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The Ezra Klein Show

The Ezra Klein Show

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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Coronavirus has pushed US-China relations to their worst point since Mao

The COVID-19 pandemic is a grim reminder that the worst really can happen. Tail risk is real risk. Political leaders fumble, miscalculate, and bluster into avoidable disaster. And even as we try to deal with this catastrophe, the seeds of another are sprouting. The US-China relationship will define geopolitics in the 21st century. If we collapse into rivalry, conflict, and politically opportunistic nationalism, the results could be hellish. And we are, right now, collapsing into rivalry, conflict, and politically opportunistic nationalism.  The Trump administration, and key congressional Republicans, are calling COVID-19 ?the Chinese virus,? and trying to gin up tensions to distract from their domestic failures. Chinese government officials, beset by their own domestic problems, are claiming the US military brought the virus to China. The US-China relationship was in a bad way six months ago, but this is a new level of threat. Evan Osnos covers the US-China relationship for the New Yorker, and is author of the National Book Award winner, The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China. In this conversation, we discuss the past, present and future of the US-China relationship. What are the chances of armed conflict? What might deescalation look like? And we know what the US wants ? what, in truth, does China want? Book recommendations: Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China by Alec Ash The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom by John Pomfret Confused about coronavirus? Here?s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we?ve found most useful. 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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-30
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Is the cure worse than the disease?

"We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself!" That was President Donald Trump, this week, explaining why he was thinking about lifting coronavirus guidelines earlier than public-health experts recommended. The "cure," in this case, is social distancing, and the mass economic stoppage it forces. The problem, of course, is COVID-19, and the millions of deaths it could cause. This is a debate that needs to be taken seriously. Slowing coronavirus will impose real costs, and immense suffering, on society. Are those costs worth it? This is the most important public policy question right now. And if the discussion isn't had well, then it will be had, as we're already seeing, poorly, and dangerously. I wanted to take up this question from two different angles. The first dimension is economic: Are we actually facing a choice between lives and economic growth? If we ceased social distancing, could we sustain a normal economy amidst a raging virus? Jason Furman, professor of the practice of economic policy at Harvard?s Kennedy School and President Obama's former chief economist, joins me for that discussion. But the economy isn't everything. What is a moral framework we can us when faced with this kind of question? So, in the second half of this show, I talk to Dr. Ruth Faden, the founder of the Berman Institute for Bioethics at Johns Hopkins. And then, at the end, I offer some thoughts on my own on the frightening moment we're living through, and the kind of political and social leadership it demands. Confused about coronavirus? Here?s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we?ve found most useful. 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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-26
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An economic crisis like we?ve never seen

?What is happening,? writes Annie Lowrey, ?is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced.?   It?s also different from what anyone alive has ever experienced. For many of us, the Great Recession is the closest analogue ? but it?s not analogous at all. There, the economy?s potential was unchanged, but financial markets were in crisis. Here, we are purposefully freezing economic activity in order to slow a public health crisis. Early data suggests the economic crisis is going to far exceed any single week or quarter of the financial crisis. Multiple economists have told me that the nearest analogy to what we?re going through is the economy during World War II. I have a secret advantage when trying to understand moments of economic upheaval. I?m married to Annie Lowrey. I can give you the bio ? staff writer at the Atlantic, author of Give People Money (which is proving particularly prophetic and influential right now) ? but suffice to say she?s one of the clearest and most brilliant economic thinkers I know. Her viral piece on the affordability crisis is crucial for understanding what the economy really looked like before Covid-19, and she?s been doing some of the best work on the way Covid-19 will worsen the economic problems we had and create a slew of new ones. But this isn?t just a conversation about crisis. It?s also a conversation about how to respond. I wouldn?t call it hopeful ? we?re not there yet. But constructive. References: "The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America" by Annie Lowrey If you enjoyed this episode, check out: "Fix recessions by giving people money," The Weeds Book recommendations: Severance by Ling Ma Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham Crashed by Adam Tooze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-23
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"The virus is more patient than people are"

Ron Klain served as the chief of staff to vice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. In 2014, President Barack Obama tapped him to lead the administration?s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He successfully oversaw a hellishly complex effort preparing domestically for an outbreak and surging health resources onto another continent to contain the disease.  But Klain is quick to say that the coronavirus is a harder challenge even than Ebola. The economy is in free fall. Entire cities have been told to shelter in place. And there?s no telling how long any of this will last. In this conversation, Klain answers my questions about the disease and how to respond to it, as well as questions many of you submitted. We discuss: How to change the virus?s reproduction and fatality rates Why you need to work backward from health system capacity What it means to ?flatten the curve? Why social distancing will be with us for a long time to come The difference between ?social distancing? and ?self-quarantine? What the Trump administration needed to do earlier, and what they still can do now The testing debacle The economic policy necessary to make social distancing possible Why we need to remember not everyone can work at home What it would take to surge health care capacity in the US ? and how fast we could potentially do it  The strengths and weaknesses of America?s particular health care system in responding to a pandemic like this one Whether the coronavirus is showing authoritarian systems perform better than liberal(ish) democracies What Joe Biden is like in a crisis  And much more. I?ve been covering the coronavirus nonstop, and this is one of the clearest, most useful conversations I?ve had. If you?re feeling overwhelmed, the clarity of Klain?s analysis will help.  Also: We want to know what kinds of coronavirus conversations you want to hear right now. Email us at [email protected] with suggestions for guests, or just angles. This is going to be a hard time, and we want this podcast to be as much a help as possible. Book recommendations: Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael Osterholm The Great Influenza by John Barry Confused about coronavirus? Here?s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we?ve found most useful. 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 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-19
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A master class in organizing

The Bernie Sanders campaign is an organizing tour-de-force relative to the Joe Biden campaign; yet the latter has won primary after primary ? with even higher turnouts than 2016. So does organizing even work? And, if so, what went wrong? Jane McAlevey has organized hundreds of thousands of workers on the frontlines of America?s labor movement. She is also a Senior Policy Fellow at UC Berkeley?s Labor Center and the author of three books on organizing, including, most recently, A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy. McAlevey doesn?t pull her punches. She thinks the left builds political power all wrong. She thinks people are constantly mistaking ?mobilizing? for ?organizing,? and that social media has taught a generation of young activists the worst possible lessons. She thinks organized labor?s push for ?card check? was a mistake, but that there really is a viable path back to a strong labor movement. And since McAlevey is, above all, a teacher and an organizer, she offers what amounts to a master class in organizing ? one relevant not just to building political power, but to building anything. To McAlevey, organizing, at its core, is about something very simple, and very close to the heart of this show: how do you talk to people who may not agree with you such that you can truly hear them, and they can truly hear you? This conversation ran long, but it ran long because it was damn good. References: No Shortcuts by Jane McAlevey Raising Expectations and Raising Hell by Jane McAlevey Book recommendations: Democracy May Not Exist But We'll Miss it When its Gone by Astra Taylor I've Got the Light of Freedom Charles M. Payne On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder 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) Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-16
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Weeds 2020: The coronavirus election

This week, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential contenders Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders each gave separate speeches in response to a rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak in the United States. What did they say? How do their responses differ? And what do those speeches tell us about how their future (or current) administrations? Vox?s Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias discuss on this week?s 2020 election edition of The Weeds. Then, how will coronavirus impact the general election in November? Matt and Ezra run through the political science research on how economic growth correlates with electoral success, how analogous situations (like severe weather events) have impacted past elections and more. Hint: things don?t look so great for Donald Trump. For more conversations like this one, subscribe to The Weeds on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts! Resources: President Trump's oval office address Joe Biden's coronavirus address Bernie Sanders' coronavirus address Hosts: Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox Ezra Klein (@ezraklein), Editor-at-large, Vox 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. Follow Us: Vox.com Facebook group: The Weeds Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-14
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Dan Pfeiffer on Joe Biden, beating Trump, and saving democracy

Before becoming the co-host of Pod Save America, Dan Pfeiffer spent most of his adult life in Democratic Party politics, which included serving as White House communications director for President Barack Obama. But in his new book Un-Trumping America, the former operative levels some sharp criticism toward the party he came of political age in.  Contrary to the rhetoric of the leading Democratic presidential candidate, Pfeiffer doesn?t think of Donald Trump as the source of our current social and political ills, and he doesn?t believe that beating Trump will bring about a return to ?normalcy.? For Pfeiffer, Trump is a symptom of much deeper forces in our politics ? forces that will continue to proliferate unless Democrats get serious about, among other things, genuine structural reform. Among the things we discuss:  - Pfeiffer?s view that Donald Trump is the favorite in 2020 - Why the core divide in the Democratic Party isn?t progressive vs. moderate - The flaws in both Sanders and Biden?s theories of institutional change  - The way Obama looms over the Democratic primary ? perhaps even more than Trump does  - The case for, and against, filibuster reform - Pfeiffer?s biggest regret from inside the Obama administration - What working with Joe Biden is like - Why the Obama White House didn?t rally around Biden in 2016 - The damage the political consultant class does to Democrats - What the left got wrong about the Democratic Party - Why Democrats need to prioritize democracy itself References: Ezra's profile of Joe Biden Book recommendations: Nixonland by Rick Perlstein The Known World by Edward P. Jones No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin 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) The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-12
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Are you a "political hobbyist?" If so, you're the problem.

Obsessively following the daily political news feels like an act of politics, or at least an act of civics. But what if, for many of us, it?s a replacement for politics ? and one that?s actually hurting the country? That is the argument made by Tufts University political scientist Eitan Hersh. In his incisive new book Politics is for Power, Hersh draws a sharp distinction between what he calls ?political hobbyism? ? following politics as a kind of entertainment and expression of self-identity ? and the actual work of politics. His data shows that a lot of people who believe they are doing politics are passively following it, and the way they?re following it has played a key role in making the political system worse. But this isn?t just a critique. Hersh?s argument builds to an alternative way of engaging in politics: as a form of service to our institutions and communities. And that alternative approach leads to some dramatically different ideas about how to marry an interest in politics with a commitment to building a better world. It also speaks to some of what we lost in rejecting the political machines and transactional politics of yesteryear ? a personal obsession of mine, and a more important hinge point in American political history than I think we realize. We are, as you may have noticed, deep into election season, and that?s when it?s easiest to mistake the drama of national politics for the doing of actual politics. So there?s no better time for this conversation. Book recommendations: Hobbies by Steven Gelber Concrete Demands Rhonda E. WIlliams Here All Along by Sarah Hurwitz 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) The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-09
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What would a Sanders or Biden presidency look like?

Super Tuesday winnowed the 2020 Democratic primary race down to two candidates: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. So how would their presidencies actually differ? Who would staff their administrations? How would they handle Congress? How would they handle key foreign policy decisions? What are their likely points of failure? How would they change the Democratic Party? I asked my friend, colleague, and Weeds co-host Matt Yglesias to join me for this conversation, and it was a good one. We?ve both covered Biden and Sanders for a long time, but come away with somewhat different impressions of each. The points where we differ here were, for me, even more helpful than the points where we agreed. I'll be interested, as always, to hear your thoughts: [email protected] References: Matt Yglesias' case for Bernie Sanders Ezra's piece on what Bernie needs to learn from Biden 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) The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-05
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Rebecca Solnit on Harvey Weinstein, feminism, and social change

Rebecca Solnit is one of the great activist-essayists of our age. Her books and writing cover a vast amount of human existence, but a common thread in her work ? and a focus of her upcoming memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence ? is what it means to be voiceless, ignored, and treated as a unreliable witness to the events of your own life.  ?We always say nobody knows, and that means that everyone who knows was nobody,? Solnit says. ?Everyone who was nobody knew about Harvey Weinstein.? This conversation is, in part, about what it means to be a nobody and what we?d learn if we listened to the voices on the margins of society. But it goes wide from there, covering the psychic toll of sexual violence, the Weinstein ruling, how visual art infuses Solnit?s journalism, the changing cultural role of San Francisco, what climate change will do to social relations, the different narratives of violence that men and women grow up with, and much more. A quick warning: We spoke just after the Weinstein ruling, and we discuss sexual violence both in terms of specific cases and larger cultural questions. It?s an important conversation, and Solnit?s thinking here is essential and humane, but listeners should be prepared for it. Book recommendations: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado There There by Tommy Orange 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) The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-03-02
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Weeds 2020: The Bernie electability debate

Welcome to Weeds 2020! Every other Saturday Ezra and Matt will be exploring a wide range of topics related to the 2020 race.  Since the Nevada caucuses, Bernie Sanders has become the clear frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic primary, spurring lots of debate over whether he could win in the general election. We discuss where the electability conversation often goes off-the-rails, why discussing electability in 2020 is so different than 1964 or 1972, the case for and against Bernie?s electability prospects, and the strongest attacks that Trump could make against Sanders and Joe Biden.  Then, we discuss Ezra?s favorite topic of all time: the filibuster. Ezra gives a brief history of this weird procedural tool, and we discuss why so many current Senators are against eliminating it. Resources: "Bernie Sanders can unify Democrats and beat Trump in 2020" by Matthew Yglesias, Vox "The case for Elizabeth Warren" by Ezra Klein, Vox "How the filibuster broke the US Senate" by Alvin Chang, Vox "Running Bernie Sanders Against Trump Would Be an Act of Insanity" by Jonathan Chait, Intelligencer "The Sixty Trillion Dollar Man" by Ronald brownstein, Atlantic "The Day One Agenda" by David Dayen, American Prospect "Bernie Sanders looks electable in surveys ? but it could be a mirage" by David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, Vox Hosts: Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox Ezra Klein (@ezraklein), Editor-at-large, Vox 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) The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] 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. Follow Us: Vox.com Facebook group: The Weeds New to the show? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-29
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Tracy K. Smith changed how I read poetry

It?s the rare podcast conversation where, as it?s happening, I?m making notes to go back and listen again so I can fully absorb what I heard. But this is that kind of episode. Tracy K. Smith is the chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, a Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, and a two-time poet laureate of the United States (2017-19). But I?ll be honest: She was an intimidating interview for me. I often find myself frustrated by poetry, yearning for it to simply tell me what it wants to say and feeling aggravated that I can?t seem to crack its code. Preparing for this conversation and (even more so) talking to Smith was a revelation. Poetry, she argues, is about expressing ?the feelings that defy language.? The struggle is part of the point: You?re going where language stumbles, where literalism fails. Developing a comfort and ease in those spaces isn?t something we?re taught to do, but it?s something we need to do. And so, on one level, this conversation is simply about poetry: what it is, what it does, how to read it. But on another level, this conversation is also about the ideas and tensions that Smith uses poetry to capture: what it means to be a descendent of slaves, a human in love, a nation divided. Laced throughout our conversation are readings of poems from her most recent book, Wade in the Water, and discussions of some of the hardest questions in the American, and even human, canon. Hearing Smith read her erasure poem, ?Declaration,? is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful moments I?ve had on the podcast. There is more to this conversation than I can capture here, but simply put: This isn?t one to miss. And that?s particularly true if, like me, you?re intimidated by poetry. References:  Smith?s lecture before the Library of Congress  Smith?s commencement speech at Wellesley College  Book recommendations:  Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith  Quilting by Lucille Clifton  Bodega by Su Hwang  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) The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected]: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-27
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Barbara Ehrenreich on UBI, class conflict, and collective joy

In the late 90s Barbara Ehrenreich went undercover as a waitress to discover how people with minimum wage full-time jobs were making ends meet. It turned out, they weren?t. Ehrenreich?s book Nickled and Dimed revealed just how dire the economic conditions of everyday working people were at a time when the economy was supposedly booming. It was a wake up call for many Americans at the time, including me who picked up the book as a curious college student.  Since then Ehrenreich, a journalist by trade, has written on a vast range of topics from the precarity of middle-class existence to the psychological and sociological roots of collective joy to human mortality to her own attempt, as an atheist, to grapple with mystical experiences. Needless to say, this is a widely ranging conversation. References: Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich Nicked and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Fear of Falling by Barbara Ehrenreich Had I Known by Barbara Ehrenreich New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-24
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What Donald Trump got right about white America

Hello! I?m Jane Coaston, filling in for Ezra. My guest today is Tim Carney, a commentary editor at the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.  In the wake of the 2016 election, Carney began traveling across the country and poring through county-level data in an attempt to understand the forces that led to Donald Trump?s victory. The culprit, he argues, is not racism or economic anxiety, it's the breakdown of social institutions. In his new book Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse, Carney posits that for centuries religious (and other private) institutions formed a much-needed social glue that kept communities together. That social glue, however, has decayed in recent decades, creating a void of despair, alienation, and frustration in so-called ?Middle America." Donald Trump did not offer a compelling way to solve these problems, but he was the only candidate willing to name them ? and in 2016 that was enough. In this conversation, we discuss Carney's thesis at length, but we also talk about why white evangelicals love Trump so much, how communities of color have responded differently to institutional loss than white communities, the appeal of Bernie Sanders, how Trump's reelection strategy will differ from his 2016 campaign, and much more. I hope this conversation is as interesting for you to listen to as it was for me to have. Book recommendations: Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America by Chris Arnade My Father Left Me Ireland by Michael Brendan Dougherty  The Bible 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) The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-20
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Ta-Nehisi Coates on my ?cold, atheist book?

This one was a pleasure. Ta-Nehisi Coates joined me in Brooklyn for part of the ?Why We?re Polarized? tour. His description of the book may be my favorite yet. It is, he says, ?a cold, atheist book.? We talk about what that means, and from there, go into some of the harder questions raised not so much by the book, but by American history itself. Then Coates asked me a question I never expected to hear from him: Is there anything I could say to leave him with some hope? Don?t miss this one. 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) The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-17
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If God is dead, then ? socialism?

Hello! I?m Sean Illing, Vox?s interviews writer filling in for Ezra while he?s on book tour. My guest today is Martin Hägglund, a philosopher at Yale and the author of This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, which I consider to be one of the most ambitious and important books in the last several years. We begin by discussing what it means to live a free and purposeful life without regret or illusion. For Hägglund, this life is all we have. There is no heaven, no afterlife, no eternal beyond. We live and we die and that means that the most important question any of us can possibly ask is, ?What should we do with our time??  We end by talking about the limits of capitalism, namely why it doesn?t really allow us to own our time in the way we ought to. And thus why, for Hägglund, democratic socialism is the only political project that takes the human condition seriously.  This is an unusual conversation, but, I have to say, I loved it. I appreciate and admire Hägglund?s willingness to tackle the biggest questions any us can ever ask, and I think by the end of it you will, too. Book recommendations: Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the other animals by Christine Korsgaard On the Soul (De Anima) by Aristotle  Phenomenology of Spirit by G.W.F Hegel  Follow Sean Illing at Vox or on Twitter @seanilling New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. Ezra's book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Guest host - Sean Illing Producer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-13
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Tim Urban on humanity?s wild future

 I?ve been a fan of Tim Urban and his site Wait But Why for a long time. Urban uses whimsical illustrations, infographics, and friendly, nontechnical language to explain everything from AI to space exploration to the Fermi Paradox.  Urban's most recent project is an explainer series called ?The Story of Us." It began as an attempt to understand what is going on in American politics today, and quickly turned into a deep exploration into humanity's past: how we evolved, the history of civilization, and the way our psychologies have come to interact with the world around us.  My initial theory of this conversation was that Urban?s work has interesting points of convergence and divergence with my book. But once we got to talking, something more interesting emerged: Based on his reading of human history, psychology, and technological advancement, Urban has come to believe we are at an existential fork-in-the-road as a species. A hundred years from now, Urban thinks, our species will either advance so significantly that we will no longer be recognizable as human beings, or we will so lose control of our progress that the human story will end in a destructive apocalypse. I?m less convinced, but open to the idea that I?m wrong. So this, then, isn?t just a conversation about politics and polarization in the present. It?s more fully a conversation about whether the politics of the present are distracting us from the forces that are, even as we speak, deciding our future. References:  Dave Robert?s piece on Tim Urban?s aversion to politics  My conversation with Andrew Yang Book recommendations:  A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich  The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu  Atomic Habits by James Clear New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Producer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-10
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Jill Lepore on what I get wrong

Jill Lepore is a Harvard historian, a New Yorker contributor, the author of These Truths, and one of my favorite past guests on this show. But in this episode, the tables are turned: I?m in the hot seat, and Lepore has some questions. Hard ones. This is, easily, the toughest interview on my book so far. Lepore isn?t quibbling over my solutions or pointing out a contrary study ? what she challenges are the premises, epistemology, and meta-structure that form the foundation of my book, and much of my work. Her question, in short, is: What if social science itself is too crude to be a useful way of understanding the political world? But that?s what makes this conversation great. We discuss whether all political science research on polarization might be completely wrong, why (and whether) my book is devoid of individual or institutional ?villains,? and whether I am morally obliged to delete my Twitter account, in addition to the missing party in American politics, why I mistrust historical narratives, media polarization, and much more. This is, on one level, a conversation about Why We?re Polarized. But on a deeper level, it?s about different modes of knowledge and whether we can trust them. New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. The ?Why We?re Polarized? tour continues, with events in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule! Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Producer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-06
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Is Tom Steyer the solution to our dysfunctional politics?

Tom Steyer has worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. He made his billions running a hedge fund for decades before moving into progressive activism on causes like democratization, climate change, and impeaching Donald Trump. Now, he is running for president of the United States.  Steyer?s primary message on the campaign trial is that we need to get money, lobbyists and corporate influence out of politics. At the same time, he is the living embodiment of much of what he thinks is broken about our system. He used his wealth as a shortcut onto the presidential debate stage and, in doing so, essentially wrote the playbook for any future billionaire who decides they want a shot at winning the highest office in the land.  So, is Steyer the solution to our dysfunctional politics -- or is he part of the problem? That question is a lot bigger than Steyer himself. It is about the kinds of people we think will best represent the interests of non-billionaires. It is about the sort of influence we think wealth should have in our society. It is about whether, in our current political moment, we want to trust the arsonists to put out the fires they helped create. I?ll let you decide the answer. Book recommendations: The Holy Bible War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston The Good Assassin by Paul Vidich New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. Also, we?ve announced more tour dates! Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for all the details. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] Credits: Engineer - Cynthia Gil Producer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-02-03
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Why We're Polarized, with Jamelle Bouie (live!)

 The Why We?re Polarized book tour kicked off this week with a wonderful event at Sixth and I in Washington, DC. My conversation partner for this one was New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie. Our interview was great, and then the audience questions were so good we had to keep them in as well. We discuss:   ? Why things were far worse in the ?golden age? of the 1950s and ?60s than they are today ? Why the key question isn?t so much ?why are we polarized?? as ?why weren?t we polarized?? ? Why ?moderate? Republicans end up losing to conservatives ? Why demographic change is the core cleavage of American politics today ? How polarization makes bipartisanship irrational and political dysfunction the norm ? Why Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are not the causes of polarization but rather the most clear manifestations of it ? That more information doesn?t rescue politics ? Why America today is not functionally a democracy (and why I hate when people claim it is a ?republic? to justify our current system) ? Why the most underrated divide in American politics is not that between left and right but between the informed and the uninformed ? Why we can?t reverse polarization and instead need to reform our political system so that it can function amid polarization New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. Also, we?ve announced more tour dates! Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for all the details. My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-30
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Antisemitism now, antisemitism then

?The bad days are back? wrote Batya Ungar-Sargon in the Forward in December, ?Orthodox Jews are living through a new age of pogroms. This week, as we celebrated the Festival of Lights, there were no fewer than 10 anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area alone.?  Antisemitism is occasionally called ?the oldest hatred.? It thrums across continents and eras, finding new targets for old prejudices. But where, exactly, does it come from? Why is it such a hardy weed? And why does this era feel so thick with it?  Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, is the author of Antisemitism: Here and Now. We discuss the earliest forms, tropes, and rationales for antisemitism, and the cultural reasons for their persistence. Lipstadt explains the way right- and left-wing antisemitism differ, and examines the charges of antisemitism levied against some modern politicians, like Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn. We talk about antisemitism in the age of social media and rising party polarization. And we talk about the convergence and divergence of antisemitism and anti-Zionism: what distinguishes a legitimate critique of Israel from an antisemitic slur towards it? This episode airs on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It?s a reminder that the very worst days lie in living memory, in an age more similar our own than we like to admit.  References:  ?Why No One Can Talk About The Attacks Against Orthodox Jews? by Batya Ungar-Sargon Book recommendations:  If This is Man by Primo Levi  Still Alive by Ruth Kluger  The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-27
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Book excerpt: A better theory of identity politics

This is a podcast episode literally years in the making. It?s an excerpt ? the first anywhere ? from my book Why We?re Polarized. A core argument of the book is that identity is the central driver of political polarization. But to see how it works, we need a better theory of how identities form, what happens when they activate, and where they fit into our conflicts. We?ve been taught to only see identity politics in others. We need to see it in ourselves. If you?re a longtime listener, this excerpt ? like the broader book ? will tie a lot of threads on this show together. If you?re a new listener, it?ll give you, I hope, a clearer way to understand a powerful driver of our politics and our lives.  Why We?re Polarized comes out on January 28. You can order it, both in text and audiobook forms, at WhyWerePolarized.com. Find the audio book on Audible.com New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-23
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The war on Muslims (with Mehdi Hasan)

With ?reeducation" camps in China, religious disenfranchisement in India, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, street violence in Sri Lanka, mass shootings in New Zealand, the flourishing of far-right parties across Europe, and the mainstreaming of Islamophobia in America, there?s been a global surge in anti-Muslim bigotry ? often supported by the full power and might of the state. It?s one of the most frightening and undercovered political stories of our time. Mehdi Hasan is a senior writer for the Intercept, the host of the Deconstructed podcast, and the anchor of Al Jazeera?s Up Front. He?s done some of the best reporting on anti-Muslim prejudice and persecutions worldwide, covering everything from Narendra Modi?s rise in India to the treatment of Uighurs in China to the role that social media plays in amplifying anti-Muslim sentiment. We discuss all of that in this conversation, but we also try to answer some deeper questions: Why Muslims? Why now? What is the ideology that drives and justifies anti-Muslim bigotry? What are the political incentives that foster it? Not everything in this conversation is easy to hear. But understanding the scope and scale of the war on Muslims is central to understanding the world we live in, the Orwellian nature of the Islamophobic narrative, and the resentments and traumas we?re inflicting on the future.  Book recommendations: The Fear of Islam by Todd H. Green  The Enemy Within by Sayeeda Warsi  The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-20
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Post-debate special!

Vox's Matt Yglesias and I unpack the debate that did, and didn't, happen. Related reading: "Joe Biden will never give up on the system" by Ezra Klein "4 winners and 3 losers from the January Democratic debate" Vox Staff "The case for Elizabeth Warren" by Ezra Klein "Bernie Sanders can unify Democrats and beat Trump in 2020" by Matthew Yglesias "Joe Biden skates by again" by Matt Yglesias "Elizabeth Warren?s new plan to reform bankruptcy law, explained" by Matt Yglesias "The Third Rail of Calling ?Sexism? Warren tried not to talk about it." by Rebecca Traister My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-16
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An ?uncomfortable? conversation with Cory Booker

There is a moral radicalism to the way Cory Booker lives out his politics. He lived for years in a housing project. He leads hunger strikes. He challenges political machines. He?s a vegan. He has a more ambitious policy vision than is often discussed. But beneath that is a far more radical ethical vision than he gets credit for. I think there?s a reason for that. When Booker turns his politics turn outward, they lose clarity. He shies away from drawing bright lines, his answers double back to blur out potential offense. As a result, his arguments for a politics of radical love end up emphasizing his love in ways that obscure his radicalism. As admiring as I am of what Booker demands of himself, I often can?t tell what he?s asking of me. In this conversation, I wanted Booker to risk my discomfort, not just his own. And in his answers, I think you can hear both the remarkable promise and power of Booker?s politics, and some of the challenges that ultimately led him to suspend his campaign. References/Book recommendations: Tightrope by Nicholas Kristof  ?Who Killed the Knapp Family? by Nicholas Kristof  The Violence Inside Us by Chris Murphy  My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-13
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The conservative mind of Yuval Levin

Something I?ve been thinking a lot about recently is the way we often conflate two very distinct things when we assign political labels. The first is ideology, which describes our vision of a just society. The second is something less discussed but equally important: temperament. It describes how we approach social problems, how fast we think society can change, and how we understand the constraints upon us.  Yuval Levin is the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, the editor-in-chief of the public policy journal National Affairs, and the author of the upcoming book A Time to Build. Levin is one of the most thoughtful articulators of both conservative temperament and ideology. And, perhaps for that reason, his is one of the most important criticisms of what the conservative movement has become today. There?s a lot in this conversation, in part because Levin?s book speaks to mine in interesting ways, but among the topics we discuss are:  The conservative view of human nature Why the conservative temperament is increasingly diverging from the conservative movement What theories of American politics get wrong about the reality of American life The case Levin makes to socialists How economic debates are often moral debates in disguise Levin?s rebuttal to my book  The crucial difference between ?formative? and ?performative? social institutions Why the most fundamental problems in American life are cultural, not economic Why Levin thinks the New York Times should not allow its journalists to be on Twitter Whether we can restore trust in our institutions without changing the incentives and systems that surround them   There?s a lot Levin and I disagree on, but there are few people I learn as much from in disagreement as I learn from him. Book recommendations: Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville  The Quest for Community by Robert Nisbet  Statecraft as Soulcraft by George Will  If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like: David French on ?The Great White Culture War" George Will makes the conservative case against democracy My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-09
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How an epidemic begins and ends

Introducing season 3 of The Impact! The 2020 candidates have some bold ideas to tackle some of our country's biggest problems, like climate change, the opioid crisis, and unaffordable health care. A lot of their proposals have been tried before, so, in a sense, the results are in.  This season, The Impact has those stories: how the big ideas from 2020 candidates succeeded ? or failed ? in other places, or at other times. What can Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposal to fight the opioid crisis learn from what the US did to fight the AIDS epidemic? How did Germany ? an industrial powerhouse that invented the automobile ? manage to implement a Green New Deal? How did public health insurance change Taiwan? Subscribe to The Impact on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. On this special preview: Sen. Elizabeth Warren is running for president with a plan to fight the opioid epidemic. Her legislation would dramatically expand access to addiction treatment and overdose prevention, and it would cost $100 billion over 10 years. Addiction experts agree that this is the kind of money the United States needs to fight the opioid crisis. But it?s a really expensive idea, to help a deeply stigmatized population. How would a President Warren get this through Congress?  It?s been done before, with the legislation Warren is using as a blueprint for her proposal. In 1990, Congress passed the Ryan White Care Act, the first national coordinated response to the AIDS crisis. In the decades since, the federal government has dedicated billions of dollars to the fight against AIDS, and it?s revolutionized care for people with this once-deadly disease.  But by the time President George H.W. Bush signed the bill into law, hundreds of thousands of people in the US already had HIV/AIDS, and tens of thousands had died.  In this episode, Vox's Jillian Weinberger explores how an epidemic begins, and how it ends. We look at what it took to get the federal government to finally act on AIDS, and what that means for Warren?s plan to fight the opioid crisis, today.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-08
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Nathan Robinson?s case for socialism

?Socialism? is simultaneously one of the most commonly used and most confusing terms in American politics. Does being a socialist mean advocating for the complete abolition of capitalism, markets, and private property? Does it mean supporting a higher tax rate, Medicare-for-all, and Sen. Bernie Sanders? Or does it simply mean a deep hatred of systemic injustice and the institutions that perpetuate it?  In his new book Why You Should be a Socialist Nathan J Robinson, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Current Affairs magazine, attempts to shed light on these questions. In his writing, Robinson distinguishes between a ?socialist economy? (think collective ownership, worker cooperatives, single-payer health care) and what he calls a ?socialist ethic": a deep sense of moral outrage that animates agents of radical change. This distinction may sound like a dodge, but I think Robinson gets at something here that ? while hard to understand from the outside ? is crucial to understanding today's left politics. We also discuss:  - The central role of democracy to the socialist worldview - What it means to be a ?libertarian socialist? - What Robinson's socialist utopia would look like  - Why so many socialists have turned on Sen. Elizabeth Warren in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders  - Robinson?s special loathing for South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg - What he believes Sanders?s ?political revolution? would look like - The lessons of Jeremy Corbyn - Whether the deep difference between liberals and socialists is temperament  - Why ?public vs. private? is often a false choice - The challenge of economic growth  And much more.  Book recommendations: Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky The Anarchist FAQ by Ian McKay  The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin  If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like: Leftists vs. Liberals with Elizabeth Bruenig Matt Bruenig?s case for single-payer health care Why my politics are bad with Bhaskar Sunkara New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-06
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How to topple dictators and transform society (with Erica Chenoweth)

The 2010s witnessed a sharp uptick in nonviolent resistance movements all across the globe. Over the course of the last decade we?ve seen record numbers of popular protests, grassroots campaigns, and civic demonstrations advancing causes that range from toppling dictatorial regimes to ending factory farming to advancing a Green New Deal.   So, I thought it would be fitting to kick off 2020 by bringing on Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard specializing in nonviolent resistance. At the beginning of this decade Chenoweth co-authored Why Civil Resistance Works, a landmark study showing that nonviolent movements are twice as effective as violent ones. Since then, she has written dozens of papers on what factors make successful movements successful, why global protests are becoming more and more common, how social media has affected resistance movements and much more.  But Chenoweth doesn?t only study nonviolent movements from an academic perspective; she also advises nonviolent movement leaders around the world (including former EK Show guests Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement and Wayne Hsiung of Direct Action Everywhere) to help them be as effective and strategic as possible in carrying out their goals. This on-the-ground experience combined with a big-picture, academic view of nonviolent resistance makes her perspective essential for understanding one of the most important phenomena of the last decade -- and, in all likelihood, the next one. References: "How social media helps dictators" by Erica Chenoweth "Drop Your Weapons: When and Why Civil Resistance Works" by Erica Chenoweth Book recommendations: These Truths by Jill Lepore Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keenga-Yamahtta Taylor If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like: Varshini Prakash on the Sunrise Movement's plan to save humanity When doing the right thing makes you a criminal (with Wayne Hsiung) My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineer- Cynthia Gil Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2020-01-02
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Ask Ezra Anything

It?s here. The final AMA of 2019. Among the questions you asked: - If you believe that changing someone's mind about a topic, any topic is difficult, how do you function as a journalist? - What?s your opinion on capitalism? - What have you learned about yourself since being a dad that has surprised you the most? - You talk a lot about polarization. But it seems your audience leans liberal. So how do you reconcile that? - Do you believe in free will? - What?s your take on the left/liberal divide? - Red wine or white wine? - We know 2020 will come down to a small collection of swing states. Shouldn?t the Democrats just run whichever candidate will be strongest in those states? - What?s with Vox and NBER papers? - What would get journalists to leave Twitter? - What happens if Trump loses the election but refuses to leave office? All this, plus you get to hear from the mysterious Jeff Geld? My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer, Editor, Guest Interviewer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-30
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Best of: Work as identity, burnout as lifestyle

Here, at the end of the year, I wanted to share one of my favorite episodes of 2019 with you. Earlier this year, two essays on America?s changing relationship to work caught my eye. The first was Anne Helen Petersen?s viral BuzzFeed piece defining, and describing, ?millennial burnout.? The second was Derek Thompson?s Atlantic article on ?workism.? The two pieces speak to each other in interesting ways, and to some questions I had been reflecting on as my own relationship to work changes. So I asked the authors to join me for a conversation about what happens when work becomes an identity, capitalism becomes a religion, and productivity becomes the way we measure human value. The conversation exceeded even the high hopes I had for it. Enjoy this one. Book recommendations: Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris White: Essays on Race and Culture by Richard Dyer The Vertigo Years: Europe, 1900-1914 by Philipp Blom A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Engineers - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-26
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Republicans vs. the planet

Dave Roberts is an energy and climate writer at Vox and a senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He started as his career covering climate science and clean energy technology, but -- for reasons we discuss here -- he now writes just as much about political psychology, media ecosystems, political institutions, and how they intersect with climate change. We cover a lot in this conversation, including: ?Tribal epistemology,? and why it?s crucial to climate paralysis  How the GOP went from the party of cap-and-trade to the party of climate denial  Why the right and left-wing media ecosystem?s diverged so dramatically What today?s climate activists get right about our politics that their predecessors got wrong The carbon tax dead-end How nuclear energy became so divisive The conflicting moral and social visions at the heart of the climate movement  Why it is impossible to separate technological innovation from the policy ecosystem that shapes it  Whether climate change really is an ?existential? threat  What climate change will mean for the world?s poor References: Dave Roberts on America's "epistemic crisis." Book recommendations: Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston "State of the Species" by Charles C. Mann My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineers - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-23
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The geoengineering question

Most analyses of how to ?solve? climate change start from a single, crucial assumption: that carbon emissions and global warming are inextricably linked. Geoengineering is a set of technologies and ideas with the potential to shatter that link.  Can we use them? Should we? Could they be used in concert with other solutions, or would simply opening the door drain support from those ideas? Even if we did want to deploy geoengineering, who would govern its use? And is mucking with the earth at this level more dangerous than climate change itself ? which may, ultimately, be the choice we face? Jane Flegal is a geoengineering expert at Arizona State University and a program officer at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. She?s able to parse this debate with an unusual level of clarity, fairness, and rigor. This isn?t an argument for or against geoengineering. It?s a way to think about it, and that turns out to be a way to think about the climate change problem as a whole. Book recommendations: The Planet Remade by Oliver Morton Experiment Earth by Jack Stilgoe Frontiers of Illusion by Daniel Sarewitz  My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineers - Cynthia Gil & Ed Cuervo Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-19
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How to solve climate change and make life more awesome

The climate series is back! The reason for the delay is that I wanted to make sure that this episode was next up in the series. Once you start listening, you?ll understand why.  So far, we?ve spent the series talking about the problem we're facing and what the world will ultimately look like if we fail. Today?s conversation is different: It is about what it will take to solve climate change and what kind of world we can build if we succeed.  Saul Griffith is an inventor, a MacArthur genius fellow, and the founder and CEO of Otherlab, a high-tech research and development company on the frontlines of trying to imagine our clean energy future. Griffith and his team were contracted by the Department of Energy to track and visualize the entirety of America?s energy flows ? and as a result, he knows the US energy system better than just about anyone on this planet. Griffith is also clearer than anyone else I?ve found on the paths to decarbonization, and how to navigate them. Most conversations about climate change are pretty depressing. This conversation is not. We have the tools we need to decarbonize. What?s more, decarbonizing doesn?t mean accepting a future of less ? it can mean a more awesome, humane, technologically rich, and socially inspiring future for us all. This conversation is about a vision of decarbonization that is genuinely awesome, and how we can actually get there. References: Otherlab's diagram of US energy flows Griffith's piece on paths to decarbonization Book recommendations: Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber Freedom's Forge by Arthur Herman The Extinction Rebellion Handbook Silent Spring by Rachel Carson My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. The first batch of stops for my book tour is up! Get tickets at http://www.whywerepolarized.com Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-16
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Paul Krugman on climate, robots, single-payer, and so much more

It?s cliché to call podcasts wide-ranging. But this conversation, with Nobel-prize winning economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, really is. A sample of what we discuss: - How economists mucked up the climate debate - What a Democratic president should pass first - The politics and policy of Medicare-for-all - Krugman?s three-part test to determine whether a program needs to be paid for (don?t miss this!) - Why Pete Buttigieg is wrong on tuition-free college  - Why Andrew Yang is wrong on automation - What the Obama administration got wrong, and right, in the financial crisis - The means-testing vs. universal program debate is a false dichotomy  - What it would take to revitalize the economies of middle and rural America - The productivity puzzle - The antitrust problem - Geographic inequality - Whether elite or mass opinion is the key constraint on policy ambition - Path dependence in social welfare states - Whether private insurers should exist  And much more. Don?t miss this one. References: Krugman's upcoming book, Arguing with Zombies Book recommendations: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume  Plagues and Peoples by William McNeil  Collected essays of George Orwell My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-12
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The moral philosophy of The Good Place (with Mike Schur and Pamela Hieronymi)

After creating and running Parks and Recreation and writing for The Office, Michael Schur decided he wanted to create a sitcom about one of the most fundamental questions of human existence: What does it mean to be a good person? That?s how The Good Place was born. Soon into the show?s writing, Schur realized he was in way over his head. The question of human morality is one of the most complicated and hotly contested subjects of all time. He needed someone to help him out. So, he recruited Pamela Hieronymi, a professor at UCLA specializing in the subjects of moral responsibility, psychology, and free will, to join the show as a ?consulting philosopher? ? surely a first in sitcom history. I wanted to bring Shur and Hieronymi onto the show because The Good Place should not exist. Moral philosophy is traditionally the stuff of obscure academic journals and undergraduate seminars, not popular television. Yet, three-and-a-half seasons on, The Good Place is not only one of the funniest sitcoms on TV, it has popularized academic philosophy in an unprecedented fashion and put forward its own highly sophisticated moral vision. This is a conversation about how and why The Good Place exists and what it reflects about The Odd Place in which we actually live. Unlike a lot of conversations about moral philosophy, this one is a lot of fun. References: Dylan Matthews' brilliant profile on The Good Place Dylan Matthews on why he donated his kidney Book recommendations: Michael Schur: Ordinary Vices by Judith N. Shklar The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré  Beloved by Toni Morrison Pamela Hieronymi: What We Owe to Each Other by T.M. Scanlon Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre Mortal Questions by Thomas Nagel New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide. My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-09
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When doing the right thing makes you a criminal

For most of his life, Wayne Hsiung was a typical overachiever. He attended the University of Chicago, started his PhD in Economics, became a law professor at Northwestern, was mentored by Cass Sunstein. But then, something snapped. In the midst of a deep, overwhelming depression, Hsiung visited a slaughterhouse and was radicalized by the immense suffering he saw. He now faces decades in prison for rescuing sick, injured animals from slaughterhouses. Hsiung is the founder of Direct Action Everywhere, an organization best known for conducting public, open rescues of animals too sick for slaughter. These rescues are, in many cases, illegal, and Hsiung and his fellow activists are risking years of imprisonment. But the sacrifice is the point: Hsiung and his colleagues are trying to highlight the sickness of a society that criminalizes doing what any child would recognize as the right thing to do. In our conversation, I wanted to understand a simple question: How did he get here? What leads someone with a safe, comfortable life to risk everything for a cause? What does society look like to him now, knowing what he faces? And the big question: Is Hsiung the weird one? Or is it all of us ? who see so much suffering and injustice and simply go about our lives ? who have lost our way? References: New York Times story on a DxE rescue mission Video of the mission to save Lily the piglet Book recommendations: Everything is Obvious by Duncan J. Watts  The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky Grit by Angela Duckworth My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Jeremy Dalmas Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-05
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Peter Singer on the lives you can save

Imagine you?re walking to work. You see a child drowning in a lake. You?re about to jump in and save her when you realize you?re wearing your best suit, and the rescue will end up costing hundreds in dry cleaning bills. Should you still save the child? Of course you should. But this simple thought experiment, taken seriously, has radical implications for how you live your life. It comes from Peter Singer?s The Life You Can Save, one of the most influential modern works of ethical philosophy. Singer is perhaps the most influential public intellectual of my lifetime. His book Animal Liberation helped build America?s animal rights movement. His work helped create the effective altruism movement. In Singer?s hands, the questions that motivate a moral life are startlingly simple. But if you take them seriously, living morally is very, very hard. And the way most of us are living, right now ? well, we?re letting a lot of children drown. What happens if we force ourselves to recognize that fact? What does it demand of us? That?s the topic of my conversation with Singer. We also discuss the differences between ethical philosophy and religion, why moral reasoning is a social act, the ethics of caring most about those closest to you, The Good Place, AI risk, open borders, where our obligations to others end, why Singer wouldn?t have become a philosopher if he?d been an effective altruist in his youth, and much more. Book recommendations: On Liberty by John Stuart Mill The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker On What Matters by Derek Parfit Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit To read Peter SInger's book please visit www.thelifeyoucansave.org To learn more about effective altruism, visit Vox's Future Perfect My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineers - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-12-02
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Best of: The age of "mega-identity" politics

Happy Thanksgiving! Please enjoy a re-air episode from April 2018 with Lilliana Mason. Yes, identity politics is breaking our country. But it?s not identity politics as we?re used to thinking about it. In Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity, Lilliana Mason traces the construction of our partisan ?mega-identities?: identities that fuse party affiliation to ideology, race, religion, gender, sexuality, geography, and more. These mega-identities didn?t exist 50 or even 30 years ago, but now that they?re here, they change the way we see each other, the way we engage in politics, and the way politics absorbs other ? previously non-political ?spheres of our culture. In making her case, Mason offers one of the best primers I?ve read on how little it takes to activate a sense of group identity in human beings, and how far-reaching the cognitive and social implications are once that group identity takes hold. I don?t want to spoil our discussion here, but suffice to say that her recounting of the ?minimal group paradigm? experiments is not to be missed. This is the kind of research that will change not just how you think about the world, but how you think about yourself. Mason?s book is, I think, one of the most important published this year, and this conversation gave me a lens on our political discord that I haven?t stopped thinking about since. If you want to understand the kind of identity politics that?s driving America in 2018, you should listen in. Books recommendations: Ideology in America by Christopher Ellis and James Stimson  Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi  The Power by Naomi Alderman My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-28
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Because podcast

Gretchen McCulloch is a self-described ?internet linguist,? host of the podcast Lingthusiasm, and author of the recent book Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language. In it, she demonstrates that the way we've come to speak on the internet -- from emojis to exclamation points -- is not random or arbitrary, but part of a broader attempt to make our written communication more vibrant, meaningful, and, genuinely human. Far from ?ruining? the written English language, internet-speak, McCulloch argues, is revolutionizing language in unprecedented, and ultimately positive, ways. We discuss why I feel bad if I don't use enough exclamation points (or use too many), why postcards are the pre-internet predecessors to Instagram, how emojis act as written equivalents of our body language, why sarcasm is like a ?linguistic trust fall,? the meaning of ?Ok boomer? and much more. Book recommendations: It?s Complicated:The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd  You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like: danah boyd on why fake news is so easy to believe You will love this conversation with Jaron Lanier, but I can?t describe it My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineers - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-25
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There?s more to life than profit

Yancey Strickler is the co-founder and former CEO of Kickstarter, and he?s just released a new book, This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World. In Strickler?s telling, our society has been so thoroughly captured by the value-system of financial maximization, that we don?t even view it as such. Kickstarter was an affront to that value-system, a way that groups could fund ideas outside of the realm of profit. And this new book is trying to dig deeper into that worldview, unveil its fallibility, and offer an alternative way of imagining our society. So, in this conversation we talk about profit and the economy, but also about climate change, the founding story of Kickstarter, what makes great fiction so great, Alan Moore?s notion of the ?idea space,? the bizarre way that Strickler went about writing his book, and much more. Book recommendations: Time Loops by Eric Wargo  Value and Ethics in Economics by Elizabeth Anderson  Dune by Frank Herbert  If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like: A mind-bending, reality-warping conversation with John Higgs Edward Norton?s theory of mind, movies, and power My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineers - Cynthia Gil & Chris Shurtleff Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-21
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Having a bad day? Dave Eggers can help.

I?ve wanted to have Dave Eggers on the show for a while now. Eggers has not only written a vast range of books (a deeply ironic personal memoir, a heartwarming novel about a Sudanese refugee, a futuristic story about a tech dystopia) but he's also founded the national tutoring nonprofit 826 Valencia, started the literary magazine McSweeney?s, co-authored the screenplay of Where the Wild Things Are, and much more. I?m fascinated by people who are able to do a variety of wildly different things, all successfully. Dave Eggers is one of those people.  So, we start this conversation by discussing Eggers?s life?s work, his recent book The Captain and the Glory, and Donald Trump. But then ? somewhere around the halfway point ? the conversation transforms into something I can only describe as, well, therapeutic. Eggers doesn?t own a smartphone or have wifi in his house, and hearing the way he talks about the internet, social media, and our relationship to them put me in a sort of quasi-meditation state that I can?t describe adequately with words. This one is a little strange, but it may just make your day. It certainly made mine. Book recommendations: The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton  The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton  Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton  The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton If you enjoyed this episode, you may like: You will love this conversation with Jaron Lanier, but I can?t describe it Cal Newport on doing Deep Work and escaping social media My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Cynthia Gil Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-18
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How Whole Foods, yoga, and NPR became the hallmarks of the elite

If you're anything like me, this episode will make you think about the way you shop, learn, eat, parent, and exercise in a whole new way. My guest today is Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California whose most recent book The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class documents the rise of a new, unprecedented elite class in the United States. Previously, the elite classes differentiated themselves from the rest by purchasing expensive material goods like flashy clothes and expensive cars. But, for reasons we get into, today?s elite is different: We signify our class position by reading the New Yorker, acquiring elite college degrees, buying organic food, breastfeeding our children, and, of course, listening to podcasts like this one. These activities may seem completely innocent ? perhaps even enlightened. Yet, as we discuss here, they simultaneously shore up inequality, erode social mobility, and create an ever-more stratified society ? all without most of us even noticing. This is a conversation that implicates us all, and, for that very reason, it is well worth grappling with. Book recommendations: Just Kids by Patti Smith  Art Worlds by Howard S. Becker The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like: When meritocracy wins, everybody loses Work as identity, burnout as lifestyle What a smarter Trumpism would sound like My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Jeff Geld Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-14
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How social media makes us antisocial

Andrew Marantz is a writer at the New Yorker who, for years, has been deeply immersed in the world of conservative trolls, alt-right social media personalities, and online conspiracy theorists. His most recent book Antisocial has been viewed as a brilliant ethnography of the bizarre universe that is the alt-right.  But I?m interested in it for a different reason: Somehow, these folks have figured out how to manipulate the social media ecosystem that frames our political discourse. Thus, they represent an important window into understanding how that ecosystem functions, who it advantages, and where it dramatically falls short. We discuss: - Why Mark Zuckerberg?s defenses of Facebook so obviously fail - Where the conversation about ?free speech? in America went completely off the rails - How alt-right personality Mike Cernovich cracked social media algorithms to influence the 2016 news cycle - What Marantz calls the ?primary laws of social media mechanics? and how they can be manipulated to bring out the worst in human nature - Why conflict has become the primary way to garner attention and influence online while more constructive social interactions remain in obscurity - How a kid from a progressive, upper-middle-class family became one of the nation?s leading neo-Nazis - The role the social justice left plays in fomenting online extremism And much more. Book recommendations: Contingency, Irony and Solidarity by Richard Rorty  The Captive Mind by Czes?aw Mi?osz Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-11
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ICYMI: Edward Norton?s theory of mind, movies, and power

Due to a technical glitch this interview with Edward Norton did not find it?s way into most people?s feeds. If you were able to download the first one this is indeed the exact same interview, but if you missed it please give a listen and enjoy - we had a lot of fun with this one. You?ve heard of Edward Norton. He?s starred in critically acclaimed films like American History X, Fight Club, and Birdman, been nominated for multiple Academy Awards, and, most recently, wrote, directed, and starred in Motherless Brooklyn, a film about a detective with Tourette?s syndrome who ends up taking on the most corrupt and powerful forces in New York City politics. Motherless Brooklyn, as it happens, is one of my all-time favorite books. And so this conversation was an unexpected pleasure. In addition to a joint love of Motherless Brooklyn, Norton and I share an unusual number of interests: Meditation, the uncontrollable nature of the mind, the difficulty of solving problems by thinking about them, the psychology of power, media analytics, cultural ideas of heroism, thwarted masculinity in politics, Ralph Nader, and more. It?s rare that I think a conversation could?ve gone for hours more. But it?s true for this one. References: Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem This Could Be Our Future by Yancey Strickler Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch   *The world according to Ralph Nader* Book recommendations: Barbarian Days by William Finnegan  Wind, Sand, and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Buddhism without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor If you like this episode, check out: What Buddhism got right about the human brain You will love this conversation with Jaron Lanier, but I can?t describe it My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Jeff Geld Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-08
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Introducing Reset

Thanks for listening to Reset from Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network. Today's episodes were Can A.I. Tech You To Write Better and Quantum Supremacy, WTF. If you enjoyed these episodes, subscribe to Reset for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app to get new episodes every week. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-08
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What a smarter Trumpism would sound like

Michael Lind is a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin, the co-founder of the New America Foundation, and an important contributor to American Affairs, a journal originally created to imagine a more Trumpist conservatism. Lind is by no means a supporter of Trump. But, for decades now, he has been developing a coherent intellectual worldview around many of the same issues that Trump intuited, however crudely, during his campaign. He?s one of the intellectuals that the nationalist conservatives trying to imagine a Trumpism after Trump tell me they read most closely. There are three big pieces of Lind?s thought that I think help to illuminate this era. One is his idea of the ?new class war,? which builds a deep cultural component into class identity and maps much better onto populist resentment. The next is his approach to China, which has long been skeptical of Washington?s optimistic consensus. And the third is his insistence that political conflicts ? be they class wars or partisan ones ? don?t end in victories, they end in ?settlements.? References: "The New Class War" by Michael Lind "The Return of Geoeconomics" by Michael Lind "Classless Utopia versus Class Compromise" by Michael Lind "Donald Trump, the Perfect Populist" by Michael Lind Book recommendations: The Machiavellian Defender?s of Freedom by James Burnham  Foundation by Isaac Asimov The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-07
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The climate crisis is an oceans crisis

Welcome to episode 2 of our climate cluster. The more I prepared for this series, the more I realize there was a big blue gap in my understanding of climate change. Oceans cover 70% of the earth, absorb 93% of the heat from the sun, and capture 30% of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Forty percent of the world?s population lives within 60 miles of the coast, and half a billion people rely on oceans as their primary food source. As go the oceans, so goes humanity. Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is the founder of the Urban Ocean Lab and the Ocean Collectiv, she?s held positions at the NOAA and the EPA, and was named by Outside Magazine as the most influential marine biologist of our time. And she?s able to do something a lot of people aren?t: communicate not just the science of climate change from the ocean perspective, but the role oceans play in the human story. This is not a dry, complex disquisition on climate science. This is a vivid tour of the way oceans shape our lives, and the costs and consequences of reshaping them. Book Recommendations: Eat like a Fish by Bren Smith  Water in Plain Sight by Judith D. Schwartz Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Ernie Erdat Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-11-04
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We live in The Good Place. And we?re screwing it up.

Welcome to the first episode of our climate cluster. This isn?t a series about whether ?the science is real? on climate change. This is a series about what the science says ? and what it means for our lives, our politics, and our future. I suspect I?m like a lot of people in that I accept that climate change is bad. What I struggle with is how bad. Is it an existential threat that eclipses all else? One of many serious problems politics must somehow address? I wanted to kick off the series with someone who knows the science cold. Kate Marvel is a research scientist at NASA?s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a professor at Columbia University?s Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics. But Marvel isn?t just a leading climate scientist. She?s also unique in her focus on the stories we tell each other, and ourselves, about climate change, and how they end up structuring our decisions. We discuss: - How a climate model actually works - Why this is the good place - Why there is so much variation in climate scientists? predictions about global temperature increases - Why global warming is only one piece of the much larger problem of climate change - Why a hotter planet is more conducive to natural disasters - The frightening differences between a world that experiences a 2°C temperature increase as opposed to a 5°C temperature increase - Whether the threat of climate change requires solutions that break the boundaries of conventional politics - The underlying stories that animate much of the climate debate - Whether the planet can sustain continued economic growth - What it means to ?live morally? amid climate change And much more... Book recommendations: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler Annihilation by Jeff Vendermeer My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Ernie Erdat Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-10-28
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Neoliberalism and its discontents

?Neoliberalism? is one of the most confusing phrases in political discourse today. The term is often used to describe the market fundamentalism of thinkers like Milton Friedman and Frederich Hayek or politicians like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. At the same time, critics often place more progressive figures like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even Elizabeth Warren under the neoliberal banner. This raises an important question: what the hell is neoliberalism? I decided to bring on two guests today to help us answer that question. Wendy Brown is a professor of political theory at UC Berkeley, author of Undoing the Demos and In the Ruins of Neoliberalism, and one of the foremost critics of neoliberalism, not only as a set of economic policies but a ?governing rationality? that infects almost all aspects of our existence. Noah Smith is an economist, a columnist at Bloomberg, and is known for his robust defenses of some (though not all) neoliberal positions, which earned him the prestigious title of Chief Neoliberal Shill of 2018. We discuss: - The differences between neoliberal theory and ?actually existing neoliberalism? - Neoliberalism as not only a set of economic policies but a form of ?public reason? that influences our very conception of what it means to be human - How neoliberal thought came to dominate almost every aspect of our lives - Whether neoliberalism is an inherently anti-democratic project - The relationship between neoliberal economic policies and traditional morality - The differences between New Deal liberalism and Obama-era neoliberalism - Whether a growth-driven economic model is compatible with our planet's ecological limits ?Book recommendations: How Asia Works by Joe Studwell Law Without Future by Jack Jackson Democracy in Chains by Nancy McLean My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com. Want to contact the show? Reach out at [email protected] You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineer - Topher Routh Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2019-10-24
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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