Americans are ready to pay for sanctions on Russia
Feb 25, 2022
Episode 608

Americans are ready to pay for sanctions on Russia

Even if they result in higher energy prices here.

Today, there’s still really only one story, and that’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For a hint about American attitudes toward the conflict, we look to a fresh Washington Post-ABC poll that found that two-thirds of Americans support imposing economic sanctions on Russia for its actions. About half say they would support sanctions even if they result in higher energy prices in the United States. Plus, Kimberly shares some of her thoughts on the future of American jurisprudence following the historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Economics on Tap without a round of our favorite game, Half Full/Half Empty! We discuss the end of 3G, the return of “Law & Order,” Kai not getting “The Office” and pandemic updates.

If you haven’t signed up for the Make Me Smart newsletter, now is the time! Sign up for that excellent missive (or any other from Marketplace) by Monday, and you’ll be entered to win a Vintage Kai T-shirt, signed by Kai himself!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

Make Me Smart February 25, 2022 transcript 

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.

Kai Ryssdal: Really? God. I’m just guessing. Hey everybody I’m calling Kai Ryssdal. Welcome back to Make Me Smart making today make sense is what we do.

Kimberly Adams: And I’m Kimberly Adams, thank you so much for spending your Friday with us. Friday is of course, Economics on Tap, where we have a drink, discuss some news of the day. And to wrap things up, we will play a game of Half Full and Half Empty.

Kai Ryssdal: We should we should come clear here that today is kind of a dry Friday for both me and Kimberly because she’s got some driving to do and I’ve got some things to do. So we’re both sober. So

Kimberly Adams: What are you drinking, though, sober?

Kai Ryssdal: If you can drink, more power to you. I’m not drinking anything. I’m not I’m not a unless– this sounds terrible. Unless it’s alcoholic. I’m not drinking anything. I’m not a water guy. I’m not a soda guy. I’m not a fizzy water guy. I’m just if I’m drinking something hydrate, it’s got to have a reason.

Kimberly Adams: You’re just a dehydrated guy is what you are?

Kai Ryssdal: Yes, yes. Yeah. Well, so look, I mean, this is more than most podcast listeners probably want to hear. But I have a really small bladder. I have a really small bladder. So now you know.

Kimberly Adams: Now we know.

Kai Ryssdal: Whatever, look if I can share my at my mental stresses on this podcast, I can share my physical stresses. That’s all I’m saying.

Kimberly Adams: Exactly. Well I am drinking a giant coffee. Well, this isn’t ginant. It’s big for me cuz I’m not really a coffee person. Because it usually like gives me the jitters I drink tea. But because I’m gonna be driving quite a bit I want to be on. But I put a little nutmeg and cloves in it to sort of juj it up. As you say, last time. Let’s let’s do the news. There’s still really only the one story.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, there is really only one story. And and I as I’ve said before, I try not to recycle news from Marketplace radio show to this podcast. But Heather Long said something in the wrap today that I really wanted to point out because my question to her was, look, President Biden has said they’re going to be cost from the sanctions and from this war on Americans and we’re going to have to bear it. And I asked Heather, whether she thought Americans were willing to do that, because I, as you could tell by the tone of the question, had some doubts. And she pointed out a new Washington Post poll, Washington Post/ABC News poll that said this, two thirds of Americans support the United States and its economic allies imposing economic sanctions on Russia. So there you go. And about half of Americans say they would still support those sanctions, if those sanctions result in higher energy prices in the United States, which they are going to do, although the poll does point out that opposition to the sanctions rises to 30ish percent. So I just look, I think it’s I think it’s, God, your you’re seeing my dismay at the American body politic right now. But I think it’s really good that Americans understand what’s at stake here, and are willing to pay a little bit of a price. And I just think that’s good. And I think I, I wanted everybody to know that. That’s all.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah. And then of course, we had the Biden administration, actually leveling sanctions on Putin today, and the Europeans big and I know I said, there was only one story. But of course, I actually have two here on the list because I cannot go without mentioning Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, it’s obviously historic, because she would be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, she seems to be getting pretty good support, obviously, among Democrats and a couple of Republicans have already said nice things about her seems like it’s gonna get through and I find it very fascinating that Biden is really pushing to have people with experience as  public defenders, in throughout the federal judicial system. And that’s really interesting. And I’m, I’m fascinated to see in the years and decades to come, how that changes American jurisprudence and what kind of precedents are set or overturned as a result of that insight? Because obviously, this isn’t going to change the makeup of the court. It’s still going to be heavy conservative, but you know, this is the long game.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, that’s exactly right. And and you pointed that out right in the decades to come, because it is gonna take a very long time. I was – so this was the first time I’d ever paid  any substantive attention to Judge Brown, because frankly, there have been other things going on. I thought her speech today was was just short of inspirational. I thought it was really nice. I thought it was just so uplifting and positive and it was great. And it was great. Even knowing by the way, the just thumping I suppose that she’s gonna get from some members of the Republican Party in her confirmation hearings. You know?

Kimberly Adams: I should say I read earlier, someone was tweeting that in a previous hearing a senator, I think it was the confirmation hearing for the seat she’s currently and they asked her if she goes by Judge brown Jackson or judge Jackson. And she said that she goes by Judge Jackson, I believe so.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, interesting. Okay, gotcha

Kimberly Adams: Need to find that out for sure.

Kai Ryssdal: That’s a big deal. It’s a big, big deal.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, and I think it’s, it’s, you know, it representation matters. And it’s gonna matter to a lot of people to see somebody who looks like that in that spot. So.

Kai Ryssdal: For sure, for sure.

Kimberly Adams: Alright, on that up note let’s play a game.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, let’s play a game. Let’s play.

Kimberly Adams: Yes, this is Half Full/Half Empty. With our usual host Drew Jostad. Hi,Drew!

Drew Jostad: Hi, Kimberly. Are you half full or half empty –

Kai Ryssdal: Hey woah I’m sitting right here, man. What about me? Hi, Drew.

Kimberly Adams:  You didn’t say hi to Drew first, I did.

Drew Jostad: Hi Kai.

Kai Ryssdal: I’m feeling a little needy today.

Drew Jostad: Are you half full Kai, are you half full or half empty on the phase out of 3G?

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, interesting. Um, I’m I. Yeah, I’m half, half. I don’t I don’t even know what to say. Meh, whatever. Let’s move on.Technology.

Kimberly Adams: I’m half full. We, we had a fascinating conversation about this on tech with the Wall Street Journal reporter who did this really interesting piece about how transformational the shift to 3G was, in ways that many of us didn’t expect, like they knew it was going to be a big deal to have 3G network. But that opened the door to Uber, it opened the door to sort of quickly loading websites on your phone, which we never were able to do. The delivery infrastructure that the app based delivery infrastructure, we have basically,  came to light and was created because of 3G. And so now with this launch of 5G, they’re saying that, you know, it could open the door to a new round of who knows what. Now, it’s also going to mess up a lot of things. Apparently, there are a lot of ATMs, vending machines, some car like OnStar systems and stuff that still run on the 3G network. So I think as these things shut down, I mean, I think the first one shut down three days ago. I think a lot of people are going to stumble upon areas where they didn’t realize 3G was still playing a role in their life. But yeah.

Kai Ryssdal: Well, that was a fully informed answer, as opposed to mine. Meh! So I will I will once again I will once again fully associate myself with the remarks made by my friend Kimberly Adams. All right, Drew next.

Drew Jostad: So it turns out that “The Office” is the most valuable show on streaming at $498,000 per episode. Beating out “Seinfeld,” “The Big Bang Theory.”

Kai Ryssdal: Yep. Yep, yep. On a per episode cost, right because apparently the deal to get – so so this was from a Bloomberg story a couple of days ago, right. It was a I think, had done some research on which series were most expensive for the streamers to acquire the rights to and then they broke it down on a per episode basis. What, what?

Kimberly Adams: I’m sorry, the chat and the Discord is blowing up because my cat has made an appearance. Everyone wants to see my cat Jasper. Hey, Jasper. How’s it going?

Kai Ryssdal: How old is Jasper? How long have you had Jasper.

Kimberly Adams:  Jasper is 13 and I got him when he was 11. So yeah.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, wow.

Kimberly Adams: He’s a good guy. Sorry. Back to your very informative –

Kai Ryssdal: Oh no, my dogs get a lot of my dogs get a lot of press here, your cat should too.  Anyway, so yes. So here’s the deal. So streamers have to acquire the rights, $500 million for five years for “The Office” puts it at, per eps so it costs a $498,000. The most expensive deal total was for “The Simpsons,” but they’ve got like a zillion episodes. So the per episode cost came down. But the reason I glommed on to the story was and I said this on Marketplace the other day, I never understood “The Office.” It just never did a thing for me. I’m like, whatevs. So that’s where I am. My kids hate that though. My kids, I think I’ve seen every freakin’  episode of that show like four times.

Kimberly Adams: I’m gonna go half full because based purely on the very limited like media mentions, and I don’t really follow entertainment news a lot, but most of the cast of that show seems to be like decent people. And if it means them getting more royalties, sure. And when I worked way back in the day at NPR, and I worked on this show, Weekend Edition Sunday, which shout out to Ayesha Roscoe, who was announced today to be the host of Weekend Edition Sunday. Liane Hansen, who was the old host interviewed Steve Carrel. And I set up that interview and he was lovely to everybody. So yeah, let’s give those folks some money. Alright, what’s the next topic?

Drew Jostad: Sticking with television are you half full or half empty on the return of new episodes of “Law and Order?”

Kai Ryssdal: Wow, Kimberly, what do you got? You got a thought on that?

Kimberly Adams: So I am going to go just like straight neutral. Because this could go really well or really badly. There was so much discourse, during the Black Lives Matter protests about how much we glorify police violence, and in media, and in movies and this sort of way that it’s often portrayed of cops, kind of trampling on people’s rights. And that being the hero’s journey in some of these shows, and “Law and Order” was kind of held out as an example of one of those things. Now, of course, you also have shows like “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” that, you know, really has highlighted the case of like a lot of sexual assaults and abuse and a lot of advocacy happening there. So I will be fascinated to see how they approach it, and how much recent events will inform the writing and the way that some of these stories are portrayed.

Kai Ryssdal: So I want to pick up on that last point, right, picking up on recent stories and all that jazz. So I think we would be better served, look NBC “Law and Order” make the money, whatever. But there’s a whole new genre of these kinds of  shows to do. In – well I don’t want to we’re in a new era, but in these different times, right, because “Law and Order” how long has that been around 25 years, right? Get something new, think of a different way to do it. All I’m saying

Kimberly Adams: Yes. Frank Lankard on the YouTube chat says from what I understand the new series is taking that into consideration and addressing it.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, good. Good. Good, good good.

Drew Jostad: Are you full or half empty on the CDC easing mask guidelines?

Kimberly Adams: Half empty.

Kai Ryssdal: Are you? Alright. Go ahead.

Kimberly Adams: There are so many immunocompromised people who are not going to be able to take their masks off for the foreseeable future. And while I know the mask guidelines have to be rolled back at some point. Doing it before the pandemic is even more under control, I think might create a stigma for those who still really need to wear masks and make it harder for people who are still at risk to interact in the world. I was reading a tweet by a friend of mine who’s a cultural critic, and she went to a movie screening and she’s recovering from – she’s actually still undergoing treatment for cancer and had to leave the movie screening because two guys around her weren’t wearing masks. And she had to leave. And so there’s already so much angst over wearing masks, and I just I just worry about folks. That’s all.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, and that’s completely legit. I guess I would just say, look, I agree with you on the fundamental point. I think it’s really challenging for public health officials and federal officials in almost any case in state officials as well to be so far behind where the vast majority of the public is. And that presents a legitimacy challenge for the people trying to come up with these rules. And that I think is as much as anything what’s driving this.

Kimberly Adams: And Krell in the discord points out that even at this point, it’s putting millions more people at risk of long COVID. Because even if we’re at a place in the pandemic where if you get sick, you are less likely to die or get very sick if you’re vaccinated. You can still potentially get long COVID. And we don’t know enough about what that’s doing to people so, you know? Yeah. Oh, and of course, Judy in the YouTube chats also all the kids who aren’t vaccinated.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, everybody under five. Which is still kind of mind boggling. Yeah. Drew, what else you got? Is that four or five? Where are we?

Drew Jostad: Are you half full or half empty on food delivery apps pivoting to one stop shopping?

Kai Ryssdal: I don’t even know what that means.


Kimberly Adams: This is a story that we did on Tech. I don’t know if it was yesterday or the day before.

Kai Ryssdal: God, you’re killing me. I listen every day, damn it. I guess i need to pay more attention.

Kimberly Adams: It’s okay, Kai, you’re busy dude. So yeah, so DoorDash earnings came out, I think last week, and they were really good, even though a lot of restaurants are reopening. And people are still going back to restaurants. And so we interviewed a reporter from Restaurant – an editor at “Restaurant Dive,” who was talking about how DoorDash has kind of upgraded its model to include the ability for your driver to stop and pick things up along the way. And all the delivery apps are adding on services like delivery, not just of  restaurant food, but of alcohol and snacks and, you know, stops at 7-11 or whatever, to try to get you know, as much of your money as possible, and to get people to keep using them, even as we return to sort of being more out in the world. So on that I’m going to go half full. Because what’s happening alongside of that is in order to keep restaurants on board, they’ve had to adjust their fee structures, and to keep people working for them. They’ve also had to make some changes around how they treat their employees. And I think that’s gonna, you know, in this tight labor market continuing to it’s going to continue to be a change. Anyway, go ahead.

Kai Ryssdal: No, I totally agree. I think that’s absolutely right. Yeah, I’m going with Kimberly, again. I think there’s like four out of four today, what Kimberly said, Okay.

Kimberly Adams: I love it.

Kai Ryssdal: What Kimberly said, that’s the title of this episode.

Kimberly Adams: Okay. Yes. Before we move on. Another thing that also happens on Fridays is the Make Me Smart newsletter comes out. If you haven’t already signed up for it, please do, you’ll get not only the stories that we talked about in Make Me Smart, but also some other submissions. Let’s see a couple of news stories and angles that we likely didn’t get to cover on the show and some recommendations of other things to read, watch and listen from the Marketplace staff and other Make Me Smart listeners.

Kai Ryssdal: And also just as little extra bonus to get the Make Me Smart newsletter or in point of fact sign up for any Marketplace newsletter,  chance to win a signed vintage me t-shirt. It’s the one with me and my car from long time ago with the sunglasses and everything. I personally find it mortifying but I guess people like it. I don’t know. Anyway, link is in the show notes. Deadline is February 28. Which is like Monday. Enter for a chance to win I guess is what they say on the sweepstakes. I think.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah. Your chance to win today. You have to do like in an announcer voice Kai.

Kai Ryssdal: I will not.

Kimberly Adams: Aw.

Kai Ryssdal: No.

Kimberly Adams: Okay. All right. That’s it for us today. The show will be back on Monday and we are still looking for your answers to the Make Me Smart question. Which is what is something you thought you knew that you later found out you were wrong about?

Kai Ryssdal: Send us those answers those comments those any thoughts you might have about what we do as a voice memo or an email. Or you can leave us a voice message on the phone 508-827-6278. 508-UB-SMART.

Kimberly Adams:  I like to wait until the little music thing goes, woo! Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera and Marque Greene. Our intern is Tiffany Bui. Today’s episode was engineered by Drew Jostad and the senior producer is Bridget Bodnar.

Kai Ryssdal: Steven Byeon, Mel Rosenberg and Emily McCune are the team behind our game Half Full/Half Empty the theme music for said game was written by Drew Jostad. The editor of On Demand is Donna Tam, director of On Demand I know except I buggered up Donna’s title, whatever, she’ll forgive me. She’s probably not even listening. Probably not even listeneing.

Kimberly Adams: I’ll bet she is.

Kai Ryssdal: She’s got her hands full anyways anyway, Bridget’s gonna yell at me now and say of course she is.

Kimberly Adams:  There was so much love for Jasper in the chat.

Kai Ryssdal: There’s Donna. Donna actually is listening. Donna actually is listening. Donna’s like “ooh I could be an editor. Donna in the chat!

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The team

Marissa Cabrera Senior Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
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