Woohoo! The On the Economy Podcast is Here!!

January 24th, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Fans of music, economics (and jokes about economics), and intergenerational policy discussions: I’ve got a treat for you. Today marks the release of the first episode of the On the Economy podcast, which Ben Spielberg and I will be producing a few times a month. You can access it on SoundCloud or download it via iTunes.

As I note in my introduction, we view the podcast as a timely way to counteract the misdiagnoses and false solutions offered in response to real economic problems. Our episodes will be short and sweet – twenty to thirty minutes each – and will draw on the expertise of our colleagues at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and many other economists and analysts working on some aspect of speaking truth to power and furthering what we think of as the reconnection agenda.

We recorded the first episode before Trump took office, but it is directly relevant to post-inauguration events, particularly Kellyanne Conway’s claim that falsehoods from Sean Spicer were actually “alternative facts.”  We discuss whether the facts are actually more on the run than usual in the age of Trump, some ideas I’ve touched on before about how to find the road back to Factville, and how those ideas can be applied in the realm of debates about trickle-down tax cuts. To this end, we got some fact-filled input from our CBPP colleague Michael Leachman re how the tax cut “experiment” is working in Kansas (answer:…listen to the podcast!).

We hope you enjoy the podcast, and please share feedback either way. In fact, if you have thoughts for Ben and me to consider in future episodes, questions you’d like us to tackle, or topics we should discuss, send us an email at otepodcast@gmail.com.

With that, check out episode 1!

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3 comments in reply to "Woohoo! The On the Economy Podcast is Here!!"

  1. Jarod says:

    I enjoyed the podcast for the most part. However, I was disappointed about the constant reference to facts being viewed through an emotional perspective. While I strongly agree that facts themselves are dry and less romantic or engaging than feelings, attempting to market facts through feelings is a very dangerous proposition. That is because feelings, like fire, can quickly get out of control. A sunrise or sunset is lovely to watch, a fire at night can inspire a romantic mood, but neither is something you want to truly build an argument around. If anything, it should be evident that the only way such settings are possible is because of the rigid, sterile, fire-proof conditions that keep them in check in the first place.

    In keeping with the fire motif, once you build a fire, part of your concentration must be diverted to maintaining it in a safe manner. Nod off with your favorite combustible reading material gathered around you that is sitting just a bit too close on this given night, poorly construct or maintain the chimney or area surrounding it, become complacent at the exact wrong time…fire is not something you want to create lightly.

    Likewise, feelings interjected into a sterile, fact-based conversation have a dangerous tendency to become its focus. And what happens when you find out entirely too late that your opponent tells a more engaging story, a more fantastical story, if only because their lack of adherence to facts allows them to engage in pure fantasy? Tell me then how your somewhat sterile, somewhat romanticized stories are going to compete with that? Your story isn’t as compelling then, it’s weighed down by all those depressing ‘facts.’ Instead of trying to fight the battle where you should have, where you had all the advantage, you charged head-long into the emotional lands of your enemy and their fantasy world. But don’t worry, the rest of us living here in Factville will be sure to light a memorial candle in remembrance of your valiant charge. Don Quixote, thou are not equipped to defeat yon dragons.


  2. Jerry Marsh says:

    I enjoyed your podcast and look forward to more. Re: Kansas. Currently the Kansas legislature is struggling to repair the damage caused by the Brownback trickle down fiscal policy. One of the arguments offered by his supporters is how unfair it would be to resend the tax exemptions because it would amount to a tax hike on small businesses. Personally, I think their point is ridiculous but it I suspect resonates.

    My main point/question to you: In your podcast you emphasized how trickle down tax cuts target the social safety net, SS and Medicare. I think it would be good to also emphasize how extremely regressive the Brownback fiscal policies are. The public mindset is tax cuts/GOOD tax increases/BAD, what can you do to combat this mindset with the emotional context you referenced to help people become better informed and less likely to be deceived by the likes of Brownback and Trump?


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