Weekdays at 6:30pm
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

Business, the economy, and events that influence them. Presented by American Public Media.

Uber’s whole value proposition is that it’s cheaper, quicker and easier. But this week the ride-sharing service was accused of being not so easy for people who are disabled. The group Disability Rights Advocates, filed a class-action lawsuit against Uber. The suit argues the company discriminates against New York City riders with disabilities because it doesn’t offer enough wheel-chair accessible vehicles. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

07/20/2017: A new way of cleaning your house

10 hours ago

They may not be the most anticipated items in the world, but transparency reports are important because they reveal how companies disclose information about the way they deal with the U.S. government. On today's show, we'll talk with Michee Smith, a product manager at Google, about the changes the company is making to its report. Afterwards, we'll look at the model behind Up & Go, a service that connects those in New York City who need cleaning services with small business owners.

07/20/2017: Repealing Obamacare, by the numbers

10 hours ago

The Congressional Budget Office has calculated the costs and benefits of repealing Obamacare, but not replacing it. An estimated 32 million people would be left uninsured. On today's show we'll take a look at what the release of these figures mean for the GOP's health care strategy. Afterwards, we'll talk with APM Reports about the Trump administration's infrastructure plans, and then discuss a class-action lawsuit filed by the Disability Rights Advocates against Uber over wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Sorry Spotify, country music is still a radio industry

23 hours ago

Over on the Billboard Country Charts, a song called "In Case You Didn't Know" by Brett Young is sitting at the No. 2 spot. Young is relatively new to the country music scene, and just last year, he went out on a radio tour across the U.S., as many new country artists do. The radio tour is a right of passage for new singers in the industry. After an artist signs a deal with a label, they travel around America, visiting upwards of a hundred radio stations. The singers meet with radio program directors, trying to convince them to add their songs to the rotation.

Tax reform is like health care reform in at least one important way: If Republicans want to pass it without Democrats, they can’t raise the deficit too much over the long term. But tax experts who have analyzed the GOP’s main proposals say they would add trillions of dollars to the deficit. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Tech issues loom large in U.S.-China talks

23 hours ago

The U.S and China began talks in Washington today about trade and other issues. The talks — billed as an "economic dialogue" — have a couple of clouds hanging over them. Like North Korea and steel, which, the U.S. complains, China produces and sells too cheaply. But there are other issues. Chinese companies want access to U.S. markets and vice versa. One big concern of American tech companies: new hoops for firms that want to play on China's digital turf.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.


Can the Hollywood baseball movie make a comeback?

Jul 19, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Robert Garrova

So far this summer at the movies we've seen "Wonder Woman," a new "Spider-Man," a shark thriller and a car chase-musical mashup. Many would say, though, that the summer movie list is missing a key item: a classic baseball movie. As the New York Times Magazine puts it, "Where Did the Great Hollywood Baseball Movie Go?" Jay Caspian Kang, author of the article, explores this question with host Adriene Hill.

Can a better-designed bike helmet make people safer on the road?

Jul 19, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Robert Garrova

In the middle of downtown Los Angeles' bustling Arts District, you’ll find the headquarters of Thousand occupying one of the few work/live lofts left in the area.

It's a company that makes bicycle helmets, but think less duck-billed head gear and more Steve McQueen in the 1960s.

Sabri Ben-Achour

It's vacation season, and for some, that means setting off to a new state or country.

But we here at Marketplace know the value of a dollar, so when it comes to travel, we try to find ways you can spend your money strategically and not get ripped off.

We turned to Mark Orlowski, who does a lot of travel as the founder of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, to find out when to use your points and how airlines are starting to devalue their miles. Below is an edited transcript.

Trump's desire for private infrastructure money will narrow his choices to mostly urban projects

Jul 19, 2017
Tom Scheck, APM Reports, Curtis Gilbert, APM Reports and Will Craft, APM Reports

Officials in states, cities and counties are increasingly looking to use private money for public infrastructure projects like roads and bridges, a result of tight budgets, eager financial investors and a president who believes that business — not government — can deliver better services to Americans.

The Republican effort to get rid of Obamacare and maybe, sometime, replace it is alive again. Or is it? The Congressional Budget Office released a new score this afternoon on GOP efforts to repeal and delay replacement. The bottom line: 32 million more people without insurance by 2026, and a cut in federal deficits by $473 billion in that same period. We'll get you up to speed. Then: local governments all around the country have sent the White House hundreds of projects for consideration under a big infrastructure package.

For a good long while, Sherry Lansing was the highest-ranking woman in the entertainment industry, both as the head of production at 20th Century Fox and then later as the CEO of Paramount. Under her tenure, Paramount saw huge success with "Forrest Gump," "Braveheart," "Titanic," "Saving Private Ryan" and the launch of the "Mission: Impossible" franchise. We talked about her life and career, which is also documented in Stephen Galloway's new biography "Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker." 

A House subcommittee will consider proposals Wednesday that would bar states from setting their own rules for self-driving cars and take other steps to remove obstacles to putting autonomous cars on the road. The measure would be the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Markets have more to think about than health care (thankfully). Susan Schmidt from Westwood Holdings Group joined us to talk about other factors investors are looking to, like earnings season and housing starts. Afterwards, we'll talk about the state of the manufacturing industry, and then discuss how Comic-Con makes money for itself.

The annual Comic-Con International kicks off this week in San Diego. Comic-Con makes money selling tickets, renting floor space to vendors and exhibitors, and getting sponsors. GuideStar, which tracks nonprofits, says the convention has seen steady year-over-year revenue growth for the last 17 years, as comic culture has become central to pop culture. The most recent report puts convention revenue at $19 million, which exceeds its expenses. The convention brings tourism dollars to San Diego and has spun off other events in other places. 

After months and years of trying, there's going to be no replacing — or repealing — of Obamacare. At least for now.

You might expect that health insurance companies have been holding their breath, waiting to see what’s next. But it turns out many of the larger insurers don’t make much of their money selling insurance in the individual market. For example, UnitedHealth, which is largely out of the exchanges, announced huge second quarter earnings on July 18, beating Wall Street expectations.

So how are insurers boosting profits in these uncertain times? 

What happens to abandoned cars

Jul 19, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

This is just one of the stories from our "I've Always Wondered" series, where we tackle all of your questions about the world of business, no matter how big or small. Ever wondered if recycling is worth it? Or how store brands stack up against name brands? What do you wonder?

07/19/2017: A chipmaker's challenges

Jul 19, 2017

Qualcomm may not be a household name, but its chips are inside a household item: your phone. On today's show, we'll look at the company's ubiquity, along with the struggles it's been facing as smartphone makers decide to find solutions in-house. Afterwards, we'll discuss the announcement of Bluetooth Mesh, the idea that eventually all your Bluetooth devices may be able to talk to each other separately from your Wi-Fi network. 

07/19/2017: Let it fail, or make it fail?

Jul 19, 2017

Republicans didn't have the votes to neither replace nor repeal Obamacare, so President Trump has said to just let it fail. One way to do that is to stop paying the billions in subsidies to insurers that cover out-of-pocket costs for low-income Americans. On today's show, we'll look at how plausible it is that that these payments will get halted. Afterwards, we'll discuss the House's consideration of a proposal that would bar states from setting their own rules for self-driving cars, and then talk about how to make the most of your travel points.

Adam Allington

What’s in a name, you ask? Well, kind of everything, at least if you’re asking someone from Harlem, in New York. Backlash has been swift and fierce against what was supposed to be a simple, catchy acronym: SoHa, short for South Harlem. That is what some realtors in the city have taken to calling part of the neighborhood. 

Some residents have said this kind of backdoor re-branding smacks of gentrification. But the practice of creative neighborhood renaming is actually quite common in real estate, and in some cases can speed up economic development. 

UK honors Jane Austen 200 years after death

Jul 18, 2017
Sam Beard

The Bank of England unveiled a new 10 pound note in Winchester on Tuesday. The date and the location of the unveiling were carefully chosen because adorning the new currency is an image of Jane Austen, who died 200 years ago on this day and is buried in the southern English city. 


Stalled health care reform efforts put strain on the dollar today, as investors in Asia and elsewhere started dumping the greenback. President Trump’s difficulty in getting his domestic policy agenda passed is one factor in the dollar's doldrums, but there are others.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

"The grid is in good shape," an Energy Department study draft says

Jul 18, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Scott Tong

It's no secret the Trump administration believes in fossil fuel "dominance.” Key to that belief is the idea that renewable energy is unreliable — that if coal-fired electricity keeps shrinking, the lights could one day go out. President Trump has suggested this, as have the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. The DOE has been studying the question at the command of Secretary Rick Perry, and a draft of that study was leaked. Scott Tong from our Sustainability Desk joined host Adriene Hill to discuss it.

There's a whole lot of love for Howlin' Ray's Nashville-style hot chicken in LA

Jul 18, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Daisy Palacios

Howlin' Ray's in Los Angeles has brought Nashville-style hot chicken to the West Coast, and it's a pretty big deal here. Marketplace host Adriene Hill visited chef and owner Johnny Zone at the bustling spot, where the kitchen staff prepares hundreds of hot chicken plates and "sandos," or sandwiches, an hour before opening time. Meanwhile, a line of people wraps around the building, waiting for the doors to open. When they do, the wait can last more than two hours. It's enough to bring tears to your eyes, or is that the cayenne pepper? An edited transcript of the conversation follows. 

07/18/2017: No repeal, no replacement

Jul 18, 2017

After years of trying, the Republican-controlled Congress won't be replacing Obamacare or even repealing it with a replacement TBD. President Trump's new plan, he said today, is "just let Obamacare fail." Leaving aside that's quite a thing to say about a sixth of the economy, you might wonder how insurers are taking the news. Turns out, most of them don't make much money in the individual market anyway. We'll look at UnitedHealth, which is mostly out of the exchanges, but posted huge second-quarter earnings today.

The Trump administration may want to keep NAFTA after all

Jul 18, 2017
Ryan Kailath and Janet Nguyen

The North American Free Trade Agreement was one of President Trump’s favorite punching bags on the campaign trail. He called it “one of the worst deals ever,” blamed it for destroying American jobs, and vowed to get rid of it.

07/18/2017: Obamacare lives another day

Jul 18, 2017

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has scrapped plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act after two more senators said they couldn't support the measure. But McConnell says he's already got another plan in place, which would involve a straight up repeal of Obamacare. On today's show, we'll look at how feasible this plan actually is.

Here is where the U.S. Congress buys its health insurance

Jul 18, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

This is just one of the stories from our "I've Always Wondered" series, where we tackle all of your questions about the world of business, no matter how big or small. Ever wondered if recycling is worth it? Or how store brands stack up against name brands? What do you wonder?

24: Always tie your shoes

Jul 18, 2017
Molly Wood and Kai Ryssdal

The Columbia River Bar is one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships of all sizes. That's where the Columbia River Bar Pilots come in. These specially trained experts pilot cargo and passenger ships of all sizes across the bar into the river that separates Oregon from Washington. Captain Deborah Dempsey was the first woman to become a pilot with the organization and she tells us why tying your shoes can keep you from falling "in the drink"— and what happened the one time she didn't.

Sports teams try to accommodate special needs fans

Jul 18, 2017
Laura Ziegler

Many people on the autism spectrum have a hard time in loud, chaotic places like sports stadiums. But a number of professional sports teams are trying to make it easier and more fun to attend games for those with autism and other special needs. Among them are the Kansas City Royals, who have put some accommodations, such as quiet zones, in place at Kauffman Stadium.