Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

We’re Headed For A Fiscal Cliff. Should We Jump?   Leave a comment


Summary: The team outlines the fiscal policies slated to be enacted in January after the presidential election. Simon Johnson, an economist and professor at MIT, explains the harsh realities of the “fiscal cliff” which the year 2013 will bring for the U.S. economy.

Original air date: April 24, 2012

Length: 21:20 min

Allowance, Taxes and Potty Training   2 comments


Joshua Gans and his three children.

Summary: Interview with Economist Joshua Gans, author of Parentonomics, on the use of incentives for children and the lessons for economic policy

Original air date: August 20, 2010

Length: 18:09

Main story content begins: 2:42

Discussion Prompt: Why do you think it was difficult at first to determine the right reward to give to provide an incentive for the kids to use the potty? How do you think this discussion of incentives helps us understand  the economic idea that “incentives and economic systems impact choice in predictable ways”?

Follow-up Prompt: The podcast also talked about the idea of ‘budget constraint’ through Bea’s allowance and about the concept of ‘leakage’ in an economic system. What do budget constraint and linkage mean and how are they demonstrated here? How do they help us understand the behavior of the children in this podcast? Can you think of any other examples of leakage associated with incentives, perhaps at the government level?

Bloody, Miserable Medieval Economics   1 comment


A medieval re-enactor talks on his cell phone

Summary: Discussion of the economics of a French village in the middle ages.

Original air date: July 27, 2009

Length: 21:55

Main story content begins: 3:18

Posted July 27, 2012 by audioecon in History of Economics, Planet Money, Taxes, Trade

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The Surprisingly Entertaining History of the Income Tax   2 comments

image of Donald Duck from the spirit of '43Link:

Summary: A discussion of the origins and history of the income tax in the U.S.

Original Air Date: March 23, 2012

Length 19:20

Main story content begins: 3:12

Posted July 5, 2012 by audioecon in Government, Planet Money, Taxes

Moonshine Stimulus   3 comments

An anti-Prohibition parade float circa 1925.Link:

Summary: As part of a quest to prove whether President Roosevelt drank Moonshine at the White House, the Planet Money team discusses the history and economics of prohibition.

Original Air Date: August 3, 2010

Length 18:05

Main story content begins:  1:31

Discussion Prompt: Using what you know about elasticity and what you learned from this podcast, what would be your ‘economic expert’ opinion on a proposal to implement a tax specifically on the purchase of marijuana (similar to a tax specifically on alcohol) in the sates where marijuana sales are legal? Connect your economic opinion to details from the podcast. If you use outside information, provide at minimum links for citations.

Follow-up Prompt: A question to expand your application of elasticity ideas: If marijuana were legalized (and taxed), what other markets might be impacted (related goods)?  How might the legalization impact what goods consumers consider to be substitutes for marijuana? Do you think it would change?