The True Crime of Wage Theft (with Terri Gerstein)

In the shadows of corporate greed and exploitation lies a sinister crime that is silently perpetrated, leaving countless victims in its wake—a crime that affects millions of hardworking Americans every year and sucks billions out of our economy —Wage Theft. No industry is immune to this insidious crime, from restaurant workers to construction laborers. On this episode of Pitchfork Economics, we are joined by Terri Gerstein, Director of the Labor Initiative at NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, to unpack the chilling truth behind these workplace crimes, learn who the perpetrators are, and uncover how they get away with it. Most importantly, what can be done to stop them?

Productivity is a Policy Choice (with Preston Mui)

Preston Mui, Senior Economist at Employ America, recently authored a report titled “The Dream of the 90s is Alive in 2024: How Policy Can Revive Productivity Growth.” The report offers a blueprint for policymakers seeking to emulate the successes of an unparalleled period of productivity in the United States. Mui joins us to examine and reflect on the policy decisions which drove the strong productivity growth of the 1990s, and he also identifies dynamic new strategies for revitalizing American production in the present. 

Why Wages Are Growing From the Bottom Up and Middle Out (with Arin Dube)

Today, Arin Dube, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, joins us to discuss his latest research, which suggests that the American labor market is undergoing a remarkable transformation. The widespread wage inequality that rapidly expanded between 1980 and 2019 is finally reversing, and American paychecks are growing again—especially at the bottom end of the income scale. In this enlightening conversation, Dube explains how and why the labor market has changed, how that’s affecting wages, and how it all contributes to a virtual cycle of middle-out economic growth.

The True Cost of Trump’s Tax Plan (with Samantha Jacoby)

In his State of the Union Address, President Biden made it clear that taxes and tax policy were his next big target for a middle-out makeover. However, we can’t talk about the future of taxes without discussing the potential expiration of Trump’s’ 2017 tax law. Samantha Jacoby, a senior tax analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, joins us today to help us understand the repercussions of Trump’s tax policies and the opportunities ahead. Trump’s tax law was marketed as a boon for every working American, promising an average annual benefit of $4,000. But Jacoby unveils the true economic reality behind the Trump tax law: the primary beneficiaries were the wealthiest individuals and corporations; they did not pay for themselves as promised; and despite the trillions of tax giveaways to people at the top, most Americans saw no tangible economic benefit.

Middle Out to Mainstream

Eleven years ago, Democracy Journal released a special issue on “The Middle Out Moment” that explored the implications of what was then the brand-new theory of middle-out economics. The moment may not have fully arrived back in 2013, but no doubt it’s here now. So this week, Democracy Journal is publishing a follow-up edition called “The Middle Out Moment Part Two,” marking the fact that what was once a new idea has now gone mainstream. In this episode, we’ll hear from several of the economists, researchers, and former administration officials who contributed to the special issue as they explore how middle-out economics has been put into practice — and discuss the work that lies ahead as middle-out economics becomes the new mainstream.

Why Americans are so displeased with the economy (with Aaron Sojourner)

The latest economic indicators show a historically strong economy. Over the past couple of years, the unemployment rate has consistently stayed below 4%, real wages have been growing faster than they have in decades, and economic growth has been strong. And yet, public opinion surveys consistently show dissatisfaction with economic conditions. Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist from the Upjohn Institute, joins us to discuss his research findings into why Americans are so displeased with the economy. Aaron helps us unpack the complicated relationship between news coverage of the economy and its effect on consumer sentiment.

A Tale of Two Tax Systems (with David Cay Johnston)

While the average American worker is subject to a progressive income tax system where tax rates increase as income rises, the wealthy often exploit a range of loopholes and deductions that significantly reduce their tax burden—sometimes to the point where the biggest corporations and one-percenters pay nothing at all. David Cay Johnston, a tax policy expert and former investigative journalist for the New York Times, joins us today to help unravel the complexity of the American tax system, which has functionally created two different tax systems: One for the wealthy and powerful and one for everyone else.

Why Flying Is Miserable And How to Fix It (with Ganesh Sitaraman)

Ganesh Sitaraman joins us today to discuss his new book, Why Flying Is Miserable And How to Fix It. Air travel has become an increasingly frustrating experience, with countless horror stories of cancellations, delays, lost baggage, cramped seats, and poor service. For most of the 20th century flying was luxurious and fun, so it’s especially baffling that air travel is plagued by these problems in the 21st century. Sitaraman delves into the reasons behind this dismal state of affairs, tracing it back to a deliberate choice made by elected leaders in the 1970s to roll back regulations, supposedly in order to increase competition and improve the experience of flying for everyone. After enduring half a century of turbulence caused by deregulation, people are fed up with the state of air travel, and Sitaraman gives us some insight into how we can begin to fix it.

The Future of Bidenomics (with Jared Bernstein)

President Biden’s economic policies mark a paradigm shift away from the trickle-down economics that have held sway over Washington DC for the past 40 years. Bidenomics recognizes that a strong and inclusive economy grows from the middle class outwards, centering working Americans and their families rather than relying on a top-down approach that benefits the wealthy first and foremost. In this episode, President Biden’s chief economic advisor, Jared Bernstein, joins us to unpack the key ideas behind this middleout understanding of how the economy really works, and to explain how Bidenomics is reshaping the economy to truly work for all Americans—not just a wealthy few at the top. After helping to engineer a best-in-the-world economic recovery from the pandemic, Bernstein explains what’s next for Bidenomics and the American economy.

Making a case for the inheritance tax (with David Stasavage)

Over the next two decades, $30 trillion of wealth is expected to be transferred from Baby Boomers to their heirs. Journalists and financial experts have been referring to this event as the “Great Wealth Transfer,” and it’s important that we understand the policies that make such a monumental transferral of generational wealth possible—not to mention the tremendous economic and societal implications of this unprecedented economic activity. In this episode, we have the privilege of speaking with David Stasavage, a renowned expert in taxation, inequality, and political economy, to help us unpack the origins and rationale behind the creation of the inheritance tax, and to explore the policies we can use to lessen economic inequality and put some of the Great Wealth Transfer to work for all Americans—not just the children of the wealthy few.

How a New Economics Went Mainstream (with Suzanne Kahn)

Over the past few decades, economists have gathered a lot of empirical evidence supporting the underlying truth of middle-out economics: that a thriving middle class is the cause of economic growth. Our friends at the Roosevelt Institute have produced a new report which outlines the events that led to our new understanding of how the economy really works. Suzanne Kahn, Vice President of the Think Tank at the Roosevelt Institute, joins us to talk about what’s in the report and share how the progressive economic policies of the Biden Administration could mark a lasting shift away from neoliberal, trickle-down economics and toward a new era of middle-out economics.

Revisiting the Child Tax Credit (with Wendy Bach)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has agreed to expand the Child Tax Credit again, but it will be smaller than the pandemic-era credit was. If this version of the Child Tax Credit is passed by Congress and signed into law, it would benefit 16 million children in low-income families and lift at least half a million kids out of poverty. We thought it would be a good time to revisit this episode from 2021 with professor Wendy Bach, in which she explains everything you need to know about what the Child Tax Credit actually is, why it’s a good policy, and how it impacts people’s lives. 

Medicare Drug Price Negotiations with (Margarida Jorge)

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most opaque industries in America, and they take advantage of this lack of transparency by setting ever-higher prices for lifesaving prescription drugs like insulin. But provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act are curtailing the exorbitant price-gouging strategies that the pharmaceutical industry uses to pump up their profit margins at the expense of seniors and people with disabilities who use Medicare. This week, we’re talking to Margarida Jorge, the Executive Director of Health Care for America Now, to help us understand more about drug pricing and the impact that drug price negotiations will have on Medicare and its recipients. 

Three Economic Issues that Could Shape the 2024 Elections

National elections are won and lost on the economy. Of course they are: the state of the economy affects individuals’ job security, income levels, access to healthcare, education, and overall quality of life, so it’s not surprising that voters evaluate candidates based on their proposed economic policies and their ability to address pressing economic challenges. As we kick off a big year for elections and the economy, we take time in this episode to discuss the three most important economic issues that could shape the 2024 elections, especially at the presidential level. These are big challenges our country currently faces, and big challenges ought to be met with big transformative ideas that will improve people’s lives and grow the economy from the middle out. 

Seizing the Middle Out Moment

When Pitchfork Economics was started, our ideas about economic cause and effect were way outside the economic mainstream, and so much has changed in the last ten years. The economic world is shifting its thinking away from neoclassical ideas, and the primary middle-out economics messenger driving this paradigm shift is in the Oval Office. In this episode, Nick and Goldy explain how the podcast will sharpen our focus on how best to build the economy from the middle out. They’ll also distinguish the difference between Middle-Out Economics and Bidenomics and how Bidenomics is a departure from the trickle-down economics of Reaganism. 

Middle-Out Wins

2023 was a big year for middle-out policy and research, so we are recapping some of the biggest middle-out moments that are improving people’s lives and helping us close the book on America’s neoliberal era. Today, Civic Ventures writer Paul Constant joins Goldy to help recap the biggest middle-out successes of 2023 that have benefited workers, and are changing the way people think about economic cause and effect. This episode shines a light on policies, movements, labor actions/strikes, groundbreaking reports, and research that have made a real difference in people’s lives and is changing the way economists and policymakers should think about and manage economic policy.

How the UAW strike benefits all workers (with Kate Bahn)

Business reporting on labor unions tends to focus on speculation about how much striking workers might hurt the economy. But the reality is that successful strikes have a long-term positive impact on economic growth because they raise wages for all workers. Economist and researcher Kate Bahn, Director of Research from WorkRise argues that strikes, especially historic strikes such as the recent UAW strike, benefit both unionized and non-union workers, and have much broader ripple effects across the whole economy because they increase worker power and competition for workers across various sectors and industries. 

How Economists Invented Austerity and Paved the Way to Fascism (with Clara Mattei)

We already know that many mainstream economists advocate against the economic interests of the majority of working Americans and for the benefit of a tiny handful of super-rich people and corporations. But Clara Mattei argues that economists are actually guilty of something even more insidious: By promoting austerity measures that destabilize working people and consolidate wealth and power at the very top of the income scale, economists have created the perfect conditions for fascism to take root around the world. Is it too late to rebuild our democratic institutions through a new economic understanding?

Revisiting the history of Middle-Out Economics (with Michael Tomasky)

We’ve lived in the shadow of trickle-down economics for over 40 years. During that time, our leaders unquestioningly embraced economic policies that prioritize the wealthiest and most powerful, with the idea that their wealth will eventually “trickle down” to everyone else, but it just hasn’t. But 2023 has been a big year in passing middle out economic policies and advancing the middle out economic narrative. In a future episode we’ll be talking about the biggest middle out research and policies that are making a real difference in people’s lives and are changing the way we think about economic cause and effect. In advance of that we wanted to revisit the history of middle out via a conversation we had with journalist and author, Michael Tomasky. At the time, he had just released a new book about the rise of progressive economics in the United States.

Working Toward a Full Employment Economy (with Arnab Datta)

In its quest to combat inflation the Federal Reserve has seemingly done everything in its power to engineer a recession, which would throw millions of people out of work. Rather than question the Fed’s actions, mainstream economists cheered them on, claiming that we need multiple months of high unemployment to bring inflation down. But do we really need to immiserate America’s working class in order to save the economy? Today’s guest, Arnab Datta, and his colleagues at Employ America are producing research that suggests we should instead be using macroeconomic policies to steer the economy to high employment and robust wage growth—which would reduce inequity, spur economic development, and expand the availability of good-paying jobs for all Americans.

Understanding the Sahm Rule (with economist Claudia Sahm)

Mainstream economists have been predicting a recession on the horizon for over a year, with some doomsayers even making up something called “a non-recession recession” to characterize the state of the economy. There’s no better person to cut through all this bluster and nonsense than the creator of one of the most reliable economic indicators created in the last few decades: the Sahm Rule, which aims to predict and track recessions in real time. Former Federal Reserve economist Claudia Sahm joins the podcast to walk us through the Sahm Rule’s methodology and explains how it utilizes timely data to provide early warnings of economic downturns, offering policymakers, businesses, and individuals a valuable tool for proactive decision-making.

Exploring American Inequality (with Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton)

No matter which indicator you’re using, American inequality has been increasing in recent decades. Whether you’re measuring the growing wealth gap, the stagnant wages of the middle class, or the concentration of wealth and power among a small group of elites, every indicator unfailingly suggests that inequality is getting worse. Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton joins the podcast to talk about his recent book on the subject, Economics in America: An Immigrant Economist Explores the Land of Inequality, in which he explains how his own experience as an immigrant has shaped his understanding of American inequality and its impact on upward mobility.

The return of child labor (with Nina Mast and Jennifer Sherer)

At a time when violations of child labor laws are on the rise nationally, state lawmakers around the country are successfully rolling back child labor protections. Jennifer Sherer and Nina Mast from the Economic Policy Institute have authored an article that insists lawmakers must act to strengthen standards, not erode the existing minimal standards designed to safeguard children from exploitation. They share insights into why weakening child labor protections could have detrimental effects on the middle class and the overall economy.

The path of political disintegration (with Peter Turchin)

When Nick warned back in 2013 that the pitchforks were coming, he meant that if we continued immiserating the majority of citizens by enriching a wealthy few at the expense of everyone else, an uprising was inevitable. Unfortunately, this warning is still just as relevant ten years later. Peter Turchin joins the podcast to discuss his new book, End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites, and the Path of Political Disintegration, which looks to history (as well as the current turmoil in the United States) to better understand exactly what causes political communities to fall apart.

Corporate Bullsh*t (with Joan Walsh and Donald Cohen)

Politicians and business interests have lied to the American people for centuries in order to protect their power and profits—and they tell the exact same lies every single time. Nick has co-written a book titled Corporate Bullsh*t with Joan Walsh and Donald Cohen, which reveals this trickle-down duplicity as plain as day by placing egregious past quotes from corporate executives and politicians next to equally outrageous contemporary arguments—all of which justify outcomes that line the pockets of the wealthy and powerful while harming everyone else. Joan and Donald join the show to discuss why they wrote this book and to explain why it’s a must-read for anyone who’s tired of getting conned, bamboozled, and ripped off.

The economics of belonging (with john a. powell)

If you’re a long-time listener, you’ve definitely heard us discuss the golden rule of middle out economics: The more people you include in the economy, the faster and more prosperous it grows for everybody. The Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute, john a. powell, agrees that inclusion is the key to a thriving economy, and he joins us to explain why the concept of belonging is so important for a healthy community.

How neoliberalism turned the work ethic against workers (with Elizabeth Anderson)

The majority of U.S. workers aren’t compensated anywhere near the value that they actually create for society, while the few who make the most money often work the least and contribute very little. Decades of neoliberal thinking has twisted one of the foundational American beliefs—the idea that hard work eventually reaps great rewards—into a celebration of greed and a dismissal of those of us who work the hardest. Returning guest Elizabeth Anderson explains how we can reclaim the American work ethic in order to once again center workers as the true heroes of the American economy.

Setting the record straight on inflation (with Mike Konczal)

There have been a lot of bad takes on inflation out there in the media, from wild speculation about its causes to absurd predictions about when and how the wave of price increases would finally come to an end. But now just about everyone agrees that after two years of rising prices, inflation has finally slowed down. And while there’s still a long way to go, the situation is dramatically better now than it was even six months ago. Mike Konczal from the Roosevelt Institute recently did some research into the disinflation we’ve been seeing, and he returns to the show to tell us what’s really bringing prices back down to earth.

What the new Draft Merger Guidelines could mean for the economy (with Maggie Goodlander)

Earlier this summer, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a draft update of their Merger Guidelines, “which describe and guide the agencies’ review of mergers and acquisitions to determine compliance with federal antitrust laws.” Maggie Goodlander from the Justice Department joins the podcast to discuss why mergers can weaken competition and harm consumers and workers, and how these proposed guidelines can help bring competition back by making it harder for big corporations to swallow each other up.

The CHIPS Act, explained (with Ronnie Chatterji)

It’s been a little over a year since President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act, which invested $231 billion into semiconductor manufacturing in the United States, into law. Despite the fact that those investments are already creating economic growth around the country, most Americans don’t recognize the impact that the CHIPS Act is already having on the national economy. Today, Ronnie Chatterji, the former CHIPS Coordinator at the White House, joins the pod to provide a better understanding of what the CHIPS Act really does and why it matters.

What labor shortage? (with Heidi Shierholz)

When employers say they can’t find workers, what they really mean is that they can’t find enough people willing to work for what they want to offer. The so-called “labor shortage” we’ve heard so much about these last few years is actually just a wage shortage. And the solution is simple: pay people more. Labor Day weekend felt like a good time to revisit this subject with EPI President, Heidi Shierholz.

Why don’t we fight poverty by just giving people money? (with Paul Niehaus)

We saw during the pandemic that giving people cash is good for individuals and the economy as a whole. It makes sense: When people have more money, they spend it in their communities and stimulate the local economy. So why don’t we give people money all the time? Our guest today started a charity that combats poverty by giving people cash, with no strings attached, to use how they wish. The results have been really encouraging. Paul Niehaus, co-founder of Give Directly, explains how his program works—and more importantly, why it works.

Power, progress, and technology (with Daron Acemoglu)

New technologies are sold as a net benefit to society as a whole, but the truth is that technological progress is only loosely correlated to the improved welfare of the majority of citizens. This is not to say that technology and innovation are bad—we’re big supporters of both—but when tech CEOs hold all the power to make decisions that affect all of us, that becomes a problem. For a long time, technology has been used by the rich and powerful to further enrich themselves and consolidate their own power. Is there a way to ensure that everyone benefits from innovation—not just the wealthy few? Returning guest Daron Acemoglu shares insight from his new book on the subject, Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity.

Wages need a revolution (with Michael Lind)

Today we’re talking about wages—specifically, how the widespread suppression of wages is destroying the American economy. Author, professor, and fellow traveler Michael Lind just published a new book titled “Hell to Pay” that argues America is in need of a revolution in the way we think about work and wages. Lind warns that if American worker power isn’t restored to its previous highs, there’ll be hell to pay. (Sounds a bit like “the pitchforks are coming,” doesn’t it?)

How Industrial Policy actually works (with Isabel Estevez)

Industrial Policy (IP) has dominated conversations in economic and political circles thanks to President Biden’s big investments in manufacturing, infrastructure, and working Americans. But according to today’s guest, development economist Isabel Estevez, the conversation around IP is too narrow. IP is not just about manufacturing and clean energy, she argues—smart IP also encompasses policies that improve outcomes for people, like reducing child poverty and cleaning our drinking water.

Private equity’s plan to pillage America (with Brendan Ballou)

Over the last decade, private equity firms wiped out nearly 600,000 jobs in the retail sector by taking over and bankrupting major retailers like Toys R Us and Payless Shoes. But in that same time, private equity also destroyed companies in healthcare, housing, medicine, and many other industries that affect our everyday lives. Today’s guest, federal prosecutor Brendan Ballou, explains how we can stop private equity’s plan to pillage America.

Bidenomics (with Bharat Ramamurti)

“Bidenomics” is closely aligned with many—probably even most—of the middle-out economic principles that we discuss on this podcast every week. Much to our surprise and delight, Joe Biden has become the first President in 40 years to reject trickle-down economics in favor of building the economy from the middle out, and the results speak for themselves: Since the pandemic began, America has seen the strongest growth of any leading economy in the world. The economy has added 13 million jobs, inflation has fallen for 12 straight months, and a recession is no longer on the horizon. National Economic Council Deputy Director Bharat Ramamurti returns to the show to explain why Bidenomics has been so successful.

Why good jobs are good for business (with Zeynep Ton)

Low pay is obviously terrible for workers, but a growing body of research proves that it’s bad for businesses, too. Smaller paychecks lead to higher turnover, decreased productivity, and poor sales. Will low-wage employers in the grocery, retail, and restaurant industries ever understand that their employees are their most important asset? Zeynep Ton hopes so. She’s written a book explaining how labor investments can pay for themselves, and she joins us today to explain why better-paying jobs are good for everyone in the long run.

How economics can create a more sustainable planet (with Sarah Bloom Raskin)

In the 21st century, summertime isn’t just for lounging on the beach and trips to the ice cream shop. Climate change has made summer much more unpleasant—and even dangerous. This year alone, New York City and Chicago have been choked with wildfire smoke and the southern U.S. suffered through a wave of record-breaking high temperatures. That’s why we’re revisiting our conversation with financial regulation expert Sarah Bloom Raskin about how fiscal policy can help save the environment. She explains what levers already exist to steer monetary policy toward lasting sustainability, and which proposed regulatory strategies could create transformative climate outcomes.

Doughnut Economics (with Andrew Fanning)

On its website, the Doughnut Economics Action Lab describes Doughnut Economics as “a compass for human prosperity in the 21st century.” Its proponents prioritize economic solutions that meet both the basic needs of all people—food, housing, equity, democratic inclusion—and the ecological needs of the planet that we all call home. Economist Andrew Fanning joins the show to discuss how Doughnut Economics can redefine economics for the 21st century, and he doesn’t sugarcoat the importance of implementing the doughnut model in order to successfully combat climate change

How the franchise system is rigged (with Marshall Steinbaum)

In the 20th century, big corporations sold franchising to Americans as a less risky way to buy into business ownership. But in recent years, the franchise industry has tipped hugely in favor of franchisors, extracting wealth from both franchisees and the employees who work for them through complicated contracts that kill competition and rig the system. Economist Marshall Steinbaum returns to the podcast to share the findings from his deep dive into the (intentionally) complex and arcane franchise system, and to explain the latest data from Washington State’s recent enforcement campaign against no-poach clauses in franchising contracts.

Americonned (with Sean Claffey and Dave Pederson)

Americonned, a new documentary featuring our own Nick Hanauer, examines the inequality crisis currently plaguing the United States. The film shows the hidden struggles of American families and dissects the elite’s calculated political maneuvers to preserve and even grow their own wealth at everyone else’s expense. The filmmakers join us to share their experience documenting the long-overdue uprising of American workers, and explain how the process of making their film gave them hope for the future. 

Can the economy be liberated? (with Jeremie Greer)

We know that inclusion drives economic growth because when our nation’s prosperity was most broadly shared, in the 1950s and 1960s, the American economy was at its strongest. But the sad truth is that even then a broad swath of the population wasn’t allowed to fully participate in the economy—Black people and other communities of color were purposefully denied the shared prosperity that white families enjoyed. The folks at Liberation in a Generation believe it’s possible to create an economy where all people of color can participate and thrive. Jeremie Greer, the organization’s co-director, explains how racism is profitable under our current economic system, and breaks down how we can build a Liberation Economy that truly includes—and benefits—everyone.

Higher minimum wages are creating more jobs (with Michael Reich)

Ten years ago, Nick was called “near insane” for saying that substantially raising the minimum wage would create jobs. In retrospect, it seems obvious: After all, if no one has any money, who will buy all the stuff? Researchers at University of California, Berkeley have found more data to support this theory in a first-of-its-kind study on the effects of the $15 minimum wage. Michael Reich, one of the economists who worked on this exciting report, shares his findings with us.

Do we need an Economic Bill of Rights? (with Mark Paul)

We learn in grade school that American citizens are endowed with certain inalienable rights, but basic necessities like housing and education aren’t protected by the Constitution. Imagine how different this country might be if affordable health care and guaranteed employment were included in our Bill of Rights. That’s the vision that economist Mark Paul outlines in his new book, The Ends of Freedom.

The case for inclusive growth (with JP Julien)

At the core of middle-out economics is the idea that the more people we include in the economy, the faster and more prosperous it grows. And this inclusionary principle isn’t something we just made up—there’s actual data to support it. Our conversation with JP Julien from McKinsey and Company outlines what inclusion can mean in the context of an economy that works for everyone.

Can economics save the world? (with Erik Angner)

We all want to live happier, more fulfilling lives and build a better future for ourselves, but can economics help to make that dream a reality? Economist and philosopher Erik Angner is so confident that economics can save the world that he wrote a whole book about it. Erik helps Nick and Goldy overcome their usual cynicism by pointing out all the amazing progress that has been made in the economics profession, and he explains how economics can help build an even more glorious future for everyone.

How college broke the American dream (with Will Bunch)

This week we’re continuing our exploration into the ways that higher education contributes to America’s political, cultural, and economic divisions. Goldy chats with author Will Bunch about how our leaders almost established a university education as a public good, why the so-called “knowledge economy” has caused inequality to grow, and how we can possibly fix our educational divide.

Econ 101 is failing college students (with Abigail Acheson and Nouhaila Oudija)

Universities across America are still teaching an outdated, neoclassical way of economic thinking. The trickle-down curriculums taught in Econ 101 classrooms aren’t just bad for students—they have had disastrous, far-reaching effects on the economy. Decades of bad education has left students adrift: A new study from Rethinking Economics reveals that the majority of college students are critical of the US economic system, with a large majority believing it needs to change. Can we redesign economic curriculums to better reflect how the economy really works?

How rich people dodge taxes (with Gabriel Zucman)

As Tax Day approaches in the United States, we’re revisiting our conversation with Gabriel Zucman, the authority on wealth taxes. For the last 40 years, trickle-down politicians have slashed tax rates on the rich, benefiting the wealthy few at the expense of the American middle class. Zucman explains how the rich manage to dodge taxes, and how we can fix this broken system.

Banning noncompetes is good, actually (with Evan Starr)

One in five American workers has signed a noncompete clause. The FTC believes that the elimination of these clauses would generate extra job opportunities for 30 million workers and raise wages by $300 billion—a huge win for the average American worker. Economist Evan Starr shares findings from his new report on noncompetes and their enforceability in court, which uses data from our home state of Washington.

How we all fell for The Big Myth (with Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway)

When did ordinary people come to believe that free market solutions are always better than government intervention? How do we create a future where markets serve democracy instead of stifling it? In this episode we’re talking about the “magic” of the marketplace and the myth that the free market is ruthlessly efficient and always knows best. The co-authors of The Big Myth explain exactly how American business taught us to loathe government and love the free market.

Slouching towards economic utopia (with Brad DeLong)

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.

Why Walmart workers are still broke (with Rick Wartzman)

Goldy and Paul interview author Rick Wartzman about how America’s biggest employer (Walmart) began taking better care of its workers (by raising wages)—and why that decision might be too little, too late. According to Wartzman, Walmart has gone through a remarkable transformation, but there are limits to how much positive change this brand of socially conscious capitalism can create.

Why stock buybacks should be taxed more (with Cory Booker)

Stock buybacks are one of the worst excesses of modern capitalism, which naturally means they’re one of our favorite subjects to cover on the podcast. And since they’re in the news again, we thought it would be a good time to revisit one of our first episodes, from 2019. How much has changed over the past 4 years? President Biden’s proposal to raise taxes on buybacks to 4% is the most promising update so far, but much of our conversation with Senator Cory Booker remains relevant today.

How Biden is restoring economic competition (with David Dayen)

In July 2021, President Biden signed an executive order directing government agencies to rewrite policies to encourage competition in the U.S. economy. Returning guest David Dayen has compiled 18 months’ worth of actions resulting from this order. After more than four decades of unrestrained corporate power, Dayen explains, competition is finally returning to the economy—and that’s good news for everyone.

Why canceling student debt makes great economic sense (with Fenaba Addo)

When the Biden Administration announced last year that they would forgive up to $20,000 student loan debt per individual, millions of people celebrated—and for good reason. The student loan debt that Americans carry has ballooned to $1.8 trillion in recent decades, threatening the economic security of American households from coast to coast and up and down the income scale. Unfortunately, the Biden forgiveness plan has been tied up in several lawsuits, and the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for these lawsuits at the end of February, with a final decision expected later this spring.

As the conversation over student loans heats back up, we’re revisiting our conversation with Associate Professor Fenaba Addo. Addo helps us explore the merits and shortcomings of student debt cancellation, and explains why canceling student debt would actually be good for the economy. You’ll also hear from Pitchfork listeners who share how student loan forgiveness would change their lives.

The many benefits of a guaranteed job program (with Max Kasy and Lukas Lehner)

Oxford economists are currently running the world’s first Universal Job Guarantee program in Austria, and so far the results are very promising. When unemployed people have guaranteed access to training and/or a job, those people feel more in control of their lives and become more financially secure…and happier, too. The study’s co-authors join us to explain why they believe a guaranteed jobs program like this could work in other countries—including the United States.

The legacy of the Fight for $15 (with NELP)

Exactly one decade ago, activists and civic leaders launched the Fight for $15. It’s hard to recall now, but the idea was wildly controversial at the time—Forbes called Nick’s support of a $15 minimum wage “near-insane,” for example. A new report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) examines the legacy of the movement and all that it has accomplished in the last 10 years. Two of the report’s authors join us to discuss the Fight for $15’s impact beyond growing paychecks, including its effect on the racial wealth gap, union participation, and the economy overall. 

Sci-Fi Economics (with Kim Stanley Robinson)

We can’t tear down the existing economic framework and replace it with a better one without first telling a persuasive story about how the economy actually works. And few people in the world are more compelling storytellers than science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson.

In his speculative near-future novel The Ministry for the Future, Stan explains complicated economic theories better than most economists. He joins Nick and Goldy for a fascinating conversation about the role of economics in both climate change fiction and climate change reality.

The real reasons why inflation soared last year (with Ira Regmi)

For most of last year economists and pundits engaged in a long, circular debate about why inflation was spiking around the world, and who was to blame for those skyrocketing prices. Economic experts at the Roosevelt Institute (including past guest Joseph Stiglitz) have finally revealed the root causes of global inflation in a new report. Stiglitz’s co-author, Ira Regmi, shares what they’ve learned.

Revisiting the economics of abortion (with Caitlin Myers)

Out of all the topics we discussed in 2022 one stayed at the top of headlines all year long: abortion. We spoke to Professor Caitlin Myers in February of this year, months before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. She shared data from her research and provided examples of the causal links between abortion access and economic outcomes in women’s lives. It’s an illuminating episode, and one that will be just as relevant in 2023 as it was for all of 2022.

Revisiting corporate greed’s effect on the supply chain (with Rakeen Mabud)

Judging by the amount of downloads for this episode, we’d say it was our listeners’ favorite from the past year. “Did Corporate Greed Break the Supply Chain?” with Rakeen Mabud from the Groundwork Collaborative exposes how the supply chain was actually designed: not for reliably getting goods to people, but for maximizing profit. Unfortunately, that’s something many Americans came to realize in 2022 as prices skyrocketed and store shelves were left empty.

CEO Pay is out of control (with Mark Kreidler)

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute looks into the salary and stock packages of America’s most overcompensated corporate titans and the numbers are staggering. According to journalist Mark Kreidler, who recently covered the report for Capital + Main, CEO paychecks are a huge contributor to inequality. He joins the podcast to share why more people would do better if CEOs were paid less.

America isn’t lost, it’s Adrift (with Scott Galloway)

Inequality has grown so large that a number of pessimists believe America is lost. But Professor Scott Galloway argues that our nation is actually adrift, and in his latest book he explains what needs to be done to fix this imbalance and rebuild America’s foundations. Galloway joins Nick and Goldy for an honest conversation about age inequality, the middle class, corporate consolidation, and more.

Fair Social Contracts (with Eric Beinhocker)

Human society is built on social contracts, but decades of neoliberalism have left many of our most fundamental contracts—worker power, social safety nets, trust in key institutions— in tatters. It’s no wonder that people are pissed off: without fairness, we can’t have cooperation, and without cooperation, we can’t have a strong economy… or a strong democracy. Can we restore the social contracts that served us so well, or has our sense of fairness been damaged beyond repair? Oxford economics professor Eric Beinhocker shares his latest research into the psychology and economics of cooperation.

Charting a new path forward (LIVE from EconCon Presents)

In one of the highlights of last week’s EconCon Presents event in Washington D.C., Washington Post columnist Perry Bacon Jr. convened an all-star panel of political experts. Maurice Mitchell, Faiz Shakir, and Anna Greenberg joined Bacon to share lessons learned from the midterm elections, and debate strategies for driving the progressive economic agenda forward in 2023 and beyond.

Why we can’t let Kroger buy Albertsons (with Stacy Mitchell)

Kroger wants to buy Albertsons and effectively become the second-largest grocery chain in the United States. This merger would result in less competition, rising grocery prices, and lower wages. Corporate greed has gotten us into this mess, but new federal anti-merger guidelines, and some tenacious Attorneys General, may just get us out. Returning guest Stacy Mitchell explains why mergers like this one are bad news for workers and shoppers alike.

The reality of voter suppression in America (with Andrea Hailey)

If there’s one thing we learned from the far-right campaign against voting rights following the 2020 election, it’s how fragile our democracy really is. That’s why we’re celebrating Election Day 2022 by revisiting our conversation with Vote.org CEO Andrea Hailey, who explains how voter suppression happens and what reforms would help ensure a truly inclusive democracy. Don’t forget to vote!

Chokepoint Capitalism (with Cory Doctorow and Rebecca Giblin)

Corporate concentration has strained the labor market for virtually all workers, but the resulting lack of competition has caused unique harm to the creative economy. Increasingly exploitative monopolies have rendered artists, authors, musicians, and other creative workers all but powerless. Novelist Cory Doctorow and intellectual property expert Rebecca Giblin discuss their new book, Chokepoint Capitalism, which documents the increasing tensions between extractive corporations and creative laborers, and offers solutions to help fight back against the devaluation of creativity.

Middle-Out Messaging for the Midterms (with Melissa Morales and Bobby Clark)

Economics is another form of storytelling—specifically, it’s the story of who gets what and why. And as the rise of trickle-down and middle-out economics shows us, telling the right story at the right time can transform the economy for a generation. The same is true for politics, but simple and easy-to-understand narratives are notoriously not a strength of Democratic politicians. That’s what the folks at the Winning Jobs Narrative Project are trying to fix. On this must-listen episode before the midterm elections, Bobby Clark and Melissa Morales explain why messaging matters to voters.

A brief history of Middle-Out Economics (with Michael Tomasky)

We’ve lived in the shadow of trickle-down economics for over 40 years. During that time, our leaders unquestioningly embraced economic policies that prioritize the wealthiest and most powerful, with the idea that their wealth will eventually “trickle down” to everyone else. Finally, a contrasting progressive economic understanding is beginning to take hold. Middle-out economics—the idea that prioritizing the working- and middle-class is better for everyone in the economy—is having a moment. But where did middle-out come from? Michael Tomasky’s new book chronicles the history of middle-out and the rise of progressive economics in the United States.

Why won’t trickle-down die? (with Mark Blyth)

While President Biden has embraced middle-out economics here in the states, the UK’s new leaders have decided to enthusiastically revive trickle-down economics. Political economist Mark Blyth, who teaches International Economics, shares his thoughts on the United Kingdom’s troubling new budget policies, certainty’s role in building an economy, and much more on this wide-ranging episode. 

How to repair the housing crisis (with Jenny Schuetz)

The United States is in the midst of a housing crisis. Prices are skyrocketing, supply is dwindling, and wages haven’t kept up with cost of living. It’s a complicated problem, but the good news is that many of its solutions are relatively simple. Jenny Schuetz literally wrote the book on how good policy solutions can help resolve some of the worst pressures on our stressed housing market.

How student loan forgiveness rebuilds the economy from the middle out (with Marshall Steinbaum)

President Biden recently announced his plan for student loan forgiveness. It’s a policy that helps build the economy from the middle out by erasing some of the 1.7 trillion dollars in debt that’s holding Americans back. Economist Marshall Steinbaum, who has spent most of his career researching student debt, explains why this forgiveness plan is a great start—and why Biden can, and should, do more.

Measuring long Covid’s impact on the labor market (with Katie Bach)

Millions of Americans are being kept out of the workforce due to the lingering effects of Covid, resulting in billions of dollars in lost wages and productivity. How is this affecting our economy? Returning guest Katie Bach shares the findings from her new report which outlines just how severe the labor market effects of long Covid have become.

We need to fix overtime pay in America (with Marcus Baram)

If you’re a salaried worker, chances are you’re no longer eligible for the overtime pay that you would have received 40 years ago. A robust federal overtime standard used to serve as a kind of minimum wage for the middle class, providing both a valuable source of extra income and a shield of protection for the 40-hour workweek. When he interviewed workers around the country, Journalist Marcus Baram learned firsthand why we must raise the overtime threshold and restore overtime protections for American workers.

How the Inflation Reduction Act benefits the middle class (with Rose Khattar)

The Inflation Reduction Act may be smaller than the original Build Back Better plan, but it still represents a huge leap forward in middle-out economic thinking. The IRA addresses out-of-control healthcare costs, it helps build a fairer tax code, and it combats the climate crisis. It’s a huge win for the Biden administration and, more importantly, for the middle class. Economist Rose Khattar breaks down the many benefits of the IRA on our first episode back from summer break.

The limits of the market (with Joseph Stiglitz)

One of the central theories of classical economics is that markets respond quickly and efficiently to changes in demand. But the supply chain disruptions that left store shelves empty for much of the pandemic demonstrate that the markets aren’t the efficient adapters that classic economists believe them to be. Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz explains why the tendency to believe in the market is one of the most deeply rooted trickle-down myths, and why government intervention is the best way to respond to economic downturns.

How inequality cost workers $50 trillion (with Carter Price)

Did you know that since 1975 a staggering $50 trillion has been diverted from the paychecks of working Americans to the pockets of the wealthiest 1%? That shocking number was discovered in a groundbreaking study done by the RAND Corporation that finally put a price tag on the massive inequality we’ve seen in America over the last 40 years.

Reclaiming conservative economics (with Oren Cass)

These days “conservative economics” can mean anything from strict libertarianism to formless Trumpism. But what were the foundations of American conservatism? According to Oren Cass, the executive director of a think tank called American Compass, the answer is simple: family, community, and industry. He shares his mission to reclaim American conservatism and joins Nick and Goldy in a search for some common ground.

How American tax policy fosters racial inequality (with Dorothy A. Brown)

While most Americans know that our tax system advantages wealthy white families, not as many people realize how much it also actively disadvantages Black families. Tax law professor Dorothy Brown breaks down how racial inequality is built into U.S. tax policy and how we can try to fix it.

Can corporations help repair society? (with Ben & Jerry)

Business leaders can use their power and resources to make meaningful change, but should they? Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of iconic ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, have navigated the landscape between business and activism since the 1970’s. They share their thoughts and experiences as well as their latest mission: ending qualified immunity.

Has Chile defeated neoliberalism? (with Marcelo Casals)

Chile has a proud tradition of protests, but the unrest of 2019 was different. More than a million people took to the streets to protest their nation’s vast inequality. The uprising made international news, unseated a neoliberal dictatorship, and led to the election of a new president—but did it also create lasting change? Chilean historian Marcelo Casals catches us up on the latest developments in Chile’s battle against neoliberalism.

Marshall Plan for Moms (with Reshma Saujani)

Millions of Americans lost their jobs because of the pandemic. While men have returned to their pre-pandemic level of employment, a million women are still missing from the workforce. Without access to paid maternity leave and affordable child care, women are choosing to stay home – or being forced to. It’s time for a more inclusive economic recovery. Reshma Saujani, the Founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms, has a plan to get us there.

The inequality of progress (with Oded Galor)

What can the history of human progress teach us about modern inequality? In his new book, ‘The Journey of Humanity: The Origins of Wealth and Inequality,’ economist Oded Galor explores that question, as well as why human progress was stagnant for so much of history, if growth is still possible without ruining the planet, and what this all means for our future. 

How thinking like economists holds us back (with Elizabeth Popp Berman)

When it comes to crafting economic policy, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, choice, and competition have reigned supreme among policymakers for decades. Sociologist Elizabeth Popp Berman says that this style of economic reasoning—prioritizing efficiency above all else—makes good ideas seem like bad policy. She walks us through how that short-sighted style of thinking took hold in DC and explains when policymakers are right to lean on purely economic thinking—and when they should reject it in favor of prioritizing more fundamental values.

Exploring global solutions to inequality (with Faiza Shaheen)

Reducing inequality is not only possible, but it’s actually happening all across the globe. Faiza Shaheen, the Inequality Program Lead at NYU, has been researching the conditions and policies that can lower inequality for years. She shares which countries have successfully done so, and speculates about whether the United States has a shot at joining them.

Consumers deserve an inflation rebate (with Congressman Ro Khanna)

Gas prices have reached record highs in the United States. Is inflation actually to blame, or is it the greed of Big Oil, which is enjoying record profits? Congressman Ro Khanna walks us through his proposal for a Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax, which he says will help curb profiteering while reducing gas prices.

How Biden’s budget proposal takes on corporate power (with Niko Lusiani)

The Biden Administration’s 2023 budget proposal includes a Billionaire Minimum Income Tax and a rewrite of stock buyback practices. Will these changes actually take effect? If so, will they do enough to curb runaway corporate power? Niko Lusiani from the Roosevelt Institute breaks down what’s inside Biden’s budget.

Pirate equity (with Jim Baker)

The idea behind private equity firms—to buy failing companies and turn them around for a profit—is not inherently bad. So why is private equity such a major driver of economic inequality? Jim Baker, the Executive Director for the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, explains these Wall Street pirates’ risky business practices and shows how workers are paying the price.

Companies can’t self-regulate their way to inclusive capitalism (with Katie Bach)

In 2019, a group of business leaders signed a high-profile pledge promising that they would voluntarily move toward a more inclusive stakeholder-focused version of capitalism. But throughout the pandemic, those same companies reported record profits while workers were left behind. Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Katie Bach walks us through her new report examining the pandemic labor practices of 22 companies, spanning nearly every sector, and employing more than 7 million frontline workers.

Why your non-compete clause is probably illegal (with Attorney General Bob Ferguson)

Non-compete clauses, and the lesser-known no-poach agreements between franchises, are shockingly common for low-wage workers. Although these contracts were originally intended to protect trade secrets among high-level executives, they have spiraled into an unfair labor practice that keeps wages low, limits employee mobility, and decreases competition. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson explains how non-competes and no-poach agreements violate the law in many states, what his team did to get hundreds of huge employers across the country to cease and desist, and why you should tell your state’s Attorney General if you know of any low- or middle-income workers who are being forced into signing these agreements.

How neoliberalism happened (with George Monbiot and Binyamin Appelbaum)

It’s trendy to mock the malicious pervasiveness of neoliberalism now, but have you ever wondered what its origins are? This week, George Monbiot and Binyamin Appelbaum join the show to uncover just where the dominant economic theory of our time came from and how it took hold. This episode was originally recorded and released in October 2019.

The economics of mass incarceration (with Robynn Cox)

What role does the criminal justice system play in economic inequality? How does economic inequality cause mass incarceration? And how do we tease those two questions apart? Robynn Cox, an expert in the economics of mass incarceration, talks about her research uncovering the links between economic inequality and the criminal justice system.

Why a $15 minimum wage is no longer enough (with Dean Baker)

Ever wondered what the minimum wage would be if it had kept pace with inflation and productivity like it used to? Here’s a hint: $7.25, and even $15.00, don’t come close. Economist Dean Baker has been crunching the numbers on the minimum wage for years. He joins the podcast this week to share what he’s found and why it matters.

Did corporate greed break the supply chain? (with Rakeen Mabud)

While many Americans struggle to make ends meet, corporate America’s 2021 profits were higher than ever. So why are corporations making more money while supply chain issues are still driving up inflation for the rest of us? The Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist, Rakeen Mabud, wants you to know that the supply chain is working exactly as it was designed: for maximum profit, rather than reliably getting goods to people. And that’s the problem.

Free lunch thinking (with Tom Bergin)

Investigative financial analyst Tom Bergin cut his teeth investigating corporate wrongdoing. When he turned his attention to the economics profession, he learned that eight major economic theories—used by experts to shape policy across the globe—entirely lack factual basis. He joins the pod to explain how those theories wormed their way into dominant economic thinking, the evidence against them, and why he believes economists are finally starting to shift toward studying the world as it actually is.

Congress looks to the CBO for economic expertise. Is that a mistake? (with Mark Paul)

The Congressional Budget Office, the institution that furnishes cost-benefit analyses for federal legislation under consideration by Congress, has a really hard job. But some of the assumptions they rely on to predict economic consequences are just plain weird. Economist Mark Paul leads us through the strangest practices at the CBO, including their (untrue) claim that public investment is only half as productive as private investment and the complete lack of peer-reviewing of reports that can signal the death knell for a bill.

How Davos Man devours the world (with Peter Goodman)

Billionaires have looted economies, hidden from tax bills, and destabilized democracies for decades. But the subset of billionaires who make a show of pretending to be good citizens have to be the worst among them. They’re called “Davos Man” and according to New York Times Global Economics Correspondent Peter Goodman, they’re devouring the world we live in.

The economics of abortion (with Caitlin Myers)

We often discuss abortion as an issue of bodily autonomy, personal rights, and reproductive justice. Of course it’s all of those things, but it’s also an economic issue. Access (or lack thereof) to an abortion profoundly affects women’s lives by determining if, when, and under what circumstances they become mothers. Whether or not women have access to abortion can change the direction of their lives, affecting educational attainment, labor force participation, and overall earnings. Economist Caitlin Myers breaks down her research into the subject and provides examples of the causal link between abortion access and economic outcomes in women’s lives.

Ask Nick Anything

Nick and Goldy answer your questions! How is any form of union busting legal? Why can’t America be more like the Nordic countries? Is taxing unrealized capital gains a good idea? And more!

Thanks to Brad from Pennsylvania, Larry from Boston, Julie from Arizona, Duncan from California, Zach from Minnesota, and Dave from Illinois who left the great voicemails included in this episode. If you have any questions for a future AMA episode, leave us a voicemail at 731-388-9334.

Debunking deficit myths (with Stephanie Kelton)

Modern Monetary Theory is an attempt to accurately describe how government debt and complex financial systems actually work and it can help us responsibly use our resources. No one is more knowledgeable on the subject than returning guest, Professor Stephanie Kelton. On this episode, originally released in 2020, Kelton explains the myths surrounding MMT and what a new understanding of the budget could do for our economy.

The economic case for universal health care (with CA Assemblymember Ash Kalra)

The United States spends far more on healthcare costs than other industrialized countries, yet we continue to have wider gaps of coverage and report worse health outcomes. California Assemblymember Ash Kalra is paving the way for a better system in his state through the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, which at the time of recording had been advancing through the state legislature for nearly a year. The night before this episode posted, the Bill died in the Assembly — but Assemblymember Kalra’s thoughts on how a state-based single payer system would work, the hurdles it faces, and how such a program could become the blueprint for national health care reform can still inspire future lawmakers and activists to find new paths forward for health care in America.

Why privatizing public goods is bad for democracy (with Donald Cohen)

Even in the middle of a pandemic, trickle-down politicians still love to claim that the free market is the best way to resolve human problems and that the government can’t be trusted to serve the public good. But when we privatize public health, utilities, and other shared necessities, we hand over control of those public goods—the things that we all need and that we need everyone to have— to for-profit entities that don’t answer to the public. Donald Cohen, an expert on privatization, shares examples and talks about the consequences of privatization in America.

Ending the tipped minimum wage (with Saru Jayaraman)

In most states, tipped workers are not subject to the minimum wage. Why? Because it’s legal to pay tipped workers a subminimum wage as low as the federal minimum of $2.13 per hour. As long as any worker in the country can be paid less than the minimum wage, the minimum wage is meaningless. Saru Jayaraman, a leader in the national fight for one fair wage, lays out the path forward.

Did the Federal Reserve’s policies make inequality worse? (with Christopher Leonard)

When the Federal Reserve makes money, where does it go? Turns out, the Fed’s hands are tied—it can’t do anything other than assume that the new money will trickle down into the hands of ordinary Americans through Wall Street’s coffers. And according to journalist Christopher Leonard, that’s put the United States’ economic stability at risk and accelerated income inequality.

How the radical right weaponized ideology (with Nancy MacLean)

If it seems to you like the ultimate goal of the most extreme conservatives is to undermine democracy and cripple democratic institutions—well, according to historian Nancy MacLean, you’re right. This week, MacLean unpacks the meteoric rise in popularity of the radical right’s ideas, and offers a way forward for progressives, based on lessons from successful social movements throughout American history. This episode was originally released in July 2020.

How opportunity zones create windfalls for the uber-rich (with David Wessel)

The 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act included a little-known provision establishing something called opportunity zones. The plan, which was lauded as a way to direct investments into under-developed communities in the U.S., created 8,764 tax havens that were almost immediately exploited by the wealthy to gobble up capital gains tax breaks. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Wessel explains how opportunity zones came to be, who is profiting off of them, and why it’s so difficult to tweak the tax code without creating windfalls for the rich.

Are you in the 9.9 percent? (with Matthew Stewart)

In the U.S., inequality is often framed as the 99% versus the wealthiest 1%. But that’s not quite the right matchup. While the bottom 90% has done dramatically worse over the last several decades and the top 0.1% has done dramatically better, the 9.9% in between those groups still controls more than half of the wealth in the United States. Author and philosopher Matthew Stewart thinks that the 9.9% are not innocent bystanders, and he joins Nick and Goldy to discuss how this group is entrenching inequality and warping our culture.

Moving beyond racial liberalism (with Kyle Strickland)

How can we center the role of race in our economic policy and in our politics in a way that will drive real change? Kyle Strickland, the deputy director of race and democracy at the Roosevelt Institute, explains how our leaders have fallen under the sway of racial liberalism, which focuses solely on disavowing personal bigotry and overt discrimination. In order to realize true racial and economic justice, he argues we should move beyond racial liberalism and toward a greater understanding of the systemic injustices built into our political and economic systems.

The hidden costs of banking while poor (with Mehrsa Baradaran and Cate Blackford)

The average family earning $25,000 a year in the U.S. spends about $2,400 on financial transactions. Whether it’s the astronomical interest rates of a payday loan or the costs that come with being unbanked, the extractive practices of the financial services industry are effectively keeping the poor in poverty. Lawyer and author Mehrsa Baradaran and economic mobility expert Cate Blackford join Nick and Steph this week to explain why banking while poor is so expensive, and what states can do to rein in the people who profit from it. This episode was originally released in February 2020.

Make the clean stuff cheap (with Eric Beinhocker and Doyne Farmer)

Until very recently, the prevailing wisdom cautioned that transitioning to a clean energy economy would be extremely expensive, and therefore only possible if undertaken slowly. New research upends that thinking—when it comes to going green, the faster we go, the cheaper it will be. University of Oxford professors Eric Beinhocker and Doyne Farmer talk with Nick about a new strategy for clean technology that could transform the climate fight.

Why can’t we talk about homelessness? (with Josephine Ensign)

The number of unhoused Americans is at a historically high rate right now. This podcast is produced in Seattle, a city with the third highest homeless population in the U.S. Though many Seattleites identify as progressive, we can’t reach a consensus on how to help our most vulnerable populations—or even find agreement on the root causes of the housing crisis. Why are perspectives on homelessness, and possible solutions to it, so polarized? Josephine Ensign, a University of Washington nurse and health care provider for people experiencing homelessness, shares some of her insights from her career on the frontlines of this crisis.

How taxpayers subsidize corporate profits (with Rana Foroohar and David Dayen)

Every company you can think of has benefitted from a public investment. Whether it’s direct handouts through the tax code, government research efforts, or employee reliance on programs like EITC or TANF, taxpayers are subsidizing wildly profitable companies. David Dayen, the executive editor of The American Prospect, and Financial Times associate editor Rana Foroohar join Nick and Zach to explain how we let corporate parasites get so out of control—and what we can do about it. This episode was originally recorded and released in January 2020.

How the tax system impoverishes Black Americans (with Dorothy A. Brown)

We know that the tax system is set up to advantage people with money. And we know that in the U.S., people with money are disproportionately white. But what many people don’t realize is that the tax system actively advantages white families. Tax law professor Dorothy Brown explains how racial inequality is baked into tax policy in non-obvious ways, and how that affects wealth-building.

The free market economics of synthetic opioids (with Sam Quinones)

The opioid crisis in the United States is a textbook example of free market economics. The powerful lie, manipulate, and skirt regulations to make buckets of money, while innocent people suffer. Journalist Sam Quinones joins Goldy and Paul to unpack the economics behind the opioid crisis, and the new threat of synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Thanks to unemployment insurance, poverty declined last year (with Amy Goldstein and Elliott Morris)

It’s been a little over a month since the unemployment benefits programs that were established by the CARES Act expired, so we’re taking a look at how well they worked. Washington Post writer Amy Goldstein and Elliott Morris, a data journalist at The Economist, deliver the facts to Jessyn and Paul.

How corporate concentration hurts the economy (with Stacy Mitchell)

Anti-monopoly and pro-local advocate Stacy Mitchell joins the show to talk about small business, big business, and decentralizing economic power.

Stacy Mitchell is the co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. She directs ILSR’s Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and analysis and partners with a broad range of allies to design and implement policies to reverse corporate concentration and strengthen local enterprise.

Why philanthropy isn’t the answer (with Anand Giridharadas)

Few books have shaken the philanthropy world more than ‘Winners Take All’, Anand Giridharadas’s blistering critique of wealthy do-gooders. Global elites who ostentatiously give away hundreds of millions of dollars, he argues, are actually just preserving the status quo that grants them power in the first place. On this episode, originally recorded and released in October 2019, Anand joins Nick and Goldy to explain how do-gooding can perpetuate inequality.

Capitalism is working better in Finland (with Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson)

Contrary to popular belief, Nordic countries aren’t actually socialist! No, friends, the Nords are capitalists—but they pull it off much better than we do. To help re-imagine American capitalism, writers Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson join us this week all the way from Finland. This episode was originally recorded and posted in February 2020.

Right-to-work is bad for workers (with Shane Larson)

Right-to-work laws, which make unionizing more difficult in 28 states, could more accurately be referred to as right-to-work… for less. Why? On average, worker pay drops 3.1% when right-to-work laws are passed. Shane Larson from CWA, the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S., joins Goldy to explain why right-to-work laws are so harmful, how they came to be, and why it’s so important to pass the PRO Act to fight for workers’ rights.

How neoliberalism captured Democrats (with James Kwak)

Democrats used to be known as the party of the working people—so how did they get so off track? Who took over the party, and why? Author and professor James Kwak joins Nick and Paul in a blistering analysis of the decline of the Democratic Party, and explains how we can get it back on track. This episode originally aired in January 2020.

Why restaurants can’t find workers (with restaurateur Mark Bucher)

DC restaurateur Mark Bucher explains what’s behind the “labor” shortage (hint: it’s the wages), the role that restaurant owners need to play in stopping the “churn and burn” model of low-wage workers, and the future of the restaurant industry post-Covid.

Mark Bucher is the co-owner of Medium Rare, a decade-old steakhouse with three locations in D.C., Arlington, and Bethesda. During the pandemic, he established “Feed the Fridge”, a project that places refrigerators around the DC metro area and pays local restaurants to fill them with fresh meals daily

What convinces people to act in the interest of others? (with Margaret Levi)

What does it take for someone to act in the interest of others? What constitutes trust in general, and trust in government in particular? Margaret Levi, a professor of political and behavioral sciences, shares her research on how people can be persuaded to act in the interest of others if they don’t already want to. The conversation covers vaccines, unions, citizen confidence in government, and a lot more.

How Covid shook the world’s economy (with Adam Tooze)

There have been far more lethal pandemics than Covid-19, but the scale of our response to Covid-19 is dramatically new. For the first time in human history, our civilization made a collective decision to shut much of the world economy down. Contemporary historian Adam Tooze helps us understand what happened, why it happened, and how we can learn from it.

How the credit market drives up housing prices (with Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman)

What’s the next generation of access to credit? Why are home prices and rents so out-of-whack with each other? And how can we approach the discord between what liberals say they want for their community versus what housing and development policies they’ll actually support? Glenn Kelman, the CEO of real estate brokerage website Redfin, helps us examine the future of housing and the best ways that companies like his can contribute to solving the housing crisis.

And if you’re wondering why this episode sounds so good, or why nobody mentions the pandemic… it’s because this conversation is from our archives of interviews that we recorded in-studio, just before the pandemic hit. But don’t let that discourage you—this is still just as relevant today as the day it was recorded. Enjoy!

Ask Nick Anything, continued!

Is inflation bad? What’s the difference between a neoliberal and a conservative? If large corporations were held to higher labor standards than small employers, wouldn’t Walmart get all the talent? And more.

Thanks to Mark from Nashville, David from Japan, Mike from Dallas-Fort Worth, Mary from Pennsylvania, Steve from Austin, and Pete from Boston, who left the great voicemails included in this episode! If you have any questions for a future AMA episode, leave us a voicemail at 731-388-9334.

Everything you need to know about the Frito-Lay Strike (with KS Rep Jason Probst)

Workers at a Frito-Lay factory in Topeka, Kansas made national headlines when they went on strike to protest dismal labor conditions including forced overtime and 84-hour workweeks. (Frito-Lay’s parent company, PepsiCo, made $10.5 billion in profit last year.) The strike ended after 19 days on July 26th, but it’s an important part of a national conversation about labor and corporate profits. Kansas state Representative Jason Probst joins the show to explain the details of the strike and how these insidious labor practices affect his state’s economy.

Ask Nick Anything

Nick and Goldy answer your questions! If we had progressive taxation, would we still need means testing? Can we send ultra-rich people away to their own economy? What are the best economic indicators for the progressive economy? And more!

Thanks to Lisa from Indianapolis, Rick from Baltimore, Jacob from Portland, Sean from Philadelphia, Linda from Seaside, and Frank from Georgia who left the great voicemails included in this episode! If you have any questions for a future AMA episode, leave us a voicemail at 731-388-9334.

Fiscal policy can help save the environment (with Sarah Bloom Raskin)

Can we create transformative climate outcomes by adopting new regulatory strategies? Financial regulation expert Sarah Bloom Raskin helps us explore what levers exist to steer fiscal and monetary policy toward lasting sustainability.

Sarah Bloom Raskin is the former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and a former Governor of the Federal Reserve Board. She served as the Commissioner of Financial Regulation for the State of Maryland from 2007 to 2010. She is currently a visiting professor and distinguished fellow at Duke Law School’s Global Financial Markets Center, and a member of President Biden’s Regenerative Crisis Response Committee, which recommends changes in fiscal, monetary, and financial regulatory policies that are likely to enable the U.S. to achieve net carbon neutrality before 2050.

We all do better when we all do better (with JP Julien)

Contrary to fears that economic inclusion must come at the expense of economic growth, global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company’s research and empirical evidence supports the idea that economic growth is at its best when it is most inclusive – but that equity needs to be embedded in systems from the start in order to be effective. What does ‘inclusion’ mean in the context of an economy that works for everyone? McKinsey’s JP Julien explains how policymakers and companies can ensure that economic growth goes hand-in-hand with – and is enhanced by – reducing inequality.

JP Julien is an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he serves US federal, state, and city governments on inclusive economic-development topics and supports private-, public-, and social-sector organizations in advancing racial equity. He is a leader of the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility, a global economic think tank focused on inclusive economic development and racial equity topics.

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol is a trickle-down clown

You probably saw the news that Chipotle is raising its menu prices by 4 percent, and that leadership is blaming the price increase on the fact that they had to raise their starting pay to $15 per hour. It’s not at all surprising to see a large employer like Chipotle blame rising wages for everything, but what was disappointing was the media’s willingness to repeat Chipotle’s story without looking deeper into the numbers: namely, none of the stories covering the price increases mentioned that Chipotle gave its CEO a $24 million raise last year, and that the company is in the middle of enacting a $153 million stock buyback program to enrich a handful of shareholders. Around here, that type of trick will land you the title of Trickle-Down Clown! This week Goldy has a few choice words to say about Chipotle’s behavior, and then we thought it would be a good time to revisit our stock buybacks episode with Senator Cory Booker for an explanation of the pervasiveness and dangers of the practice.

Inequality is bad for everyone (with Djaffar Shalchi)

We’re back to our favorite topic this week—TAX THE RICH! Beyond all the benefits that come from a well-funded social safety net, taxing the wealthy would lessen inequality, which would make most people—including the extravagantly wealthy—happier. Super-rich Danish entrepreneur Djaffar Shalchi shares the wisdom that Denmark understands: Inequality is bad for everyone.

Djaffar Shalchi is an entrepreneur from Denmark and founder of Millionaires for Humanity, a network of wealthy people who advocate for raising taxes on wealthy people. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Move Humanity, a global initiative to mobilize at least one percent of the wealth of the world’s super-rich for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

How U.S. policy was designed to suppress wages (with Larry Mishel and Josh Bivens)

Radical and rising economic inequality is no secret — and now, thanks to new research from the Economic Policy Institute, neither is its price tag nor its cause. There’s never been a study quite like this — one which places specific, real dollar amounts on every trickle-down policy American politicians have embraced. The study’s authors, Larry Mishel and Josh Bivens, explain how their work  reveals that the massive upward redistribution of income our nation has suffered these past four decades can largely be attributed to policies intentionally designed to suppress the wages of American workers.

Lawrence Mishel is a distinguished fellow at EPI after serving as president from 2002-2017. In the more than three decades he has been with EPI, Mishel has helped build it into the nation’s premier research organization focused on U.S. living standards and labor markets.

It’s not a labor shortage, it’s a wage shortage (with Heidi Shierholz)

You have no doubt seen the scary headlines warning of a “labor shortage” caused by the additional pandemic unemployment insurance payments. The coverage of this story is widespread, even though most economics reporters can find no credible evidence linking unemployment checks to a labor shortage. EPI economist Heidi Shierholz joins us to explain why UI and stimulus payments aren’t causing a “labor shortage”, and why the answer to this made-up problem is so clear: it’s the low wages, stupid.

Heidi Shierholz is the Senior Economist and Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute.

Your non-compete clause is probably illegal (with WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson)

Non-compete clauses, and the lesser-known no-poach agreements between franchises, are shockingly common for low-wage workers. Although these contracts were originally intended to protect trade secrets among high-level executives, they have spiralled into an unfair labor practice that keeps wages low, limits employee mobility, and decreases competition. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson explains how non-competes and no-poach agreements violate the law in many states, what his team did to get hundreds of huge employers across the country to cease and desist, and why you should tell your state’s Attorney General if you know of any low- or middle-income workers who are being forced into signing these agreements.

Bob Ferguson is Washington State’s 18th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, Bob is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don’t play by the rules.

Why we need a mission-driven economy (with Mariana Mazzucato)

What do the internet and COVID vaccines have in common? Neither would be possible without the work of DARPA, a mission-focused federal agency responsible for funding research and development. Professor Mariana Mazzucato is with us this week to argue that our economy will be better off if more government agencies adopt DARPA’s mission-oriented approach.

Mariana Mazzucato is a Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is the author of three highly-acclaimed books: The Entrepreneurial State, The Value of Everything, and Mission Economy.

Can businesses help repair society? (with Ben & Jerry)

Can business leaders use their power and resources to make meaningful change? Should they? Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders behind iconic ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, help map the landscape between business and activism and introduce their new project, the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Most recently, they are the leaders of the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity, a new police reform and criminal justice campaign.

There’s no such thing as a race-neutral policy (with Valerie Wilson)

EPI economist Valerie Wilson joins us for a conversation about the economic costs of racism, and which policies could help further racial equality.

Valerie Wilson is the Director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute. Prior to joining EPI, she was an economist and vice president of research at the National Urban League Washington Bureau.

Diving into March’s giant jobs report (with Austan Goolsbee)

The latest monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed massive gains in March—the strongest in seven months—indicating that economic growth is gaining speed. Economist Austan Goolsbee explains why he’s optimistic, what kind of numbers we need to keep seeing to realize a full recovery, and how the report proves that even though some think high unemployment insurance payments will disincentivize people from returning to work, a lack of jobs is actually what’s driving unemployment rates.

Austan Goolsbee is the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He previously served as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet.

Winning back our freedom from the market (with Mike Konczal)

The relationship between time, work, and freedom has always been a battleground in the American economy. Could our devotion to free-market fundamentalism in fact be making Americans less free? Author Mike Konczal joins the show to talk about positive versus negative freedom and the policies that would make us more free, in a real sense.

Mike Konczal is the Director of Progressive Thought at the Roosevelt Institute. His latest book is Freedom from the Market: America’s Fight to Liberate Itself from the Grip of the Invisible Hand.

Atlas Hugged (with David Sloan Wilson)

If you’re one of the many people who have asked us to take down the concepts in Atlas Shrugged, which argues that we’re a fundamentally selfish species, this episode is for you! If you’re not one of those people, well, this episode is ALSO for you! Evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson has infused the idea of prosociality (the desire to help others) into his new book, Atlas Hugged, and he joins us to explain why Atlas Hugged is a better predictor of how people act than Atlas Shrugged.

David Sloan Wilson is an evolutionary biologist and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. His books include This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution and the recently published Atlas Hugged.

Can’t stop, won’t stop, GameStop (with Congressman Ro Khanna)

When GameStop’s stock skyrocketed early this year, Wall Street was pissed. A group of Redditors had manipulated the stock market—and everyone knows only professional hedge fund managers are allowed to do that! We couldn’t ignore the market news that took the world by storm, so Nick and Goldy called up CA Congressman Ro Khanna to talk about what happened with GameStop, what it means for financial regulations, and what the government’s response signals about a changing tide in our country’s leadership.

Congressman Ro Khanna is a Representative of California’s 17th District. Rep. Khanna sits on the House Committees on Agriculture, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform. He is the Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; serves as an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus and is the Democratic Vice Chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

No, the relief bill won’t cause inflation (with Austan Goolsbee)

This weekend, the Senate passed the coronavirus relief bill—and the House is scheduled to debate the bill, and widely expected to pass it, on the day this episode is published (Tuesday, March 9th). While the Senate debated what would be the largest disaster-relief legislation in American history, moderate Democrats and ultra-conservative Republicans alike repeated one common criticism—that infusing so much money into the economy would cause inflation. Austan Goolsbee, past Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, explains why those fears are misplaced in this episode that will answer every question you’ve ever had about inflation, stimulus checks, and disaster relief.

Austan Goolsbee is the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He previously served in Washington as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet. 

The idea for a National Investment Authority, explained (with Saule Omarova)

Tackling existential threats to our future like climate change and economic inequality is a huge undertaking, and building the future is going to require massive public investment. Cornell Law Professor Saule Omarova calls for a National Investment Authority that would work inside private markets as a soup-to-nuts problem-solving operation.

Saule Omarova is the Beth and Marc Goldberg Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. She specializes in financial sector regulation, banking law, international finance, and corporate finance.

The velocity of money (with Ann Pettifor)

Over the last century, the velocity of money—the rate at which money changes hands through the economy—has declined. Today, money moves at one of the slowest rates on record, meaning every dollar today generates 70% less economic activity than a dollar did just ten years ago. That has big implications for our economy. Political economist Ann Pettifor joins Nick and Goldy to explain how the velocity of money is related to money creation, and why taxing the rich is ultimately pro-growth (it’s all related, we promise!).

Ann Pettifor is a political economist, author, and public speaker, and the Director of PRIME (Policy Research in Macroeconomics). Her work focuses on the global financial system, sovereign debt restructuring, international finance, and sustainable development. She is the author of many books, including The Production of Money and The Case for the Green New Deal.

Re-post: Does the market pay you what you’re worth? (with Marshall Steinbaum and Saru Jayaraman)

The theory of marginal product of labor says that every worker is paid exactly what they’re worth—the value that their labor generates. Employers cite marginal productivity to legitimize paying the lowest wages possible, but that’s just another trickle-down scam. Economist Marshall Steinbaum and food labor expert Saru Jayaraman expose the lie of marginal productivity, and show how it’s been used to exploit workers for centuries.

Marshall Steinbaum is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Finance at the Jain Family Institute. He studies market power in labor markets and its policy implications.

Repost: How to spot a bogus minimum wage study (with Ben Zipperer)

Here’s another resource from the archive that will help you wade through the loud and often misleading coverage of the Raise the Wage Act.

Not all minimum-wage studies are equal. Some of the most headline-grabbing negative reports on the effects of the minimum wage were commissioned and promoted by right-wing organizations looking to legitimize trickle-down policies that hurt workers. How can you spot studies that aren’t worth their salt? Economist Ben Zipperer joins Nick and Jasmin to reveal some of the tricks that economists pull, and to help us understand how some studies can conclude that raising wages will kill jobs—even though, as we know, the opposite is true.

Do wealthy Americans have too much power? (with Thom Hartmann)

Is the U.S. an oligarchy, or does it just have a bunch of super-rich people living in it? Is there a difference? Author Thom Hartmann joins Nick and Paul to explain the relationship between wealth and American political power and share some of the research that went into his latest book, ‘The Hidden History of American Oligarchy.’

Repost: Why raising the minimum wage doesn’t raise unemployment (with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Alan Krueger)

You may have noticed that the trickle-downers are out in full force again spouting bad ideas in response to the Raise the Wage Act, which will raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. To set the record straight, we’re reposting one of our first-ever episodes, from early 2019, that reveals what the research proves (no, raising the minimum wage doesn’t affect employment), and asks why changing public perception around the minimum wage has been so difficult.

Eric Garcetti is the Mayor of LA, where he signed a $15 minimum wage ordinance into law in 2015.

The late Alan Krueger was a leading labor economist best known for his work on the effects of the minimum wage.

How can Democrats win back rural America? (with Bill Hogseth)

Democrats used to win elections in rural areas, but that seems like a distant memory now. This week, Zach is joined by Bill Hogseth, a political organizer from rural Wisconsin, to talk about the difference between making promises and delivering change—and how Democrats can win rural America back again.

Bill Hogseth is a political organizer from rural Wisconsin, where he works for the Wisconsin Farmers Union. He is the former Chair of the Dunn County Democrats.

The case for a True New Deal (with Bharat Ramamurti)

In a recent report, The Roosevelt Institute called for a new set of policies to mitigate the economic suffering caused by the pandemic. Taken all together, these policies are as sweeping as the New Deal was—but unlike the New Deal, they’re truly representative of America’s race, class, and gender diversity. Attorney Bharat Ramamurti, the incoming Deputy Director of the Biden administration’s National Economic Council and a co-author of the report, joins Nick and Jessyn to make the case for a True New Deal.

Bharat Ramamurti is the incoming Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. At the time of our interview, he was the managing director of the Corporate Power Program at the Roosevelt Institute and a member of the COVID-19 Congressional Oversight Commission. He was previously an economic advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren.

How banking deregulation makes you unsafe (with Anat Admati)

No matter what some politicians may claim, there’s actually no such thing as ‘less regulation’ — there are only regulations that favor the powerful, and those that don’t. Stanford economist Anat Admati walks us through the deregulation of the banking industry and explains how she would overhaul financial regulations to make them work well for society, not just for the rich and powerful.

Anat Admati is the George G.C. Parker Professor of Finance and Economics at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, a director of the Corporations and Society Initiative, and a senior fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. She has written extensively on information dissemination in financial markets, portfolio management, financial  contracting, corporate governance, and banking. She is the co-author of ‘The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do About It’.

Tax me more, I’m rich (with Abigail Disney and Chye-Ching Huang)

Trickle-down economics would have you believe that the rich are job creators. For decades we’ve been told that the more money the wealthy have to invest in creating jobs, the better the economy will be for everybody. This lie has had catastrophic effects: the top 0.1% of Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 90% of Americans combined. As debates rage among our leaders over stimulus bills and Americans battle their way through this economic crisis, the case for taxing the wealthy has never been as strong as it is now—so this week we’re re-surfacing this episode, originally published in 2019. Class traitor Abigail Disney and tax expert Chye-Ching Huang make the case for taxing the rich.

Why should we cancel student debt? (with Fenaba Addo)

The CARES Act delayed student loan payments as a form of stimulus, raising an important question: if forgiving student loan debt is good policy and broadly popular with Americans, should we just cancel student debt altogether? University of Wisconsin Madison Associate Professor Fenaba Addo, who researches debt and wealth inequality, helps us explore the merits and shortcomings of student debt cancellation.

Fenaba Addo is the Lorna Jorgensen Wendt Associate Professor of Money, Relationships, and Equality at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her research examines the role of debt and increasing wealth inequality over the past forty years within communities of color and among economically vulnerable populations in the U.S.

Why conventional wisdom is finally pushing for higher wages (with Binyamin Appelbaum)

Six years after the beginning of the Fight for $15 movement, conventional wisdom is finally waking up to economic reality. How do we know? Because the New York Times recently published an editorial titled ‘Let’s Talk About Higher Wages’ calling on the incoming Biden administration to focus on higher wages for everyone. They couldn’t be more right on. Binyamin Appelbaum, the lead writer on business and economics for the Editorial Board, helps us understand the change in consensus on wages.

Binyamin Appelbaum is the lead writer on business and economics for the Editorial Board of The New York Times. From 2010 to 2019, he was a Washington correspondent for the Times, covering economic policy. His book, ‘The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society’ is a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller.

Author Interview: Competition is Killing Us (with Michelle Meagher)

Neoliberal economics says free trade is always good, and its followers try to lower trade barriers without discretion. Freedom is an essential ingredient for successful international trade—but that doesn’t mean all trade should be unregulated. Competition law expert Michelle Meagher joins Goldy to debunk common competition myths and talk about strategies to hold powerful monopolies accountable.

Michelle Meagher is a Senior Policy Fellow at the University College London Centre for Law, Economics, and Society, and co-founder of the Inclusive Competition Forum, a think tank focused on democratizing corporate power and the enforcement of competition law.

Restoring conservative economics (with Oren Cass)

“Conservative economics” in the U.S. has become synonymous with libertarian principles. But that’s not what American conservatism was originally about. Oren Cass, the executive director of a new think tank called American Compass, is on a mission to restore conservative economics to its roots in family, community, and industry—and he joins Nick and Goldy to find common ground.

Oren Cass is the executive director of American Compass, whose mission is to restore an economic orthodoxy that emphasizes the importance of faith, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity. He is the author of ‘The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America’.

What happens when unemployment benefits run out? (with Ioana Marinescu)

Right now, 26.3 million workers are either on unemployment or waiting to be approved for unemployment benefits. But for many of these jobless workers, the clock is running out on their eligibility to receive unemployment — and with no stimulus bill in sight, we could be entering a grim new phase of this recession. What will happen to the economy when unemployment insurance runs out? What will happen to the people who rely on those benefits? Economist Ioana Marinescu helps Nick and Goldy understand what the near-future of unemployment benefits looks like in the U.S.

Ioana Marinescu is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She studies the labor market to craft policies that can enhance employment, productivity, and economic security.

Who is Ron Klain?

In the first major staffing announcement of his incoming administration, President-elect Biden named Ron Klain, Obama’s ebola czar, as his chief of staff. We had a great conversation with Klain back in April, in which he argued that leadership failure and government unpreparedness made the pandemic much worse in the U.S. Now’s a great time to refresh yourself on this episode if you’re wondering how the Biden-Harris administration will respond to the coronavirus and approach wide-spread economic recovery.

The case for a millionaires tax (with Governor Phil Murphy)

This September, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy enacted a budget deal with his legislature that increased state taxes on incomes over $1 million. As the country’s second-richest state, this is a big win for progressive taxation. Governor Murphy explains what the tax revenue will go to, how it won’t hurt businesses or cause wealthy people to leave the state, and why it’s the right thing to do in the midst of a national economic crisis .

Election Day AMA Special (with Cristina Uribe)

When are we going to know the results of this election? What can we do about voter suppression? And are Democrats finally giving up on trickle-down economics? Zach and political strategist Cristina Uribe answer these questions and more as they discuss what this election means for our economy and the health of our democracy.

It’s not too late to vote! If you’re unsure how, go to vote.org. And if you already voted by mail, track your ballot and make sure it was accepted!

The real looting in America (with Robert Reich)

The real looting in America is the looting of the wages and savings of the bottom 90% by the wealthiest 1%. And although it’s not in the news nearly as much as other types of looting recently, our rigged economic system causes far more harm to our society. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich joins Nick and Jessyn to explain who rigged the system, and what it will take to stop the real looting.

To contact your elected leaders about the transfer of $50 trillion over the past 45 years from working Americans to the top 1%, text RAND to 67076 or go to www.civicaction.com/rand.

The pro-business case for reimagining capitalism (with Rebecca Henderson)

Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson tells Nick and Goldy why businesses should reject the idea that the sole purpose of the corporation is to maximize shareholder value, and how businesses can help reform the market system.

Rebecca Henderson is a professor at the Harvard Business School, a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a fellow of both the British Academy and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is an expert on innovation and organizational change, and her research explores the degree to which the private sector can play a major role in building a more sustainable economy.

Author Interview: How to rebuild the middle class (with Jim Tankersley)

Why did the American middle class boom after WWII, and how do we get it booming again? New York Times economics reporter Jim Tankersley joins Paul to lay out the thesis of his new book, ‘The Riches of This Land’—that the economy will thrive when everyone can fully participate in it.

Jim Tankersley covers economic and tax policy for The New York Times. Over more than a decade covering politics and economics in Washington, he has written extensively about the stagnation of the American middle class and the decline of economic opportunity in wide swaths of the country.

The future of health care (with Abdul El-Sayed)

This week, Biden-Sanders unity task force appointee Dr. Abdul El-Sayed walks Nick and Goldy through the Biden transition team’s health care plan.

Abdul El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist. He is the Chair of Southpaw Michigan and a contributor at CNN. He is the author of ‘Healing Politics’ and the co-author of the upcoming ‘Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide’. He also hosts “America Dissected,” a podcast by Crooked Media.

The powerlessness of forced labor (with Suresh Naidu)

This week, labor market economist Suresh Naidu explains how his field attempts to account for the influence of power while studying employee/employer relationships, and unveils the hidden tricks of the coercive labor market.

Suresh Naidu is a professor of economics and international and public affairs at Columbia University as well as a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, and a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Inequality is costing workers $50 trillion (with Carter Price)

Yesterday, a groundbreaking study by the RAND Corporation put the first-ever price tag on how much income inequality costs American workers. The bill? $50 trillion. You read that right: $50 trillion has been diverted from working Americans to the wealthiest 1% since 1975. To make sense of this staggering number, Nick and Goldy are joined by mathematician Carter Price, the study’s co-author.

Redefining rural America (with Olugbenga Ajilore)

Economist Olugbenga Ajilore explains how policymakers should be thinking about rural America (it’s not a monolith), and what interventions we should pursue to provide what he calls a “different kind of help.”

Olugbenga Ajilore is a senior economist at the Center for American Progress. His expertise includes regional economic development, macroeconomic policy, and issues in diversity and inclusion.

Coercion in the workplace (with Elizabeth Anderson)

What would the workplace look like if workers were truly free? Elizabeth Anderson, a leading theorist of democracy and social justice, joins Nick and Goldy for an exploration of the ethical limits of market, theories of value and rational choice, and true freedom.

Elizabeth Anderson is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don’t Talk about It), and a recipient of the 2019 MacArthur Fellowship.

Author Interview: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes (with Zachary Carter)

Neoliberalism arose in the 1970s as a response to the failure of Keynesianism to deal with the effects of stagflation. But what is Keynesianism—and who is John Maynard Keynes? In this author interview, Goldy learns from the Keynes expert, HuffPost senior reporter Zachary Carter, how Keynes’ idea defined American liberalism for much of the 1900s.

Zachary Carter is a senior reporter at HuffPost, where he covers economic policy and American politics. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, ‘The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes’.

A long walk off a short economic cliff (with Trevon Logan)

Recessions are inevitable—but the complete economic catastrophe that we’ve experienced for the last five months was not. Professor Trevon Logan explains where we went wrong, debunks myths about the federal unemployment benefit (no, it doesn’t disincentivize people from returning to work!), and calls on Congress to steer us away from this economic cliff.

Trevon Logan is a Professor of Economics and Associate Dean at Ohio State University, and Director of the American Economic Association Mentoring Program. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He specializes in economic history, economic demography, and applied microeconomics.

You can’t starve your way out of a recession (with Kitty Richards)

We know that state budget cuts and other austerity policies worsened the 2008 recession and led to a prolonged, uneven recovery. With state and local leaders already clamoring to meet the impending revenue shortfall caused by the COVID crisis, what have we learned, and what can we do differently? In this bonus episode, Paul talks to Groundwork Collaborative strategic advisor Kitty Richards about how states can act now to invest in their residents, bolster their economies, and push back against skyrocketing inequality.

Kitty Richards is a freelance policy consultant and strategic advisor to the Groundwork Collaborative. She has previously worked on federal budget and tax policy at several think tanks, including the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for American Progress, and has served as an economic policy staffer on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

Care work is more valuable than ever (with Kate Bahn)

Child care in the U.S. has been in crisis mode for a long time. It’s wildly expensive for families to afford, and difficult for providers to make ends meet. But now, in the age of COVID-19, even the future existence of child care in America is in doubt. Jessyn and Nick tackle the value of care work, the impossibility of finding affordable child care, and the importance of feminist economics with economist Kate Bahn.

Kate Bahn is the director of labor market policy and economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Her areas of research include gender, race, and ethnicity in the labor market, care work, and monopsonistic labor markets. Previously, she was an economist at the Center for American Progress. Bahn also serves as the executive vice president and secretary for the International Association for Feminist Economics.

It’s time to stop relying on crisis legislation (with Lindsay Owens)

In 12 years, we’ve seen two economic crises with devastating long-term impacts. It seems by now we should be prepared to expect the unexpected… but instead, we’re relying on hastily prepared crisis legislation to save our economy. Again. Economist Lindsay Owens proposes an alternative plan: a standing, off-the-shelf program to stabilize the economy in the event of an economic emergency.

Lindsay Owens is a Fellow at the Great Democracy Initiative, where her writing and research centers on a progressive economic agenda for housing, climate, labor, and healthcare. She previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Keith Ellison and as Senior Economic Policy Advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren.

2020 Election AMA (with Cristina Uribe)

It’s less than 100 days until Election Day. What are the chances of political realignment? Is vote-by-mail a panacea? And how can despairing citizens contribute to real change? Civic Ventures President and campaign expert Zach Silk and veteran political strategist Cristina Uribe are joining forces to answer your questions about the 2020 election this week.

Cristina Uribe is a veteran political strategist and manager working at the intersection of advocacy and politics. She has held senior management roles at several organizations, including California Director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC), Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at the National Education Association (NEA), and Western Regional Director at EMILY’s List. She has led campaigns and civic engagement efforts in dozens of states across the country.

BONUS: Nancy MacLean – Unedited Conversation

Enjoy the full conversation with historian Nancy MacLean, with an extra twelve minutes that didn’t make it into this week’s episode.

Nancy MacLean is an award-winning scholar of the twentieth-century U.S. and the William H. Chafe Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. Her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, was a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award, and The Nation magazine named it the “Most Valuable Book” of the year.

How the radical right weaponized ideology (with Nancy MacLean)

If it seems to you like the ultimate goal of the most extreme conservatives is to undermine democracy and cripple democratic institutions—well, according to historian Nancy MacLean, you’re right. This week, MacLean unpacks the meteoric rise in popularity of the radical right’s ideas, and offers a way forward for progressives, based on lessons from successful social movements throughout American history.

Nancy MacLean is an award-winning scholar of the twentieth-century U.S. and the William H. Chafe Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. Her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, was a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award, and The Nation magazine named it the “Most Valuable Book” of the year.

How Econ 101 upholds racist systems (with Joelle Gamble)

The foundational metaphor of neoliberalism is that a rising tide lifts all boats. But, like many other assumptions in economic thought, that idea willfully ignores racism. Economist Joelle Gamble joins Jessyn and Nick to explain that when economists fail to scrutinize theories through the lens of race, they perpetuate racist outcomes. Plus, The Sadie Collective co-founder Fanta Traore describes how the economics field can deliberate measures to address the exclusion of Black economists.

Joelle Gamble is a principal with the reimagining capitalism team at Omidyar Network, where she focuses on topics related to building the power of working people and shaping a new economic paradigm. Joelle writes on topics of race, labor, and technology, and sits on the board of directors of the Roosevelt Institute.

There’s no herd immunity to greed (with Thomas Friedman)

Our global system is fragile because we made decisions that made it that way. Where did we go wrong? This week, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman joins Nick and Goldy to suggest that greed and unfettered globalization are to blame for our vulnerable system, and to discuss what we need to do to get back on track.

Thomas Friedman is a New York Times columnist, the author of six bestselling books, and a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

Debunking deficit myths (with Stephanie Kelton)

Modern Monetary Theory is an attempt to accurately describe how government debt and complex financial systems actually work. MMT can help us responsibly use our resources, and no one is more knowledgeable on the subject than our returning guest this week, Professor Stephanie Kelton. As Congressional debates over the need for a new stimulus package heat up, Kelton explains the myths surrounding MMT and what a new understanding of the budget could do for our economy.

Stephanie Kelton is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Stony Brook University. She is the leading expert on Modern Monetary Theory. Her new book, The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, shows how to break free of flawed deficit thinking.

People are basically good (with Rutger Bregman)

The fundamentals of economic thought are built on the idea that humans are fundamentally self-interested. But, according to historian Rutger Bregman, that’s a misconception — in fact, humans are fundamentally good, and if we want to realistically address our greatest challenges, we need to reconsider our view of our own human nature.

Rutger Bregman is a historian. He has published four books on history, philosophy, and economics, including Utopia for Realists and his latest book, Humankind: A Hopeful History.

Vaccine development needs new incentives (with Tahir Amin)

COVID-19 has exposed the limits of the pharmaceutical market model. This week, patent law expert Tahir Amin joins the show to explain why vaccine development needs new incentives.

Tahir Amin is an attorney dedicated to reshaping patent law to better serve the public. He is the Co-Founder and Co-ED of the Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK), a global nonprofit organization of attorneys, scientists, and health experts working on systemic changes to intellectual property and the political economy of pharmaceutical innovation.

Re-imagining public safety (with King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay)

Budgets are a reflection of our values, and the money we budget for the police is no exception. Our state and local budgets for what we call “safety” are not getting outcomes that reflect our morals. Seattle-area King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay joins Nick and Jessyn to lay out five policies elected officials should be pledging to support right now to re-imagine public safety.

Girmay Zahilay is a member of the King County Council from District 2. He is an attorney, non-profit founder, and organizer.

Podcast Blackout

This week, we are participating in #PodcastBlackout to amplify the seriousness of the need for action to address institutional racism and police violence. After a brief note from Nick, this episode will air 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence. Below, we’ve included organizations that are doing the anti-racist work to reform power structures in this countr we hope that you’ll turn your attention to them.

Why Wall Street gets a bailout and you don’t (with Matt Stoller)

Why are rich corporations getting more stimulus money from the government, and getting it faster, than small businesses and individuals? Matt Stoller returns to the show to explain how recovery funds are distributed: Money isn’t neutral, and how money travels matters.

Matt Stoller is the author of BIG, a newsletter about monopoly and finance, and the Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project. His recent book, ‘Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy’, examines how concentrated financial power and consumerism transformed American politics.

Why the market fails in a crisis (with Joseph Stiglitz)

One of the central theories of classical economics is that markets respond quickly and efficiently to changes in demand. But the pandemic clearly demonstrates that the markets aren’t the efficient adapters that classic economists believe them to be. Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz explains why the tendency to believe in the market is one of the most deeply rooted trickle-down myths, and why government intervention is the best way forward through this economic downturn.

Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel laureate economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. In 2011, Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics, and globalization. His most recent book, People, Power, and Profits, was just released in paperback.

Author Interview: Inside the Secret War on Voting (with Thom Hartmann)

Paul is joined this week by radio host Thom Hartmann to introduce Thom’s most recent book, ‘The Hidden History of the War on Voting: Who Stole Your Vote and How to Get It Back’. In this poignant interview, Thom explains the strategies and tactics that elites have long employed to disenfranchise American citizens and suppress votes.

Thom Hartmann is a progressive national and internationally syndicated talk show host. Talkers magazine named him America’s most important progressive host and has named his show one of the top ten talk radio shows in the country every year for over a decade. A four-time recipient of the Project Censored Award, Hartmann is also a New York Times bestselling author of twenty-six books, translated into multiple languages.

Inequality and coronavirus (with Heather Boushey and Michelle Holder)

The burdens of this pandemic are not borne equally. Economists Heather Boushey and Michelle Holder join the show this week to expose how the coronavirus is exacerbating the already-deep inequalities in our society.

Heather Boushey is the President & CEO and co-founder of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. She is one of the nation’s most influential voices on economic policy and a leading economist who focuses on the intersection between economic inequality, growth, and public policy. Her latest book is Unbound: How Economic Inequality Constricts Our Economy and What We Can Do About It.

Michelle Holder is an Assistant Professor of Economics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Prior to joining the John Jay faculty, she worked as an economist for over a decade in both the non-profit and government sectors, including as senior labor market analyst at an 160-year-old nonprofit antipoverty organization where she wrote about labor force and poverty trends in New York City, and as an economist at the Office of the State deputy Comptroller for NYC where she monitored and wrote about trends in the low-wage labor force.

Austerity will make this recession worse (with Mike Konczal)

When revenues and expenses don’t add up in times of crisis, governments often turn to budget cuts and other austerity measures to balance their accounts. But economists widely agree that the most valuable lesson from the Great Recession is that austerity made the recession worse and slowed down recovery. Mike Konczal joins the show this week to explain why, in a recession, stimulus is particularly powerful and austerity is particularly harmful.

Mike Konczal is the Director of Progressive Thought at the Roosevelt Institute, where he works on financial reform, unemployment, inequality, and a progressive vision of the economy. He is a columnist at Vox, a contributor to The Nation, and a contributing editor at Dissent.

Labor regulations in the gaming industry (with Jennifer Hale)

Prolific voice actor Jennifer Hale joins Paul and Stephen to discuss her work in two very different fields: the video game industry, which largely isn’t unionized, and the animated film industry, which enjoys strong union protections.

Jennifer Hale is a voice actress known for her work in video game series including Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect, Halo, World of Warcraft, Spider Man, and many more. In 2013, she was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female video game voice actor.

Leadership failure made the U.S. pandemic worse (with Ronald Klain)

Pathogens are inevitable—but the scale of disaster accompanying this pandemic was not. Ronald Klain, President Obama’s Ebola czar, joins Nick and Goldy to discuss why the extent of economic collapse and deaths we’ve seen from COVID-19 is borne of government unpreparedness and leadership failure, not fate. nnRonald Klain is a lawyer who served as the White House Ebola response coordinator for President Obama. He has held a wide variety of legal and policy positions in government, including his service as chief of staff to VPs Biden and Gore, chief of staff to the attorney general, associate counsel to the president, and chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is currently an advisor to the Biden 2020 campaign.nnTwitter: @RonaldKlainnnFurther reading: nConfronting the Pandemic Threat: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/40/confronting-the-pandemic-threat/nWe’re past ‘if’ on the coronavirus. We’re on to ‘how bad will it be?’: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-coronavirus-has-landed-in-the-us-heres-how-we-can-reduce-the-risk/2020/01/22/afebe9ee-3d53-11ea-baca-eb7ace0a3455_story.htmlnTrump says US has coronavirus ‘completely under control’ as Washington state confirms first case outside of Asia: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-coronavirus-china-wuhan-disease-outbreak-airport-screening-travel-a9296926.htmlnObama’s ebola czar on what strong federal response looks like: https://www.wired.com/story/ebola-czar-ron-klain-federal-coronavirus-response/nThe huge cost of waiting to contain the pandemic: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/opinion/covid-social-distancing.htmlnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauernLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

What’s happening in professional sports right now? (A curiosity break with Andrew Brandt)

What does the future of American sports look like? Okay, okay—we know this is out of our wheelhouse. But this week, we’re examining how the global pandemic has affected one very specific corner of the economy: professional sports leagues. Expert Andrew Brandt lays out the scale of losses due to cancellations in an industry that generates $80 billion a year just in direct revenue for North American leagues—plus several hundreds of billions more in indirect revenue for ancillary businesses (like the folks who staff the arenas). nnAndrew Brandt is Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law at Villanova Law School. A contributor to ESPN and Sports Illustrated, he is also the host of the ‘Business of Sports’ podcast. nnTwitter: @AndrewBrandtnnClips from CBS Evening News, NBC Sports, and ABC News.nnFurther reading:nThe Coronavirus’s Economic Effect On Sports Could Be Staggering: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-coronaviruss-economic-effect-on-sports-could-be-staggering/nnNearly 75% of Americans Wouldn’t Attend Games If No COVID-19 Vaccine Is Developed, Poll Says: https://www.si.com/sports-illustrated/2020/04/09/poll-sports-coronavirus-returnnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauernLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

What’s changed since the 1918 pandemic? (A history lesson with Nancy Bristow)

How does our response to the coronavirus pandemic compare to our response 100 years ago, when what is commonly known as the “Spanish Flu” swept through America? Historian Nancy Bristow helps Annie understand the lessons American society learned from the 1918 influenza epidemic, and what we haven’t yet gotten right. nnNancy Bristow is the History Department Chair at the University of Puget Sound, where she teaches twentieth-century American history with an emphasis on race, gender, and social change. She is the author of ‘American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic’. nnTwitter: @univpugetsoundn@NancyKBristownnFurther reading: nAmerican Pandemic on Bookshop.org, an independent site that’s raising money for independent bookstores that are closed during the pandemic: https://bookshop.org/books/american-pandemic-the-lost-worlds-of-the-1918-influenza-epidemic/9780190238551nnOr on IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780190238551nnCities that went all in on social distancing in 1918 emerged stronger for it: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/03/upshot/coronavirus-cities-social-distancing-better-employment.htmlnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauernLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Understanding the CARES Act (with Heidi Shierholz)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) is big—but not big enough to protect working people. Economist Heidi Shierholz joins the show to explain where CARES falls short, and to recommend the safeguards we need to include in future bailout packages.nHeidi Shierholz is a Senior Economist and Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute. Her team monitors wage and employment policies coming out of Congress and the administration, and advances a worker-first policy agenda. nTwitter: @hshierholzn@EconomicPolicyn(News clip from FOX 17 VXMI)nnFurther reading: nDespite some good provisions, the CARES Act has glaring flaws and falls short of fully protecting workers during the coronavirus crisis: https://www.epi.org/blog/despite-some-good-provisions-the-cares-act-has-glaring-flaws-and-falls-short-of-fully-protecting-workers-during-the-coronavirus-crisis/nnA widening toll on jobs: ‘This thing is going to come for us all’: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/business/economy/coronavirus-unemployment-claims.htmlnnDoes the stimulus package pass the test? https://civicskunk.works/does-the-stimulus-package-pass-the-test-a070bf4922dcnn3.5 million workers likely lost their employer-provided health insurance in the past two weeks: https://www.epi.org/blog/3-5-million-workers-likely-lost-their-employer-provided-health-insurance-in-the-past-two-weeks/nnNearly 20 million workers will likely be laid off or furloughed by July: https://www.epi.org/blog/nearly-20-million-jobs-lost-by-july-due-to-the-coronavirus/nnThe CARES Act’s aid to state and local governments isn’t enough to shield vital public services from the coronavirus shock: https://www.epi.org/blog/the-cares-acts-aid-to-state-and-local-governments-isnt-enough-to-shield-vital-public-services-from-the-coronavirus-shock-lessons-from-the-great-recession-tell-us-why/nnStates get billions in record stimulus – but say it’s not enough: https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/03/26/states-get-billions-in-record-stimulus-but-say-its-not-enough-1269230nnHere are safeguards needed in bailout packages to protect working people and fight corporate greed: https://www.epi.org/blog/any-industry-bailout-package-must-include-meaningful-protections-for-working-people-and-guardrails-against-corporate-greed/nnA portrait of disaster: https://www.epi.org/press/a-portrait-of-disaster-initial-ui-claims-jump-from-211000-to-6-6-million-in-three-weeks/nnPolicymakers twice missed the chance to avert widespread job loss, now they should act to avoid more layoffs: https://www.epi.org/blog/policymakers-twice-missed-the-chance-to-avert-widespread-job-loss-now-they-should-act-to-avoid-more-layoffs/nnCongress “CARES” for wealthy with COVID-19 tax policy provisions: https://itep.org/congress-cares-for-wealthy-with-covid-19-tax-policy-provisions/nnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauernLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

AMA: COVID-19 and the Economy

How bad will this recession be? Why is Congress bailing out big corporations that had record profits last year? What would happen if stock buybacks were permanently eliminated? This week, Nick and Goldy answer your questions about the economy in the time of COVID-19. nnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauernLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Killing zombie ideas (with Paul Krugman)

In his latest book, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argues that economics has been eaten from within by bad assumptions he calls “zombie ideas.” You’ve encountered these zombies before: the idea that cutting taxes creates growth, or that providing healthcare for an entire country is too expensive. This week, Krugman joins Nick and Goldy in the fight to win economic models back from the neoclassical undead.nPaul Krugman is a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade theory. He is the author or editor of 23 books, including the recently published Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future.nTwitter: @paulkrugmannArguing with Zombies: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/625526/arguing-with-zombies-by-paul-krugman/9781324005018nWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Disaster Economics

As the world shelters in place from the coronavirus pandemic, an economic crisis is growing. This week, Nick and Goldy pull the curtain back on why trickle-down has made us extra vulnerable to disasters like COVID-19. Our focus always, but especially now, should be on building a more resilient and inclusive economy that can actively protect people from ruin and tragedy. The only limit to our ability to address this crisis is our imagination and our willingness to act. nnFurther reading: nHurricanes hit the poor the hardest: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2017/09/18/hurricanes-hit-the-poor-the-hardest/nnInsult to Injury: Natural Disasters and Residents’ Financial Health: https://www.urban.org/research/publication/insult-injury-natural-disasters-and-residents-financial-healthnnHow natural disasters can increase inequality: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/making-sense/how-natural-disasters-can-increase-inequalitynnPoverty and Death: Disaster and Mortality 1996-2015: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/poverty-death-disaster-and-mortality-1996-2015nnPoll: Nearly 1 in 5 Households Have Lost Work Because of Pandemic: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/817158521/poll-nearly-1-in-5-households-have-lost-work-because-of-pandemicnnMnuchin warns senators of 20% US unemployment without coronavirus rescue, source says: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/18/mnuchin-warns-senators-of-20percent-us-unemployment-without-coronavirus-rescue-source-says.htmlnnCoronavirus shock will likely claim 3 million jobs by summer: https://www.epi.org/blog/coronavirus-shock-will-likely-claim-3-million-jobs-by-summer/nnNews clips from CBS News and ABC NewsnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

The federal budget is a theory of growth (with Bob Greenstein)

A budget is a moral document that reflects what we value and prioritize. But to most people, the budget-making process is convoluted and confusing. Budget expert Bob Greenstein joins Nick and Jasmin this week to explain how a budget is made, and how these mind-bogglingly huge numbers impact everyday life. nnBob Greenstein is the Founder and President of the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute that analyzes federal budget priorities. Greenstein is considered an expert on the federal budget and a range of domestic policy issues, including anti-poverty programs and various aspects of tax and health care policy. nnTwitter: @GreensteinCBPPn@CenterOnBudgetnnFurther reading: nTrump’s budget will wreak havoc on the American economy: https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/20/perspectives/trump-budget-economy/index.htmlnn2021 Trump Budget Would Increase Hardship and Inequality: https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/2021-trump-budget-would-increase-hardship-and-inequalitynnNews clips from PBS NewsHour and Bloomberg Politics. nnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Welcome to the golden age of white collar crime (with Michael Hobbes)

Why is right now the easiest time in modern history for the wealthy to get away with whatever they want? HuffPost reporter and fellow Seattleite Michael Hobbes joins Zach in the studio for a deep dive into his most recent article about white collar crime. nnMichael Hobbes covers the new economy for HuffPost and is the co-host of the podcast “You’re Wrong About”.  nTwitter: @RottenInDenmarkn@HuffPostnnFurther reading: nThe Golden Age of White Collar Crime: https://www.huffpost.com/highline/article/white-collar-crime/nnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

The emerging economic problems of the next decade (with futurist Kevin Kelly)

Pretend every economic problem we’ve ever discussed on this podcast has magically been solved. What’s next? What are the economic problems that we’ll face a decade from now? This week, Nick and Goldy are joined by futurist Kevin Kelly for a conversation based on a voicemail left by Pitchfork Economics listener Cody from Florida. Thanks, Cody!nnYou can call and leave us a voicemail, too—in fact, we would love it if you did! Our number is (731) 388-9334. nnKevin Kelly is Senior Maverick and co-founder at Wired. He has written for The New York Times, The Economist, Science, Time, and The Wall Street Journal among many other publications. His most recent book, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, is a New York Times Bestseller. nnTwitter: @kevin2kellynnFurther reading: nnThe Inevitable: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780525428084nnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

From generosity to justice (with Darren Walker)

You can’t talk about philanthropy without mentioning Darren Walker. As the president of the Ford Foundation, Walker has been charged with reimagining one of the largest philanthropic endowments in the world. This week he joins Nick and Jessyn in a conversation about transforming philanthropy to meet the challenges of structural inequality.nnDarren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation. He chaired the philanthropy committee that brought a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy and is co-founder and chair of the US Impact Investing Alliance. Before joining Ford, Darren was vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation. nnTwitter: @darrenwalker n@FordFoundationnnFurther reading: nnFrom Generosity to Justice: https://www.fordfoundation.org/ideas/ford-forum/the-future-of-philanthropy/from-generosity-to-justice/nnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Paul’s Book Review: Democracy in Chains

Democracy in Chains is required reading around the Civic Ventures office, and Paul is happy to explain why it’s earned must-read status. Listen, be convinced, go read! nnDemocracy in Chains: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781101980965nnPaul’s twitter: @paulconstantnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Debunking economics (with Steve Keen)

We’re continuing the conversation about reimagining capitalism this week with Professor Steve Keen, one of the biggest names in alternative economics. What would society look like if we stopped believing in long-held economic fictions like meritocracy and the equilibrium system? nnSteve Keen has spent his career working to develop an alternative, realistic economics. He is the author of Debunking Economics and the designer of Minsky, an open source dynamic modelling program that makes it possible for anyone to build and understand monetary models of the economy. He was one of the first economists to correctly predict the 2008 financial crisis and its causes. nnTwitter: @ProfSteveKeennnSteve Keen’s work is funded through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ProfSteveKeennnnMake sure you check out Majority.FM’s AM Quickie, the morning news podcast for progressives in the know: amquickie.comnnnFurther reading: nnDebunking Economics: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10303367-debunking-economics—revised-and-expanded-editionnnMinsky download: https://sourceforge.net/projects/minsky/nnInequality, Debt, and Credit Stagnation: https://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2016/07/05/inequality-debt-and-credit-stagnation/nnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

BONUS: Class warfare in Finland (a history lesson with Tuomas Tepora)

On Tuesday’s episode, Anu Partanen mentioned the Finnish civil war, which divided the country between elite land-owners and the working class. That’s right up our pitchforks alley – so we called an expert, Finnish professor Tuomas Tepora, for a history lesson. nnTuomas Tepora is a lecturer in history at the University of Helsinki. His research deals with a wide variety of topics related to the cultural history of war and the history of emotions. nnTwitter: @TTeporannWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Re-imagining capitalism (with Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson)

Contrary to popular belief, Nordic countries aren’t actually socialist! No, friends, the Nords are capitalists—but they pull it off much better than we do. To help re-imagine American capitalism, writers Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson join us this week all the way from Finland. nnAnu Partanen is a journalist and the author of The Nordic Theory of Everything. The book debunks some of the most common myths about Nordic societies and discusses what the United States might be able to borrow from aspects of Nordic success in the twenty-first century. She has written for The New York Times and The Atlantic.nnTwitter: @anupartanennnTrevor Corson is an award-winning author and editor. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and many more. nnTwitter: @TrevorCorsonnnFurther reading: nnThe Nordic Theory of Everything: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062316547nnFinland Is a Capitalist Paradise: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/07/opinion/sunday/finland-socialism-capitalism.htmlnnWhat Americans Don’t Get About Nordic Countries: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/bernie-sanders-nordic-countries/473385/nnCapitalism Redefined: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/31/capitalism-redefined/nnSafe, happy and free: does Finland have all the answers? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/12/safe-happy-and-free-does-finland-have-all-the-answersnnMake sure you check out Majority.FM’s AM Quickie, the morning news podcast for progressives in the know: amquickie.comnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Voicemails with Goldy

Goldy’s in the studio today answering your questions! Up for debate this time: What’s the line between needing to budget more and just not making enough money? Will raising the minimum wage hurt small, rural businesses? And how is public opinion about the difference between worker and CEO pay changing? nnFind Goldy on Twitter: @GoldyHAnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

The hidden costs of banking while poor (with Mehrsa Baradaran and Cate Blackford)

The average family earning $25,000 a year in the U.S. spends about $2,400 on financial transactions. Whether it’s the astronomical interest rates of a payday loan or the costs that come with being unbanked, the extractive practices of the financial services industry are effectively keeping the poor in poverty. Lawyer and author Mehrsa Baradaran and economic mobility expert Cate Blackford join Nick and Steph this week to explain why banking while poor is so expensive, and what states can do to rein in the people who profit from it. nnMehrsa Baradaran is a professor of law at UC Irvine. She writes about banking law, financial inclusion, inequality, and the racial wealth gap. Her scholarship includes the books How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap. nnTwitter: @MehrsaBaradarannnCate Blackford is the Director of Outreach and Donor Development at the Bell Policy Center, where she leads the Financial Equity Coalition to eradicate systemic discrimination and hold financial predators accountable. She was the Co-Chair of the 2018 Proposition 111 campaign in CO to limit the interest lenders could charge on payday loans and eliminate fees from payday lending products, which passed with 75% of the vote. nnTwitter: @catetiller @BellPolicynnFurther reading: nnHow the Other Half Banks: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674983960nnThe Color of Money: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674237476nnIf the U.S. Government Treated Poor People as Well as It Treats Banks: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/if-the-us-government-treated-poor-people-as-well-as-it-treats-banks/410614/nnCO’s Prop 111 explained: https://coloradosun.com/2018/10/22/proposition-111-colorado-2018-explained/nnBriefed by the Bell – Predatory Economy: https://www.bellpolicy.org/2018/09/10/predatory-economy/nnHow Do Payday Loans Work? https://www.incharge.org/debt-relief/how-payday-loans-work/nnMake sure you check out Majority.FM’s AM Quickie, the morning news podcast for progressives in the know: amquickie.comnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

How neoliberalism captured Democrats (with James Kwak)

Democrats used to be known as the party of the working people—so how did they get so off track? Who took over the party, and why? Author and professor James Kwak joins Nick and Paul in a blistering analysis of the decline of the Democratic Party, and explains how we can get it back on track. nnNews clips credit: C-SPAN, ProfGP, CNN nnJames Kwak is a professor at the UConn School of Law and the chair of the board of the Southern Center for Human Rights. He is the author or co-author of 13 Bankers, White House Burning, and Economism. His latest book, Take Back Our Party: Restoring the Democratic Legacy, is available for free online at The American Prospect.nnTwitter: @jamesykwaknnRead Take Back Our Party on The American Prospect: nnIntroduction – Restoring the Democratic Legacy: https://prospect.org/politics/take-back-our-party-restoring-the-democratic-legacy/ nnChapter 1 – Their Democratic Party: https://prospect.org/takebackourparty/chapter-1-their-democratic-party/nnChapter 2 – Bad Policy: https://prospect.org/takebackourparty/chapter-2-bad-policy/nnChapter 3 – Bad Politics: https://prospect.org/takebackourparty/chapter-3-bad-politics/ nnChapter 4 – Our Democratic Party: nhttps://prospect.org/takebackourparty/chapter-4-our-democratic-party/

Paul’s Book Review: Neighborhood Defenders

You’re probably aware of the term ‘NIMBY’, which refers to the folks who show up at their neighborhood meetings to fight development. The ‘Not In My Backyard’ argument is pervasive in urban and rural areas alike, and it’s notorious for impeding much-needed housing reform. This week, Paul recommends ‘Neighborhood Defenders: Participatory Politics and America’s Housing Crisis’, a book that dives into the NIMBY mind and explains the connections between these neighborhood defenders and America’s growing housing crisis. nnPaul’s twitter: @paulconstantnnNeighborhood Defenders: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/neighborhood-defenders/0677F4F75667B490CBC7A98396DD527AnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Corporate parasites: how taxpayers subsidize profits (with Rana Foroohar and David Dayen)

Every company you can think of has benefitted from a public investment. Whether it’s direct handouts through the tax code, government research efforts, or employee reliance on programs like EITC or TANF, taxpayers are subsidizing wildly profitable companies. nDavid Dayen, the executive editor of The American Prospect, and Financial Times associate editor Rana Foroohar join Nick and Zach to explain how we let corporate parasites get so out of control—and what we can do about it. nnNews clips credit: CNBC, KING 5, NPR, Democracy Now!nnRana Foroohar is Global Business Columnist and an Associate Editor at the Financial Times. She is also CNN’s global economic analyst. She is the author of Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business and Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles and All of Us.nnTwitter: @RanaForoohar / @FT / @CNNnnDavid Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. His work has appeared in The Intercept, The New Republic, HuffPost, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and more. His is the author of Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud. nnTwitter: @ddayen / @theprospectnnFurther reading: nnConfronting the parasite economy: https://prospect.org/labor/confronting-parasite-economy/nnMakers and Takers: https://www.ranaforoohar.com/makersandtakersnnHow to Cure Corporate America’s Selfishness: https://newrepublic.com/article/150695/cure-corporate-americas-selfishnessnnWebsite: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Naomi Klein – Unedited Interview

This fall, Naomi Klein joined the show to warn that economic orthodoxy may be the downfall of significant efforts against climate change like the Green New Deal and other big, sweeping reforms we need to combat it. Enjoy our full, unedited conversation with her. nnNaomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. She is Senior Correspondent for The Intercept, a Puffin Writing Fellow at Type Media Center, and the inaugural Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. Her most recent book, ‘On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal’, published worldwide in September, was an instant New York Times bestseller and a #1 Canadian bestseller. nnTwitter: @NaomiAKleinnnOur website: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

How big pharma keeps drug prices high (with Priti Krishtel and John Arnold)

The American pharmaceutical industry is rigged to make a handful people fabulously wealthy while everyone else gets screwed over. Because of intricate patent laws, we pay double what people in 29 other rich countries pay. Experts and change-makers Priti Krishtel and John Arnold join Nick and Jasmin to explain how we got into this mess (Monopolies! Patent law!), and what we can do about it. nnPriti Krishtel is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of I-MAK, a global organization that works to increase access to lifesaving medicine. A 15-year veteran of the global access to medicines movement, she helped lead the movement to a pivotal moment in treatment access history with the passage of a health-friendly patent law. nnTwitter: @pritikrishteln@IMAKglobalnnJohn Arnold is a former hedge fund manager who, with his wife Laura, now focuses on advocacy through their organization Arnold Ventures. Arnold Ventures has distributed more than $175 million in grants to over 80 healthcare nonprofit organizations, universities, and institutes with the ultimate goal to lower healthcare spending without compromising quality. nnTwitter: @JohnArnoldFndtnnnFurther reading: nnIt’s Time for Pharmaceutical Companies to Have Their Tobacco Moment: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/24/opinion/drug-prices-congress.htmlnnA Humira Prescription Costs $38,000 A Year Because Our Patent System Is Being Abused: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/opinion-humira-costs-patents_n_5bd0c893e4b0a8f17ef3961fnnHow Big Pharma Reaps Profits While Hurting Everyday Americans: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/reports/2019/08/30/473911/big-pharma-reaps-profits-hurting-everyday-americans/nnComprehensive Reform to Lower Prescription Drug Prices: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2019/01/29/465621/comprehensive-reform-lower-prescription-drug-prices/nnA Supreme Court victory for lowering drug prices: https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/385326-why-scotus-ruling-in-oil-states-v-greenes-energy-group-is-a-win-for-workingnnHow a billionaire couple greased the skids for Nancy Pelosi’s drug pricing bill: https://www.statnews.com/2019/11/26/laura-john-arnold-billionaire-greased-the-skids-for-drug-pricing-bill/nnBillionaire Philanthropist John Arnold On Drug Prices: Congress Needs to Act: https://www.forbes.com/sites/denizcam/2018/11/29/billionaire-philanthropist-john-arnold-on-drug-prices-the-congress-needs-to-act/#b6097ee57a25nnMillions in U.S. Lost Someone Who Couldn’t Afford Treatment: https://news.gallup.com/poll/268094/millions-lost-someone-couldn-afford-treatment.aspxnnOur website: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Ask Nick Anything (Part 1)

Nick and Goldy are back to answer more of your voicemails! They’re tackling questions about housing, what our economic theory is actually called, portable benefits for gig economy workers, and more. Enjoy, and happy new year!nnResources: nhttps://www.core-econ.org/nnTED Talk reading list: https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_the_dirty_secret_of_capitalism_and_a_new_way_forward/reading-list?language=ennnTED Talk references: https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_the_dirty_secret_of_capitalism_and_a_new_way_forward/footnotes?language=ennnOur website: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Paul’s Book Review: Weapons of Math Destruction

Our resident book nerd Paul Constant is back with another book recommendation. This week, it’s ‘Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.” Check it out for a greater understanding of how our biases shape the seemingly impartial numbers we use to measure the world. nnPaul’s twitter: @paulconstantnnWeapons of Math Destruction: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780553418811nnOur website: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

What’s the trick in trickle-down? (with Yuval Noah Harari and Molly Crockett)

What is the “trick” in “trickle down” economics? It’s how wealthy elites and their neoliberal lackeys convince you that what’s good for them (tax cuts, deregulation, etc.) is good for you… and that policies like the minimum wage, overtime, and paid sick leave will ruin the economy. Economics is a story we tell ourselves to help explain who gets what, and why. In this episode, which we’re re-issuing for the holidays because it’s just so dang good, we explore how to tell a better story.nnYuval Noah Harari is the author of international bestsellers: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. He is a professor in the Department of History at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. nnTwitter: @yuvalhararinFacebook: @Prof.Yuval.Noah.HararinInstagram: @yuval_noah_hararinnMolly Crockett is the director of the Crockett Lab and an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University. She is also a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics.nnTwitter: @mollycrockettnnFurther reading:nA threat, not a theory: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/41/a-threat-not-a-theory/nnTo my fellow plutocrats: you can cure Trumpism: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/18/to-my-fellow-plutocrats-you-can-cure-trumpism-215347nnOur website: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

The pitchforks are here (with Cesar Hidalgo)

In nations around the world, people are protesting economic inequality and taking to the streets in political frustration. We said it here first: The pitchforks are coming. This week, Cesar Hidalgo joins Nick and Paul to discuss the unrest in Chile and explain how his political organizing app is helping protestors prioritize the policies they want government to address. nnThe texture piece is courtesy of Gustavo de la Piedra, a listener from Santiago, Chile. The news clips are sourced from the news station France 24.nnCesar Hidalgo is a Chilean-Spanish physicist, author, and entrepreneur. He currently holds an ANITI (Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute) Chair at the University of Toulouse, an Honorary Professorship at the University of Manchester, and a Visiting Professorship at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. From 2010 to 2019, Hidalgo led MIT’s Collective Learning group. He is known for the creation of the field of Economic Complexity, which uses disaggregate data and network methods to explain and predict economic development dynamics, for his work on the creation of data visualization and distribution systems, and for advancing ideas on the use of Artificial Intelligence in democracy. nnTwitter: @cesifotinnFurther reading: nnThe pitchforks are coming… for us plutocrats: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014nn‘Chile Woke Up’: Dictatorship’s Legacy of Inequality Triggers Mass Protests: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/03/world/americas/chile-protests.htmlnnGlobal protests share themes of economic anger and political hopelessness: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/10/25/global-wave-protests-share-themes-economic-anger-political-hopelessness/nnChile announces $5.5 billion economic recovery plan as protests bite: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/03/chile-announces-5point5-billion-economic-recovery-plan.html

Does media have an economics problem? (with Charles Mudede)

Earlier this week, we examined whether journalists live up to their responsibility to discuss economic issues fairly and intelligently. Here, we continue that conversation with Charles Mudede, a local economics reporter here in Seattle. Charles joins Paul to examine the ways that media has let economics down, as well as the deep economic implications of films like Alien and Pretty in Pink. nnCharles Mudede writes about film, books, music, and his life in Rhodesia, Zimbabwe, the USA, and the UK for The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative biweekly newspaper. He is also a filmmaker. nnTwitter: @mudedennFurther reading: nnA Note on the Movie ‘Alien’ and Self-Checkout Machines: https://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/02/13/21707530/the-future-of-work-in-the-21st-century-self-checkout-in-a-no-service-economynnPiketty Gives Good Economics: https://www.thestranger.com/seattle/piketty-gives-good-economics/Content?oid=19281392nnAnd viewing: nnCharles Mudede, “Adventures with Thomas Piketty”: https://vimeo.com/channels/smokefarmsymposium/108752151nnOur website: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

Does economics have a media problem? (with Matt Gertz)

Most people understand the economy through the news—how it’s doing, what the new laws are, and what experts predict for the future. For better or for worse, that means journalists largely dictate our common knowledge of economics issues. What’s the media’s responsibility as they cover the economy? Media Matters senior fellow Matt Gertz joins Steph and Paul to ponder the question: does economics have a media problem?nnMatt Gertz is a senior fellow at Media Matters, a progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Matt’s work focuses on the relationship between Fox News and the Trump administration, news coverage of politics and elections, and media ethics. His writing on the Trump-Fox feedback loop has appeared in The Daily Beast, HuffPost, and Politico Magazine, and he has discussed his analysis on MSNBC, NPR, and Comedy Central.nnTwitter: @MattGertznnFurther reading: nnMedia Matters website: https://www.mediamatters.org/nWho Fact-Checks the Fact-Checkers? https://civicskunk.works/who-fact-checks-the-fact-checkers-da45dc63e00cnnHow local ‘fake news’ websites spread ‘conservative propaganda’ in the US: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/19/locality-labs-fake-news-local-sites-newspapersnnStudy: Major media outlets show improvement at debunking Trump misinformation on Twitter: https://www.mediamatters.org/donald-trump/study-major-media-outlets-show-improvement-debunking-trump-misinformation-twitternnOur website: https://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer

How monopolies feed plutocracy (with Matt Stoller)

In his new book ‘Goliath’, author Matt Stoller explains how the 2016 election heralded the return of authoritarianism and populism to American politics, due largely to concentrated financial power and rampant consumerism. This week, Matt joins Nick and Goldy for a conversation about creating a new democracy. nnMatt Stoller is the author of ‘Goliath: The Hundred-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy’ and a fellow at the Open Markets Institute. He is a former policy advisor to the Senate Budget Committee, and also worked for a member of the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives during the financial crisis. nnTwitter: @matthewstollernnFurther reading:nnGoliath: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Goliath/Matt-Stoller/9781501183089nnHow Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/10/how-democrats-killed-their-populist-soul/504710/nnTech Companies Are Destroying Democracy and the Free Press: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opinion/tech-monopoly-democracy-journalism.htmlnnBoeing’s travails show what’s wrong with modern capitalism: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/11/boeing-capitalism-deregulation

BONUS: George Monbiot – Unedited Conversation

George Monbiot joined us on our ‘How neoliberalism happened’ episode last month. Enjoy our full, unedited conversation with him!nnGeorge Monbiot writes a weekly column for The Guardian and is the author of a number of books, most recently ‘Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis’. As an investigative journalist and self-described “professional troublemaker,” George uncovers the complicated truths behind the world’s most persistent problems. nnTwitter: @GeorgeMonbiot

How to make the rich pay their taxes (with Gabriel Zucman)

Tax rates on the wealthy have steadily eroded in the United States over the last forty years, leaving us with an upside-down tax code that benefits the rich. And it’s surprisingly easy for powerful people to evade the taxes that they do owe, which inevitably inspires another round of harsh budget cuts from conservative lawmakers. Gabriel Zucman, the authority on wealth taxes, joins us this week to explain how the rich dodge taxes, and how we can fix the tax system. nnGabriel Zucman is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the accumulation, distribution, and preservation of wealth, with a global and historical perspective. He is the author of ‘The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens’, and the co-author, with Emmanuel Saez, of the new book ‘The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay’.  nnTwitter: @gabriel_zucmannnFurther reading:nnThe Triumph of Injustice: https://wwnorton.com/books/the-triumph-of-injusticennThe Wealth Detective Who Finds the Hidden Money of the Super Rich: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-05-23/the-wealth-detective-who-finds-the-hidden-money-of-the-super-rich

Economic woman (with Katrine Marçal, Lisa D. Cook, and Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman)

We’ve heard all about economic man, but what happened to economic woman? Women are noticeably absent in theoretical economic models and—perhaps not so coincidentally—they’re also massively underrepresented in the field of economics itself. This week, we’re joined by journalist Katrine Marçal and economists Dr. Lisa Cook and Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman in an examination of why women are excluded from economics, and what we can do about it. nnKatrine Marçal is a journalist for Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s most prestigious daily newspaper. Her book Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? was shortlisted for the August Prize in 2012 and has been translated into 19 languages.nnTwitter: @katrinemarcalnnDr. Lisa D. Cook is an Associate Professor of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University. Among her current research interests are economic growth and development, financial institutions and markets, innovation, and economic history. As a Senior Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers during the 2011-2012 academic year, Dr. Cook worked on the euro zone, financial instruments, innovation, and entrepreneurship. nnTwitter: @drlisadcooknnAnna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is a Research Scholar in Economics at Harvard University working at the Blair Economics Lab, a Visiting Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a pre-doctoral trainee of the NYU/Schmidt Futures Program. She is the co-founder and CEO of The Sadie Collective, a group that supports greater representation of black women in economics and related fields. nnTwitter: @itsafronomicsnnFurther reading: nnWho Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781681771427nnOpinion: It Was a Mistake for Me to Choose This Field: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/opinion/economics-black-women.htmlnnThe Sadie Collective: https://www.sadiecollective.org/our-mission.htmlnnWhy are there so few women economists? https://review.chicagobooth.edu/economics/2019/article/why-are-there-so-few-women-economistsnnWomen’s Economic Agenda: https://www.epi.org/womens-agenda/

Is economic orthodoxy evolving? (with Luigi Zingales)

‘Chicago School’ is a descriptor often used to signify conventional economic thinking. This week, our friend Luigi Zingales, a finance professor at the Chicago Booth School of Business, joins Nick and Goldy to find out where they agree—and where they disagree. They discuss wealth taxes, health care, student loan forgiveness, shareholder value maximization, the Green New Deal, and more. nnLuigi Zingales is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the Director of the Stigler Center at the Chicago Booth School of Business. He is the author of two books: ‘Saving Capitalism from Capitalists’, with Raghuram G. Rajan, and ‘A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity’. Luigi is also the co-host of the podcast ‘Capitalisn’t’. nnTwitter: @zingales @zingales_itnnA Capitalism for the People: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780465085958

Can we hold big corporations to higher standards? (with Mayor Dave Bieter and E.J. Dionne)

Nick pitches a big idea to the mayor of Boise and political commentator E. J. Dionne: a suite of progressive labor standards that would hold large employers to higher standards nationwide. Is this the way to bring progressive, inclusive economic growth to rural America?nnDave Bieter is the Mayor of Boise, Idaho. Now serving his fourth term, he is the longest serving Mayor in Boise’s history. nnTwitter: @MayorBieternnE. J. Dionne writes about politics in a twice-weekly column for The Washington Post. He is also a government professor at Georgetown University, a visiting professor at Harvard University, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and a frequent commentator on politics for NPR and MSNBC. He is a New York Times bestselling author, and his newest book ‘Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country’ is out next year. nnTwitter: @EJDionnennFurther reading: nnProgressive Labor Standards: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/51/progressive-labor-standards/

Tax me more, I’m rich (with Abigail Disney and Chye-Ching Huang)

Trickle-down economics would have you believe that the rich are job creators—the more money they have to invest in creating jobs, the better the economy is for everybody. This lie has had catastrophic effects: the top 0.1% of Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 90% of Americans combined. Class traitor Abigail Disney and tax expert Chye-Ching Huang are on this week to make the case for taxing the rich. nnAbigail Disney is a documentary filmmaker, philanthropist, and social activist. She is the granddaughter of Roy Disney, the co-founder of the Walt Disney Company.nnTwitter: @abigaildisneynnChye-Ching Huang is the Director of Federal Fiscal Policy at the Center on Budget Policy Priorities, where she focuses on the fiscal and economic effects of federal tax and budget policy. She rejoined the Center in 2011 after working as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, where she taught tax law and conducted research in tax law and policy. nnTwitter: @dashching CenteronBudgetnnFurther reading: nnFor the first time in history, U.S. billionaires paid a lower tax rate than the working class last year: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/08/first-time-history-us-billionaires-paid-lower-tax-rate-than-working-class-last-year/nnIn Open Letter, Billionaires Co-Sign New Wealth Tax Proposal: ‘Revenue Should Come From the Most Financially Fortunate’: https://time.com/5613228/billionaires-calling-for-wealth-taxes/nnWant to grow the economy? Tax rich people like me: https://www.businessinsider.com/nick-hanauer-defends-wealth-tax-grow-economy-create-jobs-2019-7 nnDisney Heiress Calls for Wealth Tax: ‘We Have To Draw A Line’: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/28/736993245/disney-heiress-calls-for-wealth-tax-we-have-to-draw-a-linennTax Code Can Do More to Narrow Racial Gaps in Income and Wealth: https://www.cbpp.org/blog/tax-code-can-do-more-to-narrow-racial-gaps-in-income-and-wealthnnWealth tax explainer: Why Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and billionaires like George Soros alike are calling for a specialized tax on the ultra-wealthy: https://www.businessinsider.com/wealth-tax-definition-explained-elizabeth-warren-2019-7nnFundamentally Flawed 2017 Tax Law Largely Leaves Low- and Moderate-Income Americans Behind: https://www.cbpp.org/federal-tax/fundamentally-flawed-2017-tax-law-largely-leaves-low-and-moderate-income-americans nnThe Rich Can’t Get Richer Forever, Can They? https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/02/the-rich-cant-get-richer-forever-can-theynnThe Disney heiress who’s begging for a wealth tax says income inequality has created a ‘superclass’ in the US — and it’s putting the American dream at risk: https://www.businessinsider.com/abigail-disney-income-inequality-american-dream-wealth-tax-2019-6nnHow the Federal Tax Code Can Better Advance Racial Equity: https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/how-the-federal-tax-code-can-better-advance-racial-equity

Will bad economics kill the Green New Deal? (with Naomi Klein and J.W. Mason)

The only thing holding us back from big, bold, progressive change is ourselves. When critics wonder if we can afford to pay for the Green New Deal, they couch their concerns in the language of neoliberal economics: they say that investing in the middle class, raising wages, and doing too much too quickly will ruin the economy. This week, Naomi Klein and J.W. Mason join us to explain why the economic status quo is the greatest barrier to the Green New Deal becoming a reality, and how we actually can afford to change our economy so drastically. nnNaomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. She is Senior Correspondent for The Intercept, a Puffin Writing Fellow at Type Media Center, and the inaugural Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. Her most recent book, ‘On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal’, published worldwide in September, was an instant New York Times bestseller and a #1 Canadian bestseller. nnTwitter: @NoamiAKleinnnJ.W. Mason is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where he works on the Financialization Project, and an assistant professor of economics at John Jay College, CUNY. His current research focuses on the history and political economy of credit, including the evolution of household debt and changing role of financial markets in business investment. He also works on the history of economic thought, particularly the development of macroeconomics over the twentieth century. nnTwitter: @JWMason1nnFurther reading and resources: nnOn Fire: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781982129910nnCan We Afford a Green New Deal? http://jwmason.org/slackwire/can-we-afford-a-green-new-deal/nnDecarbonizing the US Economy: Pathways Toward a Green New Deal: https://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Roosevelt-Institute_Green-New-Deal_Digital-Final.pdfnnA Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9uTH0iprVQnnWith a Green New Deal, Here’s What the World Could Look Like for the Next Generation: https://theintercept.com/2018/12/05/green-new-deal-proposal-impacts/