Maybe reconsider those “normal” economic indicators
May 16, 2023

Maybe reconsider those “normal” economic indicators

Recent economic data shows an economy that diverges from pre-pandemic norms, but what's even "normal" anymore? Then, a look at the rise and fall of Buy Nothing groups.

Segments From this episode

April retail sales data add confusion to an already confusing economy

May 16, 2023
Between the pandemic and its economic ripple effects, the consumer experience has been a wild ride.
While consumers are cutting back on buying big-ticket items like appliances, there’s still pent-up demand for services.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Congress hasn't had the best record of regulating new tech. Could AI be different?

May 16, 2023
Generative artificial intelligence is advancing quickly, and it's not clear if legislators and regulators can keep up.
Samuel Altman, CEO of OpenAI, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the use and regulation of artificial intelligence.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Profits and perverse incentives

For-profit welfare companies make big money operating the U.S. welfare system. In Chapter 5 of the latest season of “The Uncertain Hour,” Krissy Clark, host of the Marketplace podcast “The Uncertain Hour,” looks at who really gets a leg up from welfare reform and work requirements.

We did into more of the welfare-to-work industrial complex in the latest season of “The Uncertain Hour.” Listen now.

How a decline in home sales also trips up retail

May 16, 2023
When people buy new homes, they buy a lot of other things too, like furniture, appliances and electronics. When home buying slows, that can have a real ripple effect on other industries.
Today’s retail sales numbers showed people spent less on things like building materials and garden supplies in April than they did a year ago. Home Depot also reported today that sales dropped in the first quarter.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What happened to the Buy Nothing Project?

May 16, 2023
What started on Facebook evolved into a dysfunctional app and a fractured community, as chronicled by Wired contributor Vauhini Vara.
A screenshot of the Buy Nothing Facebook page. Though the group got its start on the social media site, an effort to raise funds for an app was met with backlash from community members.

The team

Nancy Farghalli Executive Producer
Maria Hollenhorst Producer II
Andie Corban Producer I
Sarah Leeson Producer I
Sean McHenry Director & Associate Producer II
Richard Cunningham Associate Producer I
Dylan Miettinen Associate Digital Producer