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Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer

Business & Economics Podcasts

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.

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ending the tipped minimum wage (with Saru Jayaraman)

1/18/2022
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...

Duration:00:30:32

Did the Federal Reserve’s policies make inequality worse? (with Christopher Leonard)

1/11/2022
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...

Duration:00:40:34

How the radical right weaponized ideology (with Nancy MacLean)

1/4/2022
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...

Duration:00:38:01

How opportunity zones create windfalls for the uber-rich (with David Wessel)

12/28/2021
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...

Duration:00:34:27

Are you in the 9.9 percent? (with Matthew Stewart)

12/21/2021
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...

Duration:00:37:54

Moving beyond racial liberalism (with Kyle Strickland)

12/14/2021
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...

Duration:00:28:28

The hidden costs of banking while poor (with Mehrsa Baradaran and Cate Blackford)

12/7/2021
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...

Duration:00:57:03

Make the clean stuff cheap (with Eric Beinhocker & Doyne Farmer)

11/30/2021
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...

Duration:00:36:11

Why can’t we talk about homelessness? (with Josephine Ensign)

11/23/2021
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...

Duration:00:33:36

How taxpayers subsidize corporate profits (with Rana Foroohar and David Dayen)

11/16/2021
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...

Duration:00:56:41

How the tax system impoverishes Black Americans (with Dorothy A. Brown)

11/9/2021
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...

Duration:00:29:29

The free market economics of synthetic opioids (with Sam Quinones)

11/2/2021
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...

Duration:00:39:39

How to stand up for voting rights (with Andrea Hailey)

10/26/2021
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 Vote.org, 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 Vote.org, the nation’s largest nonpartisan digital voter engagement organization. Twitter: @AndreaEHailey Vote.org: https://www.vote.org/ Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com/ Twitter:...

Duration:00:35:06

Thanks to unemployment insurance, poverty declined last year (with Amy Goldstein and Elliott Morris)

10/19/2021
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...

Duration:00:32:23

How corporate concentration hurts the economy (with Stacy Mitchell)

10/12/2021
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:...

Duration:00:32:55

Why philanthropy isn’t the answer (with Anand Giridharadas)

10/5/2021
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...

Duration:00:49:51

Redefining skill (with Nichola Lowe)

10/1/2021
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...

Duration:00:33:16

Capitalism is working better in Finland (with Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson)

9/28/2021
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...

Duration:00:46:27

Right-to-work is bad for workers (with Shane Larson)

9/24/2021
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...

Duration:00:28:31

How neoliberalism captured Democrats (with James Kwak)

9/21/2021
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...

Duration:00:45:14