Pitchfork Economics Teaser

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.

Why do we call it pitchfork economics? (with Ganesh Sitaraman and Walter Scheidel)

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.

The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats:

Twitter: @nickhanauer 
Facebook: @CivicSkunkWorks @NickHanauer
Medium: https://civicskunk.works/

Ganesh 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.

Twitter: @ganeshsitaraman 

Walter 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.

Twitter: @walterscheidel

Is Econ 101 a lie? (with Eric Beinhocker and James Kwak)

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.

Eric 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.

Twitter: @ericbeinhocker

James 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.

Twitter: @jamesykwak

Further reading: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/01/economism-and-the-minimum-wage/513155/

What is the trick in trickle down? (with Yuval Harari and Molly Crockett)

What is the “trick” in “trickle down” economics? It’s how wealthy elites and their neoliberal lackeys convince you that what’s good for them (tax cuts, deregulation, etc.) is good for you… and that policies like the minimum wage, overtime, and paid sick leave will ruin the economy. Economics is a story we tell ourselves to help explain who gets what, and why. In this episode we explore how to tell a better story.

Yuval 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.

Twitter: @yuvalharari
Facebook: @Prof.Yuval.Noah.Harari
Instagram: @yuval_noah_harari

Molly 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.

Twitter: @mollycrockett

Further reading:
(1) https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/41/a-threat-not-a-theory/
(2) https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/18/to-my-fellow-plutocrats-you-can-cure-trumpism-215347

BONUS: Where’s your $4,000 raise?

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.

Further reading:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/04/10/donald-trump-gop-tax-cuts-wont-deliver-big-raise-column/471188002/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/11/republican-tax-cut-for-rich-economy-215696

BONUS: Where's your $4,000 raise?

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.

Further reading:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/04/10/donald-trump-gop-tax-cuts-wont-deliver-big-raise-column/471188002/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/11/republican-tax-cut-for-rich-economy-215696

Whatever happened to the middle class? (with Heather Boushey and Matthew Stewart)

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.

Heather Boushey: Executive director and chief economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Author of Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict.

Twitter: @HBoushey

Matthew Stewart: Philosopher, D.Phil from Oxford University. Author of Nature’s God and The Management Myth. Contributor to The Atlantic.

Website: https://mwstewart.com/

Further reading:
(1) http://evonomics.com/new-social-security-system-sharing-economy-hanauer/
(2) https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954

How should we measure the economy? (with Diane Coyle)

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.

Diane 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.

Twitter: @DianeCoyle1859

Further reading:

(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-18-1968

(2) https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/31/capitalism-redefined/

Where does economic growth really come from? (with W. Brian Arthur and Cesar Hidalgo)

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.

Guest Bios
W. 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.

Cesar 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.

Twitter: @cesifoti

Further reading:
Complexity 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.pdf

Economic Complexity: From useless to keystone: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https%3A%2F%2Fchidalgo.com%2Fs%2Fnphys4337.pdf

Complexity Economics Shows Us Why Laissez-Faire Economics Always Fails: http://evonomics.com/complexity-economics-shows-us-that-laissez-faire-fail-nickhanauer/

BONUS: Marching orders for new legislators

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.
Further reading: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/14/democrats-must-reclaim-the-center-by-moving-hard-left-219354

Is the American Dream a lie? (with Christian Cooper and Khiara Bridges)

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.

Christian 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.

Twitter: @christiancooper

Khiara 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.

Further reading:
Why Poverty Is Like a Disease: http://nautil.us/issue/47/consciousness/why-poverty-is-like-a-disease

Excavating Race-Based Disadvantage Among Class-Privileged People of Color: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3143892

Income Mobility Charts: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/27/upshot/make-your-own-mobility-animation.html

Divided We Fall: https://newrepublic.com/article/141644/divided-fall-trump-symptom-constitutional-crisis-inequality

Raj 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/

Do tax cuts for rich people create growth? (with Bruce Bartlett)

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.

Bruce 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.

Twitter: @BruceBartlett

Further reading:

Want to Expand the Economy? Tax the Rich! https://prospect.org/article/want-expand-economy-tax-rich

I 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

Do regulations kill growth? (with Robert Reich)

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.

Robert 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’.

Twitter: @RBReich

Facebook: Robert Reich

Further reading: Robert B. Reich: How Trump’s war on regulation is trickle-down economics

Do higher wages kill jobs? (with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Alan Krueger)

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.

Eric Garcetti: Mayor of Los Angeles since 2013. Former member of the LA City Council, serving as council president from 2006 to 2012.

Twitter: @ericgarcetti

Alan 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?’.

Twitter: @Alan_Krueger

Richard 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.

Twitter: @_RichardKirsch

Further reading: Raising the Minimum Wage Is Good for Everyone

Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Experiment Is a Success

BONUS: Yuval Harari – Unedited Conversation

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.   

What is the purpose of a corporation? (with William Lazonick and Lenore Palladino)

Nick, Goldy, and their guests William Lazonick and Lenore Palladino explain why “shareholder value maximization” is the world’s dumbest idea.

William 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.

Twitter: @Lazonick

Lenore 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.

Twitter: @lenorepalladino

Further reading:
https://www.brookings.edu/research/stock-buybacks-from-retain-and-reinvest-to-downsize-and-distribute/
https://hbr.org/2014/09/profits-without-prosperity/
http://rooseveltinstitute.org/ending-shareholder-primacy-corporate-governance/
http://rooseveltinstitute.org/rewriting-rules-take-aim-stock-buybacks-and-force-companies-invest-their-workers-stop-walmart-act/
http://rooseveltinstitute.org/what-wells-fargos-40-6-billion-stock-buybacks-could-have-meant-its-employees-and-customers/
http://rooseveltinstitute.org/towards-accountable-capitalism/

Senator Cory Booker explains: what the hell is a stock buyback?

Senator Cory Booker explains the problem with stock buybacks, walks us through his Workers Dividend Act, and offers Goldy some much-needed counseling.

Cory Booker is the U.S. Senator from New Jersey and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Twitter: @CoryBooker

Further reading: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/6/17083398/booker-buyback-populist

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/02/kill-stock-buyback-to-save-the-american-economy/385259/

What can a board game teach us about capitalism? (with Jared Bernstein and Jonathan Tepper)

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?

Jared 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’.

Twitter: @econjared

Jonathan 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.

Twitter: @jtepper2

Further reading: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/51/progressive-labor-standards/

BONUS: Econ terms and definitions explained by Nick and Goldy

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.
Twitter: @NickHanauer @GoldyHA

Whatever happened to overtime? (with Sharon Block and Chris Lu)

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?

Sharon 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.

Twitter: @sharblock

Chris 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.

Twitter: @ChrisLu44

Further reading:

https://crooked.com/articles/beat-trump-overtime-pay/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954

Why is getting out of poverty so hard? (with Felicia Wong)

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.

Felicia 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.

Twitter: @FeliciaWongRI @rooseveltinst

Hanna 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.

Twitter: @mshannabrooks

Further reading:
https://medium.com/@mshannabrooks/but-seriously-lets-talk-about-millennial-poverty-526066ad9adb

https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/154286/50YearTrends.pdf

What's preventing pay equity? (with Julie Nelson and Claire Cain Miller)

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’. 

Twitter: @julie_nelson

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. 

Twitter: @clairecm

Further reading

http://evonomics.com/yes-economics-problem-women/

http://evonomics.com/pretending-hard-science-ethics-free-julie-nelson/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/upshot/the-gender-pay-gap-is-largely-because-of-motherhood.html

https://hbr.org/2018/01/when-more-women-join-the-workforce-wages-rise-including-for-men

What’s preventing pay equity? (with Julie Nelson and Claire Cain Miller)

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’.

Twitter: @julie_nelson

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.

Twitter: @clairecm

Further reading

http://evonomics.com/yes-economics-problem-women/

http://evonomics.com/pretending-hard-science-ethics-free-julie-nelson/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/upshot/the-gender-pay-gap-is-largely-because-of-motherhood.html

https://hbr.org/2018/01/when-more-women-join-the-workforce-wages-rise-including-for-men

Is economics moral? (with Heather McGhee)

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.

Heather 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.

Twitter: @hmcghee

Further reading: https://www.demos.org/issue/economy-opportunity

https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/the-moral-burden-on-economists

Why does the U.S. hate families? (with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Katie Hamm)

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.

Anne-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.

Twitter: @SlaughterAM

Katie 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.

Twitter: @DCHammslice

Kristine 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.

Twitter: @KMReevesWA

Further reading:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it-all/309020/
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/reports/2017/09/07/438428/blueprint-child-care-reform/
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/news/2017/10/31/441825/the-cost-of-inaction-on-universal-preschool/
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/24/upshot/americans-love-families-american-policies-dont.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fclaire-cain-miller

Should Democrats appeal to the center by moving hard left? (with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal)

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.

Congresswoman 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.

Twitter: @PramilaJayapal

Further reading:
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/14/democrats-must-reclaim-the-center-by-moving-hard-left-219354
https://cpc-grijalva.house.gov/

What is Modern Monetary Theory? (with Stephanie Kelton)

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.

Twitter: @StephanieKelton

Further reading:
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/16/18251646/modern-monetary-theory-new-moment-explained

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/opinion/deficit-tax-cuts-trump.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/01/bernie-sanders-economic-advisor-stephanie-kelton-on-mmt-and-2020-race.html

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-rock-star-appeal-of-modern-monetary-theory/

What are the economics of climate change? (with Governor Jay Inslee and Fadhel Kaboub)

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.

Jay 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.

Twitter: @JayInslee

Fadhel 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.

Twitter: @FadhelKaboub

BONUS: Tax the Rich! (with Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint)

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.

Maura Quint is the Executive Director of Tax March.

Twitter: @behindyourback

https://taxmarch.org/

https://www.vox.com/2019/3/19/18240377/estate-tax-wealth-tax-70-percent-warren-sanders-aoc

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/7/18171975/tax-bracket-marginal-cartoon-ocasio-cortez-70-percent

Homo economicus must die (with Samuel Bowles)

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

https://democracyjournal.org/arguments/homo-economicus-must-die/

https://www.core-econ.org/

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

Can rural America be saved? (with Eduardo Porter and Sarah Smarsh)

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’.

Twitter: @portereduardo

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.

Twitter: @Sarah_Smarsh

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

Can rural America be saved?

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’. 

Twitter: @portereduardo

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.

Twitter: @Sarah_Smarsh

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

BONUS: Why do we fight fires like it’s still 1969? (with Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz)

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.  

Washington 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.

Twitter: @Hilary_FranzCPL

HuffPost: Controlled Burns Lower Wildfire Risks. These Western States Struggle To Set More Of Them. http://bit.ly/huffpowildfire 

Crosscut: A bold plan to curb wildfires, create jobs and build affordable housing http://bit.ly/CrosscutDNRplan 

Ask Nick Anything – Part 1 (with Trae Crowder)

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!

Trae 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.

Twitter: @traecrowder

Instagram: @officialtraecrowder

BONUS: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal – Unedited Conversation

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.

http://www.pitchforkeconomics.com/episode/should-democrats-appeal-to-the-center-by-moving-hard-left-with-congresswoman-pramila-jayapal/

Ask Nick Anything – Part 2 (with Trae Crowder)

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.

Trae 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.

Twitter: @traecrowder
Instagram: @officialtraecrowder

BONUS: Strategies for building a robust and equitable recovery from the next recession (with Connie Razza)

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. 

Connie 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. 

Twitter: @ConnieRazza

https://www.epi.org/publication/break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-strategy-memo-for-winning-a-robust-and-just-recovery-from-the-next-recession/

Update: Whatever happened to overtime? (with Sharon Block and Chris Lu)

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.

Sharon 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.

Twitter: @sharblock

Chris 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.

Twitter: @ChrisLu44

Further reading:

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/06/05/40402423/hundreds-of-thousands-of-workers-will-be-newly-eligible-for-overtime-in-washington-state

https://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=twitter

https://crooked.com/articles/beat-trump-overtime-pay/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954

Picking up where Darwin left off (LIVE with David Sloan Wilson)

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.

David 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’.

Twitter: @David_S_Wilson

Further reading: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246844/this-view-of-life-by-david-sloan-wilson/9781101870204/

http://evonomics.com/the-new-invisible-hand-david-sloan-wilson/

http://evonomics.com/complexity-economics-shows-us-that-laissez-faire-fail-nickhanauer/

A roadmap to utopia (with Rutger Bregman)

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.

Rutger 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.

Twitter: @rcbregman

Further reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/18/solution-everything-working-less-work-pressure

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/feb/26/rutger-bregman-utopia-for-realists-interview-universal-basic-income

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/02/20/dutch-professor-exposes-tucker-carlsons-fraud/?utm_term=.a252dc0fa581

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/01/rutger-bregman-world-economic-forum-davos-speech-tax-billionaires-capitalism

https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1090045108064579584

Our full conversation with Governor Jay Inslee

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.

Jay 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.

Twitter: @JayInslee

Links:

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/5/4/18527458/climate-change-jay-inslee-for-president-2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/01/us/politics/jay-inslee-on-the-issues.html

The decline of worker power (with David Rolf and Larry Mishel)

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.
David 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.
Twitter: @DavidMRolf
Larry 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.
Twitter: @LarryMishel
Further reading: https://tcf.org/content/report/roadmap-rebuilding-worker-power/?session=1
https://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/
https://psmag.com/economics/what-caused-the-decline-of-unions-in-america

Health Care Part 1: Everyone does it better than us (with T. R. Reid)

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.

T. 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.

Twitter: @therealtrreid

Further reading:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6402544-the-healing-of-america

BONUS: Don't Pass Go—without learning more about monopolies (with Barry Lynn)

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’. 

Twitter: @openmarkets

Further reading: 
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/02/antimonopoly-big-business/514358/

https://openmarketsinstitute.org/op-eds-and-articles/why-competition-matters/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/26/google-and-facebook-are-strangling-the-free-press-to-death-democracy-is-the-loser

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/02/facebook-google-monopoly-companies

Health Care Part 2: One nation, with liberty and health care for all (with Sanders for President Campaign Co-Chair Nina Turner)

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.

Nina 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.

Twitter: @ninaturner
Instagram: @ninaturnerohio

Further reading:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/25/health/what-does-medicare-for-all-mean/index.html

https://www.vogue.com/article/sen-nina-turner-universal-programs-opinion

BONUS: What to listen for in the second round of presidential debates

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. 

Further reading: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/06/26/democratic-debate-economy-middle-class-analysis-growth-227217

The robots are coming… what now? (with Heidi Shierholz and Daron Acemoglu)

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.

Heidi 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.

Twitter: @hshierholz

Daron 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.

Twitter: @DrDaronAcemoglu

Further reading:
The 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/

How robots became a scapegoat for the destruction of the working class (The Week): https://theweek.com/articles/837759/how-robots-became-scapegoat-destruction-working-class

Automation, Job Loss, and the Welfare State (Council on Foreign Relations): https://www.cfr.org/event/automation-job-loss-and-welfare-state

Robots, or automation, are not the problem (EPI): https://www.epi.org/publication/robots-or-automation-are-not-the-problem-too-little-worker-power-is/

Robots 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/

Where Do Good Jobs Come From? (Project Syndicate): https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/automation-vs-job-creation-by-daron-acemoglu-2019-04?barrier=accesspaylog

The 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

Educationism (with Diane Ravitch)

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?

Diane 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.

Twitter: @DianeRavitch

Further reading:

Better Schools Won’t Fix America: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/education-isnt-enough/590611/

Shared security, shared growth: a social contract for the 21st century (with Senator Mark Warner and Abby Solomon)

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.

Senator 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.

Twitter: @MarkWarner

Abby 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.

Twitter: @SEIU775BG

Further reading:

Shared Security, Shared Growth: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/37/shared-security-shared-growth/

Portable Benefits for an Insecure Workforce: https://prospect.org/article/portable-benefits-insecure-workforce

Building a portable benefits system for today’s world: http://seiu775.org/building-a-portable-benefits-system-for-todays-world/

A skeptic’s guide to Universal Basic Income (with Scott Santens and Sukhi Samra)

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. 

Twitter: @scottsantens

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scottsantens 

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. 

Twitter: @stocktondemo

Further reading:

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

A skeptic's guide to Universal Basic Income (with Scott Santens and Sukhi Samra)

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. 

Twitter: @scottsantens

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scottsantens 

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. 

Twitter: @stocktondemo

Further reading:

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

Paul’s Book Review: Listen, Liberal

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. 

Listen, Liberal: http://listenliberal.com/ 

Twitter: @paulconstant

Paul’s website, The Seattle Review of Books: https://seattlereviewofbooks.com/

Does the future of work include a Federal Jobs Guarantee? (with Pavlina Tcherneva and Representative Ro Khanna)

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.

Pavlina 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.

Twitter: @ptcherneva

Ro 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.

Twitter: @RoKhanna

Further reading:

Ro 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

Trump’s bait and switch: job creation in the midst of welfare state sabotage: http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue78/Tcherneva78.pdf

4 big questions about job guarantees: https://www.vox.com/2018/4/27/17281676/job-guarantee-design-bad-jobs-labor-market-federal-reserve

The 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-employment

Unemployment: The Silent Epidemic: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_895.pdf

The Job Guarantee: Design, Jobs, and Implementation: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_902.pdf

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

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.

Ben 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.

Twitter: @benzipperer, @EconomicPolicy

Further reading:

Gradually 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/

Six 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/

Studies mentioned in the episode:

New 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/w25434

Card 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.pdf

University of Washington study – Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle: https://www.nber.org/papers/w23532

BONUS: Voicemails with Nick and Goldy

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. 

Twitter: @NickHanauer, @GoldyHA

Does the market really pay you what you’re worth? (with Marshall Steinbaum and Saru Jayaraman)

The theory of marginal product of labor says that every worker is paid exactly what they’re worth—the value that their labor generates. Employers cite marginal productivity to legitimize paying the lowest wages possible, but 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.

Marshall Steinbaum is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Finance at the Jain Family Institute. He studies market power in labor markets and its policy implications. He was previously a Senior Economist and Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and a Research Economist at the Center for Equitable Growth.

Twitter: @Econ_Marshall

Saru 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.’

Twitter: @SaruJayaraman

Further reading

No, Productivity Does Not Explain Income: https://evonomics.com/no-productivity-does-not-explain-income/

ROC United Diners’ Guide App: https://rocunited.org/diners-guide/

Saru 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/

Evidence 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.pdf

Antitrust and Labor Market Power: https://econfip.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Antitrust-and-Labor-Market-Power.pdf

Why Are Economists Giving Piketty the Cold Shoulder?
http://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/marshall-steinbaum-why-are-economists-giving-piketty-cold-shoulder

Behind the scenes of Nick’s new TED Talk: The dirty secret of capitalism—and a new way forward

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.

Video of Nick’s TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_hanauer_the_dirty_secret_of_capitalism_and_a_new_way_forward

Audio of Nick’s talk on the TED Talks Daily podcast: https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5mZWVkYnVybmVyLmNvbS9URURUYWxrc19hdWRpbw&episode=ZW4uYXVkaW8udGFsay50ZWQuY29tOjQ4NTQ1&hl=en&ep=6&at=1568658932671

Twitter: @NickHanauer

Author Interview: Chris Arnade

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.

Chris 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.

Twitter: @Chris_arnade

Further reading:

Our 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

Dignity on IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780525534730

BONUS: Saru Jayaraman – Unedited Conversation

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. 

Saru 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.’ 

Twitter: @SaruJayaraman

Saru 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/

Why philanthropy can’t undo this mess (with Anand Giridharadas)

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

Anand 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.

Twitter: @AnandWrites

Further reading:

Winners Take All: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/539747/winners-take-all-by-anand-giridharadas/9780451493248

Beware Rich People Who Say They Want to Change the World: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/24/opinion/sunday/wealth-philanthropy-fake-change.html

BONUS: Rewriting the rules for an inclusive economy (with Darrick Hamilton)

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. 

Darrick 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. 

Twitter: @DarrickHamilton

Further reading: 

New Rules for the 21st Century: Corporate Power, Public Power, and the Future of the American Economy:

https://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Roosevelt-Institute_2021-Report_Digital-copy.pdf

How neoliberalism happened (with George Monbiot and Binyamin Appelbaum)

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

George 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.

Twitter: @GeorgeMonbiot

Binyamin 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.

Twitter: @BCAppelbaum

Further reading:

Out of the Wreckage: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781786632890

The Economists’ Hour: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316512329

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

Games Economists Play: http://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/marshall-steinbaum-games-economists-play

The trade-offs of global trade (with Dean Baker and Port Commissioner Ryan Calkins)

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.

Dean 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.

Twitter: DeanBaker13

Ryan 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.

Twitter: @ryancalkinsSEA

Paul’s Book Review: Kochland

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/