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DeSantis’ fiscal formula
Jul 31, 2023
Episode 977

DeSantis’ fiscal formula

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It takes aim at China, student loans and ... TikTok?

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis struggles to forge ahead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, he’s hoping to win supporters through his newly unveiled economic plan. We’ll also talk about the spikey takedown of human devices by crows. Plus, a golden record aimed at aliens that captures the sounds of life on Earth.

Here’s everything we talked about:

We’re waiting for your answer to the Make Me Smart question. Leave us a voicemail at 508-U-B-SMART or email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org and it may appear in a future episode. 

Make Me Smart July 31, 2023 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 

Let’s go. Born ready y’all. Let’s do it.

Kimberly Adams

Hello, I’m Kimberly Adams. Welcome everyone back to Make Me Smart where we make today make sense.

Kai Ryssdal 

I’m Kai Ryssdal. Thanks for joining us on this Monday. It is the 31st the very last day of July 2023.

Kimberly Adams

Yes, and we are going to do some news. And then we’re gonna get you smiling. I actually have two of those today. But first news as per usual, Kai what’s your news?

Kai Ryssdal 

So mine ventures into the political a little bit, but it’s but it’s political with sort of an economic twist. So Governor DeSantis gave a speech, a policy speech up in New Hampshire today. In which it was really interesting, he leaned populist, but also sort of appealing to a slightly broader audience in in one aspect of his speech. So the the name of the game is that Governor DeSantis obviously he’s trying to come way back from way behind Donald Trump in the polls.

Kimberly Adams

It’s like 37 points or something, right?

Kai Ryssdal

Oh, I know. It’s unbelievable and look the politics of Ron DeSantis’s campaign is a whole different thing. But he is trying now to get some economic traction. One of the things he’s doing, he’s going after China and American policy toward China. He said in the speech today that he wants to revoke China’s most favored nation treat most favored nation status, that is to say, trading status within the world trading organization in which the lowest tariffs and fees apply, which was a condition of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. He wants to fire Jay Powell, he didn’t say this is in as many words, but that is the subtext. He also wants to get rid of Tik Tok, he calls it not incorrectly very, very toxic. Also, interestingly, he wants to allow student loans to be able to be discharged more easily through bankruptcy.

Kimberly Adams

Which we talked about last week. Yeah.

Kai Ryssdal

We did, I know when which, you know, it is it is possible to do, but it is very, very, very difficult. And with something north of $1.6 trillion in student loans out there, it’s a big deal for a lot of people. So DeSantis is making an economic move, following Trump in some regards, sort of getting tough on China and, and sort of being really hardcore there. And look, the Biden administration has left a lot of those Trump tariffs in place for for a whole lot of reasons. But also appealing to, you know, some of the more progressive elements of the Democratic Party, which want to allow for student loans to be discharged through bankruptcy and some other things. So it’s, it’s a very interesting economic move by the second place governor of Florida has campaigned.

Kimberly Adams

That’s really interesting. I haven’t looked at this speech, I have to go back and look at it. But I don’t think it’s necessarily a push for progressive Democrats as much as younger Republicans. Think about young young Republicans do not particularly love Trump, for the most part, it tends to be older Republicans, right. And so you could get quite a decent slice of younger Republicans who may have wanted to just sit it out to get on board with DeSantis with that student loan thing, that’s actually pretty smart.

Kai Ryssdal 

Totally fair. Very good point. Absolutely. But, but, you know, DeSantis is now going to the economy as a policy thing, as opposed to what he has done, you know, the last four or five, eight months that he’s been a pseudo candidate, now candidate, which is the cultural issues and those sorts of things. So we’ll see where it goes.

Kimberly Adams

Okay, I have a little bit of news you can use because it’s hard to ignore the heat. There’s this website, heatmap.news, which I’m still exploring, just discovered it today. But they’ve got this big long list of, it’s like five things of things that you can do to sort of heat proof your home, or at least, how to prepare your house for a hotter future, because the heat that we’re experiencing now is likely to be something you’re going to experience in the future. And so as we were talking about, I guess, it was last week wanting to have a little bit of agency around, you know, impending doom of climate crisis. You know, what can you do to sort of try to keep your home as cool as possible without you know, destroying the world? And there’s several things that you can do. Obviously, there’s the more expensive things like replacing your windows and installing solar panels or doing new insulation, but you can also do you know, like sealing like sealing up any cracks where air gets in. Also the importance of shades and curtains that those just blocking the sun coming in. And blocking, you know, heat coming in can be very helpful. There’s films you can put on your windows to try to reflect back some of that heat. I saw on Tik Tok, someone who got some kind of like insulation sheeting from the hardware store, like the reflective sheeting, and they put it up all over their windows, you know, the same way people in the wintertime, seal off the windows with plastic, they did this instead with this like reflective sheeting that’s like a little bit insulating. And it they had a temperature gun and you could see the temperature in the room significantly dropped, just by covering up the glass of the windows made the room dark, but it did something for the heat. And so, you know, I think that we’re all going to have to do something I mean, replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED lights, which you know, we all should be transitioning anyway. But incandescent bulbs give off heat, landscaping and things like that. So I think, you know, I just put new shades up in my house. And I definitely noticed one day I had them up, trying to give my plants some light, so they didn’t die. And it was really hot. And so the next day I was like you all will have filtered light today and you will survive. And so yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff that we can do small things in the short term to lower our temperature indoors, which hopefully means we have to use AC less, which in general would help the environment. So that’s my news.

Kai Ryssdal 

Totally. That’s cool, heatmap.new. There you go. Yeah, alright, Drew. Alright go ahead.

Kimberly Adams

Okay, I have two, the first one is very Washington, and super fun. So apparently, there has been there have been two groups of interns on Capitol Hill this this summer, Lisa Murkowski’s interns, a senator from Alaska, the Republican senator from Alaska, and they have been competing to see if they can get photos with all of the senators. And the first cohort of interns did 70, got 75 of them. And this last cohort got all 100. And the story starts with them like staking out right before the Senate was getting ready to go to recess. And they only needed one more photo. And so they’ve been like all over the Capitol all summer, trying to get pictures with all the senators and it’s become like a thing on the Hill that everybody’s been encouraging them. And the senators have gotten on board and the reporters have been tracking their progress on whatever that site is now. And you know, it’s just really cute. So apparently, one of, the HuffPost politics reporter, Igor Bobic, tweeted in July, “Hell hath no fury like the group of Murkowski interns terrorizing the entire Senate with requests for photos.” But then I guess they got upset with him. And he said, he updated “the group of very impressive Murkowski interns just backed me into a wall to contest my use of terrorizing to describe their effort to getting a selfie with the entire Senate. We will be running a correction shortly.”

Kai Ryssdal

That’s great. That is great.

Kimberly Adams

So congrats to those interns. I think that these are high school students, by the way, not like college interns, they’re high school students on their way to go to college, which I think is cool. Super cool.

Kai Ryssdal 

Looks pretty cool right there. I kind of love that.

Kimberly Adams

Yeah, why not? So my second one is randomly also related to birds, Twitter, I guess, X. Anyway, in Vox, there’s a wonderful story. And I’m just gonna give you the headline, “Birds have co-opted our anti-bird weapons in a genius counterattack.” Give that headline writer a raise. That’s amazing. So you know, on buildings and where they put those spikes up on the tops of the building to stop birds from roosting there and pooping on everyone. So apparently, in multiple places, magpies and crows have stolen these spikes and use them to make their nests. Using the spikes…

Kai Ryssdal

Crows are smart.

Kimberly Adams

Crows are super smart. Using the spikes, basically to prevent other birds from getting into their nests, or to create a structure for the nest, which I just thought was very entertaining. That the birds are just taking what we thought was going to harm them and using it to help themselves which I just think is great.

Kai Ryssdal 

It’s great, clever, good looking. No, it’s great. It’s awesome.

Kimberly Adams

And it made me smile. And there’s there’s amazing photos in this Vox article showing the nests. Yes, yeah.

Kai Ryssdal 

Because that’s what we need impregnable bird’s nest with spikes outside. So I saw this the other day on kottke.org, which is kind of a repository of all things sort of weird and interesting and kind of cool. So at Sotheby’s this past week, there was a lot that was and I’m just going to read it here. “Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s personal copy of the master audio recording of the famed NASA Voyager Golden Record, New York, 22 June, 1977. Two double-sided reels of quarter inch reel-to-reel audio tape at 7 ½ inches per second store in their original Columbia Recording Studios boxes.” So, Carl Sagan, very famous astronomer. Ann Druyan later became his wife. And I think she became his wife, she was an assistant and worked on this project with him. So on the Voyager spacecraft one and two, there was a gold record, literally, I think it was copper on the core, and then gold on the inside, with all kinds of recordings of of music and animal sounds and all this so that when that spacecraft is eventually found by a foreign civilization, and we did talk about UAPs, the other day, and how they’re here, and they could just pick up the record for themselves, I suppose. But anyway, so this is So Carl Sagan was asked by NASA to come up with a recording that would symbolize humanity and earth and all of that stuff, and they were gonna send it on the spacecraft. What was sold at auction, and I can’t log into the Sotheby’s site, because I don’t have a login. The estimate was between 400,000 and 600,000 US dollars, these two reel-to-reel tapes, and it’s taking me back to like KQED, and cutting and splicing reel-to-reel tape and all this jazz, right quarter inch tape. Anyway, it’s super cool. These are the original ones from the guy and the woman who came up with what was going to go on this. These recordings, it’s music, it’s world language, voices. It’s whales, sounds of Earth, music of the world. It’s just cool. It’s just cool. And it got sold. And they’ve got a picture of it too, actually.

Kimberly Adams

Yeah, talk about a flex of your collection be like, “Oh, what do you wanna listen to?” “Well, I do have the original recording of the golden record from Voyager. Wanna listen to that?” It is cool.

Kai Ryssdal 

Totally, yeah cool. If you’re a space geek, well, there you go.

Kimberly Adams

I mean, who would be listening to this show that isn’t also a space geek? At this point, you’d be so over us. Anyway, that’s it for us today. We’ll be back tomorrow with our weekly deep dive. This week, we’re gonna break down the economics of higher education in the US to follow up on our conversation about student loans last week, we’re gonna get into why it’s so expensive and how that’s affecting the cost of college today.

Kai Ryssdal 

And oh my goodness, is it we want to hear from you about everything whether it’s cost of college or what you think of Carl Sagan or whether you would have paid half a million dollars for that thing or anything at all? Let us know what’s on your mind. Questions, comments? Suggestions, we will take them all at 508-U-B-SMART and make me smart@marketplace.org is the email.

Kimberly Adams

Make Me Smart is produced by Courtney Bergsieker. Today’s program was engineered by Drew Jostad. Ellen Rolfes writes our newsletter, and our intern is Niloufar Shahbandi.

Kai Ryssdal 

Marissa Cabrera is the senior producer of this podcast. Bridget Bodnar is the director of podcasts at Marketplace world headquarters, Francesca Levy is executive director of Digital and on demand. Those two things.

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