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Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.

Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

Most Recent Episodes

COVINGTON, KY - APRIL 8: Kathleen Malone works on tax returns at the Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service Center April 8, 2005 in Covington, Kentucky. The tax filing deadline is a week away. Mike Simons/Getty hide caption

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Mike Simons/Getty

TikTok is filled with tax advice. Is any of it worth listening to?

TikTok, and other apps like it, are filled with financial advice. Some of it is reliable, some... less so.

TikTok is filled with tax advice. Is any of it worth listening to?

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Japan had a vibrant economy. Then it fell into a slump for 30 years.

Last month, Japan's central bank raised interest rates for the first time in 17 years. That is a really big deal, because it means that one of the spookiest stories in modern economics might finally have an ending.

Japan had a vibrant economy. Then it fell into a slump for 30 years.

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The real estate industry on trial

In 2019, Mike Ketchmark got a call. Mike is a lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri, and his friend, Brandon Boulware, another lawyer, was calling about a case he wanted Mike to get involved with. Mike was an unusual choice - he's a personal injury lawyer, and this was going to be an antitrust case.

The real estate industry on trial

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Israeli soldiers are seen near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel, Monday, March 4, 2024. Ohad Zwigenberg/AP hide caption

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Ohad Zwigenberg/AP

How much of your tax dollars are going to Israel and Ukraine

There's been a lot of disagreement in Congress and in the country about whether the U.S. should continue to financially support the wars in Ukraine and Gaza.

How much of your tax dollars are going to Israel and Ukraine

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What is Temu?

It is rare that a new e-commerce company has such a meteoric rise as Temu. The company, which launched in the fall of 2022, has been flooding the American advertising market, buying much of the inventory of Facebook, Snapchat, and beyond. According to the market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, Temu is one of the most downloaded iPhone apps in the country, with around 50 million monthly active users.

What is Temu?

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How Big Steel in the U.S. fell

Steel manufacturing was at one point the most important industry in the United States. It was one of the biggest employers, a driver of economic growth, and it shaped our national security. Cars, weapons, skyscrapers... all needed steel.

How Big Steel in the U.S. fell

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Captain Morgan, one of the largest rum brands in the world, operates a mega-distillery in St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. And this distillery is at the heart of a years-long billion-dollar conflict known as The Rum Wars. James Sneed/NPR hide caption

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James Sneed/NPR

The billion dollar war behind U.S. rum

When you buy a bottle of rum in the United States, by law nearly all the federal taxes on that rum must be sent to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It's an unusual system that Congress designed decades ago to help fund these two U.S. territories. In 2021 alone, these rum tax payments added up to more than $700 million.

The billion dollar war behind U.S. rum

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Technician Konnor Therriault inside of a Vestas wind turbine in Bingham, Maine. Darian Woods/NPR hide caption

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Darian Woods/NPR

Wind boom, wind bust (Two Windicators)

The wind power business is a bit contradictory right now. It's showing signs of boom and bust seemingly all at once.

Wind boom, wind bust (Two Windicators)

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