The secret world behind school fundraisers
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
1d ago
Fundraising is a staple of the school experience in the U.S. There's an assembly showing off all the prizes kids can win by selling enough wrapping paper or chocolate to their neighbors. But it's pretty weird, right? Why do schools turn kids into little salespeople? And why do we let companies come in and dangle prizes in front of students? We spend a year with one elementary school, following their fundraising efforts, to see how much they raise, and what the money goes to. The school – Villacorta Elementary in La Puente, California – has one big goal: To raise enough money to send every s ..read more
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A controversial idea at the heart of Bidenomics
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
6d ago
Réka Juhász is a professor of economics at the University of British Columbia, and she studies what's known as industrial policy. That's the general term for whenever the government tries to promote specific sectors of the economy. The idea is that they might be able to supercharge growth by giving money to certain kinds of businesses, or by putting up trade barriers to protect certain industries. Economists have long been against it. Industrial policy has been called a "taboo" subject, and "one of the most toxic phrases" in economics. The mainstream view has been that industrial policy is in ..read more
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Two Indicators: Economics of the defense industry
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
1w ago
The Department of Defense's proposed budget for 2024 is $842 billion. That is about 3.5% of the U.S.'s GDP. The military buys everything from pens and paper clips to fighter jets and submarines. But the market for military equipment is very different from the commercial market. On today's episode, we're bringing you two stories from The Indicator's series on defense spending that explore that market. As the U.S. continues to send weapons to Ukraine and Israel, we first look at why defense costs are getting so high. Then, we dive into whether bare-bones manufacturing styles are leaving the U.S ..read more
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How the Navy came to protect cargo ships
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
2w ago
The Genco Picardy is not an American ship. It doesn't pay U.S. taxes, none of its crew are U.S. nationals, and when it sailed through the Red Sea last month, it wasn't carrying cargo to or from an American port. But when the Houthis, a tribal militant group from Yemen, attacked the ship, the crew called the U.S. Navy. That same day, the Navy fired missiles at Houthi sites. On today's show: How did protecting the safe passage of other countries' ships in the Red Sea become a job for the U.S. military? It goes back to an idea called Freedom of the Seas, an idea that started out as an abstract ..read more
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It's giving ... Valentines
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
2w ago
L, is for the way you Listen to Planet Money O, is for the Only podcast I hear V, is Very, very, fiduciary E, is for... ECONOMICS! Every February, we dedicate a show to the things in our lives that have been giving us butterflies. Whether it's an obscure online marketplace or a piece of stunt journalism that made us green with envy. And then we go out into the world to proclaim our love...in the form of a Valentine. And we have a great roster this Valentine's Day: - A grocery store in Los Angeles with the very best produce - A woodworking supply company with an innovative approach to... inno ..read more
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Morally questionable, economically efficient
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
3w ago
There are tons of markets that don't exist because people just don't want to allow a market – for whatever reason, people feel icky about putting a price on something. For example: Surrogacy is a legal industry in parts of the United States, but not in much of the rest of the world. Assisted end-of-life is a legal medical transaction in some states, but is illegal in others. When we have those knee-jerk reactions and our gut repels us from considering something apparently icky, economics asks us to look a little more closely. Today on the show, we have three recommendations of things that ma ..read more
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Groundhog Day 2024: Trademark, bankruptcy, and the dollar that failed
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
3w ago
It's Groundhog Day, and the eyes of the nation have turned to a small town in western Pennsylvania. And, just like last year, all anyone can talk about is Punxsutawney Phil! It is impossible to find a news story that is not about one furry prognosticator. Well, almost impossible... Once again, our Planet Money hosts find themselves trapped in the endless Groundhog Day news cycle, and their only way out is to discover an economics story from Groundhog Day itself interesting enough to appease the capricious Groundhog Gods! So rise and shine campers (and don't forget your booties) as hosts Ken ..read more
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The Chicken Tax (Classic)
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
1M ago
Note: This episode originally ran in 2015. German families in the 60s loved tasty, cheap American-raised chicken that was suddenly coming in after the war. And Americans were loving fun, cheap Volkswagen Beetles. This arrangement was too good to last. Today on the show, how a trade dispute over frozen chicken parts changed the American auto industry as we know it. This episode was reported by Robert Smith and Sonari Glinton. It was produced by Frances Harlow. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney ..read more
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Bonus: Janet Yellen on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
1M ago
Our friends at NPR's news quiz Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! recently had a very Planet Money guest on their show: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. They asked her about smoking pot, her extremely high scores in Candy Crush, and when to expect the Harriet Tubman $20 bill. Today, we're sharing an excerpt of that episode with you, along with some exclusive questions just for Planet Money listeners. You can listen to the full show and subscribe to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! wherever you find your podcasts. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Po ..read more
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Rescues at sea, and how to make a fortune
Planet Money Podcast
by NPR
1M ago
At around 1 a.m. on the morning of November 15, 1994, Captain Prentice "Skip" Strong III woke to a distress call. Skip was the new captain of an oil tanker called the Cherry Valley. He and his crew had been making their way up the coast of Florida that evening when a tropical storm had descended. It had been a rough night of 15 foot waves and 50 mile per hour winds. The distress call was coming from a tugboat whose engines were failing in the storm. Now adrift, the tugboat was on a dangerous collision course with the shore. The only ship close enough to mount a rescue was the Cherry Valley ..read more
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