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Marketplace on RADIO IQ
Marketplace with host Kai Ryssdal produced and distributed by American Public Media focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets.
The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:03pmWednesday, July 23, 2014 - 16:47GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images
Israeli passengers walk near a departure time flight board displaying various cancellations at Ben Gurion International airport, near Tel Aviv, on July 23, 2014.
Although the FAA has banned American companies from flying to Israel, potentially dangerous countries like Sudan, Chad, Pakistan and Niger only have warnings.
Michael Boyd, President of Boyd Group International, an aviation industry consulting firm that works with big carriers, says airlines consider many factors when deciding where to fly.
“Airlines don’t make that decision alone,” he says.
Take the case of Malaysian flight MH17, recently shot down over Ukraine. Lots of entities were involved in the decision to let the plane fly there, notes Boyd. Bodies like Eurocontrol – Europe’s answer to air traffic controllers.
“There were over 400 airplanes the prior week that did the same flight – not a problem," says Boyd. "So there was no strong indication that there was a threat at that point in time.”
And when a route is potentially dangerous Boyd says the U.S. Department of State issues warnings. As a result, passengers don’t want to fly, so airlines cancel flights.
Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with Atmosphere Research, says the decision about where and when to fly can be much more complex.
“It may be political relationships between the countries. It may be commercial ties between the countries. It may be that while carriers from certain countries are not welcome, carriers from other countries will be welcome," he says.
If airlines have to fly around problem regions Harteveldt says they have to be sure they can accommodate additional flying time as well as costs for fuel and crew. Like pilots who, he notes, have the right to question the safety of destinations. But if one pilot won’t take a flight, an airline can look for another who will.
“Airlines are commercial businesses – they’re there to earn a profit for their investors, as well as provide safe transportation,” he says.
And safety is what a couple of the big carriers say is their top priority. Like American Airlines - it has canceled upcoming flights to Tel Aviv.
First, says Harteveldt, airlines rely on government authorities, like the FAA, to provide either guidance or edicts on what they should do. They may also rely on other intelligence data that they obtain through private parties like independent companies providing security intelligence. But lastly says Harteveldt, there's one final resource airlines turn to:
"They use common sense."Sally HershipsbyStory TypeNews StorySyndicationPMPApp RespondNo
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 5:45pmWednesday, July 23, 2014 - 16:21(Courtesy:Pantene)
This Pantene ad, "Not Sorry" has drawn mixed reviews for its message to women.
If you spend any time watching viral videos you may have seen some of the latest ads to target women and girls, and their parents. They focus on female strength, and can seem more like public service announcements than marketing campaigns. Except they're coming from companies like Verizon Wireless or Proctor & Gamble – and millions of people are choosing to watch them.
In one of the most-watched ads, for Always feminine products, there's no pitch for an actual product. Instead, a documentary maker sits behind a monitor. She asks several young adults to show her what it looks like to "run like a girl."
Each runner flails around, arms flapping, head flopping from side to side. It's a parody of uncoordinated running. Then the filmmaker asks the same question of a ten-year-old called Dakota.
The little girl races on the spot, like an athlete. No flailing. No flopping. The point? Pre-teens haven't yet absorbed the message that doing anything 'like a girl' means doing it badly – that 'girl' amounts to weakness.
"These ads are putting their finger on something that we all know is true but rarely talk about," says Rachel Simmons, co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute. "In adolescence there is a precipitous loss of self-esteem that girls experience. And this ad explained what was happening and validated the experience of millions of parents."
Which may explain why it's been viewed more than 40 million times in just a few weeks.
Jodi Detjen, a management professor at Suffolk University in Boston, says marketers are pushing messages about female strength and ability to capitalize on a national movement.
"You've got all these organizations trying to figure out how to get more women leaders," she says. "You've got all this pressure on Silicon Valley to get more women involved."
Not to mention the push to get more young women to take up science and technology careers.
Detjen says if advertisers want to get on board too, that's fine with her.
"Because of the complexity of the problem, I think we need these different approaches, so it's just like this perfect storm."
Rachel Simmons says it's not ideal. She'd rather girls learn this stuff from their parents, not a YouTube video.
"I want to have every girl have her teacher to tell her to stop apologizing, not a shampoo commercial. But if we don't live in that world I don't want to throw out the commercial just on principle," Simmons says.
That shampoo commercial she's talking about shows a woman in a business meeting speaking hesitantly, with this line:
"Sorry, can I ask a stupid question?"
Pantene made the ad. It focuses on some women's tendency to preface their words with an apology. Then the ad urges them to stop being sorry, and start having faith inthemselves. Pantene teamed up with the American Association of University Women to promote the campaign and help it reach a millennial audience.
But some women, like Stephanie Holland, don't relate to this particular commercial. They don't like that the ad encourages women to change their behavior. Holland writes the She-conomy blog about women's marketing power. She's also run her own ad agency for 30 years. For a long time, she did change her behavior.
"I have over time realized that I had to act like a man to be successful," Holland says.
And with hindsight, she regrets that. So if over-apologizing is more of a woman thing, she says, so what? Why can't women today be themselves at work, just like men? She feels the ad is condescending.
"At the end of the day, it's saying that we should change and not them. That they're right, and we're wrong."
Holland says some differences between the sexes are OK – and she's not sorry.Ashley Milne-TytebyStory TypeFeatureSyndicationPMPApp RespondNo
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:09pmWednesday, July 23, 2014 - 14:58Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama announces new national infrastructure initiative at the Port of Wilmington, Delaware, in front of the I-495 Bridge, which is undergoing substantial structural repairs on July 17, 2014.
Recently, President Obama has been traveling around the country, trying to shift focus back onto the economy. We talked to him about that a few weeks ago, at the White House.
You may have noticed a refrain in some of the president’s most recent speeches. Here is an example from a speech he delivered in Denver: “That’s what makes this country great – a sense of common purpose and patriotism, an economic patriotism.”
President Obama may have cribbed that term from a speech by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. He was talking about the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney.
“Mitt has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport,” Strickland said. “It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands, and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps.”
“Companies, corporations, CEOs need to understand that this country has provided them, and continues to provide for them, the means to be successful,” he says.
“Economic patriotism” is more of a rhetorical device than an economic theory. There is no textbook definition. President Obama has used it to talk about infrastructure investment. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew used it in a letter to lawmakers about corporate taxation.
Economic historian Gavin Wright, who teaches at Stanford, suggests “economic patriotism” is a broad brush. It refers to appeals to make economic behavior or economic policy based on “American values.” And, he adds, that has happened throughout history.
“During the Cold War era, I don’t recall hearing the term ‘economic patriotism,’ but it was more or less taken as a given,” Wright says.
In the 1790s, Alexander Hamilton asked the government to support manufacturers. It was an appeal to a special interest group, Wright notes, “but he also thought that this would be essential for the credibility of the American economy, the American nation.”
The phrase “economic patriotism” has been used by Democrats and Republicans, including Pat Buchanan and Amb. John Bohn, who ran the Export-Import Bank during the Reagan era. Bohn defines “economic patriotism” as understanding our economic policy as it compares to the economic policies of other countries.
“We need to have a kind of partnership between the government and the private sector if we are going to maximize our economic growth,” he says.
Over these last few weeks, the phrase has attracted criticism. Wright summarizes one complaint: “There is a market out there, and the market operates and reaches its outcomes, then the government wants to intervene and change that.”
So, Wright says, the debate over the definition of the term “economic patriotism” is really a proxy for a much bigger debate over the role government should play in the economy.David GurabyStory TypeFeatureSyndicationPMPApp RespondNo
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 11:40amWednesday, July 23, 2014 - 11:36ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Test tubes are prepared for testing for human growth hormone (HGH)
Use of human growth hormone is on the rise among teens in the U.S., according to a new report from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
Human growth hormone (HGH) occurs naturally in the body and stimulates growth. But in recent years, a synthetic version of HGH been abused by professional athletes to enhance their performance, much like steroids.
While abuse of other drugs is flat or falling, the number of teens who say they’ve used HGH has doubled since 2012, to 11 percent, according to the survey.
But it’s not just teen athletes looking for an edge.
"A lot of kids are very interested in body image,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “Young girls want to be lean and toned, young boys want to be muscular and impressive.”
That desire has been met with aggressive marketing efforts for over-the-counter supplements that claim to boost HGH levels in the body.
Because the study is based on teens who self-report using HGH, it’s unclear whether the respondents were using these supplements or injecting the pharmaceutical-grade drug.
“The idea that [HGH] is being passed around in gym locker rooms, I’m not going to say it never goes on, but I’m highly skeptical of that,” he said.
Either way, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids finds the data troubling and potentially dangerous for teens, since supplement manufacturers don’t need approval from the Food and Drug Administration before marketing a new product. Rather, it’s the company’s responsibility to make sure the supplements are safe and effective.
However, even if the supplements aren’t dangerous, they are a waste of money, says Chris Cooper, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Essex and the author of the book "Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat."
“In general, a lot of pills that claim to effect human growth hormone in the body do nothing of the sort,” Cooper says. “Probably they just have a bad effect on your bank balance rather than your health.”
But Cooper cautions that injecting the wrong dose of synthetic HGH or using it without the supervision of a doctor can have much more serious health implications on teens’ growing bodies, including increased risk of diabetes.Tracey SamuelsonbyPodcast TitleAbuse of human growth hormone on the rise in teensSyndicationSlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp RespondNo
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 11:37amWednesday, July 23, 2014 - 06:00Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A round-up of the numerous companies reporting profits this week, and what it means for the economy at large. Plus, more on Netflix's strategy to expand internationally, and what challenges they may face. Also, Manchester United is stateside, playing a game against Los Angeles Galaxy. After a rough patch of losses, we look at the team's hope for a return to success, both on the field, and in their finances.David BrancacciobyPodcast Title07-23-14 Mid-Day Update – Netflix goes globalStory TypeBlogSyndicationAll in onePMPApp RespondNo
December 25, 2013