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
    • 4.3 • 3 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

    Shopping for parental benefits around the world

    Shopping for parental benefits around the world

    It is so expensive to have a kid in the United States. The U.S. is one of just a handful of countries worldwide with no federal paid parental leave; it offers functionally no public childcare (and private childcare is wildly expensive); and women can expect their pay to take a hit after becoming a parent. (Incidentally, men's wages tend to rise after becoming fathers.)

    But outside the U.S., many countries desperately want kids to be born inside their borders. One reason? Many countries are facing a looming problem in their population demographics: they have a ton of aging workers, fewer working-age people paying taxes, and not enough new babies being born to become future workers and taxpayers. And some countries are throwing money at the problem, offering parents generous benefits, even including straight-up cash for kids.

    So if the U.S. makes it very hard to have kids, but other countries are willing to pay you for having them....maybe you can see the opportunity here. Very economic, and very pregnant, host Mary Childs did. Which is why she went benefits shopping around the world. Between Sweden, Singapore, South Korea, Estonia, and Canada, who will offer her the best deal for her pregnancy?

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    • 29 min
    The secret world behind school fundraisers

    The secret world behind school fundraisers

    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 single student on one field trip. The whole school hasn't been able to go on one in three years.

    We find out what the companies who run school fundraisers do to try to win a school's business. And we find that this bizarre tradition is ... surprisingly tactical. That's on today's episode.

    Today's show was hosted by Sarah Gonzalez and produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Jess Jiang, fact checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

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    • 27 min
    A controversial idea at the heart of Bidenomics

    A controversial idea at the heart of Bidenomics

    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 inefficient, even harmful.

    For a long time, politicians largely accepted that view. But in the past several years, countries have started to embrace industrial policy—most notably in the United States. Under President Biden, the U.S. is set to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on industrial policy, to fund things like microchip manufacturing and clean energy projects. It's one of the most ambitious tests of industrial policy in U.S. history. And the billion dollar question is ... will it work?

    On today's show, Réka takes us on a fun, nerdy journey to explain the theory behind industrial policy, why it's so controversial, and where President Biden's big experiment might be headed.

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    • 25 min
    Two Indicators: Economics of the defense industry

    Two Indicators: Economics of the defense industry

    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. military in a bind.

    The original Indicator episodes were produced by Cooper Katz McKim with engineering from Maggie Luthar and James Willetts. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and Angel Carreras. They were edited by Kate Concannon and Paddy Hirsch. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

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

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    • 19 min
    How the Navy came to protect cargo ships

    How the Navy came to protect cargo ships

    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 pipe dream when it was coined in the early 1600s – but has become a pillar of the global economy.

    This episode was hosted by Alex Mayyasi and Nick Fountain. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler, edited by Molly Messick, fact-checked by Sierra Juarez, and engineered by Valentina Rodríguez Sánchez, with help from Maggie Luthar. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money's executive producer.

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

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    • 19 min
    It's giving ... Valentines

    It's giving ... Valentines

    L, is for the way you Listen to Planet MoneyO, is for the Only podcast I hearV, is Very, very, fiduciaryE, 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... innovation!- A basketball player that makes a strong case for taking risky shots- A book that catalogues the raw materials that shape our world- A play that connects the 2008 financial crisis to the sale of the island of Manhattan in the 1600s- And, a podcast that turns corporate intrigue into watercooler chit-chat

    So cozy up with a special someone and hand them the second earbud as we take you through our 2024 Valentines!Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/planetmoney.

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    • 26 min

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