Pitchfork Economics with Nick Hanauer

Civic Ventures

We are living through a paradigm shift from trickle-down neoliberalism to middle-out economics — a new understanding of who gets what and why. Join zillionaire class-traitor Nick Hanauer and some of the world’s leading economic and political thinkers as they explore the latest thinking on how the economy actually works. read less
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Episodes

Why Flying Is Miserable And How to Fix It (with Ganesh Sitaraman)
5d ago
Why Flying Is Miserable And How to Fix It (with Ganesh Sitaraman)
Ganesh Sitaraman joins us today to discuss his new book, Why Flying Is Miserable And How to Fix It. Air travel has become an increasingly frustrating experience, with countless horror stories of cancellations, delays, lost baggage, cramped seats, and poor service. For most of the 20th century flying was luxurious and fun, so it’s especially baffling that air travel is plagued by these problems in the 21st century. Sitaraman delves into the reasons behind this dismal state of affairs, tracing it back to a deliberate choice made by elected leaders in the 1970s to roll back regulations, supposedly in order to increase competition and improve the experience of flying for everyone. After enduring half a century of turbulence caused by deregulation, people are fed up with the state of air travel, and Sitaraman gives us some insight into how we can begin to fix it. Ganesh Sitaraman is a law professor and the director of the Vanderbilt Policy Accelerator for Political Economy and Regulation. He was previously a senior advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren on her presidential campaign and is a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States and the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee. Sitaraman is the author of several influential books, including "The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution," "The Public Option: How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and Promote Equality," and his most recent book, “Why Flying Is Miserable And How to Fix It.” Twitter: @GaneshSitaraman Why Flying Is Miserable And How to Fix It https://bookshop.org/a/101360/9798987053584  Book Website https://globalreports.columbia.edu/books/why-flying-is-miserable/ More from Ganesh Sitaraman:  The Atlantic - Airlines Are Just Banks Now https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/09/airlines-banks-mileage-programs/675374/ The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution https://bookshop.org/a/101360/9781101973455 Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
The Future of Bidenomics (with Jared Bernstein)
13-02-2024
The Future of Bidenomics (with Jared Bernstein)
President Biden’s economic policies mark a paradigm shift away from the trickle-down economics that have held sway over Washington DC for the past 40 years. Bidenomics recognizes that a strong and inclusive economy grows from the middle class outwards, centering working Americans and their families rather than relying on a top-down approach that benefits the wealthy first and foremost. In this episode, President Biden’s chief economic advisor, Jared Bernstein, joins us to unpack the key ideas behind this middleout understanding of how the economy really works, and to explain how Bidenomics is reshaping the economy to truly work for all Americans—not just a wealthy few at the top. After helping to engineer a best-in-the-world economic recovery from the pandemic, Bernstein explains what's next for Bidenomics and the American economy. Jared Bernstein is a prominent economist and author who is widely recognized  for his expertise in labor economics and income inequality. As the chair of the United States Council of Economic Advisers, he serves as President Biden’s top economic adviser. From 2009 to 2011. From 2009 to 2011, he served as Chief Economist and Economic Advisor to then-Vice President Biden. Bernstein is a prolific writer and commentator whose work emphasizes the importance of addressing income inequality and promoting policies that benefit working families and the broader economy. Twitter: @econjared46 Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Making a case for the inheritance tax (with David Stasavage)
06-02-2024
Making a case for the inheritance tax (with David Stasavage)
Over the next two decades, $30 trillion of wealth is expected to be transferred from Baby Boomers to their heirs. Journalists and financial experts have been referring to this event as the “Great Wealth Transfer,” and it's important that we understand the policies that make such a monumental transferral of generational wealth possible—not to mention the tremendous economic and societal implications of this unprecedented economic activity. In this episode, we have the privilege of speaking with David Stasavage, a renowned expert in taxation, inequality, and political economy, to help us unpack the origins and rationale behind the creation of the inheritance tax, and to explore the policies we can use to lessen economic inequality and put some of the Great Wealth Transfer to work for all Americans—not just the children of the wealthy few. David Stasavage is a prominent political scientist known for his expertise in taxation, inequality, and political economy. He is currently the Julius Silver Professor of Politics at New York University and a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He has conducted extensive research on taxation, particularly on the taxation of the wealthy and the role of inheritance taxes in addressing income inequality. His collaboration with Kenneth Scheve on inheritance taxes has shed light on public opinion and the potential effectiveness of these taxes in promoting economic fairness. He’s also the author of several books, including "States of Credit: Size, Power, and the Development of European Polities,” "Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe,” and “The Decline and Rise of Democracy.” Twitter: @stasavage Democracy, War, and Wealth: Lessons from Two Centuries of Inheritance Taxation https://kfscheve.files.wordpress.com/2020/09/schevestasavage_twocenturies_apsr_2012.pdf  States of Credit: Size, Power, and the Development of European Polities https://bookshop.org/book/9780691166735  Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe https://bookshop.org/book/9780691165455  The Decline and Rise of Democracy https://bookshop.org/book/9780691228976  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
How a New Economics Went Mainstream (with Suzanne Kahn)
30-01-2024
How a New Economics Went Mainstream (with Suzanne Kahn)
Over the past few decades, economists have gathered a lot of empirical evidence supporting the underlying truth of middle-out economics: that a thriving middle class is the cause of economic growth. Our friends at the Roosevelt Institute have produced a new report which outlines the events that led to our new understanding of how the economy really works. Suzanne Kahn, Vice President of the Think Tank at the Roosevelt Institute, joins us to talk about what's in the report and share how the progressive economic policies of the Biden Administration could mark a lasting shift away from neoliberal, trickle-down economics and toward a new era of middle-out economics. Suzanne Kahn serves as the Vice President of the Think Tank at the Roosevelt Institute, where she oversees and manages projects to develop critical research and policy to rebalance power in our society and economy. Previously, Suzanne was Roosevelt’s director of education, jobs, and worker power and the Great Democracy Initiative. Her research and writing focus on building a network of robust public goods—for example public higher education—and labor organizations that together can empower workers to counter corporate power in the labor market and public sphere. Suzanne Kahn @SuzMKahn Roosevelt Institute @rooseveltinst Think Tank at the Roosevelt Institute @RooseveltFwd   Sea Change: How a New Economics Went Mainstream https://rooseveltinstitute.org/publications/sea-change  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Revisiting the Child Tax Credit (with Wendy Bach)
23-01-2024
Revisiting the Child Tax Credit (with Wendy Bach)
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has agreed to expand the Child Tax Credit again, but it will be smaller than the pandemic-era credit was. If this version of the Child Tax Credit is passed by Congress and signed into law, it would benefit 16 million children in low-income families and lift at least half a million kids out of poverty. We thought it would be a good time to revisit this episode from 2021 with professor Wendy Bach, in which she explains everything you need to know about what the Child Tax Credit actually is, why it's a good policy, and how it impacts people's lives.  This episode originally aired on August 24, 2021. Wendy Bach is a legal scholar and professor specializing in poverty law, criminal justice, and social welfare policy. She is currently a professor of law at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Bach's work focuses on the intersection of poverty, race, and the criminal justice system, with a particular emphasis on the rights and experiences of low-income individuals. She is the author of the book Prosecuting Poverty, Criminalizing Care. She is a nationally recognized expert on poverty law and criminal justice issues. Twitter: @wendyabach Congress is close to expanding the child tax credit again − with a smaller boost for families this time https://theconversation.com/congress-is-close-to-expanding-the-child-tax-credit-again-with-a-smaller-boost-for-families-this-time-221382# What’s in the New Child Tax Credit Proposal https://newrepublic.com/article/178131/bipartisan-expanded-child-tax-credit Prosecuting Poverty, Criminalizing Care https://bookshop.org/p/books/prosecuting-poverty-criminalizing-care-wendy-a-bach/18739149?ean=9781108465533 Biden’s child tax credit is a step away from a discriminatory system https://qz.com/2034199/how-does-the-us-child-tax-credit-work Two-thirds of people now receive monthly benefit checks https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/2021/07/19/two-thirds-of-people-now-receive-monthly-benefit-checks The time tax https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/07/how-government-learned-waste-your-time-tax/619568 Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Medicare Drug Price Negotiations with (Margarida Jorge)
16-01-2024
Medicare Drug Price Negotiations with (Margarida Jorge)
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most opaque industries in America, and they take advantage of this lack of transparency by setting ever-higher prices for lifesaving prescription drugs like insulin. But provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act are curtailing the exorbitant price-gouging strategies that the pharmaceutical industry uses to pump up their profit margins at the expense of seniors and people with disabilities who use Medicare. This week, we’re talking to Margarida Jorge, the Executive Director of Health Care for America Now, to help us understand more about drug pricing and the impact that drug price negotiations will have on Medicare and its recipients.  We apologize for the background noise you hear during this episode. We strive to provide you with the best possible audio quality, but sometimes external factors (like construction nearby) are beyond our control. Margarida Jorge is the Executive Director of Health Care for America Now. She has been a prominent advocate for affordable and accessible healthcare for three decades, and she was the chief architect of the 47-state field program that helped win the Affordable Care Act under President Obama. Margarida has played a key role in shaping healthcare policy and has been instrumental in shaping policy discussions, advocating for reforms that prioritize the needs of patients over the profits of pharmaceutical companies, lowering drug prices, and ensuring access to life-saving medications for all.  Twitter: @MargaridaJorg17 Health Care for America Now: https://www.healthcareforamericanow.org Lower Drug Prices Now: https://www.lowerdrugpricesnow.org Explaining the Prescription Drug Provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act: https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/explaining-the-prescription-drug-provisions-in-the-inflation-reduction-act/#bullet01 Big Drug Companies Are in Court to Stop Medicare Negotiation and Protect Their Sky-High Profits: https://www.protectourcare.org/big-drug-companies-are-in-court-to-stop-medicare-negotiation-and-protect-their-sky-high-profits How Prices for the First 10 Drugs Up for U.S. Medicare Price Negotiations Compare Internationally: https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/2024/jan/how-prices-first-10-drugs-medicare-negotiations-compare-internationally Drug Companies Continue To Hike Prices Above Inflation: https://www.americanprogress.org/article/drug-companies-continue-to-hike-prices-above-inflation  U.S. Prescription Drug Prices Are 2.56 Times Those in Other Countries: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2956.html  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
How the UAW strike benefits all workers (with Kate Bahn)
19-12-2023
How the UAW strike benefits all workers (with Kate Bahn)
Business reporting on labor unions tends to focus on speculation about how much striking workers might hurt the economy. But the reality is that successful strikes have a long-term positive impact on economic growth because they raise wages for all workers. Economist and researcher Kate Bahn, Director of Research from WorkRise argues that strikes, especially historic strikes such as the recent UAW strike, benefit both unionized and non-union workers, and have much broader ripple effects across the whole economy because they increase worker power and competition for workers across various sectors and industries.  Kate Bahn is an economist and researcher, currently serving as the Director of Research for WorkRise, a research-to-action network hosted by the Urban Institute. Bahn's expertise lies in labor markets, gender economics, and income inequality. She has conducted extensive research on topics such as the gender wage gap, paid family leave, and the impact of automation on employment. Bahn's work combines rigorous analysis with a commitment to addressing the needs and challenges faced by marginalized communities. Twitter: @LipstickEcon How the UAW strike might benefit all workers: https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/15/opinions/union-member-negotiations-uaw-pay-bahn/index.html  Labor unions are good for workers, and here’s why they also make good business sense: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/labor-unions-are-good-for-workers-and-heres-why-they-also-make-good-business-sense-a39f3697  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Revisiting the history of Middle-Out Economics (with Michael Tomasky)
05-12-2023
Revisiting the history of Middle-Out Economics (with Michael Tomasky)
We’ve lived in the shadow of trickle-down economics for over 40 years. During that time, our leaders unquestioningly embraced economic policies that prioritize the wealthiest and most powerful, with the idea that their wealth will eventually “trickle down” to everyone else.Of course, that wealth never has trickled down. Thankfully, our economic understanding has finally started to shift. This has been a landmark year in passing middle-out economic policies that prioritize the vast majority of working Americans over the wealthy few. In a future episode we’ll be discussing the middle-out research and policies that are making a real difference in people's lives, thereby changing the way we think about economic cause and effect. But before we look ahead to the glorious middle-out future, it’s important to revisit the history of middle-out economics via a conversation with journalist Michael Tomasky, author of a recent book detailing the rise of progressive economics in the United States. This episode originally aired on October 18, 2022 Michael Tomasky is a journalist and author. He’s top editor of The New Republic. He’s editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, as well as a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. Twitter: @mtomasky The Middle Out https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/671443/the-middle-out-by-michael-tomasky  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Working Toward a Full Employment Economy (with Arnab Datta)
28-11-2023
Working Toward a Full Employment Economy (with Arnab Datta)
In its quest to combat inflation the Federal Reserve has seemingly done everything in its power to engineer a recession, which would throw millions of people out of work. Rather than question the Fed’s actions, mainstream economists cheered them on, claiming that we need multiple months of high unemployment to bring inflation down. But do we really need to immiserate America’s working class in order to save the economy? Today’s guest, Arnab Datta, and his colleagues at Employ America are producing research that suggests we should instead be using macroeconomic policies to steer the economy to high employment and robust wage growth—which would reduce inequity, spur economic development, and expand the availability of good-paying jobs for all Americans. Arnab Datta serves as the Senior Counsel for Employ America, which is an organization focused on economic policy research and advocacy that prioritizes full employment, wage growth, and economic stability. Employ America seeks to influence economic policy discussions and shape the narrative around employment and economic well-being. Twitter: @ArnabDatta321, @employamerica Website: www.employamerica.org The Fed Is Trying To Engineer A Recession https://www.employamerica.org/blog/the-fed-is-trying In The Right Context, Full Employment Can Support A Pickup In Productivity https://www.employamerica.org/blog/in-the-right-context-full-employment-can-support-a-pickup-in-productivity Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Understanding the Sahm Rule (with economist Claudia Sahm)
21-11-2023
Understanding the Sahm Rule (with economist Claudia Sahm)
Mainstream economists have been predicting a recession on the horizon for over a year, with some doomsayers even making up something called “a non-recession recession” to characterize the state of the economy. There’s no better person to cut through all this bluster and nonsense than the creator of one of the most reliable economic indicators created in the last few decades: the Sahm Rule, which aims to predict and track recessions in real time. Former Federal Reserve economist Claudia Sahm joins the podcast to walk us through the Sahm Rule’s methodology and explains how it utilizes timely data to provide early warnings of economic downturns, offering policymakers, businesses, and individuals a valuable tool for proactive decision-making. Claudia Sahm is an esteemed economist and policy expert who has served as director of macroeconomic policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve, and economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama. She’s known for her contributions to macroeconomics and the development of the Sahm Rule, her research on monetary policy, labor markets, and macroeconomic stabilization has made her a trusted advisor and consultant to policymakers and organizations seeking evidence-based insights. Twitter: @Claudia_Sahm Claudia Sahm Substack: https://stayathomemacro.substack.com/  ‘We do not need a recession, but we may get one’: https://www.ft.com/content/3213f700-26a7-4d84-aca0-d7cc5bf11484  Nick's new book, Corporate Bullsh*t, is out now! https://www.corporatebsbook.com Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Exploring American Inequality (with Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton)
14-11-2023
Exploring American Inequality (with Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton)
No matter which indicator you’re using, American inequality has been increasing in recent decades. Whether you’re measuring the growing wealth gap, the stagnant wages of the middle class, or the concentration of wealth and power among a small group of elites, every indicator unfailingly suggests that inequality is getting worse. Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton joins the podcast to talk about his recent book on the subject, Economics in America: An Immigrant Economist Explores the Land of Inequality, in which he explains how his own experience as an immigrant has shaped his understanding of American inequality and its impact on upward mobility. Angus Deaton is a renowned economist and author known for his groundbreaking work in the fields of poverty, inequality, and health. He is a 2015 Nobel Prize Laureate and is currently a Senior Scholar and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Twitter: @DeatonAngus Economics in America: An Immigrant Economist Explores the Land of Inequality https://bookshop.org/p/books/economics-in-america-an-immigrant-economist-explores-the-land-of-inequality-angus-deaton/19785471?ean=9780691247625  Nick's new book, Corporate Bullsh*t, is out now! https://www.corporatebsbook.com  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
The return of child labor (with Nina Mast and Jennifer Sherer)
07-11-2023
The return of child labor (with Nina Mast and Jennifer Sherer)
At a time when violations of child labor laws are on the rise nationally, state lawmakers around the country are successfully rolling back child labor protections. Jennifer Sherer and Nina Mast from the Economic Policy Institute have authored an article that insists lawmakers must act to strengthen standards, not erode the existing minimal standards designed to safeguard children from exploitation. They share insights into why weakening child labor protections could have detrimental effects on the middle class and the overall economy. Nina Mast is an economic analyst for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) at EPI. She also worked on issue campaigns at The Hub Project and efforts to advance a progressive economic worldview at the Groundwork Collaborative. Jennifer Sherer is the director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) State Worker Power Initiative. Her work focuses on expanding the ability of working people to achieve racial, gender, and economic justice through organizing, collective bargaining, and public policies that promote worker voice. Twitter: @EconomicPolicy Florida legislature proposes dangerous rollback of child labor protections https://www.epi.org/blog/florida-legislature-proposes-dangerous-roll-back-of-child-labor-protections-at-least-16-states-have-introduced-bills-putting-children-at-risk Nick's new book, Corporate Bullsh*t, is out now! https://www.corporatebsbook.com  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer