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  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

Award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine on business and economics news "for the rest of us."  Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics. Marketplace takes a fresh approach to business news covering  listeners from wallet to Wall Street. 

The Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University and Mc Lane Intelligent Solutions are local sponsors of Marketplace on KWBU.

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Why the US buys all its rare earth metals from China

Jun 26, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst

Rare earth minerals, though not actually rare, have unique chemical properties that make them essential for wide-ranging technologies, including smartphones, hybrid cars and high-tech weapons. Two years ago, the only rare earth mine in the United States filed for bankruptcy protection. The ongoing dispute over control of that mine's assets, and thus the ore it produces, center on China's near monopoly over the rare earth element supply chain.

Olga Oksman

The map that started it all — the original 1953 drawing used to persuade investors to fund theme park Disneyland — has sold at auction for $708,000. While a respectable sum, it fell short of the $750,000 to $1 million that Los Angeles-based auction house Van Eaton Galleries estimated. An anonymous American collector put in the winning on bid on June 25 for the 3 ½-foot-by-5 ½-foot plan for Disneyland, which would come to fruition in 1955.

Robert Garrova

My Economy tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

For this latest installment of our series, we hear from Rebecca Dunne, a music teacher and publications technician in Fairbanks, Alaska. 

My name is Rebecca Dunne and I live in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Kai Ryssdal

The Senate Republican health care bill was first shown to the public Thursday, with an eye on voting a week later. Today we got the Congressional Budget Office score. The headline numbers are 22 million people losing coverage and a $321 billion deficit reduction by 2026. We'll talk through what it all means and what to keep an eye on as the bill hurtles toward a vote Thursday. Then: The president is a former CEO who wants to run the company like a business, so let's tease out how the U.S. government is and isn't like a public company.

Faced with labor shortages, some dairy farms are increasingly using automation to get work done. We visit one operation where robots are milking cows all year round. Plus, Italy's bailout of its banking system, which could cost the euro equivalent of $19 billion.

This dairy farm's best worker is a robot

Jun 26, 2017
Annie Baxter

Vickie Baker is a farm consultant in southwestern Pennsylvania who sees dairies struggling to find workers all the time. It's hard to attract people to physically demanding, dirty farm work. That's especially true at dairies, where cows need to be milked year-round, several times a day, including the middle of the night.

But Baker also has first-hand experience with the problem. A few years ago, one of two workers she and her husband employed to milk 60 cows at their business, Maple Bottom Farm, abruptly quit.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Washington today for his first meeting with President Trump. The two are likely to stick to subjects both countries agree on — defense and counterterrorism — but the issue of H-1B visas can’t be ignored. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.


Senate Republicans are reportedly planning to put a penalty in the health care bill that would lock people out of the market for six months if they drop their coverage. Why are they doing this? Health care reporter Dan Gorenstein fills us in. Also, the most expensive bailout of failing banks in Italy's history and what to expect from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first meeting with President Trump.

06/26/2017: How Atari changed personal computing

Jun 25, 2017

Atari was born 45 years ago this week. Michael Z. Newman, the author of "Atari Age: The Emergence of Video Games in America," says the gaming company didn't just change video game history, it changed the way people thought of personal computing. Plus: we learn about how one company, BioCatch, is using biometrics to detect fraud. CEO Eyal Goldwerger says the company can use your online behavior to identify you, adding a layer of security.

A former coal miner's take on the declining industry

Jun 23, 2017
Lizzie O'Leary and Paulina Velasco

It's been hard to escape the narrative of the coal miner over the last year. President Trump talks a lot about putting coal miners back to work, and he's rolled back Obama-era regulations aimed at doing just that.

But setting narratives aside, the numbers show coal is declining. Natural gas is cheaper to use to make electricity. And many of the people who have done this work don't see much of a future for themselves in coal.

Kai Ryssdal

Rachel Abrams from The New York Times and Sheelah Kolhatkar from The New Yorker join us to discuss the week's business and economic news. Now that Senate Republicans have unveiled their health care plan, a bill drafted in secret, we look at the potential impact it will have on low-income earners and how it could redistribute wealth to the rich.

Two industry groups that represent cattle ranchers have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They want the USDA to reinstate country-of-origin labeling for beef, because they say consumers want to purchase meat from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. For example, pieces of beef from Canada can come across the border to a U.S. processing plant, get ground into hamburger, and that hamburger then sold without any indication of its origin.

It was a busy day on Wall Street today, and there was good reason for that. It was the annual reshuffling of the popular trading benchmarks known as the FTSE Russell Indexes. Those indexes track the largest U.S. companies in the U.S. stock market, and they determine what’s in a bunch of securities mutual funds. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The Wall Street Journal made a phone for just 70 bucks

Jun 23, 2017
Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst

The $600 to $800 price tag on the latest Apple or Samsung smartphone could create some serious sticker shock, especially compared to the much cheaper models from Chinese competitors. Chinese smartphone brands from the Pearl River Delta region and the city of Shenzhen are gaining market share fast. They can contract with manufacturers in Shenzhen who are already tapped into the region's vast smartphone supply chain and pump out low-cost phones under their own brands, no designing or engineering necessary.

President Trump's practice of calling out major U.S. corporations to publicly pressure them to keep jobs in the U.S. has been well publicized since the 2016 election campaign. Trump has in the past, for example, criticized the air conditioning company Carrier for plans to move jobs to Mexico. He then took credit when the company agreed to a plan enhanced by state tax breaks to keep a thousand jobs in Indiana. He's also put pressure on Ford, GM and Toyota over U.S. jobs.