Author Archive

Uploading the Human Mind to a Machine   Leave a comment

SPAIN-TECHNOLOGY-ROBOTLink: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-tech/2017-03-23

Summary: Technology has become increasingly present in various markets.  ESports is an up and coming sports league that is centered around video games, and artificial intelligence involves uploading the human mind into a machine.  These are two recent trends in the technology sector that Marketplace discusses in this podcast.

Original Air Date: March 23, 2017

Length: 7 minutes 12 seconds

Discussion Question: How does advancing technology impact jobs? What effect does it have on unemployment, if any at all?

Jubilee! (?)   Leave a comment

2509857120_5f43d4858b_o-28875f634cdecb828ccaaa98c667017dcce48e7c-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/12/23/506763952/episode-587-jubilee

Summary: After Iceland was hit hard by the financial crisis, Icelanders with mortgage loans were drowning in debt.  Recognizing the outrage, the Progressive Party of Iceland capitalized and offered to clear everyone’s debt.  Planet Money discusses Iceland’s use of a biblical event called jubilee and the results.

Original Air Date: December 23, 2016

Length: 20 minutes

The Chicken Tax   Leave a comment

chickens-02064a2da3617b54ffee56246937a0b3ab259274-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/01/25/511663527/episode-632-the-chicken-tax

Summary: Believe it or not, there is a chicken tax and it actually applies to automobiles! Back in the 20th century, Germany levied a tax on American chicken to protect their domestic farmers.  The US responded by taxing German made automobiles,  and thus a trade war began.  Planet Money discusses the value of tariffs, and why the chicken tax is still around.

Original Air Date: January 25, 2017

Length: 16 minutes 56 seconds

Eagles vs. Chickens   Leave a comment

white-oak-pastures-bald-eagles-3-2--8a659fb85864863fa192f7d90300cd9bfecde5b2-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/02/03/513302816/episode-752-eagles-vs-chickens

Summary: One farmer had what seemed like a great environmentally conscious plan to fertilize his soil.  However, Eagles threw his plan of offering Whole foods consumers organic chicken into disarray.  Planet Money discusses how the unintended consequences impacted farmer’s plan.

Original Air Date: February 3, 2017

Length: 17 minutes 28 seconds

Discussion Question: What were the unintended consequences of the farmer’s choice to use chickens to fertilize the soil? Explain how unintended consequences are important to economics.

A New 3-D Pen Lets Kids Create Their Own Toys   Leave a comment

3DoodlerSeaLink: https://www.marketplace.org/2017/02/22/tech/3d-pen-kids-wins-best-toy-award-toy-fair-2017

Summary: Educational technology toys are a hot new trend in the toy market.  One company, Bogue, introduced a new concept allowing kids to create their own toys through a 3-D printer.  Marketplace introduces how Bogue is competing with giant toy companies.

Original Air Date: February 22, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 15 seconds

Discussion Question: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages Bogue has with creating a new category in the market? How does this impact competition?

Amy and Steve vs. Facebook   Leave a comment

steve-vachani-aaac7eaec0e94572b032af008f67b6dadefe20e4-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/12/09/504999255/episode-741-amy-and-steve-vs-facebook

Summary: When social media was beginning to explode in the mid 2000’s, Steve had an idea that would eliminate having to login into three different sites with different usernames and passwords.  One problem: Facebook sued, causing a lengthy legal battle that impacts everyone.  Planet Money investigates how Steve and a $55 per hour lawyer took on Facebook and their $1000 per hour lawyers.

Original Air Date: December 9, 2016

Length: 18 minutes 9 seconds

The Fine Print   Leave a comment

fine-print-2-71ae63c3d53fa5681bb995b77857273174e07eca-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/03/31/522226226/episode-762-the-fine-print

Summary: Everybody at one point in their life has heard the term “Got to read the fine print”.  But what does that actually mean? Planet Money tells stories about what happens when you read the fine print, and how you can make money from it.

Original Air Date: March 31, 2017

Length: 19 minutes 32 seconds

Bell Wars   Leave a comment

both-bells-eadbe97bd81b9c768a75b50f4ba759ed4e4ad692-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2016/12/14/505556945/episode-592-bell-wars

Summary: Bells are heard every year at Christmas time, but you would have a hard time distinguishing the difference between the two main companies who make them.  Planet Money investigates how two bell companies were at war for decades over who’s bell sounded best.  As the war affected the sales, engineering, and legal sides of the business, this fierce competition has an unlikely result.

Original Air Date: December 14, 2016

Length: 19 minutes 28 seconds

The Bees go to California   Leave a comment

bees-6bb12f86c978790d3ce3f4f7c9fd448957f4461f-s1600-c85.jfifLink: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/02/24/517076055/episode-756-the-bees-go-to-california

Summary: Bee stings hurt, but without bees, fruits and nuts wouldn’t be possible.  Every year, millions of bees travel from the east to California to pollinate fields.  Planet Money researches this unique business and how efficient trucking bees from Louisiana to California really is.

Original Air Date: February 24, 2017

Length: 22 minutes 54 seconds

Farmers Hack Their Equipment to Evade Tractor Company Policies   Leave a comment

Statewide Drought Forces Californians To Take Drastic Measures For Water ConversationLink: https://www.marketplace.org/2017/03/27/tech/farmers-hack-their-equipment-evade-tractor-company-policies

Summary: Farmers are hacking into their own tractors in order to fix them, rather than pay for a dealer to fix it for them.  Marketplace introduces this situation and explains why tractor owners aren’t satisfied with this developing market concentration in the repair market and what they hope to do about it. .

Original Air Date: March 27, 2017

Length: 3 minutes 2 seconds

Discussion Question: What impact does forcing tractor owners to go through dealers for repairs do for competition in the market? Who benefits from this system more, the owner or the dealer?