Make Me Smart

By Marketplace

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.


Category: Business

Open in Apple Podcasts


Open RSS feed


Open Website


Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 3454
Reviews: 15

Jason
 Jan 27, 2023

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

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
Generative AI: What’s all the hype about?
00:28:21

The new wave of generative artificial intelligence, like ChatGPT and DALL-E, has got the tech business in a frenzy.

Venture capitalists are pouring money into new AI startups: Investments in generative AI have already exceeded $2 billion. But there’s lots of unknown unknowns about the innovation. There’s virtually no oversight from the government, and teachers, artists, researchers and others are raising concerns.

“There’s so much happening under the hood that we don’t get access to … there needs to be much more transparency,” said Alex Hanna, director of research at the Distributed AI Research Institute.

On the show today: why AI is getting so much attention these days, ethical issues with the tech and what lawmakers should focus on when trying to regulate it. Plus, why some say it could exacerbate the climate crisis.

In the News Fix, some Kia and Hyundai cars keep getting stolen, and insurance companies are taking notice. Plus, we might spend the most on health care, but health in the United States falls behind other high-income countries by several measures. And, why you might want to get ready for some inflation whiplash.

Later, we’ll hear from a listener who’s pro-ChatGPT when it comes to writing cover letters. And in the spirit of Dry January, Elva Ramirez, author of “Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking,” gives us a little history lesson on mocktails (or cleverages).

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question. Leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART, and your submission may be featured in a future episode.

Feb 01, 2023
Why this debt ceiling fight is already different
00:13:57

The U.S. has hit the debt limit 78 times since the 1960s, but for the first time in history, five women are responsible for shaping U.S. fiscal policy. Their experience and perspectives, could change how the country deals with the debt limit. And they might be able to do what other politicians cannot: get along. Plus, how did George Santos fund his campaign? Kimberly is back from vacation and joins Kai to talk all things Washington, and shares what made her smile while she was gone.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Have any thoughts, or questions that you want to share with us? You can write to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Jan 30, 2023
A thawing housing market?
00:16:13

Higher mortgage rates have cooled off the once-hot housing market. But for the first time in seven months, pending home sales have improved, which means the market is seeing some movement. And China’s oil and gas use fell for the first time in decades! Kai is joined by guest host Amy Scott to discuss all this and play a round of Half Full / Half Empty.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We love hearing and reading your questions and comments, so please keep sending them! You can write to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Jan 28, 2023
California’s flood-drought paradox
00:13:23

The drought in California is by no means over, but the recent winter storms made a big difference. We’ll discuss what it all means for the state’s residents, reservoirs and wildflowers! Then we’ll unpack a sobering statistic about gun violence in the United States. And Kai Ryssdal geeks out over SpaceX’s new Starship rocket.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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

Jan 27, 2023
What happens if the U.S. defaults on its debt?
00:18:58

As Kai Ryssdal puts it, the United States is like House Lannister from “Game of Thrones”: It always pays its debt. But if Congress isn’t able to increase the debt limit, the government won’t have enough money to pay all its bills later this year. A listener called in to ask how that would affect regular Americans. We’ll get into it and answer more of your questions about the economic consequences of exclusionary zoning, how tariffs work and how households of different income levels are affected by rising inflation. Plus, is Kai an electric vehicle convert?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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

Jan 25, 2023
What’s behind the climate culture wars?
00:23:35

With all the rage tweets about gas stoves, it may be hard to believe, but climate change wasn’t always so polarizing.

Studies show that public opinion on the topic started to splinter in the 1990s, when governments and corporations had to reckon with the threat of a warming planet.

“Prior to 1997, it was a conversation among a bunch of scientists, but once the Kyoto treaty came, it became an issue that affected powerful political and economic interests,” said Andrew Hoffman, professor of sustainable enterprise at the University of Michigan and author of “How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate.”

On the show today: Hoffman explains how climate change became a partisan issue, the financial and economic interests that got us to where we are today, and what might get us back to some common ground.

In the News Fix, guest host Amy Scott tells us about an ad campaign bringing attention to gender bias in internet search results. Plus, we’ll explain why classified documents in surprising places is more common than you might expect. And stick around for the TL;DR on Elon Musk’s trial over what he said about Tesla on Twitter (the social media platform he now owns).

Later, we’ll hear from a listener who did the math on the cost-effectiveness of fueling up with diesel vs. gas, and a loyal listener makes us smarter about our own theme music!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

It’s a new year, and we’re looking for new answers to the Make Me Smart question. Leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART and your submission may be featured in a future episode.

Jan 25, 2023
Don’t bank on that trillion-dollar coin
00:11:21

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve hit the debt limit. That means a whole lot of debate about how to avoid a debt default is likely ahead. One of the more creative solutions involves minting a trillion-dollar platinum coin. We’ll explain why that probably won’t fly. Also, we’ll have an update on the artificial intelligence wars in tech. And guest host Amy Scott makes us smiley and sporty with a story about soccer star Erling Haaland.

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 U-B-SMART, or 508-827-6278.

Jan 24, 2023
ChatGPT is coming for Google search
00:21:56

Google has been the most popular search engine in the world for over two decades, but the company is bringing in the big shots to help fight the company’s most significant threat since the iPhone came out: ChatGPT. To keep up with the rapid growth of artificial intelligence, Google said it’s making serious investments in the technology. Meanwhile, Google cut jobs in its AI unit amid widespread layoffs in the tech industry. Guest hosts Amy Scott and Matt Levin get into it. Plus, we’ll play a round of Half Full/Half Empty.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t do this show without you. Keep sending your comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Jan 21, 2023
FTX reboot?
00:10:54

The guy who’s now running FTX, the imploded cryptocurrency exchange founded by now-indicted Sam Bankman-Fried, said he’s considering reopening shop. Too soon? Also, mortgage rates are coming down, but all the commotion about the debt ceiling could undo that. And, guest host Amy Scott makes us smile with a video of celebrities reenacting conversations on Nextdoor, the neighborhood social networking platform.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap. The YouTube livestream will be back! 6:30 ET/3:30 PT. There will be drinks, news and a round of Half Full / Half Empty.

Jan 20, 2023
Is hybrid work worth it for companies?
00:17:45

Disney is calling employees back to the office four days a week. One listener called in to ask about the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid work. We’ll talk about how businesses are making the choice. And guest hosts Amy Scott and Samantha Fields answer more of your questions about the death of starter homes and the stubbornly high price of diesel. Plus, are states ready to dole out unemployment benefits for the next recession?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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

Jan 19, 2023
WT … Oh no!
00:25:48

Today we’re talking about a key player in international trade: the World Trade Organization.

The WTO is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules of global trade between 164 member countries. While the United States once supported the idea of a rules-based system, lately the country hasn’t been a big fan of the rules.

Among other things, the Trump administration’s decision to impose steel and aluminum taxes in violation of WTO policies sent the organization’s ability to govern into freefall. What would it take for the WTO to get back on its feet?

“It’s clear that we need new trade rules on things like digital trade, e-commerce, and privacy data. There’s a whole series of areas that are completely unregulated by the WTO, and we need rules. It needs to get back to becoming that forum in which you can negotiate rules,” said Jennifer Hillman, Georgetown law professor and former member of the WTO appellate body.

On the show today: the ins and outs of the WTO, why the organization isn’t running like it’s supposed to, and what that could mean for the future of global trade.

In the News Fix: Despite the ongoing trade war, imports and exports between the United States and China are higher than ever. We’ll discuss how this fits into the shifting landscape of globalization. Plus, we’ll look at the effects a 20-year-long drought is having in one community outside of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Later, climate scientist and author Kimberly Nicholas shares what she got wrong about a popular climate a statistic.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

It’s a new year, and we’re looking for new answers to the Make Me Smart question. Leave us a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART and your submission may be featured in a future episode.

Jan 18, 2023
Exxon Mobil’s decadeslong climate hoax
00:25:54

New research shows Exxon Mobil understood the dire consequences of burning fossil fuels decades ago — with scary accuracy. Yet, the company continued to mislead the public about the effects of climate change. We’ll discuss the billions in damages attributed to more frequent extreme weather events. And, a dungeon masters’ revolt! Dungeons & Dragons players united to preserve the spirit of the game. Plus, we’ll play a round of Half Full/Half Empty.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t do this show without you. Keep sending your comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Jan 14, 2023
Keeping up with Congress
00:18:06

Today, the voice of American business had one message for Congress: Get it together! The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says political gridlock is making it harder for businesses to function. We’ll explain what’s ahead for the 118th Congress and why you’re about to hear a lot more about a big fight over the national debt. Plus, are you seeing bizarre flying objects in the sky? You’re not alone. And SBF is defending his innocence, again. This time on Substack?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t do this show without you. Keep sending your comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Jan 13, 2023
What’s the deal with ESG and the GOP?
00:18:34

Some Republican politicians are attacking environmental, social and governance investing strategies. One listener is wondering what the fight is really about. We’ll explain. Plus, are crypto losses tax deductible? And we’ll answer more of your questions about whether more immigration can help tame inflation, and developing vs. developed countries.

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.

Jan 12, 2023
The lasting implications of Jan. 6
00:31:16

A lot has happened since the attack on our Capitol two years ago.

We’ve had congressional hearings, impeachments, investigations. And through it all the country has remained deeply polarized.

In the past 40 years, the United States has polarized a lot faster than other wealthy democracies like Canada or Germany. Why is the U.S. so different?

“Right now, our [political] system makes it extremely difficult to break out of this kind of rigid binary, the two-party system that we have,” said Jennifer McCoy, a political science professor at Georgia State University.

On the show today, McCoy breaks down the state of our democracy post-Jan. 6, why the U.S. can’t seem to bridge its extreme political divide and what that could mean for the health of our economy and our democracy. Plus, some signs that all hope is not lost.

In the News Fix, we’ll go further into the far-right insurrection in Brazil over the weekend. Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s main government buildings in a strikingly similar fashion to the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol. We’ll discuss what connects the two and what kind of influence the U.S. may have had in Brazil.

Later, we’ll hear from a listener about keeping New Year’s resolutions, and a writer shares how her own research proved her wrong about creating lasting habits.

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 U-B-SMART, or 508-827-6278.

Jan 11, 2023
Our very first episode of the year!
00:20:28

Happy New Year! We’re back from our holiday break to discuss some of the biggest news stories of 2023 so far, including last week’s C-SPAN soap opera. New House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made some serious concessions to win that could spell out a future mess for debt limit and budget negotiations. Plus, why interest rates will likely stay up — for a while — and what that means for the economy. And, some good news about our planet: The ozone layer is healing!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Do you (like Kimberly) already have some big thoughts about 2023? Share them with us! We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org, or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Jan 10, 2023
This is not your grandpa’s union (rerun)
00:31:07

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.

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 StarbucksREI 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.

Jan 04, 2023
Let’s talk about Ukraine (rerun)
00:29:56
Dec 28, 2022
The moral hazard of solar geoengineering (rerun)
00:28:19

Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays and revisiting some favorite episodes from 2022. 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.

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:

Dec 21, 2022
How sci-fi can make us smart (rerun)
00:30:37

Hey smarties! We’re on a break for the holidays and revisiting some favorite episodes from 2022. 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.

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:

Dec 14, 2022
Our holiday party episode
00:25:25

For our final episode of 2022, we’re throwing a holiday party with music, Santa hats, drinks and our favorite game, Half-Full/Half-Empty. But can’t forget about the News Fix. Today, we’re talking about a surge in COVID cases amid the holiday travel season. Also, the struggle to find housing in D.C. is real. We’ll explain what happened to a soon-to-be congressman when he went apartment hunting. Plus, we want to hear about your New Year’s resolutions!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We’ll be back with new shows Jan. 9! Until then, we’re dropping some of our top episodes of the year in your feeds.

If you’d like to share your New Year’s resolutions, leave us a voicemail at (508) U-B-SMART or email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Dec 10, 2022
The economic and human cost of the opioid epidemic
00:13:40

Today’s episode mentions heavy topics like substance use disorder and death, which some listeners might find distressing.

Last year, 80,000 Americans died due to opioid overdoses. Kimberly opens up about losing a loved one to the epidemic and highlights new research on the impact of opioids on the labor market. Plus, political prisoner Brittney Griner is home.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for our final episode of 2022. We’re hosting a festive Economics on Tap starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time/3:30 p.m. Pacific time on YouTube Live.

And if you have a holiday cocktail recipe or beer we should try, please send it our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org or (508) U-B-SMART.

Dec 09, 2022
More jobs are always a good thing, right?
00:18:25

When the latest jobs report dropped, so did stock prices. A listener wrote in to ask why Wall Street isn’t a fan of the hot labor market. We’ll get into it and answer more of your questions about how post-merger SPACs are holding up and how switching to an electric vehicle can save you money. Also, we’ll hear from Kimberly’s mom about her early Christmas decorating!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

As 2022 winds down, so are we! Join us Friday for our final episode of the year. We’re hosting a special holiday-inspired Economics on Tap starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time/3:30 p.m. Pacific on YouTube Live.

And if you have a holiday cocktail recipe or beer we should try, please send it our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org or 508-U-B-SMART.

Dec 08, 2022
Climate change is disrupting the insurance industry
00:24:05

Today we’re talking about that thing we all sort of dread paying: insurance. It’s a big business and a critical part of the housing market and our economy. But in the era of climate change, this multitrillion-dollar industry is being disrupted in a major way.

There’s data that shows insured losses from extreme weather disasters will exceed $100 billion for the second year in a row. And in one state in particular, the situation is, well, messy. On the show, Marketplace’s Amy Scott walks us through Florida’s complicated insurance marketplace and explains what’s at stake if the insurance industry doesn’t prepare for our changing climate.

In the News Fix, there are signs the U.S. economy is dis-inflating. Kai talks about what this might mean for interest rates. Meanwhile, Kimberly highlights a blockbuster case before the Supreme Court that could have major implications for the 2024 election and beyond.

Later, we’ll hear from a listener who picked up ice skating, and a writer explains what she got wrong about the mantra “It’s better to give than to receive.”

Here’s everything we talked about today:

As 2022 winds down, so are we! Join us Friday for our final episode of the year. We’re hosting a special holiday-inspired Economics on Tap starting at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT on YouTube livestream.

And if you have a holiday cocktail recipe for Kimberly, please send it our way. We’re at makemesmart@marketplace.org or 508-U-B-SMART!

Dec 07, 2022
AI isn’t all fun and games
00:12:55

There’s a new AI chatbot that’s going viral. Popular results shared on social media show just how scary accurate the chatbot can be. We’ll discuss what widespread use of artificial intelligence like this could mean for certain sectors of the economy and the spread of misinformation. Also, an update on the status of Iran’s morality police. And, Kimberly shares her encounter with a feisty camel.

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.

Dec 06, 2022
Why women are gaining more jobs than men
00:28:58

Today, we’re doing the numbers on the latest national jobs report. Women got the majority of jobs gained in November. We’ll explain why this isn’t a total win. Plus, Iowa traditionally holds the first Democratic caucus, making the state superinfluential during election seasons. But that’s all about to change. And, we’ll play a round of Half Full/Half Empty! Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t do this show without you. Keep sending your comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Dec 03, 2022
Dude, where’s my EV charging station?
00:12:04

idespread access to charging stations is key to getting drivers to go electric. But the businesses who can build those stations still aren’t sure how they’ll make money. Today, we’ll discuss the EV charging station dilemma. Plus, we’ll highlight an investigation into the failures of Florida’s foster care system. And, tell you about the women making history at the men’s World Cup. Then, Kimberly defends her status as a Midwesterner.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t do this show without you. Keep sending your comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Dec 01, 2022
Why was so much money sitting in FTX?
00:17:42

When the former cryptocurrency exchange FTX went under, billions of dollars in investments seemingly vanished. A listener asked us why FTX customers didn’t move money to a wallet. We’ll get into it and answer more of your questions about what happens when your company goes public and who benefits when you make a charitable donation at the grocery store checkout lane. Also, where do political campaign signs end up when the election’s over?

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.

Dec 01, 2022
Tech layoffs: The Great Correction?
00:31:46

Amazon. Meta. Twitter. A lot of tech companies are letting workers go. According to one estimate, nearly 140,000 have been laid off in the industry this year. And while that’s small compared to job losses during the dot-com bust, the vibes are not great.

On the show today, Rucha Vankudre, a senior economist at labor analysis firm Lightcast, walks us through what’s driving the latest layoffs across the tech industry and what it all might mean for the U.S. economy. Is it a sign of things to come? (Fyi: We expect JOLTS numbers and the November jobs report this week.)

In the News Fix, it’s all about the Democrats. We’re taking a closer look at their position on the railroad strike along with plans to shake up future Democratic presidential contests.

Then, we’ll hear about the world’s greatest eggnog recipe, and a listener calls in to share what she got wrong about being laid off.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

    • Twitter thread from the NYT’s Binyamin Appelbaum

It’s Giving Tuesday. TRIPLE the impact of your donation to Marketplace today: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn

Nov 30, 2022
China is at a COVID-19 crossroads
00:17:58

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strict zero-COVID policies have kept the virus at bay, but public frustration with lockdowns and a stunted economy are coming to a boil. We’ll discuss what recent mass protests could mean for the Chinese economy. Plus, who gets to access public lands in the United States? A navigation app is revealing how much public land is blocked by privately owned land. And, how artificial intelligence could help us connect with our inner child.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Be a Giving Tuesday early bird! TRIPLE the impact of your donation to Marketplace today: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn

Nov 29, 2022
Is globalization a myth?
00:29:15

There’s lots of debate over globalization. Some experts believe globalization is dying. Others say it’s going through a reboot. And some think the free flow of goods across borders is evolving into something else.

But what if we never really globalized to begin with?

On the show today, Shannon O’Neil, author of “The Globalization Myth,” breaks down what we got wrong about globalization and what it means for the future of the U.S. economy.

In the News Fix, how inflation is affecting the cost of a Thanksgiving meal. Plus, are rich people running a shell game with money and the global economy?

Then, we’ll hear from a teacher who left the profession and learn why talking about the weather isn’t so boring after all.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

“Make Me Smart” will be off the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back on Monday. In the meantime, keep sending your comments and questions to 508-U-B-SMART or email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Nov 23, 2022
The FTX meltdown is a cautionary tale
00:17:15

FTX customers fear they’ll never get their money back from the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange. They’re not wrong to worry. Could this further erode consumers’ trust in the financial system? Plus, mourners are grieving the victims of a deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Meanwhile, in Qatar, anti-LGBTQ rules are already being tested at the 2022 World Cup. Then, Kimberly makes us smile with a story about ice-skating and perseverance.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t do this show without you. Keep sending your comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Nov 22, 2022
The big quit: teachers’ edition
00:26:20

At the start of the year, a survey from the National Education Association revealed that more than 50% of teachers were thinking about leaving their jobs. And now teachers are quitting en masse. We’ll discuss what this could mean for classrooms nationwide. Also, the case of disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is coming to a close. Plus, the moral quandary of World Cup 2022. And, we’ll play a round of Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t do this show without you. Keep sending your comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Nov 19, 2022
FTX-bomb
00:14:44

FTX, the recently imploded cryptocurrency exchange, has filed for bankruptcy. The new CEO said he’s never seen corporate mismanagement quite like this. We’ll unpack new revelations about what went wrong from the company’s bankruptcy filings. Plus, we’ll look back on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s legacy. And, Kai and Kimberly stan Lizzo!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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

Nov 18, 2022
Should we care about political polls?
00:16:44

Every election season, headlines speculate about which political polls got it right and how others got it so wrong. A listener called in to ask if they even matter. We’ll get into it and answer  questions about whether the 2017 tax cuts set us up for inflation and state lawmakers’ surprisingly low wages. Plus, how are individual shareholders affected when companies like Twitter go from public to private?

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.

Nov 17, 2022
Unpacking Mastodon
00:32:46

Since Elon Musk bought Twitter, over a million people (including Kai and Kimberly) have joined Mastodon, a decentralized social media network.

On the show today, Robert Gehl, professor of communications and media studies at York University in Toronto, explains the ins and outs of Mastodon and decentralized social media and what it means for our public discourse.

In the News Fix, we’ll talk about why mortgage rates are so darn high (it’s not all because of rising interest rates) and the future of self-driving cars — don’t plan to take your hands off the wheel anytime soon.

Later, we’ll hear from a listener about what it takes to run for a local school board in Wisconsin. Plus, the eBay hack you didn’t know you needed.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear from you. If you’ve joined Mastodon or are staying with Twitter, let us know how it’s going. We’re at 508-U-B-SMART or email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Nov 16, 2022
Are U.S.-China relations thawing?
00:15:47

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the leaders of the two most powerful countries in the world met face to face, on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit today. We’ll talk about why this IRL meeting matters and what the future of U.S.-China relations could mean for the global economy. Plus, there are signs the Federal Reserve is getting ready to slow its roll on interest rate hikes. And, Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams talk missions to the moon, past and present!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts or your own answer to the Make Me Smart question, call 508-U-B-SMART and leave us a voicemail. Or email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Nov 15, 2022
It’s time to talk about climate reparations
00:18:35

Rich countries, like the United States, are the biggest emitters of gases that drive climate change. Should they pay developing countries for climate damage? Kai and guest host Andy Uhler recap the COP27 summit and the debate over climate reparations. Plus, NASA thought it had collected all the artifacts from the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster, until now. And, we’ll play a round of Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We can’t do this show without you. Keep sending your comments and questions to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave a voice message at 508-U-B-SMART.

Nov 12, 2022
Crypto world is reeling
00:17:08

Earlier this week, we told you about two cryptocurrency giants joining forces. Well, that deal fell apart, and now a major crypto exchange is in big trouble. Kimberly and guest host Andy Uhler talk about the fallout from FTX’s collapse. Plus, we’ll check in on El Salvador’s bitcoin investments. Then, the hosts’ attempt to make us smile fails, but they later redeem themselves.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

    • Tweet from Eli Lilly and Co. parody account

    • Tweet about a classroom of second-graders paying rent on their desks

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

Nov 11, 2022
What’s the deal with Twitter Blue?
00:17:47

You can now pay to get verified on Twitter (without actually verifying your identity). What does this mean for misinformation on the app? We’ll discuss. Plus, Kai Ryssdal explains why he joined Mastodon, the Twitter alternative. And we’ll answer more of your questions about inflation, the future of sports broadcasting and California’s sky-high gas prices.

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.

Nov 10, 2022
The rise of outside money in local school board elections
00:30:16

School board races have become some of the most contentious elections of the 2022 midterms. These used to be mostly local affairs, with candidates typically raising less than $1,000 from friends and family. But now it’s not uncommon for big national political action committees to sink tens of thousands into a single race. It’s a trend that goes back more than a decade and has been supercharged by culture war issues and the pandemic.

Today, we talk with Rebecca Jacobsen, a professor of education policy at Michigan State University, about the implications of outside money in school board elections for education policy and local democracy.

In the News Fix, we’ll discuss what’s being done to address voter intimidation at the polls. Plus, two cryptocurrency giants are joining forces.

Then, we’ll hear from a listener who wonders if the universe is sending us an Election Day message, and a mathematician who has thought a lot about “How Not to Be Wrong” answers the “Make Me Smart” question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

    • This hotline is ready to troubleshoot your voting related issues

    • Meet the mathematician who answered this week’s “Make Me Smart” question

We want to hear your answer to the “Make Me Smart” question. Leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART. You can also email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Nov 09, 2022
Elon Musk’s Twitter troubles
00:14:34

Twitter is supposed to be the digital version of the public square. But what happens when the richest person in the world buys it and tells you how to vote? We’ll talk about why that’s troubling and whether Twitter is turning into the next Truth Social. Plus, young Latinas in Texas are using their quinceañeras to get their communities to the polls. And, after years of complaints, Airbnb is finally doing something about those pesky hidden fees.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

    • Tweet from @elonmusk about which party he thinks you should vote for

If you’ve got a question for the hosts or your own answer to the “Make Me Smart” question, call 508-U-B-SMART and leave us a voicemail. You can email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Nov 08, 2022
Oil industry: Help wanted
00:22:33

If you’re looking for a job in the oil and gas industry, chances are it’s yours. The jobless rate for the U.S. oil industry is at a historic low, and producers are scrambling for workers. We’ll explain what this means for President Joe Biden’s plan to ramp production and bring down gasoline prices. Plus, new revelations about Russian atrocities in Ukraine. On a lighter note, we’ll also play a round of Half Full/Half Empty! And, guest host Andy Uhler’s dog makes a surprise appearance.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts, leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART. You can also send an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Donate $5 a month or $60 to Marketplace today, and we’ll send you the cool Marketplace flight paddle: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn

Nov 05, 2022
Brands are breaking up with Twitter
00:11:25

Companies like Audi and General Mills are temporarily pulling their ads from Twitter. They’re not fans of Elon Musk’s ideas for more relaxed content moderation policies on the platform. We’ll talk about what that might mean for the future of the company. Plus, Kimberly Adams talks about the new social media sites she’s checking out in case Twitter goes off the rails. And, Daylight Saving or standard time?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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

Nov 04, 2022
With less than a week until Election Day, do political donations still matter?
00:16:55

Political candidates are always asking for money. A listener called in to ask if donating actually makes a difference so close to Election Day and what happens to donations that go unspent after Tuesday. We’ll get into it and answer more of your questions about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and why fines might not keep Meta from breaking campaign finance laws. Plus, Kai and Kimberly fill us in on what they look for when they’re car (or motorcycle) shopping.

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.

Nov 02, 2022
We’re (still) not in a recession. Right?
00:25:22

Spoiler alert: We’re not in a recession. But maybe one is on the way.

That debate reignited last week after the yield curve inverted, again. As we’ve talked about on the show, inverted yield curves can be a warning sign.

“A lot of this is psychological. It’s a lot about what you think is going on, not necessarily what is going on,” said Todd Knoop, professor of economics at Cornell College and author of “Business Cycle Economics: Understanding Recessions and Depressions From Boom to Bust.”

While the National Bureau of Economic Research has the final word on whether we’re in a recession, today we’re asking: If recessions are a regular part of the economy, why are they so hard to predict? Knoop breaks it down. Plus, we dig into the psychology of recessions and why they could become self-fulling prophecies.

In the News Fix, Kai gives a lesson in how to decode the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting. Plus, Kimberly gets an up-close look at the ongoing supply chain crisis.

And for this week’s answer to the Make Me Smart question, a listener explains what potty training her kids taught her about creating new habits.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us for tomorrow for Whaddaya Wanna Know Wednesday. If you have a question you’d like the hosts to answer in a future episode, leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART or email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Nov 01, 2022
Scared that affirmative action might go away?
00:15:48

The Supreme Court is hearing two cases on affirmative action in higher education. We’ll talk about what it means for race and diversity across society, from college campuses to corporate America. Plus, can haunted houses ease stress and anxiety? And, Kimberly gets in the Halloween spirit by sharing a few jokes and last-minute costume ideas.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts or your own answer to the Make Me Smart question, call 508-U-B-SMART and leave us a voicemail. You can email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Nov 01, 2022
Gambling on politics?
00:17:02

You can bet in Vegas. At the racetrack. On sports. But what if you could place a bet on the midterm elections? A government commission is weighing a startup’s proposal. We’ll explain. Also, President Joe Biden reacts to Exxon’s record-breaking profits. Plus, a round of Half Full/Half Empty! And, find out what listeners think about political candidates on TikTok.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts, leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART. You can also send an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Oct 29, 2022
The climate crisis vs. the energy crisis
00:12:01

The International Energy Agency says we’re experiencing the first global energy crisis. But the United Nations says we’re also falling way short of meeting our climate goals and need to do more to reduce our demand for fossil fuels. We’ll talk about a pair of reports and what they mean for the clean energy economy. Plus, will Twitter become a free-for-all hellscape? And guest host Andy Uhler and Kai make a bet.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

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

Oct 28, 2022
Political ads can lie to you
00:15:06

After last week’s discussion about political advertising, a listener wrote in to ask how candidates get away with putting misleading info or even complete lies on the air. The answer is at the top of the Bill of Rights. We’ll get into it and answer more of your questions about the Kroger-Albertsons merger, “normal” recessions and dollar-slice pizza joints.

Here are links to 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.

Oct 26, 2022
Is Miami’s housing market ignoring the climate crisis?
00:34:52

Today, we’re bringing you an episode from “How We Survive”, Marketplace’s podcast about solutions to climate change. Hosted by Marketplace senior correspondent (and occasional “Make Me Smart” host) Amy Scott, this season of “How We Survive” is all about how we will (or won’t) adapt to rising waters.

The team headed to Miami, Florida, which is now considered one of the most vulnerable coastal cities in the world. But you’d never know that by looking at the local housing market. Florida’s economy is powered by real estate, and the state has no income tax. Local governments depend on revenue from property taxes, which is a precarious situation to be in when billions of dollars of property is at risk from rising seas and flooding (not to mention hurricanes).

In this episode we’re asking: If Miami is doomed, why isn’t the housing market acting like it?

“How We Survive” Season 2 is out now with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.

Oct 25, 2022
Consequences for Kanye West
00:17:17

It’s a tough day to be reading the news. We’ll discuss the consequences of Kanye West’s antisemitic hate speech, including racist protests in Los Angeles and reactions from some of his corporate partners. We’ll also talk about a personal connection to today’s school shooting in St. Louis. Then, we’ll try to pivot to a Make Me Smile with a not-so-friendly neighborhood clown and a data dive into bugs on your windshield. And Kimberly reveals an unplanned answer to the Make Me Smart question (what is something you thought you knew and later found out you were wrong about?).

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts or your own answer to the Make Me Smart question, call 508-U-B-SMART and leave us a voicemail. You can email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Oct 25, 2022
Are we SURE about these Elon Musk deals?
00:27:14

Elon Musk’s business dealings come with some pretty important international implications. And officials in the U.S. are wondering if those deals should be subject to review for national security concerns. We’ll discuss. Plus, a huge research gap in the medical field negatively impacts about half the world. We’ll talk about some of the repercussions of the lack of medical study on the clitoris. And, a round of Half Full/Half Empty!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts, leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART. You can also send an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org

Oct 22, 2022
Corporate profits, we see you
00:12:34

U.S. Rep. Katie Porter is pulling out her famous charts. This time it’s to argue that corporate greed is driving inflation. We’ll explain why this debate isn’t settled. Plus, Liz Truss’ time as the United Kingdom’s prime minister comes to an abrupt end. And, why is lettuce all over our feeds?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Join us tomorrow for Economics on Tap. The YouTube livestream starts at 3:30 Pacific time/6:30 Eastern. We’ll have news, drinks, a game and more.

Oct 21, 2022
Can spending billions on political ads actually win elections?
00:18:05

By Election Day, campaigns and PACs will spend an estimated $9.7 billion on ads. One of our listeners wants to know: Does flooding the airwaves even move the needle? Where’s the saturation point? We’ll do our best to answer on this Whaddaya Wanna Know Wednesday. Plus, your questions about student loan forgiveness, the poverty line and regional Halloween traditions.

Here are links to what 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.

Oct 20, 2022
Health care is going hybrid
00:31:54

Telemedicine exploded at the start of the pandemic, for all the obvious reasons. Doctor visits went virtual and lots of companies, including Walmart, started going all-in on telehealth.

But usage has slowed and remained flat over the last year as some patients go back to in-person appointments. Some waivers that allowed physicians to practice across state lines have expired too.

So is telehealth at a crossroads?

Not exactly, said Dr. Aditi Joshi, who has been in the telehealth industry for more than a decade and is the chair of the telehealth committee for the American College of Emergency Physicians. She said while there will be some aspects of virtual health care that may go away in the short term, telehealth is still here to stay.

“I see it as just part of our health care in the future. We’re having this conversation about telemedicine, but in 10 years, we’re not going to say this is a telemedicine visit or an in-person visit. It’s just ‘I saw my doctor.’ It’s going to be just a normal part of our everyday care,” she said.

On the show today, Joshi makes us smart on the future of telehealth and why it’ll look less like online banking and more like the hybrid workplace.

In the Newsfix, homebuyers are flocking to … Florida? We’ll continue our ongoing conversation about the state’s housing market in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Plus, remember The Onion’s SCOTUS brief in defense of parody? The guy who wrote it answers the Make Me Smart question.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

There’s still time to submit your questions for Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. Call 508-U-B-SMART and leave us a voicemail. You can also email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Oct 18, 2022
The surprising factors that affect who gets to live where
00:16:54

There’s a lot that determines the cost of housing. And it goes beyond market forces like supply and demand. Kimberly Adams and guest host Janet Nguyen talk about the unexpected ingredients that are playing a role in housing prices and how they affect where people get to live. Plus, now that Fat Bear Week is over, meet the world’s chunkiest parrot!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts, call 508-U-B-SMART and leave us a voicemail. You can email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Oct 17, 2022
This isn’t your run of the mill grocery store merger
00:17:36

One of the largest supermarket chains in the country wants to eat its competition. Today, Kroger announced a deal to buy Albertsons. Guest host Sabri Ben-Achour talks about what it might mean for your grocery bill and the food delivery industry. Plus, what we know about Germany’s decision to buy natural gas from Russia months before the invasion of Ukraine. And we’ll play a round of Half Full/Half Empty.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts, leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART. You can also send an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org

Oct 15, 2022
We’re still in a bear market, folks
00:17:50

Despite the latest inflation numbers, the stock market had a great day today. We even got to play the happy, jazzy music on “Marketplace.” But that doesn’t mean we’re out of bear market territory. We’ll explain. Plus, guest host Samantha Fields talks about the big changes to a popular student loan program. (No, not President Biden’s student debt relief.) And, tastier beer?

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you’ve got a question for the hosts, call us and leave us a voicemail. Our number is 508-U-B-SMART. You can also send an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org

Oct 14, 2022
Hurricane season, then and now
00:15:07

Galveston, Texas, was all but wiped out when a Category 4 storm hit the port city in 1900. Thousands died, surviving residents fled and Houston became the economic center of the region. One of our listeners wants to know: Could that be the future of other coastal cities? We’ll talk about it on this Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. Plus: What are i bonds, and where’d the arugula go?

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.

Oct 13, 2022
From “Marketplace Tech”: How credit scores shape our financial reality
00:27:47

Credit scores matter — a lot. They matter if you want to buy a car, a house and sometimes even if you want a job.

In a recent deep dive, we covered the history of credit scores, how they work and whether it’s time to rethink how we measure creditworthiness. But Kimberly still had questions.

So she and the “Marketplace Tech” team took an even closer look. Today, we’re bringing you an excerpt from their series “The Score.” Get ready to get smart (and take notes) on what the algorithms behind your credit scores get wrong, the difference between your FICO and your VantageScore and what happened when a financial planner tried to trick the system to boost her score.

If you have a question about credit scores or anything else, leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART or email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Oct 11, 2022
What have you been been wrong about?
00:11:54

For years, we’ve been asking experts, celebrities, authors and you our Make Me Smart question: What’s something you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about?

From the power of poetry to the problem with perfectionism, we’ve heard lots of smart answers, and today we’re going to listen to some of the most memorable ones. Plus, Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams share their top picks from two celebrity guests.

What’s something you’ve been wrong about? Leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278 or 508-U-B-SMART.

Oct 10, 2022
There’s a new backlog of ships hitting the U.S.
00:28:15

While the backlog of ships at West Coast ports has mostly cleared, there’s a new log jam along the Mississippi River. We’ll talk about the effects it could have on our supply chain, food prices and inflation. Then, a look at the history behind the Supreme Court’s group photos. Plus, the hosts weigh in on Kim Kardashian getting a crypto fine, Black Friday and extra large skeleton Halloween decorations during a round of Half Full/Half Empty.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

If you have questions about the economy, business or technology you want answered on Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART or email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org.

We need your help us finish the fall fundraiser strong! Give generously today: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn

Oct 08, 2022
How oil and gas companies fuel the anti-abortion movement
00:15:37

What do oil and gas companies have to do with reproductive health care? Some of them are funneling donations to “pregnancy resource centers” that discourage abortion in exchange for a break on the energy producers’ taxes. Kimberly and guest host Janet Nguyen dig into an analysis from the Gulf States Newsroom. We’ll also talk about President Biden overhauling the country’s policy on marijuana. Plus, Fat Bear Week is here. And an Oregon Trail musical?

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.

Oct 07, 2022
Student loan forgiveness should boost your credit score — eventually
00:16:40

We’re a nation of student loan debtors. Wiping out up to $20,000 of that debt should boost each borrower’s score, right? On this Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, we have to let one listener down easy. Plus, Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams answer more of your questions on the peso, the pandemic and pumpkin pie.

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.

Oct 06, 2022
The social, political and economic forces behind Iran’s protests
00:29:14

This is the third week of protests in Iran. Dozens have died and hundreds have been arrested in the demonstrations following the death of a young Iranian woman in police custody. And now the outrage seems to be spreading and tapping into a deep well of grievances.

“This is really anger at the entire system for its 43 years of corruption and abuse of power,” said Jason Rezaian, opinion columnist for the Washington Post and author of “Prisoner: My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison.”

On the show today, Rezaian explains what’s driving the latest protest movement in Iran, the role of the United States and what may come next.

In the News Fix, the Supreme Court started a new term this week and it’s expected to be a doozy. We’ll explain. Plus, get ready for the return of Donald Trump on Twitter.

Then, the gif vs. jif debate continues. And, in case you didn’t know, the climate crisis is so bad that the city of Los Angeles hired a chief heat officer. Hear her 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 us to answer, leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART or makemesmart@marketplace.org.

Oct 05, 2022
To rebuild or not to rebuild?
00:17:36

Climate change is making storms stronger and more destructive. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, some are wondering whether investing in rebuilding is really worth it. We’ll discuss. Plus, why the drama over Credit Suisse is not a Lehman Brothers moment. And, the parody news site The Onion filed an amicus brief, and it’s truly a chef’s kiss!

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Donate any amount and download five exclusive Marketplace ring tones: https://support.marketplace.org/smart-sn

Oct 03, 2022
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