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NPR: Planet Money Podcast: Episodes

<p>For years now, the economy has been kind of stuck. The unemployment rate is getting better, but slowly. Household incomes have actually been falling. It's easy to feel stuck. Today on the show, stories of two people trying to get unstuck.</p>
<p>Zoo animals are different than most possessions, because zoos follow a fundamental principle: You can't sell or buy the animals. It's unethical and illegal to put a price tag on an elephant's head.&#160;<span>Today on the show: What do you do in a world where you can't use money?&#160;</span>For more: ...
<p>A massive Chinese company, Alibaba, is about to have what could be the biggest public offering on planet earth.</p><p>You can think of Alibaba like Amazon or Ebay, except you can buy way more &#8212; you can get a used&#160;747 airplane, or an&#160;oil tanker, or 500 million tiny screws.</p><p>Today ...
<p>Some people write a squiggle. Others just write an initial. One person draws a dude surfing. Today on the show: the signature. It's supposed to say, "This is me." But where did the idea come from? And why are we still using it? We consult a rabbi, a lawyer and a credit card executive.</p>
<p><span>The world is full of people talking about how right they are. Today on the show, we try something different: We talk to smart, thoughtful people about times they got things really, really wrong. For more:&#160;http://n.pr/1lfnG0Y</span></p>
<p>The Westfield Valley Fair Mall in California is like any other mall except for one thing: half of the mall is in the city of San Jose and the other half is in the city of Santa Clara. The boundary line runs right through the mall. For a long time, this didn't matter. But in 2012, one city &#8212; ...
<p><em>Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in<span class="Apple-converted-space">&#160;</span><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/09/11/221417806/episode-485-whats-your-major" target="_blank">September 2013</a>. </em>Sure, some college degrees lead to higher paying jobs than others. ...
<p>We spend a lot of time thinking about the future and planning for the future. Fifty years ago, people at the 1964 World's Fair built their vision of the future. They imagined a world of jet-packs, steel, glass, and Formica. And they committed to it in a park in New York City.</p><p>Today on the show, ...
<p>The 100 dollar bill is the most popular product from the Federal Reserve. Eighty percent of all U.S. cash is in the form of 100 dollar bills, but you rarely see them. About twenty years ago, the Fed counted up all the hundreds it knew about &#8212; money in bank vaults and cash registers &#8212; and ...
<p>Thousands of&#160;<a href="http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014307190012" target="_blank">people</a>&#160;in Detroit haven't paid their water bills. Even some&#160;<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140709/NEWS01/307090141/Detroit-water-shut-offs-companies-customers" target="_blank">businesses</a>&#160;have ...
<p><em>Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran in&#160;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/04/12/177063399/episode-451-why-some-people-love-tax-day" target="_blank">April 2013</a>.</em></p><p>In 2012, a federal program took about $60 billion from wealthier Americans and gave it to millions ...
<p>Super PACs let rich people, corporations and unions spend as much money as they want to try to influence the outcome of elections.</p><p>On today's show: How a Harvard professor created a<span class="Apple-converted-space">&#160;</span><a href="https://mayday.us/" target="_blank">super PAC</a><span ...
<p>In most parts of the world, refugees are not allowed to work. But Mohammed Osman Ali is a refugee in Uganda, and there, he legally runs a video game arcade and a variety store.</p><p>Today on the show, why most countries won't let refugees work. And why Uganda is trying something different.</p>
<p>Today we build our show from three short Planet Money stories. We look at when a dollar is not worth a dollar; publishing without a publisher; and, of course, Ikea.</p><p>For more:</p><p>*&#160;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/07/11/329586422/when-ikea-raises-its-minimum-wage-where-does-the-money-come-from" ...
<p>Milk is often in the very back corner of the grocery store, as far as humanly possible from the entrance. It's a strange location for milk, because it's one the most popular items.</p><p>A common explanation for this location is that by forcing customers to walk through the whole store, they will ...
<p>We all know what a sandwich is. It's something delicious, slapped between two slices of bread.</p><p>But when it comes to taxes, nothing is simple.</p><p>Today on the show, what regulating sandwiches and all other takeout food tells us about taxation. And how something as simple as the sandwich sales ...
<p>As World War 2 was ending, world leaders realized they had a problem. Countries no longer knew how to trade with each other. Their economies were devastated. So representatives from 44 nations gathered in the small town of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to come up with the solution.</p><p>It came down ...
<p>The price of tickets for lots of things &#8212; baseball games, many Broadway musicals, plane trips &#8212; rises and falls based on how much demand there is.</p><p>But when you go to the movies, a ticket to the empty theater playing a bomb is exactly the same price as a ticket to the sold-out blockbuster.</p><p>On ...
<p>Tesla, the electric car company, recently decided to, basically, give up its patents. Anybody who wants to is now free to steal the company's ideas.</p><p>Elon Musk, the company's CEO said he isn't really into patents &#8212; and, he said, he thinks giving them up is best for everybody.</p><p>On today's ...
<p><em><em>Note: Today's show is a rerun. It originally ran on <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/07/09/200401407/episode-471-the-eddie-murphy-rule">July 2013</a>.<br /></em></em></p><p>On today's show, we talk to commodities traders to answer one of the most important questions in finance: ...
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