Uninformed in the Information Age: Listen to This Part IV

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Economics can be as interesting as it is complex. In Part III, we explored how to “think like a freak” with the Freakonomics podcast put together by New York Times columnist Stephen Dubner and University of Chicago Professor Steven Levitt. Learning the economics of everything can help you see the connection between small, everyday decisions and the intricacies of, say, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund. While Freakonomics gives you a full hour of entertaining content from all areas of life, sometimes your lifestyle calls for shorter episodes without all the trimmings. Thankfully, there’s a podcast for that.

Among the many genres NRP offers, the Planet Money podcast presents insightful stories from the realm of economics ranging from as short as seven minutes to around twenty. Much like Freakonomics, the hosts strive to give tough topics a conversational tone with input from high rollers, industry experts, and normal folks alike. The Planet Money website describes their unique selling proposition as, “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.” ‘Nough said.

While Freakonomics usually focuses on “freaky” socioeconomic issues, Planet Money has more of a broad, investigative touch, looking into the history of modern phenomena that most of us take for granted. For instance, how did the dollar became the center of global trade? What would happen if everyone at your organization knew each others’ salaries? What do the history of fondue and economics have in common? What e-commerce website has more traffic than Ebay and Amazon combined?  The answers to all these and more can be found within twenty minutes.

Like most other podcasts, Planet Money also offers additional content such as blogs, radio broadcasts, and links to their contributions to the most popular podcast on iTunes This American Life. Search by topic or program and stay informed on the latest headlines or whatever topics you find most interesting. And most importantly, it’s all free.

Whether you’re an economics major or have never heard the words “micro” and “macro” used outside of science class, the only requirements to enjoy Planet Money are the app and some spare time. But be careful, you might actually start looking forward to your daily commute.

Do you have any favorite podcasts that help you learn more about advancing liberty and economic freedom? Find us on Twitter at @StatePolicy and let us know!