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

Making Sense of Chaos (with Doyne Farmer)
5d ago
Making Sense of Chaos (with Doyne Farmer)
This week, Nick and Goldy talk to Doyne Farmer, a renowned physicist and mathematician, to discuss his new book, "Making Sense of Chaos: A Better Economics for a Better World." Farmer, who is a professor at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, challenges traditional orthodox economic frameworks by applying complex systems theory. Their conversation explores the limitations of mainstream economic models, the importance of incorporating uncertainty into economic thinking, and the potential for complexity economics to provide better guidance for policymakers in addressing pressing issues like climate change and inequality. It’s a thoughtful discussion that explores more effective approaches to understanding and managing complex economic systems. Doyne Farmer is a renowned physicist and mathematician who is currently a Professor at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the University of Oxford and the Director of the Complexity Economics program. He is also an author known for his groundbreaking work in the field of complex systems and chaos theory. His recent book, "Making Sense of Chaos: A Better Economics for a Better World," delves into how chaos theory can be applied to understand and address the complexities of modern economic systems. Twitter: @doyne_farmer Further reading:  Making Sense of Chaos: A Better Economics for a Better World Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
The Failed Southern Economic Development Model (with Chandra Childers)
25-06-2024
The Failed Southern Economic Development Model (with Chandra Childers)
This week, Goldy and Paul talk to Chandra Childers, a senior policy and economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute and author of their recent report on the Southern economic development model. Although the Southern economic development model is touted as a business-friendly strategy, it has devastating consequences for workers and families in Southern states. Childers explains how this economic model is rooted in racism and economic exploitation and has led to lower wages, weaker safety nets, and fewer opportunities for workers. They also discuss how some Southern states are bucking this trend and attempting to adopt more progressive policies, as well as the potential impact of renewed unionization efforts in the region. Chandra Childers is a senior policy and economic analyst with the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) at the Economic Policy Institute. Her work is primarily focused on supporting EARN’s state and local policy research and advocacy network in the Southern United States. Before joining the EARN team at EPI, Childers was a Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Twitter: @ChandraChilders Further reading:  Breaking down the South’s economic underperformance The evolution of the Southern economic development strategy Rooted in racism and economic exploitation Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Unpacking America’s Housing Affordability Crisis (with Whitney Airgood-Obrycki)
21-05-2024
Unpacking America’s Housing Affordability Crisis (with Whitney Airgood-Obrycki)
This week, Nick and Goldy are joined by Whitney Airgood-Obrycki from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University to discuss the urgent issue of housing affordability in the United States. Despite its status as the wealthiest country in the world, America is grappling with a housing crisis, marked by record-high levels of homelessness and a growing number of individuals spending between 30% to 50% or more of their income on rent. Together, they unpack the housing affordability crisis, discuss how it contributes to the perception of a struggling economy, and explore the innovative solutions local governments are proposing to address it. Whitney Airgood-Obrycki is a Senior Research Associate at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. She conducts research on affordable rental housing for low-income households and served as the project manager and lead author of their recent report on America’s Rental Housing. Dr. Airgood-Obrycki's latest research includes affordable housing policy, housing affordability measures, rental housing markets, and suburban neighborhood change. Twitter: @airbrycki, @Harvard_JCHS America’s Rental Housing 2024  Montgomery County has found a way to reinvigorate public housing in America What if public housing were for everyone? Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Junking Junk Fees (with Rohit Chopra)
14-05-2024
Junking Junk Fees (with Rohit Chopra)
This week, Nick and Goldy sit down with Rohit Chopra, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to explore the agency's efforts to lower financial costs for working Americans. From cracking down on credit card late fees to tackling medical debt on credit reports and regulating bank overdraft charges, Director Chopra sheds light on the CFPB's various initiatives to promote transparency and competition in financial products and services. Chopra argues that by advocating for consumer rights and protections, the CFPB is shaping a more equitable economic landscape for all Americans. UPDATE: This episode was recorded before yesterday’s breaking news that a Texas judge issued a last-minute order temporarily blocking the CFPB’s plan to cap credit card late fees. Find more information about the injunction, and the Chamber of Commerce’s case against the cap, here: https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/11/business/credit-card-late-fees-regulation-cfpb/index.html Rohit Chopra is the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency dedicated to protecting consumers in the financial marketplace. Prior to leading the CFPB, he served as a Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, where he focused on promoting fair competition and protecting consumers from deceptive practices. Twitter: @chopracfpb, @CFPB Further reading:  www.consumerfinance.gov  Submit a complaint about a financial product or service CFPB Bans Excessive Credit Card Late Fees, Lowers Typical Fee from $32 to $8 Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Decoding the Tech Layoff Panic of 2024 (with Jeffrey Shulman)
07-05-2024
Decoding the Tech Layoff Panic of 2024 (with Jeffrey Shulman)
Even though the American labor market is currently stronger than it has been in decades, earlier this year Big Tech companies were laying off workers at an alarming pace. Economists struggled to understand why some 25,000 tech workers were losing their jobs, even as the media panicked about whether those layoffs were a warning sign of an oncoming recession. University of Washington Professor Jeff Shulman joins us to uncover the real reasons behind Big Tech’s layoffs, and to explain their implications for workers.  Jeffrey Shulman is a professor at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He’s also a podcaster and filmmaker with a diverse range of expertise in pricing, entrepreneurial marketing, and product management. As a professor, he is known for his innovative research and teaching methods that delve into the intricacies of economic principles and their practical applications in the business world. Recently, Shulman has gained recognition for his insightful commentary on the highly publicized layoffs in the tech industry.   More from Professor Shulman: Nearly 25,000 tech workers were laid off in the first weeks of 2024. Why is that? Why widespread tech layoffs keep happening despite a strong U.S. economy How To Succeed In Product Management on Apple Podcasts How To Succeed In Product Management on Spotify Seattle Growth Podcast on Apple Podcasts On The Brink: A Film via PBS Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
LIVE from DC: Redefining the Center (with Heather Boushey)
16-04-2024
LIVE from DC: Redefining the Center (with Heather Boushey)
This special episode of Pitchfork Economics features a live conversation from the "Redefining the Center: How to Make Middle-Out Economics the New Mainstream" conference hosted by Democracy Journal in Washington, D.C. Heather Boushey, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, joins Nick for a wide-ranging discussion moderated by Michael Tomasky, editor of Democracy Journal. Hanauer & Boushey explore the policy initiatives being pursued by the Biden administration that prioritize working families and promote economic growth from the middle out and discuss the crucial role of the middle out as a paradigm shift in how people think about economic cause and effect. This dynamic and thought-provoking discussion was a great start to an outstanding conference. Heather Boushey is an economist and policy advisor who serves as a key member of President Biden's White House Council of Economic Advisors and Chief Economist for the President’s Invest in America Cabinet. Prior to joining the Biden administration, she was the President and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a think tank focused on advancing evidence-based policies to reduce inequality. In her role in the White House, she plays a crucial role in shaping economic policy and advising the President on issues related to labor, income inequality, and economic opportunity. Twitter: @hboushey46 Further reading: The Middle-Out Moment Is Here Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
The True Crime of Wage Theft (with Terri Gerstein)
09-04-2024
The True Crime of Wage Theft (with Terri Gerstein)
In the shadows of corporate greed and exploitation lies a sinister crime that is silently perpetrated, leaving countless victims in its wake—a crime that affects millions of hardworking Americans every year and sucks billions out of our economy —Wage Theft. No industry is immune to this insidious crime, from restaurant workers to construction laborers. On this episode of Pitchfork Economics, we are joined by Terri Gerstein, Director of the Labor Initiative at NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, to unpack the chilling truth behind these workplace crimes, learn who the perpetrators are, and uncover how they get away with it. Most importantly, what can be done to stop them? Terri Gerstein is the Director of the NYU Wagner Labor Initiative, at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, which explores and helps activate the often-untapped potential of government in safeguarding and advancing workers' rights. Previously, Terri enforced labor laws in New York for 17 years, including as Labor Bureau Chief in the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Crime music bed by Power Music Factory News clips from CBS News, CBS Miami, and CBS Philadelphia Twitter: @TerriGerstein  NYU Wagner Labor Initiative Further reading:  Prosecute Bad Bosses: More district attorneys are cracking down on abusive employers. It's about time Report mentioned in the episode from the National Coalition Against Insurance Fraud: The Costly Crime and Impact of Workers’ Comp Premium Fraud The Role of State Attorneys General in Protecting Workers’ Rights Report: How district attorneys and state attorneys general are fighting workplace abuses More states should follow new Colorado policy on wage theft Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Why Wages Are Growing From the Bottom Up and Middle Out (with Arin Dube)
26-03-2024
Why Wages Are Growing From the Bottom Up and Middle Out (with Arin Dube)
Today, Arin Dube, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, joins us to discuss his latest research, which suggests that the American labor market is undergoing a remarkable transformation. The widespread wage inequality that rapidly expanded between 1980 and 2019 is finally reversing, and American paychecks are growing again—especially at the bottom end of the income scale. In this enlightening conversation, Dube explains how and why the labor market has changed, how that's affecting wages, and how it all contributes to a virtual cycle of middle-out economic growth. Arin Dube is a Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, well-known for his expertise in labor economics and public policy and his groundbreaking empirical research on minimum wage. His work often involves empirical analysis and utilizes large-scale datasets to provide evidence-based insights into the effects of various policy interventions. Dube's research has been widely recognized and cited, contributing to the ongoing discussions among policymakers and economists around labor market dynamics and policy design. Twitter: @arindube The Unexpected Compression thread https://twitter.com/arindube/status/1724147807563477440  NBER Working Paper https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w31010/w31010.pdf  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
The True Cost of Trump’s Tax Plan (with Samantha Jacoby)
19-03-2024
The True Cost of Trump’s Tax Plan (with Samantha Jacoby)
In his State of the Union Address, President Biden made it clear that taxes and tax policy were his next big target for a middle-out makeover. However, we can't talk about the future of taxes without discussing the potential expiration of Trump’s’ 2017 tax law. Samantha Jacoby, a senior tax analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, joins us today to help us understand the repercussions of Trump's tax policies and the opportunities ahead. Trump’s tax law was marketed as a boon for every working American, promising an average annual benefit of $4,000. But Jacoby unveils the true economic reality behind the Trump tax law: the primary beneficiaries were the wealthiest individuals and corporations; they did not pay for themselves as promised; and despite the trillions of tax giveaways to people at the top, most Americans saw no tangible economic benefit. Samantha Jacoby is a Senior Tax Analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Before joining the Center in 2018, she practiced tax law at two international law firms in New York and Washington, D.C. Previously, she worked as a policy and research analyst at the Solar Energy Industries Association, where she focused on the impact of tax incentives on the renewable energy industry.   Twitter: @jacsamoby The 2017 Trump Tax Law Was Skewed to the Rich, Expensive, and Failed to Deliver on Its Promises https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/the-2017-trump-tax-law-was-skewed-to-the-rich-expensive-and-failed-to-deliver  IRS Funding thread by Samantha on Twitter https://x.com/jacsamoby/status/1752088112291807298?s=20 After Decades of Costly, Regressive, and Ineffective Tax Cuts, a New Course Is Needed Bipartisan Senate Action Passes Minimal Test for IRS Funding While Multiple House Republican Bills Fail  https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/after-decades-of-costly-regressive-and-ineffective-tax-cuts-a-new-course-is  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
Why Americans are so displeased with the economy (with Aaron Sojourner)
05-03-2024
Why Americans are so displeased with the economy (with Aaron Sojourner)
The latest economic indicators show a historically strong economy. Over the past couple of years, the unemployment rate has consistently stayed below 4%, real wages have been growing faster than they have in decades, and economic growth has been strong. And yet, public opinion surveys consistently show dissatisfaction with economic conditions. Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist from the Upjohn Institute, joins us to discuss his research findings into why Americans are so displeased with the economy. Aaron helps us unpack the complicated relationship between news coverage of the economy and its effect on consumer sentiment. Aaron Sojourner is a labor economist and senior researcher at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. His research focuses on the effects of labor-market institutions, policies to promote efficient and equitable development of human capital, and behavioral economic approaches to consumer finance decisions. He’s also served as the senior economist for labor on the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers for Presidents Obama and Trump. Twitter: @aaronsojourner BlueSky: @aaronsojourner.bsky.social Threads: aaronsojourner Why are Americans so displeased with the economy? https://www.brookings.edu/articles/why-are-americans-so-displeased-with-the-economy Aaron’s thread on within-worker real wage growth on Threads: https://www.threads.net/@aaronsojourner/post/C3OVo8FrDgV/?igshid=NTc4MTIwNjQ2YQ==  Tax Subsidies for Journalism Are Only for Rich People: Perry Bacon Edition https://cepr.net/tax-subsidies-for-journalism-are-only-for-rich-people-perry-bacon-edition Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer
A Tale of Two Tax Systems (with David Cay Johnston)
27-02-2024
A Tale of Two Tax Systems (with David Cay Johnston)
While the average American worker is subject to a progressive income tax system where tax rates increase as income rises, the wealthy often exploit a range of loopholes and deductions that significantly reduce their tax burden—sometimes to the point where the biggest corporations and one-percenters pay nothing at all. David Cay Johnston, a tax policy expert and former investigative journalist for the New York Times, joins us today to help unravel the complexity of the American tax system, which has functionally created two different tax systems: One for the wealthy and powerful and one for everyone else. David Cay Johnston is an award-winning investigative journalist and author known for his expertise in tax policy and economic inequality. Johnston worked as a tax reporter for The New York Times for over a decade. At the Times, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting in 2001 for his coverage of tax loopholes and corporate tax evasion. Throughout his career, Johnston has authored several critically acclaimed books, including "Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich—and Cheat Everybody Else" and “Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality.” Twitter: @DavidCayJ The Whiteness of Wealth: How the Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans--and How We Can Fix It by Dorothy Brown https://bookshop.org/a/101360/9780525577331  More from David Cay Johnston:  “Alvin Bragg’s roadmap to convict Donald Trump” https://www.nydailynews.com/2023/01/08/alvin-braggs-roadmap-to-convict-donald-trump/ Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else https://bookshop.org/a/101360/9781591840695  Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) https://bookshop.org/a/101360/9781591842484  Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality https://bookshop.org/a/101360/9781595589231  Website: http://pitchforkeconomics.com Twitter: @PitchforkEcon Instagram: @pitchforkeconomics Nick’s twitter: @NickHanauer