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Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer

Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer

Any society that allows itself to become radically unequal eventually collapses into an uprising or a police state?or both. Join venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and some of the world?s leading economic and political thinkers in an exploration of who gets what and why. Turns out, everything you learned about economics is wrong. And if we don?t do something about rising inequality, the pitchforks are coming.


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Mission Economy (with Mariana Mazzucato)

What do the internet and COVID vaccines have in common? Neither would be possible without the work of DARPA, a mission-focused federal agency responsible for funding research and development. Professor Mariana Mazzucato explains that our economy would be better off if more government agencies adopted DARPA?s mission-oriented approach. This episode was originally released in May 2021. You can find the show notes and transcript for that episode here. Mariana Mazzucato is a Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She is the author of three highly-acclaimed books: The Entrepreneurial State, The Value of Everything, and Mission Economy. Twitter: @MazzucatoM Mission Economy:  It?s 2023. Here?s how we fixed the global economy: DARPA?s early investment in COVID-19 antibody identification producing timely results: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick's twitter: @NickHanauer
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How American tax policy fosters racial inequality (with Dorothy A. Brown)

While most Americans know that our tax system advantages wealthy white families, not as many people realize how much it also actively disadvantages Black families. Tax law professor Dorothy Brown breaks down how racial inequality is built into U.S. tax policy and how we can try to fix it. This episode was originally released in November 2021. Dorothy A. Brown is professor of law at Emory University School of Law. She is a nationally recognized scholar in tax policy, race, and class and has published extensively on the racial implications of federal tax policy. She is the author of The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans ? And How We Can Fix It. Twitter: @DorothyABrown The Whiteness of Wealth: Black families pay significantly higher property taxes than white families, new analysis shows: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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We can redefine worker power (with Elizabeth Anderson)

What are the ethical limits of the market? How do we shift the balances of power back towards workers? What does true freedom really look like? Nick and Goldy explore these questions and more in a fascinating conversation with Philosophy Professor, Elizabeth Anderson. This episode was originally released in September 2020. Elizabeth Anderson is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women?s Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don?t Talk About It), and a recipient of the 2019 MacArthur Fellowship. Private Government: The philosopher redefining equality: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Can corporations help repair society? (with Ben & Jerry)

Business leaders can use their power and resources to make meaningful change, but should they? Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of iconic ice cream brand Ben & Jerry?s, have navigated the landscape between business and activism since the 1970?s. They share their thoughts and experiences as well as their latest mission: ending qualified immunity.  This episode was originally recorded and released in April 2021. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are the co-founders of Ben & Jerry?s Ice Cream. They?re also leaders of the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity, a police reform and criminal justice campaign. Ben?s twitter: @YoBenCohen Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Ask Nick Anything

Nick and Goldy answer more of your questions! What?s the deal with cryptocurrency? How are people still saying that inflation was caused by the stimulus? Is capitalism better than market socialism? Plus some summer reading recommendations and an important podcast announcement. If you have questions for a future AMA episode, leave us a voicemail at 731-388-9334. Why This Computer Scientist Says All Cryptocurrency Should ?Die in a Fire?  Consumers deserve an inflation rebate (with Congressman Ro Khanna)  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Has Chile defeated neoliberalism? (with Marcelo Casals)

Chile has a proud tradition of protests, but the unrest of 2019 was different. More than a million people took to the streets to protest their nation?s vast inequality. The uprising made international news, unseated a neoliberal dictatorship, and led to the election of a new president?but did it also create lasting change? Chilean historian Marcelo Casals catches us up on the latest developments in Chile?s battle against neoliberalism. Marcelo Casals is an independent scholar based in Santiago. He holds a PhD in Latin American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and recently wrote an article for Dissent Magazine titled, ?The End of Neoliberalism in Chile?? Twitter: @Palquelea The End of Neoliberalism in Chile?  Gabriel Boric: From student protest leader to Chile?s president: ?Chile Woke Up?: Dictatorship?s Legacy of Inequality Triggers Mass Protests:  The texture piece is from 2019 and is courtesy of Gustavo de la Piedra, a listener from Santiago, Chile. The news clips are sourced from the news station France 24.  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Marshall Plan for Moms (with Reshma Saujani)

Millions of Americans lost their jobs because of the pandemic. While men have returned to their pre-pandemic level of employment, a million women are still missing from the workforce. Without access to paid maternity leave and affordable child care, women are choosing to stay home ? or being forced to. It?s time for a more inclusive economic recovery. Reshma Saujani, the Founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms, has a plan to get us there. Reshma Saujani is the founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms. She?s also an author of several books, her latest is called Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It's Different Than You Think) Twitter: @reshmasaujani McKinsey - Meeting the challenge of moms? ?double double shift? at home and work:  The Business Case for Child Care:  Marshall Plan for Moms  Pay Up  House Resolution 121   Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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The inequality of progress (with Oded Galor)

What can the history of human progress teach us about modern inequality? In his new book, ?The Journey of Humanity: The Origins of Wealth and Inequality,? economist Oded Galor explores that question, as well as why human progress was stagnant for so much of history, if growth is still possible without ruining the planet, and what this all means for our future.  Oded Galor is a Professor of Economics at Brown University and the founding thinker behind Unified Growth Theory. He?s also the author of The Journey of Humanity: The Origins of Wealth and Inequality. Twitter: @GalorOded The Journey of Humanity  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How thinking like economists holds us back (with Elizabeth Popp Berman)

When it comes to crafting economic policy, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, choice, and competition have reigned supreme among policymakers for decades. Sociologist Elizabeth Popp Berman says that this style of economic reasoning?prioritizing efficiency above all else?makes good ideas seem like bad policy. She walks us through how that short-sighted style of thinking took hold in DC and explains when policymakers are right to lean on purely economic thinking?and when they should reject it in favor of prioritizing more fundamental values.  Elizabeth Popp Berman is a sociologist at the University of Michigan and the author of ?Thinking Like an Economist: How Efficiency Replaced Equality in U.S. Public Policy?.  Twitter: @epopppp Economics: Looking Back to Move Forward  Thinking Like an Economist: How Efficiency Replaced Equality in U.S. Public Policy  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Exploring global solutions to inequality (with Faiza Shaheen)

Reducing inequality is not only possible, but it?s actually happening all across the globe. Faiza Shaheen, the Inequality Program Lead at NYU, has been researching the conditions and policies that can lower inequality for years. She shares which countries have successfully done so, and speculates about whether the United States has a shot at joining them. Dr. Faiza Shaheen is the Program Head for the Inequality and Exclusion Grand Challenge of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. Twitter: @faizashaheen Solutions to inequality  From Rhetoric to Action: Delivering Equality & Inclusion  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Inclusion is an economic necessity (with john a. powell)

john a. powell, the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute, explains why the concept of belonging is so important for a healthy community and why inclusion is the key to a thriving economy.  john a. powell is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. Twitter: @profjohnapowell Targeted universalism: a solution for inequality?  Othering & Belonging Institute  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Consumers deserve an inflation rebate (with Congressman Ro Khanna)

Gas prices have reached record highs in the United States. Is inflation actually to blame, or is it the greed of Big Oil, which is enjoying record profits? Congressman Ro Khanna walks us through his proposal for a Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax, which he says will help curb profiteering while reducing gas prices.  Congressman Ro Khanna represents California?s 17th Congressional District. He?s the author of Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us. Twitter: @RoKhanna  Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax would protect consumers from giant oil companies taking advantage of world events to jack up prices Dignity in a Digital Age Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How Biden?s budget proposal takes on corporate power (with Niko Lusiani)

The Biden Administration?s 2023 budget proposal includes a Billionaire Minimum Income Tax and a rewrite of stock buyback practices. Will these changes actually take effect? If so, will they do enough to curb runaway corporate power? Niko Lusiani from the Roosevelt Institute breaks down what?s inside Biden?s budget. Niko Lusiani is the Director of Corporate Power at the Roosevelt Institute.  Twitter: @NikoLusiani Budget of the U.S. Government  Roosevelt Institute Responds to Billionaire Minimum Income Tax Proposal in Biden Administration FY 2023 Budget  Starbucks Halts Stock Buybacks as Schultz Returns,the%20company%20announced%20in%202018 Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Pirate equity (with Jim Baker)

The idea behind private equity firms?to buy failing companies and turn them around for a profit?is not inherently bad. So why is private equity such a major driver of economic inequality? Jim Baker, the Executive Director for the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, explains these Wall Street pirates? risky business practices and shows how workers are paying the price.  Jim Baker is the Executive Director for the Private Equity Stakeholder Project  Twitter: @PEstakeholder Pirate Equity: How Wall Street Firms are Pillaging American Retail    Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Companies can't self-regulate their way to inclusive capitalism (with Katie Bach)

In 2019, a group of business leaders signed a high-profile pledge promising that they would voluntarily move toward a more inclusive stakeholder-focused version of capitalism. But throughout the pandemic, those same companies reported record profits while workers were left behind. Brookings Institute Senior Fellow Katie Bach walks us through her new report examining the pandemic labor practices of 22 companies, spanning nearly every sector, and employing more than 7 million frontline workers.  Katie Bach is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute and the CBO of &pizza. Twitter: @kathrynsbach As shareholder wealth soared, workers were left behind  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Why your non-compete clause is probably illegal (with Attorney General Bob Ferguson)

Non-compete clauses, and the lesser-known no-poach agreements between franchises, are shockingly common for low-wage workers. Although these contracts were originally intended to protect trade secrets among high-level executives, they have spiraled into an unfair labor practice that keeps wages low, limits employee mobility, and decreases competition. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson explains how non-competes and no-poach agreements violate the law in many states, what his team did to get hundreds of huge employers across the country to cease and desist, and why you should tell your state?s Attorney General if you know of any low- or middle-income workers who are being forced into signing these agreements.  This episode was originally recorded and released in May 2021. Bob Ferguson is Washington State?s 18th Attorney General. As the state?s chief legal officer, Bob is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don?t play by the rules.  Twitter: @BobFergusonAG Noncompete agreements have pushed U.S. wages even lower, says a new Biden administration report:  Why aren?t paychecks growing? A burger-joint clause offers a clue: Workers in Washington state win big under new non-compete law:  Attorney General Bob Ferguson stops King County coffee shop?s practice requiring baristas to sign unfair non-compete agreements:  AG Report: Ferguson?s initiative ends no-poach practices nationally at 237 corporate franchise chains:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How neoliberalism happened (with George Monbiot and Binyamin Appelbaum)

It?s trendy to mock the malicious pervasiveness of neoliberalism now, but have you ever wondered what its origins are? This week, George Monbiot and Binyamin Appelbaum join the show to uncover just where the dominant economic theory of our time came from and how it took hold. This episode was originally recorded and released in October 2019. George Monbiot writes a weekly column for The Guardian and is the author of a number of books, most recently ?Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis?. As an investigative journalist and self-described ?professional troublemaker,? George uncovers the complicated truths behind the world?s most persistent problems.  Twitter: @GeorgeMonbiot Binyamin Appelbaum writes about economics and business for the editorial page of The New York Times. From 2010 to 2019, he was a Washington correspondent for the Times, covering economic policy in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. His new book, ?The Economists? Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society? is a Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller.  Twitter: @BCAppelbaum Further reading:  Out of the Wreckage: The Economists? Hour: Neoliberalism - the ideology at the root of all our problems: Games Economists Play: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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The economics of mass incarceration (with Robynn Cox)

What role does the criminal justice system play in economic inequality? How does economic inequality cause mass incarceration? And how do we tease those two questions apart? Robynn Cox, an expert in the economics of mass incarceration, talks about her research uncovering the links between economic inequality and the criminal justice system.  Robynn Cox is an assistant professor at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. She is an economist and inequality researcher, and her work focuses on understanding the social and economic consequences of mass incarceration.  Twitter: @RobynnCox Overcoming social exclusion: Addressing race and criminal justice policy in the United States  The Impact of Mass Incarceration on the Lives of African American Women  Identifying the Link Between Food Security and Incarceration Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Why a $15 minimum wage is no longer enough (with Dean Baker)

Ever wondered what the minimum wage would be if it had kept pace with inflation and productivity like it used to? Here?s a hint: $7.25, and even $15.00, don?t come close. Economist Dean Baker has been crunching the numbers on the minimum wage for years. He joins the podcast this week to share what he?s found and why it matters. Since the publication of this episode, the Center for Economic and Policy Research issued a correction to Dean Baker?s August 2021 report that a minimum wage that kept up with productivity would be $26 per hour. In fact, it would be $23 per hour.  Dean Baker is a Senior Economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Twitter: @DeanBaker13 Further reading:  This is What Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace with Productivity  Work Should Pay: A $15 an Hour Minimum Wage Is a Start  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Did corporate greed break the supply chain? (with Rakeen Mabud)

While many Americans struggle to make ends meet, corporate America?s 2021 profits were higher than ever. So why are corporations making more money while supply chain issues are still driving up inflation for the rest of us? The Groundwork Collaborative?s Chief Economist, Rakeen Mabud, wants you to know that the supply chain is working exactly as it was designed: for maximum profit, rather than reliably getting goods to people. And that?s the problem. Rakeen Mabud is the Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research at the Groundwork Collaborative. Twitter: @rakeen_mabud How We Broke the Supply Chain  Corporations Raise Prices as Consumers Spend ?With a Vengeance? Opinion: Larry Summers Shares the Blame for Inflation  Inflation causing financial strain for nearly half of U.S. households, poll finds Stock Buybacks Beat Capital Spending for Many Big Companies The stock market is punishing Walmart and Target for keeping costs low while the rest of the corporate sector prioritizes profits and makes inflation worse Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Free lunch thinking (with Tom Bergin)

Investigative financial analyst Tom Bergin cut his teeth investigating corporate wrongdoing. When he turned his attention to the economics profession, he learned that eight major economic theories?used by experts to shape policy across the globe?entirely lack factual basis. He joins the pod to explain how those theories wormed their way into dominant economic thinking, the evidence against them, and why he believes economists are finally starting to shift toward studying the world as it actually is.  Tom Bergin is an Investigative Financial Journalist for Reuters and the Author of Free Lunch Thinking: How Economics Ruins the Economy Twitter: @tombergin_News Further reading:  Economics is Once Again Becoming a Worldly Science Free Lunch Thinking  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Congress looks to the CBO for economic expertise. Is that a mistake? (with Mark Paul)

The Congressional Budget Office, the institution that furnishes cost-benefit analyses for federal legislation under consideration by Congress, has a really hard job. But some of the assumptions they rely on to predict economic consequences are just plain weird. Economist Mark Paul leads us through the strangest practices at the CBO, including their (untrue) claim that public investment is only half as productive as private investment and the complete lack of peer-reviewing of reports that can signal the death knell for a bill.   Mark Paul is an Economist at the New College of Florida and a Fellow at the Berggruen Institute. Twitter: @MarkVinPaul Further reading:  The Pitch: Economic Update for February 10th, 2022  Mark?s tweet about the CBO:   The Macroeconomic and Budgetary Effects of Federal Investment CBO issues score on how much Build Back Better would cost if programs were permanent  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How Davos Man devours the world (with Peter Goodman)

Billionaires have looted economies, hidden from tax bills, and destabilized democracies for decades. But the subset of billionaires who make a show of pretending to be good citizens have to be the worst among them. They?re called ?Davos Man'' and according to New York Times Global Economics Correspondent Peter Goodman, they?re devouring the world we live in.  Peter S. Goodman is the Global Economics Correspondent at the New York Times. He is a two-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. His new book Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World is available now. Twitter: @petersgoodman Further reading:  Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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The economics of abortion (with Caitlin Myers)

We often discuss abortion as an issue of bodily autonomy, personal rights, and reproductive justice. Of course it?s all of those things, but it?s also an economic issue. Access (or lack thereof) to an abortion profoundly affects women?s lives by determining if, when, and under what circumstances they become mothers. Whether or not women have access to abortion can change the direction of their lives, affecting educational attainment, labor force participation, and overall earnings. Economist Caitlin Myers breaks down her research into the subject and provides examples of the causal link between abortion access and economic outcomes in women?s lives.  Caitlin Knowles Myers is the John G. McCullough professor of economics at Middlebury College and Co-Director of the Middlebury Initiative for Data and Digital Methods. She?s known for her recent research on the impact of contraception and abortion policies in the United States. Twitter: @Caitlin_K_Myers Opinion: Economists can tell you that restricting abortion access restricts women?s lives  Lack of abortion access will set US women back, economists warn What can economic research tell us about the effect of abortion access on women?s lives?  The economic reality behind a Mississippi anti-abortion argument The Economic Consequences of Being Denied an Abortion  The Turnaway Study  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Ask Nick Anything

Nick and Goldy answer your questions! How is any form of union busting legal? Why can?t America be more like the Nordic countries? Is taxing unrealized capital gains a good idea? And more! Thanks to Brad from Pennsylvania, Larry from Boston, Julie from Arizona, Duncan from California, Zach from Minnesota, and Dave from Illinois who left the great voicemails included in this episode. If you have any questions for a future AMA episode, leave us a voicemail at 731-388-9334. Show us some love by leaving a rating or a review! Further reading: The Velocity of Money Two new studies published about the Seattle minimum wage ordinance U.S. employers are charged with violating federal law in 41.5% of all union election campaigns   Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Debunking deficit myths (with Stephanie Kelton)

Modern Monetary Theory is an attempt to accurately describe how government debt and complex financial systems actually work and it can help us responsibly use our resources. No one is more knowledgeable on the subject than returning guest, Professor Stephanie Kelton. On this episode, originally released in 2020, Kelton explains the myths surrounding MMT and what a new understanding of the budget could do for our economy.  Stephanie Kelton is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Stony Brook University. She is the leading expert on Modern Monetary Theory. Her book, The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People?s Economy, shows how to break free of flawed deficit thinking. Twitter: @StephanieKelton The Deficit Myth: Learn To Love Trillion-Dollar Deficits: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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The economic case for universal health care (with CA Assemblymember Ash Kalra)

The United States spends far more on healthcare costs than other industrialized countries, yet we continue to have wider gaps of coverage and report worse health outcomes. California Assemblymember Ash Kalra is paving the way for a better system in his state through the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, which at the time of recording had been advancing through the state legislature for nearly a year. The night before this episode posted, the Bill died in the Assembly ? but Assemblymember Kalra's thoughts on how a state-based single payer system would work, the hurdles it faces, and how such a program could become the blueprint for national health care reform can still inspire future lawmakers and activists to find new paths forward for health care in America.  Ash Kalra represents California?s 27th District. In 2016 he became the first Indian American to serve in the California Legislature in state history and was re-elected to his third term in 2020. Twitter: @Ash_Kalra Single-payer healthcare proposal fizzles in California Assembly: Assemblymember Ash Kalra, Author of AB 1400 CA Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, Releases Statement:  Universal health care bill advances in California Assembly:  ?CalCare? begins its long crawl to passage:  California Democrats Revive Universal Health Care Bill, Paid For By Tax Increase:  Fundamental health reform like ?Medicare for All? would help the labor market:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Why privatizing public goods is bad for democracy (with Donald Cohen)

Even in the middle of a pandemic, trickle-down politicians still love to claim that the free market is the best way to resolve human problems and that the government can't be trusted to serve the public good. But when we privatize public health, utilities, and other shared necessities, we hand over control of those public goods?the things that we all need and that we need everyone to have? to for-profit entities that don?t answer to the public. Donald Cohen, an expert on privatization, shares examples and talks about the consequences of privatization in America. Donald Cohen is the founder and executive director of In The Public Interest, a national resource and policy center on privatization and responsible contracting. He's also co-author of the new book The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back. Twitter: @donaldrcohen12 The Privatization of Everything:  Why Privatization is Worse Than You Know: Opinion: The pandemic proved that privatization can?t provide enough public goods?like vaccines, education, justice, and a sustainable planet:  The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back:  A Conversation With Donald Cohen, Author of ?The Privatization of Everything?:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s Twitter: @NickHanauer
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Ending the tipped minimum wage (with Saru Jayaraman)

In most states, tipped workers are not subject to the minimum wage. Why? Because it?s legal to pay tipped workers a subminimum wage as low as the federal minimum of $2.13 per hour. As long as any worker in the country can be paid less than the minimum wage, the minimum wage is meaningless. Saru Jayaraman, a leader in the national fight for one fair wage, lays out the path forward.  Saru Jayaraman is the President of One Fair Wage, an organization that fights to raise wages and working conditions for all tipped and service workers She is also the Director of the UC Berkeley Food Labor Research Center and the author of One Fair Wage: Ending Subminimum Pay in America.  Twitter: @SaruJayaraman New Year to bring higher minimum wages in record number of states and cities:  Arkansas waitress fired after $4,400 tip shows why tipping at restaurants has to stop:  When the minimum wage isn?t enough:  Seven facts about tipped workers and the tipped minimum wage:    Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Did the Federal Reserve?s policies make inequality worse? (with Christopher Leonard)

When the Federal Reserve makes money, where does it go? Turns out, the Fed?s hands are tied?it can?t do anything other than assume that the new money will trickle down into the hands of ordinary Americans through Wall Street?s coffers. And according to journalist Christopher Leonard, that?s put the United States? economic stability at risk and accelerated income inequality.  Christopher Leonard is a business reporter and executive director of the Watchdog Writers Group at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He is the author of Kochland: The Secret History of the Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America. His new book is The Lords of Easy Money: How the Federal Reserve Broke the American Economy.  Twitter: @CLeonardNews The Lords of Easy Money:  How Nov. 2, 2010 Made the Rich So Much Richer:  The Fed?s Doomsday Prophet Has a Dire Warning About Where We?re Headed:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How the radical right weaponized ideology (with Nancy MacLean)

If it seems to you like the ultimate goal of the most extreme conservatives is to undermine democracy and cripple democratic institutions?well, according to historian Nancy MacLean, you?re right. This week, MacLean unpacks the meteoric rise in popularity of the radical right?s ideas, and offers a way forward for progressives, based on lessons from successful social movements throughout American history. This episode was originally released in July 2020. Nancy MacLean is an award-winning scholar of the twentieth-century U.S. and the William H. Chafe Distinguished Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. Her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right?s Stealth Plan for America, was a New York Times bestseller and finalist for the National Book Award, and The Nation magazine named it the ?Most Valuable Book? of the year. Twitter: @NancyMacLean5 Democracy in Chains: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How opportunity zones create windfalls for the uber-rich (with David Wessel)

The 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act included a little-known provision establishing something called opportunity zones. The plan, which was lauded as a way to direct investments into under-developed communities in the U.S., created 8,764 tax havens that were almost immediately exploited by the wealthy to gobble up capital gains tax breaks. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Wessel explains how opportunity zones came to be, who is profiting off of them, and why it?s so difficult to tweak the tax code without creating windfalls for the rich.  David Wessel is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings and director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. He is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: ?In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke?s War on the Great Panic? (2009)  and ?Red Ink: Inside the High Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget? (2012). His most recent book is ?Only the Rich Can Play: How Washington Works in the New Gilded Age? (2021). He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes, one in 1984 for a Boston Globe series on the persistence of racism in Boston and the other in 2003 for Wall Street Journal stories on corporate scandals. Twitter: @davidmwessel The Rich Have Found Another Way to Pay Less Tax: Only the Rich Can Play: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Are you in the 9.9 percent? (with Matthew Stewart)

In the U.S., inequality is often framed as the 99% versus the wealthiest 1%. But that?s not quite the right matchup. While the bottom 90% has done dramatically worse over the last several decades and the top 0.1% has done dramatically better, the 9.9% in between those groups still controls more than half of the wealth in the United States. Author and philosopher Matthew Stewart thinks that the 9.9% are not innocent bystanders, and he joins Nick and Goldy to discuss how this group is entrenching inequality and warping our culture.  Matthew Stewart is an author and philosopher. He is the author, among other books, of Nature?s God and The 9.9 Percent.  The 9.9 Percent:  The 9.9 percent is the new American aristocracy:  Who are the 9.9% A closer look at the math of American inequality: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Moving beyond racial liberalism (with Kyle Strickland)

How can we center the role of race in our economic policy and in our politics in a way that will drive real change? Kyle Strickland, the deputy director of race and democracy at the Roosevelt Institute, explains how our leaders have fallen under the sway of racial liberalism, which focuses solely on disavowing personal bigotry and overt discrimination. In order to realize true racial and economic justice, he argues we should move beyond racial liberalism and toward a greater understanding of the systemic injustices built into our political and economic systems. Kyle Strickland is the Deputy Director of Race and Democracy at the Roosevelt Institute. He is also the Senior Legal Analyst at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity and the Director of My Brother?s Keeper Ohio.  Twitter: @kstrickland_ A New Paradigm for Justice and Democracy:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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The hidden costs of banking while poor (with Mehrsa Baradaran and Cate Blackford)

The average family earning $25,000 a year in the U.S. spends about $2,400 on financial transactions. Whether it?s the astronomical interest rates of a payday loan or the costs that come with being unbanked, the extractive practices of the financial services industry are effectively keeping the poor in poverty. Lawyer and author Mehrsa Baradaran and economic mobility expert Cate Blackford join Nick and Steph this week to explain why banking while poor is so expensive, and what states can do to rein in the people who profit from it. This episode was originally released in February 2020. Mehrsa Baradaran is a professor of law at UC Irvine. She writes about banking law, financial inclusion, inequality, and the racial wealth gap. Her scholarship includes the books How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap.  Twitter: @MehrsaBaradaran Cate Blackford was the Director of Outreach and Donor Development at the Bell Policy Center when we recorded this episode, but she is now the Public Policy Director at Maine People?s Alliance. She was the Co-Chair of the 2018 Proposition 111 campaign in CO to limit the interest lenders could charge on payday loans and eliminate fees from payday lending products, which passed with 75% of the vote.  Twitter: @catetiller  Further reading:  Capitol One to end overdraft penalties as CFPB takes aim at ?exploitative junk fees?:  How the Other Half Banks: The Color of Money: If the U.S. Government Treated Poor People as Well as It Treats Banks: CO?s Prop 111 explained: Briefed by the Bell - Predatory Economy: How Do Payday Loans Work? Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Make the clean stuff cheap (with Eric Beinhocker & Doyne Farmer)

Until very recently, the prevailing wisdom cautioned that transitioning to a clean energy economy would be extremely expensive, and therefore only possible if undertaken slowly. New research upends that thinking?when it comes to going green, the faster we go, the cheaper it will be. University of Oxford professors Eric Beinhocker and Doyne Farmer talk with Nick about a new strategy for clean technology that could transform the climate fight.  Eric Beinhocker is a Professor of Public Policy Practice at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the University of Oxford?s Martin School. He is also a Supernumerary Fellow in Economics at Oriel College, and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.  Twitter: @EricBeinhocker Doyne Farmer is Director of the Complexity Economics program at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He is Baillie Gifford Professor in the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.  Website: Going big and fast on renewables could save trillions in energy costs: A new strategy for climate: make the clean stuff cheap -  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Why can?t we talk about homelessness? (with Josephine Ensign)

The number of unhoused Americans is at a historically high rate right now. This podcast is produced in Seattle, a city with the third highest homeless population in the U.S. Though many Seattleites identify as progressive, we can?t reach a consensus on how to help our most vulnerable populations?or even find agreement on the root causes of the housing crisis. Why are perspectives on homelessness, and possible solutions to it, so polarized? Josephine Ensign, a University of Washington nurse and health care provider for people experiencing homelessness, shares some of her insights from her career on the frontlines of this crisis.  Josephine Ensign is a professor in the School of Nursing and an adjunct professor in the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. Her most recent book is Skid Road: On the Frontier of Health and Homelessness in an American City.  Twitter: @josephineensign Skid Road:  Homelessness Rises Faster Where Rent Exceeds a Third of Income: WA Department of Commerce:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How taxpayers subsidize corporate profits (with Rana Foroohar and David Dayen)

Every company you can think of has benefitted from a public investment. Whether it?s direct handouts through the tax code, government research efforts, or employee reliance on programs like EITC or TANF, taxpayers are subsidizing wildly profitable companies. David Dayen, the executive editor of The American Prospect, and Financial Times associate editor Rana Foroohar join Nick and Zach to explain how we let corporate parasites get so out of control?and what we can do about it. This episode was originally recorded and released in January 2020.  Rana Foroohar is Global Business Columnist and an Associate Editor at the Financial Times. She is also CNN?s global economic analyst. She is the author of Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business and Don?t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles and All of Us. Twitter: @RanaForoohar David Dayen is the executive editor of The American Prospect. He is the author of Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power and Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street?s Great Foreclosure Fraud.  Twitter: @ddayen Confronting the parasite economy: Makers and Takers: How to Cure Corporate America?s Selfishness: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How the tax system impoverishes Black Americans (with Dorothy A. Brown)

We know that the tax system is set up to advantage people with money. And we know that in the U.S., people with money are disproportionately white. But what many people don?t realize is that the tax system actively advantages white families. Tax law professor Dorothy Brown explains how racial inequality is baked into tax policy in non-obvious ways, and how that affects wealth-building.  Dorothy A. Brown is professor of law at Emory University School of Law. She is a nationally recognized scholar in tax policy, race, and class and has published extensively on the racial implications of federal tax policy. She is the author of The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans ? And How We Can Fix It.  Twitter: @DorothyABrown The Whiteness of Wealth:  Black families pay significantly higher property taxes than white families, new analysis shows:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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The free market economics of synthetic opioids (with Sam Quinones)

The opioid crisis in the United States is a textbook example of free market economics. The powerful lie, manipulate, and skirt regulations to make buckets of money, while innocent people suffer. Journalist Sam Quinones joins Goldy and Paul to unpack the economics behind the opioid crisis, and the new threat of synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Sam Quinones is a journalist best known for his reporting in Mexico and on Mexicans in the United States. He is the author of the award-winning Dreamland: The True Tale of America?s Opiate Epidemic. His new book, The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth, is out today. Twitter: @samquinones7 The Least of Us: What did the Sacklers know?  The 'Secret History' Of The Sackler Family & The Opioid Crisis:  State-Level Economic Costs of Opioid Use Disorder and Fatal Opioid Overdose:  Massive Costs of the US Opioid Epidemic in Lives and Dollars:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How to stand up for voting rights (with Andrea Hailey)

Behind every aspect of the voting system that makes it harder to vote, there?s a policy that made it that way. Andrea Hailey, the CEO of, joins Nick and Goldy to explain how voter suppression happens, and what reforms would help ensure a truly inclusive democracy. Andrea Hailey is the CEO of, the nation?s largest nonpartisan digital voter engagement organization.  Twitter: @AndreaEHailey    Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Thanks to unemployment insurance, poverty declined last year (with Amy Goldstein and Elliott Morris)

It?s been a little over a month since the unemployment benefits programs that were established by the CARES Act expired, so we?re taking a look at how well they worked. Washington Post writer Amy Goldstein and Elliott Morris, a data journalist at The Economist, deliver the facts to Jessyn and Paul.  Amy Goldstein is a staff writer at The Washington Post, where much of her work has focused on social policy. She is the author of Janesville: An American Story.  Twitter: @goldsteinamy Elliott Morris is a data journalist at The Economist.  Twitter: @gelliottmorris Further reading: Poverty fell overall in 2020 as result of massive stimulus checks and unemployment aid, Census Bureau says:  Welfare rolls decline during the pandemic despite economic upheaval: Why now is the time to fix the UI system:  The racial disparity in unemployment benefits:  Unpacking Inequities in Unemployment Insurance:  Ending pandemic unemployment aid has not yielded extra jobs?yet:   Janesville: An American Story:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How corporate concentration hurts the economy (with Stacy Mitchell)

Anti-monopoly and pro-local advocate Stacy Mitchell joins the show to talk about small business, big business, and decentralizing economic power.  Stacy Mitchell is the co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. She directs ILSR?s Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and analysis and partners with a broad range of allies to design and implement policies to reverse corporate concentration and strengthen local enterprise.  Twitter: @stacyfmitchell Further reading:  Small Business Rising: Institute for Local Self-Reliance:  Senate Testimony: Concentration is at the Root of Rural Distress:  As Amazon rises, so does the opposition:  Why the left should ally with small business:  Report: Amazon?s stranglehold: How the company?s tightening grip on the economy is stifling competition, eroding jobs, and threatening communities:  Don?t let Amazon get any bigger:  Amazon doesn?t just want to dominate the market - it wants to become the market:  The rise and fall of the word ?monopoly? in American life:  Big box swindle:  Voters want to curb the influence of big tech companies:    Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Why philanthropy isn?t the answer (with Anand Giridharadas)

Few books have shaken the philanthropy world more than ?Winners Take All?, Anand Giridharadas?s blistering critique of wealthy do-gooders. Global elites who ostentatiously give away hundreds of millions of dollars, he argues, are actually just preserving the status quo that grants them power in the first place. On this episode, originally recorded and released in October 2019, Anand joins Nick and Goldy to explain how do-gooding can perpetuate inequality.  Anand Giridharadas is a writer. His most recent book, ?Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World,? is a national bestseller. He is an editor-at-large for TIME, an on-air political analyst for MSNBC, and a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University.  Twitter: @AnandWrites Further reading:  Winners Take All: Beware Rich People Who Say They Want to Change the World:   Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Redefining skill (with Nichola Lowe)

Who are the winners and losers in our skill development system? How can we move the onus of skill further into the purview of employers and away from our education system? UNC Professor Nichola Lowe talks to Goldy about the future of ?skill? as we know it in the economy, and what?s at stake if we get it wrong.  Nichola Lowe is a professor in City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her work focuses on the institutional arrangements that lead to more inclusive forms of urban and regional economic development.  Twitter: @lowe_nichola Putting Skill to Work: How to Create Good Jobs in Uncertain Times:   Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Capitalism is working better in Finland (with Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson)

Contrary to popular belief, Nordic countries aren?t actually socialist! No, friends, the Nords are capitalists?but they pull it off much better than we do. To help re-imagine American capitalism, writers Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson join us this week all the way from Finland. This episode was originally recorded and posted in February 2020. Anu Partanen is a journalist and the author of The Nordic Theory of Everything. The book debunks some of the most common myths about Nordic societies and discusses what the United States might be able to borrow from aspects of Nordic success in the twenty-first century. She has written for The New York Times and The Atlantic. Twitter: @anupartanen Trevor Corson is an award-winning author and editor. His articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and many more.  Twitter: @TrevorCorson Further reading:  The Nordic Theory of Everything: Finland Is a Capitalist Paradise: What Americans Don?t Get About Nordic Countries: Capitalism Redefined: Safe, happy and free: does Finland have all the answers? Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Right-to-work is bad for workers (with Shane Larson)

Right-to-work laws, which make unionizing more difficult in 28 states, could more accurately be referred to as right-to-work? for less. Why? On average, worker pay drops 3.1% when right-to-work laws are passed. Shane Larson from CWA, the largest communications and media labor union in the U.S., joins Goldy to explain why right-to-work laws are so harmful, how they came to be, and why it?s so important to pass the PRO Act to fight for workers? rights.   Shane Larson is the Senior Director for Government Affairs and Policy for the Communications Workers of America.  Twitter: @ShaneLarsonCWA @CWAUnion  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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How neoliberalism captured Democrats (with James Kwak)

Democrats used to be known as the party of the working people?so how did they get so off track? Who took over the party, and why? Author and professor James Kwak joins Nick and Paul in a blistering analysis of the decline of the Democratic Party, and explains how we can get it back on track. This episode originally aired in January 2020.  News clips credit: C-SPAN, ProfGP, CNN  James Kwak is a professor at the UConn School of Law and the chair of the board of the Southern Center for Human Rights. He is the author or co-author of 13 Bankers, White House Burning, and Economism. His latest book, Take Back Our Party: Restoring the Democratic Legacy, is available for free online at The American Prospect. Twitter: @jamesykwak Read Take Back Our Party on The American Prospect:  Introduction - Restoring the Democratic Legacy:  Chapter 1 - Their Democratic Party: Chapter 2 - Bad Policy: Chapter 3 - Bad Politics:  Chapter 4 - Our Democratic Party: Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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Why restaurants can?t find workers (with restaurateur Mark Bucher)

DC restaurateur Mark Bucher explains what?s behind the ?labor? shortage (hint: it?s the wages), the role that restaurant owners need to play in stopping the ?churn and burn? model of low-wage workers, and the future of the restaurant industry post-Covid.  Mark Bucher is the co-owner of Medium Rare, a decade-old steakhouse with three locations in D.C., Arlington, and Bethesda. During the pandemic, he established ?Feed the Fridge?, a project that places refrigerators around the DC metro area and pays local restaurants to fill them with fresh meals daily.  Twitter: @MediumRareDC DC restaurateur: There?s no staffing crisis. There?s a wage crisis.  Feed the Fridge:  Minimum wage hike boosts customer experience:  Restaurant industry unharmed by modest minimum wage hikes:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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What convinces people to act in the interest of others? (with Margaret Levi)

What does it take for someone to act in the interest of others? What constitutes trust in general, and trust in government in particular? Margaret Levi, a professor of political and behavioral sciences, shares her research on how people can be persuaded to act in the interest of others if they don?t already want to. The conversation covers vaccines, unions, citizen confidence in government, and a lot more.  And make sure not to miss these Pitchfork-adjacent opportunities: Sign up for Econ Con, an upcoming progressive economy conference put on by our friends at the Groundwork Collaborative in partnership with other awesome organizations. It?s free, it?s online, and we?ll be there, so? what are you waiting for? Sign up here:  Nick is on TikTok! You have to see it for yourself to believe it:  Sign up for our new weekly newsletter, The Pitch:  Margaret Levi is the Sara Miller McCune Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Professor of Political Science, and Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute, Stanford University. She is Jere L. Bacharach Professor Emerita of International Studies in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. One of her most recent books, In the Interest of Others (Princeton, 2013), co-authored with John Ahlquist, explores how organizations provoke member willingness to act beyond material interest. In other work, she investigates the conditions under which people come to believe their governments are legitimate and the consequences of those beliefs for compliance, consent, and the rule of law. Twitter: @margaretlevi Margaret Levi: Citizen confidence in government -  In the Interest of Others:  Website: Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick?s twitter: @NickHanauer
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