Marketplace

Marketplace®

with Kai Ryssdal

About the Program

Public radio's only national series about the global economy and finance takes a broad view of business, covering any story related to money — most of the world's stories are. Hosted by Kai Ryssdal.

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03/01/17: America's health care debate
What's going on with Janet Yellen and co.? Joining us to talk about the Fed is Susan Schmidt from Westwood Holdings Group, who says the odds of an interest rate hike have increased drastically. Afterwards, we'll discuss President Trump's future plans for health care and tax reform based on his address to Congress last night. (03/01/2017)

Here are the economic highlights from Trump's first address to Congress
President Donald Trump laid out his agenda to both houses of Congress on Tuesday night, saying he wants to work with them on immigration, health care reform and various economic initiatives.   Many of the economic themes Trump addressed last night echo the promises he made on the campaign trail — for example, his push to create more jobs. While the speech didn’t provide many new details, it did clarify what his priorities will be. Here are some of the key economic points from his speech. Improving the country’s infrastructure: Trump’s infrastructure plan was a big talking point during his campaign. In October, his team announced that the private sector would play a role in helping fix America’s road and bridges — a goal that Trump reinforced yesterday. "To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure of the United States financed through both public and private capital, creating millions of new jobs.” Peter Navarro, a senior policy adviser for the Trump campaign, said last year that funding the plan would involve granting large tax credits to these private companies. And it wouldn’t include any new taxes. While private investment can spur infrastructure growth, it can mean that the projects that get done are the most profitable — not necessarily the most needed. Single-parent families could see higher taxes under Trump Economists outraged by Trump plan to 'cook the books' Union leader has hope for Erie, Pennsylvania, with or without Trump An end to the Affordable Care Act? The president also quadrupled down on his promise to repeal Obamacare, receiving a standing ovation from his party. The administration has made clear that repealing the Affordable Care Act is a top priority. In place of Obamacare, Trump has pushed for a system reliant on Health Care Savings Accounts. In the past, he's also mentioned that he wants people to fully deduct health insurance premiums from their taxes. The president laid out five goals on the topic during the speech: guaranteed access to health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, more tax credits, state flexibility with Medicaid programs,  protection against unnecessary costs, and the ability for insurers to sell plans across state lines. Business leaders like J.P. Morgan’s Jamie Dimon have said that if Trump puts all his energy into health care, it will likely push other big issues to the back burner. What Dimon wants to see: tax reform, which he thinks will benefit workers. "We have been driving brains, capital, business and research away from this country," Dimon said this week. "It's not hurting J.P. Morgan Chase. It's hurting the average american worker." America's tax structure Tax reform is a key issue for many in the business world. This was another item President Trump wants to put in his “promises kept” column. "My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone,” he said last night. “It will be a big, big cut. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class." There aren’t many details on that tax plan, but it's expected to drastically cut the corporate tax rate and cut the tax rate for individuals as well. However, many tax economists say the wealthiest Americans will see the most benefit. New York University professor Lily Batchelder told us that tax cuts for the wealthy could end up being proportionally larger than those for low- and middle-class families. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center also said last year that middle-class could end up paying more under Trump’s plan because of limits on certain kinds of deductions. In all, Trump’s plan could cost about $4.4 trillion to almost $6 trillion over a decade, according to the Tax Foundation. (03/01/2017)

The two very important items Warren Buffett left out of his annual letter
In the last few days, some of greatest minds in business journalism have scoured Warren Buffett's annual letter to harvest wisdom.   The Berkshire Hathaway boss and billionaire investor praised the American economy, calling the country's achievements "miraculous."  Warren Buffett on his reputation as the "Oracle of Omaha" Buffet on what he 'gets' about the economy, investing mistakes, and inflation HBO's 'Becoming Warren Buffett' takes a look at the relationships that shaped the man But Marketplace regular Allan Sloan, who’s also a Washington Post columnist, looked at Buffett’s big letter to shareholders the other day and noticed not what is there, but what isn't. A couple of missing things: serious discussion about Berkshire's two largest stock investments — Wells Fargo and Kraft Heinz. Sloan joined host David Brancaccio to discuss how dissatisfaction among the working class may have led to the decision. Below is an edited transcript.  David Brancaccio: So, everyone loves caviling over the letter each year from Warren Buffett. It gives hints about his investments, hints about his philosophy and outlook. You looked at it. What's missing? Allan Sloan: Two things are missing. One was how wonderful the management of Wells Fargo was, which he wrote the previous year. The second thing is he lavished praise on this company called 3G, what's known as a private equity company, from Brazil, which manages a company called Kraft Heinz, which is Berkshire Hathaway's biggest investment. And what it does is it goes around, it buys companies — now with the help of a lot of financing from Berkshire Hathaway — it fires zillions of people, the profits go up, and then after a while, it goes out and buys another company and does the same thing. Brancaccio: And a year ago Mr. Buffett was happy to mention the wonderful work of 3G, but these days things seem a little different. Sloan: Yeah, again we're reading motivation into him, and we don't know. But I can take a guess as to why Buffett isn't mentioning 3G's brilliant management this year. I think it's climate change. Brancaccio: Climate change? Sloan: Yeah, the social climate has changed. Brancaccio: What, with the rise of Trumpism? Sloan: Sure. And the sensitivity now to zillions of working-class Americans who feel angry and betrayed. Those are the very kinds of people that companies like 3G fire because they can save money by doing it. Brancaccio: So in a sense, you're saying in 2017, it's no longer polite to mention companies that make money off of getting rid of people? Sloan: That is my read of the annual Buffett letter, which may not be anyone else's read.  (03/01/2017)

Union leader has hope for Erie, Pennsylvania, with or without Trump
Editor's Note: This interview was a follow-up to our a live broadcast from Erie, Pennsylvania. Erie is at the center of our yearlong reporting project, “The Big Promise.” When we last spoke to Scott Slawson, he had high hopes for Erie and no hope for help from the Trump administration. Hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs, the Pennsylvania town has been struggling to remake itself. Slawson, the union president of Local 506 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, didn't think Donald Trump’s election in November wouldn’t change the situation for Erie. Change was going to have to come from the town itself. A month after the inauguration, Slawson still doesn’t expect much help from the president.  “I think I was pretty firm then, and I think that my stance is still the same,” he said. For Slawson, it’s not that Trump’s policies won’t help Erie; it’s just that improvement is going to take longer than a few years.  “A lot of people have the belief that politicians have stopped listening to what the average working people are saying, and it’s time to put a businessman in charge of our country, because they know how to run a business. And our country should be treated like a business,” Slawson said. “And then there’s the other side of that that says, no, that’s far from the truth. Do you put a billionaire in office to fix problems that were created by billionaires?” In a time when it feels like the country is fractured, Slawson sees an Erie that is coming together despite its differences. “These are all things that we’ve been working on as a team,” Slawson said. “People who don’t normally sit in the room together, normally they sit at opposite ends of the table. We’ve been sitting down ourselves collectively saying, ‘How do we market this area? How do we market this workforce? How do we bring manufacturing back to this area on our own?’” It may take plenty of work to remake the town, but Slawson believes in Erie as a community. “I’m very hopeful,” he said.  (02/28/2017)

As Trump talks coal revival, China seeks props on the fuel's decline
We now have three years of data points on where China’s coal and carbon emissions are heading: downward. It may have to do with China’s economy becoming less energy-intensive as it moves away from infrastructure and heavy industry. It may also have something to do with policy. Beijing has shuttered coal plants already in construction. And renewables use is growing to nearly 20 percent of the country’s energy mix. Despite what President Donald Trump plans on energy and climate deregulation, there are 181 other countries, most of which are moving toward decarbonizing. (02/28/2017)

My Economy: Learning a trade instead of taking on debt
For this latest installment of our series My Economy, we hear from John Williams, a 25-year-old bus mechanic in the San Francisco Bay Area. “My name is John Williams. To me, the economy seems sluggish but decent. I think personally, we have an economy that basically burdens people with debt to supplement larger businesses — basically banks. My older brother has a bachelor’s degree in European history. He currently is teaching in a foreign country because he can’t find a job in America. My sister has a bachelor’s degree in economics. She works in marketing at a bank. So everyone that I know that got a degree basically did the same thing — they went into a lot of debt, they started the jobs and everyone wanted 10 years of experience but wanted to pay entry-level wages.   So I kept trying to think of jobs that are necessary that don’t need degrees. I noticed that the world is changing quite rapidly, and so I thought of a job that nobody really wants to do. I noticed somebody was broken down on the side of the road, and I thought, “Maybe I can be a mechanic.” So I went to work on buses in this small town outside of San Luis Obispo. I moved somewhere no one wanted to live and did a job that no one wanted to do. From there I used my skill sets, and I kept moving on, and I moved back to the Bay Area. Basically, tech companies got so frustrated with the public transit because their employees kept being late that they actually have their own bus systems. And so I actually jumped on that ride because the tech companies make so much money and the tech workers make so much money for the bus systems. I personally would love to go to school. One of the things I have really been interested in is robotics. I do believe that my industry will eventually go away, because I do see a future where there aren’t as many large diesel vehicles on the road or they are going to be either self-driving or self-maintaining. I would like to get a bachelor’s eventually in engineering. That’s what I really wanted to do, but I didn’t want to go into debt.” (02/28/2017)

Trump is about to run into the budget reality
President Donald Trump has his big speech tonight, and one of the issues he’s expected to talk about is the budget. On the campaign trail and in speeches, Trump has made budgeting sound easy: You cut here, add there and you’re done, sort of the way businesses run their processes. But the federal budget is not a zero-sum game — there are political pressures,and many items that simply can’t be cut. Trump would like to run the government like a business, but when it comes to the budget, there are some key differences. For one, members of Congress, who have to pass the budget, are not Trump’s employees. "In a business, he can say, 'You're fired' to people who don't cooperate," said Joe White of Case Western Reserve University, who has been studying the budget process for decades. "Whereas he can't fire Paul Ryan and he can't fire any senators."  Another difference: Cutting spending from one area doesn’t necessarily free up money for something else, because of politics.  Budget caps previously passed by Congress enforce the idea of parity, which "basically means that any increase in military spending would be matched by a corresponding increase in domestic spending," said Lindsay Koshgarian, a research director at the nonpartisan National Priorities Project. "And of course, Trump's proposal throws all of that away."  Trump wants a $54 billion increase in defense spending, partly paid for by cutting non-defense spending. But, he can’t do that without Congress.  Bill Hoagland, a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said there’s a reason Trump is targeting this discretionary spending. "This is, in some ways, an easy area to address because we’re leaving off the table the fastest-growing components of spending," Hoagland said. Those are entitlements, like Social Security and Medicare, which make up about two-thirds of the federal budget. "Unless, of course, you’re talking about increasing taxes to pay for the increased spending," Hoagland said.  It’s unlikely Trump would want to suggest that in his prime time speech today.  (02/28/2017)

Hard times for soft power spending
The White House wants to bump up defense spending and reduce the budgets of some other federal agencies. One agency in the crosshairs is the State Department. It wields something known as soft power — diplomacy and foreign aid. So what happens when you slash spending on soft power?  Click the audio player above to hear the full story.   (02/28/2017)

6: Reddit CEO Steve Huffman is not horsing around
Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood interview Steve Huffman, the co-founder and CEO of Reddit, a social sharing platform where more than 200 million users share everything from wholesome memes to "ask me anything" sessions with newsmakers and celebrities to topics we couldn't possibly describe. Huffman also has the "most Reddit answer" to our Make Me Smart question, and we give you a way to think about the president's budget.   Here's the letter Kai mentions up top, by the way. (02/28/2017)

YouTube gets into the live streaming game
Go ahead and add another player in the ever-contentious battle for your eyeballs. On Tuesday, Google's YouTube announced YouTube TV, a live streaming service with access to CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and ESPN, along with a number of cable channels.  Marketplace's Adriene Hill visited YouTube Space LA, the scene of YouTube's announcement, and spoke to host Kai Ryssdal from there. An edited transcript of their conversation appears below. Kai Ryssdal: All right, this is a big deal, actually, walk me through it. What's so special? Adriene Hill: YouTube is basically launching a service that’s gonna combine the YouTube content we know and love with live national and local television. It's got the big networks signed on, a bunch of cable networks are here, and they're looking for the magical combo that’ll get more people cutting the cord. Ryssdal: It’s a space that’s getting crowded very quickly, right? Hill: There are already a number of services out there trying to figure this out: Dish has Sling TV, Sony has PlayStation Vue, Hulu is reportedly working on a live TV service, and Apple TV — at this point, your guess is as good as mine, but Tim Cook in a recent earnings call basically predicted the demise of the traditional cable bundle. Ryssdal: What is YouTube's special sauce here then? Hill: There's a couple of things it's offering ... one is the integration of YouTube content with traditional TV. And this makes some sense if you think about. YouTube says around the world, people watch a billion hours of YouTube content a day — I double checked this because I was like, there's no way that could be true. So that content will be there right along with television and the original content YouTube has been producing for [subscription service] YouTube Red. They are also promising to use everything they know about search to help make the process of finding the next show or the next thing you want to watch better, and the biggie here, Kai, for the folks who want to record television, they're offering a cloud with no DVR limits, so record away. Ryssdal: So for those of us who wind up going through and deleting our kids' programs, is kind of a big deal. We should say here that YouTube is owned by Google, that's how they know the search thing. What’s this thing going to cost me, and can I get it today when I go home? Hill: You cannot get it today when you go home. They're working on it right now. They're promising to charge $35, which puts it in line with some of the other services out there, but that's for six accounts, Kai, so you and your kids can all have different personalized recommendations and your different DVR clouds. Ryssdal: Which settles the whole, "who's it for?" thing, right? Because it's for me and my kids as well. Hill: So if they're super into magic videos, they're not going to pop up in your queue. (02/28/2017)

Facing skills gap, employers send workers to college
Inside a cavernous building, solid bars of copper are heated and stretched into miles and miles of shiny tubing. This is Cambridge-Lee Industries, in Reading, Pennsylvania. For nearly 75 years, this plant on the Schuylkill River has produced copper tubing, mostly for plumbing, heating and refrigeration. “Across the United States, Cambridge-Lee copper tubing’s in just about one of every four homes,” said Mike Fischetti, the company’s new vice president of human resources. Fischetti is facing a challenge a lot of manufacturers in the area have: an aging workforce. During the long manufacturing downturn in the 1990s and 2000s, the factories that survived had no trouble finding skilled workers, he said, and many didn’t invest in training younger ones. “Over time that has now hurt our organization, where we have a population that are very far along in their career that are really good,” he said, “but we have this population that we recruited but we never developed.” With the economy growing and about a quarter of the area’s manufacturing workforce set to retire in the next 10 years, employers like Cambridge-Lee now find themselves scrambling for skilled workers. At the same time, manufacturing technology has become more sophisticated, requiring more advanced skills. According to the National Skills Coalition, about half of jobs today require education beyond high school but less than a four-year degree.   Before Fischetti arrived, Cambridge-Lee did offer help with training, he said, if employees wanted to do it on their own. “We said, 'If you want to increase your skillset, pick a class, pay for it, go to it. If you pass, we’ll reimburse you,'” he said. “So I asked, 'How effective was that? How many people did that?' And the answer was none.” Why would they go to class in their spare time, he said, when they were working 60 or 70 hours a week? So Fischetti started a new program to send workers to Reading Area Community College. One day a week, they work a half shift and then spend the rest of the day in class, learning how to troubleshoot and repair mechanical breakdowns. The company pays them for their time and travel, and covers the tuition. In one of the plant’s newer buildings, workers unspool shiny copper tubing from giant coils and cut it into long sections. One of the trainees, Alexander Jones, 23, is in charge of making sure the machines keep running properly. “Today I’ve been called over here twice already, for just little stuff,” he said. “With the add-on of this machine, it’s going to be a little different.” The new machine he mentioned will cut sections of tubing automatically to more precise lengths. That takes more sophisticated skills to maintain. In class, Jones is learning how mechanical and hydraulic systems work. “Now I'm able to understand it a lot quicker and diagnose the issues a lot quicker, which, you know, relates to less downtime for machines,” he said.   Those skills could also lead to a few dollars an hour more in pay. The training isn’t cheap. It’ll cost about $62,000 for the first crop of 16 workers, but Cambridge-Lee will be reimbursed more than half of that with state and federal funds. The company is one of about 20 local employers receiving funding through the Berks County Workforce Development Board to train existing workers. For most companies, their workers' skills are their most important asset, said Fred Dedrick, CEO of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, which promotes partnerships between industry and educators. “Without them being highly skilled, they will go out of business,” he said. “That’s what’s different about advanced manufacturing. You cannot be successful unless you have highly skilled employees.” There’s always a risk those skills will walk out the door. But Cambridge-Lee’s Mike Fischetti said he believes investing in workers will make them want to stay. And just in case, he has an insurance policy. If workers pass the training and leave within two years, they’re on the hook for some of the cost. (02/28/2017)

02/28/17: India's economic growth pulls 140 million out of poverty
We'll look at the strong 2016 for Norway's biggest sovereign wealth fund, which is now worth about $900 billion. Afterwards, Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell joins us to discuss news that hundreds of former employers at Sterling Jewelers are alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination. Finally, we'll explore the latest data about India's economic growth: a new report shows that about 140 million people have been lifted from poverty in the country over the past decade.  (02/28/2017)

Why the Kay and Jared jewelry sexual harassment allegations are unfolding outside of public court
The Washington Post has obtained documents showing that about 250 former employees at Sterling Jewelers — which owns the Kay and Jared jewelry chains — are alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination. It’s part of a much bigger private arbitration case that’s been quietly rolling along at Sterling. And that in itself is worth noting, since so many employees in America sign away rights to sue in open court as a condition of employment.   Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell, who broke the story, joined host David Brancaccio to discuss the employees' claims and why they said they were feeling pressured by higher-ups. Below is an edited transcript. David Brancaccio: Tell me about some of these allegations. They go back into the 1990s. Drew Harwell: These women are part of this incredibly huge class action case that now involves 69,000 women, who are mainly sort of focusing on pay and promotion disparity at Sterling, which owns Kay and Jared. Brancaccio: And just so we're clear, there are some ugly allegations here, including some female subordinates feeling pressured into having sex with higher ups in order to, they thought, get a promotion. Harwell: That's right. Many women said this was the culture. They believed that bosses held the power, and that if they wanted to improve in their career, they had to go along with what their male boss suggested. And that, in many times, included a sexual relationship. So several of them told me they felt backed into a corner, like they really didn't have any other option if they wanted to keep this job. Brancaccio: And the company, Sterling, gave you a statement yesterday saying, "no, this is not happening here." Harwell: Sterling says when we have had accusations of this manner, we have investigated them; we have found that these aren't really reflective of our culture. Brancaccio: Now this is an arbitration case. That's where so many disputes in America end up, because often when you get hired, you sign away the right to sue. Harwell: They effectively signed away their right to take the company to public court. And if they had the right to take the complaint to public court, they would have had proceedings that were much more transparent. With arbitration, it's a much more opaque process. However it resolves over the next years, I mean this is going to play a huge part in how Kay and Jared perform as a company, and sort of allow for whether these women can have closure or not. (02/28/2017)

Historically black colleges seek more support from Trump administration
The Trump Administration is expected to issue an executive order as early as today on historically black colleges and universities or HBCUs. Many of them are struggling financially, but proponents say the schools are more needed than ever. President Donald Trump's order is expected to move an initiative to assist HBCUs – a change that could help bolster Trump's relationship with the schools and, possibly, African-Americans. Click the audio player above to hear the full story.  (02/28/2017)

President Trump wants to boost defense spending by $54 billion
President Donald Trump addresses his first joint session of Congress tonight, where he’s expected to talk about his spending goals. The White House released a budget outline yesterday that calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending. So what’s on the Pentagon’s wish list? Click the audio player above to hear the full story.  (02/28/2017)

Real estate investors help grow the medical-marijuana business
With recreational marijuana getting all the attention these days, it’s easy to forget how far the medical marijuana industry has come since California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Today, Arcview Market Research estimates that the legal medical marijuana industry pulls in $4.7 billion in consumer spending. But as a business, things haven’t gotten any easier for medical marijuana growers. Take PharmaCann, a medical marijuana provider with dispensaries in New York and Illinois. Facing a complicated landscape where bank loans and mortgages are all but impossible, it recently sold its facility in Hamptonburgh, New York to a San Diego-based company, in order to raise money to run its business. Many banks still won't take pot money Why aren't more women in the pot business? The link between marijuana and real estate prices  From the outside, the lab looks more like a storage facility than a fancy grow lab. Inside, there’s no tinfoil on the windows or purple grow lights hanging from the ceiling. Between the pressurized rooms, sophisticated lab equipment and bar-coded marijuana cuttings, you'd think you were visiting Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson. PharmaCann grows its plants here, extracts the cannabis oil and send it to its dispensaries the form of things like vape cartridges or tinctures. All that setup requires heavy investment. There’s the state of the art lab, which PharmaCann says cost $25 million, and several six-figure salaries to lure chemists and scientists from the pharma world. Plus, there’s the price of doing business when your product is legal in some states, but still outlawed by the federal government. Lab technician Dana Radzicki with a handful of vape cartridges, about to be shipped to PharmaCann's dispensaries Justin Ho/Marketplace "Nothing's easy," said Jeremy Unruh, PharmaCann's general counsel and chief compliance officer. "Everything costs more. And everybody has a service to provide. And everybody wants to charge a premium for that service." Unruh said just getting a $5,000 line of credit at a Staples or OfficeMax is complicated, or getting the cable company to come out and hook up your data line. Without easy access to capital, companies like PharmaCann often have to resort to other methods of raising money, like draining their own investments and asking friends or family. Innovative Industrial Properties, the San Diego-based company that bought PharmaCann's lab, sees this issue as a business opportunity. IIP is what's called a real estate investment trust, or REIT. It seeks to buy up properties like PharmaCann's lab and lease them back to the original owners. When IIP bought PharmaCann's facility and land last December, PharmaCann received $30 million to run its business. IIP received a piece of property that might grow in value.  "It also gives shareholders the opportunity to invest in a cannabis-related business," said Paul Smithers, president and CEO of IIP. That's because REITs, which typically package properties like hotels or shopping malls, often sell shares in the trust to investors. IIP, the first cannabis-related REIT, went public last December, becoming the first cannabis-related company to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.  A view of a PharmaCann growhouse. Justin Ho/Marketplace "It hasn’t been very easy for the average lay person to participate in this industry, but this is one way to enter," said Paul Habibi, continuing lecturer of finance and real estate at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. As an investment, IIP isn't without risk — there's the ongoing legal debate over marijuana and law enforcement. And while IIP plans to buy up more marijuana labs, the PharmaCann lab is IIP's only property so far. "There’s been some scientific research into this that actually says if you were to pick out individual stocks, you’d need to get to about 30 random stocks, before you actually diversify away what we call idiosyncratic risk, within each specific stock, or in this case, each individual property," Habibi said. Still, he said, if this novelty approach pays off, other unique industries could give the REIT model a chance. (02/27/2017)

What's your movie 'constituency'?
Last night’s Oscar show had some upsets — even without that envelope snafu. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked with New York Times culture critic Wesley Morris about what just happened at the Oscars and why even movies are more polarizing than they used to be. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. Kai Ryssdal: All right, so cast your mind back, and I want you to clear your brain of everything you have discovered since that envelope was opened, when you heard "La La Land" as best picture, what was your first thought? Wesley Morris: "Of course." It was "Of course." I was not surprised. As a professional moviegoer, you get used to certain results recurring with a few surprises here or there. It just seemed kind of inevitable that "La La Land" was going to be best picture. So you know when Faye Dunaway said "La La Land" in the way that she said it, it just seemed like “of course.” Ryssdal: Are you heartened at all, given all the conversations that you and I have had about big tent-pole movies and the flashy ones get all the drama, are you heartened at all that "Moonlight," made for a million and a half dollars and that you and I have talked about as being just an exquisite picture, you must be heartened that that finally got it, right? Morris:  Oh, sure! It's great. There's no downside to "Moonlight" winning best picture at all. I do think there will be a lot of people in various parts of the country who will be, like, “What is that?” But I think that's more an indication of how fractured the moviegoing situation is right now. I mean, under no circumstances was "Moonlight" ever supposed to conquer the box office. It's made about $22 million at this point. And that's a lot of money for a movie that is about the life of one person who is a gay, black male from a housing project in Miami. Ryssdal: Back up for a minute. What do you mean that the moviegoing thing is so fractured now? Morris:  Well, I just, I mean, the way we experience our movies. We're not going to the same stuff as often as we used to be going to the same stuff. Ryssdal: You mean all of us as a society. Morris:  Yeah. I just feel like last night there was a "Manchester by the Sea" constituency, there was a "Hacksaw Ridge" constituency, there were the "La La Land" people, and there was probably — I'm going to guess, and I'm just going to challenge someone to disprove this — I don't think there's a great deal of overlap among those nine movies in terms of audience. But I think that there is a way in which your identity politics and your sort of "this thing we're going through" where we have to sort of partisan-ize so many things does create these blocs. Ryssdal: The finale aside and that whole brouhaha, was last night a good night for the motion picture industry in this country? Morris: I think because of that brouhaha. You know, I think going into the show, the conversation was about the representation issue. This year, there were clearly people of color nominated, several of them won. I think that took a lot of the pressure off the body of the Academy. But, I mean, as you and I have talked about before, that’s not really the issue. I mean, it's not the Academy's problem, it's the movies' problem. Ryssdal: Wesley Morris. He writes on movies and culture and a bunch stuff for the New York Times. Thanks man, we'll talk soon. Morris: Thank you. I'll talk to you later.   (02/27/2017)

U.S. companies are hopeful but wary about trade under Trump
President Donald Trump’s administration promises a very different trade approach than its predecessors. Trump and his team have criticized trade deals involving multiple countries, preferring to work with countries one-on-one. It appears multilateral deals are out and bilateral deals are in. Click the audio player above to hear the full story. (02/27/2017)

Textbook publishers in a bind as students go digital
Pearson, the global education publisher, announced a nearly $3.3 billion loss for 2016. It's struggling, as many traditional publishers are, with big shifts in the way college kids buy (or don’t buy) textbooks. According to the National Association of College Stores, spending on course materials has fallen 14 percent in the last 10 years. Students are renting digital versions or buying used books. Pearson said it is investing nearly $930 million a year to make a transition to digital. But there are other challenges for publishers as well. With a strong economy and better job market, fewer people are going back to school to look for degrees … and textbooks.  Click the audio player above to hear the full story. (02/27/2017)

Trump’s spending plan isn’t all that new
In his speech to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night, President Donald Trump will outline his approach to budgeting: a big boost to defense spending and no cuts to entitlements like Medicaid or Social Security. That means reductions for domestic programs. But Trump's budget proposal really changes very little about the nation's federal spending priorities. Click the audio player above to hear the full story.  (02/27/2017)

Why Wall Street needs courageous leadership
In the American psyche, few phrases have more baggage attached to them than “Wall Street.” Depending on whom you talk to, Wall Street is either the backbone of American capitalism or part of a rigged system that makes the rich richer. William Cohan worked on Wall Street for 17 years and has written several books on the subject. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked with him about his latest book, “Why Wall Street Matters.” Below is an edited transcript of their conversation. Kai Ryssdal: I think we need a definition at first, right? And you talk about this early in the book, what Wall Street actually is versus what people think it is. William Cohan: First of all, there's basically no Wall Street firms on Wall Street anymore. The only Wall Street firm still on Wall Street is a big German bank, Deutsche Bank. But you know, Wall Street writ large is this whole huge finance effort worldwide that really importantly provides capital to people who need it by taking it from people who have it to invest. Ryssdal: But let's stipulate here early on that Wall Street, with the acquiescence of a large part of the American public through, you know, refinancing their houses and taking the money out and doing all that stuff, but Wall Street did great damage to this economy in the past 10 years. Cohan: Couldn't agree with you more. One of the biggest mysteries still out there is why the Justice Department didn't prosecute. Now, having said that, there was a vacuum created, no one prosecuted, the American people angry. Into that vacuum stepped politicians, many of whom demagogued the issue, regulators, many of whom just delighted in, frankly, throwing sand into what is really an incredibly beautiful machine. The machine of Wall Street, the machine that has given us Apple and Google and Facebook, that is an incredible machine. I believe we need to have a fact-based debate about what Wall Street does right and what Wall Street does poorly, and fix the things that it does poorly and celebrate the things that it does right. Ryssdal: Just on this idea of regulation — there is going to be another financial crisis, that's not very much in doubt. Your objection to the regulation that has been done so far, is that what's been tried is to make it completely safe and risk free, when in reality, you just need to mitigate the risk somehow and make it less. Cohan: And look, I worked on Wall Street for 17 years. People do what they're rewarded to do on Wall Street. If you reward them to take prudent risks, that's exactly what they'll do. If you reward them to take big risks with other people's money and have no accountability for their actions, that's what they'll do too. All I'm asking for is a marrying of smart regulation with smart rewards and smart incentives. I think we're close to the first part of that with Donald Trump, believe it or not, and it pains me to say that. I don't hear anybody talking about the second part. Ryssdal: And the second part, just to be clear here, is that you think bankers, Wall Street writ large, ought to be personally on the hook when something goes south. They ought to have — lock stock and barrel — their homes, their cars, all of that jazz on the line. Cohan: Yes, everything. By the way, just like it used to be when they were private partnerships. I mean, most of Goldman Sachs’ 160-year existence was as a private partnership with the partners had, you know most, if not all, of their full net worth on the line. Instead of doing what is obviously right for the American people by aligning the incentives of Wall Street with the outcomes the American people need, instead of having Wall Street privatize the gains and socialize the losses, which is what happened in 2008. We need to have this revamp. It needs to be a grand bargain with Donald Trump. Let the great deal-maker-in-chief in Washington make this grand bargain with the American people and Wall Street. Ryssdal: All right, so here comes the $64,000 question: Lay odds for me on any of this happening. Cohan: It comes down to guts, courage. That's one of the reasons I wrote this book, to make this argument clearly. Now, maybe it's too much to ask that somebody will step up and be a leader. This is long overdue. This is long overdue. And it's not that hard to change, and it's not something that they're not familiar with. So just do it because it's the right thing to do. You know, when was the last time that somebody did something just because it was the right thing to do? Ryssdal: Bill Cohan writes on Wall Street a lot. His latest book is called “Why Wall Street Matters.” It's a history lesson, it's thoughts and insights, and it's not long; it’s about 150 pages. It's a good read. Bill, thanks a lot. Cohan: Thank you, Kai. Always a pleasure to be with you. (02/27/2017)

Congressman tries to kill election commission
A congressional committee has voted to close a federal agency set up to ensure states meet certain standards for voting machines. The agency is called the Election Assistance Commission, and it was set up after the controversial 2000 presidential election in an effort to make sure states have secure, dependable voting equipment.  Remember the 2000 presidential election, that nail-biter between George W. Bush and Al Gore? Florida was the land of hanging chads — little bits of paper left dangling off of improperly punched ballots from voting machines that did not work as intended. Congress responded with legislation that established the Election Assistance Commission.  Now, Republican Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi has introduced a bill that would kill the commission. Actually, Harper has introduced this legislation several times.  “It is an agency, a federal agency that has long outlived its usefulness,” he said on the House floor in 2011.  Harper’s office didn’t respond to repeated requests for an interview. But in a statement on his website, he calls the commission a waste of money and says it was supposed to be temporary, closing after three years. “I think that’s his interpretation," said Thomas Hicks, the chairman of the Election Assistance Commission. He said commission members are appointed to four-year terms. “And we can be reappointed for another four years. So I don’t know where that three-year number is coming from.” Hicks said the commission is continuing to do its work, writing updated standards new voting machines will have to meet on things like cyber security. The commission also teaches local elections officials how to keep the old, creaky voting machines they have now safe from, say, Russian hackers. “Some of these machines might have some form that allows them to talk to other machines or be hooked up to the Internet," Hicks said. "But we tell folks to make sure that those things are turned off.” The League of Women Voters said this type of guidance is especially important now. “We have seen attempts by foreigners to affect the election," said Lloyd Leonard, the League’s advocacy director. "We believe that our voting machines are secure, and they are. But we need to be on guard.” Plus, Leonard said, the advanced age of the voting machines we’re using now has led to other controversies about voting access and vote counting. “There have been concerns about whether the old machines accurately record the votes," he said. "There have been problems just turning some of them on. There have been problems of some of them just shutting down.” Leonard said if Congress did kill the Election Assistance Commission, states could still buy new voting machines. But without the commission around to write updated standards,  those machines wouldn’t have to meet any new tests for things like cyber security — or accuracy. (02/27/2017)

New blood test could improve treatment for heart disease
A simple blood test could help doctors determine whether someone suffers from coronary heart disease, the most common form of heart disease, killing more than 370,000 Americans every year. This test may more accurately identify the condition compared to the current crop of diagnostic tools, including stress tests and CT scans. If approved by the FDA, the blood test could improve health and save money. Or, if adopted widely, the test could become overprescribed, adding to wasteful health spending estimated to be $1 trillion annually.  Click the above audio player to hear the full story. (02/27/2017)

U.S. victims of terror attacks overseas get long-awaited restitution
After years, even decades, of waiting, victims of terror attacks against Americans overseas will soon begin receiving compensation. A $1.1 billion fund has been created as part of a settlement struck by the U.S. government with French bank BNP Paribas. BNP pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy after evading U.S. sanctions in Iran and other countries that resulted in harm to Americans overseas. Click the above audio player to hear the full story. (02/27/2017)

02/27/17: The U.S. vs. the World Trade Organization
Relations may not be warm between the Trump administration and the World Trade Organization. Financial Times editor Shawn Donnan  joins us to discuss news that the U.S. may start bypassing the WTO if it thinks other countries are cheating on trade. Next, we'll look at a simple blood test that could help identify coronary heart disease, and then explore the possibility of a gas tax in Tennessee. (02/27/2017)

Wisconsinites' mixed feelings about Trump's big promises
For decades, Dave Styer and his family only milked a few hundred cows at Alfalawn Farm, their dairy near Menomonie, Wisconsin. Then, a couple years ago, they ramped up to nearly 2,000 cows.  Styer said it was a gamble, but he felt Wisconsin's pro-business, Republican Gov. Scott Walker had their backs.  “Because if we started this and then all of a sudden faced a lot of opposition from the government regulatory side and things like that, it wouldn't have been as strong a business climate,” he said. “So that weighed into our decision to expand when we did it — that and a lot of prayers.”  In November, Styer voted for Donald Trump. In him, Styer saw another advocate for lower taxes and fewer regulations. “[He’s] somebody that was cheerleading for business to succeed and business to do well,” Styer said.  Trump carried Wisconsin, a traditional Democratic stronghold. Dunn County, where Styer lives, is one of the counties where voters helped elect President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. In 2016, the county went for Trump.   But many Dunn County residents’ hopes and fears about the economy are complicated and can’t be reduced to who they voted for or against in the election.  For example, some of President Trump’s policies, including his crackdown on illegal immigration, are causing Styer angst. He has become reliant on immigrant workers from Mexico. Styer said local workers snub farm work; it's physically demanding, and cows need milking round the clock. Styer said he examines their work documents but lacks the expertise to spot a fake.  Styer said for now Trump seems to be focused on deporting immigrants with a criminal record. But he said if the net widens, that would be a big problem.  “It would be a major blow. No doubt about it,” he said. “I don't know how else to put it.” Another Menomonie denizen, Luis Noyola, an immigrant from El Salvador, has a green card application in process, so he and his wife, Brianna, said they are less worried than some families headed by an undocumented parent. Luis and Brianna Noyola work three jobs between them and “we're still trying to make it,” Brianna says. Above, they laugh with Kajya, 9, one of their three children, at home in Menomonie, Wisconsin.  Annie Baxter/Marketplace They have three kids at home, ages 4 to 13, including two kids from Brianna’s previous marriage. The couple is also working to bring Luis’s son from a previous relationship over from El Salvador.  Brianna, a tall blond who looks every bit of her Norwegian ancestry, said the couple is struggling financially.  “He works two jobs. I have a job. I get child support from my previous husband, and we're still trying to make it,” she said. Luis said until he gets the green card, his work options are limited to grinding, low-paying jobs. His weekdays start at 5:30 a.m. at a foundry. Weekends, he works at a dairy, starting at 3 a.m. “I'm a good worker. I am a hard worker,” he said. “I don't want to wake up sometimes to my job, but I need to do it.”  And without the in-state tuition afforded by residency, Luis said he cannot easily pursue additional educational opportunities, which he said would improve his earning potential. In El Salvador, he studied industrial engineering.  Even if Luis avoids deportation, the kids in their household worry about how they will be treated under the immigration crackdown. That's especially true for 13-year-old Anika Jimenez, who strongly resembles her Mexican dad, Brianna's first husband.  The teenager looked gloomy when the topic of Trump came up. “He doesn’t like me,” she said. When her 4-year-old brother asked who Trump doesn’t like, Jimenez tersely replied, “You.”  Brianna didn't vote for Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton, for that matter. She went for an independent candidate. Still, the Noyolas said they aren’t rooting against Trump altogether. They hold out hope he will improve the economy. Maybe the foundry Luis works at will do better and lose less work to China, and he'll get a pay bump.  “I really try to think positively about Trump,” Brianna said. “You don't want the pilot of the plane you're in to do bad.” (02/27/2017)

Fierce opposition to gas tax proposal in Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee, is growing fast. As many as 85 people a day move into the city and its suburbs. That's meant congestion, deteriorating roads and scores of overstressed bridges. So some say this is a good time to raise Tennessee's gas tax, the 10th-lowest in the nation. But not Tricia Stickel, president of the Maury County Tea Party. "I've lived in seven different states," she said at a recent meeting. "I think we have excellent roads." One state's plan to dump the gas tax and have drivers pay by the mile You're probably wasting money on premium gas How a gas shortage got worse with panic buying Stickel lives in Columbia, an hour south of Nashville and the seat of Maury County. Even here, the effects of growth can be felt. Stickel notes that two bridges in the county have been shut down among the eight the Tennessee Department of Transportation has closed because they can no longer bear the weight of heavy vehicles. There are also frequent traffic jams in Spring Hill, a fast-growing community on the county's northern border. But Stickel and her husband used to own a trucking company in Nevada. That taught her a gas tax hike doesn't stop at the pump. It'll trickle across the economy through higher prices, and that'll also mean a higher sales tax on those goods, she said. "Consider all the food in your grocery store," she said. "This is a double whammy…. Every good in that store will be increased, and they'll get the tax on that." More than a dozen states are weighing increases to their taxes on diesel and gasoline, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. There's a widespread belief that more efficient vehicles are leaving highways underfunded. But it's still a tough sell, even in states that haven't increased their gas taxes in decades, like Tennessee. Gov. Bill Haslam has proposed raising Tennessee's 21.4 cent gas tax by 7 cents a gallon. He also wants to raise its 17 cent tax on diesel by 12 cents. It would be the state's first increase since 1989. Only four states have gone longer: Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Mississippi. And they've also weighed hikes this year. Support for the tax has come from local mayors, business groups, manufacturers and the state's fast-growing logistics industry. Nashville trucking executive David Manning supports an increase, even though it would mean spending more on fuel. "Quite honestly, there's a lot of costs that we face today that are created through congestion and created through safety issues and created through vehicle maintenance because [of] the quality of the roads," Manning testified recently at a legislative hearing. A recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute shows Tennessee has four of the 50 worst bottlenecks in the country. Haslam has offered to cut the state's sales tax on food, speed up the planned elimination of its tax on investment income and rework its inventory tax for the benefit of manufacturers. He's been aided by a billion-dollar budget surplus. Still small-government groups like Americans for Prosperity are fighting the plan. And state lawmakers have offered counterproposals. Haslam concedes he might not win. "I just think that's just the reality," he said. "We live in a state that is very conservative about how we spend money and how we do taxes." That conservatism may wind up sinking a gas tax hike in Tennessee once more. (02/27/2017)

Border adjustment tax plan gets mixed reception
Republican plans to change the corporate tax structure include a border adjustment tax. It will impact how imports and exports are taxed. The proposal is causing a lot of uncertainty in the oil and gas industry, and while some energy companies support the move, others oppose it.   Click the above audio player to hear the full story. (02/27/2017)

Baby boomers retrain in sought-after skills
When Joe Snyder was 23 years old with just a high school diploma, he got a job at auto parts supplier Dana Corp. in Reading, Pennsylvania, as a press operator. “I worked there for 17 years, and they closed the plant and moved some things to Mexico, Venezuela,” he said. The North American Free Trade Agreement, signed in 1993, came with funding for workers displaced by globalization. So Snyder enrolled in an associate’s degree program in electronic engineering “just to get a job at Lucent Technologies, because they needed people there, and you needed to have an electronic engineer associate's degree,” he said. The program cost about $22,000. Here's why vocational training is in high demand Manufacturing is alive and well in Reading, Pennsylvania Why can't small businesses find qualified employees? Then, about halfway through, Lucent started laying people off. “By the time I graduated, they were in Singapore,” he said, “so I had to scratch that.” According to the National Skills Coalition, about half of jobs today require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year college degree. After a long downturn, manufacturing has stabilized in Reading, but many of the jobs require increasingly technical skills. For older workers, that often means retraining, sometimes several times. After he graduated, Snyder couldn’t find an engineering job, so he went into construction for a while. Then he worked in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. When the management changed and he lost that job, he went back into manufacturing, making surgical tools. “About two years into it, we were notified that they were going to move their operations to Mexico,” he said.   Sensing a pattern here? Again, Snyder qualified for federal funding for retraining. He received about $15,000, he said, to study precision machining at Berks Career and Technology Center. Computer numerical control, or CNC, technology appealed to him, he said, because “a lot of baby boomers were retiring, and they didn't have a lot of people to replace them.” At 56, Snyder himself is boomer, but not ready to retire. Most of his fellow students were teenagers in high school. The thing is, Snyder wanted to do vocational training when he was in high school, but a guidance counselor said his grades were too high. “They thought that I would do better by getting a college degree rather than taking a trade,” he said. “But the way I felt, I wanted a trade, and I just really couldn’t get it.” Now he has a trade. Snyder graduated last month and walked right into a job as a machinist. He’s earning about $19 an hour — not nearly what he made all those years ago in his union job at Dana, but enough to live well and spoil his grandkids. “I'm hoping this is the last time I have to do this,” he said, “because, you know, starting over three times, it doesn't feel good.” (02/27/2017)

Yayoi Kusama exhibit is an economic puzzle for museum
What may be the most anticipated art exhibition of the year opened Thursday at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Record crowds are expected to see the work of Yayoi Kusama, that rare kind of living artist who draws in collectors, critics and casual fans by the millions. Even a single piece of her work has been enough to inspire fans to line up around the block. And now the Smithsonian has an entire exhibition.That all sounds great for the museum, but there’s a catch. Kusama creates installations in tiny rooms that only a handful of people can experience at a time. Economics offers a simple solution for situations like these where demand far outstrips supply: Raise the ticket price. But the Hirshhorn could multiply the admission price by 10 or even 100 and it wouldn’t be enough. Entry there is free, meaning the museum has to find more creative ways of weathering the storms of supply and demand.It is a potential blockbuster locked inside an economic puzzle, with the museum’s reputation and future at stake.Kusama’s best-known works are her infinity mirror rooms. They’re known to stun visitors silent. The artist pulls off quite a feat, turning a tiny room into an endless fantasy landscape of multicolored orbs and shapes. To get a sense of what it’s like, think of that neat thrill you got seeing infinity the first time you held up a mirror to another mirror. Then multiply that by a million, throw in a riot of color and glowing lights, and that’s something like the experience. Maybe. Words and even images don’t do it justice. You absolutely must be there to get it, which is why this exhibition is such a powerful draw.[[{"fid":"308774","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_description[und][0][value]":"%3Cspan%3EKusama%3C%2Fspan%3E's%20%5C%22Aftermath%20of%20Obliteration%20of%20Eternity%3Cspan%3E%2C%5C%22%202009.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2Fspan%3E","field_description[und][0][format]":"full_html","field_byline_text[und][0][value]":"Cathy Carver","field_migration_notes[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"height":702,"width":1114,"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]The Hirshhorn decided to issue timed tickets, something it has never done. Visitors have to sign up days in advance. When the first batch of tickets went up for grabs online, 9,000 passes disappeared in minutes, even as servers groaned under all the extra traffic, the museum said.One way around that system is membership, which starts at $50. By the eve of the opening, the membership base had grown by 20 times as art lovers whipped out credit cards to secure priority access to the Kusama exhibition. The extra revenue is nice, but the new relationships may be worth a lot more.“Now that we have all these new members, we have new emails and ways to contact these folks and to get them engaged and stay engaged with the museum,” said deputy director Elizabeth Duggal.It also means 20 times as many people to hit up for donations down the road. That all counts for a lot in today’s political climate. Just steps from the White House and Capitol, nobody needs a reminder that powerful people want to slash federal funding for culture.Outside the museum in the garden, no tickets or membership are necessary to see Kusama’s sculpture “Pumpkin,” a giant yellow gourd covered in dark polka dots, combining two recurring themes in her work. Even early in the morning, people steadily file by to take selfies. Her visually stunning works are tempting bait for social media fans. That makes the Kusama exhibition potential gold at a time when younger visitors are coveted. The Hirshhorn is already reaping the benefits, with new followers and increased engagement.[[{"fid":"308775","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_description[und][0][value]":"Visitors%20pose%20in%20front%20of%20Kusama's%20%5C%22Pumpkin.%5C%22","field_description[und][0][format]":"full_html","field_byline_text[und][0][value]":"Mark Garrison / Marketplace","field_migration_notes[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"height":837,"width":1115,"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Ximena Varela takes in the sculpture from a nearby bench. As director of American University’s arts management program, she watches how art museums are trying, and sometimes struggling, to attract the next generation of visitors and members. Big exhibitions like this can be turning points.“There’s a lot riding on it for the Hirshhorn,” Varela explained. “It’s their first blockbuster, so it’s very, very important. This is where they can really show that they have the stuff to bring a blockbuster home and deliver.”Delivering means keeping the public happy, no easy task when people can’t all go when they want and face long lines once they get there. An unhappy visitor is a potential volcano of social media bile. Preventing eruptions is the concern of Samir Bitar, who works on the visitor experience across the Smithsonian’s museums.“We have choreographed, and, if you will, curated the experience,” he said.The exhibition was two years in the making. Planning for Kusama crowds involved outside consultants, additional facilities and tripling the number of volunteers and visitor attendants. The museum is also using real-time data to track how long people are staying, enabling managers to make adjustments as the exhibition goes on.Forecasters say the show could double the museum’s usual attendance. That means hundreds of thousands of people, eager to step into rooms that only three or four people can be in at once. The plan is for very short visits, 30 seconds tops. Lines will be long, so the museum has put special care into giving people something to experience while they’re waiting, strategically placing informational panels and other Kusama works in view of people waiting in line to enter her signature rooms.[[{"fid":"308780","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_description[und][0][value]":"%5C%22Aftermath%20of%20Obliteration%20of%20Eternity%2C%5C%22%202009.%26nbsp%3B","field_description[und][0][format]":"full_html","field_byline_text[und][0][value]":"Cathy Carver","field_migration_notes[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"height":746,"width":1118,"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]Many in and out of the art world will be skeptical of all the hype around this, wondering whether it’s worth the hassle and wait of getting into one of these rooms. It’s a concern that was in the air as Varela, the American University professor, visited the Hirshhorn. She has seen exhibitions around the world, but she had never been inside one of Kusama's rooms until this week.Her 30 seconds inside the first room contained far more than she could have imagined. Upon stepping out, her reaction was immediate and unambiguous.“It’s absolutely worth the wait,” she said. “When you step into it, I think you forget the wait.”If hundreds of thousands of people feel the same way, the museum will have cracked a tricky economic problem and possibly built itself a stronger future. (02/24/2017)

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