As the world shelters in place from the coronavirus pandemic, an economic crisis is growing. This week, Nick and Goldy pull the curtain back on why trickle-down has made us extra vulnerable to disasters like COVID-19. Our focus always, but especially now, should be on building a more resilient and inclusive economy that can actively protect people from ruin and tragedy. The only limit to our ability to address this crisis is our imagination and our willingness to act.
Every company you can think of has benefitted from a public investment. Whether it’s direct handouts through the tax code, government research efforts, or employee reliance on programs like EITC or TANF, taxpayers are subsidizing wildly profitable companies. David Dayen, the executive editor of The American Prospect, and Financial Times associate editor Rana Foroohar join Nick and Zach to explain how we let corporate parasites get so out of control—and what we can do about it.
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.
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.
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. Stephanie 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.
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.