Make Me Smart

Marketplace

Each weekday, Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal and Kimberly Adams 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.
read less

Our Editor's Take

The Make Me Smart podcast does what its title says. It is an easy-to-understand news program. And it tries to make its listeners more knowledgeable. This program comes from the people behind Marketplace. That's the public media show that explains economics in a friendly way. This podcast does a similar thing, but with news and pop culture.

The soothing voice of Marketplace voice Kai Ryssdal joins bubbly cohost Kimberly Adams each weekday on Make Me Smart. Podcast episodes explore what's happening in the news today. If USA Today, The New York Times, or The Washington Post report it, so will Make Me Smart. This podcast helps the world make sense.

The Make Me Smart podcast follows a standard weekday format. Monday and Thursday have segments called the "News Fix." It gives news based on the Marketplace morning report. Topics range from globalization to marketplace tech, climate change, and opioid use. Lighthearted facts break up serious news.

Tuesday's podcasts examine a single topic. Past episodes feature topics like "The Moral Hazard of Solar Geoengineering," for example. Episodes like "How Sci-Fi Can Make Us Smart" explore significant issues. In this case, it's whether the genre can teach people about problem-solving in the real world. Modern thinking meets science fiction in this particular episode.

"What Do You Want to Know Wednesday" is the listener's chance to have their questions answered. Kai and Kimberly cohost, often with the help of industry experts such as Molly Wood. From hybrid workplaces to Republican policies to the war in Ukraine, topics are open. Following prior research, the most suitable experts share their thoughts.

Bringing fun into economics is "Happy Hour Friday," also known as "Economics on Tap." The hosts converse over a drink and discuss the insurance industry, crypto, FTX, the WTO, and what's happening on Wall Street. To make it more personal, they describe what they are drinking that day.

The Make Me Smart podcast talks about big problems and talks to experts about solutions. Listeners can learn more about what's trending in the marketplace. Most episodes are under 30 minutes long.

read less
BusinessBusiness

Episodes

Economic sanctions vs. boycotts
Yesterday
Economic sanctions vs. boycotts
It’s been two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, and the U.S. is imposing new sanctions on Russia in an attempt to weaken the Kremlin. But sanctions aren’t proving to be all that effective. We’ll get into some research weighing how well government sanctions work compared to consumer-driven boycotts. And, Instagram is a popular news destination, whether the social media operation likes it or not. Plus, we’ll play a round of Half Full / Half Empty! Here’s everything we talked about today: “Instagram’s Uneasy Rise as a News Site” from The New York Times “2 Years Into Russia-Ukraine War, U.S. Campaign to Isolate Putin Shows Limits” from The New York Times “Biden announces over 500 new sanctions for Russia’s war in Ukraine and Navalny death” from NPR “A Theory of International Boycotts” from economist Abdoulaye Ndiaye “Google tests removing the News tab from search results” from Nieman Journalism Lab “Diners aren’t going to steakhouses just for the steak anymore” from Marketplace “25 leap year activities to celebrate February’s bonus day” from Today “Review: Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender delivers charm and style” from Vox “Amazon Wants You to Pay With Your Palm. It’s a Sneak Attack on Apple and Google.” from The Wall Street Journal “This economy is feeling like the ’90s” from Marketplace We love to hear from you. Send your questions and comments to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART.
NATO’s place in the global economy
4d ago
NATO’s place in the global economy
After former President Trump’s recent digs at NATO, officials at a global security conference in Munich over the weekend weighed what European countries would do if Trump were re-elected and abandoned the United States’ treaty commitments. On the show today, Kathleen McInnis, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discusses the history and future of NATO and why it matters to the global economy. We’ll also share our takeaways from Fani Willis’ testimony. Plus, a former NASA astronaut was wrong about what we (earthlings) gain from going to space. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Trump said he might ignore NATO’s duty to defend. Here’s what the group does.” from The Washington Post “After Trump’s claims, here’s what to know about NATO member defense spending” from ABC News “NATO’s Article 5 Collective Defense Obligations, Explained” from Brennan Center for Justice “Why Americans Still Need NATO” from Foreign Policy “Trump didn’t quit NATO, but a potential second term alarms allies” from The Washington Post “The life and testimony of Fani Willis’s father, John Floyd III” from The Washington Post “DA Fani Willis testified she paid cash during trips with top prosecutor. One winery host remembers her paying in paper bills” from CNN Politics “How the Freedman’s Bank failure still impacts Black Americans” from Marketplace “Elon Musk’s SpaceX Forges Closer Ties With U.S. Spy and Military Agencies” from The Wall Street Journal We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question. You can reach us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART.
What it’s like to be in Gaza right now
Feb 15 2024
What it’s like to be in Gaza right now
Israel plans to expand its military offensive into Rafah, a city on the southern tip of the Gaza Strip where many Palestinians are sheltered. On the show today, guest host Reema Khrais reflects on her personal connection to the major conflict and shares some of her reporting on the experience of Palestinians in Gaza right now. Plus, how the Joe Biden administration is grappling with growing pushback against unconditional U.S. military aid to Israel. Then, we’ll smile about lifelong female friendships and AI-generated breakup texts. Here’s everything we talked about today: “Some Palestinians leave Rafah refuge, fearing Israeli assault” from Reuters “A conversation with Baba” from Marketplace’s “This Is Uncomfortable” “My name is Hana” from Marketplace’s “This Is Uncomfortable” “Calls grow in Europe to halt arms exports to Israel as US Senate passes aid package” from CNN “Senators say ‘BFD’ presidential memo will lead to Israeli aid cuts. The White House has a different story” from The Independent “A bill with $14 billion for Israel’s war in Gaza passes the Senate but may falter in the House.” from The New York Times “U.S. Aid to Israel in Four Charts” from Council on Foreign Relations “How to stay friends for 50 years? Ask the women of Sugar Hill.” from The Washington Post “Can you tell which of these break-up texts are AI-generated? Take our quiz” from The Washington Post “I go to strangers’ weddings for fun. Getting invited is pretty easy, and I’ve made a lot of new friends.” from Business Insider We love to hear from you. Send your questions and comments to makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART.
Love, money and this economy
Feb 14 2024
Love, money and this economy
This Valentine’s Day eve, we’re thinking about love and what the economy has to do with it. Coming off the heels of a high-inflation period, is this a good time in our economy to find love? On the show today, Julia Carpenter, a personal finance reporter for The Wall Street Journal, discusses how the economy shapes our relationships, the growing wealth gap between single and married people, and the idea of a “money date.” Then, married people enjoy many legal benefits that aren’t extended to single folks. Is it time to change that? And this week’s answer to the Make Me Smart question is all about Swiftynomics! Here’s everything we talked about today: “Couples Embrace the Least Romantic Date Ever: The Money Date” from The Wall Street Journal “It’s Now 40% More Expensive to Be Single and Dating Than It Was a Decade Ago” from Time “‘I’m So in Debt That I’m Afraid to Date’” from The Cut “How the economy shapes our love lives” from Vox “Moving In Together Doesn’t Match the Financial Benefits of Marriage, but Why?” from The Wall Street Journal “Opinion | Marriage has a monopoly on legal benefits. It shouldn’t.” from The Washington Post “Inflation ran hotter than expected in January, complicating the Fed’s rate decision” from CBS News “Swifties vs. NFL fans: What happens when two rabid fanbases collide” from Fast Company We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question. You can reach us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART.
Immigration policy as economic policy
Feb 7 2024
Immigration policy as economic policy
Congress hasn’t passed meaningful immigration policy reform in decades. And the fate of the border deal the Senate has been weighing is looking bleak. But immigrants are an important part of the U.S. economy, and the status quo is not working. So what do we do? On the show today, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, an immigration law professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and author of the new book “Welcome the Wretched: In Defense of the ‘Criminal Alien,'” explains why our current immigration policies don’t match the country’s economic needs, what a realistic approach to immigration would look like, and why states and cities might have to take the lead on the issue if Congress continues to stagnate. Then, we’ll break down the betting forecast for this year’s Super Bowl by the numbers. And, Big Tech’s AI crutch. Plus, we’ll get smarter about cicadas! Here’s everything we talked about today: “The Senate border deal is dead” from The Washington Post “Detention and that border ‘shutdown’: What’s really in Biden’s bipartisan immigration deal” from Politico “Before Title 42, Congress Failed to Overhaul Immigration Policy” from The New York Times “Biden weighs a “shocking” revival of Trump’s immigration agenda” from Vox “Texas’ Standoff With the Border Patrol Is a Constitutional Powder Keg” from Mother Jones “Immigration has returned to pre-pandemic numbers. How does that affect the economy?” from Marketplace “Tech Layoffs Just Keep Coming as Sector Resets for AI” from The Wall Street Journal “The Super Bowl is expected to smash betting records. Nearly 68M US adults plan to wager” from AP News “Cicada brood map 2024: When and where billions of the bugs will emerge” from Vox We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question. You can reach us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART.
Turbulence at Boeing
Jan 31 2024
Turbulence at Boeing
Boeing’s 737 Max 9 planes are flying again after the recent door-plug blowout incident that had kept the planes grounded for nearly a month. But the company’s troubles are far from over. Over the past two decades, Boeing’s reputation has been in decline. On the show today, Peter Robison, author of “Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing,” explains where things went wrong for America’s aviation giant, the 737 Max’s potential fate, and whether Boeing’s crisis could make way for a new competitor in the commercial aerospace industry. Plus, would you let Elon Musk implant a chip in your brain? And the one-two punch at UPS. Here’s everything we talked about today: “How Did a Boeing Jet End Up With a Big Hole?” from The New York Times “Boeing, not Spirit, mis-installed piece that blew off Alaska MAX 9 jet, industry source says” from The Seattle Times “The Crash of Two Airplanes and the Crisis at Boeing” from The New York Times “Boeing’s MAX production issues ripple across aerospace industry” from Reuters “Boeing’s latest 737 Max incident might not lose it much business” from Marketplace “Elon Musk Says Neuralink Has Implanted Brain Chip in Human” from The Wall Street Journal “Business Groups Sue California to Block Climate Disclosures” from The Wall Street Journal “UPS to Cut 12,000 Jobs and Mandate Return to Offices Five Days a Week” from The Wall Street Journal We want to hear your answer to the Make Me Smart question. You can reach us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-