Voting in Iran.
On today's Planet Money:
— Voters in Iran went to the polls today to decide whether President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would keep his job. The race between Ahmadinejad and his main challenger was tight, and the deciding factor may end up being Iran's economy. Sayed Mohsen Naquvi, a Shi'a Islamic scholar who runs the non-profit Independent Viewpoints, says that if you want to understand Iran's economy, there's one book you need to read. Plus, fact-checking the particulars of a voluntary tax system with Alex's father-in-law.
— Your private investment in outer space doesn't have to be limited to paying $12 to see Star Trek. Planet Money intern Matt Katz visited a Space Business Conference in New York and says that the 257 billion dollar industry attracts everyone from wealthy space-obsessed geeks to investment analysts from Morgan Stanley.
Bonus: a listener indicator from Boston, by way of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
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Kerri Spindler-Ranta writes from Atar, Mauritania:
My husband and I are serving as U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in
Mauritania. We have been here a year now, and thought we were
fortunate to have missed the worst of the financial crisis. We do own
a condo in Boston, however, that we have rented in the past with no
problems. It is in a good location, close to downtown, easily
accessible to transit, and newly renovated. To continue into our
second year of service, we need tenants by July 1. We have tried all
the usual tactics, craigslist postings, social networking, and
realtors, with no results thus far. Our planet money indicator? 4: the
number of months it has taken us to find tenants. Last year we had
tenants within a week of posting a single ad on craigslist.