National/International

Can the U.S. stop all oil exports from Iran?

Aug 8, 2018

This week the Trump administration began re-imposing sanctions against Iran, and it seeks to reduce Iran’s exports of crude oil to zero by November. How successful that is could impact oil and gas prices around the world. In rural Virginia, residents are paying attention already.

At the farmers market in the town of Culpeper, about 70 miles from Washington, D.C., several merchants are cheering the American sanctions on Tehran.

(Markets Edition) The Trump administration might try to deny citizenship to people who've received welfare, help from social services, welfare, and coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Its reasoning? This notion that immigrants are a drain on health services. But we'll look at a some new data showing immigrants actually use them at a lower rate than people born in the U.S. Afterwards, we'll discuss Elon Musk's plans to potentially take Tesla off the public stock market, and then we'll explore how open office floorplans might actually lead to less interaction among co-workers.

Immigrants make up roughly 12 percent of the population in this country, but account for just 8.6 percent of heath care expenditures, according to a report in the International Journal of Health Services. Researchers at Harvard and Tufts universities combed through 18 years of studies on the subject, and found several reasons for the gap. 

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Why Elon Musk wants to take Tesla private

Aug 8, 2018

Elon Musk set the internet and stocks a flurry on Tuesday after tweeting he was thinking of taking Tesla private. It's far from a done deal, but if it does move forward, Tesla would be the largest company ever to go from public to private.

Handling a toxic workplace

Aug 8, 2018

(U.S. Edition) On Twitter, CEO Elon Musk said he might turn Twitter from a publicly traded company into a private one. We'll look at what exactly Musk would gain from this move. Afterwards, we'll discuss news that the U.S. will impose its latest round of tariffs against China in about two weeks, and then we'll chat with organizational psychologist Karlyn Borysenko about some tips for dealing with horrible bosses.

You, or someone you know, might work in one of those offices with an open floorplan — the big, fancy rooms with long rows of desks, people sitting next to each other without cubicles. Open offices like these have spread throughout the corporate world. They’re cheaper, but they’re also marketed around the idea that tearing down cubicles promotes collaboration.

Tips for how to handle a toxic workplace

Aug 8, 2018

In the light of the #MeToo movement, we're taking a look at abusive behavior in the workplace — not just sexual harassment, but incidents that involve bosses who are aggressive and bully their employees. 

Venture capital: The billion-dollar fund

Aug 8, 2018

The Japanese multinational SoftBank Group launched its $98 billion VisionFund last year. Since then, it's dramatically changed the landscape in tech and venture capital. The fund has taken a majority stake in Uber, poured billions into WeWork, Nvidia, DoorDash, Slack and the dog walking startup Wag. SoftBank's influence is so big, it's pushing other venture capital companies to raise more money. Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley's best-known firms, is reportedly trying to raise more than $12 billion in new capital just to keep up.

Trump to visit Fort Drum, Oneida County Monday

Aug 8, 2018
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

President Donald Trump plans to make stops in the North Country and Mohawk Valley Monday, according to a number of reports. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) announced Tuesday that Trump accepted her invitation to visit Fort Drum, and will hold a signing ceremony for the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019.

The promise and reality of Google Fiber

Aug 7, 2018

If smiling politicians were a barometer, the January 2015 press

The Clinton impeachment: Where are they now?

Aug 7, 2018

The '90s are back. Everyone’s wearing tiny sunglasses, rap-rock is creeping its way back into the mainstream and “Slow Burn,” Slate’s hit podcast that examined the Watergate scandal, is back for a new season on the Clinton impeachment.

The U.S. government has always been wary of immigrants who might be a drain on the economy, but soon even legal immigrants who’ve enrolled in Obamacare could be disqualified from citizenship if proposed new rules take effect.

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Why big companies are buying up their own stocks

Aug 7, 2018

Analysts at Goldman Sachs say S&P 500 companies are on a shopping spree, buying up shares of their own stocks. In a letter to clients this month, Goldman projected that by the end of the year, those stock buybacks will total $1 trillion, an all-time high, according to Bloomberg.

One reason companies buy back stock: it takes some of their shares off the market, making each one more valuable.

Where were you in 1998? Kai Ryssdal was just starting his career in public radio. Slate staff writer Leon Neyfakh was in middle school, watching the Clinton impeachment play out on television with parents who were sympathetic to the president. Season two of Neyfakh's podcast "Slow Burn" tackles that scandal, challenging our thinking about Monica Lewinsky, Ken Starr and the rest, while examining the implications for today's political landscape.

The new Tesla will be the largest connected device you own

Aug 7, 2018

The car of the future was supposed to fly (à la "The Jetsons") or at least hover. But if the car of the future is indeed the new Tesla Model 3, its special power is arguably its cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. And a 15-inch iPad-like screen that replaces the dashboard as we know it.

Elon Musk's taking his car company and going home

Aug 7, 2018

Say what you will about Elon Musk — he's not shy about saying what he thinks. The Tesla CEO tweeted this morning that he was considering taking the electric car company private, "funding secured." We'll talk about what that meant for markets, but also what it might mean for the American car consumer, because if there's gonna be a lot more Model 3s on the road, we're gonna have to learn how they work. Then: Google likes to do big things, but whether it gets those big things done is a whole other matter. Case in point: What ever happened to Google Fiber?

Venture capital: Using your own money

Aug 7, 2018

We continue our look at venture capital — how it works, how investments are made and how those investments shape our world. Social Capital is a venture capital fund founded by Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and professional poker player. He believes more venture capitalists need to use their own money when investing and not rely on institutional partners such as universities and pension funds. We revisit his talk with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about what should change in startup investing. (08/07/2018)

The fight over labor unions in Missouri

Aug 7, 2018

(Markets Edition) Edgy rhetoric used to cause investors to fall back on the perceived safety of bonds, but despite the headlines on trade and Iran, markets are still ticking along. We'll talk to David Kelly, chief global strategist at JP Morgan Funds, about why investors aren't running scared from stocks. Afterwards, we'll discuss Missouri's plan to vote on potential new powers to undercut private-sector labor unions, and then we'll look at how Arkansas is experimenting with work requirements for those on Medicaid.

U.S.-China trade tensions worry Christmas exporters

Aug 7, 2018

Yiwu city, sometimes referred to as Santa's real workshop, is just a short bullet train ride from Shanghai.

Some 600 factories in the city are estimated to produce two-thirds of the world's Christmas products, according to the local Christmas Products Association.

The items are on display at the Yiwu international wholesale market, which is a sprawling complex that is almost two square miles in size – picture 280 Macy’s department stores.

Arkansas phasing in work requirements for those on Medicaid

Aug 7, 2018

Arkansas is at the forefront of a national experiment to see whether requiring work for health care coverage helps lift people out of poverty. So far, the state’s plan has seen low compliance among beneficiaries who may soon see themselves fall off the Medicaid rolls. Out of the around 10,000 people who were supposed to report their work in the state’s first phase of the work requirements, 7,464 had not reported  as of June.

Voters in Missouri will decide Tuesday whether to pass a “right-to-work” law. If approved, Missouri would join Michigan, West Virginia, Wisconsin and more than 20 other states in banning private-sector unions from charging dues to members.

Unions, who oppose right-to-work laws, say without the ability to collect union dues, they’ll have less power to bargain for higher wages for their workers. That in turn will hurt workers of all stripes, since nonunion employers typically raise wages to compete with union shops.

It's Black Women's Equal Pay Day

Aug 7, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The U.S. has re-imposed sanctions on Iran overnight, but there's one way the Middle Eastern country is trying to get around that. We'll look at how Iran has been telling its citizens to import precious metals and get their hands on U.S. dollars. Afterwards, as part of Black Women's Equal Pay Day, we'll look at the wages that black women make compared to white men, and what some are trying to do to end the wage gap. Then to cap off today's show, we'll explore what trade tensions between the U.S. and China might mean for Christmas.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Snapback sanctions from the U.S. against Iran went into effect at midnight, and while European governments have vowed to protect companies wanting to continue doing business with the Middle Eastern country, will many choose to risk being frozen out of the American economy? Then, amid a diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Canada, one activist who left Saudi Arabia says economic reforms cannot be achieved without more political freedoms.

Navigating Instagram's algorithm as @idealblackfemale

Aug 6, 2018

As an artist who uses Instagram as her primary platform, Mandy Harris Williams wants to know who is moderating content at Instagram and Facebook, Instagram's parent company. They've been criticized of inaction where the flow of misinformation and hate speech on their platforms is concerned, though their removal of posts from right-wing conspiracy theorist and Infowars founder Alex Jones might indicate a step forward.

The tight labor market has prompted employers to reach into pools of workers they might have otherwise overlooked: People who failed drug tests, people with prison records, early retirees. And people who were out of that labor market — like older workers — are starting to look for jobs again despite reduced benefits and stagnant wages. So is the labor force pretty tapped out, or are or are there more potential workers waiting in the wings to jump in?

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A new twist on rent-to-own housing

Aug 6, 2018

Gabby Jacobs and her husband, Erin Bullock, were in a battle with their landlord, and they were losing. They were living in Bedford, Ohio, outside Cleveland. There was no heat in their daughter’s room. The stove didn’t work. The landlord refused to make repairs. The time had come to buy a place of their own.

“It was a big jump for us, but we always knew homeownership was a big plus, because it would be ours,” Jacobs said.

Tuning pianos to fill in the financial gaps

Aug 6, 2018

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.

This week we hear from a music teacher who decided he needed another source of income while looking for a full-time job.

President Donald Trump's tweets made a lot of news Sunday, but we want to zoom in on this bit: "Because of Tariffs we will be able to start paying down large amounts of the $21 Trillion in debt," Trump wrote. "While at the same time reducing taxes for our people." Leaving aside that tariffs are taxes, could they ever pay off the national debt? Or even just the deficit? We looked into it. Then, a look at JPay, a company that lets prison inmates and their families exchange emails — for a cost.

(Markets Edition) Elders are going bankrupt at a much higher rate than they used to, according to a new study from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. We'll look at some of the factors that may be causing them financial distress. Afterwards, we'll talk to economist Julia Coronado from MacroPolicy Perspectives about how China's currency is faring, and then we'll discuss how the Trump administration might let people factor in inflation when calculating the tax on capital gains.

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