Alex Blumberg

Episode 427: LeBron James Is Still Underpaid

Jul 11, 2018

The best player in basketball is getting a raise. LeBron James just signed a contract to switch teams to the Los Angeles Lakers with a four-year, $154 million contract. But he may still be the most underpaid sports star in the world.

Back in 2013, when LeBron was making a paltry $17.5 million per year, economists told us he was very underpaid. And we found out why the NBA team owners, the players, the fans and even LeBron James himself want to keep it that way. Today on the show, we call some of them back to see if LeBron is still getting hosed.

Note: This episode originally ran in 2013.

Back in 2013, we made a T-Shirt. And as you might remember, we made that T-Shirt with money raised on Kickstarter.

All this week, All Things Considered and Morning Edition has aired stories about the global journey a T-shirt makes from seed to finished product. Over the months NPR's Planet Money team spent reporting the series, they tackled questions about trade, work and clothes play in the global economy. There's a whole lot more about a simple T-shirt's journey from cotton to completion here.

As co-host of Planet Money, Alex Blumberg is making a t-shirt (well, about one thousand of them) – and bringing listeners on the complicated global odyssey behind the production of the basic cotton tee.

America, if you're scared by all the talk you've been hearing about the fiscal cliff, take heart: There are reasons for people across the political spectrum to love the cliff.

There's a lot for liberals to like in the fiscal cliff, says Matthew Yglesias, who writes wonky articles about economics for Slate.

The U.S. birthrate just fell to its lowest point since we've been keeping track. Here's why that may be a problem for my 2-year-old son.

A while back, Robin Boros lost her job, and she and her husband couldn't afford health insurance.

One time, Boros passed out, and her husband called an ambulance.

"The hospital bill, it was atrocious," she says. "We couldn't pay it."

They never figured out why Boros passed out. But after that, she and her husband avoided going to the doctor. At times, she says, she even bought blood pressure medication on the street.

"That was awful," Boros says. "But you do what you got to do."

This is the latest story in our series on money in politics.

If you have a mortgage on your home, you can deduct the interest from your taxes. It's a popular, well-entrenched policy. But according to one policy adviser to a U.S. senator, "the mortgage-interest deduction, from a purely policy perspective ... makes no sense."

Yesterday, we reported on the fundraisers that lobbyists hold for Congressmen every day in Washington. Today, we hear what happens inside those events. The stories are part of our series on money in politics.

This is the first story in a Planet Money series on money in politics. We'll have more this afternoon on All Things Considered, and this weekend on This American Life.

We think of lawmakers having one job: making laws. But there's a second job most lawmakers have to do. And it's a big job.

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