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The “don’t sleep on this news” edition
Mar 25, 2022
Episode 628

The “don’t sleep on this news” edition

We've got climate change, globalization and more.

An ice shelf in Antarctica the size of New York City collapsed after a warm spell in that part of the globe, in case you needed a reminder that climate change is still happening. The trend toward globalization could be on the decline, though, as the world continues to watch the war in Ukraine and understand its greater significance for the global economy. And some shocking news out of Washington, D.C. We’ll talk about that and more for this special edition of Economics on Tap. It’s also the first-ever Make Me Smart Cherry Blossom Party. Trust us, you’re going to love it!

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

Got a question for the hosts? Saw something interesting you want to share? Send it to us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a message at 508-U-B-SMART(508-827-6278).

Make Me Smart March 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.

Kimberly Adams: Aww, somebody said that they proposed to their wife at the D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival in 2008.

Kai Ryssdal: Good place to do it. Ughh, sorry that was not  – you caught me unawares Drew Jostad. Alright, you start and then I will chime in.

Kimberly Adams: Hi, everyone. I’m Kimberly Adams and welcome to Make Me Smart where we try to make today make sense, hopefully without too many Kai sighs.

Kai Ryssdal: I wasn’t ready. I was like setting up as we were talking about before we actually start recording, Fridays are a little different because we got to get this done and we got to get the YouTube up and I had to decorate the studio because I’m here because the power’s out at my house. I mean all of that stuff. So, huh? Okay, but now we’re here. I’m gonna relax. It’s Friday, Economics on Tap, YouTube, live stream, the Discord, the podcast, all of that good stuff. We’re gonna do some news, play a little game, and then get on about our merry way. I do believe.

Kimberly Adams: And for those watching on the YouTube live stream, you can tell that there’s something a bit different today, which is that we’re having a cherry blossom party with many, many, many, many, many, many flowers and Kai has got his cherry blossom shirt show it off, Kai. It’s pretty awesome.

Kai Ryssdal: Bridget hit it out of the park with this one. I love this shirt. I’m keeping it.

Kimberly Adams: This is a great shirt and flowers in the studio. And I’ve got my cherry blossom jacket pink action happening and cherry blossoms in my hair and all over my house.

Kai Ryssdal: What is your beverage of choice today? Are you having a cherry beverage?

Kimberly Adams: Oh, of course. Well, it’s not exactly cherry but it is pink.

Kai Ryssdal: All right. Okay.

Kimberly Adams: So let me look. This is called a St. Junmai, which I found on the internet. It has sake, a St. Germain. And then I, you know, added some things to it as I always do. And so it also has some bitters and some pomegranate juice to give a little bit of color. So.

Kai Ryssdal: Nice. Nice. Nice.

Kimberly Adams: And it’s actually quite delicious.

Kai Ryssdal: Good.

Kimberly Adams: Someone says “Kimberly stand up.” They want to see my outfit.

Kai Ryssdal: Totally. Totally.

Kimberly Adams: There you go, I’m not gonna show the whole thing. But that’s the jacket.

Kai Ryssdal: Well, the pajama pants on the bottom. That’s fine. We get that. Oh look at that built in and everything.

Kimberly Adams: Absolutely leggings.

Kai Ryssdal: A little bit of flair. Good deal. I like that.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, it’s a high low thing. Okay. And let’s see. All right, and you are drinking, very safely.

Kai Ryssdal: I got water. I’m driving home. So you know. Yeah, I’ll have a beer when I get home. And I’ll think of y’all. I will think of y’all. But this is good. This is a good turnout actually in the chat.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, this is fun. What – I mean, I’m not seeing a ton of cherry or blossom themed drinks, but that’s okay.

Kai Ryssdal: Alright. Well, so Sumer Al-Drube has given me a hard time. “Why doesn’t kind of have a cherry lambic beer?” Because I’m driving home also, also, by the way, we just decided doing this like a couple of days ago, and it’s been a busy week in my house, I don’t have chance to go to the store. That’s all I’m saying. That’s all I’m saying.

Kimberly Adams: Fair. Oh, you want to hear something hilarious. I had to order sent the St. Germain so I could make this cocktail. And, I got that. And I got the sake and I got another bottle of bourbon because I was almost out. And in the box that they delivered it in there was a little pamphlet that said like “find God.” I was like okay. To the news

Kai Ryssdal: To the news, I will go first and I’ll be reasonably brief, because I think yours deserves a little bit of time. So I’ve got I’ve got three links in the rundown, as Kimberly pointed out before we got going, but really it’s only two stories and one of which I just want to give a nod to and I saw this go by the other day. And I said “what that can’t be !” The weather report from Antarctica the other day that it was 70 degrees above normal, which is just really really bad. And then today in the Associated Press: “Ice shelf collapses in previously stable East Antarctica,” which is apparently thought not to have been hit really hard by climate change. An ice shelf here’s the quote, an “ice shelf the size of New York City,” – not Manhattan, but New York City – “has collapsed in East Antarctica concern scientists and on Friday.” I just – I just want to point that out because a lot of news goes by you and it’s easy to miss things and that should not be missed. And and and that’s it. Look, I’m not the world’s biggest climate journalist. I’m not even in the top zillion. But that’s a big deal. That’s a big deal. And it really matters.

Kimberly Adams: This why we call it the climate crisis.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, for sure. For sure. And and really, every story now is a climate story, every story. Speaking of which these two are as well. I just want to point out two articles two pieces of news, one of which we did on Marketplace this week, but they’re both the same thing. An article in Foreign Affairs by Adam Posen. He’s the president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which basically says that this war in Ukraine is going to bring to an end the the globalization trend of the last 40 or 50 years as we have known it. And then Larry Fink who runs BlackRock, which oversees $10 trillion in assets, said basically the same thing. Those two come at the global economy from very different places. Right. Adam is a is a is a guy who advocates for economics as as a measure of human progress and human potential. And Larry Fink while he would probably say he’s the same thing is also running $10 trillion in the capital markets, which has him put a different spin on it. I think they’re both right. That what is happening now in Ukraine, combined with what has been happening in globalization, the last number of years, the withdrawal from China, the increase toward populism in many parts of this country look at Brexit, sorry, in many parts of the world look at Brexit and look at what’s been happening in this country. I think globalization has come to a or will come to very soon a sort of critical fail point, and it will, it will not be what it was right, and we will break into two camps, there will be camps aligned with China and Russia. And there will be a camp aligned with the Western democracies in in the global economy. And I we’re seeing it now, and I believe that’s happening.

Kimberly Adams: I was struck in that conversation, by the point that even if you do make those divisions between sort of democracies in the West and elsewhere, and and the non-democracies and all of those things, even our allies might be a little wary on us. Because of the economic consequences. We are, you know, just laying down on Russia, right? Because now they know that we can do it to them.

Kai Ryssdal: That’s exactly right, we’re doing it because we can. Because we control the dollar. Right? Yeah. And that’s gonna make people go, “Ooh, do I really want to be in economic bed with the United States if they can just turn on a dime and say, ‘Don’t do that?’ I don’t know.”

Kimberly Adams: Well, and as Sarah Schlosser points out, our allies might be wary of us because of elections. Because it was not so long ago that we had a very different leadership in the United States with a very different strategy for dealing with our allies, tariffs and some of those tariffs against our allies. Look what just got rolled back just this week.

Kai Ryssdal: Just this week got rolled back. But that was an excellent segue, even if that’s not what you were thinking.

Kimberly Adams: No, no, it wasn’t.

Kai Ryssdal: But well, but go – because this is your item now.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, right. I thought you meant something else.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, no, this this segue.

Kimberly Adams: Very impressive Kai, Uh, oh, my goodness. This piece of reporting from the Washington Post and CBS about the text messages between Mark Meadows Trump’s former chief of staff, and Gini Stevens, the wife, Gini Thomas, sorry, Gini Thomas, the wife of Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court justice. There are many many text message – messages where Virginia Thomas is basically egging on Mark Meadows encouraging him to support Trump and trying to overturn the election. And just – you have to read the reporting. It’s so astonishing how involved she was she was at the January 6th protests. But she claims before they turned violent. And some of the stuff you know, she’s spreading conspiracy theories and encouraging, you know them to stand strong and that the left is evil and all these things. This is pretty concerning on on many, many levels, one of which, being that Justice Thomas actually voted on the court on whether or not some of these files would even need to be released over whether the …. Yeah, literally that was the way the question in the case. Do should these files be released? It’s just amazing. And he voted against it. Now we know why. Please read the stories or watch the CBS segment. It’s very important for knowing what’s going on in our democracy. And because I know this is inevitably going to be the question, yes, it is possible to impeach a Supreme Court justice. Extraordinarily difficult and highly unlikely.

Kai Ryssdal: That’s, that’s, that’s yeah, that’s – Twitter’s gonna have to calm down on that one because that’s not happening.

Kimberly Adams: I know. That’s not happening.

Kai Ryssdal:  But but but I will tell you speaking of Twitter, there was a so – Rick Wilson, who’s a longtime Republican strategist, broke with the GOP in the Trump Era found that a – help found a group called the Lincoln Project which works against Trump. He is outspoken and coarse and crude in many, many ways. But he had a thread this morning about this story, which I think really bears out because the silence from many Democrats, and from many, I guess I’ll say pundits who are democratically or liberally aligned has been overwhelming because as as Rick Wilson points out, pointed out on Twitter this morning, if this had been the other way, if a Democratically appointed Supreme Court Justice and that person spouse were in the same situation and the spouse had done what Miss Thomas did, and the Justice had done what Justice Thomas did the Republicans would be salting the earth with this. The Republicans would be blowing everything up and make everything for decades about this in this only and I think it’s interesting that that’s not happening with this when there’s actual documented proof I just don’t get it. I don’t get it.

Kimberly Adams: Okay, yes, this is a good time to play a game.

Kai Ryssdal: Okay, same theme music, same host Drew Jostad, today a different game. It’s called This or That? Here are the rules Kimberly’s gonna go first because otherwise the last time we played this, we step all over each other. So Kimberly goes first. And and and y’all we’ll see how this plays out. Drew. Go ahead.

Drew Jostad: Do you prefer cherry blossom season or the first snow of the year?

Kimberly Adams: Cherry blossom season.

Kai Ryssdal: First snow.

Kimberly Adams: You don’t get snow in L.A.

Kai Ryssdal: Well that’s why I like it. We don’t get cherry blossoms either.

Drew Jostad: Fair, fair. Would you rather –

Kimberly Adams: Wait – there’s um, Bridget was telling me that there is like a flowering season for the name I can’t remember.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, the Jacaranda tree. So there are these amazing This blew me away when I came to L.A. There are these trees in L.A. called Jacaranda trees, which I’m sure they exist somewhere else but I had never seen them. Their flowers are purple and they are planted in in long strips on on one of the roads on my way home and the first time it happened. It’s like a purple explosion. It’s the craziest thing. Alright, you know what? I’m going to change my answer. I’m going to go with cherry blossom time. Because I can relate now. Okay, that’s that’s a really good pointer. Okay, good. Totally fair.

Drew Jostad: All right. Would you prefer our hot sandwich or a cold sandwich?

Kimberly Adams: Cold sandwich, because hot sandwiches usually have cheese on them. And I don’t like cheese.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, interesting. I’m gonna say cold. But I think you have to next time we play this game. And if you ask this question again, which of course you never will you have to define what kind of sandwich? I think that matters.

Drew Jostad: All right. I didn’t get enough instruction I guess on that one. Imagine yourself an actor in a movie. Would you rather play the hero or the villain?

Kimberly Adams: Villain.

Kai Ryssdal: Hero. Come on. Have you met me?

Kimberly Adams: Villains are always more fun.

Drew Jostad: Do you prefer doing the dishes or the laundry?

Kimberly Adams: They’re both the bane of my existence. Umm, laundry, because I’ve gotten to the I don’t have a washing machine in my house. There’s like a laundry room in my building. And so I’ve gotten to the place where I can kind of do laundry like once a month. It gets a – it’s a big pile but I only have to deal with it once a month.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh boy, you must have a lot of clothes. Okay, so I’m going to take both because I am very task oriented. And I like to have something that is definable and washing the dishes. Boom, you’re washing ’em you’re done. Boom. You do the laundry. You fold that you’re done. So I’m gonna say both because I can. It’s my show.

Kimberly Adams: You can.

Kai Ryssdal: There you go.

Drew Jostad: Do you prefer spring or fall?

Kimberly Adams: Fall.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, I think fall.

Kimberly Adams: As much as I love cherry blossoms I do love fall.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, that’s you know. That’s exactly you live in L.A. you miss those things. But man, could I go for some sweater weather.Yeah, for sure.

Kimberly Adams: You have to say it sweater weather.

Kai Ryssdal: Sweater weather. Are we from Boston?

Kimberly Adams: No, it’s the SNL skit.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, I’m not hip enough.

Drew Jostad: This next one seems pretty obvious to me but a four day work week or a five day work week. I guess not.

Kai Ryssdal: Kimberly goes first, I’m just waiting.

Kimberly Adams: I’m just waiting. I know I’m thinking because I’ve been reading quite a bit about this and I understand the positives and negatives of each but like, I’m gonna go with four day work week.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, I think four as well. That one took too long.

Drew Jostad:  Would you prefer –

Kimberly Adams: Well it’s because –

Kai Ryssdal: Go ahead, you may explain your answer. Yes, go ahead.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah it’s because if you’re working a four day work week, you’re probably going to be working a longer day. And such a societal upheaval would need to happen to accommodate it. And so if you end up working a four day work week, but the rest of the structures of society are not ready to like deal with you working a four day work week, how much of that extra day is really off.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, so look, I’m flipping through the comments actually. So so they’re talking about you know, not gonna lie the 12 hour shifts for for nurses with four day work weeks, kill people. Talking about four by 12 work weeks. Really interesting. I think I would, I would work a four by 10 work week, right? I’m gonna do my 40 hours, which really, I mean, I get it, it turns out, it turns into like, 48 or 50. But, you know, when I work five day, weeks, I work 10 hours, so I don’t know. I don’t know. Alright, anyway.

Kimberly Adams: Okay.

Drew Jostad: Would you prefer a spontaneous trip or a planned vacation?

Kimberly Adams: Planned vacation.

Kai Ryssdal: I could really go for a spontaneous trip, actually.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I want it to be planned so that when I’m on vacation, I don’t have to make decisions. So that I can like completely check out.

Kai Ryssdal: Fair.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah.

Drew Jostad: Would you rather be fluent in any language or be able to play any instrument?

Kimberly Adams: Fluent in any language.

Kai Ryssdal: Language for sure. For sure.

Kimberly Adams: I’m terrible with languages and I wish I was not.

Kai Ryssdal: I wish I could play the piano. Oh, I’m gonna stay on languages.

Kimberly Adams: I feel like learning to play the piano kind of is like learning another language. I’ve been trying to learn how to play. So it engages a different part of your brain and everything. But in terms of wanting a shortcut to something, I kind of would like to go through the process of learning how to play the piano. I just want to speak the language.

Kai Ryssdal: Fair enough. Yes.

Drew Jostad: Do you prefer cooking at home or eating out at a restaurant?

Kimberly Adams: I like both for different reasons. I’m gonna go with both this time.

Kai Ryssdal: All right, Bridget, these are not stark enough choices. I think we need like, would like to die or live. That’s what we need. We need those kinds of choices.

Kimberly Adams: No. No, no!

Kai Ryssdal: Well, you know, what I mean, you know what I mean, you know what I mean. You know what I mean?.Right? Because there are appealing aspects of it. But I guess that makes it the tougher question. I suppose that’s that’s what Bridget’s your producer mind is thinking.

Kimberly Adams: The early ones were easy. It’s ramping up in difficult.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. I would say eating and cooking at home. Yes.

Drew Jostad: All right. In honor of Steve Wilhite, is it pronounced JIF or GIF?

Kimberly Adams: I think it’s GIF. But I also don’t care that much.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, God you’re dead to me! You’re dead to me, it’s JIF The guy who invented it who just died. Steve Wilhite said it’s pronounced JIG.

Kimberly Adams: Mm hmm. And I tell people all the time my name is Kimberly and they insist on calling me Kim. So what does one do?

Kai Ryssdal: Fights a good fight is what one does, one fights the good fight. There you go. Good grief. That was a good one to end on.

Kimberly Adams: Oh, goodness, that was fun.  I like that game.

Kai Ryssdal: That was a good one.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah. Nice. Nice to mix it up. Okay, I should probably get a reading things. Oh, gosh. That’s it. So that is it for us today. I hope everybody enjoyed our fun cherry blossom theme. And thank you very much for everybody for joining us in the discord and the chat and all those other things. And if you want to share how you’d like to celebrate spring or any other thoughts that you might have for our Make Me Smart edification, you can email us as email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org.Or leave us a voice message we are at 508-827-6278 or 508-UB-SMART.

Kai Ryssdal: There we go.

Kimberly Adams: Why are you sighing so hard now?

Kai Ryssdal: No, that was a satisfied sigh. C’mon, you can’t even  tell them apart. We should just play it back. We should play ’em  back to back. That was,  that was a show well done. That’s what that was. All right Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera and Marque Greene. Our intern is Tiffany Bui. Today’s episode was engineered by Drew Jostad, the senior producer of this podcast and the amazing purchaser of the shirt for me which I’m keeping, Bridget thank you is Bridget Bondar. You can expense that away, tell APM to go pound sand when they come tracking you down for it

Kimberly Adams: I do not endorse that statement. Our game This or That is Steven Byeon, Mel Rosenberg and Emily Macune. The theme music for the game was written by Drew Jostad and the director of On Demand is Donna Tam.

Kai Ryssdal: We’ll find out if anybody at corporate headquarters actually listens to this thing, won’t we now.

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The team

Marissa Cabrera Senior Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Marque Greene Associate Producer