The Indicator from Planet Money

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A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what's happening today. It's a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.Try Planet Money+! a new way to support the show you love, get a sponsor-free feed of the podcast, *and* get access to bonus content. You'll also get access to The Indicator and Planet Money Summer School, both without interruptions. sign up at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

  • 9 minutes 29 seconds
    Trade wars and talent shortages
    Indicators of the Week is back. This time, an in-depth look at what Biden's massive tariffs on Chinese imports might mean for inflation and jobs. After that, why it may soon become easier to become a certified public accountant, addressing that nagging CPA shortage.

    Related Episodes:
    If the world had no accountants (Apple / Spotify)
    The surprising leader in EVs (Apple / Spotify)
    How electric vehicles got their juice (Apple / Spotify)

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    17 May 2024, 7:26 pm
  • 8 minutes 48 seconds
    How the Dominican Republic became Latin America's economic superstar
    For decades, the Dominican Republic's economy has been growing at a remarkably steady pace. The Caribbean nation of 11 million people is today considered a middle-income nation, but the International Monetary Fund projects it could become an advanced economy within the next 40 years.

    Today on the show, we uncover the reasons behind the Dominican Republic's economic success and whether or not these benefits are being felt widely in the country.

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    16 May 2024, 10:31 pm
  • 9 minutes 12 seconds
    The highs and lows of US rents
    The latest inflation numbers are in. This month's Consumer Price Index, or the CPI, is ... well, good and bad news for renters. Shelter prices went up over the last year, but at a slower pace. Shelter makes up nearly a third of the CPI. Today's episode: Rent. Where is it high? Where is it low? What exactly is "coffee milk"? The Indicator tours the U.S. to bring you the answers.

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    15 May 2024, 10:16 pm
  • 9 minutes 29 seconds
    The "Winner Take All" problem
    When June Carbone, Naomi Cahn and Nancy Levit set out to write a book about women in the workforce, they initially thought it would be a story all about women's march towards workplace equality. But when they looked at the data, they found something more disturbing: of the ways in which women's push toward workplace equality has actually been stalled for years.

    In today's episode, law professor June Carbone argues that the root of the problem lies in something they call the "winner take all" approach to business. That's the thesis of their new book, "Fair Shake: Women & the Fight to Build a Just Economy".

    Related episodes:
    What would it take to fix retirement? (Apple / Spotify)

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    14 May 2024, 10:17 pm
  • 9 minutes 7 seconds
    Is 'government crypto' a good idea?
    Advancements in cryptocurrency networks are sparking conversations about the potential for Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDCs for short. Advocates for CBDCs think they would provide security and unlock more efficient fiscal policy actions. However, opponents believe they would provide a shortcut for government interference and the erosion of privacy.

    Today on the show, we'll dive deep into the world of CBDCs and pose the question if countries actually need them at all.

    For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

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    13 May 2024, 10:29 pm
  • 9 minutes 20 seconds
    A new gold rush and other indicators
    Indicators of the Week is back! This time, we dig into why gold prices are spiking, why the Biden administration has only spent a small portion of money pledged to infrastructure projects, and what the spurt of streaming consolidations means for you.

    Related episodes:
    Gold Rush 2.0
    The semiconductor shortage (still) (Apple Podcasts / Spotify)
    The secret entrance that sidesteps Hollywood picket lines (Apple Podcasts / Spotify)

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    10 May 2024, 9:47 pm
  • 9 minutes 29 seconds
    Iceberg ahead for Social Security
    According to a government report released this week, Congress has until 2033 to fix Social Security before retirees receive an automatic benefit cut of about 21%. This is a more optimistic estimate from a previous report that stated the Social Security Trust Fund would run dry sooner, but it still paints a grim picture for a program that millions of retirees rely on.

    Today, NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent joins the show to explain what exactly lawmakers can do to fix Social Security and why proposed solutions might be easier said than done.

    Related episodes:
    What would it take to fix retirement? (Apple / Spotify)

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    9 May 2024, 10:20 pm
  • 8 minutes 57 seconds
    Why Venezuela is no longer in freefall
    Back in 2019, The Indicator started checking in on with a Venezuelan economist Gabriela Saade. The economy was in freefall. The country was suffering from hyperinflation and a huge jump in poverty. Today, the U.S. faces a spike in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, many from Venezuela. So we check back in with Gabriela. Venezuela is due to go to the polls in July. We ask Gabriela and two other Venezuelans: what are economic conditions like at the moment? How has life changed since the pandemic? Some of the answers surprised us.

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    9 May 2024, 12:08 am
  • 8 minutes 59 seconds
    Hazard maps: The curse of knowledge
    What happens when small town politics collide with the climate crisis? And how do hazard maps—maps that show which homes in your neighborhood are at risk of getting destroyed or damaged by a natural disaster—come into play? On today's episode, how some people—from Indiana to Oregon to Alaska—are facing some very real concerns about insurance and the ability to sell their houses.

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    7 May 2024, 9:20 pm
  • 9 minutes 33 seconds
    How Colorado towns are trying to get some water certainty
    In Western Colorado, towns and farms are banding together to pay a hundred million dollars for water they don't intend to use. Today on the show, how scarcity, climate change and a first-dibs system of water management is forcing towns, farms and rural residents to get spendy.

    Related episodes:
    A watershed moment in the West? (Apple / Spotify)
    The Amazon, the Colorado River and a price on nature
    Water in the West: Bankrupt?

    For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

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    6 May 2024, 9:22 pm
  • 9 minutes 6 seconds
    Not too hot, not too cold: a 'Goldilocks' jobs report
    It's Jobs Friday and the jobs report is in! There's more jobs! ... but not as many as expected. And there's a teensy bit more unemployment and slower wage growth. But there's an upside ... Plus, healthcare is growing like gangbusters and how immigrants affect American-born workers.

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    3 May 2024, 10:49 pm
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