National Partners

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

Nela Richardson of Redfin and Sheelah Kolhatkar of The New Yorker join us to discuss the week's business and economics news. We’ll get into inflation at the consumer level and how Trump's threats of nuclear war aren't having much effect on Wall Street. Plus, with Trump singling out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, we look at what’s next for the president’s agenda. 

With a new class of freshmen heading off to college over the next few weeks, parents, friends and relatives are scrambling to get their students situated and send them off with a memorable gift. Marketplace Weekend spoke to Emma McAnaw, market writer on BuzzFeed's shopping team, about her picks for goodbye gifts for college students. 

A post shared by Top Ramen (@originaltopramen) on Feb 18, 2017 at 1:03pm PST

Dealing with identity theft can cost you — but should it?

Aug 11, 2017

We often talk about cyber security as a way to prevent other people from accessing your personal information, but what can you do if the worst actually happens? That's what David Lazarus had to find out after someone used his social security number. Lazarus, who writes the Consumer Confidential column for the LA Times (and is a guest host at Marketplace), first reported on Derrick Davis, the man who took his identity, back in 2007.

Lunch shaming is on its way out of schools

Aug 11, 2017

Have you heard of lunch shaming? Even experienced it, perhaps?

It's what happens when a kid can't pay for their school lunch, and the lunch service staff, or other students or teachers, make them feel bad about it. There have reportedly been instances where a student was obliged to help clean up the lunchroom to pay off their debt, or when a school stamped "I need lunch money" on a child's arm. Sometimes, it's just embarrassing for a student to have to go get the "courtesy meal" at the salad bar instead of the hot lunch offered to all the other students.

President Trump has made it clear that he wants to put America first. Globalization and free trade, he suggests, have gone too far. Trump’s threat to slap tariffs on cheap Chinese steel is a prime example. In July, Trump told reporters he might impose both tariffs and quotas to protect the American steel industry.

Teachers spend hundreds of dollars on back to school supplies

Aug 11, 2017

Parents aren't the only ones who spend big getting ready for the school year. Teachers, it turns out, fork over about $500 of their own money each year for school supplies, according to a survey by Scholastic.

Study: Fines for illegal pollution plummet under Trump

Aug 11, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) —Fines for illegal pollution have plummeted under President Donald Trump, according to analysis by an environmental advocacy group.

The Environmental Integrity Project looked at that civil penalties paid by polluters during the first six months under Trump. The group published an analysis Thursday that found penalties were less than half their levels under each of the past three presidents.

The show this week is education themed, and we're looking at stories from all over the country. We consider a landmark case weighing the right to literacy and its value, tax breaks for school supplies, the cost of college and the best gifts to give a new freshman. Parents, students and teachers all share their views in this episode about the value of education in the U.S.

More of your bitcoin questions, answered

Aug 11, 2017

We only had so much time on Make Me Smart this week to answer your questions about bitcoin. Molly can talk cryptocurrencies forever, and there was a lot more to say! So here's everything (else) you've wanted to know about bitcoin, but were too afraid to ask.

Who created bitcoin?

08/11/2017: "The McDonaldization of culture"

Aug 11, 2017

President Donald Trump said his administration is preparing to declare the epidemic of opioid abuse a national emergency. On today's show, we'll look at how resources might be distributed toward combating the issue. Afterwards, we'll look at fears in Britain over a free trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K. Some say the influx of American food products will lead to lower food standards in the country.

The idea of saving 20 percent for a downpayment has dashed many homeownership dreams. The thought of saving that much money while home prices and rents are increasing and wages are stagnant can be daunting.

But don’t give up on that dream of a white picket fence just yet. It turns out that the average downpayment for a first time homebuyer is much lower than you think.

Protectionism in A Major

Aug 11, 2017

In recent years there has been growing discontent in Western countries; between talk of building border walls and Brexit, it is easy to think that a new era of  global retreat is under way. But, disputes between trading partners and rhetoric about protecting domestic industries from foreign trade (protectionism) isn't new. In fact, the U.S. was having the same argument back in 1896, when Democrat William Jennings Bryan campaigned against Republican William McKinley, a protectionist.  

Food is at the center of US-UK trade concerns

Aug 11, 2017

President Trump has promised a “big, big” free trade agreement with the U.K. once that country leaves the European Union in 2019. The British cabinet is, however, split over the prospect. Some ministers believe that Britain should clinch a deal with the U.S. at any cost. But others fear that a free trade deal would lift the existing European ban on the importation of some controversial American farm products and that could undermine British food standards.

The U.S. Postal Service wants more freedom to raise the price of stamps. After a 10-year review, regulators at the Postal Regulatory Commission could give a decision on that request as soon as next month. This comes as USPS has lost money for the past 10 years straight.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 


Airbnb closes accounts linked to white supremacy rally

Aug 11, 2017

Airbnb has canceled accounts of users who planned to attend a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. Gizmodo first reported the story and confirmed it with Airbnb.

Tech companies have had to grapple with some big moral issues as of late. Recently, Airbnb reportedly deactivated the accounts of users planning to attend a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Virginia. On today's show, we'll chat with University of Maryland professor Dana Fisher about whether the company is allowed to do something like this, and whether it's good for a business' bottom line to make a big political stand. Afterwards, we'll play this week's Silicon Tally with Saron Yitbarek, founder of the Code Newbie podcast.

With tensions rising between the U.S. and North Korea, we'll talk with Leon Sigal — director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project — about whether sanctions actually work, and then look at growing support in Congress for greater missile defense spending. Afterwards, we'll discuss the U.S. Postal Service's push to gain more freedom to raise the price of stamps.

The mystery of Mountain Jane Doe

Aug 10, 2017

Investigators dig up an unidentified murder victim, 45 years after she was buried, in an attempt to give her back her name. The exhumation leads to a series of unexpected revelations about who she was and why she may have been killed. Her case speaks to the complexity – and importance – of opening up cold cases. This story from last year is just one of thousands from the crisis of America’s unidentified dead.

A young Japanese voice breaks the silence of autism

Aug 10, 2017
Jun Murozono

Japanese author Naoki Higashida might not seem immediately approachable if you were to run into him on the sidewalk. 

"If you see him walking down the street toward you, he has all the classic autistic ticks, and you think 'Whoa, I'd better stand off the sidewalk and let this guy go by because he obviously needs the space more than I do,'" says author David Mitchell. "And yet when you read him and sit down opposite the table from him, he will spell out these sentences letter by letter and he's articulate, he's eloquent."

US Air Force/Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Defense Department handout

If there was any doubt that President Donald Trump was talking about nuclear weapons when he talked about "fire and fury" descending on North Korea, that doubt was dispelled Wednesday with a statement from the secretary of defense, James Mattis.

Mattis, long considered a moderate in the Cabinet, said North Korea should "cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people."

Mattis also called directly for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapon ambitions.

It's been a little over a year since Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel died.

He was celebrated around the globe as an activist and a writer, and for his lifelong efforts to keep the world from forgetting the horrors of the Holocaust.

But for his only child, Elisha Wiesel, coming to terms with who his father was and what he represented was a difficult road.

Marcus Teply

Poets are a big deal in Iran, and Forugh Farrokhzad was one of the biggest. In the 1960s, her modern, highly personal work won wide acclaim and brought her the poetry equivalent of rock stardom — she cut records, made films, and even today is known popularly by her first name.

When Farrokhzad was killed in a car crash in 1967, thousands of fans thronged to her funeral. But after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, her work vanished, banned for a decade, and since then heavily censored by the government.

What it means in South Africa when you are #blessed

Aug 10, 2017

What does it mean to blessed?

A “blesser” in South Africa is kind of like a sugar daddy. He's an older man who often has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship.

The term “blesser" first emerged on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

In 2015, South African girls and women started posting photos of expensive shoes, clothes and stacks of cash while tagging the pictures #blessed. What they meant was that a man had given them the luxury items.

And those men became known as "blessers."

Do bride prices drive terrorism?

Aug 10, 2017
Ali Jarekji/Reuters 

Terrorism experts have long known that poverty is a factor in tempting young men to join radical terrorist groups, but what about bride prices?

A new article in MIT Press Journal argues that many young, male recruits who are driven to terrorist organizations for financial reasons are actually aspiring to use the money to help themselves and their brothers get married.  

Sergio Moraes/Reuters

On Rio de Janeiro’s one-year Olympic anniversary, thousands of federal troops patrolled the streets. And they’re going to be there for a while.

Brazil’s defense ministry announced the troops will stay until the end of 2018. Their deployment is in response to criticism last month from house speaker Rodrigo Maia, among other local lawmakers, that “we have completely lost control of public security in Rio.” In June alone, over 106 people died in gunfire in the city. Many were killed in shootouts between drug traffickers and police.

Can the US rely on its North Korean intelligence?

Aug 10, 2017
Bobby Yip/Reuters

US President Donald Trump doubled down on his warnings to North Korea Thursday, saying his threat to rain "fire and fury" on the nation maybe "wasn't tough enough."

Earlier this week, Trump said North Korea would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continued to threaten the United States with its missile and nuclear programs.

That prompted a defiant Pyongyang to threaten a missile attack on Guam, a tiny US territory in the Pacific that is home to major US air and naval facilities.

Don’t put Shamir in a box

Aug 10, 2017

Just a couple of years ago, Shamir Bailey was a teenager making music in his North Las Vegas bedroom. Since then, he’s been the toast of SXSW, seen his face on a Times Square Billboard, and heard one of his songs in an ad for Google’s smartwatch.

Guilty Pleasure: The Eagles, 'Already Gone'

Aug 10, 2017

People love to hate The Eagles. “They’re not a cool band to like,” admits composer and indie musician Kelly Pratt. The serious musicians Pratt hangs out can’t understand it, but Pratt genuinely loves their song “Already Gone.”

Pratt rediscovered the song in a grocery store in Portland, Oregon.

“At first listen, this song is pretty straightforward, standard Eagles. It’s a guitar driven rocker, standard breakup lyrics, a lot of patented Eagle-isms.” But Pratt points out that there’s a lot more going on.

The music of 'Twin Peaks'

Aug 10, 2017

It’s impossible to imagine “Twin Peaks” without the music of Angelo Badalamenti — but why do those languid synth ballads and cool-jazz numbers capture the essence of the show so well?

“Breaking Badcomposer Dave Porter and “X-Files composer Mark Snow break down Badalamenti’s iconic score, and explain what makes the music so haunting. 

In the mid-1990s, Seattle was the center of the music world. And at the center of one of its biggest bands — alongside Nirvana and Pearl Jam — was Carrie Brownstein, a founding member of the all-female rock trio Sleater-Kinney.