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The Weeds

Vox Media

Politics is how people achieve power. Policy is what they do with it. Every week on The Weeds, host Jonquilyn Hill and guests break down the policies that shape our lives, from abortion to financial regulations to affirmative action to housing. We dive deep and we get wonky, but we have fun along the way. New episodes drop every Wednesday. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Vox Media

Description:

Politics is how people achieve power. Policy is what they do with it. Every week on The Weeds, host Jonquilyn Hill and guests break down the policies that shape our lives, from abortion to financial regulations to affirmative action to housing. We dive deep and we get wonky, but we have fun along the way. New episodes drop every Wednesday. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Language:

English


Episodes

How racism ages Black people

2/21/2024
There are a host of health disparities across the racial divide. Black people are more likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Black people are also more likely to be diagnosed with fibroids or die from pregnancy complications. One of the factors in these disparities could be a phenomenon known as weathering — the stress of racism literally aging Black people’s bodies at a faster rate. Host Jonquilyn Hill discusses this with Dr. Uché Blackstock, the founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity and the author of Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine. Read More: Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine by Uché Blackstock Weathering: The Extraordinary Stress of Ordinary Life in an Unjust Society by Arline T. Geronimus Health in Her HUE Irth App Advancing Health Equity Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:37:43

Skipping the broom

2/14/2024
Romantic relationships are in a weird place right now. Statistically things are shifting, but the numbers are particularly stark for Black Americans. In the last 50 years, the percentage of Black women who have yet to walk down the aisle has more than doubled; now 48 percent haven’t jumped the broom. Professor and author Dianne M. Stewart argues that there are policies in place keeping Black women from partnering, resulting in what she calls forbidden Black love. Could policy shifts have a major impact on the marriage rate? And why does marriage even matter in the first place? Read More: Black Women, Black Love: America's War on African American Marriage Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:41:50

Eviction: the scarlet E

2/7/2024
According to the Eviction Lab, about 7.6 million Americans every year face the threat of eviction, and a disproportionate number of those threatened are Black women. This week, host Jonquilyn Hill sits down with New America senior writer and editor Julia Craven to discuss why this disparity exists and what policies could help end evictions for everybody. It’s the first of a special series this month entitled “Black women and ...” that examines the ways policy particularly impacts Black women. Read More: Eviction Is One Of The Biggest Health Risks Facing Black Children Eviction Tracking System | Eviction Lab Evictions: a hidden scourge for black women - Washington Post TANF Policies Reflect Racist Legacy of Cash Assistance Evictions and Infant and Child Health Outcomes - PMC Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:40:38

Let’s fix retirement together

1/31/2024
It’s an election year, and there are so many different policy discussions we could be having: affordable child care, housing, health care, you name it. Based on how the campaigning has gone so far, though, it seems that hard policy debates and discussions won’t get much — if any — airtime. So, how about we have that discussion? Today on The Weeds: the economic policies we should be talking about. Read More: Americans’ Working Years Need a Better Ending — Bloomberg Kathryn Edwards on TikTok (@keds_economist) Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:43:56

How to be a (realistic) climate optimist

1/24/2024
The Earth was its hottest in recorded history in 2023. Our winters are shorter, our summers hotter, and our natural disasters more extreme. It’s dark. But maybe it doesn’t have to be. Hannah Ritchie is deputy editor at Our World in Data and author of the book Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet. On this week’s episode of The Weeds, she talks with host Jonquilyn Hill about how the world has never been sustainable, why scientists shouldn’t advocate for policy, and ways to balance optimism and realism when it comes to stopping climate change. Read More: Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet — Hannah Ritchie Hannah Ritchie fights climate doomerism with facts — Vox What If People Don't Need to Care About Climate Change to Fix It? — NYT Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:40:30

How celebrity fandom explains Trump

1/17/2024
To no one’s surprise, former president Donald Trump handily won the Republican Iowa caucuses this week. Despite his recent bout of legal trouble, he still has the backing of a dedicated voting base. But at times, his base feels more like stans than supporters. This week on The Weeds, host Jonquilyn Hill sits down with Vox culture writer Aja Romano to discuss the origins of fandom, the toxicity of stan culture and online harassment, and how we’ve trained politicians to be performers first. Read More: The “Dark Brandon” meme — and why the Biden campaign has embraced it — explained Zhang Zhehan is a deepfake: fandom conspiracy theories are getting worse — Vox What Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras’ Tour Tells Us About Trump’s Appeal — Politico 2024 campaign: Trump rallies aren't even about politics at this point — Slate Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:43:04

Why we can’t stop talking about Harvard

1/10/2024
Harvard and elite institutions like it have been in the news a lot lately. Following the outbreak of war in Gaza, three university presidents — Liz Magill, Claudine Gay, and Sally Kornbluth — testified in a congressional hearing about antisemitism on campus. And since that hearing, two of those three presidents have resigned from their posts. But the criticism of inadequate responses to antisemitism — and the accusations of plagiarism — are just the tip of the iceberg. Weeds host Jonquilyn Hill sits down with the Atlantic’s Adam Harris to discuss. Read More: An Existential Threat to American Higher Education — The Atlantic Republicans are weaponizing antisemitism to take down college DEI offices — Vox The State Must Provide: Why America's Colleges Have Always Been Unequal—and How to Set Them Right (Hardcover) | Loyalty Bookstores Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Erica Huang, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:39:42

Are unions making a comeback?

12/20/2023
2023 was a big year for unions. WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes brought Hollywood to a standstill, and the UAW made historic gains for nearly 150,000 of its members. But despite all of the commotion around unions, membership is still way down from its peak — and has been steadily declining since the 1950s. Was the past year a sign of an upcoming resurgence in the labor movement? Weeds host Jonquilyn Hill talks to journalist and organizer Kim Kelly to find out. Read More: More in U.S. See Unions Strengthening and Want It That Way Labor unions aren't “booming.” They're dying. The UAW Strike May Have Finally Set Us Up for a General Strike Fight Like Hell: The Untold History Of American Labor Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Erica Huang, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:37:23

Why are so many kids missing school?

12/13/2023
Nearly four years after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and years after school reopenings, schools still face a major challenge: Students aren’t showing up. An estimated 14.7 million students didn’t show up regularly in the 2022-23 school year and were “chronically absent.” As data rolls out, states are realizing that they can’t address chronic absences without strategic plans to target it. Today on The Weeds, Vox reporter Fabiola Cineas explores what chronic absenteeism is, how it affects children's learning in both the short and long term, and what strategies have a proven track record of getting kids back to school. Read More: Why so many kids are still missing school - Vox Read more from Fabiola Cineas Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Fabiola Cineas, guest host Sofi LaLonde, producer Erica Huang, engineer Colleen Barrett, fact-checker A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:38:17

Can Black churches lead the way on teen mental health?

12/6/2023
It’s hard to get Americans to agree on any topic these days, but a majority of them do agree on one thing: The country is in a mental health crisis. Young people in particular are struggling, and Vox senior health correspondent Dylan Scott wanted to see what is being done to help them. He found the work of Sherry Molock, a researcher and retired pastor, who is running a suicide prevention pilot program out of Black churches in New York State. Today on The Weeds: The current mental health crisis and the story of one researcher’s long pursuit of good, empirical data. Read More: How Black churches could lead the way on teen mental health - Vox More reporting from Dylan Scott Lifeline.org Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Dylan Scott, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:45:57

The Devil wears fast fashion

11/29/2023
Most of us love a bargain, but when it comes to our wardrobe, there’s a high cost for those cheap clothes. Fast fashion has taken the world by storm, with brands having tens of thousands — if not over a million — designs available at any moment. The consumption comes at a cost: the factory workers making those outfits are often underpaid and working in terrible conditions, and some countries have literal mountains of synthetic clothing filling their landfills. This week on The Weeds, host Jonquilyn Hill talks with Vox deputy editor Izzie Ramirez and author Elizabeth Cline about the scope of fast fashion, and how we got here in the first place. Read More: Buy Less Stuff - Vox Why you shouldn’t shop at fast fashion retailers like Shein - Vox Your stuff is actually worse now - Vox Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion The Conscious Closet: The Revolutionary Guide to Looking Good While Doing Good Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:41:10

Barack Obama on AI, free speech, and the future of the internet

11/22/2023
This episode of Decoder with Nilay Patel originally ran in early November. Patel and former President Barack Obama discuss AI and the future of the internet. They talk about President Biden’s recent executive order on AI, the First Amendment, democracy, and if the government could – or even should – regulate social media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:49:14

Why everything is (still) so expensive

11/15/2023
If you are frustrated with how expensive everything feels right now, you’re not alone. Inflation has fallen from last year’s high, but prices haven’t. And while the rise in prices of goods has slowed, people are pretty unhappy with the economy right now. But a lot of experts are saying the economy is in a good spot right now. So why doesn’t it feel that way? Weeds host Jonquilyn Hill discusses with Vox senior correspondent Emily Stewart and Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute. Read More: Inflation in the US isn’t the issue. High prices are here to stay. - Vox Sign up for The Big Squeeze newsletter - Vox Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:42:55

BDS and the history of the boycott

11/8/2023
If you turn on the news, or scroll through your social media feed of choice, there’s a good chance you’ll see the latest on the Israel-Hamas war — and the reaction to it. But there’s one call to action making its way down social media feeds that feels different from all these other responses. It’s called BDS, short for boycott, divest, and sanction. And like just about everything related to this conflict, it’s complicated and controversial. This week on The Weeds, host Jonquilyn Hill sits down with Vox senior reporter Whizy Kim to explain the controversial movement, and with Cornell professor and author of Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America Lawrence B. Glickman to discuss the history of boycotts, and if they even work. Read More: The boycott movement against Israel, explained Buying Power: A History of Consumer Activism in America, Glickman Is B.D.S. Anti-Semitic? A Closer Look at the Boycott Israel Campaign — the New York Times Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:47:15

Will school choice change the future of education?

11/1/2023
The school choice movement is having a moment again. Charter schools and voucher programs have been around for decades, but the Covid-19 pandemic has created another explosion in popularity for the choice movement. And since the pandemic, a slew of Republican-led states have passed choice policy aimed increasing access to other choice options. But does the choice movement come at the expense of public schools? Cara Fitzpatrick, author of the new book The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America, joins Weeds host Jonquilyn Hill to discuss the origins of the school choice movement, how Covid shook everything up, and if public schools can survive this political moment. Read More: The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America | Cara Fitzpatrick Is public school as we know it ending? | Vox The conservative push for “school choice” has had its most successful year ever | Vox Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:46:11

The sandwich generation: Caring for kids and seniors

10/25/2023
The struggles of caretaking are nothing new, but there’s a trend emerging as baby boomers get older: More and more younger adults are becoming part of the “sandwich generation.” That means they’re caring for young children and aging loved ones at the same time, and this change is exposing gaps in eldercare policy. More than half of Americans in their 40s and a quarter of adults overall are becoming part of this growing cohort. This week on The Weeds, we sat down with Vox senior correspondent Anna North about how we got here, what to do, and what’s next. Read more: Baby boomers are aging. Their kids aren't ready. Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Katelyn Bogucki, producer Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:38:19

Why your health insurance is tied to work

10/18/2023
Open enrollment is around the corner, which means soon it will be time to pick your health insurance again. And you may ask yourself: Why do we do it this way? In 2022, almost 55 percent of Americans got their insurance through an employer, meaning that your employment status and where you work are major factors in the kind of coverage you get. This week on The Weeds, we go back in time with Senior Correspondent Dylan Scott about why our insurance is so tied to where we work. Read More: The Vox guide to open enrollment Why you're stuck with your company's health insurance plan Vox explores health care systems around the world in Everybody Covered (2020) The Weeds: Three roads to universal coverage (2020) Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:45:07

Conservative socialism?

10/11/2023
What will American politics look like after Trump? Sean Illing is joined by Sohrab Ahmari to discuss his new book, Tyranny, Inc. Ahmari is one of the conservative intellectuals trying to map out a post-Trump future for the Republican Party, and his book is an attempt to justify a form of democratic socialism from the right. The two discuss whether his vision could ever be the basis for a broader coalition. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari), author, Tyranny, Inc. References: Tyranny, Inc. by Sohrab Ahmari (Penguin Random House, 2023) American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power by John Galbraith (Routledge, 1993) Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche “Social Democracy and Social Conservatism Aren’t Compatible” by Matt McManus (Jacobin, August 2023) Enjoyed this episode? Rate Vox Conversations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of Vox Conversations by subscribing in your favorite podcast app. Support Vox Conversations by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts This episode was made by: Engineer: Patrick Boyd Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:56:29

How (not) to budget

10/4/2023
Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown when it passed a bill funding the government for the next 45 days. And while keeping the government open is a good thing, Congress just kicked the can down the road. The bill didn’t actually resolve the big-picture budget fight, and certainly didn’t solve the inevitable problem of political fights delaying the appropriations process. Molly Reynolds, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, explains why Congress does the budget this way and what could be done to fix it. Read More: Government shutdown 2023: House Republicans divided on stopgap bill with days to go - Vox Congress just avoided a shutdown. Kevin McCarthy's fight is just beginning - Vox How did Congress avoid a shutdown, and what happens now? - Vox Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Jonquilyn Hill, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:45:58

NYC’s not-so-sudden migrant surge

9/27/2023
Earlier this month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the current migrant crisis would “destroy the city.” Since April 2022, more than 115,000 migrants have arrived in New York City, many fleeing hardship from their home countries. In response, the Biden administration granted Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelan migrants. But while the move may provide some immediate relief to migrants seeking work authorization, some experts worry that it won’t fix the root of the problem: the broken US immigration system. Read More: New York City’s migrant surge, explained — Vox Submit your policy questions! We want to know what you’re curious about. Credits: Fabiola Cineas, host Sofi LaLonde, producer Cristian Ayala, engineer A.M. Hall, editorial director of talk podcasts Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:51:39