How's your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might've turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you're an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!

Footnotes:

Marketplace (American Public Media)

Make Me Smart with Kai & Molly (American Public Media)

Holiday shopping in full swing at one Montana mall (Marketplace)

When the mall "anchor" is a medical center (Marketplace)

Another year of "retail apocalypse"? Not quite. (Marketplace)

Tariff land: How farmers in Iowa are dealing with the trade war (Marketplace)

Farmers Got Billions From Taxpayers In 2019, And Hardly Anyone Objected (NPR)

Trump's $28 Billion Trade War Bailout Is Overpaying Farmers (Bloomberg)

These are the states benefiting the most from the $28 billion farm bailout (Marketplace)

Debt And The Dairy Farmer (The Indicator from Planet Money)

Can farmers sow their way out of climate change? (CBS News)

How swine fever is reshaping the global meat trade (Financial Times)

Soaring Pork Prices Keep China's Inflation at 7-Year High (U.S. News & World Report)

American Consumers, Not China, Are Paying for Trump's Tariffs (The New York Times)

China just agreed to buy $200 billion worth of US products (CNN Business)

Trump's China deal leaves some trade experts 'underwhelmed' (NBC News)

Investors have already priced in a U.S. - China trade deal, according to these indicators (Marketwatch)

America's Coal Consumption Entered Free Fall in 2019 (The Atlantic)

Murray Energy is the latest coal mining firm to declare bankruptcy (Marketplace)

The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby's (The Washington Post)

'Joe the Plumber' praises Trump, cites his 'beautiful women' (Reuters)

Machines are driving Wall Street's wild ride, not humans (CNN Business)

Stocks close at record highs again as rally rolls on into new year (Marketwatch)

Marketplace episode from January 10th, with discussion of voters deciding President's economic performance by the summer before November election

Sudeep Reddy (Politico)

What's the big deal about Section 230? (And your 2020 predictions) (Make Me Smart with Kai & Molly)

What will the new North American trade agreement change? (Marketplace)

Donald Trump on Twitter, January 9th 2020: "U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History! A lot of good news coming out of this Administration."

US cancer death rate sees largest-ever single-year drop, report says (CNN)

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