Politics: but we don't do the thinking for you.

ReConsidering GDP
Dec 11 • 67 min
Recently Erik saw an article in which nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says an obsession with looking at GDP has become a problem: “The world is facing three existential crises: a climate crisis, an inequality crisis and a crisis in democracy,” he…
How Lebanese Protests Over a WhatsApp Tax Can Turn the World
Nov 19 • 65 min
A few isolated Lebanese protests over a tax on WhatsApp calls have become, perhaps a national revolution, with huge consequences for the region and perhaps even American strategy. Why? How could such a small thing have such a large potential impact? And…
What In a Name? Would a Cop by Any Other Not Protect as Well?
Nov 11 • 49 min
Amid the hard facts of distrust and violence between police and some communities in the US, debate descends into fanatical screaming between two tribes. We forget the solution we all want: effective policing with great community relationships. Today we…
Is America’s Syria Withdrawal a Betrayal of the Kurds?
Oct 28 • 52 min
Turkey invades Syria amid a hasty and poorly-planned US withdrawal. It’s not the first time: why is it getting this level of media attention and international outrage? For information regarding your data privacy, visit
A Butterfly Flaps its Wings in Saudi Arabia…
Oct 10 • 46 min
…and hurricanes pop up throughout the Middle East. How does a tiny US deployment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affect the geopolitical outlook of nations throughout the Middle East and the world? The world’s a complicated place, and small moves can have…
So You Wanna Impeach a President
Oct 10 • 42 min
How does the process of impeachment work? What actions are impeachable? How’s it worked in the past? We cover all of these questions and more. For information regarding your data privacy, visit
EPISODE 100: The Astropolitics of “The Expanse”
Sep 23 • 66 min
WELCOME TO EPISODE 100. HOW EXCITING. Today we’re going to talk about our favorite book series ever, The Expanse. More specifically, we’re going to talk about the “astropolitics” (geopolitics IN SPAAAACE) of The Expanse, and see how it as a case study can…
US-China Competition with Prof. Chris Balding
Sep 9 • 54 min
Prof. Chris Balding, Professor at Fullbright University Vietnam, joins us to help us break into the factors driving US-China competition, and helps us understand some of the fundamentals behind what’s likely to come over the next few years. For…
Why Do Nations Go to War? with Mike Mzzarr
Aug 26 • 67 min
Repeat-guest Michael Mazarr of RAND, has recently published a bunch of very intriguing work that challenges how Xander and Erik think about foreign policy and war. We decided to grill him to see what we could learn! For information regarding your data…
Finding BS and Other Semantics Analysis in the 2020 Election, with Danielle Deibler
Aug 12 • 64 min
In Wedged, we talk about BS and bias in media coverage of elections. We’ve always wondered: Can we measure it? Turns out, someone can. Danielle Deibler is the CEO/founder of she’s where AI and politics meet. In this episode, Danielle walks…
Race and Poverty and the House Ownership Gap: An Interview with Alanna McCargo
Jul 28 • 65 min
We had the pleasure of hosting Alanna McCargo, VP of Housing and Finance Policy at the Urban Institute to help us answer a listener question about wealth inequality, and Xander came across an incredible article with an important question: how does real…
The Possible Meanings of Peace Talks in America’s Longest War
Jul 18 • 34 min
18 years have passed, and Kabul and its US allies have failed to destroy the Taliban. Finally, it seems like serious peace talks are beginning, but war remains and any peace would likely include Talibani power in Afghanistan. This is a moment for the US…
Is Trump Taking Orders From Moscow?
Jul 7 • 54 min
It’s often taken as given that Trump is acting on Moscow’s behalf in his foreign policy. In this episode we ask: what foreign policy would be in Russia’s interest? And is Trump following that foreign policy, or a different one? We explore such topics as…
Free Stuff!
Jun 19 • 45 min
With the Democratic 2020 Primary heating up (already), serious proposals about more free stuff in America have come to the front of the national conversation. What would free college look like? What about free healthcare? What would the impact be? We take…
Announcements! Intelligent Speech Conference + Flick
Jun 9 • 8 min
Come join us! Saturday June 29th, 11 am – 7 pm The Centre for Social Innovation, New York Talk to us on Flick! For information regarding your data privacy, visit…
Why The Heck is the US Election Cycle So Long?
May 20 • 40 min
There are, as usual, structural reasons why the election cycle is so long. This year’s is bigger and earlier than ever. Has it always been this way? If not, what happened? For information regarding your data privacy, visit
May 7 • 36 min
In which Erik gets sucked into Game of Thrones theory clickbait, and then realizes that this has an excellent analogy to political media. For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Long-Term Consequences of US Drug Wars
Apr 10 • 36 min
What have been the long term consequences of US and allied drug policy? In this episode we look at both domestic demand and foreign supply efforts, and the results that have come from them. This is all in a response to questions from listener Russell…
Recent Revelation: Healthcare Monopsony Buying Power
Mar 24 • 20 min
Many single-payer (nationally funded) healthcare systems pay a lot less for drugs, services, and equipment than US insurers do. They have a monopsony and therefore a lot of buying power—makes sense, right? Erik recently has a revelation that calls this…
[Listener Question]: Long-Term Geopolitical Consequences of the Iraq War
Mar 17 • 47 min
One of our beloved Patrons asked us: “what are the long-term consequences of the Iraq War?” Great question—we couldn’t resist taking a crack at it. In this episode we hear about the balance of the middle east changed, for Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, ISIS,…
How to Dismantle Entrenched Bias, with David Campt
Mar 3 • 68 min
David Campt, “The Dialogue Guy,” founder of the Ally Conversation Toolkit, who you may know from The Daily Show, joins ReConsider to help us learn how to better talk to people. Straight up this is one of the best shows we’ve ever had. We learned so much…
Flash Update: The Indian Airstrike in Pakistan
Feb 26 • 32 min
India has just launched a military operation into Pakistan—an airstrike—for the first time in decades. And they’re both nuclear powers. We rarely get to stay on top of very current events, but this is such a significant incident—and something so easy to…
It Pays to Polarize
Feb 9 • 43 min
In response to a listener question about who is and isn’t part of the “tribes” in American politics, Erik does an episode himself on political polarization, pulling directly from his Sound Education talk on political polarization. Head to our YouTube…
Bias and Tribalism with Chris Martin of Heterodox Academy
Jan 22 • 44 min
Today we link up with the venerable Chris Martin of Heterodox Academy, and host of Half Hour of Heterodoxy. We spend 45 minutes discussing heterodoxy, because we are long-winded. We ask tough questions such as: -Is it even possible to not do the thinking…
Tribal Flippage on Trade and Immigration
Jan 11 • 53 min
You might feel pretty strongly about trade and immigration policy—either very happy or very cranky with the way things are currently being done. But you might be surprised to learn that your tribe might have felt very differently about it just a few years…
A Very Late Halloween Special: WE DO THE THINKING FOR YOU
Dec 28, 2018 • 8 min
Xander and Erik are crazy-busy, and we’re very sorry about that. In lieu of this fortnight’s episode, here is our Halloween Special from Agoraphobia 2018: “WE DO THE THINKING FOR YOU.” Yes it’s silly, but it’s of course meant to get us thinking about how…
Breaking Down Government Spending
Dec 9, 2018 • 44 min
“Congressman Erik: just say no.” Erik’s on the warpath over that darned image we got for the listener Q&A, so Xander and Erik are going to talk about how the US government actually spends its money. Prepare to be surprised! For information regarding your…
Emergency Thanksgiving Dinner Guide
Nov 22, 2018 • 50 min
So hey Thanksgiving is coming up; time for an emergency prep episode! If your Thanksgiving turns into fighting, and you don’t want it to, we can help! Challenge yourself to have a great political conversation rather than a brutal slugfest. For information…
Listener Q&A!
Nov 9, 2018 • 58 min
In this episode we do a big listener Q&A! We’ve gathered a few questions over the past few months and we decided to run with the juiciest ones. We’ll do this again, keep sending questions in! Here’s what we cover: - Yemen - Social Security - Kashoggi -…
The 2018 Global Economic Outlook: Pt II
Oct 22, 2018 • 41 min
Post technical difficulties, we’re back! More Jake, more great questions about the global economic market. For information regarding your data privacy, visit
The 2018 Global Economic Look - Part 1
Oct 14, 2018 • 45 min
So much has gone down over the last year that we needed some proper professional econ help to sort it out. So we called Jake Meyer to come back to join us—luckily for us, he did! For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Toolbox Talk: Midterms Mania
Oct 7, 2018 • 31 min
Don’t wait until a week before midterms to start your research! Get a leg up on where to get accurate information on your (many) voting choices with ReConsider’s guide to the election this year. For information regarding your data privacy, visit…
ReConsidering China IV: The History of China
Sep 30, 2018 • 66 min
China’s history is long. Like, really long. Its memory is, too. Want to understand how China sees the world today? You need to understand how it sees its place over the last 3600 years. We’re lucky enough to welcome Chris Stewart of The History of China…
Introducing: American Scandal
Sep 27, 2018 • 1 min
Since the founding of the United States, in every generation, in every field of business, politics, sports and society, we’ve watched in shock as corruption, deceit and desire bring down heroes, titans and those we thought we could trust. In the…
ReConsidering China Part 3: THE TRADE WAR
Sep 17, 2018 • 59 min
Trade war’s on, baby. Why is it happening? What’s at stake? How does free trade even work? Are tariffs against China The Art of the Deal, or the tantrums of a madman? Is China a trade cheater or is Trump just pandering to the base? Time to get some…
ReConsidering China Pt 2: The Chinese Economy
Sep 5, 2018 • 56 min
Is the Chinese economy a powerhouse, or a house of cards ready to fall down? Is it going to overtake the US, or crash terribly and burn? For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Preview: American Innovations
Sep 1, 2018 • 9 min
Like geopolitics and economics, technology shapes our world and our choices—as individuals and as nations. American Innovations by Wondery dives into some of the world-changing innovations that came through the United States. It looks not just at the…
The Iran Nuclear Deal is Done: Time for WWIII?
Aug 13, 2018 • 49 min
Trump just reimposed the sanctions on Iran that had been previously lifted by the nuclear deal—the deal is dead. Trump wants a new deal. Rouhani is under pressure and claiming he wants a fight. Is scrapping the deal a good idea or a bad idea? What does it…
ReConsidering China, Pt I
Aug 2, 2018 • 47 min
We’re having a trade war! How exciting. So China is… our friend? Enemy? FRENEMY? They… want to take over Asia? Taiwan? The US? THE WORLD? Are they a fair trading partner or a cheater? A reasonable place or a dictatorship? There are many conceptions and…
The Balkans and the Duality of Nationalism
Jul 16, 2018 • 41 min
Nationalism gets a pretty bad rap these days. And not for bad reason. But it’s a complicated topic and has a lot of history… some of it very good. ReConsidering how we understand nationalism will help us grapple with how to maybe even use it for good. For…
2018 World Tour (part 1)
Jul 2, 2018 • 36 min
Since we’ve been talking about economics for 6 months, a lot has happened throughout the world! And people have wanted to know about it. So today we’re covering interesting events in South Africa, North Korea, Iran, and Turkey. All great opportunities to…
How Bad’s the National Debt?
Jun 18, 2018 • 48 min
In this episode we answer some listener questions about the national debt! Namely: -How big is it? -How much does China/etc own and what does that mean? -But seriously guys are we in trouble here? Learn all of this and more on today’s episode! For…
A Retort to the Austrians
Jun 4, 2018 • 73 min
Last time we interviewed Carlos Lara and Prof. Robert Murphy to give us the Austrian perspective on the boom & bust cycle. Today we’re going to see the another side of the debate, with the help of Jake Meyer, a Nobel Prize losing economist at California…
How Dead Philosophers Influence Us Today
May 21, 2018 • 97 min
Today we’re joined by Emmet and Karl of to discuss why a bunch of dead thinkers are still hyper-relevant today. We talk about their impact on society and politics, as well as make a case for why they should still be read if we want to…
The Austrian take on the Boom & Bust Cycle
May 7, 2018 • 48 min
In the past few episodes we’ve talked about a number of different economic theories about the trade cycle and the Fed’s role in it. Today the Austrians have their say. We interview L. Carlos Lara (CEO of United Services & Trust Corporation) and Professor…
Breaking Down the GOP Tax Bill, with Jon Schwabish of the Urban Institute
Apr 23, 2018 • 59 min
The GOP Tax Bill was marketed to supercharge growth, help the middle class, and boost worker pay. It’s sold both as a “tax cut” and as “tax reform.” Some people really liked it, some people really hated it, but most people don’t know much about it. Let’s…
Is the US on the Same Path as Ancient Rome or Athens?
Apr 9, 2018 • 59 min
In this episode we welcome Lantern Jack of Ancient Greece Declassified to help us with the burning question we keep getting: how much is the United States today like the ancient Roman Republic or, perhaps, like ancient Athens? Are we going down hard and…
Around the World in 80 Minutes (AKA Mercator Projections Suck)
Mar 23, 2018 • 82 min
Erik and Xander podcast together for the 3rd time ever in Boston! We grab a map and go: no agenda, no plan. It’s a ton of fun. You’ll find out all there is to know about the world as of precisely March 22nd, 2018. For information regarding your data…
Fundamentals of Monetary Policy with Dr. Marron
Mar 14, 2018 • 55 min
In this episode, Dr. Donald Marron of the Urban Institute joins us to help bring a big chunk of economic expertise to the discussion we’ve been having about economics and particularly monetary policy this year. We even manage to get him to crack a few…
Introducing: This Is War
Mar 13, 2018 • 9 min
A raw look at the combat and homecoming experience from American veterans who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This Is War” chronicles the trials of combat vets both abroad and at home. Listen today on For information…
The End of the Gold Standard (AKA, Dude, Where’s My Bullion?)
Feb 19, 2018 • 48 min
Last episode we heard a lot of arguments in the favor of the gold standard as opposed to having a fiat currency. In this episode we’ll understand the decline of the gold standard and the reasons behind it to learn some of the hurdles to returning. For…
Ethics, Humanity, and Meaning—Exploring Themes of Bladerunner
Jan 30, 2018 • 1 min
Go check out Beyond the Big Screen and hear Xander and Erik uncover how Blade Runner discusses these questions, and gets viewers to ReConsider what it means to be human. For information regarding your data…
Money From Nothing (And Your Chits for Free)
Jan 29, 2018 • 25 min
Now that ain’t workin’—that’s the way you do it! What the heck is fiat currency? Why are we on it? Can the US print money to pay its debts? Why do people want to return to the Gold Standard? Find out all of this and more as we kick off a series on…
Rising Separatism in Europe Pt II: The Threat to the Nation-State
Jan 9, 2018 • 41 min
Do separatist movements in Catalonia, Basque, Lombardy & Venecia, and other places, constitute a larger threat to the nation-state? What drives people to move towards fixing a nation versus leaving it when they’re fed up? For information regarding your…
Christmas Special: What Happens When the Arctic Melts?
Dec 25, 2017 • 63 min
Santa’s workshop is underwater, and new shipping lanes emerge in an area once thought of as an insignificant edge on the global map. What happens when the Arctic starts getting wet in the summer? How does climate change affect the conflict between NATO…
Rising Separatism in Europe, Pt 1: Catalonia Kickoff
Dec 11, 2017 • 42 min
Catalonia declared independence. It didn’t go well. But why did they? Why now? And what are the implications for the rest of Europe? For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Why Does the US Have a Two-Party System?
Nov 25, 2017 • 41 min
Ever wonder why the United States has a system with two parties and not more? Find out why the US system is the way it is, and why other countries are different. For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Refugees and Rise of Anti-Immigrantism in Europe
Nov 14, 2017 • 52 min
“Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies and therefore remains a ‘life lie,’ [or ‘sham’]… “ — Angela Merkel, 2015 Just after enacting the “open door” migrant policy, Angela Merkel and all of Europe faced a political backlash, including rising…
After Vegas: Solving Gun Violence in America
Oct 21, 2017 • 60 min
After the largest mass civilian shooting in history, can we come together as a nation to reduce violence? Yes, but it requires good problem solving skills. In this episode we dive into understanding why Vegas was so deadly and how that was allowed to…
Why Fracking is Changing Everything About Geopolitics
Oct 6, 2017 • 50 min
You’ve heard of the Fracking Revolution. You may also know that your fuel bill is a little lower than it was in the 2000s. But man oh man, the picture is much bigger than that. The Middle East, Europe, Russia, and the foreign policy of the United States…
Realism in History: Case Studies
Sep 12, 2017 • 66 min
Zack Twamley of “When Diplomacy Fails” joins us to put realism to the test throughout history. The exciting thing for you? He’s not a realist. Join us as we pick a war out of a hat and chat about how—and whether—realism can explain how it came to be. For…
Toolbox Talk: Understanding International Affairs with Realism
Aug 31, 2017 • 58 min
Why do certain countries go to war, where others don’t? How do the domestic policies and the personalities of leaders get involved? In this episode you’ll learn the most widely-used lens for understanding the causes behind international affairs: realism.…
Crises in Venezuela and North Korea
Aug 11, 2017 • 81 min
Is Venezuela’s government going to fall? Is North Korea going to fire nukes? Is the US going to fire nukes? Are Maduro and Kim just madmen? Is Trump? Two dictatorial regimes, both of which hate the US, both entering crises and both facing substantial…
Trump’s Domestic Policy vs. Checks and Balances
Jul 28, 2017 • 50 min
President Trump has had a lot of trouble getting a legislative win, and he’s pressing Congress harder than ever to deliver one. The GOP has both the House and the Senate—what are the forces keeping them from getting things done? For information regarding…
Toolbox Talk: The Modern Stoic
Jul 14, 2017 • 50 min
Politics gets emotional. However the emotional part of our brain was designed not for rational thought, but for knee-jerk survival mechanisms. How can we train our brain to think more clearly about politics in our daily lives? In this episode, Erik and…
A Little Historical Perspective - Trump, the US, Europe, NATO in the Big Picture
Jul 1, 2017 • 63 min
HEY! The sound quality on this is junk. Really sorry. Technical issue that we didn’t realize was there until we were done. We’ve figured out how to keep it from happening again. The US and the world seem like they’re in a really odd, perhaps dangerous…
ReConsidering Russia Pt 4: The Putin Trump Relationship
Jun 7, 2017 • 66 min
AKA, “The Bromance of the Bad Hombres” In this episode we interview Prof. Stephen Sestanovich, a Colombia professor, think tank big wig, and prolific writer. Formerly ambassador-at-large and special advisor to Madeleine Albright. Prof. Stestanovich puts…
Comey, and Speculating on Trump
May 18, 2017 • 41 min
AKA: My Homie, Comey Welp. Trump fired Comey. If things weren’t crazy enough in the White House right now. There’s a pretty incredible amount of speculation about why he did it and what it could mean. How much do we actually know? And where is all the…
ReConsidering Russia Pt III: Russia’s Interest & What to Expect Going Forward
May 8, 2017 • 69 min
What is Russia’s current interest on its borders, and what considerations will shape its behavior over the next 20 years? Prof. Mitchell Orenstein is the Professor of Central and East European politics in the Slavic Department at the University of…
The Airstrike on Syria in Context
Apr 12, 2017 • 55 min
Much hubbub over the Syrian airstrike—everything from patriotic fervor to seemingly-genuine terror about World War 3. What happens when we take a step back from the hype and political spin, and look at the strike in the context of geopolitics,…
ReConsidering Russia Pt II: Russia’s Complex History
Mar 27, 2017 • 78 min
We’re joined by Mark Schauss to give us a whirlwind tour of Russian history. Mark is the host of the Russian Rulers History Podcast: Mark attended Queens College in New York, studied Russian History and Economics, got…
ReConsidering Russia Part 1: Russia Today
Mar 8, 2017 • 80 min
(Not the news source.) Joining us is Sean Guillory of Sean’s Russia Blog and Podcast, at He has a PhD in Russian History from UCLA. Sean helps us dive into the nitty gritty about what’s actually going on with Russia today. We ask:…
ReConsidering Russia Part 0: Intro
Mar 1, 2017 • 7 min
Russia is a scary place—and very misunderstood. We decided it deserves 4 whole episodes unto itself. We’ll be teaming up with 4 big-wigs that know their stuff about Russia to help you dive deep and understand Russia a whole lot better. For information…
The Effectiveness of Political Violence in History
Feb 10, 2017 • 50 min
Or, “How’d punching Nazis work out last time?” People in the United States are starting to talk about using political violence in response to perceived dangerous political extremism and violent rhetoric. We look through history to see how the use of…
Podemos, Trump, and the Populist’s Path to Power
Jan 23, 2017 • 60 min
If we want to learn a little bit more about Trump’s path to the Presidency, we can look to recent history. It’s not actually totally unprecedented. Spain, going through its own very tough economic times, has vaulted the populist-left Podemos to the fore,…
Immigration & Xenophobia in History II: Shakespeare’s Sir Thomas More
Jan 13, 2017 • 8 min
There’s a play called Sir Thomas More that is _not_ Shakespeare… but scholars have agreed that its most awe-inspiring monologue was indeed written by Shakespeare himself. In Sir Ian McKellen’s words: “you’ll know when you hear it.” Xander delivers a…
Immigration and Xenophobia in History
Jan 5, 2017 • 37 min
People of another religion are showing up, and not all of them are friendly—some are even kinda terrorists. The economic situation is pretty tough For information regarding your data privacy, visit
Ep 31: The Changing International Order
Dec 29, 2016 • 48 min
For information regarding your data privacy, visit
The Electoral College: WHY!?
Dec 15, 2016 • 24 min
But seriously, why on earth do we have the Electoral College? Something about having to travel in carriages? It’s a question a lot of people are asking after an election with a pretty big gap between the popular vote and the outcome. So why on earth does…
The Trump-olution
Dec 2, 2016 • 32 min
“I’m gonna drain the swamp.” Love him or hate him, Donald Trump’s rise and agenda are a political revolution. But revolutions are hard, even after you win. Most have failed miserably. What will it take for Trump to fulfill his vision, rather than fall…
Shakespeare’s Propaganda
Nov 21, 2016 • 23 min
English King Richard III was a bad bad dude, right? If you’re a fan of Shakespeare, you know this is true. But what if there’s more to the story? We subbed in for the English Renaissance History podcast a ways back and asked that question. Today we take a…
President Donald J Trump
Nov 9, 2016 • 50 min
It happened. It’s a shocker, but it happened. There’s a lot of pain and frustration across the country—and no matter what, half of it was going to be really upset today. How did Trump pull the upset? Where do we go from here? How do we understand each…
One Minute to Armageddon (Halloween Special!)
Oct 28, 2016 • 9 min
Originally broadcast on the Agora Podcast Network’s “Agoraphobia” series, Erik and Xander recount the true story from 1983 of how the world was a single crazy decision away from nuclear annihilation. For information regarding your data privacy, visit…
Toolbox Talk: Electing Judges
Oct 24, 2016 • 27 min
If you’re in the US, odds are good you’ll be voting for a judge or six this November. It’s hard, and _really_ different from electing a representative or executive. So how the heck do you do it? How do you judge your potential judges? If you want to be a…
Polling and Direct Democracy, WTF
Oct 19, 2016 • 39 min
Why are referendums ending up so different from how polls suggest? From Brexit to the FARC peace deal, there have been some shockers in referendums: the polls have very much gone one way, and the results another. So what the heck is going on? In this…
The Very Big Deal FARC Peace Deal
Sep 28, 2016 • 55 min
A 55-year-old civil war may be about to come to an end. The government of Colombia and FARC have hammered out a big, complicated, icky peace deal, and it’s going to referendum on October 2nd. The consequences for Colombia, the geopolitics of the Western…
The Stephanie Experiment
Sep 19, 2016 • 37 min
What if you decided to immerse yourself in the opposite political narrative to what you know? That’s just what Stephanie did. She lives surrounded by liberal news media and friends, and she decided to spend a few months reading and listening only to Fox…
Go Home 2016, You’re Drunk!
Sep 6, 2016 • 52 min
Everything’s falling apart! The breakdown of multilateral institutions! Anti-establishment candidates are popping up everywhere! Russia is escalating! China! Syria! Turkey! Terrorism! What’s it all look like in the long-term? For information regarding…
After the Conventions: Do The Parties Know How to Party?
Aug 22, 2016 • 64 min
The Party Conventions have come and gone. Each of the two major parties has made their case to America that their candidate is fit to lead. What’s the takeaway for the country? What are the underlying strategies of each party and what groups are they…
The Big South China Sea Ruling
Aug 8, 2016 • 34 min
UNCLOS has ruled on China’s claim to the South China Sea and China is totally on board with it. Just kidding! Now the fun begins. The Philippines sued China about its territorial claims in the South China Sea and won—basically, the UN said that China’s…
Some Good News on the ISIS Front
Jul 25, 2016 • 19 min
Anti-ISIS forces have scored a string of victories recently, and lots of people haven’t heard about them. Why do we hear about the defeats, but not the victories? How can we get the full picture? For information regarding your data privacy, visit…
Education in America, Pt II
Jul 18, 2016 • 47 min
After busting some myths about US education performance and its causes, we interview renowned SF Teacher of the Year Lana Corda to understand some of the challenges facing one of the toughest school districts in the country. We learn a lot about the…
Education in America, Pt I
Jul 12, 2016 • 25 min
How’s the US education system performing relative to other countries? How can we improve our own performance? There are many opinions and narratives about what to do, and in this episode, Xander and Erik dive into the data to understand which hold water,…
Brexit II: Judgment Day
Jun 25, 2016 • 31 min
Welp: it happened! Britain had its referendum, and they’re leaving the European Union. What the heck happens next? What are the short- and long-term consequences, and what is the UK going to do? For information regarding your data privacy, visit…
Free Speech in America
Jun 6, 2016 • 50 min
Free speech protests have popped up in campuses across the United States over the past few years, and everyone is getting their word about it in, even President Obama. You may or may not yet feel strongly about this. No matter where you stand, now’s the…
Toolbox Talk: Power!
May 22, 2016 • 68 min
“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Or, “speak loudly and carry an even bigger stick!” There are different kinds of power and different ways to wield them… and it’s not always clear what’s our best kind of power to bring to bear in a given situation. In…
May 6, 2016 • 63 min
David Cameron doesn’t want the UK to leave the EU, but he set up the referendum for Brits to vote on it. Why the heck would he do that? How likely is Brexit to happen? Who wants it and who’s against it? What are the stay/leave arguments? What will be the…
Tiny Little Rocks, Big Deal Pt II
Apr 11, 2016 • 58 min
Now that we have a decent idea of the history of Chinese, East Asian, and US diplomacy and foreign policy, it’s time to throw all of this into the crucible of the South China Sea. It’s a powderkeg of epic proportions, but it’s something most Americans…
Tiny Rocks, Big Deal Pt I
Mar 30, 2016 • 62 min
There are tiny little rocks in the South China sea that have become a pretty big deal. China has claimed them as its own, putting air bases, missile batteries, and harbors on the islands to stake its claim. It’s become a huge, but quiet, international…
Delegate Math in the 2016 US Primary
Mar 13, 2016 • 53 min
Hoo boy, we’ve got an exciting presidential nomination this year. More and more we’re hearing rumblings that the GOP might go to a brokered convention. But… how the heck does that work? What’ll happen if it gets there? How likely is it? Find out all that…
Apple vs. FBI
Mar 10, 2016 • 69 min
The FBI wants Apple to write some code to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino shooter, and Apple has filed an appeal to make sure they’re not compelled to do so. Is it a ravenous attack on privacy? Is it not a big deal? Xander and Erik have done a ton…
Oil Prices
Feb 23, 2016 • 57 min
It’s hard to get a good sense of why the price of oil can vary between $150 and $30 per barrel. There are a lot of factors behind the price, but in the end it all comes down to supply and demand. In this episode we break down how supply and demand have…
Iran, Nukes, and Middle East Policy
Feb 9, 2016 • 73 min
We’ve made a nuclear deal with Iran, and everyone that hasn’t read the darn thing has a very strong opinion on it. In addition to understanding the deal in detail, we need to understand the history of Iran and the Middle East to get a good sense of…
Demagogues in History… and Today
Jan 20, 2016 • 61 min
You might be worried that in the US and Western Europe, there are some pretty scary folks that are getting pretty popular. Those folks—who appeal to our fears and hatred to get power—are called demagogues. We’ve seen them throughout history, from the very…
Western ISIS Policy
Jan 5, 2016 • 49 min
In our first “meaty” episode, Xander and Erik tackle ISIS, with such awesome questions as: 1. What considerations should govern how we try to take down ISIS? 2. Why is current policy against ISIS not working? 3. What’s different about ISIS from enemies…
Introduction and Background
Jan 5, 2016 • 10 min
ReConsider will help you become a better democratic citizen in 10 minutes a day or less, (or your money back!) which is probably more than you spend on your abs, but not by much. We help provide new context and insight on tough issues citizens face, help…