Any society that allows itself to become radically unequal eventually collapses into an uprising or a police state—or both. Join venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and some of the world’s leading economic and political thinkers in an exploration of who gets what and why. Turns out, everything you learned about economics is wrong. And if we don’t do something about rising inequality, the pitchforks are coming.
In 2014, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer warned his fellow plutocrats that our growing crisis of economic inequality would lead to an uprising or a dictatorship. Two years later, angry voters elected Donald Trump. In this inaugural episode of Pitchfork Economics, we explore why the pitchforks are coming, who they’re coming for, and how the stories we tell about the economy can change the economy itself.nShownotesThe Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014nTwitter: @nickhanauer nFacebook: @CivicSkunkWorks @NickHanauernMedium: https://civicskunk.works/nGanesh Sitaraman: Professor of Law at Vanderbilt Law School and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Co-founder and Director of Policy for the Great Democracy Initiative. Policy Director to Elizabeth Warren, 2011-2013. Author of The Crisis of the Middle Class Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars, named one of the New York Times’ 100 notable books of 2017.nTwitter: @ganeshsitaraman nWalter Scheidel: Historian at Stanford. The most frequently cited active-duty Roman historian adjusted for age in the Western Hemisphere, Scheidel is the author or (co-)editor of 20 books, including The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality.nTwitter: @walterscheidel
What is “Econ 101,” and why do economists always get things wrong? In this episode we dismantle orthodox economics, exploring where it comes from, why it’s wrong, and how “It’s Econ 101!” became a cynical rallying cry in defense of the status quo. Guests Eric Beinhocker (The Origin of Wealth) and James Kwak (Economism) explain that, far from a science, Econ 101 is really just a story we tell ourselves to justify who gets what and why. And it’s time to tell a different story.nEric Beinhocker: Professor of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School. Author of The Origin of Wealth.nTwitter: @ericbeinhockernJames Kwak: Professor of Law at the Connecticut School of Law. Co-founder of the economics blog “The Baseline Scenario”, a commentary on developments in the global economy, law, and public policy. Author of Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality. Columnist for The Atlantic.nTwitter: @jamesykwaknFurther reading: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/01/economism-and-the-minimum-wage/513155/
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 we explore how to tell a better story.nYuval Harari: Author of international bestsellers: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Professor in the Department of History at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. PhD from the University of Oxford.nTwitter: @harari_yuvalnFacebook: @Prof.Yuval.Noah.HararinInstagram: @yuval_noah_hararinMolly Crockett: Director of the Crockett Lab, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University, and Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge.nTwitter: @mollycrockettnFurther reading: n(1) https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/41/a-threat-not-a-theory/n(2) https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/18/to-my-fellow-plutocrats-you-can-cure-trumpism-215347
Civic Ventures president Zach Silk joins us for a quick explainer on how Republicans sold their trickle-down tax cuts as a great deal for the middle class—and how angry suburban voters punished them for their lies.
The American middle class is shrinking and, contrary to popular belief, globalization and automation are not to blame. Far from inevitable, skyrocketing inequality is a choice. In this episode, we look at the policy choices that have relentlessly undermined the middle class, and why we desperately need to choose a better future.nHeather Boushey: Executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Author of Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict. nnTwitter: @HBousheynMatthew Stewart: Philosopher, D.Phil from Oxford University. Author of Nature’s God and The Management Myth. Contributor to The Atlantic.nWebsite: https://mwstewart.com/ nFurther reading: n(1) http://evonomics.com/new-social-security-system-sharing-economy-hanauer/n(2) https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954
Pop quiz: What does “GDP” stand for? And now, quickly: what the hell does “gross domestic product” even mean? It turns out, the way we measure the economy changes the way we manage the economy, so if we want to broadly improve the lives of all Americans we need to measure the things that really matter.nDiane Coyle: Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Former advisor to the UK treasury. Author of numerous books, most recently GDP: A Brief But Affectionate History, The Economics of Enough, and The Soulful Science. Founder of the consultancy Enlightenment Economics, specializing in the economics of new technologies.nTwitter: @DianeCoyle1859 nFurther reading: n(1) https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/the-kennedy-family/robert-f-kennedy/robert-f-kennedy-speeches/remarks-at-the-university-of-kansas-march-18-1968n(2) https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/31/capitalism-redefined/
Is economic growth all about money, trade, and GDP, or are healthy economies built on a different foundation? In this episode, economist W. Brian Arthur and MIT physicist Cesar Hidalgo explain why human knowledge, knowhow, and innovation are the best measures of rising prosperity and future economic growth. nGuest BiosnW. Brian Arthur: Economist credited with developing the modern approach to increasing returns, and one of the pioneers of the science of complexity. Author of three books including The Nature of Technology: What it Is and How it Evolves. External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. nCesar Hidalgo: Physicist, writer, and entrepreneur. Associate Professor at MIT, and Director of the Collective Learning group at the MIT Media Lab. Co-founder of Datawheel, a company that specializes in digital transformation solutions for governments and large companies. Author of Why Information Grows and co-author of The Atlas of Economic Complexity. nTwitter: @cesifotinFurther reading:nComplexity Economics: a different framework for economic thought: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftuvalu.santafe.edu%2F~wbarthur%2FPapers%2FComp.Econ.SFI.pdfnEconomic Complexity: From useless to keystone: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https%3A%2F%2Fchidalgo.com%2Fs%2Fnphys4337.pdfnComplexity Economics Shows Us Why Laissez-Faire Economics Always Fails: http://evonomics.com/complexity-economics-shows-us-that-laissez-faire-fail-nickhanauer/
As newly elected Democrats across the country enter their respective capitol buildings for the first time, Civic Ventures president Zach Silk and former Washington State legislator (and Civic Ventures senior VP) Jessyn Farrell offer advice for what they should prioritize – and it starts with economic policies that help the broad majority. nFurther reading: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/14/democrats-must-reclaim-the-center-by-moving-hard-left-219354
Is the American Dream dead? Is economic mobility a myth? The foundational promise of America is that anyone, if they work hard and play by the rules, can enjoy a secure, middle-class life. Christian Cooper and Khiara Bridges join us to discuss the prevailing narrative that we each control our own economic destiny.nChristian Cooper: Derivatives trader and author. Frequent commentator in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Financial Times, and Bloomberg News. Director of Banking for a New Beginning, a public/private partnership between The Aspen Institute and the US Department of State. Member of the roundtables at the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. nTwitter: @christiancoopernKhiara Bridges: Associate Dean for Equity, Justice, and Engagement at the Boston University School of Law, specializing in the intersectionality of race, reproductive justice, and law. Professor of Law and Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. Author of The Poverty of Privacy Rights and Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization. nFurther reading: nWhy Poverty Is Like a Disease: http://nautil.us/issue/47/consciousness/why-poverty-is-like-a-diseasenExcavating Race-Based Disadvantage Among Class-Privileged People of Color: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3143892 nIncome Mobility Charts: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/27/upshot/make-your-own-mobility-animation.html nDivided We Fall: https://newrepublic.com/article/141644/divided-fall-trump-symptom-constitutional-crisis-inequality nRaj Chetty in 14 charts: Big findings on opportunity and mobility we should all know: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2018/01/11/raj-chetty-in-14-charts-big-findings-on-opportunity-and-mobility-we-should-know/
Since forever, Republicans have insisted that cutting taxes on wealthy corporations and individuals would grow the economy, create jobs, and lift wages. But it never does. As an early architect of what became “Reaganomics,” Bruce Bartlett was there at the birth of this GOP tax myth. He joins the podcast to help set the record straight.nBruce Bartlett: American historian who helped draft the Kemp-Roth tax bill that formed the basis of President Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. Served as domestic policy adviser for Reagan, in the Treasury for George H.W. Bush, and in senior roles for other American politicians. Former Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. nTwitter: @BruceBartlettnFurther reading:nWant to Expand the Economy? Tax the Rich! https://prospect.org/article/want-expand-economy-tax-rich nI helped create the GOP tax myth. Trump is wrong: Tax cuts don’t equal growth. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2017/09/28/i-helped-create-the-gop-tax-myth-trump-is-wrong-tax-cuts-dont-equal-growth/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4344a80a6efc
Deregulation for the powerful is a central tenet of the trickle-down myth, embraced by Democrats and Republican alike. Government regulations, we’re told, are costly and inefficient intrusions that slow grow and kill jobs. But Robert Reich explains that when thoughtfully applied, regulations are absolutely essential to growing a safe, secure, and broadly prosperous economy. nRobert Reich: Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. Served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Author of fifteen books, including ‘The Common Good’. Co-creator of the documentaries ‘Inequality for All’ and ‘Saving Capitalism’. nTwitter: @RBReich nFacebook: Robert Reich nFurther reading: Robert B. Reich: How Trump’s war on regulation is trickle-down economics
Trickle-downers always argue that raising the minimum wage inevitably kills jobs. But the empirical evidence from Seattle, Los Angeles, and elsewhere prove otherwise. Experts, including Mayor Garcetti of LA, discuss how our economic understanding has changed, and why changing the public perception around the minimum wage has been so difficult.nEric Garcetti: Mayor of Los Angeles since 2013. Former member of the LA City Council, serving as council president from 2006 to 2012. nTwitter: @ericgarcetti nAlan Krueger: Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton. Former Chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and a member of the Cabinet from 2011 to 2013. Co-author of ‘Myth of Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage’ and ‘Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies?’. nTwitter: @Alan_KruegernRichard Kirsch: Director of Our Story at the Hub for American Narratives. Led development of Progressive Economic Narrative Project and has done extensive training with organizational leaders and elected officials on delivering powerful narratives.nTwitter: @_RichardKirschnFurther reading: Raising the Minimum Wage Is Good for EveryonenSeattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Experiment Is a Success
When we talked with historian Yuval Harari, the best-selling author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the conversation was so wide-ranging and so smart that we just couldn’t bear to leave any of it behind on the cutting room floor. So here’s the full, unedited interview on a range of topics including why our society has fallen so hard for the myth of trickle-down economics.
Nick, Goldy, and their guests William Lazonick and Lenore Palladino explain why “shareholder value maximization” is the world’s dumbest idea. nWilliam Lazonick: Professor of economics at University of Massachusetts Lowell, visiting Professor at University of Ljubljana, professeur associé at Institut Mines-Télécom in Paris, and professorial research associate, SOAS, University of London. His book ‘Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy? Business Organization and High-Tech Employment in the United States’ won the 2010 Schumpeter Prize, and he has written extensively on corporate profits.nTwitter: @LazonicknLenore Palladino: Senior Economist and Policy Counsel at the Roosevelt Institute, where she brings expertise to Roosevelt’s work on inequality and finance. Her research and writing focuses on financial reform, financial taxation, labor rights, and financial crises. Her publications have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, State Tax Notes, and other venues. nTwitter: @lenorepalladinonFurther reading: nhttps://www.brookings.edu/research/stock-buybacks-from-retain-and-reinvest-to-downsize-and-distribute/nhttps://hbr.org/2014/09/profits-without-prosperity/nhttp://rooseveltinstitute.org/ending-shareholder-primacy-corporate-governance/nhttp://rooseveltinstitute.org/rewriting-rules-take-aim-stock-buybacks-and-force-companies-invest-their-workers-stop-walmart-act/nhttp://rooseveltinstitute.org/what-wells-fargos-40-6-billion-stock-buybacks-could-have-meant-its-employees-and-customers/nhttp://rooseveltinstitute.org/towards-accountable-capitalism/
Senator Cory Booker explains the problem with stock buybacks, walks us through his Workers Dividend Act, and offers Goldy some much-needed counseling. nCory Booker is the U.S. Senator from New Jersey and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. nTwitter: @CoryBookernFurther reading: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/6/17083398/booker-buyback-populist nhttps://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/02/kill-stock-buyback-to-save-the-american-economy/385259/
Monopoly and its equally evil twin monopsony are destroying competition, depressing wages, and slowing economic growth. Is market concentration an inevitable outcome of capitalism, or is there a smarter solution?nJared Bernstein: Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to VP Biden and Executive Director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and author of ‘The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity’. nTwitter: @econjared nJonathan Tepper: Founder of Variant Perception, a macroeconomic research group that caters to asset managers. Author of ‘The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition’, ‘Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle’, and ‘Code Red’, a book on unconventional monetary policy. nTwitter: @jtepper2 nFurther reading: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/51/progressive-labor-standards/
Ever been in the middle of a Pitchfork Economics pod ep and thought, “WTF are they talking about?” If so, this might help – we define some complex terms that get thrown around a lot (neoclassical, neoliberal, heterodoxy, monopoly, monopsony, and stock buybacks) because we want this to be a fun and informative pod, not, like, a painful and confusing pod. nTwitter: @NickHanauer @GoldyHA
The overtime threshold used to be the minimum wage for the middle class—but where did it go? Labor experts Sharon Block and Chris Lu join Nick and Jasmin to explain why the overtime threshold, which used to cover 65 percent of workers, today covers only 7 percent. That’s craziness! And surprise, surprise—employers love to claim that forcing you to work for free is in your own best interest. But are they telling the truth?nSharon Block is the Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. For twenty years, she held key labor policy positions across the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, including head of the policy office at the Department of Labor. nTwitter: @sharblocknChris Lu was the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration from 2014 to 2017. He also served as Assistant to the President and White House Cabinet Secretary under Obama from 2009 to 2013. He is a Practitioner Senior Fellow at the UVA Miller Center.nTwitter: @ChrisLu44nFurther reading: nhttps://crooked.com/articles/beat-trump-overtime-pay/nhttps://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954
Here are two phrases that should be oxymorons, but aren’t: ‘working poor’ and ‘poverty-level jobs.’ Writer and anti-poverty advocate Hanna Brooks Olsen joins Nick and Goldy to explore how the intense burdens of poverty make it nearly impossible to even think about climbing the economic ladder. nFelicia Wong is the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, a think tank that seeks to re-imagine the social and economic policies of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt for the 21st century. nTwitter: @FeliciaWongRI @rooseveltinstnHanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and policy consultant. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Nation, Salon, the New York Daily News, the Huffington Post, and Democracy.nTwitter: @mshannabrooksnFurther reading:nhttps://medium.com/@mshannabrooks/but-seriously-lets-talk-about-millennial-poverty-526066ad9adbnhttps://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/154286/50YearTrends.pdf
In 2009, President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, thereby ensuring that women across the United States were finally paid the same as men. Just kidding! Women still only make 80% of what their male counterparts do. What is this bullshit? Why hasn’t pay equity been achieved yet? Economist Julie Nelson and journalist Claire Cain Miller join Nick and Steph to explain why this problem is so damn persistent, and to offer solutions for how we can fully include women in the economy.
Julie Nelson is a professor of economics and department chair at the University of Massachusetts Boston, most known for her application of feminist theory to economics. She is the author of ‘Economics for Humans’ and ‘Feminism, Objectivity, and Economics’.
Claire Cain Miller is a correspondent for The New York Times, where she writes about gender, families, and the future of work for The Upshot, a Times site for analysis of policy and economics. She was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues.
We’ve established that trickle-down economics and neoliberalism are failed philosophies. But we haven’t yet explored whether economics should be moral – should it reflect our behaviors and preferences, or is it a science that lives separately from our societal norms and values? Heather McGhee joins Nick and Paul to argue that an inclusive economy is not only possible, but imperative to growth. nHeather McGhee was the President of Demos from 2014-2018, where she is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow. She’s finishing a major book about the personal, economic, and societal costs of racism to everyone in America—including white people. A recognized thought leader on the national stage, Heather serves as a contributor to NBC News and frequently appears on shows such as Meet the Press. Her opinions, writing, and research have appeared in numerous outlets, including The New York Times, The Nation, and The Hill. nTwitter: @hmcgheenFurther reading: https://www.demos.org/issue/economy-opportunity nhttps://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/the-moral-burden-on-economists
For all our talk about family values, the U.S. is actually the worst place to raise a family in the developed world. Anne-Marie Slaughter and Katie Hamm join Nick and Jessyn to explain how our family policies got stuck in the last century, and what we should do about it. nAnne-Marie Slaughter is the President and CEO of New America, a think and action tank dedicated to renewing America in the Digital Age. She is also a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, and from 2009-2011 she served as director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State—the first woman to hold that position. nTwitter: @SlaughterAMnKatie Hamm is the Vice President for Early Childhood Policy at the Center for American Progress, where she leads CAP’s work on policies impacting young children from birth to five.nTwitter: @DCHammslicenKristine Reeves is a member of the Washington House of Representatives representing the 30th legislative district. She is also the Director of Economic Development for the Military and Defense sector for the state of Washington. nTwitter: @KMReevesWAnFurther reading: nhttps://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it-all/309020/nhttps://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/reports/2017/09/07/438428/blueprint-child-care-reform/nhttps://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/news/2017/10/31/441825/the-cost-of-inaction-on-universal-preschool/nhttps://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/24/upshot/americans-love-families-american-policies-dont.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fclaire-cain-miller
For too long, pundits and politicians have talked about the political center as a perfect balance between conservatives and liberals. But this quest for some sort of mythical middle ground between left and right has only succeeded in elevating the interests of the top one percent over everyone else. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal joins Nick to propose a new way of thinking about centrism: a framework of wildly popular policies that directly and significantly improve the lives of the vast majority of Americans who have been left out of economic growth. nCongresswoman Pramila Jayapal is the U.S. Representative from Washington’s 7th congressional district, which includes most of Seattle. She is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Congress. nTwitter: @PramilaJayapalnFurther reading:nhttps://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/14/democrats-must-reclaim-the-center-by-moving-hard-left-219354nhttps://cpc-grijalva.house.gov/
Is government debt real? Is anything real? Professor Stephanie Kelton gives Nick and Goldy a master class on the hottest idea in economics right now: Modern Monetary Theory. nStephanie Kelton is a professor of public policy and economics at Stony Brook University and a senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. She was the chief economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee in 2015 and in 2016, POLITICO named her one of the 50 people most influencing the public debate in America. Her forthcoming book, ‘The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of a New Economy’ will be published by Public Affairs in 2020. nTwitter: @StephanieKeltonnFurther reading: nhttps://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/16/18251646/modern-monetary-theory-new-moment-explainednhttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/opinion/deficit-tax-cuts-trump.html nhttps://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/01/bernie-sanders-economic-advisor-stephanie-kelton-on-mmt-and-2020-race.htmlnhttps://www.thenation.com/article/the-rock-star-appeal-of-modern-monetary-theory/
All the economic and social policy that we discuss on this podcast won’t matter if we don’t address climate change. Governor Jay Inslee and Professor Fadhel Kaboub join Nick and Goldy to explain that if we don’t get climate right… well, the pitchforks are coming. nJay Inslee is the Governor of Washington state. In March of this year, he announced he is running for president on a platform of combating climate change. nTwitter: @JayInsleenFadhel Kaboub is President of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, and Associate Professor of economics at Denison University. His research focuses on the political economy of the Middle East, and the fiscal and monetary policy dimensions of job creation programs. nTwitter: @FadhelKaboub
Our friends at the Tax March, a national progressive tax awareness coalition, just launched a new campaign called “Tax the Rich” which urges every Democrat in Congress and every presidential candidate to support taxing the country’s wealthiest people. Zach talked to the Executive Director of Tax March, Maura Quint, about the launch of the campaign, Tax March’s plan for the 2020 election, and why higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy is both good policy and good politics. Plus, Annie explains marginal tax rates and capital gains. nMaura Quint is the Executive Director of Tax March. nTwitter: @behindyourbacknhttps://taxmarch.org/nhttps://www.vox.com/2019/3/19/18240377/estate-tax-wealth-tax-70-percent-warren-sanders-aocnhttps://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/7/18171975/tax-bracket-marginal-cartoon-ocasio-cortez-70-percent
Homo economicus is the figurative human being used in economic modeling. But the term defines human nature as perfectly rational, perfectly logical, and always self-interested. Does that sound like any real humans you know? Nope, we didn’t think so either. So we invited Professor Samuel Bowles to join Nick and Goldy in throwing a funeral for homo economicus, and all the flawed economic thinking that he’s inspired over the years. nSamuel Bowles is a Research Professor at the Santa Fe Institute where he heads the Behavioral Sciences Program. His work on cultural evolution have challenged the conventional economic assumption that people are motivated entirely by self-interest. His most recent books are ‘The Moral Economy: Why good laws are no substitute for good citizens’ and ‘A Cooperative Species: Human reciprocity and its revolution’. n‘Spock goes shopping’ was based on a thought experiment in Eric Beinhocker’s book ‘The Origin of Wealth’: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781422121030nhttps://democracyjournal.org/arguments/homo-economicus-must-die/nhttps://www.core-econ.org/nhttps://yalebooksblog.co.uk/2016/10/11/the-moral-economy-homo-economicus-becomes-human/
It’s not just economic inequality, the gap between rich and poor people, that’s growing wider in America. Spatial inequality, the gap between rich and poor places, is growing too. The most obvious example of spatial inequality is the decline of rural areas and the rise of cities. Can rural America be saved? And is urban America obligated to do the saving? Journalist Eduardo Porter and author Sarah Smarsh weigh in.
Eduardo Porter is an economics reporter for the business section of The New York Times, where he was the Economic Scene columnist from 2012 to 2018. He is the author of ‘The Price of Everything’ and is working on an upcoming book called ‘American Poison’.
Sarah Smarsh is the author of ‘Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth’, which became an instant New York Times bestseller and was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award. She has covered socioeconomic class, politics, and public policy for The Guardian, The New York Times, and many other publications.
The Hard Truths of Trying to ‘Save’ the Rural Economy: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/14/opinion/rural-america-trump-decline.html
Country pride: What I learned growing up in rural America: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/06/country-pride-kansas-rural-america-sarah-smarsh
America’s Worsening Geographic Inequality: https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/10/americas-worsening-geographic-inequality/573061/
The Contribution of National Income Inequality to Regional Economic Divergence: https://academic.oup.com/sf/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/sf/soz013/5418441
The Economic Innovation Group’s 2018 Distressed Communities Index: https://eig.org/dci
Washington state lost 440,000 acres in almost two thousand wildfires last year﹣a record high. Once the most beautiful month in Washington’s year, August is now marred by hazy, smoky skies that drive everyone indoors while our small and underfunded team of wildland firefighters work around the clock to save lives, property, and public lands. It’s not just a Washington problem, either: wildfires are burning more acreage than ever before across the country. Luckily, this is a problem we can actually do something about! In this bonus episode, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz sits down with Nick to explain the ins and outs of forest health, fighting for funding to give wildfire fighters the resources they need, and her fleet of Vietnam-era helicopters. nWashington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz protects and manages nearly six million acres of public lands in Washington. She is leading the push to make Washington’s lands more resilient in the face of climate change, and as the leader of the state’s largest wildfire fighting force, she has pushed for new strategies, innovations, and resources to protect communities. Commissioner Franz’s 20-year Forest Health Strategic Plan will make more than one million acres of forest healthier and more resistant to wildfires.nTwitter: @Hilary_FranzCPLnHuffPost: Controlled Burns Lower Wildfire Risks. These Western States Struggle To Set More Of Them. http://bit.ly/huffpowildfire nCrosscut: A bold plan to curb wildfires, create jobs and build affordable housing http://bit.ly/CrosscutDNRplan
You’ve been flooding Nick’s voicemail for months, and the time is finally here! Comedian Trae Crowder joins Nick to answer your questions in this freewheeling Ask Me Anything session. What does John Hickenlooper think about Nick’s net worth? How can we help people see that a $15 minimum wage is good for everyone? We answer these questions and more! nTrae Crowder is a comedian and co-author of ‘The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin’ Dixie Outta the Dark’. Trae has earned national attention for his “Liberal Redneck” series of viral videos. He has been performing his particular brand of Southern-friend intellectual comedy in the Southeast for the past six years, and is now on the WellRED Comedy Tour with fellow comedians and writing partners Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester.nTwitter: @traecrowdernInstagram: @officialtraecrowder
Nick spoke with Congressmember Pramila Jayapal in December 2018 about the fight for a $15 minimum wage, what Representative Jayapal has changed his mind on, and how Democrats can tell better stories. Here’s their full conversation in Congresswoman Jayapal’s offices in Washington D.C. An edited version of this conversation appeared in the episode, “Should Democrats appeal to the center by moving hard left?”, linked below.nhttp://www.pitchforkeconomics.com/episode/should-democrats-appeal-to-the-center-by-moving-hard-left-with-congresswoman-pramila-jayapal/
We couldn’t contain our favorite listener voicemails in one Ask Nick Anything episode, so we made two! Why does the middle class pay an income tax? Are unions cool? Nick and Trae answer eight more questions in this follow-up to last week’s must-listen episode.nTrae Crowder is a comedian and co-author of ‘The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin’ Dixie Outta the Dark’. Trae has earned national attention for his “Liberal Redneck” series of viral videos. He has been performing his particular brand of Southern-friend intellectual comedy in the Southeast for the past six years, and is now on the WellRED Comedy Tour with fellow comedians and writing partners Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester.nTwitter: @traecrowdernInstagram: @officialtraecrowder
Zach speaks with Connie Razza, the author of ‘Break glass in case of emergency’, a strategy memo recently published by the Economic Policy Institute for winning a robust and just recovery from the next recession. Connie explains what policy proposals and political infrastructure will successfully orient our recovery from the next recession toward economic outcomes that reduce, rather than boost, wealth inequality around racial and gender lines. nConnie M. Razza is the Chief of Campaigns and Policy at the Center for Popular Democracy, where she oversees CPD’s broad-ranging campaigns for economic justice and a robust, inclusive democracy, as well as the organization’s research efforts. Connie was previously Vice President of Policy and Research at Demos, and she has worked for economic and racial justice for nearly a quarter century as a union activist, organizer, researcher, policy analyst, and strategist. nTwitter: @ConnieRazzanhttps://www.epi.org/publication/break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-strategy-memo-for-winning-a-robust-and-just-recovery-from-the-next-recession/
This episode was first released in March, but so much has happened since then in the world of overtime that we thought we’d repost this episode with a new intro. Since this originally aired, Washington state has proposed a new overtime threshold that would expand overtime pay to 250,000+ workers. Since overtime laws haven’t been updated since 1976, this is a big deal! So brush up on your OT knowledge with this episode, featuring Sharon Block and Chris Lu. nSharon Block is the Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. For twenty years, she held key labor policy positions across the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, including head of the policy office at the Department of Labor. nTwitter: @sharblocknChris Lu was the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration from 2014 to 2017. He also served as Assistant to the President and White House Cabinet Secretary under Obama from 2009 to 2013. He is a Practitioner Senior Fellow at the UVA Miller Center.nTwitter: @ChrisLu44nFurther reading: nhttps://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/06/05/40402423/hundreds-of-thousands-of-workers-will-be-newly-eligible-for-overtime-in-washington-statenhttps://www.businessinsider.com/overtime-pay-is-a-fundamental-right-nick-hanauer-2019-6?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=topbar&utm_term=desktop&referrer=twitternhttps://crooked.com/articles/beat-trump-overtime-pay/nhttps://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954
Classical economics argues that the economy is an equilibrium system—that for every winner there must be a loser. In this episode, author and professor David Sloan Wilson joins Nick live on stage at Town Hall Seattle to argue that economies are actually evolutionary systems—and once we shed the winner-take-all philosophy that has dominated Econ 101 classes for a century, we can change economic policy for the better.nDavid Sloan Wilson is an American evolutionary biologist, a Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at Binghamton University, and co-founder of the Evolution Institute. In addition to his latest book ‘This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution’, he has also written ‘Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society’, and ‘Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives’. nTwitter: @David_S_WilsonnFurther reading: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246844/this-view-of-life-by-david-sloan-wilson/9781101870204/ nhttp://evonomics.com/the-new-invisible-hand-david-sloan-wilson/nhttp://evonomics.com/complexity-economics-shows-us-that-laissez-faire-fail-nickhanauer/
Rutger Bregman, who The Guardian has called “the Dutch wunderkind of new ideas”, joins us this week to daydream a better future. Bregman won international fame by taking on everyone from Tucker Carlson to the wealthy elites at Davos on the topic of income inequality, and here he lays out a positive economic vision using the pillars of his book ‘Utopia for Realists’: a universal basic income, open borders, and a 15-hour workweek. nRutger Bregman is a Dutch historian and author. He has published four books on history, philosophy, and economics. His book ‘History of Progress’ was awarded the Belgian Liberales prize for best nonfiction book of 2013, and the Dutch edition of ‘Utopia for Realists’ became a national bestseller and sparked a basic income movement that made international headlines. The book has been translated into 31 languages. Bregman has twice been nominated for the prestigious European Press Prize for his journalism work at The Correspondent. nTwitter: @rcbregmannFurther reading: nhttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/18/solution-everything-working-less-work-pressurenhttps://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/26/rutger-bregman-utopia-for-realists-interview-universal-basic-incomenhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/20/dutch-professor-exposes-tucker-carlsons-fraud/?utm_term=.a252dc0fa581nhttps://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/01/rutger-bregman-world-economic-forum-davos-speech-tax-billionaires-capitalismnhttps://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1090045108064579584
In March of this year, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced he is running for president on a platform of combating climate change. He has already succeeded in centering the political conversation around this central crisis of our time. We spoke with the governor for our April episode about the economics of climate change; here is our full unedited conversation.nJay Inslee first got into public service to fight for a new public high school in his community. He then went on to serve in the state legislature and in 1992 was elected to represent the 4th Congressional District in rural Eastern Washington. He later moved back to the Seattle area and was elected to Congress in 1998 where he served until 2012. In 2012 he was elected Washington’s 23rd governor and is currently serving in his second term.nTwitter: @JayInsleenLinks:nhttps://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/5/4/18527458/climate-change-jay-inslee-for-president-2020nhttps://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/01/us/politics/jay-inslee-on-the-issues.html
Not so long ago, economic growth was shared widely among Americans thanks to a suite of policies that boosted the bargaining power of workers. In recent years, employer power has increased while worker powers have been significantly eroded—and as a result, income inequality has grown at record rates. Experts David Rolf and Larry Mishel explain how this collapse of worker power came to be, and offer solutions that will tilt the scales of power back in the right direction.nDavid Rolf is a labor leader, organizer, writer, and speaker working to build the next American labor movement. He is the founder and President Emeritus of SEIU 775 and a former Vice President of SEIU International. He led campaigns that helped organize hundreds of thousands of minimum-wage home care workers, and helped lead the nation’s first two successful campaigns for $15 minimum wages in SeaTac and Seattle.nTwitter: @DavidMRolfnLarry Mishel is a distinguished fellow at the Economic Policy Institute after serving as president from 2002-2017, where he has helped build it into the nation’s premier research organization focused on U.S. living standards and labor markets. Mishel has co-authored all 12 editions of ‘The State of Working America’, and has written extensively on wage and job quality trends in the United States.nTwitter: @LarryMishelnFurther reading: https://tcf.org/content/report/roadmap-rebuilding-worker-power/?session=1nhttps://www.epi.org/publication/what-labor-market-changes-have-generated-inequality-and-wage-suppression-employer-power-is-significant-but-largely-constant-whereas-workers-power-has-been-eroded-by-policy-actions/nhttps://psmag.com/economics/what-caused-the-decline-of-unions-in-america
When it comes to health care, every country in the world is running their own version of the same experiment—and the results vary widely in terms of cost and patient outcomes. In the first episode of a two-part exploration of health care, author T. R. Reid takes Nick and Stephanie on a tour of medical systems around the world. nT. R. Reid is the author of the bestselling books ‘The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care’ and ‘A Fine Mess—A Global Quest for a Fairer, Simpler, and More Efficient Tax Code’. He has become one of the nation’s best-known reporters through his books and articles, his documentary films, his reporting for the Washington Post, and his frequent commentary on NPR’s Morning Edition. nTwitter: @therealtrreidnFurther reading: nhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6402544-the-healing-of-america
We’re revisiting a timeless topic: monopolies! Expert Barry Lynn shares his thoughts on market concentration, the dangers of industrial monopolies like Boeing, and what ‘reigning in’ companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon actually means.
Barry Lynn is the Executive Director of the Open Markets Institute. Previously, he spent 15 years at the New America Foundation researching and writing about monopoly power. He is the author of ‘Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction’ and ‘End of the Line: The Rise and Coming Fall of the Global Corporation’.
Medicare for All is the most ambitious health care proposal on the table right now, and the Bernie Sanders campaign is ground zero for making it a reality. In the second episode of a two-part series on health care, former Ohio State Senator and Sanders’ campaign co-chair Nina Turner explains why widely available and affordable high-quality health care would be revolutionary for the United States.nNina Turner was an Ohio State Senator from 2008 until 2014. In 2017, Turner became president of Our Revolution, a progressive political action organization spun out of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, and she is currently the national co-chair of Sanders’ 2020 campaign. Her podcast, We The People with Nina Turner, is available everywhere podcasts are posted. nTwitter: @ninaturnernInstagram: @ninaturnerohionFurther reading: nhttps://www.cnn.com/2019/02/25/health/what-does-medicare-for-all-mean/index.htmlnhttps://www.vogue.com/article/sen-nina-turner-universal-programs-opinion
The second round of presidential debates are quickly approaching. The debates move fast, and we know there’s a lot to sift through—so allow us to make it easier on you! In this pre-debates briefing, Nick and Zach lay out exactly what kind of economics talk you should be listening for ahead of next Tuesday and Wednesday’s festivities. nFurther reading: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/06/26/democratic-debate-economy-middle-class-analysis-growth-227217
With every technological advancement since the dawn of time, conventional wisdom has warned that technology and automation kills jobs. But robots aren’t the root cause of our problems. Although technology has always changed the nature of work, this week’s guests Heidi Shierholz and Daron Acemoglu argue that there is no evidence that it has led or will lead to overall increased joblessness, unemployment, or wage stagnation.nHeidi Shierholz is a Senior Economist and the Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute. She was a Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor under President Obama from 2014 to 2017. Her research and insights on labor and employment policy, the effects of automation on the labor market, wage stagnation, inequality, and many other topics routinely shape policy proposals and inform economic news coverage. nTwitter: @hshierholznDaron Acemoglu is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the co-author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling book ‘Why Nations Fail’, with James A. Robinson. In 2005, he received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to economists under forty judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. nTwitter: @DrDaronAcemoglunFurther reading: nThe zombie robot argument lurches on (EPI): https://www.epi.org/publication/the-zombie-robot-argument-lurches-on-there-is-no-evidence-that-automation-leads-to-joblessness-or-inequality/nHow robots became a scapegoat for the destruction of the working class (The Week): https://theweek.com/articles/837759/how-robots-became-scapegoat-destruction-working-classnAutomation, Job Loss, and the Welfare State (Council on Foreign Relations): https://www.cfr.org/event/automation-job-loss-and-welfare-statenRobots, or automation, are not the problem (EPI): https://www.epi.org/publication/robots-or-automation-are-not-the-problem-too-little-worker-power-is/nRobots kill jobs. But they create jobs, too. (Brookings): https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2019/03/18/robots-kill-jobs-but-they-create-jobs-too/nWhere Do Good Jobs Come From? (Project Syndicate): https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/automation-vs-job-creation-by-daron-acemoglu-2019-04?barrier=accesspaylognThe Revolution Need Not Be Automated (Project Syndicate): https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/ai-automation-labor-productivity-by-daron-acemoglu-and-pascual-restrepo-2019-03?barrier=accesspaylog
Like many rich Americans, Nick used to think that focusing their philanthropic efforts in the country’s education system could heal many of our biggest problems. But in The Atlantic last month, he admitted he was wrong—better schools won’t fix America unless we fix inequality first. He’s joined this week by Diane Ravitch, a giant in the education policy world who also changed her mind about what works and what doesn’t. Can these two converts from the theory of educationism find a new way to expand educational opportunity in America while also combating runaway income inequality?nDiane Ravitch is a Research Professor of Education at New York University and a historian of education. She is the Founder and President of the Network for Public Education. From 1991 to 1993, she was Assistant Secretary of Education under President George H.W. Bush, where she led the federal effort to promote the creation of voluntary state and national academic standards. In her book ‘The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education’, Ravitch examines her career in education reform and repudiates positions that she once staunchly advocated. nTwitter: @DianeRavitchnFurther reading: nBetter Schools Won’t Fix America: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/education-isnt-enough/590611/
There are nearly 60 million gig economy workers in the U.S. workforce, yet benefits like health care, retirement, and paid leave are still tied to traditional salaried jobs. It is essential that we adopt new policies guaranteeing all workers the basic level of economic security necessary to sustain and grow the American middle class—and with it, the economy as a whole. This week, Senator Mark Warner and SEIU 775 Benefits Group Executive Director Abby Solomon imagine what a shared security system designed to fit modern flexible employment realities might look like. nSenator Mark Warner is the senior U.S. Senator from Virginia. He serves on the Senate Finance, Banking, Budget, and Rules Committees as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is the Vice Chairman. From 2002 to 2006, he served as Governor of Virginia. Senator Warner spent 20 years as a successful technology and business leader in Virginia before entering public office. nTwitter: @MarkWarnernAbby Solomon is the Executive Director of SEIU 775 Benefits Group, overseeing trusts for training, health, and retirement benefits for Washington state’s Home Care Aide workforce. The Benefits Group provides portable benefits to 50,000 home care workers. Previously, Abby was the Director of Home Care Campaigns at SEIU, where she led national advocacy campaigns representing 1.9 million workers and 100+ occupational fields throughout the United States and Canada. nTwitter: @SEIU775BGnFurther reading: nShared Security, Shared Growth: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/37/shared-security-shared-growth/nPortable Benefits for an Insecure Workforce: https://prospect.org/article/portable-benefits-insecure-workforcenBuilding a portable benefits system for today’s world: http://seiu775.org/building-a-portable-benefits-system-for-todays-world/
You can’t throw a rock without hitting a wandering conversation about Universal Basic Income these days—but in our office, we’re still skeptical. For the first in a two-episode series exploring guaranteed income and its sister idea, guaranteed jobs, UBI expert Scott Santens and Sukhi Samra, the executive director of a real-life UBI experiment in California, join Nick and Paul to make the case for a universal basic income.
Scott Santens is a prominent UBI advocate with a crowdfunded income via Patreon. As a writer and blogger, his pieces advocating for basic income have appeared in The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, TechCrunch, Vox, the World Economic Forum, and Politico. He is on the board of directors of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network, a founding member of the Economic Security Project, an advisor to the Universal Income Project, a founding committee member of Basic Income Action, and founder of the BIG Patreon Creator Pledge.
Sukhi Samra is the Executive Director of the Stockton Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), a pilot program to test a universal basic income in Stockton, CA. SEED is the country’s first-ever city-led Guaranteed Income Initiative.
Our Vision for SEED: A Discussion Paper: https://www.stocktondemonstration.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SEED-Discussion-Paper.pdf
What would a universal basic income mean for America? Stockton thinks it has the answer: https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-pol-ca-basic-income-stockton-reparations-20190415-story.html
The Progressive Case for Replacing the Welfare State with Basic Income: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-progressive-case-for_b_12236546
We love books here at Civic Ventures, and writer, book reviewer, and former bookseller Paul Constant is the first person on the team that we go to for recommendations. Today, we’re excited to share his thoughts about ‘Listen, Liberal’ by Thomas Frank in his first book review for the podcast! According to Paul, ‘Listen, Liberal’ just might have the power to make Democrats relevant again. So cozy up, press play, and let Paul tell you about a book. Pair with a cup of tea. nListen, Liberal: http://listenliberal.com/ nTwitter: @paulconstantnPaul’s website, The Seattle Review of Books: https://seattlereviewofbooks.com/
Under a Federal Jobs Guarantee, rather than distributing unemployment checks, the government would give a living-wage job to everyone that needs one. It’s a concept that’s been gaining popularity recently, and it’s often pitted against universal basic income. For the second episode in this two-part series exploring both ideas, expert Pavlina Tcherneva and Representative Ro Khanna join Nick and Paul to make the case for a Job Guarantee. nPavlina Tcherneva is an Associate Professor of Economics at Bard College and a Research Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute. Her research on the job guarantee has informed the proposals of several members of congress, and she has collaborated with governments around the world on designing and evaluating employment programs. nTwitter: @ptchernevanRo Khanna is the U.S. Representative from California’s 17th congressional district. He sits on the House Budget, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform committees and is first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He also serves as an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus. In 2018, he introduced legislation to ensure that every jobless worker in the country is given the opportunity to earn a living.nTwitter: @RoKhanna nFurther reading: nRo Khanna Has an Ambitious Plan to Put the Unemployed to Work. Just Don’t Call It a Job Guarantee. https://slate.com/business/2018/07/ro-khanna-has-an-ambitious-plan-to-help-the-unemployed-just-dont-call-it-a-job-guarantee.html nTrump’s bait and switch: job creation in the midst of welfare state sabotage: http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue78/Tcherneva78.pdfn4 big questions about job guarantees: https://www.vox.com/2018/4/27/17281676/job-guarantee-design-bad-jobs-labor-market-federal-reservenThe Federal Job Guarantee – A Policy to Achieve Permanent Full Employment: https://www.cbpp.org/research/full-employment/the-federal-job-guarantee-a-policy-to-achieve-permanent-full-employmentnUnemployment: The Silent Epidemic: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_895.pdf nThe Job Guarantee: Design, Jobs, and Implementation: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_902.pdf
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. nBen Zipperer is an economist at the Economic Policy Institute. His areas of expertise include the minimum wage, inequality, and low-wage labor markets. He has published research in the Industrial and Labor Relations Review and has been quoted in outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and the BBC. nTwitter: @benzipperer, @EconomicPolicynFurther reading: nGradually raising the minimum wage to $15 would be good for workers, good for businesses, and good for the economy: https://www.epi.org/publication/minimum-wage-testimony-feb-2019/nSix reasons not to put too much weight on the new study of Seattle’s minimum wage: https://www.epi.org/blog/six-reasons-not-to-put-too-much-weight-on-the-new-study-of-seattles-minimum-wage/nStudies mentioned in the episode: nNew EPI study: The Effect of Minimum Wages on Low-Wage Jobs: Evidence from the United States Using a Bunching Estimator: https://www.nber.org/papers/w25434nCard and Krueger: Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: http://davidcard.berkeley.edu/papers/njmin-aer.pdfnUniversity of Washington study – Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle: https://www.nber.org/papers/w23532
It’s that time again—Nick and Goldy are answering your messages. This week, Dale from Washington D.C. wonders if rent control is a symptom of low wages or a safeguard from hardship, and Warren calls in all the way from Toronto to ask how capitalism can measure growth in a way that won’t destroy the planet. Fun! Enjoy. nTwitter: @NickHanauer, @GoldyHA
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 it’s just another trickle-down scam. Economist Marshall Steinbaum and food labor expert Saru Jayaraman join us this week to expose the lie of marginal productivity and show how it’s been used to exploit workers for centuries. nMarshall 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. He was previously a Senior Economist and Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and a Research Economist at the Center for Equitable Growth. nTwitter: @Econ_MarshallnSaru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Saru authored ‘Behind the Kitchen Door’, a national bestseller, and her most recent book is ‘Forked: A New Standard for American Dining.’ nTwitter: @SaruJayaramannFurther readingnNo, Productivity Does Not Explain Income: https://evonomics.com/no-productivity-does-not-explain-income/ nROC United Diners’ Guide App: https://rocunited.org/diners-guide/nSaru Jayaraman: How Restaurant Workers Are Inheriting a Legacy of Slavery in the U.S.: https://bioneers.org/saru-jayaraman-restaurant-workers-inheriting-legacy-slavery-u-s-ztvz1712/nEvidence and Analysis of Monopsony Power, Including But Not Limited To, In Labor Markets: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_comments/2018/08/ftc-2018-0054-d-0006-151013.pdfnAntitrust and Labor Market Power: https://econfip.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Antitrust-and-Labor-Market-Power.pdfnWhy Are Economists Giving Piketty the Cold Shoulder? nhttp://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/marshall-steinbaum-why-are-economists-giving-piketty-cold-shoulder
In July, Nick took the stage at TEDSummit in Edinburgh, Scotland to make the case for a new economics that recognizes people, not capital, as the driver of economic growth. The talk, released by TED last week, explains why unchecked greed will inevitably lead to the collapse of society. In this episode, Nick takes us behind the scenes of the making of the speech and shares his hopes for its impact, and TED Business Curator Corey Hajim gives us insight into the making of a TED conference. To hear Nick’s full speech, visit the links below. nVideo of Nick’s TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_the_dirty_secret_of_capitalism_and_a_new_way_forwardnAudio of Nick’s talk on the TED Talks Daily podcast: https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5mZWVkYnVybmVyLmNvbS9URURUYWxrc19hdWRpbw&episode=ZW4uYXVkaW8udGFsay50ZWQuY29tOjQ4NTQ1&hl=en&ep=6&at=1568658932671 nTwitter: @NickHanauer
In an effort to rethink the conversation around poverty, author Chris Arnade’s new book, ‘Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America’, pushes aside decades of academic detachment, instead encouraging those who have been left out of prosperity to describe their own experiences. This week, Chris joins Goldy for a wide-ranging conversation about poverty, addiction, and inequality. nChris Arnade is a writer and photographer covering addiction and poverty in America. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and the Washington Post, among many others. nTwitter: @Chris_arnadenFurther reading: nOur forgotten towns: struggle, resilience, love and respect in ‘back-row America’: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/05/america-dignity-chris-arnade-book-extract-poverty nDignity on IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780525534730
Food labor expert Saru Jayaraman joined us earlier this month to expose the lie of marginal productivity, and to reveal how it’s used to take advantage of workers. For the sake of time, we cut a fascinating tangent on the minimum wage and the restaurant industry from that episode, but it’s so insightful we just had to share it with you. Catch it here, with Saru and Goldy’s full conversation. nSaru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and President of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Saru authored ‘Behind the Kitchen Door’, a national bestseller, and her most recent book is ‘Forked: A New Standard for American Dining.’ nTwitter: @SaruJayaramannSaru Jayaraman: How Restaurant Workers Are Inheriting a Legacy of Slavery in the U.S.: https://bioneers.org/saru-jayaraman-restaurant-workers-inheriting-legacy-slavery-u-s-ztvz1712/
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. This week, Anand joins Nick and Goldy to explain how do-gooding perpetuates inequality. nAnand Giridharadas is a writer. His most recent book, ‘Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World,’ is a national bestseller. He is an editor-at-large for TIME, an on-air political analyst for MSNBC, and a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. nTwitter: @AnandWritesnFurther reading: nWinners Take All: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/539747/winners-take-all-by-anand-giridharadas/9780451493248nBeware Rich People Who Say They Want to Change the World: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/opinion/sunday/wealth-philanthropy-fake-change.html
As we reimagine the rules of our political and economic institutions, it is essential that racial justice be centered in the conversation. Darrick Hamilton explains how neoliberalism exploits existing structures of racism and power in America, and shares his optimism for a course-correction that will promote broadly shared prosperity. nDarrick Hamilton is the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. As a stratification economist, his research focuses on the causes, consequences, and remedies of racial and ethnic inequality in economic and health outcomes, which includes an examination of the intersections of identity, racism, colorism, and socioeconomic outcomes. nTwitter: @DarrickHamiltonnFurther reading: nNew Rules for the 21st Century: Corporate Power, Public Power, and the Future of the American Economy:nhttps://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Roosevelt-Institute_2021-Report_Digital-copy.pdf
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. nGeorge 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. nTwitter: @GeorgeMonbiotnBinyamin Appelbaum writes about economics and business for the editorial page of The New York Times. From 2010 to 2019, he was a Washington correspondent for the Times, covering economic policy in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. His new book, ‘The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society’ is a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller. nTwitter: @BCAppelbaumnFurther reading: nOut of the Wreckage: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781786632890nThe Economists’ Hour: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316512329nNeoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiotnGames Economists Play: http://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/marshall-steinbaum-games-economists-play
In the 1990s and early 2000s, free trade was considered an unalloyed good. But now, policymakers and economists agree that global trade creates winners and losers—and they acknowledge that we’ve never really tried to fairly compensate the losers. Economist Dean Baker and Seattle Port Commissioner Ryan Calkins help us try to imagine a more equitable way forward on international trade. nDean Baker is a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, an organization he co-founded in 1999. His areas of research include housing, consumer prices, intellectual property, trade, employment, Social Security, and Medicare. He is the author of several books, including ‘Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer,’ and his blog, ‘Beat the Press,’ provides commentary on economic reporting. He is currently a visiting professor at the University of Utah. nTwitter: DeanBaker13nRyan Calkins is a Port of Seattle Commissioner specializing in sustainable economic development, ensuring that our region’s prosperity is shared among all of our communities. Commissioner Calkins also works as a nonprofit professional at Ventures, a charitable organization that supports low income entrepreneurs who are starting and growing businesses in the Puget Sound Area.nTwitter: @ryancalkinsSEA
Be still, our hearts—it’s another book review, straight from the glittering literary mind of Paul Constant. This week, Paul recommends the New York Times Bestseller ‘Kochland’ by Christopher Leonard, a deeply reported investigation of Koch Industries’ secretive corporate power, smarmy public influence, and weird libertarian agenda. Plus: literal back-stabbing! nKochland: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781476775388 nTwitter: @paulconstantnPaul’s website, The Seattle Review of Books: https://seattlereviewofbooks.com/
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/
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
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/
‘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
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/
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
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
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
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nOur twitter: @PitchforkEconnOur instagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Up this week in listener questions: How much should you tip when you’re using a company credit card? What’s the difference between democratic socialism and the ideas we talk about? Who holds our national debt, and what does that even mean? And more! nnWebsite: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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/
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
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: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/nTwitter: @PitchforkEconnInstagram: @pitchforkeconomicsnNick’s twitter: @NickHanauer