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  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

With in-depth focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets, Marketplace is timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.



Macy's flagship store in New York’s Herald Square now requires an online reservation for visits with Santa. "Santa's a popular guy," goes the explanation. Some 250,000 visitors come to Macy's "Santaland" each year, according to the company. Santa visits are a big draw and can translate into big sales for retailers.

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It is now officially holiday shopping season. According to a recent survey, 91 percent of people who said they'd be shopping this holiday weekend are going to do at least some of it online. However, shopping online doesn't mean you can skip all the crowds, online traffic is proving to be an issue for popular retail websites. If you are one of those people that will still go to the mall this holiday season, chances are you will see a line of people waiting to take their picture with Santa Claus. Santa visits are a big draw and can translate into big sales for retailers.

According to the latest holiday shopping survey from Deloitte, 91 percent of the people who said they'd be shopping this holiday weekend are going to do at least some of it online. These online shoppers skip the crowds at the brick-mortar stores, but they still experience delays and frustration when the online retail sites can’t handle the volume of traffic. So, if online retailers know traffic is going to be crazy at  this time of year, why don’t they do more to beef up their sites?

Growing up in "Cartoon County"

18 hours ago

What's the best part about reading the newspaper? The comics. But weekly comics have fallen out of favor along with the decline in print readership. For Cullen Murphy, these comics represent more than the jokes they contain. They represent his childhood. Cullen's father, John Murphy, was a popular cartoonist during the heyday of the form.

Some 13 million coastal Americans are projected to be displaced by sea level rise by the century's end. As a peninsula, Florida is particularly vulnerable, but one city, Satellite Beach, is taking steps to plan ahead.

Where do I start?

22 hours ago

One of my favorite parts of producing Make Me Smart is talking with our listeners via email and on Twitter. One question I get a lot is some version of:

“I just found Make Me Smart, should I listen to all of the episodes from the beginning?”

(Markets Edition) With all this talk about overhauling America's tax system, there's something that may have fallen by the wayside. Namely, the country's budget. Lawmakers have until Dec. 9 to finalize government spending for next year. Stan Collender, executive vice president of Qorvis MSL Group, joined us to explain why it's been put on the back burner and the likelihood that we're headed toward a government shutdown.

Italy is one of the largest growers and exporters of fruits and vegetables in Europe. According to the European Commission, the Mediterranean country exported 38 billion euros worth of agricultural products – or about $44 billion – in 2016. But the Italian agricultural sector has a dark past – a history of exploiting its workers, who are mostly immigrants. And academics studying labor exploitation say workers’ wages are getting even lower.

How the Jones Act complicates offshore wind power

Nov 23, 2017

Specialized European ships are designed specifically to install wind turbines out in the ocean, but they can’t dock in any U.S. waters to get the parts for the turbines. That’s due to the Jones Act, and it makes installing offshore wind power more expensive for the foreseeable future.

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Arnold Cortez would love to spend Thanksgiving with his family eating his favorite dishes — sweet potatoes and stuffing — as well as the various pies that his wife bakes every year. However, just like the years before, he will be spending the holiday at work, stocking shelves at Walmart throughout the evening of Thanksgiving. The only Thanksgiving meal he will get to enjoy that Thursday evening is the one that the company usually orders from a nearby Golden Corral.

(U.S. Edition) Millions of Americans over the age of 60 are skipping meals, shrinking their food portions, or just going without. And many others begin to face the same issue as they reach this age group. On today's show, we'll look at some of the possible reasons for this problem (which include high rent costs) and some of the possible solutions. Plus: With Thanksgiving underway, we'll look at one of Americans' favorite foods: cranberries. We'll consume about 80 million pounds of the stuff this holiday. But there was one year when federal regulations almost kept them off our tables.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Foxconn, a main supplier for Apple's iPhone, says it's stopped student interns doing illegal overtime at one of its Chinese factories. Afterwards, why cooking with fat on Thanksgiving could help cool the environment, according to new research from the University of Reading. Then, we hear the arguments for and against using AI to police internet content.

How cranberries get from the bog to your Thanksgiving table

Nov 23, 2017

Whether you prefer your cranberry sauce made from scratch or straight from the can, cranberries are an essential part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Americans consume about 400 million pounds of the fruit a year. And 20 percent of that is consumed during Thanksgiving alone. 

Americans eat and drink about 400 million pounds of cranberries each year. Twenty percent of that is during Thanksgiving. The technology that goes into growing, harvesting, and selecting cranberries has changed significantly in the last handful of years. Marketplace’s Adriene Hill talks with Hilary Sandler, director of the Cranberry Station, a research center at UMass Amherst, about how cranberry farming has changed.

President Donald Trump has a new trade decision on his plate: whether to impose tariffs on imported washing machines. The International Trade Commission has recommended a 50 percent tax on some foreign manufacturers. This is the type of case with huge political leeway for the president, and other industries seeking protection are watching closely. 

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