April 11, 2003

My Two Cents

Stories from a contradictory recession.

Audio is from the updated 2004 broadcast.


We try to figure out the paradox of the current economy, where more and more Americans are simultaneously both losing jobs and buying new homes and cars. Host Ira Glass talks to Ernest Istook, Republican Congressman from Oklahoma, who supports both a balanced budget amendment and President Bush's proposed budgets, which will create record deficits. (3 minutes)
Act One

Dave Knows

The story of a man who might have a better grip on what's going on in the economy of middle-class America than all the experts you ever read in the paper or see on TV. Dave Ramsey hosts a call-in radio show about personal finance, but he ends up answering questions about more than money. Susan Drury reports from Tennessee. (His website: DaveRamsey.com) (19 minutes)

Act Two

Stock Making Sense

Producer Alex Blumberg bought a stock on a tip in 1997. By 1998 it was worthless. And now, in 2003, he sets off to find out why. What happened to his money and to the company he invested it in. (19 minutes)


“I Got Plenty of Nothin” by Sammy Davis, Jr.
Act Three

A View From The Mop

A guy who writes under the pen name Greg Tate wrote a book called 11 Years, 9 Months and 5 Days, which is nothing more than a year-by-year account—one vignette after another—of things that happened to him in his minimum-wage job as a janitor in a fast food burger place that he calls "The Burger Store." Justin Kaufman reads surprisingly riveting excerpts. The book was self-published at xlibris.com. (12 minutes)