355 episodes

Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

Planet Money Planet Money

    • Business
    • 4.4 • 99 Ratings

Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

    Summer School 2: The golden ages of labor and looms

    Summer School 2: The golden ages of labor and looms

    Who has the power? Workers or bosses? It changes through the ages, though it's usually the bosses. Today, we look at two key moments when the power of labor shifted, for better and worse, and we ask why then? What does history have to say about labor power right now?

    We travel to Sicily, Italy in the year 1347, where the bubonic plague is about to strike. The horror known as the Black Death will remake European society in countless ways, but we'll focus on one silver lining: how economic conditions shifted for workers.

    Then we head about 500 years into the future, to an English factory at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, where textile workers take up arms against the machines taking their jobs and show how rapidly labor supply and demand can change. This is the famed tale of the Luddites, now a byword for knee jerk anti-technology, but the true story has nuance and a desperate but rational violent rebellion.

    This series is hosted by Robert Smith and produced by Audrey Dilling. Our project manager is Devin Mellor. This episode was edited by Planet Money Executive Producer Alex Goldmark and fact-checked by Sofia Shchukina.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 32 min
    Rooftop solar's dark side

    Rooftop solar's dark side

    4.5 million households in the U.S. have solar panels on their homes. Most of those customers are happy with it - their electricity bills have just about disappeared, and it's great for the planet. But thousands and thousands of people are really disappointed with what they've been sold. Their panels are more expensive than they should be, and they say it is hard to get someone to come fix them when they break.

    It turns out this sometimes crummy customer experience is no accident. It ties back to how big, national solar companies built their businesses in the first place. To entice people to install expensive solar panels, companies developed new financing models which cut upfront costs for customers. And they deployed lots and lots of salespeople to grow their businesses. But in the drive to get more households installing solar panels, consumer costs went up and the focus seemed to shift away from making sure those panels actually worked. All of this left some consumers feeling like they've been sold a lie.

    On today's episode, we look into how the residential solar business model has turned some people sour on solar. And we'll try to figure out where the industry could go from here.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 27 min
    Summer School 1: An Economic History of the World

    Summer School 1: An Economic History of the World

    Planet Money Summer School is back for eight weeks. Join as we travel back in time to find the origins of our economic way of life. Today we ask surprisingly hard question: What is money? And where did it come from? We travel to a remote island in the Pacific Ocean for the answer. Then we'll visit France in the year 1714, where a man on the lam tries to revolutionize the country's entire monetary system, and comes impressively close to the modern economy we have today, before it all falls apart. Check out our Summer School video cheat sheet on the origins of money at the Planet Money TikTok.

    The series is hosted by Robert Smith and produced by Audrey Dilling. Our project manager is Devin Mellor. This episode was edited by Planet Money Executive Producer Alex Goldmark and fact-checked by Sofia Shchukina.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 34 min
    How flying got so bad (or did it?)

    How flying got so bad (or did it?)

    We often hear that air travel is worse than it's ever been. Gone are the days when airplanes touted piano bars and meat carving stations — or even free meals. Instead we're crammed into tiny seats and fighting for overhead space.

    How did we get here? Most of the inconveniences we think about when we fly can be traced back to the period of time just after the federal government deregulated the airlines.

    When commercial air travel took off in the 1940s, the government regulated how many national airlines were allowed to exist, where they were allowed to fly, and how much they could charge for tickets. But the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 swept all these restrictions aside – and stopped providing subsidies for the air carriers. Airlines had to compete on ticket prices. That competition led to a more bare-bones flying experience, but it also made air travel a lot more affordable.

    In this episode, we trace the evolution of air travel over the past century to discover whether flying really is worse today — or if it's actually better than ever. We'll board a plane from the "golden age" of air travel, hear the history of one of the original budget airlines and meet feuding airline CEOs. Along the way, we'll see how economic forces have shaped the airline industry into what it is today, and what role we, as consumers, have played.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 25 min
    The two companies driving the modern economy

    The two companies driving the modern economy

    At the core of most of the electronics we use today are some very tiny, very powerful chips. Semiconductor chips. And they are mighty: they help power our phones, laptops, and cars. They enable advances in healthcare, military systems, transportation, and clean energy. And they're also critical for artificial intelligence, providing the hardware needed to train complex machine learning.

    On today's episode, we're bringing you two stories from our daily show The Indicator, diving into the two most important semiconductor chip companies, which have transformed the industry over the past 40 years.

    First, we trace NVIDIA's journey from making niche graphics cards for gaming to making the most advanced chips in the world — and briefly becoming the world's biggest company. Next, we see how the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's decision to manufacture chips for its competition instead of itself flipped the entire industry on its head, and moved the vast majority of the world's advanced chip production to Taiwan.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episode about NVIDIA by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 20 min
    Do immigrants really take jobs and lower wages?

    Do immigrants really take jobs and lower wages?

    We wade into the heated debate over immigrants' impact on the labor market. When the number of workers in a city increases, does that take away jobs from the people who already live and work there? Does a surge of immigration hurt their wages?

    The debate within the field of economics often centers on Nobel-prize winner David Card's ground-breaking paper, "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market." Today on the show: the fight over that paper, and what it tells us about the debate over immigration.

    More Listening: - When The Boats Arrive - The Men on the Roof

    This episode was hosted by Amanda Aronczyk and Jeff Guo. It was produced by Willa Rubin, edited by Annie Brown, and engineered by Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez. Fact-checking by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

    Help support Planet Money and hear our bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
99 Ratings

99 Ratings

Ruppy55 ,

Fun and informative!

This show is hands-down one of the best shows about money, investing, and finances. It is funny, quirky, and informative. The topics featured and the experts invited here make this show a gold mine of useful information about the tricky world of economics and finance.

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