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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Marketplace

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Make Me Smart is a weekly conversation about the themes of today, centered around the economy, technology and culture. Hosts Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood use their expertise to connect the dots on topics they know best, and hear from other experts – CE...Show More
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39:10 | Jun 26th, 2018

A startup called Vantage Point thinks virtual reality can make training much better.

32:20 | Sep 10th

Between the ’70s and ’90s, women were entering the workforce in droves. Then female workforce participation peaked in 2000. What happened? And why are women’s wages still stagnant? We’re picking up our series on the economics of inequality, trying to...Show More
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25:16 | Sep 3rd

Deepfake videos can make for a lot of fun … someone’s face on someone else’s body saying something completely out of context — like Bill Hader doing an impression of Tom Cruise with Cruise’s face superimposed. But the implications of this technology ...Show More

18:30 | Aug 27th

Talk of a coming recession has only gotten more heated this week, following a meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole and a bunch of trade back and forth at the G7. Markets rebounded Monday, but the yield curve remains inverted and the global econ...Show More

41:34 | Aug 20th

Used to be you signed up for cable and voila, you’re watching your favorite shows (as well as a bunch of stuff you don’t care about, for maybe too high a price). Then streaming came along. First Netflix. Then Amazon. Hulu. And now a whole new batch o...Show More

28:21 | Aug 14th

Regulators, tech journalists and the most informed consumers have been wringing their hands about “privacy” online for years. But just as more users and regulators start taking notice, heavy hitters like Apple and Facebook are announcing their renewe...Show More

35:43 | Aug 7th

We know economic inequality in America is real and keeps growing. We know people of color, especially black people, are hit the hardest. That’s not news. What is new is the wave of politicians, primarily Democrats, who are speaking more candidly abou...Show More

37:58 | Jul 30th

Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” the meme turned song of the summer, has been the number-one song in country for a record-breaking 17 weeks. It originally took off on TikTok, a video-sharing app you should really be paying attention to. It’s been downloa...Show More

32:51 | Jul 23rd

Kai and Molly are reunited at last, and they’re trying something new. We asked the staff here at Marketplace to send in their burning questions they want to get smart about, including the debt ceiling, that Equifax settlement and CBD. All that, plus ...Show More

38:06 | Jul 17th

Fifty years ago today, the Saturn V rocket took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the first men to walk on the moon. Today, we’ll mark that milestone by looking ahead to the exploration, colonization and militarization of space. By s...Show More

34:10 | Jul 9th

President Donald Trump gave a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial last week to mark the Fourth of July. Critics and Democrats went after Trump for politicizing the occasion, though many presidents of both parties have done the same in the pas...Show More

31:51 | Jul 2nd

Kai Ryssdal lived and worked in China during the ’90s, and has made several trips there over the past 20 years. But most of the time he keeps tabs on the world’s second-largest economy the way most of us do: through the news. There are the headlines ...Show More

34:24 | Jun 25th

We’re kicking off a new series focusing on a topic that comes up a lot around here: Is the economy working for everybody? Today we’re talking about CEO pay. Some chief executives make up to 1,000 times more than their average employees. It didn’t use...Show More

23:29 | Jun 22nd

Marketplace has a brand-new podcast: “This Is Uncomfortable.” Every Thursday, host Reema Khrais tells stories about life and how money messes with it. This week’s episode is all about the baggage that comes with crying at work, and it features a cert...Show More

33:20 | Jun 18th

San Francisco banned government agencies from using facial recognition last month, citing civil liberty concerns. It’s a baby step in regulating technology that could make some aspects of life safer and more convenient, but comes with a host of unint...Show More

33:23 | Jun 11th

You might not know what Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act says, but it affects your life every day. This short passage of the law says online platforms are not legally liable for what people say or do in the spaces they run. Trillion...Show More

42:33 | Jun 4th

India is the largest democracy in the world, a major American ally and something of a counterpoint to a rising China. The country’s 900 million eligible voters just reelected Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who’s facing an economic slowdown and the los...Show More

36:27 | May 28th

Huawei hasn’t been a household name in the U.S. But that’s changing as the Trump administration proceeds with its ban on American companies doing business with the Chinese tech giant. Industry allegations of Huawei spying and theft date back more tha...Show More

32:45 | May 21st

Remember when we had Tim Wu on the show to talk about Big Tech parallels to the monopoly-controlled Gilded Age, and what that future might bring? Well, six months later the future has arrived. Kind of. The Supreme Court ruled this month that a huge a...Show More

34:26 | May 7th

Seriously ... what's a central bank to do?

34:59 | Apr 30th

The gene-editing tool is ushering in a biotech revolution. Here's what you need to know.

37:13 | Apr 23rd

As the idea inches toward the mainstream, we unpack how it could affect the economy.

25:51 | Mar 26th

In its new season, The Uncertain Hour is trying to find out.

39:01 | Mar 19th

The BBC's Ros Atkins tells us why we should care about Brexit.

29:14 | Mar 12th

The scandal made us think differently about Facebook. Here's what to do about it.

43:54 | Feb 12th

New York Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris helps us make sense of it.

38:17 | Jan 29th

How did closing the government became a political weapon in the first place?

36:00 | Jan 22nd

The years of your life, the mountains of debt... more people wonder if higher ed pays off.

33:33 | Jan 16th

And by "it" we mean "deleting Facebook." Wait, what?

25:14 | Jan 8th

Can design thinking help us solve this country's problems at scale? What about existential-crisis scale?

17:54 | Dec 24th, 2018

We're rerunning our interview with fact-checking comedian Adam Conover.

33:59 | Dec 18th, 2018

We've got a whole bunch of our favorite guests back to help us reflect on the year that was and look at what's ahead.

37:29 | Dec 4th, 2018

An idea we've been obsessed with is gaining momentum as a national political platform.

33:42 | Nov 27th, 2018

Real estate is the biggest driver of wealth — and debt — for most families in America.

39:57 | Oct 30th, 2018

A week before midterms, 21 percent of people we polled said not really.

30:19 | Oct 9th, 2018

Two hosts. Thirty minutes. We're answering as many of your questions as we can.

24:06 | Oct 2nd, 2018

No one's made that joke before, right?

28:39 | Sep 25th, 2018

We're talking with Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, about running one of the largest libraries in the world.

31:51 | Sep 11th, 2018

The Trump administration said tax breaks would help American companies expand their operations. Instead, they bought back a lot of their own stock.

24:01 | Aug 20th, 2018

We talked with Civil COO Lillian Ruiz about the new, blockchain-powered news service.

19:59 | Aug 7th, 2018

It's been 20 years since the scandal, and the second season of Slate's "Slow Burn" is taking another look.

32:57 | Jul 31st, 2018

Every tariff tells a story, and we're looking at a kinda weird one.

26:11 | Jul 24th, 2018

Why do the media, Tesla fans and Musk himself always cast him as the lead in an epic tale?

26:18 | Jul 17th, 2018

From Inner Mongolia to a Georgia gas station, the cryptocurrency really gets around.

39:05 | Jul 10th, 2018

A look at design thinking, and how it might help solve some of the big problems we talk about around here.

31:06 | Jun 19th, 2018

This week, we get smart about the immigration crisis and the Trump administration's controversial policy of separating parents and children.

33:52 | May 29th, 2018

We asked an ethics expert to make us smart about the news as it unfolded.

24:38 | May 24th, 2018

"We've updated our terms of service"

46:53 | May 22nd, 2018

We started following a spam email, and it took us somewhere weirder and scarier than we ever expected.

40:59 | May 15th, 2018

Are data science tools outpacing the social and ethical issues around them?

26:06 | May 8th, 2018

Maybe the problem is that our "free" markets are *not free enough.*

38:26 | May 1st, 2018

Writer Umair Haque says the system isn't equipped to address big issues like financial inequality.

38:02 | Apr 24th, 2018

Many people arrested for low-level offenses get bail set at amounts they can't afford. Lives fall apart because of it.

38:13 | Apr 17th, 2018

"Adam Ruins Everything" host Adam Conover is making us all smarter with comedy.

25:43 | Apr 12th, 2018

'Cause we do. There's so much to unpack, we paid the baggage fee for an extra episode this week.

34:22 | Mar 27th, 2018

What do you know about what Facebook knows about you?

44:58 | Mar 13th, 2018

Is the #MeToo movement reaching domestic workers? We'll talk with advocate Ai-jen Poo about it.

04:06 | Mar 6th, 2018

See you March 13 for our interview with activist Ai-jen Poo.

39:18 | Feb 20th, 2018

Turns out a lot of what the mayor of Chicago told us last year has even more resonance now.

30:16 | Feb 6th, 2018

A look back at our interview with Deborah Dempsey, retired Columbia River Bar pilot

31:21 | Jan 23rd, 2018

Wrangling internet privacy, media consolidation and "filter failure."

30:55 | Jan 9th, 2018

Why it's so hard for people to listen ... even when they want to.

24:23 | Jan 2nd, 2018

We answer your questions on worker productivity, data privacy, and more. And this time we're calling an expert for help!

1:05:19 | Dec 28th, 2017

A new investigation from the team at our sister podcast, The Uncertain Hour.

32:35 | Dec 26th, 2017

What our guests and listeners think will happen in 2018.

27:25 | Dec 19th, 2017

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann on how to best spend $40 billion.

35:22 | Dec 14th, 2017

Madeleine L'Engle's classic young adult novel is a story about love, patience and persistence (which is what it took to get the book published).

30:50 | Nov 28th, 2017

The author of "The Martian" and "Artemis" has big plans for the moon.

21:52 | Nov 21st, 2017

How to survive the holidays when no one shares your worldview.

26:33 | Nov 14th, 2017

As economic inequality rises, populism surges around the globe.

33:00 | Nov 7th, 2017

We answer your questions about taxes, the cloud inflation and socks. Yup, socks.

38:50 | Oct 25th, 2017

Ethical capitalism? Moral capitalism? Enlightened capitalism?

03:43 | Oct 24th, 2017

No podcast today, but there will be one Wednesday. Until then, we've got a little preview of our continuing discussion of moral capitalism to whet your appetite ... or make you run for the hills. You decide. Talk with you soon.

50:05 | Oct 10th, 2017

This week on the book club: The legacy of author Philip K. Dick's ideas about economics, technology and pop culture.

20:17 | Oct 5th, 2017

Is Facebook too big for anyone to understand how big it really is? Even Mark Zuckerberg?

38:25 | Sep 26th, 2017

You have a LOT of questions. Luckily, we have a few answers.

30:38 | Sep 12th, 2017

April Reign has an eye for Hollywood blind spots, Facebook has a propaganda problem, and we're just trying to figure it all out.

40:49 | Sep 5th, 2017

A lot of business leaders are speaking out against Trump's decision to end DACA, but what do PR and donations actually do? Let's follow the money.

37:28 | Aug 22nd, 2017

Molly Bloom, host of the "Brains On!" podcast, answers our Make Me Smart question

41:54 | Aug 16th, 2017

Plus: Globalization, book club and a bit more about bitcoin.

00:45 | Aug 15th, 2017

A new episode will be in your feed Wednesday.

31:13 | Aug 8th, 2017

They're all around you, along with a whole bunch of other cryptocurrencies.

29:12 | Jul 18th, 2017

And other lessons from Columbia River Bar pilot Deborah Dempsey.

42:48 | Jul 11th, 2017

It's the first-ever Make Me Smart Book Club!
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Jun 22nd, 2017

Politicians love to talk about the national debt and especially the deficit. But as different factions jockey for their plans and policies, things can start to get confusing. Whose plan is going to cost more? How important is it to be "deficit-neutra...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Jun 21st, 2017

Time magazine's latest cover shows a familiar view, at least for the 40 million or so people who use Uber regularly: It's a bunch of tiny animated cars roving around a map on your phone, but they're all careening toward Uber's headquarters and ending...Show More

29:06 | Jun 20th, 2017

Trickle-down economics, the great Kansas tax experiment and why your brain craves what it already believes.

35:42 | Jun 13th, 2017

The latest on Uber, plus FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny talks internet privacy and protecting the open internet.

34:56 | Jun 6th, 2017

The return of 'normal' versus 'not normal,' a preview of the Make Me Smart book club and a very important Twitter poll.
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Jun 2nd, 2017

We talk a lot about home ownership on our shows, along with housing starts and average home costs. All those real estate stats double as as economic indicators and a kind of goal post for prosperity in America.The rate is measured as the percentage o...Show More

04:37 | May 30th, 2017

No new podcast this week, but don't worry, there's plenty of homework.

40:14 | May 23rd, 2017

The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway and USC professor Vince Gonzales talk on the record about the surge in sources who wish to remain unnamed
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | May 22nd, 2017

First let's start with the breaking news. You can now get your very own Make Me Smart pop socket and help Marketplace continue to report on the economic stories that matter to you. Check out that green donate button on our site, or contribute here. I...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | May 18th, 2017

Ryan Morgello wrote us an excellent email the other day:"I love hearing about books on the air because often times the author is being interviewed and there are always valuable insights to be gained from listening in! My issue is, because of the natu...Show More

43:39 | May 16th, 2017

It is must-see media consolidation.
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | May 15th, 2017

Kai and Molly sat down this week with actress and author Annabelle Gurwitch to talk about her new essay collection "Wherever You Go, There They Are."She talked about "work families"; her father, the grifter; her tribe of theater people; and the siste...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | May 12th, 2017

Sometimes "jagoff" can be a compliment.Kai and Molly's conversation with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was combative — sometimes playfully so, sometimes not. He objected to our questions and then softened the blow with some light name-calling before set...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | May 11th, 2017

We get a lot of great emails, tweets and Facebook comments from you about Make Me Smart. Questions about the national debt, great answers to our Make Me Smart Question and lots of pictures of avocado toast. But there's one type of question we get tha...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | May 8th, 2017

Media consolidation, the FCC and how to get a visa for $500,000 or less.
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | May 8th, 2017

Microsoft is making a bid at educational video games this week with "Minecraft: Education Edition," using the best-selling sandbox game it acquired in a $2.5 billion deal to teach kids how to code. It's part of a suite of educational software the com...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Apr 18th, 2017

In a recent episode of Make Me Smart, Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood interviewed George Lakoff, emeritus professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1996, he wrote an influential book called "Moral Politic...Show More

33:26 | Apr 18th, 2017

But if you do, shouldn't there be some privacy?
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Apr 13th, 2017

The latest "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly" got a little heady, let's admit. We started off with Kai Ryssdal in kind of a bad place about the news, wondering if the broken promises, brazen mistruths and brutal videos of old men being thrown off air...Show More

42:29 | Apr 11th, 2017

Professor George Lakoff explains how political language activates your belief systems, whether you know it or not.
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Apr 6th, 2017

We got a ton of feedback, or is it foodback, about our special NAFTA episode of Make Me Smart. Although technically, most of the foodback was actually about avocado toast. Careful listeners of the show will remember that our collective Make Me Smart ...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Apr 5th, 2017

This story was inspired by several Make Me Smart listener questions. America first. That is the promise President Trump made to American voters when he took office this January. Once in the White House, Trump wasted no time trying to deliver on his p...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 29th, 2017

There are lots of companies out there promising to revolutionize transportation and mobility.Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft suggest that car ownership itself is absurd, and their fleets of human-driven or self-driving cars will get you any...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 28th, 2017

On December 8, 1993, then-President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. It went into effect less than a month later. At the time, the bill was lauded for its ability to create jobs in the U.S. — Clinton had said NAFTA would c...Show More

34:28 | Mar 28th, 2017

The way we eat the fruit and buy blue jeans has a lot to do with the North American Free Trade Agreement.
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 23rd, 2017

We spent a lot of time this week talking about an existential question for people watching Donald Trump's young presidency: What's a crisis and what isn't? We also spend a lot of time trying to parse what's typical for a new administration and what, ...Show More

31:25 | Mar 21st, 2017

Alyssa Mastromonaco tells us about life in the Obama White House and her new book "Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?"
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 20th, 2017

It's been a tough month for Uber.The super-rich Silicon Valley darling is no stranger to bad PR, but lately Uber's been batting back boycotts, lawsuits and embarrassing leaks all at once. We talked about it on "Make Me Smart," but we can only record ...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 16th, 2017

Around here, we talk a lot about automation. Which jobs are being taken by robots? Does adding more automation to the workplace actually create more jobs? Which jobs are safe?We got an email from Julian in Australia about that very issue. Here's part...Show More

34:12 | Mar 13th, 2017

Singer-songwriter Marian Call on what it's like to inadvertently launch a global hashtag and work with IBM's Watson supercomputer
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 10th, 2017

Can President Donald Trump take credit for the continued increase in jobs added to the U.S. economy? Can the CIA really hack your phone? Can Kai get through an entire book about poetry and psychology? All this and more in our weekly Facebook Live edi...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 10th, 2017

On a recent Facebook Live video, Molly Wood talked about a book that includes one of her favorite topics: path dependence — the idea that the decisions we make depend a lot on past knowledge and decisions we've made, even if those ideas are no longer...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 9th, 2017

In the run-up to Super Tuesday, when Sen. Bernie Sanders was still an insurgent candidate and President Donald Trump was just one of a dozen or so GOP hopefuls, we called up a bunch of experts to ask how the themes of the campaign were manifesting in...Show More

35:42 | Mar 7th, 2017

Lyft's co-founder and president, John Zimmer, won't mention his company's main competitor by name. Spoiler alert: It's Uber. But he is willing to say, "We've talked about being profitable next year, we feel very confident in that. We even think there...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 7th, 2017

You may have noticed President Donald Trump tweeted this weekend. But try not to get distracted. We're talking about that, a busy week for tech news and Kai's leftover preferences on this week's live video.Join us every Monday at 10:30 a.m. Pacific S...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

0:00 | Mar 3rd, 2017

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai intends to roll back rules that require internet providers get customer consent before selling their data. The EPA announced it will not need information about methane from oil and gas well operators. What that means and a whole...Show More

22:23 | Mar 1st, 2017

Kai and Molly return to follow up on the President's address to Congress and Travis Kalanick's apology to Uber employees

28:57 | Feb 28th, 2017

Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood interview Steve Huffman, the co-founder and CEO of Reddit, a social sharing platform where more than 200 million users share everything from wholesome memes to "ask me anything" sessions with newsmakers and celebrities to t...Show More

26:43 | Feb 21st, 2017

Why reputation matters abroad, at home and at Uber. Also, we dig into the protest economy and what that means for the yarn industry.

27:28 | Feb 14th, 2017

This week, the one thing the Trump administration isn't talking about, David Frum answers our Make Me Smart question, and Part 2 of how to trust government numbers

32:38 | Feb 7th, 2017

Kai and Molly talk with author Tim Wu about net neutrality and his new book "The Attention Merchants."

05:49 | Feb 3rd, 2017

"Italian leather boots are no joke," and other life lessons.

12:28 | Feb 2nd, 2017

An update on moral capitalism, business as an unofficial part of American checks and balances and the right to eat waffles on this mini episode.

37:14 | Jan 31st, 2017

Business as a check and balance? Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood talk about the reaction to President Trump's executive order on immigration.

27:35 | Jan 24th, 2017

President Donald Trump, the TPP and so much more on our first full episode.

12:58 | Dec 21st, 2016

Kai and Molly share some of their favorite moments that you've never heard.

13:12 | Dec 14th, 2016

The President-Elect meets with technology leaders from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and more. Plus: what's Kanye got to do with it? Finally, we answer a listener question about housing starts.

10:50 | Dec 9th, 2016

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft & YouTube team up to combat terror