Marketplace for Monday, June 10, 2013

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Episode Description 
Can we really afford all the things we're buying? We explore the consumer economy in our new series "Consumed." First up: how we're pushing our kids to get ahead in the consumer arms race. Plus, Google is buying crowd-traffic-mapping app Waze. In light of the whole PRISM deal, how does voluntary data compare? Also, business bankruptcies are way down.  We take a look at who is still going bankrupt and why.

What kinds of businesses go bankrupt these days?

Business bankruptcies are down overall, but companies still make mistakes. And some entire industries are in trouble.
Posted In: bankruptcy, loans, technology

Waze: A volunteered, social sort of surveillance?

Google scoops up the crowd-sourced social mapping app, where users volunteer their location and traffic details. How does volunteer surveillance data compare to the PRISM/NSA variety?
Posted In: acquisition, waze, Google

Why PRISM is powered by private-sector technology

The government began using the so-called “Hadoop” software for data collection, even after launching a $16 billion project to come up with its own way to manage 'big data.'
Posted In: PRISM, hadoop, Yahoo!, Silicon Valley, nsa

How Adam Smith's economic philosophies apply in today's world

Most people remember the idea of the free market's "invisible hand," but it turns out, Adam Smith had a lot to say about consumers, too.
Posted In: Adam Smith, consumer

'1984' moves up Amazon best-sellers list

Concerns over Orwellian surveillance and Big Brother provides a literary boost.
Posted In: George Orwell, 1984, Amazon, Books

For middle-class parents, raising children becomes a consumer arms race

Trying to give your children an advantage in growing up makes consuming a competition. When everyone has a tutor, a trainer or a special baseball bat, you can't help but keep up.
Posted In: consumer behavior, children

A Saturday shopping trip leads to some big questions

A Saturday shopping trip started out fairly innocently... and ended with some big questions about our consumer economy and whether it is sustainable long-term.
Posted In: consumer behavior, consumer spending

Music from this show

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I Need a Dollar
Aloe Blacc
Boy From School
Hot Chip
Brother Down (Album Version)
Sam Roberts
Mansard Roof
Vampire Weekend