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The Ezra Klein Show

The Ezra Klein Show

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Winner of the 2020 Webby and People's Voice awards for best interview podcast.

Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

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The Matt Yglesias Show

The Matt Yglesias Show

2020-09-1701:34:167

Matt Yglesias is a co-founder and senior correspondent at Vox, my co-host on The Weeds podcast, and my oldest friend in journalism. Matt’s college blog was an inspiration for my own, and since then we’ve worked together, podcasted together, and even started Vox together. I've learned an enormous amount from him, both when we agree and when we disagree. A lot has changed since Matt and I started blogging in the early 2000s — and we’ve changed, too. So we start this conversation by discussing how social media has altered American politics, why Matt went from a war hawk to near-pacifist on US foreign policy, what it’s like to go from attacking the establishment to being seen as part of the establishment, and the way the Obama administration disillusioned him.  But Matt has also recently written a new book, One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger. In it, he argues that the path to ensure American greatness and preeminence on the world stage is a combination of mass immigration, pro-family policy, and overhauling America’s housing and transportation systems. We discuss how to reconcile that vision with the reality of climate change, what a genuinely progressive pro-family agenda would look like, Donald Trump’s housing policy dog-whistling, why we should be allowing a lot more legal immigration, and much more. Book recommendations: Justice, Gender and the Family by Susan M. Okin Political Order and Political Decay by Francis Fukuyama A Farewell to Alms by Gregory Clark We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Our conversation over race and policing — like our conversations over virtually everything in America — is shot through with a crude individualism. Talking in terms of systems and contexts comes less naturally to us, but that means we often miss the true story. Phillip Atiba Goff is the co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity, as well as a professor of African-American studies and psychology at Yale University. At CPE, Goff sits atop the world’s largest collection of police behavioral data. So he has the evidence, and he knows what it tells us — and, just as importantly, what it doesn’t even attempt to measure. He knows what we can say with confidence about race and policing, and what we wish we knew, but simply don’t. He thinks in systems, in contexts, in uncertainty — in the bigger, harder picture.  That’s what this conversation is about. What do we know about racial bias in policing? At what levels does it operate? Where has it been measured, and what haven’t we even tried to measure? How much of policing is driven by crime rates? How do we think about the conditions that create crime in this analysis, and what do we miss when we ignore them? What do we know about the investments that actually make people safe? How do we balance the reality that police do reduce violent crime with the fury communities have at being over-policed, or victimized by police? How do we experiment with other models of safety carefully and systematically? There’s a lot in this one. This conversation could’ve gone for hours longer. But these are tough issues, and they deserve someone who understands both the micro-level data and the macro-level context. Goff does, and he shares that knowledge generously and clearly here. Book recommendations: Wounded in the House of a Friend by Sonia Sanchez Evicted by Matthew Desmond  Uneasy Peace by Patrick Sharkey No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Coronavirus has turned life into an endless series of risk calculations. Can I take my child to see his grandparents, even if it means getting on a plane? Is it okay to begin seeing friends or dating? Should I attend religious services even if they are held inside? Do I have to wear a mask around my roommates? The profusion of these questions reflects public health failures, but we live in the wreckage of those failures. So how are we best to live? Julia Marcus is an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and a contributing writer for The Atlantic who has penned a brilliant series of essays about how to think about risk amidst this pandemic. Marcus’s starting point, which emerges from her previous work on HIV prevention, is that an all-or-nothing approach is blindly unrealistic: Everything is a trade-off. Shaming is a terrible public health strategy. And we can’t have a conversation about risks that ignores the reality of benefits, too.  In this conversation, Marcus offers a framework for making key life decisions while also managing coronavirus risk at the same time. We also discuss what the risk calculation for someone living in Germany or South Korea looks like, how the US government’s abdication of responsibility has shifted the burden of risk management onto individuals, the kinds of activities we tend to underestimate and overestimate the riskiness of, the principles that should guide us in the age of coronavirus, how long we can expect this pandemic to last, and much more. References: “Quarantine Fatigue Is Real”, Julia Marcus, The Atlantic “Americans Aren’t Getting the Advice They Need”, Julia Marcus, The Atlantic “Colleges Are Getting Ready to Blame Their Students”, Julia Marcus, The Atlantic Book recommendations: Momo by Michael Ende Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed  The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Republican Party began losing the Black vote around 1936. Since then, Republicans have commissioned reports, hired consultants, and spent huge sums of campaign dollars trying to win back Black voters. The project continues today: This year’s Republican National Convention presented a lineup of speakers far more diverse than the Republican Party itself, making the case for the “Party of Lincoln.” A third of African Americans, after all, self-identify as “conservative.” And yet, no Republican presidential candidate has won more than 15 percent of the Black vote since 1964 (many have received well under 10).   Leah Wright Rigueur is a historian and public policy scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican, a remarkable study of the distinct ideologies woven through the Black conservative and Black Republican traditions. The book traces the history of why Black voters left the GOP and what the Republican Party has tried to do — and what it has refused to do — to win them back.   Rigueur has also spent the past decade teaching classes on racial protests, riots, and how they shaped American politics in the 20th century. We discuss the historical analogues for today’s protest movement, what’s different now than in 1968, the complex relationship between protesters and electoral politics, how these movements can lead to both lasting change and white backlash, and more. Book recommendations: Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State by Megan Ming Francis Don't Blame Us by Lily Geismer One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The last time Andrew Yang was on the podcast, he was just beginning his long shot campaign for the presidency. Now, he’s fresh off a speaking slot at the Democratic convention, and, as he reveals here, talking to Joe Biden about a very specific role in a Biden administration.  Which is all to say: A lot has changed for Andrew Yang in the past few years. And even more has changed in the world. So I asked Yang back on the show to talk through this new world, and his possible role in it. Among our topics: - Could a universal basic income be the way we rebuild a fairer economy post-coronavirus?  - What’s changed in AI, and its likely effect on the economy, over the past five years?  - What’s the one mistake Yang wishes the Democratic Party would stop making?  - What did he learn from the surprising success of his own campaign?  - What job is he talking to Joe Biden about taking if Democrats win in November?  - Democrats think of themselves as the party of government. So why don’t they care more about making government work?  - How can Democrats get away with endlessly claiming to support ideas they have no actual intention of passing? - Do progressives have an overly dystopic view of technology? - Is there a way to pull presidential campaigns out of value statements, and into real plans for governing? - The unusual power Joe Biden holds in American politics And much more. References: Vox's Kelsey Piper's piece on GPT-3 My previous podcast with Andrew Yang Ezra's piece on "Why we can't build" Book recommendations: Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee They Don't Represent Us by Lawrence Lessig  Humankind by Rutger Bregman This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. You can find out more at vox.com/the-great-rebuild We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 2003, America invaded Iraq. The war cost trillions of dollars, thousands of American lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, and destabilized the both the US and the Middle East. And for what? Iraq had no WMDs. Even if they had, they posed no threat to us. Why did we do it? What do we need to learn from it? That’s the question Robert Draper has spent years trying to answer. In 2007, Draper wrote Dead Certain, a study of the Bush administration with access to the President himself. But there was a hole at the center of that book, and Draper knew it: He still didn't quite understand what had led Bush to invade Iraq. And so he set out to fill the hole. Draper’s To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq is based on interviews with more than 300 people involved in the run-up to the Iraq War, and the stories they tell offer the clearest, most damning, most useful account of that decision to date.  There’s a reason I wanted to have this conversation right now. The Iraq War isn’t just past. It’s present. It’s part of how George W. Bush’s Republican Party fell to Donald Trump. It’s a study in the ways a president led by conviction and dismissive of expertise can warp the federal government (sound familiar?). It’s a reminder that belief can be as dangerous as cynicism. It's a lesson in the way that, when information is uncertain, assumptions rule all. And for all the differences between Bush and Trump personally, closely studying the Iraq War reveals a key continuity between them, and a reason Republican administrations keep leading to catastrophe.  References: Ezra's piece on why Republican administrations keep leading to catastrophe Book recommendations: The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner The False Cause by Adam H. Domby Young Heroes of the Soviet Union by Alex Halberstadt Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Searcher and Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Saul Griffith knows the US energy system better than just about anyone on this planet. He’s an inventor, a MacArthur genius fellow, and the founder and CEO of Otherlab where his team was contracted by the Department of Energy to track and visualize the entirety of America’s energy flows. I had Griffith on the show last year for our climate series to lay out what it would look like for America to decarbonize. It was an awesome episode, but it was just a start.    Last month, Griffith formed an organization called Rewiring America and released an e-book of the same name that details the path to effectively decarbonize the US economy by 2035 without forcing Americans to sacrifice their current lifestyles and without having to invent any new technology. Just as importantly — and this is why it fits our mobilization series — Griffith worked with economists to come up with an estimate of how many new jobs this kind of mobilization could create: 25 million over the next five years, they found. More than that: They looked at what kinds of jobs these would be and where they’d be created.    Griffith’s plan is just about the boldest I’ve seen — and there are real questions about whether our political system is up for the task. But those are, crucially, political questions; part of answering them is showing that they can be answered and that they can be answered in ways that make working Americans better off rather than worse. We are in the midst of an unprecedented triple crisis: A public health crisis, an economic crisis, and a climate crisis each unlike anything we’ve ever faced. If there is a time to be bold, this is it. References: Rewiring America's Jobs Report Study on animal agriculture and emissions Dave Robert's Vox explainer on the "Rewiring America" plan My previous conversation with Saul Griffith You can check the Ezra Klein Show's climate change series here. Book recommendations Debt: A 5,000 Year History by David Graeber This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. You can find out more at vox.com/the-great-rebuild Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Searcher and Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Isabel Wilkerson is an intimidating guest. She’s a former New York Times reporter, Pulitzer Prize recipient, Guggenheim fellow, and hands-down one of the best writers of our time. Her 2010 book The Warmth of Other Suns, a beautiful narrative history of the Great Migration, was a landmark achievement, and remains one of the all-time most recommended books on this show.    Wilkerson worked for years on her new book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, which grapples with a question that has become all the more relevant in recent months: What does America look like when the myths we tell ourselves about who we are, who we’ve been, and what we’ve created fall away? How should we understand the way the racial hierarchies of our past still shape our present?   Caste is a book built around a big theory: that America is a caste system and that, to understand it, we need to drop our sense of exceptionalism and analyze ourselves the way we analyze caste systems in other countries. But it is also a book built around dozens — hundreds — of smaller stories. Wilkerson’s genius as a writer is her ability to connect the macro and the micro, to tell you the big story of what happened but to make that story matter by linking it to the lives of those who survived it. That is, to me, her unique contribution: What in the hands of another writer would feel like an abstraction attains, in her work, the vividness and emotional power of lived experience.    This is a big conversation, and it’s not always an easy one. But it is one you will not forget. References: My conversation with David Williams on why Covid-19 is so deadly for Black America Book recommendations: Annihilation of Caste by B.R. Ambedkar Deep South by Allison Davis and Burleigh Gardner  The Heart of Man by Eric Fromm Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio Wizard - Jeff Geld Searcher and Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 2019, about one in six children in America — 12 million kids nationwide — lived in poverty. That’s a rate about two or three times higher than in peer countries. And that was before the worst economic and public health crisis in modern history.    The scale of child poverty in America is a disgrace, not only because of the suffering it creates and the potential it drains from our society, but because it’s easily avoidable. Child poverty is not an inevitability; it’s a policy choice. And we’ve been making the wrong choice for far too long.    So for the second episode of our economic remobilization series, I wanted to focus on a simple set of questions: What if we started taking our moral responsibility to America’s kids seriously? What would that world look like? How would we get there?    Congress member Barbara Lee is the chair of the Majority Leader Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity — and she’s someone who raised two kids, as a single mom on public assistance. In 2015, Lee and her colleague Lucille Roybal-Allard commissioned a landmark report from the National Academy of Sciences to better understand child poverty in America and what we could do to reduce it. Released last year, the report lays out a series of concrete policy proposals that would cut child poverty in half while paying for themselves 10 times over in social benefits.   In this conversation, Lee and I discuss the psychological impact that poverty has on kids, why investing in children is one of the best investments a society can make, what other countries do right on this front that we can learn from, what it would take to end child poverty as we know it, and much more — including why Lee, a hero to many progressives, was an early backer of now-VP nominee Kamala Harris. This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. You can find out more at vox.com/the-great-rebuild References: "A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty" by the National Academies of Sciences A great Vox explainer on the child poverty report Book recommendations: The End of White Politics by Zerlina Maxwell Say It Louder! by Tiffany Cross  Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Jack-of-all-audio-trades - Jeff Geld Searcher and Researcher - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby became a global star with her Netflix special Nanette. It’s a remarkable piece of work, and it does what great art is supposed to do: Give you a sense, however fleeting, of what it is like to live inside another human’s experience. Gadsby’s new special, Douglas, takes that a step further: It explores her autism diagnosis and gives you a sense of what it is like to experience the world through another person’s mind.  The first half of my episode with Gadsby is about her experience moving through the world as a neurodiverse person. Gadsby didn't receive her autism diagnosis until she was almost 40 years old, after decades of struggling to navigate systems, institutions, and norms that weren't built for people like her. Her story of how she got to comedy — and how close she was to simply falling off the map — is searing, and it helped me see some of the capabilities and social conventions I take for granted in a new light. As in her shows, Gadsby, here, renders an experience few of us have had emotionally legible. It’s a powerful conversation. Then, we turn to the topics of free speech, safety, and cancel culture. For years, comedy has been undergoing many of the very same debates that have recently become front and center in the journalism world, and Gadsby has done some of the most powerful thinking I've heard on these issues. We discuss what it means for people in power to take responsibility for their speech, how to navigate the complex relationship between creator and audience members, why Twitter is a “bullying pulpit,” the role of recording technology, and the new skills those of us privileged with a platform are going to need to develop. This is one of those conversations I’ve been thinking about since I had it. Don’t miss it. Book (and painting) recommendations: Saint Sebastian as a Woman by Louise Bourgeois The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben  The New Tsar by Steven Lee Myers Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Jack-of-all-audio-trades - Jeff Geld Researcher/Learner of all things - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What would Keynes do?

What would Keynes do?

2020-08-1301:44:1111

The novel coronavirus — and America’s disastrously inept response — has shuttered the economy, leaving factories quiet, businesses closed, workers unable to do their jobs. Pulling out of this hole will require an economic effort unlike anything in recent history. We don’t just need a bit of stimulus. We will need a remobilization. But towards what end? This is the first episode in a four-part series exploring how to rebuild the economy after COVID. Future episodes will look at a Green New Deal, a children-centric economy, and a universal basic income. But I wanted to start at the beginning. What can the government do? What is the economy for? Why should we trust politicians, rather than markets, to allocate resources on this scale? Zach Carter is a senior reporter at HuffPost and the author of a new book, The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes. The book, which has widely been hailed as one of the year’s best, is a remarkable biography animated by a question many of us have forgotten Keynes asked: What values should guide an economy? What are the higher purposes economic policy should serve? Carter and I discuss: What Keynes would advise the US government to do if he were alive today How good domestic economic management can reduce the risk of global war Whether economics should be about maximizing consumer preferences or pursuing a social purpose The limits of democracy The role advertising plays in economic preferences Why the gold standard was — and is — a terrible idea Why Democratic politicians are stuck in the 1990s when it comes to their thinking on budget deficits Modern Monetary Theory (and its discontents) And much more. Book recommendations: The Globaists by Quinn Slobodian The Deluge by Adam Tooze  Nova by Samuel R. Delany John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics by Richard Parker  This podcast is part of a larger Vox project called The Great Rebuild, which is made possible thanks to support from Omidyar Network, a social impact venture that works to reimagine critical systems and the ideas that govern them, and to build more inclusive and equitable societies. You can find out more at vox.com/the-great-rebuild Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio fanatic - Jeff Geld Researcher- Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
For 30 years, Stuart Stevens was one of the most influential operatives in Republican politics. He was Mitt Romney’s top strategist in 2012, served in key roles on both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, and worked on dozens of congressional and gubernatorial campaigns — building one of the best winning records in politics. Then Stevens watched his party throw its support behind a man who stood against everything he believed in, or thought he believed in.  Most dissidents from Trumpism take a familiar line: They didn’t leave the Republican Party; the Republican Party left them. But for Stevens, Trump forced a more fundamental rethinking: The problem, he believes, is not that the GOP became something it wasn’t; it’s that many of those within it — including him — failed to see what it actually was. In his new book, It Was All a Lie, he delivers a searing indictment of the party he helped build and his role in it.  This is a conversation about the Republican Party’s past, present, and future. We discuss the differences between the Democratic and Republican coalitions, whether party elites could have prevented Trump’s rise, the power the GOP base holds, the relationship between tax cuts for the rich and white identity politics for the poor, where the party can and can’t go after Trump, the GOP operatives trying to put Kanye West on the 2020 ballot, how Stevens played the race card in his first campaigns, why Romney lost while Trump won, and much more. Book recommendations: The memoirs of Franz von Papen Black Cross by Greg Iles  Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor/Audio fanatic - Jeff Geld Researcher- Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Conservative parties operating in modern democracies face a dilemma: How does a party that represents the interests of moneyed elites win mass support? The dilemma sharpens as inequality widens — the more the haves have, the more have-nots there are who want to tax them. In their new book, Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality, political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson argue that three paths are possible: Moderate on economics, activate social divisions, or undermine democracy itself. The Republican Party, they hold, has chosen a mix of two and three. “To advance an unpopular plutocratic agenda, Republicans have escalated white backlash — and, increasingly, undermined democracy,” they write. On some level, it’s obvious that the GOP is a coalition between wealthy donors who want tax cuts and regulatory favors, and downscale whites who fear demographic change and want Trump to build that wall. But how does that coalition work? What happens when one side gains too much power? If the donor class was somehow raptured out of politics, would the result be a Republican Party that trafficked less in social division, or more? And has the threat of strongman rule distracted us from the growing reality of minoritarian rule? In this conversation, we discuss how inequality has remade the Republican Party, the complex relationship between white identity politics and plutocratic economics, what to make of the growing crop of GOP leaders who want to abandon tax cuts for the rich and recenter the party around ethnonationalism, how much power Republican voters have over their party, and much more. Paul Pierson's book recommendations: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo Evicted by Matthew Desmond The Social Limits to Growth by Fred Hirsch Jacob Hacker's book recommendations: Tocqueville's Discovery of America by Leo Damrosch The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro The Internationalists by Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher in chief - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The introduction to Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, hit me hard. In her investigation of how American politics and culture had collapsed into “an unbearable supernova of perpetually escalating conflict,” she became obsessed with five intersecting problems: “First, how the internet is built to distend our sense of identity; second, how it encourages us to overvalue our opinions; third, how it maximizes our sense of opposition; fourth, how it cheapens our understanding of solidarity; and, finally, how it destroys our sense of scale." Yeah, me too. My conversation with Tolentino was one of my favorites of last year -- and it has become all the more relevant in the midst of a pandemic that has collapsed most human communication into Zoom calls, Twitter feeds, and Instagram stories. This is a conversation about what happens when technology combines with the most powerful forces of human psychology to transform the nature of human interaction itself. It’s about how we construct and express our core sense of self, and what that’s doing to who we really are. References: The art of attention (with Jenny Odell) Book Recommendations: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher in chief - Roge Karma Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mike Birbiglia is one of my favorite comedians. He’s behind the specials. “Thank God for Jokes” and “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” the movies “Sleepwalk With Me” and “Don’t Think Twice,” and now the book The New One. The New One is on a subject close to my heart: Fatherhood. Birbiglia didn’t intend to be a father. He didn’t want to be a father. But he became one. And it was hard — on him, on his wife, on his marriage. The New One is a memoir of that time — funny, but brutally honest, and touching on some of the hardest truths of parenthood. It’s the kind of book that you can’t quite believes anyone would write. I mean, who would admit that? Or that? And did you read the part where…? So this is a conversation with a very funny person about some very tender subjects. Something Birbiglia and I both found becoming fathers is that there’s a lot less discussion of the emotional and relational dimensions of fatherhood than you might think. Our experiences were different. But these are topics that should be discussed more, whether you’re a parent or not. Book recommendations: Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb Feel Free by Zadie Smith Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher in chief - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this special crossover episode of Vox's Future Perfect series, The Way Through, Co-host Sean Illing talks to David Wolpe, senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, about God and how to make sense of suffering in human life. Relevant resources:  Making Loss Matter : Creating Meaning in Difficult Times by Rabbi David Wolpe Religion without God: Alain de Botton on "atheism 2.0." by Sean Iling Featuring: David Wolpe (@RabbiWolpe), senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles Host: Sean Illing (@Seanilling), senior interviews writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The crisis in the news

The crisis in the news

2020-07-2352:478

There’s been a lot of discussion lately — including on this show — of the problems facing national news. Cries of fake news, illiberalism in the administration, fractured audiences, the cancel culture debate, shaky business models, and more. But the truest crisis in news isn’t in national news. It’s in local news.  American newspapers cut 45 percent of newsroom staff between 2008 and 2017. From 2004 to 2015, the U.S. newspaper industry lost over 1,800 print outlets to closures and mergers. And it’s only gotten worse since then. This is truest crisis in American news media: That so many places are losing the institutions that gather the news, that bind the community together, that hold public officials accountable ands bring public concerns visibility. Vast swaths of the country are now news deserts — and it’s happening at the same time that the average news consumer feels like they’re drowning in more information than ever before. Margaret Sullivan was the award-winning chief editor of the Buffalo News, then the public editor of the New York Times, and now the media columnist for the Washington Post. She’s also the author of Ghosting The News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of Democracy. This is a conversation about the economic, technological, and political forces that led to the devastation of local news; what happens to communities in the absence of health local news institutions; and, just as importantly, what we can do to save and revitalize local journalism. Book recommendations: Democracy’s Detectives by James T. Hamilton Still Here by Alexandra Jacobs  Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir by Joyce Johnson Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher in chief - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What would it take for America to heal? To be the country it claims to be? This is the question that animates Bryan Stevenson’s career. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a clinical professor at the New York University School of Law, a MacArthur genius, and the author of the remarkable book Just Mercy — which was recently turned into a feature film, where Stevenson was played by Michael B. Jordan.  I admire Stevenson tremendously. He has lived a life dedicated to justice. Justice for individuals — some of whom he has rescued from death row — and justice for the society he lives in. He’s one of the fairly few people I’ve found with vision for how America could find justice on the far shore of our own history. That vision is particularly needed now and so I asked him to return to the show to share it. To my delight, he agreed. This conversation is about truth and reconciliation in America — and about whether truth would actually lead to reconciliation in America. It’s about what the process of reckoning with our past sins and present wounds would look and feel and sound like. It’s about what we can learn from countries like Germany and South Africa, that have walked further down this path than we have. And it’s about the country and community that could lie on the other side of that confrontation.  Book recommendations: The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B Du Bois  The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson  From Slavery to Freedom by John Hope Franklin Evelyn Higginbotham  The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky Gilead by Marilyne Robinson  Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Five years ago, Oren Cass sat at the center of the Republican Party. Cass is a former management consultant who served as the domestic policy director for the Mitt Romney campaign and then as a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute. But then he launched an insurgency.  Today, Cass is the founder and executive director of American Compass, a new think tank created to challenge the right-wing economic orthodoxy. Cass thinks conservatism has lost its way, becoming obsessed with low tax rates and a quasi-religious veneration of markets. What conservatives need, he thinks, are clear social goals that can structure a radically new economic agenda: a vision that puts families first, eschews economic growth as the be-all-end-all of policymaking, and recognizes the inescapability of government intervention in the economy. Trump is likely — though not certain — to lose in 2020. And then, Cass thinks, Republicans will face a choice: to return to a “pre-Trump” consensus, or to build a “post-Trump future” — one that, he hopes, will prevent more Trump-like politicians from rising.  In this conversation, Cass and I discuss how current economic indicators fail, the relationship between economics and culture, why Cass believes production — not consumption — should be the central focus of public policy, the problems with how our society assigns status to different professions, the role that power plays in determining market outcomes, the conservative case against market fundamentalism, why Cass supports labor unions and industrial policy but not a job guarantee or publicly funded childcare, what the future of the Republican Party after Donald Trump looks like, whether Cass’s policies are big enough to solve the problems he identifies, and more. References: The Once and Future Worker by Oren Cass "Removing the Blinders from Economic Policy" by Oren Cass Book recommendations: The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom  The Value of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Last week, Harper’s published an open letter arguing that “the free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.” The letter had a long list of signatories, and triggered an instant controversy, not so much for what it said as a text as for how it was being used as a political document. This is a hot debate on both sides because it traces the issue most central not just to journalists’ hearts, but to our jobs: Can we speak the truth, as best we understand it? And who, even, is “we”? I believe in the free exchange of information and ideas. I’ve committed my life to it. But I also worry those values are sometimes deployed as political positioning rather than democratic practice. The term "free speech" is often used here, but we're not dealing with laws regulating speech. We're dealing with media platforms that make editorial decisions as a matter of course. No one has the right to a New York Times op-ed column, or a warm reception on social media. But fear of losing your job, or your status, can chill speech — as, of course, can fear of physical or legislative harm. As such, I've come to think the core of this debate isn't freedom, but safety. The word has become polarizing, but the yearning for it is ubiquitous. To speak freely, you must feel safe, or at least safe enough. That’s what the letter’s signatories are asking for. That’s also what its critics are asking for. Yascha Mounk is a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University, a columnist at the Atlantic, the host of the Good Fight podcast, and now the founder of a new journal, Persuasion, dedicated to pushing back on the illiberalism he sees infecting the discourse. Yascha and I agree on most issues, and I think hold similar values, but often find ourselves arguing over this topic. So I asked him on the show to see if we could figure out why. We discuss liberalism and illiberalism, what to do with speech that restricts others from speaking, the component parts of what gets called “cancel culture,” whether the zone of debate has widened or narrowed over the past 20 years, the differing cultures of Twitter and Reddit, The NYT's Tom Cotton controversy, whether safety and free speech are truly in tension, what the word “unsafe” means to people who have daily reason to fear for their freedom and futures, and much more.  Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Credits: Producer/Editer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (176)

ken riedl

I like the outdoor ideas but winter is coming and some of us live in midwest and northern states. the outdoor approach will soon be closed to most of us

Sep 13th
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Chris Fountain

Probably my favorite episode of Ezra's show so far.

Sep 10th
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Carl Davidson

A really awesome interview! It lays out the nuances of the different factions of the Black vote, and the nuances of understanding why protesting is not only important, but a natural response to the failures within our democratic system. Also discussed is the history of why the Black vote fluctuated between the Democrat and Republican parties throughout the 20th century beginning in the Roosevelt administration, and how that has led to where we are today in 2020.

Sep 7th
Reply

Sasha Anne Lyn

What struck me about Yang was that he, while still personifying total professionalism, he neverbgave the audience the impression that he was steicing forbthe capital P- power that xomes with leadership and I think this emanates from his ability to be humble withought sacrifixing strength. Sincerity was also a distict charachter trait that I think most would apply to Yang and pne can really get behind a leader who you feel is ao authentic that you trust they could be deopped into any situation and kick ass.

Sep 6th
Reply

Tamara Weikel

Something went really wrong on the editing or encoding of this. I really want to listen but the jumps and skips are out of control. anyone else have this trouble? I'm going to have to try again tomorrow.

Sep 3rd
Reply (1)

Ashleigh Nelson

I would listen to dozens of conversations with Isabel! This conversation was so stimulating and left me wanting so much more. Thank you!

Aug 28th
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Jim Loar

52:30. definitely too much opinion in the news, to the detriment of facts

Aug 4th
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gurr

If Vitamin D is not mentioned here, then this is not a good analysis.

Jul 24th
Reply (1)

Carl Davidson

This is a great interview. Bryan Stevenson is such a powerful speaker. The points he makes really resonate.

Jul 22nd
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Worth Swearingen

I share Ezra's suspicions about whether all signatories practice what they preach. The IDW in particular protects their own speech and try to silence that of others in bad faith.

Jul 14th
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Paulo Lavigne

Ezra, I like your show very much, but sometimes your questions are too long winded. Sorry! I marvel at the interviewees' ability to keep track of their gist. 😂

Jul 9th
Reply

Victoria Niemeijer

Excellent discussion of this subject. Great interview, smart questions.

Jul 4th
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Elvis Kelvin

woow

Jun 15th
Reply

Gracie Haak

this was a super interesting episode, loved the guest. she seemed like one of those people who has so much info and fascination in their brain that it's hard to pin down, which always make for fun interviews.

Jun 15th
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Greg Carroll

Thank you. Excellent discussion on what is crime and the proper response to the crime.

Jun 8th
Reply

Greg Fishman

This is an incredible interview, and everybody should listen to it. They discuss a number of very important points about the role of police in society, and what the alternatives could be.

Jun 5th
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Jeremy Laney

less than 10 minutes into this and Ezra has already misspoke regarding basic economic theory in his intro and Mariana Mazzucato “the world’s scariest economist" is trying to say that somehow 'objective' value has been incorrectly assigned in a system where 2 entities engage in a mutually agreeable economic transaction (at the price where those supply & demand lines intersect no less). There in No objective value! if I am on my home standing beside the water cooler, the bottle of Dansi you try to sell me doesn't have a whole lot of intrinsic WORTH, because I have a ready supply that is a sunk cost if I don't drink it. Alone and stranded in the middle of the desert and it is probably WORTH (to me) every worldly possession in my power to exchange.

May 19th
Reply

ID17289390

I’ve never written a comment before on a podcast, and I listen to a lot of podcasts. I came to say thank you to you and Jenny - I didn’t understand all of the conversation but on some level it was exactly what I needed. I’m working from home I’ve moved my desk / laptop 4 times in the last week just to try to define a space that feels like I’m working. The laugh out loud moment when Jenny recommended your wife’s book made my night Keep going and stay safe

May 18th
Reply

Michael Bracy

amazing conversation

May 13th
Reply

Keith Johnson

but w11 73feet 0 g2dpbif4fs8 n342

Apr 23rd
Reply
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