National/International

If you can't beat the robots, buy 'em

8 hours ago
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David Brancaccio

Five years ago, Marketplace explored how machines, robots and software algorithms were increasingly entering the workforce in our series "Robots Ate My Job." Now, we're looking at what humans can do about it with a new journey to find robot-proof jobs.

04/26/2017: High gains for the markets and businesses

10 hours ago

This morning, we'll discuss the positive numbers coming from businesses and the markets —the Nasdaq closed above 6,000 for the first time while company earnings reports have been decent across the board. Afterwards, we'll look at the potential effects of Trump's proposed corporate tax rate cut on government revenue, and then examine the disparities in per-child spend at schools in different states. 

Different states spend vastly different amounts on their children, according to a new study out this week. The Urban Institute, a think tank in Washington, looked at spending on public schools, health, and social services and found that the national average is just shy of $8,000 per kid. Some states spend a lot more per pupil than others. The disparities raise questions of fairness and the impact of funding.  

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Updated 11:45 p.m. ET

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities, commonly known as sanctuary cities.

President Trump has chosen Randolph "Tex" Alles to lead the U.S. Secret Service, turning to an outsider to head the beleaguered agency tasked with protecting the president and his family.

A retired Marine Corps general, Alles is currently acting deputy commissioner of customs and border protection. He is the first Secret Service director in recent history not to come from within the ranks — a step many congressional critics have said is necessary to remake the service's culture.

Why presidents rarely tackle tax reform

14 hours ago

President Trump is set to unveil a tax reform agenda today. One of the centerpieces is expected to be his campaign promise to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.  But tax cuts and tax reform are two different things. The last real crack the U.S. took at tax reform was back in 1986, more than three decades ago. Why is tax reform so hard that most administrations simply skip it? 

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How the Panic of 1837 predicted the Great Recession

14 hours ago
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David Brancaccio

You may have slept through the lesson your U.S. history class gave on the Panic of 1837, but it's a prophetic subject given the stark similarities it shares with the Great Recession. 

Back then, a booming American cotton industry drove banks to lend money to land prospectors, which in turn, created a land bubble.

Then that bubble went bust.

Following the economic disaster, Americans blamed inner failings — not policy or institutions.  

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D Gorenstein

Paying for health care is an issue that worries many people. In the latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, 75 percent of respondents said they were fearful they weren’t going to be able to afford the services they or their family needs.

Yet some state and federal lawmakers want people on Medicaid — the health program primarily for children, people with disabilities and low-income Americans — to be more concerned about health care costs.

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Marketplace

Alphabet's self-driving car unit, Waymo, will now expand its operations in Phoenix, Arizona — a city where Uber has also tested its autonomous vehicles. Why Phoenix? Well, it's in a state that appears friendlier than others to self-driving technology, and there's a growing tech scene going on there. Brian Sherman, a senior vice president at Arizona Commerce, shares what exactly his organization is doing to support innovation in the region.

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Marketplace

President Trump has been talking about tax reform for a little while now. Well, today's the day we're getting a roll out of his plan. We'll dive into the proposals we might see from the White House, which could include a call for lower corporate tax rates and a re-adjustment of the country's income tax brackets. Afterwards, we'll look at how previous presidents have attempted to reform the American tax system, and then explore a radical proposal in Wisconsin that may increase the state's monthly health care premiums. 

Is it murder if there’s no homicide?

Apr 25, 2017

Jessie McKim has spent the last 20 years behind bars for a murder that never took place.

McKim of Kirksville, Missouri, is serving a life sentence without parole for murdering Wendy Wagnon back in 1997. (He was convicted in 1999.) But back in 2013, it was determined that Wagnon actually died from a meth overdose, even though prosecutors have argued that McKim strangled her. However, while the science says Wagnon was not murdered, a judge has denied McKim's request for relief because he has “not conclusively proved his innocence."

‘The Circle’ author Dave Eggers thinks the internet is getting creepier

Apr 25, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal and Robert Garrova

There's a movie opening this weekend that's going to strike a little too close to home for some people in this crazy, mixed-up, always-connected digital economy we live in.

Tom Hanks and Emma Watson star in “The Circle,” a story about the dark side of revealing all online. It's based on a book of the same name by Dave Eggers, in which a mega-tech company wants access to all of our lives.

This week, President Trump will likely sign an executive order related to national monuments. And, no, I’m not just talking about statues. These are federal designations meant to protect things like public land and water. Trump’s order is expected to review some of them, which could upset a lot of environmentalists. It could upend protections his predecessors have put in place across the country. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Run government as a business? Americans are split

Apr 25, 2017
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Sabri Ben-Achour

The latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll asked Americans whether they thought the U.S. government should be run more like a business. We ask because President Trump on many occasions promised to do so and to bring his business acumen to bear on the presidency.

This is something Americans have argued over for more than 100 years.

You can have a potty mouth during union fights, court says

Apr 25, 2017
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Jana Kasperkevic

Workplace criticism can be served with a side of profanity during unionization fights, especially if swearing was previously tolerated, according to New York federal court.

Trump’s tax plan raises economists’ eyebrows

Apr 25, 2017

President Trump is expected to unveil his tax plan tomorrow. It would reportedly lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent. Budget analysts predict that would cost the federal government more than $2 trillion in revenue over a decade. But the administration says the tax cuts will boost the economy so much that they’ll pay for themselves because of increased economic activity. Is that realistic? 

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What a $400 juicer says about Silicon Valley

Apr 25, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal

A Juicero press squeezes juice from Juicero-branded packages of produce. It connects to the internet, costs $399 and is not necessary for squeezing juice from Juicero-branded packages of produce. The company raised an estimated $120 million from venture capitalists.

With major market indexes up, economist Lindsey Piegza joins us to talk about the psychology behind those increases. Investors are optimistic about the pro-growth policies Trump has proposed, like a 15 percent corporate tax rate, even if they haven't come to fruition. Next, we'll look at a possible source of tension between farmers and Trump over his push for strict immigration rules and his tamp down on free trade, which might not bode well for the agriculture industry.

The Commerce Department announced new tariffs of 3 percent to 24 percent on Canadian lumber companies, saying the Canadian government unfairly subsidizes the industry. Some American companies will have to pay the fee retroactively for orders delivered in the last 90 days. This debate has been ongoing for decades, and Canada denies it unfairly supports its lumber industry. Meanwhile, U.S. homebuilders said the new tariffs will increase the price of construction.

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Dozens of Democrats joined Republicans in the Senate to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as the next secretary of agriculture.

The vote was 87-11. Perdue's cousin, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., voted "present" and presided over the vote.

Sonny Perdue grew up on a farm in central Georgia and has owned several agriculture companies. He is not associated with the food company Perdue or the poultry producer Perdue Farms.

NPR's Geoff Bennett reports for our Newscast unit:

Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle reports earnings after markets close today. The beleaguered burrito brand’s stock is up nearly 20 percent this year, signaling a possible comeback from its E. coli scandal of 2015. Analysts expect a recovery quarter for Chipotle, but the company has a ways to go.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

As Sonny Perdue gets sworn in to be the new Secretary of Agriculture, President Trump is set to meet with farming representatives. Among the top items on their list: immigration and trade. Up to 70 percent of the farming labor force is undocumented immigrants. About 20 percent of the U.S. agriculture business are exports dependent on good trade relations.

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Why women and men view the economy differently

Apr 25, 2017
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Marielle Segarra

In the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, we asked this question: where is the U.S. economy today, compared to a year ago — better, worse or the same? The poll found that 40 percent of men thought it was doing better, compared to 24 percent of women.

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Marketplace

On the website Twitch, video game fans get to watch popular video game players stream footage of their game play. Now Twitch is going to allow users to make money from their own streaming. We'll dive into reasons for the company's move — which may include a fear of YouTube — and the pitfalls of this business model for gamers. Afterwards, as part of our "hacktivism" series, Science magazine's John Bohannon shares the story behind the site Sci-Hub, which was created by grad student Alexandra Elbakyan after she became frustrated with the paywalls placed in front of research papers.

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Marketplace

The U.S. Commerce Department has announced a new set of tariffs to raise the cost of wood produced by several Canadian lumber companies. Turns out lumber pricing has been a source of tension for decades. We'll take a look at how much these tariffs will increase by and what this could mean for the future of NAFTA. Afterwards, we'll discuss why not all of President Trump's policies are sitting well with farmers. And finally, we'll chat with former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert about his new documentary "Against All Odds," which examines how discriminatory policies in the U.S.

How Trump's border wall demands could lead to a government shutdown

Apr 24, 2017
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Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters 

The deadline for Congress to pass a new federal budget — this Friday at midnight — is fast approaching, and recently, there appeared to be bipartisan support for a compromise. However, last week the White House introduced a new spending measure that seems to have scuttled that progress and could, potentially, result in a government shutdown.

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Tony Wagner

You have to use the internet.

We're almost at 100 days. What is Trump's approval rating?

Apr 24, 2017
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Marketplace

The countdown is almost over. Come Saturday, President Trump will have been in office for 100 days.

The 45th president arrived at the White House with quite a to-do list. Among the things he hoped to accomplish during the first 100 days in office were: tax reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare, investing in infrastructure and ending illegal immigration. None of these have been checked off yet.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for taking big risks. It’s a reputation that helped him raise billions of dollars for his various companies over the years. Musk’s latest gamble is a decision to fast-track the assembly-line strategy for the new Tesla Model 3 electric car. Typically, carmakers do a prototype buildout before going to full-scale production. But there are some big reason’s Tesla can’t afford to wait.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Sherry Lansing on the next 'chapter' of her career

Apr 24, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal

Negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and television and movie production companies are in recess today as the union counts membership votes on whether to authorize a strike. Watching with not-quite-detached interest is Sherry Lansing, the former CEO of Paramount Pictures.

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