Sep 1, 2017

09/01/2017: The economics of price gouging

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The free market is cold blooded. Under normal circumstances, prices will balance out for supply and demand. Consumers adjust and the economy goes on its way. But what's going on in Houston is not normal, and price gouging is rampant. Economists will tell you those prices make sense, but making business sense is another matter. Then: The Department of Health and Human Services is cutting Obamacare advertising by $90 million. Critics say Trump is trying to sabotage his predecessor's signature legislation, but the administration insists the ads just didn't work. Speaking of ads: TV is starting to take cues from social media, with six-second ads aimed at short attention spans. Finally: Global trade always has winners and losers, and this country has always struggled with thinking about the latter. That's the focus of today's installment of our series Trade Off.

Segments From this episode

Why do U.S. retraining programs fall short?

Sep 1, 2017
The programs for workers displaced by globalization are a half-hearted attempt to help.
Ken Garduno, Illustrator

Economists don't think price gouging is a problem. But what about our social values?

Sep 1, 2017
High prices limit hording and increase supply. But that's bad for business, one expert argues.
People wait in line to buy water at the Coastal Industrial and Specialty gas welding supplies store yesterday after the water supply to the city of Beaumont, Texas, was shut down from the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Budget is slashed for Obamacare sign up ads

Sep 1, 2017
The Department of Health and Human Services announced it would cut Obamacare advertising money by $90 million, a 90 percent overall cut. The money was meant to be used to encourage people to sign up for insurance coverage. To critics, this is just another sign the Trump Administration is trying to sabotage the law that […]

What does it mean when the jobs number doesn’t meet expectations?

Sep 1, 2017
You may have heard today that the August headline jobs number “was below expectations,” or about 24,000 fewer jobs were created than the consensus among leading economists predicted. But how significant is that figure? The first release of the monthly job-creation number is an estimate accurate to plus or minus 119,000, according to the Bureau […]

Fox to debut 6-second TV ads

Sep 1, 2017
Fox Sports will begin airing some six-second TV commercials during NFL games this season, a format it first tested during this month’s Teen Choice Awards. Ads that short are standard for online video content seen on YouTube or Facebook, but a change of pace for broadcast TV. Could this be more widely adopted in an […]

What lowering the tax rate means for the economy

Sep 1, 2017
Corporations stand to gain, but what about workers?
President Donald Trump participates in a tax reform kickoff event at the Loren Cook Company in Springfield, MO, on August 30, 2017.
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The free market is cold blooded. Under normal circumstances, prices will balance out for supply and demand. Consumers adjust and the economy goes on its way. But what’s going on in Houston is not normal, and price gouging is rampant. Economists will tell you those prices make sense, but making business sense is another matter. Then: The Department of Health and Human Services is cutting Obamacare advertising by $90 million. Critics say Trump is trying to sabotage his predecessor’s signature legislation, but the administration insists the ads just didn’t work. Speaking of ads: TV is starting to take cues from social media, with six-second ads aimed at short attention spans. Finally: Global trade always has winners and losers, and this country has always struggled with thinking about the latter. That’s the focus of today’s installment of our series Trade Off.

Music from the episode

Geronimo Sheppard
Manifest Gang Starr
Stress Rap Cannibal Ox