Adam Davidson

Note: This episode originally ran in 2011.

Six years ago, we traveled to a place where people are trying to live without government interference. A place where you can use bits of silver to buy uninspected bacon. A place where a 9-year-old will sell you alcohol.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Robert Siegel talks with Adam Davidson from Planet Money team about this week's cluster of positive data on the health of the U.S. housing market. Davidson says the strength of the housing sector is now irrefutable, even though a broader economic recovery is still years away.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is beginning work Thursday on a proposal to overhaul the nation's immigration laws. Audie Cornish talks with Adam Davidson of the Planet Money team about what academic research says about the economic impact of immigration.

Every week, the Department of Labor issues data detailing the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. According to Thursday's report, 385,000 people filed last week, the third weekly increase in a row, and a higher figure than expected. Robert Siegel talks with Adam Davidson about this week's initial claims report. Davidson says the report can help illuminate the vital question of whether the United States has a cyclical or a structural unemployment problem.

One jobs number gets all the attention: The number of jobs lost or gained in the previous month.

That number is important. But focusing too much on the net change in jobs can be misleading. It gives the impression that a job is like a widget — it's something that gets made in a factory somewhere, and that we hope exists forever.

That's not how it works. Even in good economic times ,new jobs are constantly being created and old jobs are constantly being destroyed. (Of course, you do want the number of jobs created to exceed the number of jobs destroyed.)

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News . I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

And a record close. That's what we've been hearing both today and yesterday as the Dow Jones industrial average climbs upwards.

BLOCK: That may be an ear-grabbing headline after a recession and years of unimpressive growth. But we begin this hour with a different take from Adam Davidson of NPR's Planet Money. Hey, Adam.

ADAM DAVIDSON, BYLINE: Hey, Melissa.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to dig into some of those policy differences now between Republicans and Democrats. When it comes to reducing the deficit, both sides insist it's time for compromise. But President Obama says tax cuts for the richest Americans must end.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When it comes to the top two percent, what I'm not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don't need it.

Every day, small shop owners from Africa and Latin America fly into New York with wads of cash and empty suitcases. As Robert Smith reports today, their destination is zip code 10001 in Manhattan, home to a cluster of wholesale stores selling a quirky mix of decently made goods at cheap prices.

Peter Frew is one of a tiny number of people left in the United States who can — entirely on his own, using almost no machinery — make a classic bespoke suit. He can measure you, draw a pattern, cut the fabric and then hand-stitch a suit designed to fit your body perfectly.

Frew spent more than a decade as an apprentice for a remarkable tailor in his native Jamaica. He now sells his suits for about $4,000. Since New York is filled with very rich people who see their suits as an essential uniform, Frew has all the orders he can handle.

Pages