Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer

Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer

www.pitchforkeconomics.com
Any society that allows itself to become radically unequal eventually collapses into an uprising or a police state—or both. Join venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and some of the world’s leading economic and political thinkers in an exploration of who gets what and why. Turns out, everything you learned about economics is wrong. And if we don’t do something about rising inequality, the pitchforks are coming.


There’s no herd immunity to greed (with Thomas Friedman)
Jul 7 • 31 min
Our global system is fragile because we made decisions that made it that way. Where did we go wrong? This week, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman joins Nick and Goldy to suggest that greed and unfettered globalization are to blame for our…
Debunking deficit myths (with Stephanie Kelton)
Jun 30 • 42 min
Modern Monetary Theory is an attempt to accurately describe how government debt and complex financial systems actually work. MMT can help us responsibly use our resources, and no one is more knowledgeable on the subject than our returning guest this week,…
People are basically good (with Rutger Bregman)
Jun 23 • 34 min
The fundamentals of economic thought are built on the idea that humans are fundamentally self-interested. But, according to historian Rutger Bregman, that’s a misconception — in fact, humans are fundamentally good, and if we want to realistically address…
Vaccine development needs new incentives (with Tahir Amin)
Jun 16 • 26 min
COVID-19 has exposed the limits of the pharmaceutical market model. This week, patent law expert Tahir Amin joins the show to explain why vaccine development needs new incentives. Tahir Amin is an attorney dedicated to reshaping patent law to better serve…
Re-imagining public safety (with King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay)
Jun 12 • 30 min
Budgets are a reflection of our values, and the money we budget for the police is no exception. Our state and local budgets for what we call “safety” are not getting outcomes that reflect our morals. Seattle-area King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay…
Podcast Blackout
Jun 2 • 9 min
This week, we are participating in #PodcastBlackout to amplify the seriousness of the need for action to address institutional racism and police violence. After a brief note from Nick, this episode will air 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence. Below,…
Why Wall Street gets a bailout and you don’t (with Matt Stoller)
May 26 • 32 min
Why are rich corporations getting more stimulus money from the government, and getting it faster, than small businesses and individuals? Matt Stoller returns to the show to explain how recovery funds are distributed: Money isn’t neutral, and how money…
Why the market fails in a crisis (with Joseph Stiglitz)
May 19 • 41 min
One of the central theories of classical economics is that markets respond quickly and efficiently to changes in demand. But the pandemic clearly demonstrates that the markets aren’t the efficient adapters that classic economists believe them to be. Nobel…
Author Interview: Inside the Secret War on Voting with Thom Hartmann
May 15 • 22 min
Paul is joined this week by radio host Thom Hartmann to introduce Thom’s most recent book, ‘The Hidden History of the War on Voting: Who Stole Your Vote and How to Get It Back’. In this poignant interview, Thom explains the strategies and tactics that…
Inequality and coronavirus (with Heather Boushey and Michelle Holder)
May 12 • 44 min
The burdens of this pandemic are not borne equally. Economists Heather Boushey and Michelle Holder join the show this week to expose how the coronavirus is exacerbating the already-deep inequalities in our society. Heather Boushey is the President & CEO…
Austerity will make this recession worse (with Mike Konczal)
May 5 • 38 min
When revenues and expenses don’t add up in times of crisis, governments often turn to budget cuts and other austerity measures to balance their accounts. But economists widely agree that the most valuable lesson from the Great Recession is that austerity…
Labor regulations in the gaming industry (with Jennifer Hale)
May 1 • 26 min
Prolific voice actor Jennifer Hale joins Paul and Stephen to discuss her work in two very different fields: the video game industry, which largely isn’t unionized, and the animated film industry, which enjoys strong union protections. Jennifer Hale is a…
Leadership failure made the U.S. pandemic worse (with Ronald Klain)
Apr 28 • 37 min
Pathogens are inevitable—but the scale of disaster accompanying this pandemic was not. Ronald Klain, President Obama’s Ebola czar, joins Nick and Goldy to discuss why the extent of economic collapse and deaths we’ve seen from COVID-19 is borne of…
What’s happening in professional sports right now? (A curiosity break with Andrew Brandt)
Apr 21 • 35 min
What does the future of American sports look like? Okay, okay—we know this is out of our wheelhouse. But this week, we’re examining how the global pandemic has affected one very specific corner of the economy: professional sports leagues. Expert Andrew…
What’s changed since the 1918 pandemic? (A history lesson with Nancy Bristow)
Apr 17 • 20 min
How does our response to the coronavirus pandemic compare to our response 100 years ago, when what is commonly known as the “Spanish Flu” swept through America? Historian Nancy Bristow helps Annie understand the lessons American society learned from the…
Understanding the CARES Act (with Heidi Shierholz)
Apr 14 • 39 min
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) is big—but not big enough to protect working people. Economist Heidi Shierholz joins the show to explain where CARES falls short, and to recommend the safeguards we need to include in future…
AMA: COVID-19 and the Economy
Apr 7 • 27 min
How bad will this recession be? Why is Congress bailing out big corporations that had record profits last year? What would happen if stock buybacks were permanently eliminated? This week, Nick and Goldy answer your questions about the economy in the time…
Killing zombie ideas (with Paul Krugman)
Mar 31 • 43 min
In his latest book, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argues that economics has been eaten from within by bad assumptions he calls “zombie ideas.” You’ve encountered these zombies before: the idea that cutting taxes…
Disaster Economics
Mar 24 • 32 min
As the world shelters in place from the coronavirus pandemic, an economic crisis is growing. This week, Nick and Goldy pull the curtain back on why trickle-down has made us extra vulnerable to disasters like COVID-19. Our focus always, but especially now,…
The federal budget is a theory of growth (with Bob Greenstein)
Mar 17 • 32 min
A budget is a moral document that reflects what we value and prioritize. But to most people, the budget-making process is convoluted and confusing. Budget expert Bob Greenstein joins Nick and Jasmin this week to explain how a budget is made, and how these…
Welcome to the golden age of white collar crime (with Michael Hobbes)
Mar 10 • 34 min
Why is right now the easiest time in modern history for the wealthy to get away with whatever they want? HuffPost reporter and fellow Seattleite Michael Hobbes joins Zach in the studio for a deep dive into his most recent article about white collar crime.…
The emerging economic problems of the next decade (with futurist Kevin Kelly)
Mar 3 • 36 min
Pretend every economic problem we’ve ever discussed on this podcast has magically been solved. What’s next? What are the economic problems that we’ll face a decade from now? This week, Nick and Goldy are joined by futurist Kevin Kelly for a conversation…
From generosity to justice (with Darren Walker)
Feb 25 • 36 min
You can’t talk about philanthropy without mentioning Darren Walker. As the president of the Ford Foundation, Walker has been charged with reimagining one of the largest philanthropic endowments in the world. This week he joins Nick and Jessyn in a…
Paul’s Book Review: Democracy in Chains
Feb 21 • 5 min
Democracy in Chains is required reading around the Civic Ventures office, and Paul is happy to explain why it’s earned must-read status. Listen, be convinced, go read! Democracy in Chains: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781101980965 Paul’s twitter:…
Debunking economics (with Steve Keen)
Feb 18 • 36 min
We’re continuing the conversation about reimagining capitalism this week with Professor Steve Keen, one of the biggest names in alternative economics. What would society look like if we stopped believing in long-held economic fictions like meritocracy and…
BONUS: Class warfare in Finland (a history lesson with Tuomas Tepora)
Feb 14 • 21 min
On Tuesday’s episode, Anu Partanen mentioned the Finnish civil war, which divided the country between elite land-owners and the working class. That’s right up our pitchforks alley - so we called an expert, Finnish professor Tuomas Tepora, for a history…
Re-imagining capitalism (with Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson)
Feb 11 • 46 min
Contrary to popular belief, Nordic countries aren’t actually socialist! No, friends, the Nords are capitalists—but they pull it off much better than we do. To help re-imagine American capitalism, writers Anu Partanen and Trevor Corson join us this week…
Voicemails with Goldy
Feb 7 • 13 min
Goldy’s in the studio today answering your questions! Up for debate this time: What’s the line between needing to budget more and just not making enough money? Will raising the minimum wage hurt small, rural businesses? And how is public opinion about the…
The hidden costs of banking while poor (with Mehrsa Baradaran and Cate Blackford)
Feb 4 • 57 min
The average family earning $25,000 a year in the U.S. spends about $2,400 on financial transactions. Whether it’s the astronomical interest rates of a payday loan or the costs that come with being unbanked, the extractive practices of the financial…
How neoliberalism captured Democrats (with James Kwak)
Jan 28 • 47 min
Democrats used to be known as the party of the working people—so how did they get so off track? Who took over the party, and why? Author and professor James Kwak joins Nick and Paul in a blistering analysis of the decline of the Democratic Party, and…
Paul’s Book Review: Neighborhood Defenders
Jan 24 • 4 min
You’re probably aware of the term ‘NIMBY’, which refers to the folks who show up at their neighborhood meetings to fight development. The ‘Not In My Backyard’ argument is pervasive in urban and rural areas alike, and it’s notorious for impeding…
Corporate parasites: how taxpayers subsidize profits (with Rana Foroohar and David Dayen)
Jan 21 • 57 min
Every company you can think of has benefitted from a public investment. Whether it’s direct handouts through the tax code, government research efforts, or employee reliance on programs like EITC or TANF, taxpayers are subsidizing wildly profitable…
Ask Nick Anything (Part 2)
Jan 14 • 25 min
Up this week in listener questions: How much should you tip when you’re using a company credit card? What’s the difference between democratic socialism and the ideas we talk about? Who holds our national debt, and what does that even mean? And more!…
Naomi Klein - Unedited Interview
Jan 10 • 35 min
This fall, Naomi Klein joined the show to warn that economic orthodoxy may be the downfall of significant efforts against climate change like the Green New Deal and other big, sweeping reforms we need to combat it. Enjoy our full, unedited conversation…
How big pharma keeps drug prices high (with Priti Krishtel and John Arnold)
Jan 7 • 51 min
The American pharmaceutical industry is rigged to make a handful people fabulously wealthy while everyone else gets screwed over. Because of intricate patent laws, we pay double what people in 29 other rich countries pay. Experts and change-makers Priti…
Ask Nick Anything (Part 1)
Dec 31, 2019 • 28 min
Nick and Goldy are back to answer more of your voicemails! They’re tackling questions about housing, what our economic theory is actually called, portable benefits for gig economy workers, and more. Enjoy, and happy new year! Resources:…
Paul’s Book Review: Weapons of Math Destruction
Dec 27, 2019 • 3 min
Our resident book nerd Paul Constant is back with another book recommendation. This week, it’s ‘Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.” Check it out for a greater understanding of how our biases shape the…
What’s the trick in trickle-down? (with Yuval Noah Harari and Molly Crockett)
Dec 24, 2019 • 47 min
What is the “trick” in “trickle down” economics? It’s how wealthy elites and their neoliberal lackeys convince you that what’s good for them (tax cuts, deregulation, etc.) is good for you… and that policies like the minimum wage, overtime, and paid sick…
The pitchforks are here (with Cesar Hidalgo)
Dec 17, 2019 • 32 min
In nations around the world, people are protesting economic inequality and taking to the streets in political frustration. We said it here first: The pitchforks are coming. This week, Cesar Hidalgo joins Nick and Paul to discuss the unrest in Chile and…
Does media have an economics problem? (with Charles Mudede)
Dec 13, 2019 • 35 min
Earlier this week, we examined whether journalists live up to their responsibility to discuss economic issues fairly and intelligently. Here, we continue that conversation with Charles Mudede, a local economics reporter here in Seattle. Charles joins Paul…
Does economics have a media problem? (with Matt Gertz)
Dec 10, 2019 • 36 min
Most people understand the economy through the news—how it’s doing, what the new laws are, and what experts predict for the future. For better or for worse, that means journalists largely dictate our common knowledge of economics issues. What’s the…
How monopolies feed plutocracy (with Matt Stoller)
Dec 3, 2019 • 31 min
In his new book ‘Goliath’, author Matt Stoller explains how the 2016 election heralded the return of authoritarianism and populism to American politics, due largely to concentrated financial power and rampant consumerism. This week, Matt joins Nick and…
BONUS: George Monbiot - Unedited Conversation
Nov 29, 2019 • 49 min
George Monbiot joined us on our ‘How neoliberalism happened’ episode last month. Enjoy our full, unedited conversation with him! George Monbiot writes a weekly column for The Guardian and is the author of a number of books, most recently ‘Out of the…
How to make the rich pay their taxes (with Gabriel Zucman)
Nov 26, 2019 • 44 min
Tax rates on the wealthy have steadily eroded in the United States over the last forty years, leaving us with an upside-down tax code that benefits the rich. And it’s surprisingly easy for powerful people to evade the taxes that they do owe, which…
Economic woman (with Katrine Marçal, Lisa D. Cook, and Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman)
Nov 19, 2019 • 53 min
We’ve heard all about economic man, but what happened to economic woman? Women are noticeably absent in theoretical economic models and—perhaps not so coincidentally—they’re also massively underrepresented in the field of economics itself. This week,…
Listener voicemails! (with Nick and Goldy)
Nov 15, 2019 • 14 min
It’s three answers to three voicemails! Nick and Goldy field questions about self-interest in Congress, CEO accountability to shareholders, and if inflation is inevitable when you raise the minimum wage.
Is economic orthodoxy evolving? (with Luigi Zingales)
Nov 12, 2019 • 57 min
‘Chicago School’ is a descriptor often used to signify conventional economic thinking. This week, our friend Luigi Zingales, a finance professor at the Chicago Booth School of Business, joins Nick and Goldy to find out where they agree—and where they…
Can we hold big corporations to higher standards? (with Mayor Dave Bieter and E.J. Dionne)
Nov 5, 2019 • 48 min
Nick pitches a big idea to the mayor of Boise and political commentator E. J. Dionne: a suite of progressive labor standards that would hold large employers to higher standards nationwide. Is this the way to bring progressive, inclusive economic growth to…
HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: Trickle-Down or Treat
Oct 31, 2019 • 15 min
We asked our guests and listeners: what’s the spookiest, sneakiest, and scariest trickle-down trick? Find out what’s making Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Professor Stephanie Kelton, author Matt Stoller, and more good witches and wizards quake in their…
Tax me more, I’m rich (with Abigail Disney and Chye-Ching Huang)
Oct 29, 2019 • 54 min
Trickle-down economics would have you believe that the rich are job creators—the more money they have to invest in creating jobs, the better the economy is for everybody. This lie has had catastrophic effects: the top 0.1% of Americans now own more wealth…
Will bad economics kill the Green New Deal? (with Naomi Klein and J.W. Mason)
Oct 22, 2019 • 59 min
The only thing holding us back from big, bold, progressive change is ourselves. When critics wonder if we can afford to pay for the Green New Deal, they couch their concerns in the language of neoliberal economics: they say that investing in the middle…
Paul’s Book Review: Kochland
Oct 18, 2019 • 4 min
Be still, our hearts—it’s another book review, straight from the glittering literary mind of Paul Constant. This week, Paul recommends the New York Times Bestseller ‘Kochland’ by Christopher Leonard, a deeply reported investigation of Koch Industries’…
The trade-offs of global trade (with Dean Baker and Port Commissioner Ryan Calkins)
Oct 15, 2019 • 41 min
In the 1990s and early 2000s, free trade was considered an unalloyed good. But now, policymakers and economists agree that global trade creates winners and losers—and they acknowledge that we’ve never really tried to fairly compensate the losers.…
How neoliberalism happened (with George Monbiot and Binyamin Appelbaum)
Oct 8, 2019 • 59 min
It’s trendy to mock the malicious pervasiveness of neoliberalism now, but have you ever wondered what its origins are? This week, George Monbiot and Binyamin Appelbaum join the show to uncover just where the dominant economic theory of our time came from…
BONUS: Rewriting the rules for an inclusive economy (with Darrick Hamilton)
Oct 4, 2019 • 15 min
As we reimagine the rules of our political and economic institutions, it is essential that racial justice be centered in the conversation. Darrick Hamilton explains how neoliberalism exploits existing structures of racism and power in America, and shares…
Why philanthropy can’t undo this mess (with Anand Giridharadas)
Oct 1, 2019 • 54 min
Few books have shaken the philanthropy world more than ‘Winners Take All’, Anand Giridharadas’s blistering critique of wealthy do-gooders. Global elites who ostentatiously give away hundreds of millions of dollars, he argues, are actually just preserving…
BONUS: Saru Jayaraman - Unedited Conversation
Sep 27, 2019 • 28 min
Food labor expert Saru Jayaraman joined us earlier this month to expose the lie of marginal productivity, and to reveal how it’s used to take advantage of workers. For the sake of time, we cut a fascinating tangent on the minimum wage and the restaurant…
Author Interview: Chris Arnade
Sep 24, 2019 • 31 min
In an effort to rethink the conversation around poverty, author Chris Arnade’s new book, ‘Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America’, pushes aside decades of academic detachment, instead encouraging those who have been left out of prosperity to…
Paul’s Book Review #2: Janesville, An American Story
Sep 20, 2019 • 4 min
Everyone’s favorite human library, Paul Constant, is back with a review of ‘Janesville, An American Story’ by Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Amy Goldstein. Pair with a Wisconsin-brewed beer. Buy Janesville on IndieBound:…
Behind the scenes of Nick’s new TED Talk: The dirty secret of capitalism—and a new way forward
Sep 17, 2019 • 33 min
In July, Nick took the stage at TEDSummit in Edinburgh, Scotland to make the case for a new economics that recognizes people, not capital, as the driver of economic growth. The talk, released by TED last week, explains why unchecked greed will inevitably…
Does the market really pay you what you’re worth? (with Marshall Steinbaum and Saru Jayaraman)
Sep 10, 2019 • 50 min
The theory of marginal product of labor says that every worker is paid exactly what they’re worth—the value that their labor generates. Employers cite marginal productivity to legitimize paying the lowest wages possible, but it’s just another trickle-down…
BONUS: Voicemails with Nick and Goldy
Sep 6, 2019 • 12 min
It’s that time again—Nick and Goldy are answering your messages. This week, Dale from Washington D.C. wonders if rent control is a symptom of low wages or a safeguard from hardship, and Warren calls in all the way from Toronto to ask how capitalism can…
How to spot a bogus minimum wage study (with Ben Zipperer)
Sep 3, 2019 • 46 min
Not all minimum-wage studies are equal. Some of the most headline-grabbing negative reports on the effects of the minimum wage were commissioned and promoted by right-wing organizations looking to legitimize trickle-down policies that hurt workers. How…
Does the future of work include a Federal Jobs Guarantee? (with Pavlina Tcherneva and Representative Ro Khanna)
Aug 27, 2019 • 46 min
Under a Federal Jobs Guarantee, rather than distributing unemployment checks, the government would give a living-wage job to everyone that needs one. It’s a concept that’s been gaining popularity recently, and it’s often pitted against universal basic…
Paul’s Book Review: Listen, Liberal
Aug 23, 2019 • 4 min
We love books here at Civic Ventures, and writer, book reviewer, and former bookseller Paul Constant is the first person on the team that we go to for recommendations. Today, we’re excited to share his thoughts about ‘Listen, Liberal’ by Thomas Frank in…
A skeptic’s guide to Universal Basic Income (with Scott Santens and Sukhi Samra)
Aug 20, 2019 • 49 min
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…
Shared security, shared growth: a social contract for the 21st century (with Senator Mark Warner and Abby Solomon)
Aug 13, 2019 • 49 min
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…
Educationism (with Diane Ravitch)
Aug 6, 2019 • 46 min
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…
The robots are coming… what now? (with Heidi Shierholz and Daron Acemoglu)
Jul 30, 2019 • 62 min
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…
BONUS: What to listen for in the second round of presidential debates
Jul 26, 2019 • 8 min
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…
Health Care Part 2: One nation, with liberty and health care for all (with Sanders for President Campaign Co-Chair Nina Turner)
Jul 23, 2019 • 35 min
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’…
BONUS: Don’t Pass Go—without learning more about monopolies (with Barry Lynn)
Jul 19, 2019 • 21 min
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…
Health Care Part 1: Everyone does it better than us (with T. R. Reid)
Jul 16, 2019 • 45 min
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.…
The decline of worker power (with David Rolf and Larry Mishel)
Jul 9, 2019 • 55 min
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…
Our full conversation with Governor Jay Inslee
Jul 2, 2019 • 33 min
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…
A roadmap to utopia (with Rutger Bregman)
Jun 25, 2019 • 48 min
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…
Picking up where Darwin left off (LIVE with David Sloan Wilson)
Jun 18, 2019 • 41 min
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…
Update: Whatever happened to overtime? (with Sharon Block and Chris Lu)
Jun 11, 2019 • 46 min
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…
BONUS: Strategies for building a robust and equitable recovery from the next recession (with Connie Razza)
Jun 7, 2019 • 22 min
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…
Ask Nick Anything - Part 2 (with Trae Crowder)
Jun 4, 2019 • 33 min
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…
BONUS: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal - Unedited Conversation
May 28, 2019 • 26 min
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…
Ask Nick Anything - Part 1 (with Trae Crowder)
May 21, 2019 • 40 min
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…
BONUS: Why do we fight fires like it’s still 1969? (with Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz)
May 17, 2019 • 21 min
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…
Can rural America be saved?
May 14, 2019 • 55 min
It’s not just economic inequality, the gap between rich and poor people, that’s growing wider in America. Spatial inequality, the gap between rich and poor places, is growing too. The most obvious example of spatial inequality is the decline of rural…
Homo economicus must die (with Samuel Bowles)
May 7, 2019 • 31 min
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…
BONUS: Tax the Rich! (with Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint)
May 3, 2019 • 19 min
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.…
What are the economics of climate change? (with Governor Jay Inslee and Fadhel Kaboub)
Apr 30, 2019 • 48 min
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…
What is Modern Monetary Theory? (with Stephanie Kelton)
Apr 23, 2019 • 45 min
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…
Should Democrats appeal to the center by moving hard left? (with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal)
Apr 16, 2019 • 33 min
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…
BONUS: Senator Cory Booker - Unedited Conversation
Apr 12, 2019 • 37 min
We spoke to Senator Cory Booker about stock buybacks and his Workers Dividend Act in February. We hope you enjoy the full, unedited conversation! Cory Booker is the U.S. Senator from New Jersey and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Twitter:…
Why does the U.S. hate families? (with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Katie Hamm)
Apr 9, 2019 • 54 min
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…
Is economics moral? (with Heather McGhee)
Apr 2, 2019 • 35 min
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…
BONUS: Why the Green New Deal is good economics
Mar 29, 2019 • 10 min
You’ve definitely heard of the Green New Deal by now, right? Zach and Annie talk it up in this bonus episode and explain why the economic bill of rights component is so important.
What’s preventing pay equity? (with Julie Nelson and Claire Cain Miller)
Mar 26, 2019 • 51 min
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…
BONUS: Alan Krueger - Unedited Conversation
Mar 22, 2019 • 20 min
We at Pitchfork Economics were saddened to learn of the passing of the brilliant economist Alan Krueger last weekend. We were fortunate to speak with him last year - here’s the full conversation.
Why is getting out of poverty so hard? (with Felicia Wong)
Mar 19, 2019 • 40 min
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…
Whatever happened to overtime? (with Sharon Block and Chris Lu)
Mar 12, 2019 • 46 min
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…
BONUS: Econ terms and definitions explained by Nick and Goldy
Mar 8, 2019 • 14 min
Ever been in the middle of a Pitchfork Economics pod ep and thought, “WTF are they talking about?” If so, this might help - we define some complex terms that get thrown around a lot (neoclassical, neoliberal, heterodoxy, monopoly, monopsony, and stock…
What can a board game teach us about capitalism? (with Jared Bernstein and Jonathan Tepper)
Mar 5, 2019 • 45 min
Monopoly and its equally evil twin monopsony are destroying competition, depressing wages, and slowing economic growth. Is market concentration an inevitable outcome of capitalism, or is there a smarter solution? Jared Bernstein: Senior Fellow at the…
Senator Cory Booker explains: what the hell is a stock buyback?
Feb 26, 2019 • 32 min
Senator Cory Booker explains the problem with stock buybacks, walks us through his Workers Dividend Act, and offers Goldy some much-needed counseling. Cory Booker is the U.S. Senator from New Jersey and a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Twitter:…
What is the purpose of a corporation? (with William Lazonick and Lenore Palladino)
Feb 19, 2019 • 46 min
Nick, Goldy, and their guests William Lazonick and Lenore Palladino explain why “shareholder value maximization” is the world’s dumbest idea. William Lazonick: Professor of economics at University of Massachusetts Lowell, visiting Professor at University…
BONUS: Yuval Harari - Unedited Conversation
Feb 15, 2019 • 40 min
When we talked with historian Yuval Harari, the best-selling author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, the conversation was so wide-ranging and so smart that we just couldn’t bear to leave any of it behind on the cutting room…
Do higher wages kill jobs? (with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Alan Krueger)
Feb 12, 2019 • 49 min
Trickle-downers always argue that raising the minimum wage inevitably kills jobs. But the empirical evidence from Seattle, Los Angeles, and elsewhere prove otherwise. Experts, including Mayor Garcetti of LA, discuss how our economic understanding has…
Do regulations kill growth? (with Robert Reich)
Feb 5, 2019 • 39 min
Deregulation for the powerful is a central tenet of the trickle-down myth, embraced by Democrats and Republican alike. Government regulations, we’re told, are costly and inefficient intrusions that slow grow and kill jobs. But Robert Reich explains that…
BONUS: Why Howard Schultz would make a terrible president
Jan 31, 2019 • 5 min
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he’s seriously considering running for President. Nick Hanauer, who knows Schultz, says that businesspeople often make terrible politicians.
Do tax cuts for rich people create growth? (with Bruce Bartlett)
Jan 29, 2019 • 36 min
Since forever, Republicans have insisted that cutting taxes on wealthy corporations and individuals would grow the economy, create jobs, and lift wages. But it never does. As an early architect of what became “Reaganomics,” Bruce Bartlett was there at the…
Is the American Dream a lie? (with Christian Cooper and Khiara Bridges)
Jan 21, 2019 • 42 min
Is the American Dream dead? Is economic mobility a myth? The foundational promise of America is that anyone, if they work hard and play by the rules, can enjoy a secure, middle-class life. Christian Cooper and Khiara Bridges join us to discuss the…
BONUS: Marching orders for new legislators
Jan 18, 2019 • 14 min
As newly elected Democrats across the country enter their respective capitol buildings for the first time, Civic Ventures president Zach Silk and former Washington State legislator (and Civic Ventures senior VP) Jessyn Farrell offer advice for what they…
Where does economic growth really come from? (with W. Brian Arthur and Cesar Hidalgo)
Jan 15, 2019 • 46 min
Is economic growth all about money, trade, and GDP, or are healthy economies built on a different foundation? In this episode, economist W. Brian Arthur and MIT physicist Cesar Hidalgo explain why human knowledge, knowhow, and innovation are the best…
How should we measure the economy? (with Diane Coyle)
Jan 7, 2019 • 35 min
Pop quiz: What does “GDP” stand for? And now, quickly: what the hell does “gross domestic product” even mean? It turns out, the way we measure the economy changes the way we manage the economy, so if we want to broadly improve the lives of all Americans…
Whatever happened to the middle class? (with Heather Boushey and Matthew Stewart)
Dec 31, 2018 • 41 min
The American middle class is shrinking and, contrary to popular belief, globalization and automation are not to blame. Far from inevitable, skyrocketing inequality is a choice. In this episode, we look at the policy choices that have relentlessly…
BONUS: Where’s your $4,000 raise?
Dec 28, 2018 • 14 min
Civic Ventures president Zach Silk joins us for a quick explainer on how Republicans sold their trickle-down tax cuts as a great deal for the middle class—and how angry suburban voters punished them for their lies. Further reading:…
What is the trick in trickle down? (with Yuval Harari and Molly Crockett)
Dec 25, 2018 • 46 min
What is the “trick” in “trickle down” economics? It’s how wealthy elites and their neoliberal lackeys convince you that what’s good for them (tax cuts, deregulation, etc.) is good for you… and that policies like the minimum wage, overtime, and paid sick…
Is Econ 101 a lie? (with Eric Beinhocker and James Kwak)
Dec 17, 2018 • 39 min
What is “Econ 101,” and why do economists always get things wrong? In this episode we dismantle orthodox economics, exploring where it comes from, why it’s wrong, and how “It’s Econ 101!” became a cynical rallying cry in defense of the status quo. Guests…
Why do we call it pitchfork economics? (with Ganesh Sitaraman and Walter Scheidel)
Dec 11, 2018 • 32 min
In 2014, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer warned his fellow plutocrats that our growing crisis of economic inequality would lead to an uprising or a dictatorship. Two years later, angry voters elected Donald Trump. In this inaugural episode of Pitchfork…
Pitchfork Economics Teaser
Dec 4, 2018 • 2 min
Any society that allows itself to become radically unequal eventually collapses into an uprising or a police state—or both. Join venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and some of the world’s leading economic and political thinkers in an exploration of who gets…