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The Weeds

Vox Media

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Vox Media

Description:

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, host Matthew Yglesias is joined by Vox reporters and editors, ProPublica's Dara Lind, and some of the leading minds in policy to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Language:

English


Episodes

Zoning our way through it

6/11/2021
Matt is joined by Emily Hamilton of the Mercatus Center to talk about the way that zoning and land use policy affects property value, housing availability, and affordability. They discuss some example statutes from those laboratories of democracy, the several states, tackle the most divisive issue in all of housing Twitter, and Matt just lets totally loose about how he's not allowed to replace his home's windows. Resources: H.R. 4307, the Build More Housing Near Transit Act 2006 Arizona...

Duration:00:49:51

Hot jobs summer

6/8/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Emily Stewart to talk about the state of the economy right now. They take on the jobs numbers, some of the markets that were hit with unforeseen interruptions and shortages, and get pretty philosophical amidst a detailed discussion about the supply chain for chicken wings. Then, some research is discussed that suggests that maybe your tweets really do matter... or, at least when you tweet through U.S. elections where Donald Trump is on the ballot. Resources:...

Duration:01:00:20

The pipeline to prison

6/4/2021
Matt sits down with John Pfaff, professor and author of Locked In, an influential and important 2017 book about mass incarceration in America. The two discuss some common misconceptions about America's prison population, three different meanings of the term "broken windows," and what might be the true cause of the current trending rise in violent crime across the nation. Resources: Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform by John Pfaff (2017; Basic...

Duration:01:05:48

The lab-leak hypothesis

6/1/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Matthews to talk about the so-called "lab-leak" hypothesis for the origin of SARS-CoV-2, and to contrast it with the zoonotic origin theory. They discuss the potential policy consequences that ought to result if it turns out that either hypothesis is true, and talk a little bit about whether the global standards for virological research need to be revised. Then, some research is examined that casts "Voter ID" laws in a new light, and leads to some very...

Duration:01:04:17

Stephen Breyer should retire

5/28/2021
Matt is joined by author and Harvard Kennedy School professor Maya Sen to talk about the state of the American judiciary. They discuss Breyer's unwillingness to retire, the pervasive influence of prestige on the "legal elite," the cult of RBG, the influence and role of The Federalist Society, and the inherent biases in the elite legal system that have led to an "affirmative action"-like feeder program for conservative judges. Resources: The Judicial Tug of War: How Lawyers, Politicians, and...

Duration:01:06:03

Give more money to cranks!

5/25/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Matthews to talk about what the Covid vaccine development process has taught us vaccine development, production, and regulation. They also discuss the way we fund scientific research, evaluating a possible "prize"-based alternative to our current grant-funding system, and some research is analyzed that concerns the resiliency of so-called "forced entrepreneurs," and their businesses' tendency to better weather recessions. Resources: "How to supercharge...

Duration:00:58:54

Research the police

5/21/2021
Matt is joined by economist and NYU faculty fellow Morgan Williams, Jr. to talk about his research on policing and gun control legislation, and the consequences of policy on crime and incarceration. Resources: "Police Force Size and Civilian Race" by Aaron Chalfin, Benjamin Hansen, Emily K. Weisburst & Morgan C. Williams Jr. (Dec. 2020) "Body-Worn Cameras in Policing: Benefits and Costs" by Morgan C. Williams Jr., Nathan Weil, Elizabeth A. Rasich, Jens Ludwig, Hye Change & Sophia Egrari...

Duration:00:59:15

Masks off! Party time?

5/18/2021
It's everybody's birthday! No, seriously. Taurus Matt Yglesias is joined by two people who also share a May 18th birthday: Vox's Libby Nelson and The Atlantic's Derek Thompson. They discuss the confusing range of public health and policy directives that have been issued to the American people over the 15+ months of the Covid pandemic. Plus, some research is discussed that evaluates the outcome of the recent rollout of universal preschool in Boston. Resources: "The CDC's Big Mask Surprise...

Duration:01:07:27

The plan for more free school

5/14/2021
Matt is joined by New York Times education reporter Dana Goldstein to talk about what Biden's American Families Plan will do to bolster and expand public education access in this country. They talk about the plan for universal preschool, free community college, and also talk about how the administration has been involved in pandemic-related school reopening decisions behind the scenes. Resources: "Schools Are Open, but Many Families Remain Hesitant to Return" by Dana Goldstein (New York...

Duration:00:55:17

Homelessness and the rising tide

5/11/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox Politics and Policy Fellow Jerusalem Demsas to talk about homelessness, and the policies that have failed to even properly confront this problem. They talk about the decline of SRO housing, the progressives who seem to oppose any way to help out, and the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. Then, some research is discussed that takes a look at how Italian workers responded to a 2011 pension reform. Resources: "Iowa is making it harder to be a...

Duration:01:05:14

The app store war

5/7/2021
Matt is joined by Makena Kelly of The Verge to talk about some recent stories at the intersection of policy and tech. She discusses the Facebook Oversight Board's ambivalent "ruling" on Trump's ban from the platform, Apple's ongoing antitrust court battles, and the prospect for a sweeping antitrust overhaul foreshadowed by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI). Resources: "Facebook's Trump ban can stay in place, says Oversight Board" by Makena Kelly and Adi Robertson (The Verge, May 5) "As Epic v....

Duration:00:44:10

The "hundred days" myth

5/4/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Andrew Prokop to talk about the very notion of a president's "first hundred days," whether or not it is a useful or important metric for their performance. Andrew talks about the history of the term, originating with F.D.R., and our hosts evaluate some of the recent lines of comparison between Biden and Roosevelt that have been floating around in the discourse lately. Plus, some research is analyzed that examines the effect of the channel placement of Fox...

Duration:01:08:20

There's lead in your turmeric

4/30/2021
Matt is joined by Rachel Silverman, a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, who talks about the extreme dangers and high prevalence of lead contamination globally. Despite the manifest health benefits that would be served by Biden's plans to finally replace lead pipes in the U.S., this is marginal compared to the lead poisoning occurring due to unregulated electronics recycling, traditional ceramics glazing, and by bright, yellow turmeric. Resources: "Biden Wants to Eliminate...

Duration:00:47:52

A Manchin for all seasons

4/27/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Andrew Prokop, author of an in-depth revelatory profile on America's swingiest Senator: Mr. Manchin in the Middle. Andrew brings Manchin's history as a legislator to bear in discussion, shedding light on what Manchin's policy goals as a legislator in this Congress might be (if he has any, that is), what his governing ideology might be beyond the mere politics of his re-election, and why, ultimately, he is being so weird about the filibuster right now. Joe,...

Duration:01:07:23

Why transit projects fail

4/23/2021
Matt is joined by professor and transit researcher Eric Goldwyn to talk about why transit projects in the U.S. often fail. They discuss several high-profile cases, including the Second Avenue subway line in New York, the Green Line Extension in Boston, and the DC Streetcar. Why do cities spearhead redundant transit lines on top of existing rights-of-way? Why do cities in other countries spend so much less per mile on transit than American cities do? And, how can the political opposition to...

Duration:01:05:05

The pandemic playbook

4/20/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to talk about his new Pandemic Playbook project from Vox, exploring how six nations coped with the Covid-19 pandemic, and evaluating what we can all learn from their experiences to help us with the next pandemic. In this episode, Dylan talks with Matt and Dara about how South Korea's response to Covid-19 was shaped in many ways by the 2015 MERS outbreak, and about how the South Korean people's relationship to their government contrasts with the...

Duration:01:07:21

Think like a scout

4/16/2021
Matt is joined by author and podcast host Julia Galef to talk about her new book The Scout Mindset. They talk about the difference between epistemic and social confidence, the role of uncertainty in thinking critically, and — most of all — about fighting with people on the internet. Resources: The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don't by Julia Galef (Apr. 2021) Guest: Julia Galef (@juliagalef), Author, host of the Rationally Speaking podcast Host: Matt Yglesias...

Duration:01:07:57

White paper-palooza

4/13/2021
It's an all white paper episode, folks. Vox climate reporter Umair Irfan joins Matt and Dara to take on three research papers all concerning climate change: first, on the social costs of carbon; then on the disparate effects of temperature rise on a diverse array of geographic regions; finally, on global migration due to climate change. Be sure to check out the bonus content on the short-form version of The Weeds that comes out Wednesday mornings as part of Vox Quick Hits. Subscribe to Vox...

Duration:00:58:02

It's time for class warfare

4/9/2021
Matt is joined by Faiz Shakir, a top adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders and the former manager of his 2020 presidential campaign, to talk about adopting a working class lens for crafting progressive policy, cultivating an ethic of solidarity, and about the organization he founded, More Perfect Union, which aims to craft media that centers working people. Faiz also gets Matt to go on the record about how his own feelings on Bernie have evolved, from the 2016 campaign to now. Resources: Mission...

Duration:01:07:53

Bidencare?

4/6/2021
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to examine the $400 billion portion of Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan that is designated for the "caretaking economy." Is this merely an expansion of Medicaid? Does it actually address fundamental structural issues in the economics of long-term care? Plus, some research is examined that helps illustrate the power of "defaults" in ACA-type health insurance marketplaces. Resources: "White House unveils $2 trillion infrastructure and...

Duration:01:06:19