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Checks and Balance from The Economist

The Economist

The Economist unlocks American politics, tackling a new theme each week and digging into the data, ideas, and history shaping the country at this dramatic moment. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman. Correspondents from across the US and the rest of the world plus expert guests - politicians, pollsters, professors - join the in-depth reporting and discussion every Friday.

The Economist unlocks American politics, tackling a new theme each week and digging into the data, ideas, and history shaping the country at this dramatic moment. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman. Correspondents from across the US and the rest of the world plus expert guests - politicians, pollsters, professors - join the in-depth reporting and discussion every Friday.

Location:

United States

Networks:

The Economist

Description:

The Economist unlocks American politics, tackling a new theme each week and digging into the data, ideas, and history shaping the country at this dramatic moment. John Prideaux, The Economist's US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman. Correspondents from across the US and the rest of the world plus expert guests - politicians, pollsters, professors - join the in-depth reporting and discussion every Friday.

Language:

English


Episodes

Checks and Balance: “Refund the police”

1/14/2022
After George Floyd’s murder protestors took to the streets, angry about racially-motivated brutality and discrimination. They urged authorities to “defund the police” and over 20 cities listened. But now, with rising murder rates, many of those same places are increasing investment in law enforcement. Can you “refund” and reform the police at the same time? Mayor of Portland, Oregon Ted Wheeler tells us why his city is raising its police budget. We go back to a war on crime that’s been...

Duration:00:41:48

Checks and Balance: Capitol punishment

1/7/2022
“The former president of the United States has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.” Joe Biden had harsh words for Donald Trump in a speech marking the anniversary of the Capitol attack. What has the House Select Committee set up to investigate January 6th discovered so far? The Economist’s James Astill combs through the committee’s findings. We trace the link between the disputed election of 1876 and the insurrection. And anti-Trump Republican Sarah Longwell assesses...

Duration:00:41:23

Checks and Balance: Three chords and the truth

12/31/2021
Morgan Wallen became one of the stories of 2021 after he was caught using a racial slur. Banned from radio, the country music star’s sales and streams spiked anyway. The affair reinforced a stereotype of the genre as home to hillbilly bigotry. But country is changing and its politics were always more complex than its popularity in Republican heartlands indicates. What does the story tell us about America’s shifting views of class and identity? Nadine Hubbs of the University of Michigan...

Duration:00:45:12

Checks and Balance: Merry Quizmas

12/24/2021
On this special holiday episode the team highlights the stories we didn’t get a chance to cover on the podcast this year. Plus a couple of mystery quiz masters from The Economist family join, and listeners try to out-fox our trivia champion Jon Fasman with questions of their own. John Prideaux presents with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman. For full access to print, digital and audio editions as well as exclusive live events, subscribe to The Economist at economist.com/uspod See...

Duration:00:39:02

Checks and Balance: Nuclear option

12/17/2021
Nuclear is responsible for nearly 20% of America’s power generation and about half of its clean energy. It’s greener than fossil fuels and more reliable than renewables. Yet safety fears remain and plants are being closed. Will the climate crisis force America to reconsider nuclear power? The Economist’s Aryn Braun reports from a coal town welcoming a new atomic plant. We go back to America’s worst nuclear accident. And The Economist’s Vijay Vaitheeswaran considers what the energy future...

Duration:00:42:26

Checks and Balance: Taiwan wonder

12/10/2021
Taiwan is arguably America’s defining foreign-policy challenge. The calibrated ambiguity over whether the US would defend the island democracy from a Chinese attack is hard to sustain as China’s power grows. Would the US go to war over Taiwan? The Economist's Beijing bureau chief David Rennie assesses the likelihood of a Chinese attack on Taiwan. We look back at the origins of America’s ambiguous Taiwan policy. And Anton La Guardia, our diplomatic editor, spots Washington doves. The...

Duration:00:39:26

Checks and Balance: Courting controversy

12/3/2021
The Supreme Court looks poised to place dramatic limits on abortion rights. Liberals worry this signals a conservative takeover of the nation’s laws, but the justices deny that they are politicians in robes. How is the Supreme Court reshaping America? The Economist’s Steve Mazie explains what another case on the docket reveals about the court’s conservative wing. We go back to a surprising ruling on gay rights. And former Trump official Sarah Isgur tells us what the right thinks of the...

Duration:00:42:11

Checks and Balance: Beef encounter

11/26/2021
At Thanksgiving Americans express gratitude for family, the harvest… and a big, juicy turkey. Americans consume the most meat per person, but that's not good for the planet. Could they cut back? The Economist’s Jon Fasman and his sons prepare the Thanksgiving turkey. We go back to a nationwide contest to find the perfect chicken. And Caroline Bushnell from The Good Food Institute discusses how to wean Americans off meat. John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman. We...

Duration:00:39:36

Checks and Balance: America on trial

11/19/2021
The bare facts of the Kyle Rittenhouse case are not disputed. In August 2020 he shot dead two people, and injured a third, during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. But to the right the teenager is an American hero and to the left he’s a reckless vigilante. What does the case tell us about gun culture and race in America? We hear how the media on the left and right told the Rittenhouse story and go back to the origins of a notorious self-defence law. The Economist’s Daniel Knowles explains why...

Duration:00:39:42

Checks and Balance: Wall or nothing

11/12/2021
America has reopened its borders to vaccinated travellers, 20 months after they were shut. In that time attempts to cross illegally into the US from the south have soared. Joe Biden promised to undo his predecessor’s immigration policies, but on the ground it appears nothing much has changed. What is happening at America’s border with Mexico? The Economist’s Alexandra Suich Bass reports from Arizona. We go back to when a Democratic president talked tough on immigration. And migrant rights...

Duration:00:41:22

Checks and Balance: Right mind

11/5/2021
Normally a political party goes through a reckoning after a defeat. But, a year later, there’s been no post-mortem of the 2020 election for Republicans. Instead the GOP remains loyal to the man who many refuse to accept lost the presidency. What does the Republican party stand for beyond Trumpism? Jon Fasman reports from a gathering of social conservatives. We find out how a radical anti-capitalist philosopher is inspiring the modern GOP. And pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson explains what...

Duration:00:41:21

Checks and Balance: Left behind

10/29/2021
The race to be Virginia’s next governor should be an easy win for the Democratic Party, so how did it get this tight? Democrats in Washington are struggling to pass a budget bill and fighting among themselves, the president’s approval ratings are in the doldrums and demographic trends are setting the party up for long-term weakness. Is this as good as it gets for the Democrats? Jon Fasman reports from an election rally in Virginia. We go back to a time when civil rights tore the party...

Duration:00:41:53

Checks and Balance: Labour’s love lost

10/22/2021
Wages are going up and employees are walking out - some to strike, some never to come back. American workers have more leverage than before the pandemic. How permanent is this shift in power? The Economist’s Simon Rabinovitch takes us to a picket line in Pennsylvania and we go back to an earlier walk out in Hollywood. Betsey Stevenson, one of President Obama’s economics advisors, tells us how long this could last. John Prideaux hosts with Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman. For full access...

Duration:00:36:05

Checks and Balance: Face palm

10/15/2021
Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much, but in Facebook they’ve found a common enemy. When whistleblower Frances Haugen told a congressional hearing the company knew its products damaged the mental health of its young users, senators rushed to proclaim they would get something done. How harmful is Facebook? And will politicians take action? The Economist’s Hal Hodson tells us we need more evidence to understand social media’s impact on wellbeing. We go back to when video games caused...

Duration:00:40:52

Checks and Balance: Cop out

10/8/2021
When Democrats took control of Congress and the presidency, it raised hopes that real change could happen in a criminal justice system tarnished by racism and police brutality. But federal efforts have stalled and progressive local prosecutors are hitting roadblocks. Why is law enforcement so resistant to reform? The National Sheriffs’ Association’s Jonathan Thompson tells us police are open to some change. We go back to when an amateur video tape shone a light on racist cops. And Boston...

Duration:00:42:29

Checks and Balance: Taxing times

10/1/2021
Democrats are in a fight to turn President Biden’s signature economic proposals into law. They want to raise the top rates of income tax and increase corporate tax to fund them. It would be the first big hike in federal taxes in nearly three decades. What is the best way to pay for Joe Biden’s vision of America? The Economist’s Simon Rabinovitch takes us through the president’s tax plans. We go back to the time when the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age became tax dodgers. And Erica York from...

Duration:00:42:20

Checks and Balance: AUKUS ruckus

9/24/2021
Occasionally, you can see big shifts in foreign policy happen right before your eyes. The unveiling of AUKUS, the trilateral defence pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, was one of those rare occasions. What does AUKUS tell us about America’s changing priorities? The Economist’s Daniel Franklin explains how the pact is a response to Chinese aggression. We go back to when a European crowd went wild for an American political star. And Paris bureau chief Sophie...

Duration:00:41:24

Checks and Balance: Life choices

9/17/2021
When the Supreme Court declined to block a Texas law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks, it gave the strongest signal yet that its conservative majority is prepared to deny women the right to an abortion. Nearly fifty years after Roe v Wade, might that landmark ruling soon be overturned? Legal historian Mary Ziegler assesses Roe’s chances of survival. We look back to when the abortion debate turned deadly. And pro-life activist Kyleen Wright tells us why liberals are wrong to accuse...

Duration:00:40:34

Checks and Balance: Twenty years later

9/10/2021
America set out to reshape the world order after the attacks of September 11th. Today it is easy to conclude that its foreign policy has been abandoned on a runway at Kabul airport. Is the era of American interventionism over? The Economist's James Bennet traces Joe Biden’s shifting views on foreign wars. We look back to the origins of humanitarian interventionism in Bosnia. And, Anne-Marie Slaughter, former aide to Barack Obama and author of “Renewal”, tells us how American power might...

Duration:00:43:22

Checks and Balance: The great awokening

9/3/2021
A loose set of once-radical ideas about identity, social justice and self-expression has leapt from university campuses to permeate politics and the press, spilling onto the streets and beginning to spread into schools. We investigate how this progressive revolution is changing America. Are business leaders using wokeness for profit? And how should liberals respond to the threat from the illiberal left? We hear from Robin DiAngelo, best-selling author of “Nice Racism”, learn from the panic...

Duration:00:43:10