find
00:23:43

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:

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.

Apr 23, 2022
Corporations are doing just fine, thank you
00:19:13

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).

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.

Apr 22, 2022
The Federal Reserve isn’t setting your mortgage rate
00:14:22

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:

Apr 21, 2022
The economic case for taking in refugees
00:28:27

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. </p>

Apr 20, 2022
Treasury Department issues “cry for help”
00:15:54

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:

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.

Apr 19, 2022
Layoffs reach record lows, and other thoughts
00:22:48

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:

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.

Apr 16, 2022
EU looks to break from Russian energy
00:16:18

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:

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.

Apr 14, 2022
Russia’s ruble is strong … for now.
00:17:39

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:

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).

Apr 14, 2022
Cities are chasing crypto. But why?
00:22:27

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:

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.

Apr 13, 2022
Don’t put your mask away yet
00:13:43

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:

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.

Apr 12, 2022
The wave of anti-transgender legislation is an economic story
00:22:30

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:

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.

Apr 09, 2022
Buying a house? In this economy?
00:18:59

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:

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.

Apr 08, 2022
More money, more problems?
00:16:30

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)!

Apr 07, 2022
How the Fugitive Slave acts and new “bounty hunter” bills are alike
00:30:17

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:

Apr 05, 2022
Everything comes back to politics
00:14:31

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:

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).

Apr 05, 2022
Amazon workers vote to unionize in Staten Island
00:24:30

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:

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).

Apr 02, 2022
The lowdown on our backup oil
00:15:54

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:

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).

Apr 01, 2022
The reason inflation is so hard to solve this time
00:18:45

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:

Mar 31, 2022
Is our economy ready for long COVID?
00:24:52

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:

Mar 30, 2022
Biden is not hiding his opinion of Putin
00:21:34
Mar 29, 2022
The “don’t sleep on this news” edition
00:20:03

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:

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).

Mar 26, 2022
Uber riders may be seeing yellow (cabs)
00:12:02

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:

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).

Mar 25, 2022
The not-so-easy thing about taming inflation
00:16:47

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:

Mar 24, 2022
There’s still money to be made in Russia
00:15:55

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:

Mar 22, 2022
The White House is prepared for long-term inflation and supply chain issues
00:17:38

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:

Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

Mar 22, 2022
One eye on the commodity markets, folks
00:20:32

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:

Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

Mar 19, 2022
States move to limit telehealth options for women seeking abortion pills
00:15:25

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:

Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

Mar 18, 2022
A big day for the Federal Reserve
00:15:09

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:

Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

Mar 17, 2022
Consolidation is messing with the economy
00:26:10

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:

Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart. 

Mar 15, 2022
“We’re not done yet”
00:16:04

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:

Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

Mar 15, 2022
Anti-LGBTQ measures draw the ire of big business
00:26:29

Kimberly Adams is officially a co-host, and it’s only right we pour a glass and celebrate with some Economics on Tap! First, we discuss businesses joining the political battle against anti-LGBTQ moves in Florida and Texas. But is it too little too late? Then, Stoli Vodka sets the record straight. And, it wouldn’t be Friday if we didn’t end the show with a round of Half Full/Half Empty!

This week, we’ve got a special edition of the Make Me Smart question: What is something you thought you knew that you later found out you were wrong about regarding the pandemic? Send your answers or anything else on that’s on your mind at makemesmart@marketplace.org! Or leave us a voicemail at 508-UB-SMART (508-827-6278)!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support Make Me Smart.

Mar 12, 2022
How many chips come in a bag of chips?
00:16:02

There’s a lot of news to cover today, so pull up a seat. We’ll talk about some of the recent state legislation in Florida and Texas targeting LGBTQ families and the European Union’s plan to end its reliance on Russian gas. Also, inflation is coming for your bag of chips, but not the way you might think. And dear listener, make sure you listen to today’s Make Me Smile for a big announcement we’re excited to share!

Here is everything we talked about on the show today:

Keep independent journalism going strong. Give today to support “Make Me Smart.”

Mar 11, 2022
Oligarchs and taxes and bonds, oh my!
00:16:50

Today we’re answering questions that get at those knock-on economic effects of Russia’s war with Ukraine we’ve been talking about recently on the show. One listener wonders about gas tax revenue. Another wants to know: What is an oligarch, and why should I care? We’ll tell you that, plus dig into some specifics about the bond market and provide clarification about Fed chief Jay Powell’s magic keyboard.

If you’ve got a question you want us to answer next time, send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

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Mar 10, 2022
There’s an information war going on, too
00:29:02

There are no winners in the war in Ukraine. Civilian casualties are mounting as Ukrainians resist Russian invaders. But on social media, things are playing out differently. Laura Edelson, a misinformation researcher and co-director of the Cybersecurity for Democracy project at NYU, says Ukraine is winning the information war. On today’s show, she makes us smart on why that is, where platforms have fallen short in protecting users and what regular folks can do to protect themselves instead. Plus: rising gas prices, eggcorns and a festive answer to the Make Me Smart question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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Mar 09, 2022
Calls continue to stop buying Russian oil
00:14:17

It’s Monday, and we’re getting caught up on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, COVID-19 here at home and more. As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reaches its second week, political pressure is mounting in the United States to stop the purchase of Russian oil. Another Russia-related story about a WNBA player detained in that country highlights pay disparities in the U.S. Plus, another round of COVID tests are available for home delivery, and a White House report on how consolidation has affected wages. Finally, before we let you go, we’ve got a Make Me Smile that’s simply eel-ectric!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

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Mar 08, 2022
Demand for dollars is stable for now
00:17:50

It’s the end of the week, and we’re settling in for Economics on Tap! We’ll close the loop on some questions we raised earlier about the Federal Reserve and swap lines and explore a story on a group of hospitals teaming up to bring affordable insulin to patients. And of course, a round of the game we’re all here for — Half Full/Half Empty! Our hosts offer their thoughts on the State of the Union speech, dynamic pricing for “The Batman,” Hollywood’s silver screen obsession with Uber and Theranos, and a “Reading Rainbow” reboot!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

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Mar 05, 2022
We’re still buying Russian oil, but why?
00:13:36

It’s Hollowed-Out Shell Thursday, and while we’re not feeling totally empty, we’re a little confused about the state of the energy market in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia faces sanctions from the West in everything from retail to sports, but the United States says it has no plans to stop buying Russian crude oil. The Biden administration wants to limit disruptions to the global energy supply, but we still have questions. Next, we examine whether this moment of energy uncertainty will accelerate a global shift to clean energy. To wrap things up, our hosts share a welcome Make Me Smile, and a crafty one!

Have a question for our hosts? Did you see something that made you smile? Share it with us! Email or send a voice memo to makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278 (508-U-B-SMART)!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

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Mar 04, 2022
Modern war and the globalized economy
00:16:26

For Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, we asked for all your economic and tech questions about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. One listener wonders if we should be worried about cyberattacks becoming a large part of Russia’s strategy. Or will the country try to pivot to crypto (can they even do that?)? Then, our hosts help us figure out what exactly SWIFT is, following the global financial system’s removal of certain Russian banks. And we’ll find out what China’s role in all of this could be.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

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Mar 03, 2022
Let’s talk about Ukraine
00:27:57

There’s only one story we wanted to do a deep dive into this week: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The conflict has escalated in recent days. It’s a humanitarian story, an economic story and a story of history.

Someone who is well familiar with that history is Francis Fukuyama, a political scientist at Stanford University. Fukuyama is known for his 1992 book, “The End of History,” in which he argued that the great ideological battles between East and West are effectively over.

On the show today, we check in with Fukuyama about that concept, given today’s context and the significance of a land war on the European continent.

“One of the reasons that people have paid special attention to Ukraine is that it sets an important precedent for what will happen in East Asia,” he said. “Ukraine may be kind of a dry run for how much resistance there’s going to be to what’s happening in that theater. The biggest challenge to current world order actually is not Russia, but it’s China, simply because Chinese power is much more multidimensional than Russian power.”

In the News Fix, we discuss Western media coverage of the conflict in Ukraine and how it compares to coverage of conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Plus, the U.S. is the world’s top oil producer, so why does it still import oil from Russia? We’ll explain.

Later, we hear from a listener who paid a big price for a cheap app. And we get an answer to the Make Me Smart question that has us wondering about a linguistic phenomenon. (Hopefully you can help us.)

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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Mar 01, 2022
Everyone’s going to be looking for dollars
00:15:53

This What’d We Miss Monday, we catch up on the conflict in Ukraine, including the ugly reality that economic sanctions against Russia hurt its individual citizens. And that’s the point. The West is betting economic collapse will turn those citizens against Vladimir Putin. Also today: what’s next from the Federal Reserve, and a new report that warns humanity and nature are running out of time to adapt to climate change. Ready for a Make Me Smile? We’ve got one that’s appropriately banana pants.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show:

If you haven’t signed up for the Make Me Smart newsletter, now is the time! Sign up for it (or any other from Marketplace) by today, and you’ll be entered to win a Vintage Kai T-shirt, signed by Kai.

Did you see something that made you smile? Share it with us! Email or send a voice memo to makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message. We’re at 508-827-6278 (508-U-B-SMART)!

Mar 01, 2022
Americans are ready to pay for sanctions on Russia
00:19:26

Today, there’s still really only one story, and that’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For a hint about American attitudes toward the conflict, we look to a fresh Washington Post-ABC poll that found that two-thirds of Americans support imposing economic sanctions on Russia for its actions. About half say they would support sanctions even if they result in higher energy prices in the United States. Plus, Kimberly shares some of her thoughts on the future of American jurisprudence following the historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Economics on Tap without a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty! We discuss the end of 3G, the return of “Law & Order,” Kai not getting “The Office” and pandemic updates.

If you haven’t signed up for the Make Me Smart newsletter, now is the time! Sign up for that excellent missive (or any other from Marketplace) by Monday, and you’ll be entered to win a Vintage Kai T-shirt, signed by Kai himself!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Feb 26, 2022
On Russia, “don’t assume a rational actor”
00:14:35

Things are pretty hollow on this Hollowed-Out Shell Thursday. After weeks of posturing, Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Wednesday night. We can’t predict what’s going to happen next, but we can guess on the probable economic ripples. We’ll end with a surprisingly divisive Make Me Smile.

Sign up for the Make Me Smart newsletter (or any other Marketplace newsletter) by Feb. 28 and be entered to win a signed Vintage Kai T-shirt.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Feb 25, 2022
So whaddya wanna know about inflation?
00:14:21

It’s Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, and Kai’s flying solo today, focusing on your inflation questions. Like which grocery store items are used to calculate inflation numbers? Could lifting the tariffs on China lower prices at the cash register? Is what we’re seeing really inflation or plain old corporate greed?

Have a question you want answered next week? Email or send a voice memo to makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message. We’re at 508-827-6278 (508-U-B-SMART)!

Sign up for the Make Me Smart newsletter (or any other Marketplace newsletter) by Feb. 28 and be entered to win a signed Vintage Kai T-shirt.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Feb 24, 2022
How do we fix our credit scoring system?
00:27:21

Credit scores are supposed to indicate how likely it is that someone will pay back money they borrowed. And credit scores matter — a lot. If you want to participate fully in this economy, you’ll probably need credit to buy a car or get housing and, in some cases, even to get a job. And yet, the current credit scoring system leaves lots of people out in the cold. About 26 million Americans are considered “credit invisible,” meaning they have no credit history.

“Anything that starts with good intentions, but that doesn’t have a whole lot of public accountability around it, will go off the rails,” said Frederick Wherry, professor of sociology at Princeton and director of the Dignity and Debt Network. Today’s credit scores were designed to make lending more fair by using data to determine who should have access to credit. But there’s still lots of inequity baked into the system.

On the show today, we delve into the mystery behind credit scoring and why some people think it’s time to rethink how we measure creditworthiness.

Share how your credit score has affected you with our sister show, “Marketplace Tech.”

And, there’s still time: Sign up for the “Make Me Smart” newsletter (or any other Marketplace newsletter) by Feb. 28 and be entered to win a signed “Vintage Kai” T-shirt.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Feb 23, 2022
Classified documents were where now?
00:23:39

Grab your drinks and settle in, folks. It’s time for a little Economics on Tap! On today’s show, we’ll discuss the National Archives revealing that classified materials were recovered from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property. Then, Kai and Kimberly dive into the troubling reactions to an ice skating final at the Winter Olympics, and the latest on a potential land war in Europe. Then things get a little musical during a round of our game Half Full/Half Empty (with a surprise host!).

Sign up for the Make Me Smart newsletter (or any other Marketplace newsletter) by Feb. 28 and be entered to win a signed Vintage Kai T-shirt.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Got any questions, comments or concerns? An answer to the Make Me Smart question? Email it to us: makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message. We’re at 508-827-6278 (508-U-B-SMART)!

Feb 19, 2022
“The virus is no longer in charge of the economy”
00:11:36

Earlier today, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a “next phase” pandemic plan that includes easing restrictions and focusing on prevention and readiness for any future COVID-19 surges. Plus, a couple of shell-shaking climate updates and some auto-related Make Me Smiles to wrap up this Hollowed Out Shell Thursday.

Sign up for the Make Me Smart newsletter (or any other Marketplace newsletter) by February 28th and be entered to win a signed Vintage Kai T-shirt.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Feb 18, 2022
Do economic sanctions work in a crypto world?
00:15:28

On this Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, we’ve got a listener question about how effective U.S. economic sanctions are when cryptocurrency can be used to evade them. Then we look at what’s causing the nursing shortage — COVID-19 isn’t the only reason. Plus, Kai Ryssdal fields a question about his career in the foreign service.

Do you have a question you want us to answer? You can send us a voice memo or call us at 508-UB-SMART (508-827-6278). You can also email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Feb 17, 2022
The moral hazard of solar geoengineering
00:26:26

As the threat of climate change grows, expect to hear more about solar geoengineering.

It came up during our recent episode with sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, and it involves spraying tiny particles into the stratosphere to deflect the sun’s rays away from the Earth and cool the planet.

“It’s a pretty old idea and it has run into such opposition, in terms of research, that we have yet to have any rigorous tests of whether it is even, you know, remotely possible,” said Elizabeth Kolbert, a climate journalist and author of “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future.”

Critics still believe the risks outweigh potential benefits, but that hasn’t stopped others from supporting the idea as a potential solution to our climate woes.

On the show today, the promise and peril of solar geoengineering.

In the News Fix, we’ll discuss a historic settlement between Sandy Hook families and gun manufacturer Remington Arms. Also, we’ll explain why billionaire philanthropists are a social policy issue.

Then we’ll hear from listeners about last week’s episode on the NFL racial discrimination lawsuit, and we’ll have an answer to the Make Me Smart question that will teach you something about weather forecasting!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

 

Feb 16, 2022
Oil markets eye Russia-Ukraine tensions
00:16:21

Things could get weird in the world of oil if Russia follows through on an invasion of Ukraine, analysts warn. Our hosts discuss how the market might react. Plus, we’ve got plenty of updates on the Winter Olympics and the Freedom Convoy at the Canadian border, and we’ll check into the rocket headed for the moon. Stay to the end to catch our Make Me Smiles.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Got a question for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday? You can email a note or send a voice memo to makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or, you can call and leave a voice message at (508)-827-6278 (508-UB-SMART)!

Feb 15, 2022
Millions of parents, a collective scream
00:23:08

On this edition of Economics on Tap, we’ll get into the whiplash that some parents experienced today after the Food and Drug Administration reversed course on when it might authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5. Plus, more news from the border of Ukraine as President Joe Biden advises Americans in the area to leave as soon as possible. And to kick off the weekend, we’ve got a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty, featuring electric trucks, members of Congress trading stocks and a puzzling choice over augmented snacks.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

If anything makes you smile over the weekend, or if you have questions or comments, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message. We’re at 508-827-6278 (508-UB-SMART. )

Feb 12, 2022
An important next step for #MeToo
00:15:58

Today we’ll talk about some big news on the #MeToo front — Congress approved a new bill that guarantees legal recourse in courts to employees who have experienced sexual harassment at work. We’ll also talk about the latest in the fight for student athlete rights and how rising rents play into inflation. We’ll end with some Make Me Smiles, including zoo fundraisers and an update on our favorite Zoom cat-astrophe!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Feb 11, 2022
Why do CEOs get paid so much?
00:12:50

In 1965, the ratio of CEO-to-average-worker compensation was 21:1. In 2020, that number had skyrocketed to 351:1. One listener wondered: “How has that gap grown so wide?” We answer that, plus why gas prices list the tenth of a cent and if unlimited vacation is all it’s cracked up to be on this Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Feb 10, 2022
The Rooney Rule didn’t save the NFL
00:35:50

Super Bowl weekend is almost here, and while the National Football League would probably like us to talk about the big game, we’re discussing its hiring practices.

Last week, the recently fired head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Brian Flores, filed a lawsuit against the NFL alleging, among other things, that it discriminates against Black coaches. Currently, there’s one Black head coach in the league.

The Rooney Rule was supposed to increase diversity within coaching staffs by requiring teams to interview at least one minority job candidate. But not much has changed in the two decades since that rule has been in place.

“People in other industries brought the Rooney Rule to their industries because they saw it in the NFL. And so if you have the place where the rule was essentially born falling down in the job with respect to implementing the rule, then there’s going to be less confidence in the rule elsewhere,” said N. Jeremi Duru, professor of sports law at American University and author of the book “Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL.”

In the News Fix, we’ll stick with today’s sporty theme and talk about Olympic gold medalist skier Eileen Gu and how she’s managed to walk a political tightrope amid tensions between the U.S. and China. Also, we’re keeping an eye on the U.S.-Canadian border.

Later, a shoutout to Kimberly’s hometown and a special announcement about our Economics on Tap YouTube livestream.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Feb 09, 2022
Base salaries boom for Amazon’s corporate, tech workers
00:17:52

On Monday, Amazon increased the base pay cap for some of its employees. Tech and corporate workers will see their base salaries rise from $160,000 to $350,000. In an internal memo, the company announced it hopes to offer more competitive compensation compared to other big tech companies. With Amazon being one of the world’s largest employers, we wonder what effect it could have on wages throughout the tech industry as well as for the rest of its own employees. We’ll also catch you up on the weekend’s news, including a White House update on Russia. Plus, a Make Me Smile that’s just our type!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Feb 08, 2022
The untold story behind January’s jobs report
00:20:41

January’s employment report was released Friday morning, and it showed the U.S. economy added 467,000 jobs last month. The headline numbers were a pleasant surprise, but a closer look revealed troubling statistics for women hoping to return to the workforce. We discuss that and other takeaways over a nice adult beverage for Economics on Tap. Plus, a round of our Friday favorite, Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

If anything makes you smile over the weekend, or if you have questions or comments, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or leave us a voice message. We’re at 508-827-6278 (508-UB-SMART).

Feb 05, 2022
Why this year’s Super Bowl ads might hit different
00:13:36

With the big game just around the corner, the broadcast world’s attention turns to the commercials. Advertisers are looking for a return to the upbeat tone of years past. We’ll guess about the efforts to stand out from the pack that we might expect during this year’s gridiron epic. Plus, we hollow out our shells while discussing the White House’s handling of the media and hard data on the national debt. We’ll end the show with two Make Me Smiles — one from Down Under, and one that’s out of this world.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Don’t forget, our newsletter drops every Friday. Sign up at Marketplace.org/newsletters.

Feb 04, 2022
Where do our donated clothes end up?
00:17:13

Every year, Americans donate millions of pounds of clothing to Goodwill, including one of our listeners, who wondered, “When I drop stuff off at Goodwill, where does it go?” We’ve got an answer for that one, as well as more listener questions about  economic sanctions and a predictable story about a common and increasingly pricey cooking ingredient.

Here’s a look at everything we talked about on the show today:

Do you have a question you want us to answer next? Share it with us! You can send us a voice memo or call us at 508-UB-SMART (508-827-6278). You can also email us— just send it to makemesmart@marketplace.org!

Feb 03, 2022
What you need to know now about inflation
00:32:43

The last time we took a longer look at inflation, economists were still trying to figure out if rising prices would be temporary or whether they’d be sticking around for a while.

Well, inflation is here. It’s now at a 40-year high, and the Federal Reserve is getting ready to raise interest rates to curb demand and — in theory — prices. So what now?

“Service sector inflation, it’s looming,” said Betsey Stevenson, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan and member of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama.

Stevenson said while inflation in the goods sector will likely work itself out, what scares her the most is inflation in the service sector of the economy, an area where prices haven’t risen that much.

On today’s show, we’ll talk about what’s driving inflation, the long-term effects it could have on our economy and what policymakers can do to get it under control.

In the News Fix, we’ll talk about what inflation looks like in the rental market and why former President Donald Trump continues to have a grip on the Republican Party.

Then, we’ll hear from listeners about the metaverse, tips on where to use the loo when you’re road tripping across America and an answer to the Make Me Smart question that puts a really fine point on our look at inflation and the supply chain.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Feb 02, 2022
A different pandemic for parents
00:18:36

On Monday, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration for anyone over the age of 18. It’s the second vaccine the FDA has approved for use by adults, but parents seeking official guidance for children under 5 are still left with plenty of questions and not many answers. Then we catch up on the news we missed over the weekend, including Spotify’s response to the Joe Rogan controversy, a racist smear campaign against a presidential nominee for the Federal Reserve Board and how fashion brands could be edging toward the end of consumer-friendly seasonal sales. Plus, we have serious fun with a couple of interactive projects and a musical Make Me Smile!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

What’s making you smile this week? Let us know. Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278)

Feb 01, 2022
Has this economy changed how you shop?
00:22:50

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for some Economics on Tap! Today we’re wondering if all the talk about supply chain problems six months ago changed our shopping habits and pondering the growing popularity of circus performers on TikTok. Plus, a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Have thoughts on today’s show? Questions, comments, concerns? Send us an email at makemesmart@marketplace.org or give us a call at 508-827-6278 (or 508-U-B-SMART) and leave a message!

Jan 29, 2022
The economy’s growing, but the pandemic’s still here
00:15:12

Apple announced it had a great quarter, and GDP grew last year, too. But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Gross domestic product has its limitations, and Kai talks about what he looks for when he wants to know how our economy is doing. Plus, our shells are feeling a little hollow following a grim reminder of the pandemic’s impact heading into year three. So to end the show, we’ve got a Make Me Smile that will hopefully make you dance!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Don’t forget, our newsletter drops every Friday. Sign up at Marketplace.org/newsletters.

Jan 28, 2022
New year, new supply chain?
00:20:25

The Lunar New Year is next week, and one listener wonders whether the traditional break that Chinese workers take might help our supply chain struggles. Then, we’ll answer some of your questions about the Free Filing program from the IRS and explore the growing anti-work movement. And Marielle finally shares that cauliflower smoothie recipe!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Got a question? Send us a voice memo. Or call us at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

Jan 27, 2022
Let’s get smart about the metaverse
00:28:05

Last week, we spoke with sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson. He’s the guy who coined the term “metaverse” in 1992 to describe a 3D virtual world where people interact through avatars.

Today, the term is being thrown around a lot by tech and gaming companies that say they’re building the real metaverse. You probably noticed Facebook even changed its name to Meta and has really doubled down on this concept. And cue Microsoft, announcing its deal with Activision last week, saying it will provide the building blocks for the metaverse.

But what is the metaverse, and how real is it?

“The conceptual idea is a shared 3D world that uses [virtual reality] and [augmented reality] and has tens of thousands of people, and it’s all interoperable. But right now, the best definition of the metaverse is that it’s kind of a catch-all marketing term that a lot of different companies are using to convey the value they see in their potential future products,” said Eric Ravenscraft, product writer and reviewer at Wired.

On the show today, we’ll cut through some of the noise about the metaverse and break down what’s real, what’s hypothetical and what might remain science fiction.

In the News Fix: We’re running really, really low on semiconductors. We’ll talk about a new survey that shows U.S. manufacturers are about five days away from running out of chips and what that means for the supply chain. Also, we’ll dig into a report that reveals the effects of not treating mental health the same as physical health.

Later, a listener calls us with her hot take on the West Elm Caleb drama. And, if you think you know what bald eagles sound like, you’ll be surprised after you hear this week’s answer to the Make Me Smart question.

Here is everything we talked about today:

Jan 25, 2022
We’re talking about Bruno…
00:15:47

Welcome back from the weekend, folks! It’s What’d We Miss Monday, where we discuss some of the stories we missed over the last few days. Today, we discussed Encanto taking over the charts (and our hearts!), Olympians going to great lengths to avoid COVID and an update on the Webb Space Telescope! Plus, updates from abroad and a sweet Make Me Smile!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

What’s making you smile this week? Let us know. Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

Jan 25, 2022
West Elm Caleb saga is a story about online privacy
00:26:04

If you haven’t heard about Caleb from West Elm, get ready for a mini-deep dive. His story is all over TikTok and Twitter, and it’s raising serious questions about internet culture and a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy. We’ll break it down. Plus, who knew what, when? That’s what House Democrats are asking of fossil fuel companies regarding climate change. Then, a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Have thoughts about the West Elm Caleb saga or any other story we mentioned today? Hit us up at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278 (or 508-U-B-SMART).

Jan 22, 2022
Texas deep freeze Part 2?
00:22:16

Temperatures in Texas are tumbling this week, and occasional host Andy Uhler is getting flashbacks from last year’s deep freeze. We’ll talk about what Texas has and hasn’t done to prevent another disaster. Plus, we’re feeling a little hollowed out after we learned what some college students think the average American earns. To lighten the mood, we jump on the Worldle bandwagon!

Here is everything we talked about today:

Don’t forget, our newsletter drops every Friday. Sign up at Marketplace.org/newsletters.

Jan 21, 2022
What’s so great about 5G?
00:24:49

AT&T and Verizon rolled out their expanded 5G services today. One listener wonders: What’s 5G anyway, and why do we need it? We’ll explain why it’s been a long time coming. Plus, our fill-in hosts answer more listener questions about wage theft, the Great Resignation and the climate implications of wood stoves versus electric space heaters.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Got a question? Send us a voice memo. Or call us at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

Jan 20, 2022
How sci-fi can make us smart
00:28:58

On Make Me Smart, we often turn to economists, professors and policy wonks to make us smart about some big topics that need explaining. Today, we’re turning to a different kind of expert, sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson.

His latest book, “Termination Shock,” is about climate change, geoengineering and what happens when a billionaire decides to take matters into his own hands.

“I’m past trying to convince people that climate change is real. What I was more interested in was, for an audience that believes that climate change is real, what are some outcomes that we might see, in the near future, as different people in different countries begin to try to come to grips with that problem, because opinions differ as to what the right approach might be. And whenever you get differing opinions, you’ve got conflict, and whenever you’ve got conflict, you have the potential for a good story,” Stephenson said.

We’ll talk with Stephenson about how he thinks about big, complex issues like climate change and what this genre can teach us about the future and solving problems in the real world. Speaking of the future, Stephenson, who coined the word “metaverse” in 1992, weighs in on all the hullaballoo over the metaverse today.

In the News Fix, what’s behind all the news, or lack thereof, that we’re not getting from Tonga after this weekend’s volcano eruption. Also, you can get your free rapid COVID-19 test now.

Then, a listener drops some facts on the James Webb Space Telescope and what a former Google researcher was really wrong about.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Jan 18, 2022
Free rapid tests could still take some time
00:20:11

Grab your drinks people. Economics on Tap is back (and we’re starting strong)! In our first Friday show of the new year, our hosts take a look at the anticipated response to a new rule that says private insurers will have to cover the cost of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests. With insurers not quite ready to implement the changes, we take a look at what you can do to get those costs covered when the rule goes into effect this weekend. Then, we’ll discuss the impact of a major settlement against the NFL. And as always, we’ll end the show with a another round of our favorite game, Half-Full/Half-Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Jan 15, 2022
Omicron hits small business
00:13:24

It’s our first Hollowed Out Shell of a Thursday of 2022. Let’s dive in. Today we talk about how small business has fared during this wave of the coronavirus omicron variant. We also discuss the Supreme Court’s response to President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers and what it means. Plus, an update on the situation at the Ukraine-Russia border and new charges against some of the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters. And some fishy Make Me Smiles. Stay tuned to the end because Kai finally gives us his most played songs of 2021.

Here’s everything we talked about on the show:

Jan 14, 2022
Is 5G cleared for takeoff?
00:16:12

Verizon and AT&T hoped to expand their 5G networks this week, but safety concerns from the Federal Aviation Administration have pushed that rollout back. We answer a listener question about how real those concerns are. Plus, answers to your questions about bonds, the difference between the Dow and the Nasdaq, and job listings that are hiding some important information!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you have a question you’d like us to answer in a future episode, email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278 or 508-U-B-SMART.

Jan 13, 2022
The James Webb Space Telescope is out of this world
00:37:14

For the first deep dive of 2022, we’re going to space! OK, not really. But we’re talking about the most powerful space telescope ever. The James Webb Space Telescope cost $10 billion, a lot of tech went into developing it and we can’t stop obsessing over it. Neither can our guest.

“I cannot contain my excitement. It’s been a wild roller coaster getting to this point. And to have this telescope now launched in space, it’s just so thrilling for astronomers everywhere,” said Caitlin Casey, professor of astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin, who will be leading the biggest project on the JWST.

The telescope is expected to help researchers discover some of the most distant galaxies and study the atmosphere of planets outside our solar system to see if they’re habitable.

On the show today: what the JWST tells us about the future of public and private investment in space exploration.

Casey will also highlight the technological developments created by the JWST and its predecessor, Hubble, and how they’ve impacted industries from medical equipment to GPS technology.

In the News Fix, some companies have stopped predicting when they’ll be back in the office. Plus, an in-depth investigation into the House and Senate members who enslaved Black people. Later, we’ll discuss why some people want to tone down our use of the term “deep dive” and an answer to the Make Me Smart Question from the 2011 Nobel Prize winner in physics.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Jan 12, 2022
Hey smarties, we’re back!
00:13:20

Happy (belated) 2022! We’ve returned from our holiday hiatus, and we’re discussing some of the big news stories of the past week or so, including how insurance companies are now going to be required to pay for some COVID tests. Plus, the pope makes a rare appearance in the News Fix, and our beloved former co-host has some smart things to say about schools and omicron. In the make me smile department, we’ll talk about the first Black woman to appear on the U.S. quarter and a video about the special dogs that got us through 2021.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

What’s making you smile so far in 2022? Let us know. Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

Jan 11, 2022
Let’s do the numbers on a $15 minimum wage (rerun)
00:34:59

Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays and revisiting some favorite episodes from 2021. We want to say a big thank-you for being part of the “Make Me Smart” family this year — every voicemail, question and donation made a huge difference. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we couldn’t do this show without you. There’s still time to help Marketplace reach its end-of-year fundraising goal. If you can, please donate here. Thanks, happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year.

Why is it so hard to raise the minimum wage? Even the leading expert on the topic isn’t quite sure.

“It’s actually really popular to raise the minimum wage in the United States, it’s popular across the partisan divide,” said Arindrajit Dube, an economist with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. “It just becomes very embroiled in politics…. But then you put it actually as a ballot initiative, it pretty much always passes — including in red states, blue states, purple states.”

After the wage has spent more than a decade at $7.25 an hour, Dube said resistance to a hike is softening among industries like fast food and retail, which used to be hard-liners. Democrats have been trying to tie a new federal minimum wage to the COVID relief bill, but they’ve hit procedural and partisan snags.

Monday the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office added a wrinkle. Its analysis said that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would lift almost a million people out of poverty and raise wages for 17 million more — but it would cost the economy 1.4 million jobs.

So today on the show we’ll go deeper into the issue with Dube, who calls the CBO projection “a bit too pessimistic.” He’ll also tell us how this conversation plays out overseas, how minimum wage hikes affect spending and gross domestic product, and why a country as big and diverse as the U.S. needs a federal minimum wage at all.

Later in the show, listeners call in with their experiences teaching in-person classes and getting the vaccine. Plus the rapper Dessa — recently behind this Janet Yellen banger — answers the Make Me Smart question.

Finally, if you’re interested in minimum wage and other labor issues in the U.S., you’ll want to check out the latest season of “The Uncertain Hour,” which is all about how the typical American job has been gigged, temped and subcontracted away.

Here are links to everything we talked about on the show today:

Jan 04, 2022
Our mental “surge capacity” is maxed out (rerun)
00:33:32

Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays and revisiting some favorite episodes from 2021. We want to say a big thank-you for being part of the “Make Me Smart” family this year — every voicemail, question and donation made a huge difference. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we couldn’t do this show without you. There’s still time to help Marketplace reach its end-of-year fundraising goal. If you can, please donate here. Thanks, happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year.

For some, life is starting to resemble something like normal. Kids are going back to school, some offices are welcoming back workers … so why are we still feeling stressed?

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says there are a couple reasons. For one, the pandemic has gone on for so long, our coping system known as “surge capacity” is depleted.

“We then move into this regression phase where we withdraw, we get sad, agitated, we don’t want to hang out with people, we’re done with Zoom meetings. So it’s not surprising that we don’t have the capacity to feel intense positive emotions right now when we go out to that live concert,” Cuddy said.

And when you throw the coronavirus delta variant into the mix, things get even harder. Cuddy says right now it’s common for people to experience spikes in anxiety, depression and have a desire to escape. She refers to this as “pandemic flux syndrome.” That’s not actually a clinical term. But it is real.

On today’s show, Cuddy explains the role employers can play to help workers through this chapter of the pandemic.

Later in the show, we’ll discuss how Facebook is dealing with the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and MacKenzie Scott reshaping the nonprofit world. Plus, a longtime listener calls in with an update on paying for his twin sons’ college education.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Dec 28, 2021
Critical race theory has been around for decades — why’s it a powder keg now? (rerun)
00:35:02

Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays and revisiting some favorite episodes from 2021. We want to say a big thank-you for being part of the “Make Me Smart” family this year — every voicemail, question and donation made a huge difference. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we couldn’t do this show without you. There’s still time to help Marketplace reach its end-of-year fundraising goal. If you can, please donate here. Thanks, happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year.

If you’ve been tuned in to the culture war at all in the last six to 12 months, you’ve probably heard a lot about “critical race theory.” You’ve probably heard less about what it actually is. We asked a critical race theorist.

“We had social inequality of serious dimensions … even after the victories of the civil rights movement in the embrace of a so-called colorblind society,” said law professor Cheryl Harris of the University of California, Los Angeles. “And we wanted to ask, what is the role of law in that? Is this an enforcement problem?”

CRT, as it’s sometimes called, posits that racism is not just perpetuated by individuals, it’s embedded into our institutions. But Harris said  recent Republican efforts to ban CRT from schools aren’t really about those decades-old discussions, but an effort to create a political “boogeyman.” Some conservative thinkers have said as much.

On today’s show, we’ll go deep with Harris on the nuances of what CRT is and isn’t, and what the recent controversy around systemic racism in schools has to do with the voting restrictions we talked about last week.

Later in the show, we’ll talk about California’s new rental-assistance program, Juneteenth commercialization and the economic conditions that would cause the rich not to get richer. (Spoiler alert: There really aren’t any.) Plus we’ll hear from a listener who is celebrating becoming debt-free.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Dec 21, 2021
40 years later, is this the end of Reaganomics? (rerun)
00:33:54

Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays and revisiting some favorite episodes from 2021. We want to say a big thank-you for being part of the “Make Me Smart” family this year — every voicemail, question and donation made a huge difference. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we couldn’t do this show without you. There’s still time to help Marketplace reach its end-of-year fundraising goal. If you can, please donate here. Thanks, happy holidays and we’ll see you in the new year.

It’s been just over 40 years since newly elected President Ronald Reagan declared, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem.”

We’re about 39 years and four months away from the legislative manifestation of that idea, the Economic Recovery Tax Act, which codified “Reaganomics,” supply-side economics, trickle-down economics, whatever you want to call it.

All these decades later, we’re still talking a lot about this policy because Reagan was so good at promoting it. People could understand the metaphor of government spending as a household budget in need of a cutback, said Brown University political economist Mark Blyth.

“That rather ignores the fact that I don’t get to issue my own currency, there’s no such thing as a Kai Ryssdal bond market,” Blyth said. “But because all that stuff accords with common sense, it’s an easy sell.”

Now we’re in a new financial crisis, with plenty of data on the “trickle-up” consequences of trickle-down and a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill. Reagan had “Morning in America,” Joe Biden has “Infrastructure Week.” On today’s show, we’ll talk with Blyth about how Reaganomics was supposed to work, its ripple effects on Democrats and whether the era of “The era of big government is over” is … over.

Later in the show, we’ll track more big firms getting rid of their offices, wade into crypto just a bit and learn about code breaker Elizebeth Smith Friedman. Plus, a correction from a 2-year-old listener.

Here are links to everything we talked about on the show today:

Dec 14, 2021
A cheesy close to 2021
00:23:16

On the final show of the year, we’re talking cheese. Specifically, the supply and demand of cream cheese in America. Plus, one of the hosts gives us their hot take on formaggio. On a more serious note, we’ll review a congressional report card on prescription drug prices and end the show with a holiday-themed round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty.

And hey, thank you for joining us for our last show of 2021. We’ll be back with a new episode on Jan. 10. In the meantime, look out for some of our favorite episodes of the year in your podcast feed. Happy holidays from the “Make Me Smart” team!

Here’s everything we talked about:

New Investors Week: Your first donation to Marketplace goes TWICE as far with a dollar-for-dollar match from the Investors Challenge Fund! If you can, please give now.

Dec 11, 2021
Labor is having a moment
00:13:22

Starbucks workers at a store in Buffalo, New York, have voted to form the company’s first U.S. trade union. The move could pave the way for baristas across the country to do the same. We’ll talk about what this means for today’s labor movement and workers everywhere. Plus, a quick sprint through the news, including an update on boosters for teens and China’s Evergrande. Then, in the make me smile department, we’ll hear about an Ikea-inspired tourism campaign — and a rap song about the debt ceiling?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us on YouTube on Friday at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern for our final live happy hour episode of 2021! Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss it.

Dec 10, 2021
What “made in the USA” really means
00:11:17

It’s the holiday season, and Americans are focused on shopping. One listener wonders what consumer spending looks like after a year of supply chain issues. We’ll also answer your questions about inflation and what qualifies as “made in America” on our last Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday of the year!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

New Investors Week: Your first donation to Marketplace goes TWICE as far with a dollar-for-dollar match from the Investors Challenge Fund! Give Now!

Dec 09, 2021
The economics of mental illness
00:24:57

We are approaching our second winter of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have a lot more awareness about how our mental health affects our work and how we function in society.

In the spring of 2020, adults in the U.S. were three times as likely to suffer depression or anxiety as they were the year before. While getting treatment can be expensive, the costs of untreated mental illness are often higher.

“Untreated or undertreated mental health conditions related to increased absenteeism in the workplace, what they call presenteeism, which is being present, but lower productivity, and also higher turnover rates — business should be concerned about this because it does affect their bottom line,” said Judy Bass, associate professor in the department of mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Bass said that pre-pandemic, those costs were pegged at $2 billion annually.

On the show today, we’ll discuss the economic costs of mental illness and the benefits of investing more in mental health care.

In the News Fix, we highlight a new report that warns of an emerging mental health crisis among young people in America.

Then we’ll hear from a listener who makes us smart about the pronunciation of “omicron,” and YouTube’s CEO answers the “Make Me Smart” question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-237-8255.

 

Dec 08, 2021
“Make Me Smart,” NYC-style
00:16:09

On the show today, Marielle Segarra joins the pod from New York to discuss a few NYC-centric stories. First, the mayor there, Bill de Blasio, announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all private-sector employees following the emergence of the omicron variant. Plus, bagel lovers are going bananas over a cream cheese shortage. Then, Plowy McPlowface? Jennifer Snowpez? Kids got creative naming snowplows, and it’s making us smile.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Also, it’s Investors Week! If you haven’t donated to Marketplace’s “Make Me Smart” before, we’re offering a dollar-for-dollar match to all new and rejoining investors. If you’re in a position to give, please consider making a donation here. And, as always, thank you for listening and supporting the show.

 

Dec 07, 2021
Bring on the at-home rapid COVID tests
00:21:08

The U.S. lags behind other countries when it comes to making rapid at-home COVID-19 tests easily available and inexpensive. And we’re going to need to get better at it as omicron variant concerns increase and we see more indoor gatherings. Then we’ll look at the staffing shortages many schools have faced and what that’s meant for those who’ve stayed. And it’s Friday, so we’ll wrap up with a round of everyone’s favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Support economic news and information for ALL by making a year-end donation today at Marketplace.org/givesmart. And thank you for your generosity.

Dec 04, 2021
Let’s talk about ‘share of stomach’
00:14:49

Almost two years into COVID-19, there are some parts of the pandemic that don’t seem to be going away. Yes, variants. But also the way we spend our money. We’ll talk about why grocery stores are still capturing the majority share of stomach and what that means in the days of omicron. Plus, a successful spacewalk, and we nerd out over today’s date.

Here’s everything we talked about:

Join us on YouTube Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern for our live happy hour episode! Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss it.

 

 

Dec 03, 2021
What’s the deal with stadium naming rights?
00:18:57

Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be renamed Crypto.com Arena this month. The news made quite a splash for the cryptocurrency exchange. And it left one listener wondering how naming rights work. We look at the history of these deals and how they happen. Plus, we answer your questions about the cost of switching from gas to electric appliances, why people want to abolish the Federal Reserve and if the two-week notice is really necessary.

And finally, we’ll take some time at the end to say farewell our friend and co-host, Molly Wood.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join Marketplace’s mission to make everyone smarter about the economy. Make your year-end gift today!

Dec 02, 2021
Ethereum 101
00:37:44

It’s time to talk about bitcoin’s digital cousin: ethereum. This is a type of blockchain operating system that allows you to trade the cryptocurrency called ether. But it does much more, including things called smart contracts that are changing the way people do business.

“What it really does is allows for the possibility that the middleman gets eliminated from the equation … if you have a good idea in blockchain and in ethereum, you can kind of go directly to users or investors to raise the money you want to start your business,” said Matt Leising, co-founder of DeCential Media, which covers the world of crypto, decentralized finance and the blockchain.

On the show today, we’ll get a lesson in how ethereum works, the advantages and disadvantages and why supporters believe it’s not going away. So regulators should catch up quick!

In the News Fix, we’ll hear positive news about boosters for teens and hear a warning about how omicron may mess with inflation. Plus, regulators are cracking down on Facebook, but they’re not the ones you’re thinking about.

Then, listeners say farewell to Molly and a bananas answer to the Make Me Smart question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Finally, it’s Giving Tuesday. Give now to help us reach $100,000 in donations and unlock another $100,000 from the Investors Challenge Fund. To donate, go to Marketplace.org/givesmart. And thank you for your generosity.

Dec 01, 2021
OMG omicron
00:16:02

Over the holiday break, epidemiologists around the world did a simultaneous face palm after news about a new COVID-19 “variant of concern.” We’ll catch you up on the omicron variant and what it might mean for the global economy. Plus, Jack Dorsey is out as CEO at Twitter and Amazon workers in Alabama get ready to vote (again.)

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Read the transcript here.

Giving Tuesday challenge: Give now to help us reach $100,000 in donations and unlock another $100,000 from the Investors Challenge Fund. https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn

Nov 30, 2021
The Fed, explained
00:32:53

By now, you’ve probably heard that Jerome Powell has been nominated to serve another four years as chair of the Federal Reserve, our nation’s central bank. As we talked about on the show Monday, the decision boiled down to a political calculus. But what does the Fed do anyway? And why do we need it?

“The main reason why the Fed itself was created was because in the lead-up to 1913, which is when it was created, there were a bunch of bank runs. It was sort of every bank for itself back then, where banks would issue their own money. There wasn’t a central source of money printing. And so, if one bank maybe ran into trouble, people would run and pull their money out,” said Victoria Guida, who covers the Federal Reserve for Politico.

So basically, the Fed is supposed to be there when things go wrong to maintain the health of our economy. But the Fed does a lot of other things, like control borrowing costs and regulate banks.

On the show today, Guida explains the evolution of the Fed and how it touches the life of every person in this economy and may be making wealth inequality worse.

In the News Fix, we stick with the theme of the day and highlight a story about why presidents shouldn’t mess with the independence of the central bank. Also, inflation is coming to a dollar store near you.

Later, we’ll hear from a listener who is changing up his holiday shopping habits this year and talk Thanksgiving turducken-inspired cocktails!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Read the transcript here.

We will be off the rest of the week for the holiday break. We are so grateful for our listeners and wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 23, 2021
Why Biden picked Powell
00:16:21

President Joe Biden says he wants to reappoint Jerome Powell to serve as chair of the Federal Reserve for a second term. It’s a big deal, but it wasn’t unexpected. We’ll explain the political calculus behind the decision. Plus, we’ll highlight a few long reads you may have missed over the weekend, including one about how China is winning the clean energy contest. And a “Turducken”-inspired Thanksgiving dessert, plus we ask listeners to share their version of a “Turducken” Thanksgiving cocktail.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Read the transcript here.

Tomorrow, we’re doing a deep dive into the Federal Reserve. If you have a question about the central bank and how it works, send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).

Nov 23, 2021
What will Covid-19 cases in America look like this winter?
00:29:02

Austria is getting ready for another round of COVID-19 lockdowns. With vaccine mandates hitting a roadblock in the United States and the fully vaccinated rate under 60%, we discuss the likelihood of another winter wave in America. Plus, we follow the drama over the auctioning of a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. And, the hosts play our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Read the transcript here.

Thank you for everyone who joined us on YouTube today. We’re live Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern for happy hour! Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss it.

Nov 20, 2021
Crypto lovers go all in on the Constitution
00:16:41

Crypto enthusiasts came through. They’ve raised $40 million to buy a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution that’s up for auction to put it back in “the hands of the people.” We’ll explain how this all ties into what’s happening in the crypto space. Plus, why inflation is hitting some parts of the United States harder than others and the problem with Biden’s plan to open ports 24/7. Oh, and smiling quokkas!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Read the transcript here.

Join us on YouTube Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern for our live happy hour episode! Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss it.

Nov 19, 2021
Can we divert container ships in California to other ports?
00:14:29

Texas is throwing a bit of shade at California. In a recent ad, it says Texas ports are open and ready to solve the nation’s supply chain problems. But can ships really be diverted from the Port of Los Angeles to Houston? It’s not as easy as it sounds. Plus, we’ll answer your questions about why skyscrapers keep lights on at night, ESG investing and the origin story behind a piece of Marketplace merch.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Read the transcript here.

Thanks to those of you who sent us questions this week. If you have a question you’d like our hosts to answer in a future episode, call us at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278) or send a voice memo.

Nov 18, 2021
Debunking the onshoring narrative
00:32:14