The Indicator from Planet Money A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what's happening today. It's a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.

Try Planet Money+! a new way to support the show you love, get a sponsor-free feed of the podcast, *and* get access to bonus content. You'll also get access to The Indicator and Planet Money Summer School, both without interruptions. sign up at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

The Indicator from Planet Money

From NPR

A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what's happening today. It's a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.

Try Planet Money+! a new way to support the show you love, get a sponsor-free feed of the podcast, *and* get access to bonus content. You'll also get access to The Indicator and Planet Money Summer School, both without interruptions. sign up at plus.npr.org/planetmoney

Most Recent Episodes

Darian Woods/NPR

Invest like a Congress member

There are some new funds that track stock trading by members of Congress and their family. So we thought, why don't we get in on that? Today on the show, we crack open the Planet Money Investment Jar to learn more about how our political leaders play the market, investing in funds tracking Democratic and Republican stock trades.

Invest like a Congress member

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Photo by Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Steve Eason/Getty Images hide caption

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Steve Eason/Getty Images

Spud spat

The federal government classifies potatoes (whether they be baked, waffled, curly, fried) as a vegetable.

Spud spat

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MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Oil gluts, Russian bucks, and Starbucks

Indicators of the Week is back! This week, we've got indicators about oil gluts, big bucks for Ukraine and fewer bucks at Starbucks. (Apologies for the slurping.)

Oil gluts, Russian bucks, and Starbucks

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Don Ryan/AP Photo

Is Google search getting worse?

There are many anecdotal complaints about Google search not being what it used to be. A German computer scientist and his colleagues put this theory to the test recently focusing on product reviews. Today on the show, we bring their findings to Google's chief search scientist.

Is Google search getting worse?

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Wailin Wong

Has the Fed lost the dot plot?

The Federal Reserve introduced a visual tool called the "dot plot" in 2012 to communicate where officials think interest rates should be in the coming years. The dot plot is eagerly dissected by Fed watchers looking for insight on future policy, but others think that the dot plot has become a visual example of just how little the Fed can predict where the economy is going.

Has the Fed lost the dot plot?

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BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images BRYAN R. SMITH/Getty Images hide caption

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BRYAN R. SMITH/Getty Images

Is the 'border crisis' actually a 'labor market crisis?'

Politicians on both sides of the aisle call the surge at the US Southern Border a "border crisis."

Is the 'border crisis' actually a 'labor market crisis?'

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One expert says the Federal Reserve is at its best when it's sending out a signal, light a lighthouse. Mel Evans/AP hide caption

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Mel Evans/AP

Is chicken getting cheap? And other questions

We are back to answer your questions that you, our listeners, have been sending. On today's show, is chicken actually getting cheaper? Why doesn't the Federal Reserve use different interest rates around the country? And: is election spending an indicator of economic health?

Is chicken getting cheap? And other questions

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Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

Ghost jobs

Today's jobs report shows a slight rise in unemployment to 4%. And some frustrated job seekers are growing tired of applying for job after job with no replies, sometimes asking whether the listings are even real. And this isn't just vexing for applicants. It's also haunting economists when trying to figure out how much slack there is in the labor market, and whether interest rates should be raised or lowered. Today on the show: the rise of ghost jobs. Where they're happening and why.

Ghost jobs

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Contractors work on a high-speed rail project in California. Bloomberg hide caption

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Bloomberg

Why California's high speed rail was always going to blow out

99.5 percent of megaprojects are either over time, over budget or have lower benefits than expected. What's going wrong? Today, we look at case studies from California's high speed rail project to the Sydney Opera House to consider the do's and don'ts of ambitious projects.

Why California's high speed rail was always going to blow out

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Getty Images

Why the U.S. helps pay for Israel's military

The United States has been a supporter of Israel since the nation's establishment in 1948. With the civilian death toll rising in the Israel-Hamas war, growing scrutiny is mounting over just how much the U.S. should support Israel's military. Today, a historical explanation for why the United States tied itself so closely to support for Israel.

Why the U.S. helps pay for Israel's military

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