There’s a lot of news to cover today, so pull up a seat. We’ll talk about some of the recent state legislation in Florida and Texas targeting LGBTQ families and the European Union’s plan to end its reliance on Russian gas. Also, inflation is coming for your bag of chips, but not the way you might think. And dear listener, make sure you listen to today’s Make Me Smile for a big announcement we’re excited to share!
Here is everything we talked about on the show today:
- How companies are hiding inflation without charging you more from Quartz
- ‘Black Panther’ Director Ryan Coogler Mistaken for Bank Robber from The New York Times
- Ukraine Update: EU Eyes Ending Russian Energy Reliance from Bloomberg
- Texas family of trans child who dined with Ken Paxton facing abuse investigation from The 19th
- Ken Paxton aims for Texas Supreme Court to decide if gender-affirming care is child abuse from KUT
- Disney Censors Same-Sex Affection in Pixar Films, Say Employees from Variety
- Florida legislature passes ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill to restrict LGBTQ topics in elementary schools from The Washington Post
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Make Me Smart March 10, 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: We’re all just kinda sittin’ around. Of course my dog barks, god, Bons, that’s like two days in a row. That’s like two days in a row. Hey, everybody I’m Kai Ryssdal, welcome back to Make Me Smart. Making today make sense with our dog, or my dog anyway. Bons! Bons, c’mere!
Kimberly Adams: Really, timing is perfect every, I think it’s like an internal clock.
Kai Ryssdal: Well it’s like the kids coming off school. It’s the kids coming home from school and even though this dog has been with us for 12 years all of her life then when I come home when the kids come, hang out a minute, Bonsai come here, come on. Okay, I’m done. God. Crazy. Sorry. All right. Anyway. Hello.
Kimberly Adams: I love the little jingle of the collar.
Kai Ryssdal: I know. I be. I’m sorry. Alright, let us go on, shall we?
Kimberly Adams: Very good dog. It’s a very good dog. Yeah, okay. I’m Kimberly Adams. And I mean, I would say today is Hollowed Out Shell of a Thursday. But how can it be hollowed out when there’s a dog?
Kai Ryssdal: Can’t go wrong when you got a puppy who’s wagging her tail. Cause you know she’s keeping the family safe. Intruders, intruders, intruders.
Kimberly Adams: Looking out doing her job. We will get to the news and the other make me smiles. But I mean, I guess I don’t even need to ask how your shell’s feeling today?
Kai Ryssdal: You know, I’m doing all right. Actually, I’m doing all right. I’m doing right provided she goes inside. Yeah, there she goes. Yeah, no, I’m doing alright, for Thursday. I mean, we’ll see how it goes, you know, 15 minutes from now when this podcast is over, because sometimes it just clips that way. But before we get to the news, a clarification and I suppose a correction of some sort. From yesterday, we were talking about gas prices. And the question was, would states get more tax revenue as gas prices haven’t gone up? And the question was, are they a flat rate per gallon? Or are they percentage based, and we were definitely not as clear as we should be. In some places, the tax you pay on gas are applied as cents per gallon, the federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon of gas. So if prices go up, and people have to buy maybe less gas, the amount of taxes a state or a municipality can get could actually go down because they’re getting paid on units sold, right does not matter the end cost when you finally fill up the gas tank on your minivan, right? That’s the deal with that.
Kimberly Adams: Right, because just like the federal gas tax is a set amount, a lot of states have a set amount for their gas tax. But there are also some states that apply that apply a sales tax to gasoline, so that when the prices go up, those states actually do potentially make some extra money. So for example, the state of New York has a like sales tax on the value of like your purchase. So if you purchase $40 worth of gas versus $20 worth of gas, the sales tax value is going to be higher. And so as gas taxes go up, states can potentially get more revenue. And as I was like, following up on this today, I happen to notice that, you know, you mentioned yesterday how some places were pushing the federal government to ease up on the gas taxes, state governments to ease up on the gas tax in Florida. They are going to have a tax holiday for gas taxes which just so happens to be in October the month before the gubernatorial election.
Kai Ryssdal: Oh my goodness. All right. So with that out of the way and and our apologies for not being as clear as we should have. Let us do the news today, shall we?
Kimberly Adams: Yeah, why don’t you go first?
Kai Ryssdal: Okay, all right, I’ll go first. I got a couple they’re quickies nothing, nothing huge. Number one, just because we got the Consumer Price Index today inflation at the consumer level 7.9%. All y’all have heard the numbers 40 year odd, blah, blah, blah. There is a piece in courts though. And we all know about shrink inflation, right? That is companies offering less product for the same amount of money and thus fundamentally eroding the value of your dollar. But courts actually really dug into it. And got like super specific with a couple of things. And we’ll have this piece in the show notes. So Bounty Triples, right those paper towel things used to have 165 sheets now they have 147 sheets, get you 18 fewer uses Doritos is my favorite one. Doritos. 9.75 ounces of chips is now a 9.25 ounce bag of chips. It is five fewer chips. And if you think about five fewer chips times a zillion bags of Doritos you can see how that totally makes difference in the company. And the consumer not listening to this podcast would be like oh yeah, whatever I’m getting, you know, some chips. It’s the whole shrinkflation thing to me is so fascinating. So fast. Anyway, so props to the courts for digging into that one.
Kimberly Adams: Don’t think I’ve ever eaten one bag of Doritos at a time.
Kai Ryssdal: No. Oh, I used to, my thing used to be, my thing when I was like a teenager was a bag of Doritos, and a Coke.
Kimberly Adams: Oh, that’s not healthy at all. As she says, as she talks about eating two bags of Doritos. Okay, what’s your next one?
Kai Ryssdal: Okay, so this one was was yesterday it came out, it’s kind of unreal. Ryan Coogler, the guy who directed Fruitvale Station, also Black Panther. So this came out in the last couple of days it happened I guess back in January, went to the bank in Atlanta yesterday a Bank of America branch, and handed the teller a note, and entered his pin and handed over his ID and tried to withdraw $10,000 to pay for medical expenses for an assistant of his. And the note said, “please be discreet when you’re handing over this money,” which Kugler later said was because I” don’t feel comfortable when they sit there counting out $10,000, and I’m walking around and everybody knows I got $10,000 on me.” Anyway, the teller says to her supervisor, this is a large transaction. I don’t feel comfortable with this note. And alerts her supervisor, the supervisor then alerts the police and the police come and arrest Ryan Coogler for having tried to withdraw money from his own bank account. Now the thing you have to say here, is that Ryan Coogler is a Black man. And the teller actually is Black as well.
Kimberly Adams: Do really you have to say it?
Kai Ryssdal: Well. Yeah, I think you kind of have to because you kind of have to these days, right? I mean, you kind of have to. Anyway, it’s craziness to me, craziness. I don’t. I – I – I Anyway, I just wanted to point this out cause if you haven’t seen this story you have to say it.
Kimberly Adams: I said do you really have to say it, because the question is would this have happened if it were white man?
Kai Ryssdal: Of course not. Of course not. Yeah. Steven Spielberg walks into a bank and tries to withdraw $10,000 Nobody looks twice. You know?
Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I don’t really have much more to add there.
Kai Ryssdal: No. I just said it to get it on the record, you know.
Kimberly Adams: Yeah, he um, he said in a statement, I was looking at this that, you know, he’s talking to Bank of America, shouldn’t have happened. And it’s been resolved, I think, to his to his satisfaction. But yeah, there it is. Anyway.
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah. Amazing. Last thing, just yeah I do, super quick. We’ve all been talking about, well, not we’ve all but but the news has been all about Europe and Russian gas and why that’s become challenging for sanctions on the Russian energy industry, which is how Putin gets billions of hard currency dollars. The EU now has a plan or is talking about getting a plan to get off Western Ukrainian – sorry, get off Russian gas by 2027. I frankly, am going to take the over on that. But it’s really good that they’re talking about it. I think as should we be. Honestly.
Kimberly Adams: I never understand betting terms, Kai, what does the over mean?
Kai Ryssdal: So the over means it’s going to take longer. If I had said so. So the line is 2027. If I said I’m gonna take the under that would have been it’s going to happen sooner. Right. The over means is gonna happen later. It’s gonna be more than 2027.
Kimberly Adams: Alright, thank you. I’ve been to a casino exactly once in my life.
Kai Ryssdal: I am, in the real world, I am – I’m the worst gambler in the world. Not only do I hate it, but I’m bad at it. So I just know the lingo.
Kimberly Adams: I mean, I think it’s designed for everyone to be bad at it.
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, well, the house always wins. Right? Sorry. Just closing the door because the airplane closing the door to the shed.
Kimberly Adams: I don’t know if you could hear it, but I had a dog action happening over here. My next door neighbor got a black lab puppy a little while back. I love her. And so I just heard her being very excitable in the hallway. She’s so cute. One day, I was having a bad day. And I was like, and I play with your puppy and he just brought her over. So I could just like cuddle her and play with her.
Kai Ryssdal: Nice, that’s awesome. That’s awesome.
Kimberly Adams: Okay, um, so I have two two stories that are are pretty, pretty hollowed out. In both Texas and Florida. There are some pretty intense pieces of legislation working their way through the legislatures, some of them passed in law that are really affecting LGBTQ families. So in Florida, you have this “Don’t say gay” bill, which is I believe still on its way to Governor DeSantis. It’s passed both houses. And you know, basically, it’s talk – it regulates. I’m reading here from The Washington Post. It regulates school lessons about sexual orientation and gender identity, and basically saying that teachers should not be talking about it or talking about it in an age appropriate way, which is obviously subject to some some interpretations that a lot of families of LGBTQ kids think are not helpful or healthy for their kids. And you know, there’s a lot of fallout happening a lot of concern for for families. And, you know, you also have this business angle where Disney has been caught up in this because Disney employees are really calling for that the executives of that company to push back against it. And now there’s this piece in “Variety” where some Disney and particularly Pixar employees are accusing Disney of suppressing expressions of gay affection or same sex affection as as it’s written in the “Variety” piece that it gets suppressed or cut out of scenes and in feature films, that it is not allowed to be fully revealed. And so it’s, you know, it’s, it’s causing a lot of harm to to some people already and potentially cause more harm. Then over in Texas, you actually have Child Protective Services, investigating families for pursuing gender affirming care for trans kids. And the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is actually planning to take the legal battle for this to the Texas Supreme Court, because people are pushing back against this, saying that they have the right to pursue gender affirming care for their trans kids. And he is saying that that is child abuse. And so look, we’re – as a country, we’re are struggling with these questions. And I think we’re in a moment where where we land on these issues is going to be viewed in the future one way or the other, depending on how we come down on it. So I’ve been watching these stories. And you know, anybody who follows me on Twitter knows that I have two gay uncles and other people in my family who are members of the LGBTQ community. And so it’s it’s a little bit hard to watch this stuff for sure. So yeah, that does make me a touch hollowed out.
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, for sure. And this is one of those, you know, which side of history questions right, at the moment, man, anyway. Yeah. All right, Jayk. Let us move on, shall we? There we go. All right. Only one make me smile today. And it is mine, all mine. And I could not be more pleased to tell you that I’m finally gotten a co-host. I’ve finally got a co-host, Molly’s gone, Kimberly Adams is here permanent and real and forever. Until you know, one of us or the other of us decides whatever. But we’re here. We’re done. It’s a deal. Kimberly’s on. That’s the whole smash. That’s the whole smash.
Kimberly Adams: With the giant caveat. Thank you Kai.
Kai Ryssdal: Well, you know.
Kimberly Adams: It’s reality. It’s the industry. It’s the industry. No, I’m super thrilled to be stepping in as as the new full time co-host of Make Me Smart. It’s been you’re super fun.
Kai Ryssdal: You’re sliding in gracefully.
Kimberly Adams: Sliding in gracefully, sliding in my stilettos which I rarely wear any more because pandemic house sweatpants. But nevertheless, thrilled to be here and to be taking this on full time. We’ve had such interesting conversations when I’ve been filling in over the last few years. And I’m just really excited to be doing more of that. I love chatting with people and like the YouTube chat and the Discord and on Twitter about what they’re thinking about. I feel like I’ve gotten so much smarter from being a part of this show. And I’m really looking forward to doing more of that. And news certainly doesn’t slow down for anybody.
Kai Ryssdal: It does not stop. It does not stop. I should say two things here. Number one is the listeners love you. So this was the choice to make. And I’m so glad that it got made this way. And number two is that this is this is not this is not about me, it’s about you, right. But the thing about this podcast is that it’s a place where we all feel safe, and sometimes it becomes more than just the news. And that to me is something that’s usually important, and that’s what matters. And and the listeners know that. And that’s that. Enough of me.
Kimberly Adams: You know what I really hope that we can accomplish together, Kai?
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, what?
Kimberly Adams: That you’ll watch “Neverending Story.”
Kai Ryssdal: God, I knew you were setting me up I was like “oh she’s gonna be really” whatever and bam. We’re done for today. So glad Kimberly’s here back tomorrow, Economics on Tap, it’s a Friday. We’re gonna love I have a stream on YouTube as well. Hope you join us 330 Pacific 630 Eastern YouTube, Discord takeyour pick we’ll be there. Oh, man I’m like the straight guy in this relationship, straight man.
Kimberly Adams: And keep sending your comments and questions and movie recommendations as emails or voice memos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or leave us a message at 508-UB-SMART. How about this, I’ll watch “Top Gun” this weekend for you.
Kai Ryssdal: Just not even “Top Gun 2.” Is “Top Gun 2” even out yet? Anyway Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera, with help from Marque Green. Today’s episode was engineered by Jayk Chrry downtown in the studio.
Kimberly Adams: Bridget Bondar is the senior producer and the director of On Demand and my new boss Donna Tam.
Kai Ryssdal: That’s fair. That’s fair.
Kimberly Adams: I swear it’s not that scary of a movie.
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