Between 1870 and 2010 an unprecedented explosion of material wealth transformed the globe, but that wave of prosperity failed to create a fully functioning and equal society. How did we manage to create an economic pie large enough for everyone to share, but then fumble dividing that pie up equally? Brad DeLong explores this question in his new book, Slouching Towards Utopia, which looks at the economic history of the twentieth century and why it matters today.
The problem with unequal cities (with Richard McGahey)
We’ve released dozens of episodes exploring how to improve the lives of Americans that live in rural areas, but we don’t often discuss how cities (and the folks that live in them) are being left behind by state lawmakers and federal policies. This is a problem because cities are key to innovation and economic growth. Rick McGahey’s new book explores how to overcome anti-urban bias in order to reduce inequality in cities throughout the United States.
The high price of misclassification (with Heidi Shierholz)
A new report from the Economic Policy Institute found that anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of employers are essentially stealing thousands of dollars from their workers every year by misclassifying them as independent contractors. In addition to lower pay, those misclassified workers are also deprived of employer-provided benefits like health care and labor rights like basic safety regulations. Returning guest Heidi Shierholz walks us through the report and explains how to figure out if your employer is stealing from you by classifying you as an independent contractor.