National/International

04/27/2017: Stop judging my outfit, Alexa

Apr 27, 2017
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Marketplace

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai wants to put an end to net neutrality rules, a move that shouldn't be surprising given the position he took on the issue during the Obama era. But why? Recode's Tony Romm is here to explain why Pai is so against these regulations. Afterwards, we'll look at Amazon's new Echo Look, a device that can snap photos of you and provide some fashion advice. Zeynep Tufekci, an associate sociology professor at the University of North Carolina, argues this is the latest evidence that suggests "surveillance capitalism" may take over our lives.

04/27/2017: United CEO tells us he 'messed up'

Apr 27, 2017
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Marketplace

United Airlines is rolling out a series of 10 changes to "improve customer experience" — a move that follows the forcible removal of a passenger on one of its flights. Among those changes: an offer of up to $10,000 to passengers if they give up their seat. CEO Oscar Munoz stopped by to discuss these new policies, regrets over his initial response to the dragging incident, and why the airline is still overbooking flights. Plus: a status update on reports that President Trump would withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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David Brancaccio

By now, most of us have seen or heard about United Airlines passenger Dr. David Dao being forcibly removed from a flight on April 9. When video of the incident went viral, United CEO Oscar Munoz released an initial statement calling the event "upsetting" and apologizing "for having to re-accomodate" Dao and other customers.

ESPN announced a long-awaited round of layoffs today. About 100 staff members are expected to be let go, including on-air reporters and commentators. The cuts are a clear sign of the new economic reality facing live sports broadcasting.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

What the "Spinal Tap" lawsuit means for Hollywood

Apr 26, 2017
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Adrienne Hill and Maria Hollenhorst

"This is Spinal Tap," the mockumentary about a fictional heavy-metal band, paved the way for a genre of docu-style films and TV shows, like "Best in Show," "The Office" and "Modern Family." But much like the fictional band’s failed entrance to onto a Cleveland Stage, when "This is Spinal Tap" was released in 1984, its box office take was a letdown. But in the years since it opened, it’s become a classic.

Why Net Neutrality Rules are in danger

Apr 26, 2017
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Adrienne Hill and Molly Wood

While a lot of attention today was on tax reform, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai was making news of his own. Pai outlined today what might be next for net neutrality, including a possible roll back of Obama-era regulations on internet service providers. Pai also said high-speed internet service shouldn't be treated like a public utility.

Host Adriene Hill spoke with Marketplace’s senior tech correspondent Molly Wood to get some context on the latest news for net neutrality. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Fact-checking Trump’s latest tweet on the economy

Apr 26, 2017

Key to President Trump’s tax plans announced today is accelerated economic growth. That’s probably one reason the president took to Twitter this morning to complain about modest growth in 2016. He said trade deficits were to blame. "Trade deficits hurt the economy very badly" he wrote. But economists say that’s not really right.

 Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Trump tax plan is heavy on cuts but light on details

Apr 26, 2017
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Marielle Segarra

The White House unveiled a one-page outline of President Trump’s long-touted tax plan today. The proposal is short on details, but among other things, it calls for a reduction in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 15 percent. It also cuts down the number of income tax brackets to three and gets rid of the estate tax.

Majority of Americans feel 'forgotten' by government

Apr 26, 2017
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Annie Baxter

Do you think the government in Washington generally represents your interests, or has the government forgotten about “people like you?” That was the new question we asked in our latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll. 

Despite greater confidence about their economic futures, a whopping three-quarters of our respondents feel overlooked by Washington. 

“We're the forgotten Americans. We're swept under the rug,” said Glen Perkins, 60, an African-American truck driver in La Vergne, Tennessee, who participated in our poll.

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

Apr 26, 2017
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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.

Could we power our economy with old buildings?

Apr 26, 2017

If we focused on preserving old buildings instead of building new ones, could we make our economy bigger and stronger? Stephanie Meeks is the CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit that protects historic sites in the United States. In this interview with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal, Meeks talks about why our economy needs old buildings, what types of places we need to do a better job protecting and how they prioritize what gets saved and what doesn't. 

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

Apr 26, 2017

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.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

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

Apr 26, 2017

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? 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

How the Panic of 1837 predicted the Great Recession

Apr 26, 2017
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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.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

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:

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