A skeptic’s guide to Universal Basic Income

You can’t throw a rock without hitting a wandering conversation about Universal Basic Income these days—but in our office, we’re still skeptical. For the first in a two-episode series exploring guaranteed income and its sister idea, guaranteed jobs, UBI expert Scott Santens and Sukhi Samra, the executive director of a real-life UBI experiment in California, … Read moreA skeptic’s guide to Universal Basic Income

Shared security, shared growth: a social contract for the 21st century (with Senator Mark Warner and Abby Solomon)

There are nearly 60 million gig economy workers in the U.S. workforce, yet benefits like health care, retirement, and paid leave are still tied to traditional salaried jobs. It is essential that we adopt new policies guaranteeing all workers the basic level of economic security necessary to sustain and grow the American middle class—and with … Read moreShared security, shared growth: a social contract for the 21st century (with Senator Mark Warner and Abby Solomon)

Educationism (with Diane Ravitch)

Like many rich Americans, Nick used to think that focusing their philanthropic efforts in the country’s education system could heal many of our biggest problems. But in The Atlantic last month, he admitted he was wrong—better schools won’t fix America unless we fix inequality first. He’s joined this week by Diane Ravitch, a giant in … Read moreEducationism (with Diane Ravitch)

The robots are coming… what now? (with Heidi Shierholz and Daron Acemoglu)

With every technological advancement since the dawn of time, conventional wisdom has warned that technology and automation kills jobs. But robots aren’t the root cause of our problems. Although technology has always changed the nature of work, this week’s guests Heidi Shierholz and Daron Acemoglu argue that there is no evidence that it has led … Read moreThe robots are coming… what now? (with Heidi Shierholz and Daron Acemoglu)

BONUS: What to listen for in the second round of presidential debates

The second round of presidential debates are quickly approaching. The debates move fast, and we know there’s a lot to sift through—so allow us to make it easier on you! In this pre-debates briefing, Nick and Zach lay out exactly what kind of economics talk you should be listening for ahead of next Tuesday and … Read moreBONUS: What to listen for in the second round of presidential debates

Health Care Part 2: One nation, with liberty and health care for all (with Sanders for President Campaign Co-Chair Nina Turner)

Medicare for All is the most ambitious health care proposal on the table right now, and the Bernie Sanders campaign is ground zero for making it a reality. In the second episode of a two-part series on health care, former Ohio State Senator and Sanders’ campaign co-chair Nina Turner explains why widely available and affordable … Read moreHealth Care Part 2: One nation, with liberty and health care for all (with Sanders for President Campaign Co-Chair Nina Turner)

BONUS: Don’t Pass Go—without learning more about monopolies (with Barry Lynn)

We’re revisiting a timeless topic: monopolies! Expert Barry Lynn shares his thoughts on market concentration, the dangers of industrial monopolies like Boeing, and what ‘reigning in’ companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon actually means. Barry Lynn is the Executive Director of the Open Markets Institute. Previously, he spent 15 years at the New America Foundation … Read moreBONUS: Don’t Pass Go—without learning more about monopolies (with Barry Lynn)

Health Care Part 1: Everyone does it better than us (with T. R. Reid)

When it comes to health care, every country in the world is running their own version of the same experiment—and the results vary widely in terms of cost and patient outcomes. In the first episode of a two-part exploration of health care, author T. R. Reid takes Nick and Stephanie on a tour of medical … Read moreHealth Care Part 1: Everyone does it better than us (with T. R. Reid)

The decline of worker power (with David Rolf and Larry Mishel)

Not so long ago, economic growth was shared widely among Americans thanks to a suite of policies that boosted the bargaining power of workers. In recent years, employer power has increased while worker powers have been significantly eroded—and as a result, income inequality has grown at record rates. Experts David Rolf and Larry Mishel explain … Read moreThe decline of worker power (with David Rolf and Larry Mishel)

Our full conversation with Governor Jay Inslee

In March of this year, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee announced he is running for president on a platform of combating climate change. He has already succeeded in centering the political conversation around this central crisis of our time. We spoke with the governor for our April episode about the economics of climate change; here … Read moreOur full conversation with Governor Jay Inslee

A roadmap to utopia (with Rutger Bregman)

Rutger Bregman, who The Guardian has called “the Dutch wunderkind of new ideas”, joins us this week to daydream a better future. Bregman won international fame by taking on everyone from Tucker Carlson to the wealthy elites at Davos on the topic of income inequality, and here he lays out a positive economic vision using … Read moreA roadmap to utopia (with Rutger Bregman)

Picking up where Darwin left off (LIVE with David Sloan Wilson)

Classical economics argues that the economy is an equilibrium system—that for every winner there must be a loser. In this episode, author and professor David Sloan Wilson joins Nick live on stage at Town Hall Seattle to argue that economies are actually evolutionary systems—and once we shed the winner-take-all philosophy that has dominated Econ 101 … Read morePicking up where Darwin left off (LIVE with David Sloan Wilson)

Update: Whatever happened to overtime? (with Sharon Block and Chris Lu)

This episode was first released in March, but so much has happened since then in the world of overtime that we thought we’d repost this episode with a new intro. Since this originally aired, Washington state has proposed a new overtime threshold that would expand overtime pay to 250,000+ workers. Since overtime laws haven’t been … Read moreUpdate: Whatever happened to overtime? (with Sharon Block and Chris Lu)

Strategies for building a robust and equitable recovery from the next recession (with Connie Razza)

Zach speaks with Connie Razza, the author of ‘Break glass in case of emergency’, a strategy memo recently published by the Economic Policy Institute for winning a robust and just recovery from the next recession. Connie explains what policy proposals and political infrastructure will successfully orient our recovery from the next recession toward economic outcomes … Read moreStrategies for building a robust and equitable recovery from the next recession (with Connie Razza)

BONUS: Strategies for building a robust and equitable recovery from the next recession (with Connie Razza)

Zach speaks with Connie Razza, the author of ‘Break glass in case of emergency’, a strategy memo recently published by the Economic Policy Institute for winning a robust and just recovery from the next recession. Connie explains what policy proposals and political infrastructure will successfully orient our recovery from the next recession toward economic outcomes … Read moreBONUS: Strategies for building a robust and equitable recovery from the next recession (with Connie Razza)

Ask Nick Anything – Part 2 (with Trae Crowder)

We couldn’t contain our favorite listener voicemails in one Ask Nick Anything episode, so we made two! Why does the middle class pay an income tax? Are unions cool? Nick and Trae answer eight more questions in this follow-up to last week’s must-listen episode. Trae Crowder is a comedian and co-author of ‘The Liberal Redneck … Read moreAsk Nick Anything – Part 2 (with Trae Crowder)

BONUS: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal – Unedited Conversation

Nick spoke with Congressmember Pramila Jayapal in December 2018 about the fight for a $15 minimum wage, what Representative Jayapal has changed his mind on, and how Democrats can tell better stories. Here’s their full conversation in Congresswoman Jayapal’s offices in Washington D.C. An edited version of this conversation appeared in the episode, “Should Democrats … Read moreBONUS: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal – Unedited Conversation

Ask Nick Anything – Part 1 (with Trae Crowder)

You’ve been flooding Nick’s voicemail for months, and the time is finally here! Comedian Trae Crowder joins Nick to answer your questions in this freewheeling Ask Me Anything session. What does John Hickenlooper think about Nick’s net worth? How can we help people see that a $15 minimum wage is good for everyone? We answer … Read moreAsk Nick Anything – Part 1 (with Trae Crowder)

BONUS: Why do we fight fires like it’s still 1969? (with Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz)

Washington state lost 440,000 acres in almost two thousand wildfires last year﹣a record high. Once the most beautiful month in Washington’s year, August is now marred by hazy, smoky skies that drive everyone indoors while our small and underfunded team of wildland firefighters work around the clock to save lives, property, and public lands. It’s … Read moreBONUS: Why do we fight fires like it’s still 1969? (with Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz)

Homo economicus must die (with Samuel Bowles)

Homo economicus is the figurative human being used in economic modeling. But the term defines human nature as perfectly rational, perfectly logical, and always self-interested. Does that sound like any real humans you know? Nope, we didn’t think so either. So we invited Professor Samuel Bowles to join Nick and Goldy in throwing a funeral … Read moreHomo economicus must die (with Samuel Bowles)

Tax the Rich! (with Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint)

Our friends at the Tax March, a national progressive tax awareness coalition, just launched a new campaign called “Tax the Rich” which urges every Democrat in Congress and every presidential candidate to support taxing the country’s wealthiest people. Zach talked to the Executive Director of Tax March, Maura Quint, about the launch of the campaign, … Read moreTax the Rich! (with Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint)

BONUS: Tax the Rich! (with Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint)

Our friends at the Tax March, a national progressive tax awareness coalition, just launched a new campaign called “Tax the Rich” which urges every Democrat in Congress and every presidential candidate to support taxing the country’s wealthiest people. Zach talked to the Executive Director of Tax March, Maura Quint, about the launch of the campaign, … Read moreBONUS: Tax the Rich! (with Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint)

What are the economics of climate change? (with Governor Jay Inslee and Fadhel Kaboub)

All the economic and social policy that we discuss on this podcast won’t matter if we don’t address climate change. Governor Jay Inslee and Professor Fadhel Kaboub join Nick and Goldy to explain that if we don’t get climate right… well, the pitchforks are coming.  Jay Inslee is the Governor of Washington state. In March … Read moreWhat are the economics of climate change? (with Governor Jay Inslee and Fadhel Kaboub)

What are the economics of climate change?

All the economic and social policy that we discuss on this podcast won’t matter if we don’t address climate change. Governor Jay Inslee and Professor Fadhel Kaboub join Nick and Goldy to explain that if we don’t get climate right… well, the pitchforks are coming.  Jay Inslee is the Governor of Washington state. In March … Read moreWhat are the economics of climate change?

What is Modern Monetary Theory? (with Stephanie Kelton)

Is government debt real? Is anything real? Professor Stephanie Kelton gives Nick and Goldy a master class on the hottest idea in economics right now: Modern Monetary Theory.  Stephanie Kelton is a professor of public policy and economics at Stony Brook University and a senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. … Read moreWhat is Modern Monetary Theory? (with Stephanie Kelton)

Should Democrats appeal to the center by moving hard left? (with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal)

For too long, pundits and politicians have talked about the political center as a perfect balance between conservatives and liberals. But this quest for some sort of mythical middle ground between left and right has only succeeded in elevating the interests of the top one percent over everyone else. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal joins Nick to … Read moreShould Democrats appeal to the center by moving hard left? (with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal)

Why does the U.S. hate families? (with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Katie Hamm)

For all our talk about family values, the U.S. is actually the worst place to raise a family in the developed world. Anne-Marie Slaughter and Katie Hamm join Nick and Jessyn to explain how our family policies got stuck in the last century, and what we should do about it.  Anne-Marie Slaughter is the President … Read moreWhy does the U.S. hate families? (with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Katie Hamm)

Is economics moral?

We’ve established that trickle-down economics and neoliberalism are failed philosophies. But we haven’t yet explored whether economics should be moral – should it reflect our behaviors and preferences, or is it a science that lives separately from our societal norms and values? Heather McGhee joins Nick and Paul to argue that an inclusive economy is … Read moreIs economics moral?

Is economics moral? (with Heather McGhee)

We’ve established that trickle-down economics and neoliberalism are failed philosophies. But we haven’t yet explored whether economics should be moral – should it reflect our behaviors and preferences, or is it a science that lives separately from our societal norms and values? Heather McGhee joins Nick and Paul to argue that an inclusive economy is … Read moreIs economics moral? (with Heather McGhee)

What’s preventing pay equity? (with Julie Nelson and Claire Cain Miller)

In 2009, President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, thereby ensuring that women across the United States were finally paid the same as men. Just kidding! Women still only make 80% of what their male counterparts do. What is this bullshit? Why hasn’t pay equity been achieved yet? Economist Julie Nelson … Read moreWhat’s preventing pay equity? (with Julie Nelson and Claire Cain Miller)

Why is getting out of poverty so hard?

Here are two phrases that should be oxymorons, but aren’t: ‘working poor’ and ‘poverty-level jobs.’ Writer and anti-poverty advocate Hanna Brooks Olsen joins Nick and Goldy to explore how the intense burdens of poverty make it nearly impossible to even think about climbing the economic ladder.  Felicia Wong is the President and CEO of the … Read moreWhy is getting out of poverty so hard?

Why is getting out of poverty so hard? (with Felicia Wong)

Here are two phrases that should be oxymorons, but aren’t: ‘working poor’ and ‘poverty-level jobs.’ Writer and anti-poverty advocate Hanna Brooks Olsen joins Nick and Goldy to explore how the intense burdens of poverty make it nearly impossible to even think about climbing the economic ladder.  Felicia Wong is the President and CEO of the … Read moreWhy is getting out of poverty so hard? (with Felicia Wong)

Whatever happened to overtime?

The overtime threshold used to be the minimum wage for the middle class—but where did it go? Labor experts Sharon Block and Chris Lu join Nick and Jasmin to explain why the overtime threshold, which used to cover 65 percent of workers, today covers only 7 percent. That’s craziness! And surprise, surprise—employers love to claim … Read moreWhatever happened to overtime?