National Partners

Stories from our program partners, including NPR, APM, and PRI.

There has been a common theme in the housing market in recent years: Housing prices are high, and inventory is low. At least that’s the case in most major cities, where job growth remains strong.

This is bad news for young people who are trying to get a toehold in the labor force while also putting a roof over their heads.

Some new research by the real estate firm Trulia points to a possible solution to the problem: baby boomers.

Treating wastewater at the bottom of the world

Aug 8, 2017

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

Today's installment comes from Jeanne Sabin, a certified wastewater treatment plant operator hailing from Sacramento, California. 

I run wastewater treatment plants. 

Companies use ads to pitch issues over products

Aug 8, 2017

A new ad from Procter & Gamble shows an African-American mother and daughter sitting in the front seat of a parked car.

“Now, when you get pulled over —” the mother begins. Her daughter interjects, saying she’s a good driver.

“Baby, this is not about you getting a ticket,” the mother replies. “This is about you not coming home.”

Called "The Talk,"the ad, which shows a series of similarly emotional conversations, is part of P&G’s “My Black is Beautiful” campaign, the latest in a string of ads the company describes as "socially conscious."

08/08/2017: Let's do the numbers on a few crises

Aug 8, 2017

We're starting the show tonight by doing the numbers of two crises facing the U.S. — and neither of them have to do with North Korea. First, we'll talk about the challenges of getting money to fight the opioid crisis, then why fighting climate change doesn't have to mean cutting economic growth. Of course, we'll also look at how markets reacted to President Trump's talk of raining "fire and fury" on North Korea (with a shrug). After that, we'll look at recent advertising campaigns focused on social issues, their risks and their rewards. Plus: How the decline of laundromats is changing U.S.

Google has fired the engineer who circulated an internal memo criticizing the company's diversity initiatives. The former employee, James Damore, argued that biological differences between men and women are responsible for tech's gender gap.

27: Where are all the bitcoins?

Aug 8, 2017

What do you need to know to understand the new language of money? Bitcoin? Blockchain? And Ethereum? Laura Shin, senior editor at Forbes magazine and host of the "Unchained" podcast, makes us smart about cryptocurrency and how it might transform your financial life.

Netflix or cable? Why not both?

Aug 8, 2017

The nation’s third-biggest cable company, Charter Communications, has a new feature for its subscribers: access to Netflix. More than half of the leading cable and subscription TV companies now offer Netflix. It wasn’t too long ago these forces were fierce rivals. So what’s behind the business of partnering instead?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Google has fired an engineer who sent around an internal memo criticizing the company's diversity initiatives. On today's show, we'll talk about the role the First Amendment plays when it comes to what you can say publicly. Afterwards, we'll discuss Nebraska's increasing reliance on coal — despite the rest of America's move away from it.

It’s that time again when lottery jackpots are big enough that even non-regulars are daydreaming about what they might do with the windfall. The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots are both over $300 million. You know, of course that if you win, you’ll have to pay big federal income taxes. But state income taxes on lottery wins are all over the map.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

08/08/2017: A new generation of phones

Aug 8, 2017

With Samsung and Apple getting ready to launch new phones, we'll take a look at what we can expect from these new devices. Afterwards, we'll discuss Netflix's decision to buy Millarworld, the publishing company of comic book writer Mark Millar.



San Francisco's Federal Reserve Bank is looking into whether Wells Fargo failed to refund insurance money it owed to some customers that financed car purchases through the bank. These customers may be entitled through this money through a type of insurance known as Guaranteed Auto Protection. On today's show, we'll explain how exactly GAP works. Afterwards, we'll look at why you want to be living in Texas or California when you win a lottery, and then talk about Eros International's potential plans to sell its catalog of movies and music.

Nebraska unusual in its rising use of coal

Aug 8, 2017

While it is true that Nebraskans love their corn, turns out they also love their coal. Nebraska is the only state in the lower 48 using more coal for generating electricity than it did a decade ago.

Checks are the economic dinosaurs Americans won't give up

Aug 7, 2017

Online payment systems like Venmo and Paypal are benchmarks of the digital era of banking that we're living in. There's also Zelle, a new peer-to-peer payment app launched by big banks like J.P. Morgan and Bank of America. So you might expect paper checks to be disappearing, but Americans just won't let their checkbooks go. In the U.S., people wrote about 38 checks on average in 2015, compared to 18 in Canada, 8 in the U.K., and almost none in Germany.

One of the big names in corporate earnings news today was SoftBank, which reported that its quarterly profit rose 50 percent from a year ago. If you’ve never heard of the Japanese conglomerate, you probably have heard of Sprint. SoftBank bought a majority stake in the U.S. wireless carrier four years ago for 22 billion dollars. And that’s not where SoftBank’s U.S. ambitions stop. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

We’re at the 200-day mark of Donald Trump’s presidency. One policy goal that seems to have been achieved so far: cutting the size of the federal workforce. The July jobs report found that the Trump administration has shed almost 11,000 workers since January. In comparison, President Obama added 60,000 new federal employees in his first 6 months in office. What does this number mean?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Can sanctions deter North Korea’s nuclear ambitions?

Aug 7, 2017

Over the weekend, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a new round of sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions could shave a billion dollars off the country's annual export revenue, essentially cutting it by a third. This is in response to North Korea's recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles, which broke existing international sanctions. Is there any chance these new sanctions will be different?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

In small collisions, scientists find big new physics questions

Aug 7, 2017
Pierre Albouy/Reuters

In physics, the Standard Model describes how particles like quarks, leptons and bosons should interact. But as a review paper detailed in the journal Nature in June, recent experiments at particle colliders around the world have turned up anomalies that the rule book doesn’t quite account for.

What went wrong with globalization?

Aug 7, 2017

 Thoughts of a self-proclaimed "globalist": My generation of 40-somethings came of age just as the Berlin Wall fell. The proclaimed ending of the Cold War delivered a new era of increasingly open borders. We could feel it: Professors spoke of the Iron Curtain parting; President George H. W. Bush proclaimed  "new world order"; his successor President Bill Clinton talked up the benefits of trade; and now we could see Prague. 

Barbara Deindorfer lives in North Stonington, Connecticut. The 52-year-old cares for her older brother, John, who has severe intellectual disabilities. She became the full-time caretaker for her brother two years ago, when her mother died.

“We were left in a situation, really, where we were lost,” she said. “I was trying to work, I was trying to take care of the kids. John was a handful.”

She reached out for help, but it was several months before she was able to locate a daycare service for John.

How countries have tried to retaliate against North Korea

Aug 7, 2017

The U.N. Security Council agreed to sanction North Korea over the weekend, after reports the country successfully tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in the last month. The sanctions would cut North Korea's exports by roughly $1 billion, a move backed by China, which accounts for nearly all of North Korean trade. 

The sanctions ban North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood. Thomas Byrne, head of the Korea Society, a nonprofit dedicated to U.S.-Korea relations, said China and North Korea used to have a much stronger trade relationship.

08/07/2017: Where did globalization go wrong?

Aug 7, 2017

A lot's changing about America's place in the global economy. NAFTA negotiations are starting next week in Washington, and President Trump has already withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In a lot of ways, it's the total opposite of the late '80s and early '90s, when opening things up was supposed to be the key to growth. We're kicking off our new series, "Trade Off," with a look at the dream of trade some 30ish years ago. Globalization had some much-hyped economic winners, but the losers were hit disproportionately hard.

08/07/2017: The dismal state of retail

Aug 7, 2017

As retail chains prepare to report results, we'll chat with Julia Coronado from Macropolicy Perspectives about the state of the industry. Job prospects in this sector are looking dim as Amazon rises in power. Afterwards, we'll look at how Trump is doing with filling government positions, and then talk about Mexico's push to legalize marijuana.

At the 200-day mark, Trump is still behind on nominations

Aug 7, 2017

During his first 200 days in office, President Donald Trump has sent 279 nominations to the Senate for confirmation. That compares to more than 400 nominations for Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the same point in their administrations. President Trump still hasn't nominated anyone for some key economic positions.

Mexico is writing rules for medical marijuana

Aug 7, 2017

Margarita’s 13-year-old son, Carlos, usually sits in a wheelchair. He suffered a cardiac arrest just after birth and was diagnosed with near loss of brain function. Since then, Margarita has dedicated herself to taking care of him, becoming well acquainted with his frequent epileptic seizures and spending thousands of dollars on hospitalizations.

Tesla has installed its first solar roofs on the homes of some of its company executives. Instead of large panels, these roofs use tiles that look virtually indistinguishable from regular roofs. Solar power that looks nice and protects your home? Sounds like an idea that could sell itself. At least, that’s what Tesla’s counting on. 

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

The World Bank has just issued $360 million in so-called "catastrophe bonds" in collaboration with Mexico. Global investors snapped up the bonds — the first issued directly by the World Bank — which will help Mexico cover emergency relief costs in the event of a major hurricane or earthquake, should one hit. 

Hot chicken — the spicy fried chicken that originated in Nashville, Tennessee — made its way to hipster restaurant menus and boutique food halls in the past few years. It's begun popping up in big chains like Shake Shack and Dave & Busters, and now has crossed the pond. In Fulham, a popular neighborhood for American immigrants in London, a Houston and Nashville native have teamed up to open Stagolee’s Hot Chicken & Liquor.

President Trump's security team could soon include drones

Aug 7, 2017

There's always been a looming fear of machines replacing people in the workforce. But who would have thought that they would encroach on the Secret Service?

During President Trump's 17-day working vacation at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, this month, his security team will be testing to see how drones could protect and serve. It's the first known example of a drone being deployed for the president's personal security staff. Any data recorded will be erased or overwritten within 30 days.

President Trump is scheduled to spend 17 days of working vacation at Trump National Golf Club this month. And near the fairway, the Secret Service will be testing one or more drones. Missy Cummings, director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory at Duke University, joined us to chat about how these drones will likely be utilized. Afterwards, we'll look at the video game phenomenon "Overwatch."

After reports that North Korea successfully tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles, the U.N. has agreed to sanction the country in a move backed by China. On today's show, we'll take a brief look at the history of the North Korea-China relationship. Afterwards, we'll discuss the purpose of "catastrophe bonds," and then — amid the rising popularity of Nashville hot chicken — examine how food trends spread.