Planet Money Podcast


Fri March 8, 2013
Planet Money

Episode 442: Into The Future

On today's show: Three stories about the tricky path from the present to the future.

Sales Are Like Drugs. What Happens When A Store Wants Customers To Quit? J.C. Penney's new CEO came in with a bold strategy: No more sales or coupons. It didn't work.

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Tue March 5, 2013
Planet Money

Episode 441: Business Secrets Of The Amish

Robert Smith / NPR

Higher land prices have forced Amish off the farms and into business. There are thousands of Amish run firms out there making everything from plumbing supplies to furniture.

But running an Amish business poses unique challenges. Many Amish don't connect to the electrical grid. They don't drive cars. They prize modesty, meaning traditional advertising slogans like "best," "fastest," and "greatest" are out. An Amish company has to be creative about these things.

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Tue February 26, 2013
Planet Money

Episode 439: The Mysterious Power Of A Hospital Bill

If you have good health insurance, you've probably never even seen a full hospital bill. Count yourself lucky.

For a giant article in this week's Time, Steve Brill went line by line through a handful of bills from hospitals around the country. On today's show, he tells us about the crazy thicket of high prices and hard-to-decipher codes that he discovered, and we talk about what it means for the price of health care in America.

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Sat February 23, 2013
Planet Money

Episode 438: Mavericks, Monopolies And Beer

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 9:27 am

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Two big companies have hatched a plan that could allegedly take money out of the pockets of ordinary Americans. And it's not just any money: it's our beer money.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the biggest brewer in the world, wants to buy Grupo Modelo, the maker of Corona. The U.S. Department of Justice is suing to block the acquisition.

On today's show: The story behind the case, and what it says about monopolies, competition and government regulation.

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Fri February 15, 2013
Planet Money

Episode 436: If Economists Controlled The Borders

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 11:20 am

For the first time in a while, there's political momentum building to change the U.S. immigration system. On today's show, we ask three economists: What would the perfect system look like? If we could scrap the mess of a system that we currently have and replace it with anything, what would it look like?

Among the answers:

  • Let in lots more doctors and engineers
  • Auction off immigration slots to the highest bidders
  • Open the gates, and let everyone in
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