Tag Archives: NPR

Dark Money and Campaign Finance

Yesterday, NPR’s Fresh Air discussed money in politics and how recent changes to campaign finance laws have made it difficult to track money spent on elections and who is spending it.

Here is a description of the podcast from the NPR website:

Campaign finance rules allow some groups to not disclose their donors. The New York Times’ Nick Confessore says there could be “influence peddling … because we can’t see the money changing hands.”

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Janet Yellen on Income Inequality

On October 17, 2014, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen voice her concerns about student loan debt and record high income inequality. Earlier this week, an hour of The Diane Rehm Show was devoted to Yellen’s comments.

Here is a description of the segment:

Earlier this month Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke of the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth and income in this country. She warned that Americans at lower income levels have relatively very little chance to advance, and she questioned whether “this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history”. Some criticized her for stepping so squarely into what many perceive to be a partisan debate. Others argue that recent Fed policies have themselves contributed to the economic divide. Please join us as Senator Elizabeth Warren and three economists discuss what’s driving economic inequality and what, if anything, we should do about it.

GUESTS

Scott Winship: Walter B. Wriston fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; formerly research manager of the Economic Mobility Project of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Dean Bakerco-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research and blogger, Beat the Press; author of “The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.”

Elizabeth WarrenU.S. Senator, D, Massachusetts; author of The New York Times bestselling memoir, “A Fighting Chance” (2014)

Edward Kleinbardprofessor of law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; author of the forthcoming book: “We Are Better Than This: How Government Should Spend Our Money” (October 2014).

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“The Kansas Experiment”

In recent years, Kansas has lived a conservative economic fantasy: dramatically cut taxes.  The most recent Planet Money podcast discusses this economic experiment.

Here is a description of the episode from the NPR website:

Today on the show, a Republican governor lives the dream. He cuts taxes dramatically in his state, and he promises good times ahead. But the good times do not come. Now he’s fighting for his political life.

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Racism and School Discipline

The most recent episode of the popular This American Life discussed racism in school discipline as well as rethinking school discipline generally. This story is one of the most interesting podcast I have heard in quite some time.

Here is a description from the This American Life website:

Stories of schools struggling with what to do with misbehaving kids. There’s no general agreement about what teachers should do to discipline kids. And there’s evidence that some of the most popular punishments actually may harm kids.

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Does the “Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Fourth Amendment”?

That was the question being debated on the most recent episode of the Intelligence Squared podcast.

Moderated by ABC News’ John Donvan, the debate featured Alex Abdo (American Civil Liberties Union) and Elizabeth Wydra (Constitutional Accountability Center) who argued for the motion; and Stewart Baker (Steptoe & Johnson) and John Yoo (University of California, Berkeley) who argued against the motion.

Here is description of the debate:

Some say that mass collection of U.S. phone records is a gross invasion of privacy. Others say that it is necessary to keep us safe. But what does the U.S Constitution say? “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Is collection of phone records a “search” or “seizure”? If so, is it “unreasonable”? Does it require a particularized warrant and probable cause? These are among the most consequential-and controversial-constitutional questions of our time.

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Why Textbooks Cost So Much

Recently, the Planet Money podcast tackled a topic relevant to student: the increasing costs of textbooks.

Here is a description of the show from the NPR website:

Prices of new textbooks have been going up like crazy. Faster than clothing, food, cars, and even healthcare.

Listeners have been asking for years why textbooks are getting so expensive. On today’s show, we actually find an answer.

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This American Life: Inside the New York Fed

The most recent episode of This American Life provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the New York Federal Reserve.

Here is a description of the podcast from the TAL website:

An unprecedented look inside one of the most powerful, secretive institutions in the country. The NY Federal Reserve is supposed to monitor big banks. But when Carmen Segarra was hired, what she witnessed inside the Fed was so alarming that she got a tiny recorder and started secretly taping. ProPublica’s print version.

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