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PBS NewsHour - Making Sen$e

English, Finance, 1 season, 25 episodes, 3 hours, 18 minutes
A hub of financial resources featuring economic explainers and more. (Updated periodically)
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Trump-era Opportunity Zones meant to help low-income communities exploited by investors

Former President Donald Trump's 2017 tax plan created Opportunity Zones -- a program of tax incentives to encourage investment in low-income communities. But as Paul Solman reports, that program has not necessarily spurred economic growth and jobs in distressed communities the way it had been envisioned. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
11/11/20219 minutes, 17 seconds
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As housing costs boom, how home-buyers in one city search for affordability

As the U.S. grapples with the coronavirus, housing costs are skyrocketing. According to the latest S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller index, home prices were up almost 17 percent over the last year -- and in many places, the jump was worse. Economics correspondent Paul Solman turns to potential home-buyers in Boise, Idaho, one of the many areas in the country that has seen a stark increase in prices. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
8/4/20218 minutes, 17 seconds
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Exploring the economic argument for a return to open US borders

Since taking office in January, President Joe Biden has made a number of moves to change former President Trump's hardline immigration policies. But just last week, Vice President Kamala Harris delivered a tough message in Guatemala, telling its citizens not to come to the U.S. For the series "Making Sense," Paul Solman explores the economic debate around fully opening the country's borders. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
6/16/20218 minutes, 57 seconds
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How a rise in remote employment may impact post-pandemic work life

Unemployment claims dropped again Thursday, and this week may also bring a clearer picture of what's happening with the job market. As more Americans get vaccinated, workers and companies are figuring out what post-pandemic work life will look like -- and how it may change permanently. NewsHour's Paul Solman has the story as part of his series, "Making Sense." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
6/3/20219 minutes, 19 seconds
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The US has a 'thirst' for immigrant workers. Why do so many struggle to get legal status?

President Joe Biden has said that changing immigration law remains an important piece of his agenda. But the path to new legislation is complex and hardly clear. One of the biggest flashpoints in this debate are questions about undocumented workers and their role in the economy. Paul Solman dives into those questions for his latest report for "Making Sense." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
5/20/20218 minutes, 11 seconds
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A look into Amazon's employee conditions as the company pushes back against unionization

For almost two months, Amazon workers have been voting on whether to unionize at one of the company's major warehouses in Alabama. The voting concludes today. Since Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the country, the stakes are high and the battle is being closely watched. Paul Solman reports. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
3/29/20218 minutes, 9 seconds
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The fate of bats is hanging in the balance. That could have very real consequences for us

The World Health Organization is expected to release a report on its investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus in the coming days. Among the many theories is the unproven belief that it was passed on from bats -- leading to much public fear of the mammals. But the growing threat to bats could mean bad news for us too. Special correspondent Catherine Rampell reports. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
3/17/20218 minutes, 25 seconds
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Millions of Americans saddled with student debt as debate continues over relief

As Washington debates how to provide economic aid during the pandemic, many say one critical component should be part of future deals: forgiving student debt. But determining how much could or should be forgiven is a complicated question. Paul Solman looks at the pressure to make changes for our series, "Making Sense." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
3/3/20217 minutes, 45 seconds
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With millions looking for work, stigmas create a dearth of skilled tradespeople

Jobless claims were high again this past week with more than 860,000 people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time. Millions of people are still looking for work, but some employers say they can't find enough skilled workers for certain jobs. That is due in part, they say, because of stigmas that need to change. Paul Solman reports for our series "Work Shift." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
2/18/20218 minutes, 37 seconds
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How unconventional trading led to turmoil on Wall Street

In late January, a handful of unlikely Wall Street stocks began skyrocketing in value, which has led to big market volatility. The spike was driven by an unconventional group of traders who had banded together on a buying spree, determined to take on the market. Paul Solman reports as part of our economic series, "Making Sense." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
2/3/20217 minutes, 7 seconds
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Despite rising salaries, the skilled-labor shortage is getting worse

There's a shortage of skilled tradespeople throughout the American economy, and it is a persistent problem that started well before the pandemic. But what's behind that gap and what can be done? Paul Solman reports for our series, "Work Shift", which focuses on navigating the job market in a post-COVID economy. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
1/28/20217 minutes, 9 seconds
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Trump leaves office facing mounting debt, devalued assets and scarcity of willing lenders

One of the consequences of the chaos of the U.S. Capitol is a distancing of banks and other business from former President Trump. He now faces a delicate and difficult situation with his businesses, debt and taxes. Paul Solman reports. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
1/22/20217 minutes, 36 seconds
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Businesses begin backing away from Republicans after Capitol attack

Since last week's riot at the Capitol, more and more companies are cutting ties with Donald Trump, and dozens of corporations suspended political contributions to the 147 members of Congress who refused to certify the election of Joe Biden. Paul Solman reports. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
1/14/20216 minutes, 10 seconds
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With the economy teetering, millions of Americans try to launch new businesses

With the pandemic raging and the nation's economy teetering, now might seem like a curious time to start a business. But is it? Paul Solman asks the question, and answers it. Transcript: PBS NewsHour is supported by -
12/24/20206 minutes, 50 seconds
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Older workers carry on, even when life itself is life-threatening

Americans are living longer, with average life expectancy in the U.S. rising from age 71 in 1970 to age 79 last year, leading many to stay employed far past retirement age. Paul Solman reports on some of the oldest workers of all, and the lessons they can share, as part of our series, "Unfinished Business." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
12/23/20207 minutes, 43 seconds
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Older workers are facing fewer job prospects and higher COVID risks

Millions of Americans have been crushed by the pandemic but older workers have faced both an economy with high levels of unemployment and a virus that puts them more at risk than younger people. And once they do lose a job it can be harder to find new ones, with many older workers simply giving up the search. Paul Solman reports as part of our series, "Unfinished Business." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
12/22/20206 minutes, 30 seconds
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For older workers, pandemic unemployment could be career-ending

The worsening pandemic continues to mean millions of Americans out of work. For older employees in particular, this kind of long-term unemployment can represent the end of a career -- especially when they may be facing age discrimination and bias. Economics correspondent Paul Solman looks at the problem as part of his series Unfinished Business. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
11/19/20208 minutes, 7 seconds
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How U.S. history could provide a path out of polarization

The U.S. feels more deeply divided than it has in decades. According to social scientist Robert Putnam, the data backs up that assessment. Putnam, author of the seminal work on social capital and isolation "Bowling Alone," believes looking back to American history can help pave a new path to unity and equality. Paul Solman reports on Putnam's new book with Shaylyn Romney Garrett, "The Upswing." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
11/10/20206 minutes, 40 seconds
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How some older Americans are monetizing their #VanLife

With large parts of the economy still sputtering under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are having to scale back. But some older Americans were already living a minimalist lifestyle on the road -- and some of them have leveraged their nomadic approach into income. Economics correspondent Paul Solman has their story as part of our Making Sense series on Unfinished Business. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
10/1/20208 minutes, 14 seconds
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These retirement-age nomads find work wherever the road takes them

The pandemic has spurred surges in camping and RV travel due to the need for social distancing and outdoor activity. But it's not all fun and vacations: one group of Americans adopted a self-sufficient and nomadic lifestyle long ago, living full-time in motor homes and working seasonal jobs to support themselves as they travel the United States. Paul Solman reports on retirement-age "workampers." PBS NewsHour is supported by -
9/24/20208 minutes, 46 seconds
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Is the U.S. government paying twice for coronavirus vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccine development continues to be the subject of political jostling, with President Trump contradicting top U.S. health officials regarding timeline and efficacy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they expect to distribute vaccines publicly at no cost to the patient. But what will the government pay, and how much could drug companies profit? Paul Solman reports. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
9/17/202011 minutes, 4 seconds
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Americans are flying much less during the pandemic. Will airlines survive?

U.S. airlines are sending out warnings about huge financial losses and urgently requesting help. Tens of thousands of flights for the fall have been canceled, and change fees have been eliminated in order to attract travelers. Meanwhile, flight staff and security are being drawn into arguments with passengers who refuse to comply with mask mandates. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
9/3/20208 minutes, 17 seconds
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Trump touts his economic policies. What would he do in a 2nd term?

Throughout the Republican National Convention, supporters of President Trump have touted his economic record as a key reason they believe he should be reelected. But what would a second-term policy agenda look like for Trump, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to limit economic growth and threaten American jobs? Paul Solman reports on Trump's record so far and proposals for the future. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
8/26/20206 minutes, 17 seconds
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How Biden says he would rescue a faltering U.S. economy

With tens of millions of Americans reeling financially from the coronavirus pandemic, the future of the U.S. economy is on the minds of many. Both President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden are seeking to convince voters they can revive the country. But what do their respective policies suggest? Paul Solman analyzes some of Biden's key economic proposals -- and how he would pay for them. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
8/19/20206 minutes, 40 seconds
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How a crumbling antibiotics infrastructure could yield 'catastrophe'

The antibiotics industry has suffered an alarming collapse that has become even more troubling as secondary bacterial infections threaten patients with COVID-19. Why has production of these vital medicines stagnated, and what can be done to address the problem? Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on why lifesaving drugs don't necessarily translate to lucrative businesses. PBS NewsHour is supported by -
7/30/20207 minutes, 59 seconds