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Episode 14: Walking and Chewing (Sugarless) Gum on Health Care

Health care redux! Ben and Jared revisit the health care debate with Sarah Lueck and Jon Walker, exploring where things stand, where they might go next, and the role of “path dependency.” Plus, some classic American poetry from Chuck Berry. Jon's proposal for transitioning to a single-payer health care system ("Medical Insurance and Care for All: A National Single-Payer Bill"): https://shadowproof.com/2017/07/24/medical-insurance-care-national-single-payer-bill-mica/ Sarah's recent blog on...

Duration: 00:27:01

Episode 13: The Long-Run Benefits of Income Support

In Jared’s first episode back from China, he and Ben interview Arloc Sherman and Tazra Mitchell about the effectiveness of safety net programs. As Arloc and Tazra describe, programs like SNAP (formerly called food stamps) and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which provide poor families with income assistance, carry both near-term and long-term benefits for children in the families that receive them. Arloc and Tazra’s paper (“Economic Security Programs Help Low-Income Children Succeed Over...

Duration: 00:26:44

Episode 12: Reducing Inequality at the Top

Few people deny inequality’s existence anymore, but its nature and causes are still hotly debated. Along with Richard Reeves and Marshall Steinbaum, Ben and Jared explore a couple theories of what’s driving income and wealth concentration among the rich and some policies that could potentially curb it.

Duration: 00:30:53

Episode 11: What's the Fed Up To?

Given how much its decisions about monetary policy and how to regulate the financial sector affect the economy, The Federal Reserve - our nation’s central bank - doesn’t get enough attention. As the Fed’s June meeting gets underway, Jared and Ben talk to Kate Davidson (from the Wall Street Journal) about the Fed’s rationale for its interest-rate-raising campaign and to Ady Barkan (from the Fed Up Campaign) about how the Fed can better pursue the interests of most Americans. Musical...

Duration: 00:31:08

Episode 10: Unpacking the Trump Budget

Unrealistic projections of economic growth, accounting gimmicks, gigantic proposed cuts to programs the President promised to protect when he was campaigning – the Trump Administration’s budget has it all. Brandon DeBot, Joel Friedman, David Reich, and Kathleen Romig join Jared and Ben to discuss specifics and why they matter, as well as what a better budget’s priorities would be. Musical Interlude: “All Aboard” by Muddy Waters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0DZO5pVMU0

Duration: 00:31:01

Episode 9: Productivity Merry-Go-Round

John Fernald doesn’t know whether there is a Steph Curry or Kevin Durant of productivity analysis, but if there is one, it’s got to be him. Fernald joins Jared and Ben in this episode to discuss what productivity is and why people care about it, and to play a little game exploring ideas about why productivity is growing more slowly today than in times past. Musical Interlude: “Oye Como Va” by Eliane Elias https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mnTPUiKowc

Duration: 00:27:19

Episode 8: The Raise the Wage Act of 2017

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) recently announced their plan to introduce a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. The bill would also phase out the subminimum wages for tipped workers and workers with disabilities and the training wage for teenagers. Heidi Shierholz joins Jared and Ben to discuss the characteristics of the workers who would benefit from the increase, how...

Duration: 00:31:10

Episode 7: The Many Cases for Inclusive Immigration Policy

Xenophobic rhetoric is no match for the expertise of Erica Williams and Meg Wiehe, who join Jared and Ben to discuss the economic and fiscal contributions of immigrants and explain why inclusive immigration policies, in addition to being a moral imperative, would benefit cities and states. Reports Discussed: “Undocumented Immigrants’ State & Local Tax Contributions” by Lisa Christenson Gee, Matthew Gardner, Misha E. Hill, and Meg Wiehe http://www.itep.org/pdf/immigration2017.pdf “For...

Duration: 00:20:40

Episode 6: Trade and Trump

After Ben and Jared chat briefly about current events, Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach gives a history of trade deals in the United States and an overview of trade dynamics in the Trump Administration. In the episode’s second interview, Chad Bown from the Peterson Institute for International Economics offers context for trade deal components Jared and Ben sometimes worry about. Musical Interlude: “Starting Over” by the Frank Morgan All Stars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANs6TbtWjUk

Duration: 00:31:07

Episode 5: Health Care, the Economy, and Republicans’ Terrible Obamacare Replacement Plan

Millions of people lose health coverage. The rich get millions of dollars in tax cuts. It sounds like a scary movie, but it’s actually the Republican health care bill. Chye-Ching Huang and Shelby Gonzales join Jared and Ben to discuss. Musical Interlude: “Hey Now” by Red Garland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apirVjuTAWI

Duration: 00:31:07

Episode 4: What Does the Labor Department Do, Anyway?

Judy Conti from the National Employment Law Project (an advocacy organization whose Board Jared chairs) joins Jared and Ben to discuss the first Trump Labor Secretary nominee who had to be withdrawn, the critical role the Department of Labor can play in the fight for economic justice, and how advocates can help advance workers’ rights in the coming months and years. Musical Interlude: “Serenade in D Major” by Mozart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS5YCVdPxCk

Duration: 00:28:43

Episode 3: Assessing the Labor Market and Getting to Full Employment

After Jared and Ben give an overview of what full employment is and why it’s important, Slate’s Jordan Weissmann joins them to discuss some of the Trump Administration’s comments about the labor market and how policymakers should think about increasing employment opportunities for people. Musical Interlude: “Driftin’” by Herbie Hancock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wcYrx4d3Jg Jared’s Reading Recommendation: “Why I Voted to Keep Rates Steady” by Neel Kashkari...

Duration: 00:27:31

Episode 2: Why We Need to Block Block Grants

Donna Pavetti holds forth on lessons from the failed Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant while Hannah Katch and Stacy Dean explain why block granting Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps)would harm both low-income people and the broader economy.

Duration: 00:27:41

Episode 1: The Road to Factville

Jared and Ben discuss whether the facts are really more on the run than usual and how those who care about low- and middle-income people can use them to fight for good policy. Mike Leachman guest stars with some facts on Kansas' supply-side tax cut experiment.

Duration: 00:23:55