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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

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Each weekday, Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood 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.
448 Episodes
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Resignations at the Fed

Resignations at the Fed

2021-09-2814:491

You know it’s a big deal when people retire early from jobs where people never retire early. Two Federal Reserve presidents stepped down after making controversial trades in the financial markets the Fed was actively trying to stabilize in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll discuss why the resignations matter. Plus, a few other stories you might’ve missed over the weekend, including one about dentists fighting a plan to add dental coverage to Medicare. And a Make Me Smile moment from a fellow listener. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Dallas Fed President Kaplan to retire early on Oct. 8, citing trading disclosure ‘distraction'” from CNBC “Beijing Claims Victory Over Huawei Executive’s Return”  from The Wall Street Journal “Fuel pumps run dry in British cities, sowing supply chain chaos” from Reuters “Dentists’ Group Fights Plan to Cover Dental Benefits Under Medicare” from The Wall Street Journal “A day-by-day guide to Congress’s high-stakes budget week” from The Washington Post “R. Kelly is convicted on all counts after decades of accusations of abuse” from The New York Times “Simone Biles is excited for highly anticipated Gold Over America Tour” from CNN Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
China is making big crypto moves. Today, it made all financial transactions involving cryptocurrencies illegal. It also banned crypto mining. At the same time, it’s launching its own digital currency. We’ll dig into what it might mean for crypto’s future. Plus, one thing that hasn’t got better during the pandemic: Mothers are still having a hard time returning to work. And now it’s because of a shortage of child care workers. Also, we nerd out about copyright law and wrap up the week with a round of our favorite game, “Half Full/Half Empty.” Here’s everything we talked about today: “China Cracks Down Harder on Cryptocurrency With New Ban” from The New York Times “Disney Sues to Keep Complete Rights to Marvel Characters” from The New York Times “Tough Biden calls on Trump executive privilege headed for Jan. 6 probe” from Politico “‘Can’t Compete’: Why Hiring for Child Care Is a Huge Struggle” from The New York Times “Six United employees ask court to block vaccination requirement” from CNN “More Corporate Climate Commitments Are Essential to Limiting the Effects of Global Warming” from Just Capital “All this talk about the Fed “tapering” bond-buying — what’s it to you?” from “Marketplace” “Vinyl records are selling at twice the clip of a year ago with no signs of slowing down” from “Marketplace” “NYC passes new protections for delivery app workers” from “Marketplace” “New emoji are about to drop, but where do they come from anyway?” from “Marketplace Tech” Read the transcript here. Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
No more debt ceiling?

No more debt ceiling?

2021-09-2416:181

It’s tradition. Every couple of years, Democrats and Republicans fight over raising the federal debt ceiling, or the limit of how much money the government can borrow to pay its bills. Right now is one of those times. Should this tradition be broken? We’ll discuss. Plus, Boris Johnson takes aim at Kermit the frog and Brandi Carlile’s upcoming SNL appearance has us grinning. And we’re taking your make me smile submissions. Here’s everything we talked about today: A tweet on Nancy Pelosi’s debt ceiling remarks “House Panel Expands Inquiry into Climate Disinformation by Oil Giants” from The New York Times “Every season except summer is getting shorter, a sign of trouble for people and the environment” from The Washington Post “Redfin CEO, Zillow pour cold water on TikToker’s iBuyer theory” from Inman British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Kermit the frog joke Brandi Carlile’s SNL tweet  And her Grammy performance Read the transcript here. Join us on YouTube Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern for our live happy hour episode! Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss it.
Progressive Democrats are pressuring President Joe Biden to replace Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. But how did a non-economist even come to head the Fed anyway? That’s one of the listener questions we answer on this Whaddya Wanna Know Wednesday. We’ll also talk about mismatching in the labor market and who the United States is borrowing money from. Plus, Molly reveals her super-secret project! Here’s everything we talked about: “The long and twisting story of how Jay Powell became our next Federal Reserve chair” from Marketplace “Progressives led by AOC call for Biden to replace Fed Chair Powell” from CNN “The debt-ceiling fight, explained” from The Washington Post “A record number of job openings, but only so-so on the hiring front” from “Marketplace” “3 ‘mismatches’ that explain the labor shortage” from Business Insider “What is geoengineering—and why should you care?” From MIT Technology Review Molly’s super-secret project: “Introducing ‘How We Survive'”  Read the transcript here. Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
Congressional Democrats are working on a $3.5 trillion bill that would vastly expand the social safety net. But what exactly is this thing we call the social safety net? “We’re talking about things like the earned income tax credit, child tax credits, a cash transfer program called TANF, or Temporary Assistance [for] Needy Families … but if you think about how long it might take you to get on your feet, it is a relatively meager and challenging system to subsist on,” said Tina Sacks, associate professor of social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. The idea that the government should help catch Americans if they fall on hard times started during the Great Depression, for obvious reasons. But Sacks says today that net doesn’t work as well as it should. There are a lot of gaps in the system, and at the end of the day our programs are pretty meager compared to those in other developed nations. On the show today, Sacks walks us through the ins and outs of the social safety net. What it looks like in practice and whether the Democrats’ plan could make a real difference. Later, we’ll talk about the next legal fight over reproductive rights, hear from a listener who makes us smart about toaster ovens and a callout for all your Duo voice memos! When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week we’ll explain so-called name, image and likeness compensation deals and how they’re changing the game for student athletes, along with the origin of potato chips. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here. Here’s everything we talked about today: “From Cradle to Grave, Democrats Move to Expand Social Safety Net” from The New York Times “Pandemic Aid Programs Spur a Record Drop in Poverty” from The New York Times The Uncertain Hour’s podcast on the history of welfare reform “The Time Tax” from The Atlantic “Texas doctor who defied state’s near-total abortion ban is sued” from The Los Angeles Times Professor Caitlin Myers’ tweet thread on economists’ amicus brief against a Mississippi abortion law “A ‘Righteous Strike'” from The New York Times’ The Daily podcast Read the transcript here.
A massive real estate company is freaking out the global markets. The Evergrande Group is sitting on tons of debt, and investors worry it could go broke and send ripple effects throughout China and beyond. We’ll explain the Evergrande crisis. Plus, you’re awesome! A big shoutout to all the “Make Me Smart” listeners who helped us beat our fundraising goal. And please send photos of you in your banana pants! Here’s everything we talked about today: “Evergrande Blowup Ensnares Stocks With Very Little Link to China” from Bloomberg “Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power: Excerpt” from New York Magazine “Opinion | Janet Yellen: Congress, Raise the Debt Limit” from The Wall Street Journal “Covid-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is safe and shows ‘robust’ antibody response, Pfizer says” from CNN “My 80s TV!” Read the transcript here. Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
Today, a group of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted to reject a plan from the White House to approve vaccine boosters for most Americans. That was followed up by a vote to approve boosters for people who are at serious risk of coronavirus disease or over the age of 65. We’ll talk about what makes the discussion around boosters so complicated. We’ll also talk about the Pentagon’s acknowledgment of a drone strike gone very wrong. Finally, we wrap up the show with a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty. Give now to support the show you love and to get the “Make Me Smart” banana pants and ringtones! Marketplace.org/givesmart. Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Pentagon acknowledges Aug. 29 drone strike in Afghanistan was a tragic mistake that killed 10 civilians” from The New York Times “FDA panel backs COVID-19 boosters only for elderly or high-risk Americans” from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Employers’ new strategy: Come for the work, stay for the college tuition” from Marketplace “More than 80 percent of Americans want their paycheck the day they earn it” from The Hill “Cup Noodle company introduces 4 soup-flavored sodas” from ABC7 Chicago “Will ‘South Park’ creators remake Colorado’s legendary Casa Bonita?” from Marketplace Read the transcript here.
Today we get hallowed out from more revelations from The Wall Street Journal’s ongoing reporting of what goes on behind the scenes at Facebook and the tradeoffs the tech giant makes in order to stay a tech giant. We also take a look at the Federal Reserve’s review of its ethics rules. And a Make Me Smile courtesy of listeners like you. Here’s everything we talked about on today’s show: “Facebook Employees Flag Drug Cartels and Human Traffickers. The Company’s Response Is Weak, Documents Show” from The Wall Street Journal “Instagram boss Adam Mosseri on teenagers, TikToks and paying creators” from Recode Media “Instagram boss says social media is like cars: People are going to die” from Mashable “Powell opens review into Fed ethics rules after backlash over trading” from Politico “Newsom California recall election’s costly lessons” from The Los Angeles Times Read the transcript here. Give now to support the show you love and to get the “Make Me Smart” banana pants and ringtones! Marketplace.org/givesmart.
A lot of things are affected by inflation. How come minimum wage isn’t one of them? On today’s show, we get to the bottom of one listener’s question about minimum wage, but we can’t promise the answer is logical. Plus, we explain the big deal with TikTok and check out some weird beers! Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “These two charts show how much minimum wage workers have fallen behind” from CNN “Why can’t our political system address our biggest problems?” from The Washington Post “When it comes to raising the minimum wage, most of the action is in cities and states, not Congress” from Pew Research Center “Let’s do the numbers on a $15 minimum wage” from Make Me Smart “TikTok rolls out features to help teens’ mental health as Instagram comes under fire” from CNBC “How TikTok went from dance videos to meaningful activism” from Vogue “TikTok becomes the most downloaded app of 2021 first half” from Technotifiction Read the transcript here. Give now to support the show you love and to get the “Make Me Smart” banana pants and ringtones! Marketplace.org/givesmart.
Ten years ago this week, a group of activists pitched tents in New York’s Zuccotti Park. They said they were protesting against economic inequality and the gap between the people who hold the top 1% of wealth in this country and the rest of us. Soon, people in cities all over the globe launched their own Occupy Wall Street protests, and while police broke up the original protest in New York two months later, Occupy Wall Street went a lot longer and a lot further than many expected. “There were experts, people in the social sciences who had been studying inequality, and were very well aware of its explosive growth in the period since the 1970s. But it wasn’t really on the radar of the general population until Occupy. I think that was one of the major impacts,” said Ruth Milkman, a sociology professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center, who has studied the Occupy Wall Street movement. Milkman said while Occupy Wall Street may not have done much to close the growing income inequality gap in this country, it made the issue part of the national political conversation. She also draws lines between Occupy, the Fight for $15, the rise of Bernie Sanders and other social movements that followed, including Black Lives Matter. On today’s show, we’ll talk with Milkman about the legacy of Occupy Wall Street. In the newsfix, we’ll talk about Facebook and a new project from The Wall Street Journal that reveals troubling information about what’s happening inside company. Plus, we’ll hear from one of our favorite listeners and one of best low-key answers to the Make Me Smart question we’ve received in a while. Read the transcript here. When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week we’ll explain why hit songs are getting shorter, why child care is so expensive and how drive-in movie theaters made a comeback. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here. Give now to support the show you love and to get the “Make Me Smart” banana pants and ringtones! Marketplace.org/givesmart. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Changing the Subject: A Bottom Up Account of Occupy Wall Street in New York City” co-authored by Prof. Milkman “It’s Been Another Decade Of Income Inequality In The U.S.” from NPR “Occupy Wall Street Did More Than You Think” from The Atlantic “The Facebook Files” from The Wall Street Journal “Amazon hikes starting pay to $18 an hour” from Reuters “Climate change to change behavior, 80% of respondents tell Pew” from CNBC
Apple’s security impermeability has been shattered to pieces. Today, Apple issued an emergency software update for its products after researchers discovered devices could be infected with the highly invasive Pegasus software without a single click. We’ll explain what that means for your security. Plus, “Shipageddon” will be with us until 2022, and we discuss a few science-related stories you might’ve missed, including one about baby cows being potty-trained. And finally, one of the fashion industry’s biggest parties is making us smile (#metgala). Here’s everything we talked about today: “Apple Issues Emergency Security Updates to Close a Spyware Flaw” from The New York Times “U.S. Ports See Shipping Logjams Likely Extending Far Into 2022” from The Wall Street Journal “Supply chain crisis will leave permanent scar, UPS warns” from The Financial Times “Courting moderates, House Democrats stop short of proposing the most aggressive plans to tax the rich” from The New York Times “Scientists Claim Overeating Is Not the Primary Cause of Obesity — Point to More Effective Weight Loss Strategies” from SciTech Daily David Leonhardt op-ed about his month without sugar “For a livable future, 60% of oil and gas must stay in the ground” from Grist “Meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production, study finds” from The Guardian A tweet thread from U.S. Rep. Katie Porter “The Real Reason Workers Want to Stay Remote: 75% Can’t Leave Their Pandemic Pets Behind” from Digital.com “Scientists Are Toilet-Training Baby Cows to Cut Emissions” from Bloomberg #MetGala  Read the transcript here. Give now to support the show you love and to get the “Make Me Smart” banana pants and ringtones! Marketplace.org/givesmart.
Whether the United States moves on climate change may come down to one person — Sen. Joe Manchin. Will his personal financial investments in the energy industry stand in the way? We’ll discuss the ethics around policymakers profiting from industries they’re supposed to be writing the rules for. Plus, we check in on U.S.-China trade relations and Epic v. Apple legal battle. Finally, we close this short/long week, with a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty. Here’s everything we talked about today: “ECB Will Slow Its Crisis-Era Bond Buying” from The New York Times “Tracking Viral Misinformation: Latest Updates” also from The New York Times “Biden Administration Takes Aim at China’s Industrial Subsidies” from The Wall Street Journal “Apple must allow other forms of in-app purchases, rules judge in Epic v. Apple” from The Verge “Epic will appeal the Epic v. Apple decision” also from The Verge “After a Summer of Disasters, Some Lawmakers See a Chance for Climate Action” from The New York Times Molly’s thread on Joe Manchin’s financial connections to energy industry “Democrats Unveil Details of Sweeping Climate Change Spending Plan” from The New York Times “Dallas Fed’s Robert Kaplan Was Active Buyer and Seller of Stocks Last Year” from The Wall Street Journal The Stock Act  “More Americans are looking to retire earlier” from Marketplace “Facebook just announced its new Ray-Bay glasses- I’ve been using them for a couple of days, here’s what they’re like” from CNBC “Toyota Bets Big on New Battery Tech, but Leaves Plenty of Room for Hybrids” from Autoweek “SpaceX Inspiration4 all-civilian spaceflight” from Space.com “Taco Bell wants you to send back your used sauce packets so it can reuse them” from CNN Read the transcript here. Give now to support the show you love and to get the Make Me Smart banana pants and ringtones! Marketplace.org/givesmart.
The White House isn’t messing around. Now that the COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Joe Biden administration has ordered two-thirds of the American workforce to get the jab. We’ll discuss the latest round of vaccine mandates. Plus, an update on the abortion ban in Texas and the buy now, pay later boom — what can possibly go wrong? Finally, we fill our hollowed-out shells with Blue’s Clues and some fun facts about rats! Here’s everything we talked about today: “Biden is requiring the vast majority of federal workers to get vaccinated or face disciplinary measures” from The New York Times “Justice Department Sues Texas Over New Abortion Ban” from NPR “As ‘buy now, pay later’ surges, a third of U.S. users fall behind on payments” from Reuters “Deja vu as container ship runs aground in Suez Canal but is quickly refloated“ from Metro News Blue’s Clues Turns 25  “Beached Rat Carcasses Indicate Mass Rodent Death During Ida, Experts Say” from Gothamist “5 fun facts about rats | Explore | Awesome Activities & Fun Facts!” from CBC Read the transcript here. Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
We often hear Social Security is running out of money, but what does that actually mean? On today’s show, we answer a listener’s question about the future of Social Security. TLDR, recipients won’t stop getting Social Security checks, but their payments might shrink. Plus, we’ll explain why semiconductors are so hard to make, what’s the deal with returnless refunds, and hollowed-out shell Thursday vs. hollowed-out shell of a Thursday. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Social Security won’t be able to pay full benefits by 2034” from CNN “Status of the Social Security and Medicare Programs” from the Social Security Administration “The Chip Shortage Keeps Getting Worse. Why Can’t We Just Make More?” from Bloomberg “Retail therapy is great, but returns can take the fun out of it” from Marketplace “Amazon, Walmart Tell Consumers to Skip Returns of Unwanted Items” from The Wall Street Journal Read the transcript here. Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
It might not be talked about much, but reproductive rights are an economic issue. There’s a growing body of research suggesting a link between access to abortion and women’s economic stability. “We have evidence that for women who delayed becoming mothers, because they had access to abortion, those women were much more likely to attend college, to graduate college, to obtain occupations that are kind of professional in nature. And they had higher wages by as much as about 10%. And they were about half as likely to live in poverty as adults,” said Caitlin Myers, an economics professor at Middlebury College who studies the effects of reproductive policies. Myers also pointed to evidence that women who encounter obstacles to obtaining an abortion and are ultimately unable to have one are much more likely to face bankruptcy proceedings, see their credit status decline and suffer financial distress. In the aftermath of Texas’ abortion ban, we’ll discuss reproductive rights as an issue of economic justice and why those rights are rarely seen through an economic lens. In the news fix, we discuss Afghanistan’s new government and what it might mean for the country’s economy. Later, a listener shares his favorite Ikea hack, and the fart joke that keeps on giving. When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week, we’re explaining China’s massive tutoring business, how Hollywood stars get paid and hard seltzer. You can hear them all here. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here. Here’s everything we talked about today: “What Happens To Women Who Can’t Get Abortions” from Huffington Post “Where Abortion Access Would Decline if Roe v. Wade Were Overturned” from The New York Times “Taliban Unveil New Afghan Government” from The Wall Street Journal “Afghanistan’s Money Exchangers Are the Economy’s Last Best Hope” from Foreign Policy “Bitcoin Drops to Lowest in Month as El Salvador Rollout Falters” from Bloomberg “Texas abortion ‘whistleblower’ website shut down a second time” from KXAN “Calls grow for FDA to speed authorization of kid Covid-19 vaccines” from Politico Read the transcript here.
The end of a long week

The end of a long week

2021-09-0425:582

The destruction left by Hurricane Ida has sharpened the focus on infrastructure and climate resilience in the United States. We discuss the importance of the Senate-approved infrastructure bill in speeding up the fight against climate change. We also talk about the emerging corporate responses to the Texas abortion law and some worrying statistics in the latest jobs report. And finally, join us for another round of our Friday game, Half Full/Half Empty! Here’s everything we talked about on the show today: “Ida churns up tension on infrastructure vs. climate change” from Politico “Hurricane Ida, Wildfires Prod Congress on Resiliency” from The Wall Street Journal “Joe Manchin Condemns Anti-Fossil Fuel Provisions in Infrastructure Bill” from Newsweek “At August’s Rate, It Will Take Women 9 Years to Regain the Jobs They Lost in the Pandemic” from the National Women’s Law Center “TikTok Users and Coders Flood Texas Abortion Site With Fake Tips” from The New York Times “Uber and Lyft Will Cover Legal Fees for Drivers Sued Under Texas Abortion Law” from USA Today “Zoom adds donation option to its list of features” from “Marketplace Morning Report” “Reddit bans anti-vaccine subreddit r/NoNewNormal after site-wide protest” from The Verge “Calls for unionization are brewing at Starbucks” from “Marketplace Morning Report” “Ikea gets into the resale game” from “Marketplace” Read the transcript here.
We know everyone is talking about Texas’s new restrictive abortion law. We’re saving our in-depth conversation about that for Tuesday, when we’ll dive into the economic story behind reproductive rights. Today, we’re talking about other stories that have our shells feeling pretty hollowed out, including the flooding from Hurricane Ida. Can this be a George Floyd moment for climate change? Plus, a bunch of billionaires are paying up. And a plethora of make-you-smile moments — from a swimming rat living his best life in flood waters to ABBA! Here’s everything we talked about today: “Latest Updates: Flooding From Ida Kills Dozens of People in Four States” from The New York Times “James Simons, Robert Mercer, Others at renaissance to Pay $7 Billion to Settle Tax Probe” from The Wall Street Journal  “Apple secures first states to support digital driver’s licenses, but privacy questions linger” from TechCrunch “McDonald’s broken ice cream machines are part of FTC investigation, report says” from USA Today “ABBA to drop first studio album in 40 years” from CNN Cute video of floating rat Read the transcript here. Join us on YouTube Fridays at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern for our live happy hour episode! Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications so you don’t miss it.
Should I get my booster?

Should I get my booster?

2021-09-0117:061

Soon, all Americans will be eligible to get a COVID-19 booster shot. One of our listeners is wondering whether getting her booster means taking one from somebody in a developing country. We’ll explain why the vaccine supply chain makes that unlikely. Plus, we’ll check in on Kai’s January 2021 prediction about the 10-year Treasury note and answer a couple of questions about recycling and meal kits. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Why donating COVID-19 booster shots isn’t that easy” from National Geographic “Treasury yields turn flat after disappointing jobs data” from CNBC “Piling Up: How China’s Ban on Importing Waste Has Stalled Global Recycling” from Yale Environment 360 “Meal Kits Have A Smaller Carbon Footprint Than Grocery Shopping, Study Says” from NPR “The Case for Meal Kits: Environment’s Friend or Foe?” from EcoWatch “What common household items are worth recycling?” from Marketplace Read the transcript here. Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
By now you’ve heard the phrase creator economy. It includes everyone from TikTok stars to Twitch streamers and adult-content creators on sites like OnlyFans. According to one report, more than 50 million people around the world consider themselves creators, and it’s become the fastest-growing type of small business. “The influencer marketing industry is projected to be over a $20 billion business in the next couple years,” said Taylor Lorenz, who covers tech culture and online creators for the New York Times. She’s also the author of the forthcoming book “Extremely Online: The Rise of the Online Creator and Creation of a New American Dream.”  “For so long, it was really, really, really hard to build tech products for influencers or creators … because tech executives and tech investors really thought of it as a niche market, right? Now, obviously, there’s so many creators, the pandemic kind of pushed everyone online and the industry is, you know, reaches a sort of a maturation point where it makes a lot of money. And so you see the Silicon Valley investors kind of rushing in.” Today, we’re doing the numbers on the creator economy and discuss how it’s not only changing the business world, but also changing how people think about democracy, misinformation, the anti-vaccination movement and, ultimately, whom people trust. In the news fix, we’ll commiserate over airline customer service wait times, and is Kai a psychic? His “Jeopardy!” prediction comes true. Plus, we’ll hear from a listener who is the boss of multitasking, and another one calls in with a life update. When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week, we’re explaining libraries, vaccines and Dolly Parton. You can hear all our explainers here. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Hello, Content Creators. Silicon Valley’s Investors Want to Meet You.” Taylor’s reporting in The New York Times “The Real Difference Between Creators and Influencers” from The Atlantic “Analysis | No, the Taliban did not seize $83 billion of U.S. weapons” from The Washington Post “Consumer Confidence Hits Six-Month Low in US” from Bloomberg “Need to Call an Airline? Your Hold Time Will Be Approximately One Zillion Hours” from The Wall Street Journal “Scoop: Facebook’s new moves to lower News Feed’s political volume” from Axios “Mike Richards is now out as executive producer of ‘Jeopardy!’ too” from CNN Read the transcript here.
It’s been a somber news day. Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This time, the city’s $14.5 billion system of levees seemed to have held up, but the storm knocked out power for 1 million people. We’ll talk about what this extreme weather tells us about climate adaptation. Plus, it’s the end of an era in Afghanistan as the last American troops pull out of Kabul and we’ll share a few stories you might’ve missed over the weekend. Finally, an Al Roker clap back you didn’t know you needed. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Afghanistan Live Updates: The United States Occupation Is Over” from The New York Times  “Ida weakens to tropical storm after knocking out power to New Orleans” from NBC News “EU Recommends Halting Nonessential Travel From the U.S. Over Covid-19”  from The Wall Street Journal “Mandatory evacuations in South Lake Tahoe as winds bring extreme fire danger“ from The Los Angeles Times “China Limits Online Videogames to Three Hours a Week for Young People” from The Wall Street Journal “Record-Breaking 44 Container Ships Stuck Off California Coast” from Business Insider “Ohio judge orders hospital to treat COVID patient with Ivermectin despite CDC warnings” from USA Today “Is a Mass Psychosis the Greatest Threat to Humanity?”  from Academy of Ideas  “A Jeopardy! Board for Determining Who Should Be the Next Host of Jeopardy!” from McSweeney’s Twitter convo on the new Bob Ross documentary Al Roker’s clap back at critics Read the transcript here. Our show needs your voice! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for our hosts to answer! Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
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Comments (30)

ID21274754

I love Kai, except when he says “cray cray”

Sep 4th
Reply

ID21274754

Avenue Q! Thanks Molly!

May 8th
Reply

Laura F

Molly, you haven't listened to Throughline. July 15, 2020 episode

Jan 20th
Reply

Hasan Farahani

I most of the days listen to your fantastic podcast not because I care about the news, but because listening to the intro is the best thing can happen in a day.

Dec 15th
Reply

Andrea Bennett

can you talk about the vaccine on your Wednesday show? specifically are we going to need the cord vaccine every year? is it a one and done vaccine like the polio vaccine? thank you! love your show!

Dec 15th
Reply

Solomon Mars

oh my gosh Vampires vs. the Bronx has the same plot idea as a comic that was proposed by artist Ronald Wimberly a back in 2017! aww maaan

Oct 13th
Reply

Eric Everitt

wow Kai.. way to stick up for the milllions of men that single handly raise their kids, without mother's involved. Sexism to the max.

Sep 16th
Reply

Victor Lopez

I used to drink in a bar where the frosted mugs were so cold it would turn your beer to ice. Not the whole thing, but enough to ruin it. No cold glass!

Jul 11th
Reply (1)

Chris Horton

Wow!! This episode was mind blowing! Really made me think. The guest has a narrative that a lot of people should listen to.

Jul 1st
Reply

No Face

Will this show ever be about tech & the economy again? I'll unsub and check back after Christmas.

Jun 17th
Reply

Solomon Mars

episode error. it won't download.

May 27th
Reply

Megan Taylor

The source is bad

May 27th
Reply

Nellie Fly

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

May 12th
Reply

Nellie Fly

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
Reply

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
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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
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