DiscoverVox's The WeedsThe First Debate and Pet Health Care

The First Debate and Pet Health Care

Update: 2016-09-29


Sarah, Ezra, and Matt try to take the policy content of the Trump-Clinton debate seriously and discuss important new research into out of control health care spending -- on pets.

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

the following podcast contains explicit language and terms it's a good twenty min yes that's the we and the oh welcome to another so that the weeds boxes policy podcast on the pathway network I met Yglesias a high cliff and Ezra Klein as usual and we have that spectacular white paper that we fight coming up that's how exciting that is why would you most excited about this week this is a piece of research that I have been waiting for years for somebody to do and I'm glad it has that all election cycle people waiting for this week for the wheat is why paper of the week it's such a good white paper thou like it so ever to understand in my own thirty four the Donald Trump debating Hillary Clinton of light speaking of West's up before we get downtown and Hillary Clinton debated on Monday to see how you did to me a policy laid in weeds or if kick ass discourse mostly it focused know I mean in all seriousness it was largely focused on and Hillary Clinton sort of for Elaine Donald Trump in various subtle ways and him kind of looking like an irritable jerk being testy with her with the moderator fidgeting rolling his eyes at weird moments to Beatty kind of stuff but I think we want to talk about is the beginning of the day where I would say estimates vary as to whether it was twenty or thirty minutes of time during which Trump mostly talked about trade and how he was going to bring jobs back and that Hillary Clinton did NAFTA which was the worst re deal of all time and there was a semi consensus among journalists watching it pull both sort of lefty journalists and like just campaign the journalists and certainly like Trump enthusiasts that that that was like a good moment for Trump and if only he could have stayed on track denouncing NAFTA like he would have hit it out of the park and I think Ezra as they rode a smart piece of that this was to be fair site copy of your smart piece on it from rolling the table with a different framing so the thing that I want to say is a framing device here is the hard thing heats is that there are two things happening simultaneously there is the part of the debate you could be judging even if you had it on mute right you'll sometimes hear people who are very good TV say that you can tell whether someone is winning a debate or a host of succeeding in their job by watching it on mute or seeing their body language sing their parent command of the stage so there's that going on there's that sense of who is commanding at the moment and they're the actual works right what the words mean what he would put together whether they are true what happens if you read them later and the first thirty minutes twenty minutes of the debate Donald Trump was stylistically very dominant he Sarah and her team noticed are counted he interrupted Heller granted twenty five times in twenty six minutes he was confident he sounded like a guy who knew what he was talking about and then you stop and you read what he said and it was really really really uninformed so what Trump dead what happened in the section of the debate was the moderator began Lester Holt began by asking essentially how you bring prosperity to America I think the specific question to Trump was how you put money back in workers' pockets and Trump one on a ref that showed his basic theory the economy which is quite unusually Ameritrade focused theory of the economy a lot of Republicans tend of attacks focused theory of the economy a lot of Democrats have demand focus theory of economy but Trump really thinks about trade and so he talked about China devaluing its currency he talked about his friend who's in manufacturing tells Mexico is building the biggest factor is an American taken all our jobs he talked about jobs are fleeing America to these other countries like China and Mexico when he looked and tried to make her argument he really attacked right now this is the worst thing the worst trade deal ever in the world certainly ever in America hit NAFTA again and again and again and again I watched it and I also thought Trump was coming off pretty strong but it was just all bullshit so a couple things here number one estimates of his effect on the economy differ but there've been a lot of reviews of the literature on this and they tend to find very modest effects in one direction or another so there is a review of eleven metric studies show that in America the effects probably range from a very small bit of wage suppression for blue collar workers to an overall wage from five point one seven percent for workers overall there was a review of literature done by the Congressional Research Service they found a very small positive effect on output on manufacturing the fun basically no effect on employment a small positive effect on wages and we can argue I'm actually not really trying to argue whether NAFTA was a good or bad trade deal what I am saying is that the evidence is overwhelming that it just wasn't a consequential driver of the American economy in the following years and you can see that in a Broadway when after goes into factors passed in January nineteen ninety four unemployment is six point six percent in January of two thousand its four percent so just very hard to say that this was a rolling economic calamity for the country during which time unemployment plummeted similarly China is not currently devaluing its currency its popping its currency up because it's trying to keep investors from fleeing a real estate bubble the biggest factory in the world as Matt pointed out and a piece is being built by Tesla in Fremont California the current biggest factor in the world is by Boeing in Washington state there was just nothing about this it was true but more probably it was theoretically very misguided Trump seems to believe that America has a manufacturing based economy and you really would have thought for most of the jobs in America manufacturing jobs and we have at this point really services based economy for thinking about how to deliver prosperity and had to give people a raise how to make jobs are currently low wage jobs that high wage you need a plan for service based jobs jobs like working at home working as a home healthcare aide or working in food services or retail or are these other things and so this to me was something nice again a stylistically strong moment but I think part of what we in the media should be telling helping people make some more informed judgments on what they're hearing I think the more informed judgment on what some said is that this is the part where I'm supposed to know what he's talking about his whole paycheck he's a savvy businessman who knows how the economy works and knows what is needed to bring jobs back and he doesn't he doesn't know how the economy works and doesn't know how to bring jobs back and that feels to me like a consequential fact of his opening remarks I want to go deeper into the weeds of this first twenty six minutes or to the part I watch very closely because we are tracking these interruptions I actually think there is a part where DID matter the style did matters of the wooden things I was watching this debate very much with an eye towards interaction between the candidates because they are running this interruption tracker and if you go back and watched the first ten minutes is actually there's not much interrupting and it was it showed Trump interacting with another person in a very different way than I had ever seen and I think that that matters to someone who's running for president that a lot of what you do as president has interacted with AIDS with other heads of state with people who are in positions of power that a lot of that's a lot of the job of being president and if you zoom in on that the very beginning of the debate I do actually understand a bit why there's a sense of saying this is going well for Trump because he wasn't really interrupting the beginning it was there's the weird sniffling or whatever was going on with that but it was a much more subdued it was not like the host of The Apprentice Trump has a different version of Trump in a doping substance matters but also how you interact with people is interesting watching the first humans the debate I was messaging with other reporter working on that thing I now know this is going to work without having an address any interruptions that clearly that that was fixed very quickly but it it spoke to how he was interacting with people I think that does matter when we consider how people I'm talking a bit more about this how people prepare for the presidency of people are in the presidency like that is part of the job and that's why there's some worry about having someone like Trump like someone who Hillary Clinton described as easily be aided by a tweet where we did have a quick demonstration of the trumpet was able to be in this environment in I not be as much of the characters are typically as the day I do wonder about this that is noteworthy is that one reason that that sequence when I think stylistically well for Trump is that some of what Trump said that's wrong is unusual to come I have never before seen a politician bold enough to just say that the building the biggest factor in the wild in Mexico when they are like that's very Trump the right like I think a lot of politicians know that the public's prior disposition is that something bad is happening to the American economy that is the fault of Mexico and they will try to say things that cater to that belief but the typical political approach has been like OK you know what believes you want to cater to and then you want to find something accurate you can say this may be misleading but life isn't it but the true method that is like just say the biggest factor in why I like it say about him you could tell that like Hillary you know you do a certain amount of preparation but when you go up against someone who just might say anything at all it's hard to prepare for anything so I was sitting there with my computer and I was like I really doubt Mexico because I know something about Mexico but for all I knew the biggest factor nor has China was in Germany right so I googled it it turns out that the biggest second was in the United States and that is going to be surpassed by another factory production United States which like I bet out Hillary wishes she had her but you know what to do but another aspect of it though from heading comment that I think is actually more important ministry easily dislike the model maniacal focus on the manufacturing economy right I was I was reviewing some some old charts and is it is nowadays in nineteen sixty five more people worked in the service sector then worked in manufacturing sector back then was kind of close no it's not is isn't even remotely close so you know I just got a part of what is the ratio at this point I know it's it's gotta be five or six to lie and I'm not sure exactly but if you are looking at we could double manufacturing employment I mean we couldn't double manufacturing employment America but if we did the vast majority of people would not get factory to suede and it's not just Trump though who zeroes in on this white so what one thing that happened was that Clinton was giving her should be all but she did none I don't know why this is I don't know what the light political rhetoric is because I just hurry it's no body who I have ever heard in politics says we need to increase the amount of high paying decent jobs that are available to Americans and that is going to happen in the service sector right she did not talk about a plan to increase the like goodness of working in a restaurant or in a retail store or a hospital or in a school that the kinds of places where people are are working out then Councilman at five thirty eight had a good piece awhile back but the thing is important where he was arguing that we miss about the industrial economy is not the factories but is is the labor unions and I'm not sure that's literally true that that's what people mess but when you think about the whole narrative of all of these good jobs have gone and been shipped overseas why were they shipped overseas they were shipped overseas because the farmworkers are paid less but if the former not very good jobs overseas but if the workers are paid last that goes to show it's like the job is not inherently a good one right where's like merger and acquisition bankers are paid a lot of money every way like Chinese m in a bank or get on my that is a job because it's huge sums of money at stake most people can't do it like it's a good job of working in a factory was job inherently nobody would bother going to Mexico or Vietnam or China right that the jobs paid highly in the United States because we had legal political and institutional structures that made them pay a high wage and you could try to apply those structures to other sorts of institutions and sides of employment and Clinton doesn't say that Barack Obama doesn't say that and instead there is a lot of of Be Good Bye and Bye everyone I'm like we're going to we're going bring manufacturing work back to the United States and the Obama decision has in fact overseen that an increase in manufacturing employment to a modest one but real one but it's hard to beat a like realistic assessment of how much manufacturing employment you're going to create with against like Trump's just like fantasies right because the reality is it's just not that promising so when you buy into the idea that like what we have to talk about is how many factory workers were going to have any restrain yourself to saying things that aren't crazy you really put yourself in a disadvantage and you and I do think that I mean is like her personally but like people who do public policy in the United States he does somehow get the conversation on to something else Trump came out and said that NAFTA is the worst trade agreement ever in the history of the universe and Heller can to not say no NAFTA has a good trade agreement that a condom is mostly thing had a small positive effect on wages in manufacturing output she kind of danced around each is in the past talked about how she would like to increase worker standards in future trade agreements and fix NAFTA then trim came and said And in the worst thing since NAFTA is the TPP which you helped negotiate and Clinton has now turned against the TPP which she did help set up in what I think most people believe and which I believe to be a fairly creative maneuver she's like No I I I don't support the TPP and there is a broad force right now where trade agreements trade probably has become unpopular and there are not many politicians and certainly none of the ones currently who are major party's nominee for president who are willing to defend it and so one recent room seem strong on NAFTA is it when he hits Clinton after she doesn't hit back right just say no you're actually wrong about this like we wanted interconnected world in the way we're going to have good jobs trading with our partners and not letting China set the rules it's not even her position anymore and so that I think has has left her in a tough position you saw the opposite dynamic when you got to Texas right there Trump says I have a great tax plan of and it's going to be the biggest tax cut in the world and it is a very very very large unpaid for tax cut that says no your tax plan is bad I'm going to raise taxes on people that's going to be better the other reason I think this is hard for Clinton the Democrats is that I don't think Linda does authentically oppose trade agreements so she's in this place where she is on the one hand not defending them but she also doesn't hate them she wants to have a very nuanced position about what makes a good and bad trade agreement and they're not that many examples of the trade agreement she wants to point B She's not again saying TPP is an example of that so that I think insofar as there's a real weakness for her there I think the week this is because she has carved out very I think in large part due to the Democratic primary a very complex and hard to defend position on it but that's also created this position where Trump just has a fury of this it doesn't make any sense but she doesn't really seem to have a counter to that for one of the weird things about the wrongs I've been surprised on the road trade is played in this election like I don't remember it being as much of a thing I guess we don't have to be going on but there was a zine called The Politico did earlier this week as well that the numbers for men that are just people aren't paying as much attention so they pulled on like Have you heard of TP and you supported or opposed it so eleven percent support eighty percent oppose seventy percent never heard or read anything about it and I guess I don't have a good theory of like why trade has become such a dominant issue in the debates in a way it does and that this seems to suggest that it's not as dominant among the general population one thing that comes to mind is it that it's a proxy for a lot of the late tensions that are coming up in this election over benefits and to immigration and worries about was about that in sum the racial tensions that have come up in this election but I've been surprised at how frequent is particularly think oh because you know something voters care about the NSA's data suggesting voters aren't especially in just in the issue of trading kind of out of you as kind of think about why it was such a big part of the debate in the first place I mean that is why I think synthesize in the last two things both he that sat right like I think that what Hillary Clinton has done over the past ten years or career is juz play at TPP as a totally cynical political thinking about when she was four when he was against it whatever and I think that that is like the right thing to do if a member of Congress ask me and he was like Can you name me an issue mat that is like not that important and I should just do some Craven on for the sake of winning elections I was a you know what is the trans Pacific Park it is like really it doesn't matter that much if your allies in the way they want to be against it like go for but if you think you need some campaign contributions like it is not part of obviously one is not going to stand up and so I get for fun on this because it doesn't matter but I think she needs an answer on the economy that speaks to something that is true and I think is authentic and that she does believe which is simply that fussing around about trade policy is not going to move the needle all for tens of millions of Americans who work in restaurants and stores and hospitals and schools who clean houses and drive buses and she should she's normally good at this kind of thing but just like name check all the kinds of people who Donald Trump is not talking about when he's like harping on about this stuff say Something Good About America I mean if she can like bring in like where in fact building an enormous battery factory and like all these other things but like we have industrial robots in our factories people are not all going to work in um we have millions of home healthcare aides we have millions of people who need affordable child care and we can create jobs taking care of those children taking care for senior citizens rebuilding our infrastructure like this fuckin cracks on the side walk everywhere like this it's not like there's nothing anyone could be doing in America or no jobs that they could be better and you want to turn the page off s there was this um and canard idea that Mitt Romney provide a tear I did is this top today or maybe it was yesterday where he was basically saying capitalists used to have this like political alliance of convenience with religious conservatives and that's when esteem so now if we want to save capitalism from the redistribution nests we need to make a cynical alliance with xenophobia to a trade and immigration which is great if you are and canard author of The upside of inequality I would like take that speech very seriously and be like what's going on here guys is that Mr. billionaire would like you to blame Mexicans for your problems but like he and his pals and talk about tax any talk about whatever write in Hillary Clinton has a plan to get more people health insurance like Donald Trump wants to take everyone's health insurance a way it was me he like I would love to see a rousing defense of NAFTA personally I enjoy avocados I think it's great that they are now available all year round thanks to Bill Clinton's good offices but you know I don't think avocado toast is necessarily one of the election even even Bernie bros says it seems to me in fact at Love imported foreign goods you know I cannot embrace that but it's just it's just a funny thing to dominate discussion of economic power couple reasons that doesn't one I think the broader point you're making is is correct and I recognize that I'm somewhat of violating it by diving for the straight thing but is one a couple interesting dynamics here that speak to things that influence our economic discussion quite a bit so one of the one reason I think Donald Trump specifically fast and so much on trade and the reason it's a good issue for hope and so forth is that one child likes to imagine that all of being present will be deal making and trade deals really are deals their negotiations between two countries and that was because negotiations are the benefits and costs flow in both directions there are losers and winners in any given country it feels very painful the idea that you have lost some part of an industry to Mexico which is a little bit different then you have lost part of an industry to the relentless impersonal forces of technological change the law some part of industry to the cycles of the of the economy because you had a recession that's one thing I think that I think the trade deals they may feel concrete and they feel like America losing something to foreign adversaries in a way it's sort of the economic version of War The second thing is that unions are very centered in net and traditionally been very centered industries actually are disproportionately hit by trade deals and so one reason I think that Democrats have more focus on these and that Hillary Clinton for instance is no bashing NAFTA as opposed to saying out on balance I think like other things my husband is pretty good is that the FSA really hates NAFTA and she you know the of the SEO is an important constituency for her I do think the thing you're talking about earlier Madison is a big dynamic air there is a lot of liberal nostalgia for the post World War Two manufacturing drove in high union density economy and a lot of these things get inflated and pulled together but I think it gives liberals a very high sensitivity to losses of manufacturing jobs over and above losses of other kinds of jobs and I think there continues to be even a manufacturing output is up dramatically over it was fifty years ago right we are making more stuff in America than ever which is have fewer people making at there continues to be a hope that we will some how we store that kind of economy and it speaks I think to a pessimism or lack of vision about what is possible than the confines of the service sector economy I think that it is hard for people to believe that home healthcare aide will be calm a really good job I don't think they see the path way that I think at one point into the path of manufacturing either mean if you read histories of of of unionization the early years of the time these were terrible job one reason people were willing to fight and die for a union it wasn't just because of wages is because of how incredibly unsafe these manufacturing jobs were how many people would die or get previously nothing would be done for their families I mean these were once extremely bad jobs actually and then they were through a tremendous amount of organizing and it's sometimes very violent forms of organizing made into better jobs I think it strange that we are so much more pessimistic about what I think is somewhat more straightforward effort here but somehow the language for it hasn't emerged are the examples for it have emerged or something has made has created a salient stew trying to go back to the thing we had as opposed to imagine thing we could haf so one other thing I knew I'd hit debate last night going out of trade is kind of this preparation gap that was pretty evident not just in the transaction but throughout the entire debate and Ezra you wrote on this but it was very striking in ways that I think matter are in in ways other campaign events don't see how the candidates decided to show up for the lesson will turn over us because you think this is the head that I can today yeah I mean I for one of the dues on the I U We reports from all before more so after that to be that Trump was not really prepare me for the debate that he was not sitting down with a briefing book for her saying his lions and getting his marks and things like that and this was a lot of spin around debates a certain element of it seemed like expectations lowering certain element of it seems like a post hoc excuse making is easy to focus on there was a report out today that he and Roger Ailes were like joking around about women or something I see a central core of this which we all our hearts to be true is that Donald Trump was not sitting down with a binder of like these are the fifty things that we think either Lester Holt or Hillary Clinton might bring up here are some like accurate facts that connect to the policies that are on your website like he wasn't doing that kind of debate prep and even if he does start to take the debate more seriously and try to game out more how is he going to bring up Benghazi he's not going to be doing that kind of like tradition all like here my marks here my points here's the stuff that is going to pull the zing in the moment and also check out the next day and Hillary Clinton you know clearly wise and you could see it in the White House she she at one point after having I think not found a good opportunity to bring up Alicia Machado she's brought it up like an opportune moment she realized she was running at a time right it was like a plan but other stuff you know she did she she strung out like I'm going to whack Donald Trump for the fourteen million dollars loan he got when people did facts accepted the debate as usual when somebody talks off the cuff for forty five minutes they say a thing or two that's wrong but there were no like gross errors are like huge willful distortions of fact because when you're prepared you don't need to do that whereas trumps strategy the party didn't work for him was that he was unable to get his tax and because in game outright the bike and has consistently worked okay for him in the campaign is that like rather than study up what is like accurate and relevant that he can say he has made things up or went off on tangents but I think it's worth you know considering that debate is a day like a TV show being president is hard right if a flood hits the Gulf Coast and it disrupts an oil refinery and someone is saying there's going to be a gasoline shortage somewhere and someone else as well maybe you can temporarily suspend the Jones Act and you have to like like what is Act will there be a gasoline shortage how many refineries were damaged but it actually makes a difference you can just say something that sounds like it's a good idea it has to be a good idea and I think some reporters have gotten a little too arch about this over the course of the campaign with him in my bowl we've learned here is on voters don't care about policy details and I'm the one hand obviously they don't try to mean no voter has ever spoken to me about whether or not they think it would have been appropriate to temporarily suspend the Jones Act the people
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The First Debate and Pet Health Care