Marketplace PM for December 1, 2004

Episode Description 

Saturn's Roadster

What sensible shoes are to footwear, Saturn is to the automobile. Unpretentious transportation with plastic doors that don't ding. So it came as a surprise this week to see the pictures of the new Saturn. Not only does it have metal bodywork, it's a convertible. Built around the underpinnings of a sexy new sibling from Pontiac called the Solstice. We called up Dan Neil, auto critic at the LA Times to ask 'what are we looking at here...a roadster revival?'

Rating prescription drugs?

If you've gone car shopping, you've probably peeked at a copy of Consumer Reports. It's famous for its evaluations on everything from Vacuums to VCR's. But prescription medicine? Not until now. Next week Consumer's Union launches a free website - "CR-BEST-BUY-DRUGS-dot-org". From the Marketplace Health Desk at WGBH, Helen Palmer reports.

Venezuela's effort at a new image

Washington was a bit miffed yesterday when it learned Venezuela planned to buy Russian-made MIG fighter jets to replace U.S.-made F-16s. In the words of one senior administration official, "Let me put it this way... we shoot down MIGs." How serious the rift? Hard to say. Venezuela's been concerned for quite a while about its image in the U.S. Marketplace America's desk correspondent Dan Grech tells us about an ad campaign to sell us Venezuela's softer side..
Posted In: Canada

China, and the U.S. airline industry

Today, China put on a public display of commitment to eradicate ignorance about AIDS. This, amid projections that suggest that by the end of the decade, the disease could be so widespread in China, it might actually pinch economic growth. China's growth rate has been slowing a bit, but it is still about 9 percent for the year - a remarkable performance by any measure. To capitalize on this, the U.S. Department of Transportation soon will open two new air routes to China. And as Marketplace's Matthew Algeo reports, that's started a commercial dogfight in the troubled U.S. airline industry.
Posted In: Canada

Are we in a moral backslide?

Everyone's talking about Tom Brokaw's final evening in the anchor chair at NBC tonight. In recent months, his impending retirement seemed to have made the Nightly News-man more outspoken. At public appearances, Brokaw's been quoted saying "The first amendment was never intended as a blunt instrument to punish contrary points of view." Some read that as a criticism of recent FCC efforts to clamp down on indecency. While surveys do suggest many Americans are upset about a 'moral backslide', Marketplace commentator Robert Reich wonders if they've got the right culprit...