Rank #1: 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.
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.
Dec 25 2018
Rank #2: Will bad economics kill the Green New Deal? (with Naomi Klein and J.W. Mason)
The only thing holding us back from big, bold, progressive change is ourselves. When critics wonder if we can afford to pay for the Green New Deal, they couch their concerns in the language of neoliberal economics: they say that investing in the middle class, raising wages, and doing too much too quickly will ruin the economy. This week, Naomi Klein and J.W. Mason join us to explain why the economic status quo is the greatest barrier to the Green New Deal becoming a reality, and how we actually can afford to change our economy so drastically.
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. She is Senior Correspondent for The Intercept, a Puffin Writing Fellow at Type Media Center, and the inaugural Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University. Her most recent book, ‘On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal’, published worldwide in September, was an instant New York Times bestseller and a #1 Canadian bestseller.
J.W. Mason is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where he works on the Financialization Project, and an assistant professor of economics at John Jay College, CUNY. His current research focuses on the history and political economy of credit, including the evolution of household debt and changing role of financial markets in business investment. He also works on the history of economic thought, particularly the development of macroeconomics over the twentieth century.
Further reading and resources:
Can We Afford a Green New Deal? http://jwmason.org/slackwire/can-we-afford-a-green-new-deal/
Decarbonizing the US Economy: Pathways Toward a Green New Deal: https://rooseveltinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Roosevelt-Institute_Green-New-Deal_Digital-Final.pdf
A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9uTH0iprVQ
With a Green New Deal, Here’s What the World Could Look Like for the Next Generation: https://theintercept.com/2018/12/05/green-new-deal-proposal-impacts/
Oct 22 2019
Hear the Bern
The Damage Report with John Iadarola
Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper
The Bitchuation Room
Another Way, by Lawrence Lessig
The Michael Brooks Show
The David Pakman Show
Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff
Know Your Enemy
The Hartmann Report
The Benjamin Dixon Show
Rank #3: 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.
Apr 23 2019
Rank #4: BONUS: Why Howard Schultz would make a terrible president
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he’s seriously considering running for President. Nick Hanauer, who knows Schultz, says that businesspeople often make terrible politicians.
Jan 31 2019
Most Popular Podcasts
Rank #5: 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.
Sukhi Samra is the Executive Director of the Stockton Empowerment Demonstration (SEED), a pilot program to test a universal basic income in Stockton, CA. SEED is the country’s first-ever city-led Guaranteed Income Initiative.
Our Vision for SEED: A Discussion Paper: https://www.stocktondemonstration.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SEED-Discussion-Paper.pdf
What would a universal basic income mean for America? Stockton thinks it has the answer: https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-pol-ca-basic-income-stockton-reparations-20190415-story.html
The Progressive Case for Replacing the Welfare State with Basic Income: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-progressive-case-for_b_12236546
Aug 20 2019
Rank #6: 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.
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.
Feb 19 2019
Rank #7: How to make the rich pay their taxes (with Gabriel Zucman)
Tax rates on the wealthy have steadily eroded in the United States over the last forty years, leaving us with an upside-down tax code that benefits the rich. And it’s surprisingly easy for powerful people to evade the taxes that they do owe, which inevitably inspires another round of harsh budget cuts from conservative lawmakers. Gabriel Zucman, the authority on wealth taxes, joins us this week to explain how the rich dodge taxes, and how we can fix the tax system.
Gabriel Zucman is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the accumulation, distribution, and preservation of wealth, with a global and historical perspective. He is the author of ‘The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens’, and the co-author, with Emmanuel Saez, of the new book ‘The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay’.
The Triumph of Injustice: https://wwnorton.com/books/the-triumph-of-injustice
The Wealth Detective Who Finds the Hidden Money of the Super Rich: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-05-23/the-wealth-detective-who-finds-the-hidden-money-of-the-super-rich
Nov 26 2019
Rank #8: Re-imagining capitalism (with Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson)
Contrary to popular belief, Nordic countries aren’t actually socialist! No, friends, the Nords are capitalists—but they pull it off much better than we do. To help re-imagine American capitalism, writers Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson join us this week all the way from Finland.
Anu Partanen is a journalist and the author of The Nordic Theory of Everything. The book debunks some of the most common myths about Nordic societies and discusses what the United States might be able to borrow from aspects of Nordic success in the twenty-first century. She has written for The New York Times and The Atlantic.
Trevor Corson is an award-winning author and editor. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and many more.
The Nordic Theory of Everything: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062316547
Finland Is a Capitalist Paradise: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/07/opinion/sunday/finland-socialism-capitalism.html
What Americans Don’t Get About Nordic Countries: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/bernie-sanders-nordic-countries/473385/
Capitalism Redefined: https://democracyjournal.org/magazine/31/capitalism-redefined/
Safe, happy and free: does Finland have all the answers? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/12/safe-happy-and-free-does-finland-have-all-the-answers
Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Feb 11 2020
Rank #9: 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.
Jul 16 2019
Rank #10: 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.
Mar 19 2019
Rank #11: 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’.
Sarah Smarsh is the author of ‘Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth’, which became an instant New York Times bestseller and was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award. She has covered socioeconomic class, politics, and public policy for The Guardian, The New York Times, and many other publications.
The Hard Truths of Trying to ‘Save’ the Rural Economy: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/14/opinion/rural-america-trump-decline.html
Country pride: What I learned growing up in rural America: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/06/country-pride-kansas-rural-america-sarah-smarsh
America’s Worsening Geographic Inequality: https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/10/americas-worsening-geographic-inequality/573061/
The Contribution of National Income Inequality to Regional Economic Divergence: https://academic.oup.com/sf/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/sf/soz013/5418441
The Economic Innovation Group’s 2018 Distressed Communities Index: https://eig.org/dci
May 14 2019
Rank #12: HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: Trickle-Down or Treat
We asked our guests and listeners: what’s the spookiest, sneakiest, and scariest trickle-down trick? Find out what’s making Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Professor Stephanie Kelton, author Matt Stoller, and more good witches and wizards quake in their boots this Halloween.
Oct 31 2019
Rank #13: 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.
Better Schools Won’t Fix America: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/education-isnt-enough/590611/
Aug 06 2019
Rank #14: 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.
Jun 25 2019
Rank #15: 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.
Jan 18 2019
Rank #16: 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.
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.
Oct 15 2019
Rank #17: 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.
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.
Jul 09 2019
Rank #18: 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’.
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.
Mar 05 2019
Rank #19: 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.
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.
Mar 12 2019
Rank #20: 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.
Feb 26 2019