Money/Business

Money, Business, Media

James Ellis / NPR

For 15 years, the journalist Alex Blumberg enjoyed a pretty respectable career in public radio. He was an executive producer on This American Life, and he co-hosted NPR's Planet Money podcast. Given that success, why did he quit his day job, ditch public radio, and go it alone as a business entrepreneur? Don't worry, Blumberg hasn't gone too far afield. His new pursuit: it's a podcast company. He joins us Tuesday to explain his career change and to share his story of getting a startup off the ground.

r2hox via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1wLM240

You may not by aware of it, but you are being tracked. Nearly every move you make on the Internet results in data that is gathered not just by governments, but by marketers, retailers, and just about any company looking for a financial edge. They harvest your information with near impunity. The journalist Adam Tanner has surveyed the world of personal data and investigated the companies mining it for profit. He joins us Thursday to explore how big data could result in the end of privacy as we know it.

The Boom

Apr 7, 2014

Every day, one hundred new oil and gas wells are drilled and hydraulically fractured in America. The recent fracking boom has produced immense amounts of energy, income and a whole lot of controversy. In a new book called The Boom, Wall Street Journal reporter Russell Gold attempts to cut through the noise from both sides to understand how we can best procure the energy we rely on every day. Gold joins us Tuesday to examine the economic, environmental and social impacts of where our energy comes from.

The Meat Racket

Mar 7, 2014

Just a handful of companies raise nearly all the meat consumed in America, and among them, Tyson Foods is king. According to the journalist Christopher Leonard, Tyson wrote the blueprint for modern meat production. He says there’s no better way to understand how our food is produced than to know how the company works. In a new book, Leonard explores how Tyson mastered the economics of factory farming to rise to the top, and how it transformed rural America and the middle class economy in the process. He joins us Monday to talk about it.

In the wake of the Great Recession, large Western governments have tried to keep their economies afloat by imposing austerity measures. The hope is that by reducing wages and spending they could bail themselves out of budget deficits and jumpstart global economic growth. The political economist Mark Blyth says that plan hasn’t worked out. He says austerity has led to sluggish growth and increasing inequality, and not for the first time, either. Blyth joins us to explain why austerity, like a zombie, is a dangerous idea that just won’t die. [Rebroadcast]

(Re)Working

Sep 8, 2013

Let’s face it: sometimes not much work done gets done at work. Software developer Jason Fried thinks he knows why that is. He says the modern office is tailor made for interruptions, and interruptions are the bane of good work. Fried also says people are much more efficient when they’re working in their kitchens, or at a coffee shop or the library—basically anywhere but at the office. Fried joins us Monday to make the case for redesigning the workplace for better collaboration, creativity and productivity.

In the wake of the Great Recession, large Western governments have tried to keep their economies afloat by imposing austerity measures. The hope is that by reducing wages and spending they could bail themselves out of budget deficits and jumpstart global economic growth. The political economist Mark Blyth says that plan hasn’t worked out. He says austerity has led to sluggish growth and increasing inequality, and not for the first time, either. Blyth joins us Thursday to explain why austerity, like a zombie, is a dangerous idea that just won’t die.

Salt Sugar Fat

Jul 1, 2013

Salt, sugar and fat are the most prevalent ingredients in the processed foods that now dominate American appetites. According to investigative reporter Michael Moss, food manufacturers cram as much of those three ingredients as possible into their products in order to make them irresistible. But high levels of salt, sugar and fat have also made us obese and unhealthy. Moss has written a new book investigating the food science and corporate scheming that have distorted the American diet and put our health at risk, and he joins us Tuesday to talk about it. (Rebroadcast)

Salt Sugar Fat

Apr 16, 2013

Salt, sugar and fat are the most prevalent ingredients in the processed foods that now dominate American appetites. According to investigative reporter Michael Moss, food manufacturers cram as much of those three ingredients as possible into their products in order to make them irresistible. But high levels of salt, sugar and fat have also made us obese and unhealthy. Moss has written a new book investigating the food science and corporate scheming that have distorted the American diet and put our health at risk, and he joins us on Wednesday to talk about it.

The increasing cost of a college education concerns people regardless of their income level or politics. It’s the subject of congressional hearings, protests and everyday conversation. But why does higher education cost so much? Are our universities simply dysfunctional and inefficient? Or is it more complicated than that? Wednesday, we’ll explore those questions in front of a live audience at the Hinckley Institute of Politics. The scholars Robert Archibald and Nicholas Hillman are our guests. And we hope you’ll join us, too.

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