January 27, 2019
We are fresh off the longest government shutdown in American history (with another around the corner, maybe!). We are also riding almost a decade of of sustained stock market growth, almost a decade of sustained job growth, and all kinds of other business-y news you heard about. And when those stories crossed your cable TV screen or Twitter feed, did you have any idea what they meant? And if so…c’mon, are you sure you’ve got all the context?
On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Kai Ryssdal, the host of ‘Marketplace’ and the world heavyweight champion of that exact economic context you need. They’ll dig into how just one missed federal worker paycheck (let alone two!) ripples through the global economy for a long time. They’ll examine ways you can better understand what a stock market swing or jobs number actually means. Also stick around for valuable heads-ups on which chairpersons, directors, and CEOs tend to be extremely important indicators of our economic future, even though most people pay them no attention.
[TIMELY UPDATE: on Friday afternoon the U.S. government re-opened temporarily. Details here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/us/politics/trump-shutdown-deal.html [nytimes.com] We will describe the shutdown as a present-tense thing in this episode because, as we’ll say early on, we taped this episode right before the government re-opened. Also we taped with that possibility in mind, so all our facts about the shutdown are accurate and are long-term focused.]
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.