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.

Samuel 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’.

‘Spock goes shopping’ was based on a thought experiment in Eric Beinhocker’s book ‘The Origin of Wealth’: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781422121030

‘Homo Economicus’ Must Die

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https://yalebooksblog.co.uk/2016/10/11/the-moral-economy-homo-economicus-becomes-human/

 

David Goldstein:           What’s the consequence if you think that people are entirely selfish?

Nick Hanauer:               This basic assumption that economists have made has entered the culture and the consciousness of people, and what we have done, over generations is that, we have taught people to believe that people are perfectly selfish and rational.

David Goldstein:           The effortless system would fall apart indeed, any social system would fall apart if the people were psychopathic as described [00:00:30] by Homo Economicus.

Speaker 3:                    From the offices of Civic Ventures in downtown Seattle, this is Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer, an honest conversation about how to make capitalism work for everyone.

Nick Hanauer:               I’m Nick Hanauer, founder of Civic Ventures.

David Goldstein:           I’m David Goldstein, [00:01:00] senior fellow at Civic Ventures.

Nick Hanauer:               So in this episode of Pitchfork Economics, we’re going to make the claim that Homo Economicus must die.

David Goldstein:           Oh, my god, who’s that, Nick? Who’s this guy you want to kill?

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah, it’s really mean here, but in the interests of full transparency, I think we should just say that if you’re still with us in Pitchfork Economics, that means you’re somewhat [00:01:30] wonky and care a lot about these subjects, and this episode will be wonkier still.

David Goldstein:           Right, so consider, we’ve talked about Homo Economicus in previous episodes in the past, consider that your bachelor’s degree. On this episode, you’re going to get your masters.

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah exactly. We’re going deep on this episode on one of the most important assumptions that undergirds neo-classical economics, which is the assumption that economists make about [00:02:00] how human beings behave.

David Goldstein:           So to be clear, we’re making more than just the assertion that that behavioral model of Homo Economicus is wrong. In this episode we are actually saying, it must die.

Nick Hanauer:               Yes.

David Goldstein:           It is bad, it is destructive.

Nick Hanauer:               Yes.

David Goldstein:           It is the cause of harm.

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah. So Homo Economicus, just to remind everybody is a simplifying assumption that neo-classical economists make, [00:02:30] about what humans are and how they behave. Basically it assumes that people are perfectly selfish, and perfectly rational, and that we are utility maximization machines, that we have consistent preferences, that we have no biases, or the biases are randomly distributed. We use probabilistic reasoning. That we are frame and context-independent. [00:03:00] That we can do things like exponential discounting, and that we have infinite cognitive abilities, we have time and infinite willpower, and information and attention are broadly distributed.

Nick Hanauer:               Now here’s the thing is that we now know that with scientific certainty, that none of those things are true, that in fact the last 40 years of behavioral, psychological and sociological research [00:03:30] shows unambiguously that people are not Homo Economicus, that we are actually Homo Sapiens and that we are other-regarding, reciprocal, approximating, heuristic, emotional and moral. The distinction, the difference between these two behavioral models has profound implications for economics.

Speaker 4:                    Okay, so before we tear down the totally [00:04:00] perfect logical person Homo Economicus has pegged us all as, let’s build a map, after all it’s always best to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Thankfully we can do it with a little TV break.

James T. Kirk:                Space, a final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. It’s five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, [00:04:30] to seek out new life, and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.

Sarah:                           Hi, my name’s Sarah [inaudible 00:04:38], and I’m a producer here at Pitchfork Economics, and that, as you may already know is the classic sci-fi television show, Star Trek.

Sarah:                           As nice a show as it is, I’m not just bringing it up for fun, I want to talk about one of the characters, specifically a dude named Spock. He’s a half-Vulcan, [00:05:00] half-human officer on the Starship Enterprise and he’s really got the whole sci-fi look down. He’s got he pointed ears, the eyebrows that were drawn on with a ruler, and he’s got a perfect sense of logic.

Spock:                          How close will we come to the nearest Klingon outpost if we continue on our present course?

Speaker 8:                    Ah, 1 par six, sir, close enough to smell them.

Spock:                          That is illogical Anson. Odors cannot travel through the vacuum of space.

Sarah:                           Which does came in handy on the Starfleet Enterprise, don’t get me wrong. I mean when your battling [00:05:30] hyper-logical androids, or you need someone willing to sacrifice themself for the greater good, you’ve got your guy. But what happens when you ask Spock to go to a grocery store, like friend of the pod Eric [inaudible 00:05:43] does in his book, The Origin of Well. Let’s say he walks into your local chain store and sees a carton of tomatoes. Going by Spock, logic is next series of thoughts are going to be something along the lines of tomatoes.

Sarah:                           I have a well defined preference [00:06:00] for tomatoes compared to literally everything else I could buy in the world including bread, milk and a vacation in Spain. Furthermore, I have well defined preferences for everything I could possibly buy at any point in the future. Since the future is uncertain, I have assigned probabilities to those potential purchases. In the traditional economics model, all these well defined preferences are also ordered very logically, so if I prefer tomatoes to carrots and prefer carrots to green beans, I will always take the tomatoes over the green beans. Likewise, if [00:06:30] I prefer tomatoes to carrots, I won’t suddenly go for the tomatoes simply because I saw some green beans.

Sarah:                           That’s a lot to think about. Let’s compare that to say Captain Kirk’s thoughts upon seeing a tomato. “Hmm. Tomatoes, they look nice and pretty fresh. I’m kind of feeling a salad tonight. Price looks okay too.” Puts some in the shopping basket, continues on his day.

Sarah:                           I’m not trying to say that Spock or logic don’t have their uses, [00:07:00] but the idea that a regular person is always going to be perfectly logical, is going to calculate their desire for tomatoes versus green beans in a flow chart and bring that along to the grocery store every time they go shopping, is ridiculous. I mean it’s something that Star Trek itself points out again and again.

Dr McCoy:                    Spock, remind me to tell you that I’m sick and tired of your logic.

Spock:                          That is the most illogical attitude.

Speaker 10:                  Orbit in one minute [inaudible 00:07:27].

Sarah:                           Because making people hyper-logical removes their humanity. [00:07:30] It makes a person a data point, like that tomato. I don’t know about you, but I like to imagine I’m a little more complex than my preference in veggies. My thoughts and emotions are what sway my opinions, not the stock price of green beams. As Spock says …

Spock:                          Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.

Nick Hanauer:               So we’re going to expand on these distinctions with [00:08:00] our friend, the Economist, Sam Bowles. Sam Bowles has pioneered a lot of the research on human behavior and may have singlehandedly, killed Homo Economicus himself. So it should be an interesting conversation.

Sam Bowles:                 Hey Nick, how are you?

Nick Hanauer:               I’m great. Well, we’re a few minutes early. Is that all right?

Sam Bowles:                 That’s fine. Yeah. I just [00:08:30] had to kick some people out of my house.

Nick Hanauer:               Thank you so much for taking the time to join us. I’m joined by my colleague, David Goldstein.

David Goldstein:           Hi Sam.

Nick Hanauer:               Hi David.

David Goldstein:           I just want to let you know that I’ve had to go through a whole education process the last couple of years, and you might be the most cited researcher in everything I’ve read. I see your name pop up more times than anybody else.

Nick Hanauer:               That’s right. If it’s not Bowles, it’s [Guintess 00:08:59].

David Goldstein:           Right. It’s Bowles and Guintess together.

Nick Hanauer:               [00:09:00] Anyways, so let’s start out. This episode is devoted to the idea of Homo Economicus. The episode is entitled Homo Economicus Must Die, which sounds dire and mean. So let’s start by you explaining to us what the neoclassical sort of orthodox conception of Homo Economicus is.

Sam Bowles:                 Nick, I have to disagree [00:09:30] with it right at the start. Homo Economicus dead.

Nick Hanauer:               It’s already dead.

Sam Bowles:                 We can talk about something else but maybe I’ll have to explain why I say that, but Homo Economicus, as a matter of the science of economics and so on, simply is no longer part of the discourse of the people who do research in the relevant areas. But of course you’re right that it lives on in public pronouncements. It certainly lives on in the textbooks and in the fields of economics where [00:10:00] people are not actually studying the factual basis for human behavior, it’s alive and well.

Sam Bowles:                 So here’s the basic idea. It starts in a reasonable place. It says when we see people acting, they’re trying to accomplish something, so our actions are purposeful. Then we want to find a way of formally modeling, that is using mathematics or using precise language, formally modeling how that works. So far, so good.

Sam Bowles:                 Then we go a bit further and we make two assumptions about how [00:10:30] they go about doing that. The first is how they think, and the second is what they think about. The how they think it simply says that we try to think of the thing which is the most likely or the utility associated with these various outcomes. We weight them by their probabilities and that’s called the maximization of expected utility. So now we could think about, “Well, is that really what people do?” Well, maybe when you buy a house [00:11:00] you do that kind of thing. You do a lot of thinking about how much you’re going to enjoy living there and so on. You may not do it accurately, you may have misinformation, but there are probably some realms of our life in which we kind of do that-

Nick Hanauer:               Or attempt to do that.

Sam Bowles:                 Yes. Attempt to do that. We maybe don’t do it accurately, but there are vast other parts of our lives, in which we essentially we work according to rules of thumb. What we decide to eat and where we decided to go when we [00:11:30] take a walk or … all of these things, they’re habit. Or a lot of the stuff we decide to do, we decide viscerally. Again, this shouldn’t be news to all of us. We act on impulse. We act because of anger, affection, fear and so on. These are things which of course are known by psychologists but are just coming to be known by economists, that visceral behavior is really fundamental.

Sam Bowles:                 What’s important about visceral behavior is it’s not forward-looking. [00:12:00] It doesn’t say, “Oh, if I do this, then that consequence will follow.” When I run in terror from a snake, I don’t think, “Oh, if I don’t run, I might be bitten by the snake therefore I should run.” We, fortunately for human beings, we have an immediate reaction if we see something dangerous. We draw back from it.

Sam Bowles:                 So human beings are equipped with lots of physical reactions to things, which part of the reason why we survive as a species. So [00:12:30] the idea that we think about all of these futures and the probability that they may come about because of our actions, as I say, probably covers some of our activity, but not all.

Nick Hanauer:               So we’re not the perfectly rational, perfectly informed, perfectly probabilistic Vulcans that Homo Economicus says we are. That’s just not how we think. Hell, I didn’t even think that way when I bought my house. We just walked through it for 20 minutes and made an offer. But what about the second part, Sam? What [00:13:00] we think about.

Sam Bowles:                 The second part, we think about ourselves that’s who we think about. We don’t think about others except insofar as they’re instrumental to our projects. Now as I say, a whole series of experiments over the past 30 years where people have to divide things and they have to put their money down on certain options as opposed to others, have shown that very few people are consistently selfish in this way. The majority of people violate that assumption in these experiments. [00:13:30] So we say, “Well it doesn’t seem to be true in the experiments.” Then you look at society and you say, “Well of course it’s not true.” I mean think of all the cases from very everyday ones, for example, obeying the law when you don’t have to, when you could get away with it. Everything from that to the fireman who entered the international trade towers, when they knew those towers were coming down. I mean those people, of course were doing a heroic altruistic thing. I’m sure many of them thought they would probably die and they did. [00:14:00] But anything from the everyday kindness we show to others, including respect for their needs and so on, is part of our own observation.

Sam Bowles:                 Now again, there’s a backup, which the true believers in Homo Economicus, will then say, “Well, you know, I don’t know about your experiments.” By the way, mostly they don’t know because they [inaudible 00:14:24]. Your introspection and your description of what your neighbors are like and so on, well, that’s [00:14:30] not what I see out there. I see basically we’re being pretty selfish. But the clincher here, which is supposed to shut me up, is that natural selection could not have produced the kind of species that you’re talking about. It just couldn’t happen. What’s the logic there?

Sam Bowles:                 Well, according to natural selection, the kinds of behaviors, the kind of ways of dealing with others that they’re going to spread, are those that help the reproductive success, that is number of children [00:15:00] surviving to reproductive age, also known as biological fitness. So if I do something that sacrifices my biological fitness, helping you, for example, in some way, that reduces my ability to have children, then of course, and suppose you don’t do that, well then you’re going to have more kids than me and they’re going to be more people like you in the next generation. If that goes on for three or four or five generations, it turns out most of the people [00:15:30] are going to be like you and very few like me. So that’s the argument.

Sam Bowles:                 That was thought to be the clincher until of course, recent evidence began to accumulate. There are lots of animals, not just humans, that engage in helping behaviors, jointly parenting the offspring and so on. In the case of humans, our ancestors fought a lot of battles. Now, guess which groups might win those battles?

Nick Hanauer:               Cooperative groups.

Sam Bowles:                 The groups in which people are [00:16:00] willing to say, “As a matter of fact, I’m going to help you out.” So the groups that had cooperators in them, in which the altruistic people had not been eliminated or reduced to insignificance. Those are the groups that were going to survive those contests.

Sam Bowles:                 The same would be true even if they weren’t having conflicts with other groups because surviving in this highly volatile climate required a group to cooperate. So the groups that survived these tremendous changes in temperature, for example, were probably [00:16:30] the ones with a lot of cooperators in them.

David Goldstein:           Okay. So Homo Economicus, is just scientifically wrong on both the how and the what. We’re not perfectly selfish creatures. We’ve actually evolved to be one of the most cooperative species on the planet. But so what? What are the real world consequences of getting human behaviors so wrong?

Sam Bowles:                 So the idea that has come through economics in the last 300 years is that there’s nothing really wrong with self-interest as long as we can harness [00:17:00] it, as long as we can channel it. Right after the stock market crash of 1987, I know it’s hard to remember if it’s that far back, but we do have them from time to time. The New York Times had a headline which said, “Ban greed?” No, harness it.”

Sam Bowles:                 It went on to say, there’s nothing wrong with greed as long as we can channel it towards social ends. That’s basically the paradigm that we now have in economics for public policy. [00:17:30] Ban greed? No, harness it. There’s a lot wrong with that, and I think perhaps the most important is this, if you treat people as if they’re entirely selfish, they tend to act that way.

Sam Bowles:                 The second problem with this view is, that partly for that reason, these ideas of incentivizing everything by essentially harnessing self-interest, they don’t work very [00:18:00] well and they certainly cannot address the basic problem facing humanity today. We cannot design incentives which would be good enough so that the environment will be saved for entirely selfish people who don’t care about future generations. There’s no way to design a kind of what’s called an economics, a mechanism that will do that.

Sam Bowles:                 The same is true for the production and use of knowledge. There’s no way we can get that done, spreading knowledge around, using it well and so on purely on the basis of self-interest. [00:18:30] This is one of the reasons why they have somebody to [inaudible 00:18:33]. It’s about intellectual property rights.

Nick Hanauer:               So I would have pressed farther though. I think that Homo Economicus, is actually even more pernicious of an idea then you have thus far explained because I think that, not only does telling people that people are selfish lead them to act selfishly, but that it also tells a story about [00:19:00] economic cause and effect, which is super pernicious. It’s a feedback loop, which is to say that if you embed the idea in the culture that people are essentially biologically, that we are objectively selfish and you let those people look around the world at all the prosperity and goodness in it, then they must reason logically. It must be true that billions of individual acts of selfishness magically [00:19:30] transubstantiate into prosperity and the common good. That selfishness is the cause of prosperity. Therefore the more selfish we are, the more prosperity we create.

Sam Bowles:                 Absolutely. Now in recent years, maybe the last 30 years, there’s been a new twist in economics. The new element is this; applying economic reasoning to the political sphere and to the social sphere, we now [00:20:00] say that any group that organizes must be like a cartel or a monopoly that’s trying to rip everybody off.

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah. So if you were trying to build a policy framework within the context of cause and effect explanation, which grants cooperation essentially its rightful place, well, you’re going to come up with a very different list of policies than if you believe that selfishness is the cause essentially of prosperity. [00:20:30] I think that it’s so important culturally, politically and socially to make this pivot, to get people to recognize in a more reasonable way, how the world works and where prosperity comes from and what innovation is. Otherwise, we’re going to be moving backwards and not forwards.

Sam Bowles:                 Absolutely. I think in thinking about where prosperity comes from, we should think of two dimensions. My students always make fun of me because I always think in two-by-two [00:21:00] tables that’s about as complex as my mind will work. We should think about individuals as being selfish or cooperative. That’s about individual behavior. Then we should think about social systems and we have capitalism and then other social systems and so on.

Sam Bowles:                 The capitalist revolution is given credit for, and I think correctly given credit for, the vast increase in per capita income in the countries which have experienced this capitalist revolution starting with UK, expanding around the world now even [00:21:30] hitting India, China and so on. That is a capitalist phenomenon that did that. But it was not based on individual self-interest.

Nick Hanauer:               No.

Sam Bowles:                 The capitalist system would fall apart, indeed any social system would fall apart, if the people were psychopathic as described by Homo Economicus.

Nick Hanauer:               So would it be fair to say, rather than a system based on self-interest, capitalism properly operating as a system based on mutual [00:22:00] interest?

Sam Bowles:                 I think it’s based on both. I mean, I think that the evidence of an experimental nature and also introspection, does not lead me to conclude that people are not self-interested some of the time in some situations and so on. I think that self-interest is a part of the way that markets work and so on. I think the key error in Homo Economicus is the extremism of the idea that that’s all [00:22:30] that we are. I think you know, if we think about a reconstruction of the idea of who are human beings, what is society, self-interest will continue to play some role, but it will be a long with the empirically verified aspects of human behavior, which are the antithesis of self-interest. All of those things will be there. I think firms working by a combination of the two and so does capitalism. I think we could probably do better in harnessing these human beings as we really are [00:23:00] in a society which was more democratic in the way it ran its economic affairs because we can expect people to pay attention to what goes on around them and to find ways of cooperating to find solutions.

David Goldstein:           This has been so great. We’re so appreciative of your time and I hope to see you actually physically soon.

Sam Bowles:                 Yeah, I’m sure our paths will cross [inaudible 00:23:21] thinking the same way.

David Goldstein:           Yeah, I love it.

Sam Bowles:                 Okay.

David Goldstein:           Okay. Thank you so much.

Sam Bowles:                 Yeah [inaudible 00:23:27].

David Goldstein:           Bye.

Sam Bowles:                 Bye.

David Goldstein:           Bye-bye. [00:23:30] Okay, so Nick, now we know what Homo Economicus is and why it’s wrong. Let’s talk a little bit about why it matters.

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah. I think that it matters into really ways. The first is that it’s just objectively untrue, right? It’s misleading the idea that people are perfectly selfish and perfectly rational. We now know with scientific certainty that that’s not true.

David Goldstein:           [00:24:00] If you have bad economic theory, that leads to bad economic policy and bad results-

Nick Hanauer:               Bad forecasts and all that kind of stuff, right? It leads you to believe things which are not true about the economy. That belief enables you to build models that actually don’t resemble the real world and they mislead you in all sorts of ways. But the-

David Goldstein:           That’s where great recessions come from.

Nick Hanauer:               Exactly. But there’s another way in which it’s a bad and consequential, which is in the normative [00:24:30] way, in the way that it affects the culture. Because if you teach people that people are selfish, then they come away believing that they should be selfish, and that is not a great thing for human societies.

David Goldstein:           And they end up behaving-

Nick Hanauer:               Selfishly.

David Goldstein:           … more selfishly. We know this because there are actual studies that show that economic students act more selfishly.

Nick Hanauer:               After you teach them economics.

David Goldstein:           Right. You take [00:25:00] Econ 101, you will be more selfish than somebody who didn’t.

Nick Hanauer:               Because the basic theoretical framework is it’s selfishness causes prosperity, and so therefore, being selfish is good. But if on the other hand we understand human beings and Homo Sapiens as they are as, yeah, of course occasionally self-interested and selfish, but largely cooperative, other regarding and reciprocal, then you have to [00:25:30] conclude that it’s cooperation largely and morality that is generating the prosperity around you. Understanding the world in that way can help you build better models and better economic policy.

Nick Hanauer:               It also will lead you to building a better culture because instead of encouraging, actively encouraging people to be selfish, you’re actively encouraging them to be cooperative and generous and other-regarding and so on and so forth. You just [00:26:00] end up in a much, much better circumstance.

David Goldstein:           So if we believe that the invisible hand wasn’t a selfish part of our nature, but the cooperative and reciprocal part of our nature, we’re going to emphasize the part of our behavior that actually leads to prosperity, leads to more trust, more cooperation, more complexity, and thus more prosperity.

Nick Hanauer:               Exactly. That’s why this matters so much. Why [00:26:30] it’s not an academic dispute over behavioral models. It’s actually a really important fight that affects people’s lived experience every day in the world.

David Goldstein:           Right. If we want to create a better world, Homo Economicus must die.

David Goldstein:           So Nick, you’ve been asking our listeners if they have any questions and we got one via email from John [Tibit 00:26:56], excuse the pronunciation if I got that wrong. [00:27:00] It’s actually more of a suggestion than a question. I’ll summarize this. He says, “It feels like you use the term workers a lot.” He’s afraid that that’s got a kind of socialist ring to it.

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah, connotation.

David Goldstein:           Socialism, death panels, government control, a little terrifying to a lot of people and he wonders if maybe it would be easier on the American ear to refer to people as just people. After [00:27:30] all, that’s what we are and we all need a job. What do you think, Nick? Do you need a job?

Nick Hanauer:               I don’t need a job, which is why we use the term workers, is that there actually is a growing distinction in our economy between people who work and people who clip coupons.

David Goldstein:           So well, do you clip coupons? Well, T-bills?

Nick Hanauer:               Other people clip the coupons for me.

David Goldstein:           For [inaudible 00:27:52]. Right, you … so the distinction here, if we were to follow John’s suggestion, there’d [00:28:00] be workers. I’m a worker and your a person.

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah. So one of the … So this a really interesting question of nomenclature and values and language and positioning. I guess I think one of the really interesting things that’s happened in our economy is that the term workers traditionally meant more working class people, people at the bottom end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

David Goldstein:           Distinguished from the middle class.

Nick Hanauer:               [00:28:30] Yes and from white collar workers, but over the last 40 years, one of the really- call it interesting, it’s also horrifying- things that’s happened is that everyone in the bottom nine deciles, the bottom 90% of the income spectrum has been left behind by economic growth. So folks that ordinarily would have considered themselves super upwardly mobile, white-collar and part of [00:29:00] the elite in many ways, have been left behind. I just think, it’s just accurate to call people who work for a living workers, and that’s why we’ve gotten comfort with it.

Nick Hanauer:               There is a distinction in my mind between people who work for a living and do what other people tell them to do and people who are the owners of enterprises and control capital.

David Goldstein:           And owners of capital, and this makes an important distinction which underlies [00:29:30] much of the growing income and wealth inequality in the country is that people like me who work, most of our income comes on a W2. It comes in the form of earned income from work. People like you, the bulk of your income comes from capital gains. You are-

Nick Hanauer:               Well, non-earned income.

David Goldstein:           Non-earned income.

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah.

David Goldstein:           You are earning profits on your assets, what we used to call unearned income.

Nick Hanauer:               Yes.

David Goldstein:           Why don’t we call [00:30:00] it that anymore?

Nick Hanauer:               I don’t know [inaudible 00:30:01] because-

David Goldstein:           Why do we advantage unearned income over earned income? That seems unfair.

Nick Hanauer:               I think that may be neo liberalism.

David Goldstein:           So yeah, we agree John. We understand it’s a word that could set other people off, but I dunno what. Maybe you’d prefer we distinguish instead of workers, we call them proletariat?

Nick Hanauer:               Yeah. Anyway, thanks for the question.

David Goldstein:           Again, we welcome your questions. Please email us [00:30:30] at pitchforkeconomics.com or leave us a voicemail at (731) 388-9334.

David Goldstein:           On the next episode of Pitchfork Economics, we look at spatial inequality and whether cities are killing rural America.

Speaker 3:                    [00:31:00] Pitchfork economics is produced by civic ventures. The magic happens in Seattle in partnership with Larj Media. That’s L-A-R-J Media, and the Young Turks network.

Speaker 3:                    Find us on Twitter and Facebook at Civic Action and follow our writing on medium at Civic Skunk Works. You should also follow Nick Hanauer on Twitter at @nickhanauer.

Speaker 3:                    As always, a big thank you to our guests and thank you to our team at Civic Ventures; Nick Hanauer, Zack Silk, Jasmin Weaver, Jessyn Farrell, Stephanie Ervin, David Goldstein, Paul Constant, [00:31:30] Nick Cassella and Annie Fadely. Thanks for listening.

David Goldstein:           America, I can’t say it.

Speaker 12:                  [crosstalk 00:31:39].

David Goldstein:           Rural.

Speaker 12:                  [inaudible 00:31:41].

David Goldstein:           Rural, I can’t. I had so many years of speech therapy it’s so hard to get past this.