Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer

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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 ...Show More
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Senator Cory Booker explains: what the hell is a stock buyback?

34:08 | Feb 26th

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. Twitt...Show More
The decline of worker power (with David Rolf and Larry Mishel)

56:52 | Jul 9th

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 r...Show More
Our full conversation with Governor Jay Inslee

34:25 | Jul 2nd

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 s...Show More
A roadmap to utopia (with Rutger Bregman)

49:56 | Jun 25th

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 i...Show More
Picking up where Darwin left off (LIVE with David Sloan Wilson)

43:08 | Jun 18th

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 actua...Show More
Update: Whatever happened to overtime? (with Sharon Block and Chris Lu)

48:41 | Jun 11th

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

23:39 | Jun 7th

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...Show More
Ask Nick Anything - Part 2 (with Trae Crowder)

35:12 | Jun 4th

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-liste...Show More
BONUS: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal - Unedited Conversation

27:07 | May 28th

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 Ja...Show More
Ask Nick Anything - Part 1 (with Trae Crowder)

42:44 | May 21st

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

22:47 | May 17th

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 te...Show More
Can rural America be saved?

57:11 | May 14th

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...Show More
Homo economicus must die (with Samuel Bowles)

33:32 | May 7th

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 e...Show More
BONUS: Tax the Rich! (with Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint)

20:16 | May 3rd

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

50:17 | Apr 30th

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 pitchfork...Show More
What is Modern Monetary Theory? (with Stephanie Kelton)

46:52 | Apr 23rd

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

35:44 | Apr 16th

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 in...Show More
BONUS: Senator Cory Booker - Unedited Conversation

37:07 | Apr 13th

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: @C...Show More
BONUS: Senator Cory Booker - Unedited Conversation

54:46 | Apr 12th

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: @C...Show More
Why does the U.S. hate families? (with Anne-Marie Slaughter and Katie Hamm)

55:46 | Apr 9th

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 w...Show More
Is economics moral? (with Heather McGhee)

37:11 | Apr 2nd

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 ou...Show More
BONUS: Why the Green New Deal is good economics

10:02 | Mar 29th

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)

53:14 | Mar 26th

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...Show More
BONUS: Alan Krueger - Unedited Conversation

20:31 | Mar 22nd

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)

42:03 | Mar 19th

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 ev...Show More
Whatever happened to overtime? (with Sharon Block and Chris Lu)

48:21 | Mar 12th

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 o...Show More
BONUS: Econ terms and definitions explained by Nick and Goldy

14:48 | Mar 8th

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 stoc...Show More
What can a board game teach us about capitalism? (with Jared Bernstein and Jonathan Tepper)

47:42 | Mar 5th

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 ...Show More
What is the purpose of a corporation? (with William Lazonick and Lenore Palladino)

48:43 | Feb 19th

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 Univer...Show More
BONUS: Yuval Harari - Unedited Conversation

40:13 | Feb 15th

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...Show More
Do higher wages kill jobs? (with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Alan Krueger)

51:11 | Feb 12th

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...Show More
Do regulations kill growth? (with Robert Reich)

40:50 | Feb 5th

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 t...Show More
BONUS: Why Howard Schultz would make a terrible president

05:31 | Jan 31st

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)

38:42 | Jan 29th

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 a...Show More
Is the American Dream a lie? (with Christian Cooper and Khiara Bridges)

43:53 | Jan 21st

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 pr...Show More
BONUS: Marching orders for new legislators

14:38 | Jan 18th

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 t...Show More
Where does economic growth really come from? (with W. Brian Arthur and Cesar Hidalgo)

48:21 | Jan 15th

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...Show More
How should we measure the economy? (with Diane Coyle)

37:15 | Jan 7th

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 Americ...Show More
Whatever happened to the middle class? (with Heather Boushey and Matthew Stewart)

42:46 | Dec 31st, 2018

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 und...Show More
BONUS: Where's your $4,000 raise?

14:39 | Dec 28th, 2018

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:https://www.usatoday...Show More
What is the trick in trickle down? (with Yuval Harari and Molly Crockett)

48:43 | Dec 25th, 2018

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 s...Show More
Is Econ 101 a lie? (with Eric Beinhocker and James Kwak)

41:14 | Dec 17th, 2018

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. Gu...Show More
Why do we call it pitchfork economics? (with Ganesh Sitaraman and Walter Scheidel)

34:36 | Dec 11th, 2018

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 Pitchfo...Show More
Pitchfork Economics Teaser

02:25 | Dec 4th, 2018

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 ...Show More