100 episodes

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.

Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly American Public Media

    • News Commentary
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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.

    Is our right to vote at risk?

    Is our right to vote at risk?

    Confidence in our elections system is sagging. This year’s primary season brought reports of long lines at polling places and uncounted absentee ballots. And just when it was looking like many of us would be voting by mail this fall (as the pandemic rages on), a shake-up in leadership at the U.S. Postal Service is generating more uncertainty. This week, we speak with R. Michael Alvarez of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project about protecting the “franchise” — that is, our individual right to vote — and what we can do now and on Election Day to make sure our voices are heard. Later in the show, we’ll hear about the 2021 cruise season and the fate of small businesses in the pandemic economy.

    As always, you can find links to everything we talked about today on the episode page at makemesmart.org.

    • 33 min
    Oh good, we’ve got … memoranda

    Oh good, we’ve got … memoranda

    More kids are testing positive for COVID-19, people are making rent payments on their credit cards and Disney’s got no more “Fox” to give (pardon our French). On this Monday show, Kai Ryssdal returns from vacation, “bringing gender diversity back to the show,” in the words of co-host Kimberly Adams. We’ll talk about the virus, the economy and a few headlines that brought a twinkle to our eye. Plus, is the health care system for animals actually working better than the health care system for humans right now?

    As always, you can find links to everything we talked about today on the episode page at makemesmart.org.

    • 14 min
    The virus is the economy

    The virus is the economy

    Talks for a now-overdue coronavirus aid package collapsed going into the weekend, with President Trump weighing what he can do with executive orders. Meanwhile, the country has passed 200,000 “excess deaths.” We know we’ve had some bummer episodes this week, but we do bring this one back with a heartfelt appreciation of Phil Collins’ masterpiece, “In the Air Tonight.”

    Thanks to everyone who joined us for the livestream! Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss the next one. You’ll find links to that and everything else we talked about on our episode page at makemesmart.org.

    • 20 min
    It’s OK to not be OK!

    It’s OK to not be OK!

    Whether you’ve lost someone, lost a job, gotten sick or are just feeling lonely, this pandemic is taking a toll on all of us. Today, we discuss two pieces in The New York Times about the physical and mental complications of the COVID-19 crisis. But it’s not all bad — we’ll also go deep into Amazon’s “A League of Their Own” series.

    • 17 min
    The data collection ‘arms race’

    The data collection ‘arms race’

    Microsoft is in talks to acquire TikTok — owned by Beijing-based ByteDance — amid much handwringing over the data the app collects. And while TikTok’s fate may ultimately be decided by the obscure Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, it seemed worth asking: Why is it so important to keep data collection domestic? There are certainly plenty of American apps collecting information on their users, too. We’ll talk about that and more on this week’s Whadda Ya Wanna Know Wednesday. Plus: contact tracing, supply shockwaves and alpacas.

    • 21 min
    An unequal country is a vulnerable country

    An unequal country is a vulnerable country

    A widening wealth gap isn’t good for democracy. Yet inequality has been on the rise for decades in the United States. So what does that tell us about the state of the republic? On today’s show, Atlantic staff writer George Packer walks us through some historical examples of when stark inequities led to revolution and reform — and boils down everything from the New Deal to collard greens.

    • 40 min

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