Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Whistleblower Protection Program   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2022/03/29/1089572956/whistleblower-protection-program

This episode of the Indicator discusses the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the ways in which it regulates businesses. Whistleblowers, the ones who are brave enough to stand up against malpractice in the company, are valuable to the SEC but are often too scared to come forward. Jordan Thomas, a former SEC employee, decided he would make a firm that protected these whistleblowers and made sure they are compensated for the risks they are taking.

Original Air Date: March 29, 2022

Length: 10 minutes 5 seconds

How Manatees Got Into Hot Water   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/08/1091736131/how-manatees-got-into-hot-water

Back in the 1970’s, manatees were close to extinction because of ruined habitats and speedboats. Over time power companies started to notice that groups of manatees were congregating around their power plants due to the warm water they produce. This episode of Planet Money discusses the unlikely partnership between environmentalists and power companies to conserve the manatee and how they make that possible. Conservation policies needed to adapt the idea that to save the manatees, the power plants also need to be saved. The warm water keeps the manatees alive but what happens when we move to more renewable energy resources? Pat Rose, a conservationist known as the “manatee man”, joins the show to explain what is going on in the manatee world today and what the future looks like.

Original Air Date: April 8, 2022

Length: 24 minutes 2 seconds

The raging 2020s with Alec Ross   Leave a comment

Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/news-not-noise/id1585743634?i=1000550850554

New York Times bestselling author Alec Ross talks about his new book, The Raging 2020s, and explains how that restore the balance of power between the government, businesses, and citizens a new social contract is needed for modern America.

Discussion Prompt: After listening to the podcast, do you agree that America needs a new social contract for the economy to thrive? While answering this question, use your economic thinking and reflect on ideas like wealth inequality, taxes, and unions.  

Original Air Date: February 12, 2022

Length: 32 minutes 28 seconds

Should Cities Invest in Sports Stadiums?   Leave a comment

Link: https://wordsandnumbers.libsyn.com/episode-264-should-cities-invest-in-sports-stadiums

James Harrigan and Antony Davies, hosts of the Words & Numbers podcast, discuss various topics from US sanctions on Russia. Lauren Heller, Associate Professor of Economics at the Campbell School of Business, then joins them to consider the public funding of sports arenas and the economics behind it. Lauren discusses false profit projections and how the actual payoff for say, the Super Bowl is really only about 10% of those hopeful projected profits. Politicians, fans, and the continued belief in false projections all play a part in the pushing for new stadiums, but in reality they don’t provide the huge economic benefits that cities are promised.

Original Air Date: March 2, 2022

Length: 34 minutes 6 seconds

Price Controls, Black Markets, And Skimpflation: The WWII Battle Against Inflation   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2022/02/08/1078035048/price-controls-black-markets-and-skimpflation-the-wwii-battle-against-inflation

During World War II, when inflation was very high, the United States government took many different actions to fight it including implementing an income tax, rationing, and price ceilings. Today we have the Federal Reserve which means we will hopefully not have to resort to these drastic measures to fix inflation ever again.

Original Air Date: February 8, 2022

Length: 23 Minutes 24 Seconds

Going from gasoline to electric   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.aeaweb.org/research/electric-transition-banning-gasoline-vehicles

Norway, the United Kingdom, California and many other places worldwide plan to ban the sale of gasoline cars within the next 10-15 years. Economist Stephen P. Holland discusses the implications of a simple ban, and instead encourages policies that will incentivize car manufactures to decrease production of gas cars without devastating the economy.

Citation: Holland, Stephen P., Erin T. Mansur, and Andrew J. Yates. 2021. “The Electric Vehicle Transition and the Economics of Banning Gasoline Vehicles.” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 13 (3): 316-44. DOI: 10.1257/pol.20200120

Original Air Date: September 29, 2021

Length: 21 minutes 32 seconds

The Even More Minimum Wage   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/12/976465414/the-even-more-minimum-wage

This podcast discusses the history and the impact of low wages received by restaurant workers. The federal “tipped” minimum wage has remained stagnant for almost 30 years, while the standard minimum wage has been increased 5 times throughout that time. Policy makers in Washington DC are now proposing the Raise the Wage Act, which, if enacted, would raise the federal minimum wage incrementally to $15 an hour for all workers in all industries, including tipped workers.

Original Air Date: March 17, 2021

Length: 21 minutes and 22 seconds

Where Does the Money for Stimulus Checks Come From?   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/make-me-smart-with-kai-and-molly/where-does-the-money-for-stimulus-checks-come-from/

$1.86 trillion in relief spending has been authorized by congress, which will be financed by the sale of government bonds and other debt instruments. The Federal Reserve Bank will purchase many of these bonds which will cause an inflow of money into the economy. This podcast also elaborates on the inflationary implications of the stimulus checks entering the economy.

There is also discussion of Google’s market power and vaccination progress.

Discussion Prompt: What is the intended goal of the stimulus checks and what unintended consequences can arise as a result?

Original Air Date: March 17, 2021

Length: 19 minutes and 34 seconds

Hey Google, Are You Too Big?   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2020/10/21/926168583/hey-google-are-you-too-big

The Department of Justice has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Google due to their alleged monopoly power over the online search and internet search ad market. The DOJ must prove in this case that Google has created this monopoly in a way that is harmful to consumers. If Google loses the case, this would allow for more competition within the market, even if the effects of this case are not seen right away.

Original Air Date: October 21, 2020

Length: 18 minutes

What do Leaked Financial Documents Reveal about Dirty Money in Banking?   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.brookings.edu/podcast-episode/what-do-leaked-financial-documents-reveal-about-dirty-money-in-banking/

Despite national and global efforts to discourage money laundering, there were recent reports from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network suggest suspicious transactions and funding during the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This podcast further discusses some of the failures of banks to report suspicious activities in a timely manner. Matthew Collins from the Brookings Institute states that if our government really wants to hammer down on money laundering and other financial crimes, it is crucial to invest more funds into regulatory bodies such as FinCen.

Original Air Date: September 24, 2020

Length: 12 minutes 20 seconds