Every weekday on Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal hosts a lively and unexpected exploration of the day’s business and economic news from Wall Street to your wallet.
Seeking answers on why inflation won't do what everyone expects it to, Kai Ryssdal interviews a former Fed governor. In the world of health care, we investigate why rates of uninsured Americans are up for the first time since 2014 and what type of emergency President Donald Trump will declare the opioid epidemic. Plus, we'll run through this week's steps forward (and backward) in NAFTA renegotiations, tax reform and Trump's impending appointment of the next Fed chair. And we get status updates from Puerto Rico, where power hasn't come back for many residents, and the Florida Keys, where they're busy luring tourists back to the islands.
Kai Ryssdal promised we weren't going to talk about tax reform today, but it kept coming up: Rep. Pat Tiberi's resignation from Congress signals a brain drain of tax code experts in the Ways and Means Committee, which could make tax reform a lot messier. And we checked in with a union leader in Erie, Pennsylvania, who wasn't exactly moved by President Donald Trump's big announcement that tax reform would lead to the rebirth of American industry. But we mostly focused on government regulation of political ads on Facebook and Google, corporate restructuring and how Brexit could trigger a crisis in the U.K. cheese industry.
While that sounds like an opportunity he wouldn't pass up, President Donald Trump is reportedly considering five economists for Fed chair, including current Chair Janet Yellen. Politico's Ben White takes us through the list of potential candidates, weighing them against what Trump is looking for: someone he can relate to and influence, and someone who won't raise rates as he enters the re-election period. All eyes should really be on China right now, where the Communist Party Congress opened today. It's an important meeting that happens once every five years, and today's speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping revealed China's five-year economic plan, which includes valuable information for companies and China-watchers. Next, we go to Minnesota to check in on the wild rice crop, a cornerstone of life for local Native American tribes. And on this week's edition of Corner Office, we talk to Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code, an organization dedicated to teaching girls to code and getting more women jobs in tech.
At America's largest ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach, bales of plastic and paper are piling up. Once upon a time, they would have been packed and shipped to Asia, where they'd be turned into consumer goods and shipped back. But China has plenty of its own recycled materials now to sustain the manufacturing of goods, leaving the U.S. with a big problem: where's it all going to go? Maybe it can be hidden in the giant $2.4 trillion hole that the GOP's tax plan would leave in the budget (but it's likelier to end up in storage for now.) The tax plan is a big flip-flop from the fiscal responsibility Republicans have been been preaching, but it's not without precedent — historically, each side cares more about debt when they're in the opposition. Plus, NAFTA negotiations, what's really behind Amazon's choice of location for their secondary headquarters and how Houston's undocumented parents are struggling to receive federal aid for their children as the city recovers from Hurricane Harvey.
Many nonprofits are shaking in their boots at the prospect of a GOP tax plan that would decrease incentives for giving, especially for individuals in lower tax brackets. And as the smoke begins to clear from massive wildfires in Northern California (some of which are still active), we examine the failure of maps that show places most at risk for wildfires. One neighborhood that burned last week was Coffey Park, a subdivision in the middle of Santa Rosa — the type of place that everyone assumed would be safe from wildfires. And on the latest installment of My Economy, we hear from one listener grappling with health care costs.
We wrap up the news week wondering: Will Congress be able to pass any big legislation in 2017? What will happen to low-income people seeking health care once government subsidies disappear? Will President Donald Trump and European leaders decide to impose new sanctions on Iran? Plus, corporate America's reliance on nondisclosure agreements helps serial harassers stay under the radar and aren't necessarily protecting public interest, so why do we still have them? And, on a more personal note, it would make it a lot harder for us to do our jobs if we didn't have accurate economic data. The Census Bureau usually takes care of this every five years, but the upcoming count has already been delayed by six months because of funding cuts.