National/International

Trump’s tax plan is more trickle down than pump priming

May 11, 2017
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Sabri Ben-Achour

In an interview with The Economist, President Trump said it's OK that his tax plan would increase the deficit, because it wouldn't do so for very long. He said it would “prime the pump” of the economy. And then he said he came up with that phrase.

For the record, Donald Trump did not invent the phrase “priming the pump” in an economic context, or really any context.

Snapchat's first quarter earnings fell short of expectations on many fronts, and that has investors wondering if Instagram and its owner, Facebook, are beating Snap at its own game. Instagram and Facebook have copied many popular features of Snapchat and its "stories" platform, and they have the bigger user base in place that Snap wants to get. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

One more of President Trump’s nominees can move into his office and take up the president’s agenda on international trade, specifically NAFTA. Robert Lighthizer, an international trade lawyer and former trade official in the Reagan administration, was confirmed as U.S. trade representative today by the Senate on a vote of 82 to 14.  He’s likely to go back to the negotiating table with Canada and Mexico over NAFTA to bring a new deal back to Congress.

Opioid overdoses overwhelm the nation's morgues

May 11, 2017
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Adam Allington

It was the spring of 2013 when David Madfes and his wife, Tania, were walking home after enjoying a late dinner in San Francisco. They were crossing the street about one block from their house when a truck making a left turn hit them.

“I fell on my shoulder, and my wife fell and hit her head on the street and suffered severe brain trauma,” Madfes said.

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Eilis O'Neill

Jessa Lewis and her 14-year-old daughter share a two-bedroom basement apartment with another mom and her daughter. Lewis said they all live together, in part, because it’s really hard for single moms to find an apartment to rent in Seattle.

“My daughter and I were looking for a place to live in her school district,” Lewis remembers. “I called a number that was posted, and she said, ‘Well, it’s a small apartment.’ I said, ‘That’s fine. It’s just my daughter and I.’ And she said, ‘Well, then, I’m not even going to consider you.’”

Redfin CEO: To survive, keep thinking like a startup

May 11, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

 What does "Love in the Time of Cholera" have to do with online real estate brokering? According to Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, it's more than you probably think. Kelman became CEO of the online real estate company back in 2005. He spoke with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about his time heading the company and being at the forefront of online real estate brokering. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

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David Brancaccio

While the courts have legalized same-sex marriage, many other protections for LGBT people are not settled in law — including whether or not an employer can fire an employee for being gay or lesbian.

There's movement on this issue after a federal court ruling that the Johnson-era Civil Rights Act also applies to sexual orientation.

Gillian Thomas, a senior staff attorney at the Women's Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, joined us to talk about the organization's progress on the issue. Below is an edited transcript.

05/11/2017: Workplace protections for the LGBT community

May 11, 2017

Whole Foods is facing a shake-up. The company has announced it's going to replace about of of its board of directors amid declining sales. We'll take a look at why the grocery chain is facing this slump and who's set to join the company. Afterwards, we'll discuss the future of trade between Mexico and the U.S., and then talk with the American Civil Liberties Union about its push to have greater workplace protections for LGBT people.

Want to prepare for the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing on Thursday? Buckle up.

Democrats led by Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia are angry enough to blow the dome off the Capitol after the man they expected to be a star witness — James Comey — was removed from office as FBI director by President Trump on Tuesday.

What exactly is Trumponomics?

May 11, 2017
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David Brancaccio and Janet Nguyen

Some presidents have economic policies so closely intertwined with their administration that they get a portmanteau named after them. Think Reaganomics and trickle-down theory. 

Now there's Trumponomics.

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Tom Scheck, APM Reports

We’ve teamed with APM Reports to track proposed infrastructure projects around the country as President Trump prepares his $1 trillion plan. Here’s the first in a series of stories from our partnership. 

As President Trump prepares to release a list of projects that could be included in his $1 trillion infrastructure plan, groups are aggressively lobbying to make the cut. Over the past five months, Trump’s team has been quietly soliciting requests from across the country, triggering a torrent of proposals.

Mexico’s buoyant exports prompt cheer and fear

May 11, 2017

Mexico's auto exports to the U.S. are up this year. And with the Trump administration talking tough on trade deficits and the need to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, that could be a problem for our neighbor to the south.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Retailers galore report their earnings this week amid a string of massive brick-and-mortar store closures, with more shuttered doors expected. What can Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and others do to hang on? Adapt faster to offer some online shopping perks and tools, or learn the predictive strategies that online retailers have down pat.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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Marketplace

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has hit a record high in value this week. What many, including the Fed, also see value in is Bitcoin's underlying technology, blockchain. We'll chat with Jim Cunha, a senior vice president for the Federal Reserve, about why the group has interest in this weird, esoteric technology.

05/11/2017: The meaning of 'Trumponomics'

May 11, 2017
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Marketplace

Trump and other key staffers from his cabinet sat down with some editors for the Economist to talk about the administration's approach to the economy. Zanny Beddoes, the publication's editor in chief, joined us to talk about the president's perspective on trade and tax reform. Plus: A look at the struggles that retailers across the U.S. are facing and what they can do to overcome declining traffic.

With Comey's dismissal, are we careening towards a constitutional crisis?

May 10, 2017
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Joshua Roberts/Reuters 

For many people, President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey brings back memories of former President Richard Nixon, who called for the dismissal of the special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.

Jeffrey Rosen, a professor of law at George Washington University and president of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, says while it has raised a lot of questions, Trump was acting within his authority when he terminated Comey. 

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Jana Kasperkevic

It wasn’t just the Snaps that were disappearing on Wednesday.

To say that Wall Street was disappointed in the first earnings report of Snap Inc., the parent company of the app Snapchat, might be an understatement, as the company reported a $2.2 billion loss and lower than estimated revenue.

Erie public schools are consolidating to survive

May 10, 2017
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Amy Scott

Here’s how bad things had become for the chronically broken public school system in Erie, Pennsylvania: Earlier this year, Superintendent Jay Badams floated a proposal to close the city’s high schools — all four of them — and pay tuition to send kids to better-funded schools in the surrounding county.

The pushback, Badams said, was intense.

Unemployment is at its lowest rate in roughly a decade. For lots of businesses, that means summer help is going to be harder to find — and more expensive. That’s especially true for smaller resort businesses that rely on temporary foreign workers to staff their hotels and restaurants. Those workers typically come on what's known as H-2B visas, and they are usually here by now. But high demand and rule changes could mean a lot of businesses will be starting the summer understaffed.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The resignation of the U.S. Census Bureau director leaves the agency with no leader just month before it begins a big hiring and technology push for the 2020 census. Data from the census is useful far beyond counting the population. Economists and businesses use census numbers to decide where and when to expand, or pull back, and to measure other trends across the country. The 2020 census will be the first time Americans can answer questions online or by phone, a system that requires investment in new technology.

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Marketplace

Kellyanne Conway went on CNN this morning to talk about President Trump's bombshell firing of FBI director James Comey and said this: "You want to question the timing of when he hires, when he fires. It’s inappropriate. He’ll do it when he wants to." Um, asking questions is exactly what a free press in a representative democracy is supposed to do, and we still have a lot of them. Questions like: what's gonna happen with health care? Tax reform? Trump's trillion-dollar infrastructure package? And there's a broader question that's unique to this president: Is this how you run a business?

05/10/2017: Is a government shutdown coming soon?

May 10, 2017

President Trump's ouster of FBI Director James Comey could have big economic implications. We'll explore the obstacles the firing could have on budget negotiations; policies involving big money, like tax reform; and the markets.

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Marketplace Weekend Staff

Drive a car, take a train or stroll down a street, chances are you'll walk — literally, in some cases — into an infrastructure issue.

Potholes. Broken bridges. Aging airports. All problems that could be fixed under President Trump's pledge to invest $1 trillion into America's infrastructure.

The question is: Where are all these problems?

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David Brancaccio

There's been a lot of talk about how President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey could reverberate throughout the economy — slowing or halting progress on health care reform, tax reform and infrastructure investment.

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Eliza Mills

With a fight looming in Congress about replacing FBI director James Comey, we'll take a look at how the incident could translate into slower economic growth. Afterwards, we'll discuss another unsolved mystery in Washington that involves America's central bank. Jeffrey Lacker, the president of the Fed's regional bank in Virginia, retired early over allegedly confirming confidential information to a Wall Street analyst. 

05/10/2017: Just what kind of company is Uber?

May 10, 2017
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Marketplace

A legal adviser to the European Court of Justice (essentially the EU's version of the Supreme Court) will give his views on whether Uber is a transportation company or a digital service — which could mean much stricter rules for the ride-sharing giant. The New York Times' Mike Isaac is here to talk about how Uber has tried to define itself and its biggest blind spot. Afterwards, we'll look at the launch of another Amazon internet-connected device, The Echo Show, and then discuss Salt Lake City, Utah's promise as a growing tech hub.

Updated at 9:22 p.m. ET

The president has fired FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible ties to the Trump campaign and top aides.

Former NSA director says this White House can't handle the truth

May 9, 2017
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Larry Downing/Reuters 

On Monday, it was revealed that former President Barack Obama warned then-President-elect Donald Trump not to hire Gen. Michael Flynn. That was two days after the November presidential election. Despite the warning, President Trump selected Flynn as national security adviser. Flynn was later fired for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey

May 9, 2017
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Marketplace

President Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.

The letter is short and to the point. Three paragraphs total, including the operative clause: "I concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau."

This will almost certainly add chaos to an already, uh, dynamic time in the politics of the American economy.

Each year, millions of children flock to Orange County, Florida, to visit Disney World. But in the background, there is a darker story at work.

Orange County has the highest number of juvenile arrests in the state. From June 2015 to June 2016, police arrested more young people in Orange County than Miami-Dade County, where the population is almost double. Nearly 64 percent of those incarcerated are African American boys.

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