PODCAST REVIEW

Exciting economics

I was pondering ways of starting this podcast review, devising a way to convey how a podcast about economics is one I actually look forward to listening to. I think Planet Money’s about page sums it up: “Imagine you could call up a friend and say, ‘Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.’ Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening. That’s what we’re going for at Planet Money.” I’m going to tell you right away, I took Economics I, and it turns out I didn’t like it that much. Planet Money, though, I like.

Planet Money does biweekly, roughly 20-minute podcasts on economics, money, and just about anything that can broadly fit into that category. My favorite episode was the one titled “Libertarian Summer Camp.” When I saw that name pop up on my podcast player, I was quite excited to see what kind of summer camp Libertarians go to. As it turns out, there is a place in the forests of New Hampshire where believers of the free market gather to stick it to a strong central government. Laminated gold and silver filings serve as the currency, and the market regulates what businesses live and die at the “summer camp.”

As a production of National Public Radio, one can guarantee that Planet Money will be a high quality listening experience. NPR has the best of the best audio journalists, and their team of writers, producers, and narrators truly know how to put together an enjoyable experience. I think that’s one of the major reasons I always look forward to a new episode of Planet Money. It always sounds like the hosts are having a blast, like they can’t believe they get paid to do this. They keep just enough of the laughs, jokes, puns, and silly bits that happen during recording so that it does feel like you’re at a bar having fun discussing economics. The episode length is perfect to understand the story, delve into it a bit, but not drag on to the point of boredom.

So, when you’re driving home from Student Orientation and your parents are trying to talk to you about how it went, how are the dorms, did you make any friends, etc., queue up a few episodes of Planet Money. Tell them you’re trying to get ahead on your studies and need to focus on this podcast. It might get them to stop pestering you about college for just one minute, and you’ll have a great podcast to enjoy on the way home.