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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Author: Marketplace

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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood, Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly is now a daily news podcast that breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the most complex topics of the week. Together, we make sense of today. Because none of us is as smart as all of us.
As a leading public media voice, Ryssdal has been a trusted broadcaster for two decades and has received the Alfred I.duPont-Columbia University Award, a Peabody Award and an Emmy. He is the host of our daily news business radio program Marketplace. Wood has spent two decades covering the tech industry on all platforms and is known as a pioneer in podcasting. She is an Ideas contributor at Wired and has been recognized for her dynamic reporting by the Webbys, the National Magazine Awards, and the Gracie Awards. Listen to them together on Make Me Smart With Kai & Molly wherever you get your podcasts.
127 Episodes
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K-Pop stans vs. racism

K-Pop stans vs. racism

2020-06-0515:301

If you find yourself rage-clicking on trending topics that appear to be racist this week, you’ll likely be greeted by gifs and videos of BTS or another massively popular Korean pop group. Their famously dedicated fan armies have joined the fight against racism online, flooding anti-Black hashtags. Also on the docket today: What would it take for you to sit in the middle seat on an airplane again? For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.
Yes, Quibi still exists

Yes, Quibi still exists

2020-06-0415:361

For Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday, we dipped into the mailbag and pulled out a mix of your questions from the past week, including: What’s happening with Quibi, the very-well-funded mobile-only streaming service that landed with a thud in the middle of a pandemic? Plus, we look at consumerism post-COVID-19 and the ripple effects of Silicon Valley workers permanently working from home anywhere in the world. For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.
Protests against the killing of George Floyd in police custody have flared in some 140 cities. Once again Americans are confronted with a reminder of the ways people of color, particularly black people, bear a disproportionate burden in this economy in the areas of health care, resources like loans and pandemic relief, food security and more. Today, we talk with D’Artagnan Scorza, founder and executive director of the Social Justice Learning Institute, about the language we use to talk about protest and policing, and where the fight for equality and justice goes after a crisis.
Many Facebook employees took a virtual hike to protest the company’s policies around presidential messaging. And there’s a lot to process on this Monday. We do bring you a couple of things to make you smile, though. For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.
These are broken times

These are broken times

2020-05-3016:131

It’s been a long week, so we went live on YouTube Friday to talk about what’s happening in Minneapolis, our hobbled economy, and President Trump’s leadership over a drink. In lighter news, we’ll also discuss how to leave your dog at home after the pandemic and “Haircut Night in America.” For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.
As China cracks down on Hong Kong’s autonomy, we take a minute to examine the territory’s place in the world’s second-largest economy. Plus: the Boston Marathon, the Wall Street Journal and a couple of Uncles David. For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.
What’s HBO Max?

What’s HBO Max?

2020-05-2815:14

Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday isn’t just about answering your questions.  Sometimes our hosts have questions too. Today, Kai is trying to figure out the latest entrant in the streaming wars. Plus: how oil prices bounced back and the future of higher ed. For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org.
After years of sagging sales and changing customer habits, the coronavirus pandemic has retail fighting for its life. As more states move to partially reopen nonessential businesses, it’s still not clear who’s going to make it out of this crisis. For our 200th (!) episode, Marketplace retail reporter Marielle Segarra walks us through the winners and losers, what this crisis says about the way Americans shop and what’s coming next. Get ready for a mall-walking comeback. For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And a big thanks to everyone who’s helped us get to 200 episodes! Here’s to 200 more.
Not in California, anyway. The University of California system announced this week it will phase out the use of ACT and SAT test scores in its admissions process. Will it ease stress and lower barriers for low-income families? We’ll talk about it. Plus: American oil production and coffee snobbery. For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And another big thanks to everyone who helped make our spring fundraiser a success. If you missed it, there’s still time to donate at marketplace.org/givesmart.
On today’s show, we’ll dig into former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s column in Foreign Affairs about how to keep the dollar strong. Plus, Big Tech’s new work-from-home reality check and some useful euphemisms for “President Trump lied.” For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And if you can, consider supporting Marketplace with a donation at marketplace.org/givesmart.
Or will your employer pay for some WFH remodeling? Eh, don’t get your hopes up. We’re fielding a couple of personal finance questions on today’s Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. We’ll also answer your mail about the confusing surge in the stock market and the future of retail (which we’ll talk about more on our Tuesday episode next week). For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And if you can, consider supporting Marketplace with a donation at marketplace.org/givesmart.
Ready or not, the country is starting to reopen, and some Americans are getting back to work. There’s a lot of new tech on the table for preventing a surge in COVID-19 cases, but what’s actually effective? And what data will you have to give up to use it? Here to talk us through how the American office will change is Chris Calabrese, the vice president for policy at the Center for Democracy & Technology. For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And if you can, consider supporting Marketplace with a donation at marketplace.org/givesmart.
Is it a “V”? A “W”? What about a Nike swoosh? What about a “K”? Stay with us. Also meeting up here today: Masayoshi Son, Chuck E. Cheese and Jesus Christ. For a full list of stories we talked about today, check out our episode page at makemesmart.org.
For now, it’s millionaires versus billionaires. The MLB is exploring a way to get baseball season started during the pandemic… and Kai’s out today. So we drafted Andy Uhler to go deep on the players union, salary caps and more. Plus: a playlist for your weekend and, oh yeah, Facebook’s $400 million purchase of Giphy. For a full list of the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And if you can, consider supporting Marketplace with a donation at marketplace.org/givesmart.
Twitter was the first big tech company to tell workers they could work remotely indefinitely, even after the pandemic wanes. Does this portend tech workers fleeing the high price of living in Silicon Valley, or even a migration away from big cities? We’ll talk about it. Plus: spaceflight simulators, the legacy of “Demolition Man” and the grim outlook for America’s restaurants. For a full list of all the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And if you can, consider supporting Marketplace with a donation at marketplace.org/givesmart.
You guys had a lot of questions after our episode about Modern Monetary Theory, and today we’re going to answer one on Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. We’ll also talk about the Fed, Airbnb and the history of unemployment in this country. For a full list of all the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And if you can, consider supporting Marketplace with a donation at marketplace.org/givesmart.
Does debt matter? For an individual, a household or even a generation, sure it does. But what about a nation? Modern Monetary Theory says no. To help us understand MMT and why it matters in this crisis is Stephanie Kelton. She’s a professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University, and she served as an adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Her new book, “The Deficit Myth” is out June 9. For a full list of all the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And if you can, consider supporting Marketplace with a donation at marketplace.org/givesmart.
In his (sigh) tweet today, the Tesla CEO said he’s reopening a Northern California factory a couple weeks before he’s allowed, daring police to come arrest him. But given the way this pandemic works and Tesla’s safety record, Elon Musk could very well be threatening Oakland overall. Also on the docket today: hotel bonds, Guy Fieri and dog poop bags. For a full list of all the stories we talked about today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org. And if you can, consider supporting Marketplace with a donation at marketplace.org/givesmart.
What a week, huh?

What a week, huh?

2020-05-0919:01

Some days you’re the murder hornet, some days you’re the praying mantis. It’ll make more sense when you listen. For all the links from today’s show, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org
The U.S. is the richest country in the world. Why can’t we get our act together around COVID-19? If it sounds like we’re oversimplifying, on the show today we’ll look to Germany and how it’s kept factories open while avoiding severe outbreaks. Plus, why so many oil tankers are slowing way down, and why men need to get over themselves. What else is new? For more links from today, check out the episode page at makemesmart.org Finally, tomorrow’s “Economics on Tap” episode will be broadcast live on YouTube! Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it at youtube.com/marketplacevideos
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Comments (19)

Solomon Mars

episode error. it won't download.

May 27th
Reply

Megan Taylor

The source is bad

May 27th
Reply

Thehubangie

He makes it so hard for me to keep being a fan.

May 12th
Reply

Thehubangie

Aliens more believable then the Donald

Apr 29th
Reply

Phil Ouellette

OMG! Cruise bookings are up? Cannot believe it. So love the topics you explore

Apr 3rd
Reply

Amy Nelson

Kai and Molly, you made.me smile!

Mar 21st
Reply

Vernon Shoemaker

The glib "capitalism" impresses ideologically but the principle that seems to come through is "self-interest.". Nothing wrong with that if you recognize your self-interest. Is it short term personal gain through manipulation and exploitation of the system or is it commitment in consideration that all our attachments are existentially temporary (We can define our insecurity by our attachments.)? The current form goes like this:. When innovation and growth are desired, there is a competitive market created which exhausts itself in a bubble and the conservative hangover results in a stable cooperative form, monopolistic capitalism (The bubble is the divergence of systematic value and what it's supposed to represent.). Capitalistic principles are consistent but apply differently.

Feb 16th
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Vernon Shoemaker

I listened to the interview twice dissatisfied. Is it possible to be subject to disinformation about disinformation? Am I wrong or "neurotic" to be suspicious of people who complicate beyond recognition until I acquiesce in the hope of deferred clarity? Is that what "agreeable" people do? "The Wisdom of Crowds" implies a faith that guides both democracy and markets. It's not absolute but it's regulation is for the purpose of setting ground rules and correcting clear abuses. Disinformation is signified by a Russian ad but this remains vague. Is this really the bellwether it's made out to be?

Jan 17th
Reply

Mark Matthieu

it's 2019 and they've never made a profit and lost $1.2 billion in the first quarter alone this year.

May 25th
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Roger Fredrickson

Ah what a stupid idea.

Feb 23rd
Reply

Cat Blossom

😂 Oh my gosh...Africa! Was wrong about the same thing!

Feb 23rd
Reply

Shanaya Painter

Awesome! Gene editing has the potential to really make leaps and bounds in lethal and chronic illnesses. I don't know why we fear it so much. Things in moderation <3. We were terrified of phones, internet, etc, its time to stop fearing science out right and proceed with optimistic caution.

Jan 10th
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Bridget Collins

The show is cutting off at 35:48 - without credits, almost in mid word- which seems weird to me.

Oct 25th
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Daryl Sande

Re:. Episode 78. Kai, listen to the tape of Lillian's discussion on this episode and see if you can count the number of times she started a sentence with SO. Really annoying, huh? She even managed to sneak in a SO or two in the middle and near the end of a sentence. God, I hope she doesn't write as she speaks. She even got you caught up using "so" near the end of the interview. My condolences.

Aug 22nd
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Dan Mastel

Great job you two! I get a little smarter every week

Apr 24th
Reply

vikrant Yadav

nice podcast , keep it up

Mar 25th
Reply

iTunes User

Very excited to hear two of my favorite media correspondents in a longer form that gives them the freedom to explore topics at length. I really enjoy the mini episodes so far.

Aug 30th
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iTunes User

They're only teasing us so far, and already this show is a delight. Subscribe to hear the witty, pointed perspective of Molly Wood paired with Kai Ryssdal's bright insights. In agreement or on opposite sides of the issue, these two have fantastic conversation chemistry, and Molly brings out the lighter side of Kai that we occasionally catch when he's at the news desk. I hope we get a Molly rant every now and again. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just wait—it is so worth the wait.

Aug 30th
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iTunes User

First let me say that I am a longtime fan of both Kai and Molly -- love them both. I could listen to Kai read the Manhattan phone book, his voice is that good. But I miss being able to go to the website and click on "Marketplace" and hear a well-prepared, informative, full show. This new gig had WAY too much hemming and hawing, and I am certain I am not the only fan of Marketplace who is too busy to wade through "rapport-building" patter to get to some actual useful facts. Maybe this is just a cold engine first starting up -- I hope so. Marketplace, the actual program, is tight as a drum. Please tighten this up, or the busiest among us will drift away from you! Warm regards from the Blue Ridge Mountains

Aug 30th
Reply
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