Episodes

  • Hello! I’m Sean Illing, Vox’s interviews writer filling in for Ezra while he’s on book tour. My guest today is Martin Hägglund, a philosopher at Yale and the author of This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, which I consider to be one of the most ambitious and important books in the last several years.
    We begin by discussing what it means to live a free and purposeful life without regret or illusion. For Hägglund, this life is all we have. There is no heaven, no afterlife, no eternal beyond. We live and we die and that means that the most important question any of us can possibly ask is, “What should we do with our time?” 
    We end by talking about the limits of capitalism, namely why it doesn’t really allow us to own our time in the way we ought to. And thus why, for Hägglund, democratic socialism is the only political project that takes the human condition seriously. 
    This is an unusual conversation, but, I have to say, I loved it. I appreciate and admire Hägglund’s willingness to tackle the biggest questions any us can ever ask, and I think by the end of it you will, too.
    Book recommendations:
    Fellow Creatures: Our Obligations to the other animals by Christine Korsgaard
    On the Soul (De Anima) by Aristotle 
    Phenomenology of Spirit by G.W.F Hegel 

    Follow Sean Illing at Vox or on Twitter @seanilling
    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    Ezra's book is available at www.EzraKlein.com.
    The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule!
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Credits:
    Guest host - Sean Illing
    Producer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  •  I’ve been a fan of Tim Urban and his site Wait But Why for a long time. Urban uses whimsical illustrations, infographics, and friendly, nontechnical language to explain everything from AI to space exploration to the Fermi Paradox. 
    Urban's most recent project is an explainer series called “The Story of Us." It began as an attempt to understand what is going on in American politics today, and quickly turned into a deep exploration into humanity's past: how we evolved, the history of civilization, and the way our psychologies have come to interact with the world around us. 
    My initial theory of this conversation was that Urban’s work has interesting points of convergence and divergence with my book. But once we got to talking, something more interesting emerged: Based on his reading of human history, psychology, and technological advancement, Urban has come to believe we are at an existential fork-in-the-road as a species. A hundred years from now, Urban thinks, our species will either advance so significantly that we will no longer be recognizable as human beings, or we will so lose control of our progress that the human story will end in a destructive apocalypse. I’m less convinced, but open to the idea that I’m wrong.
    So this, then, isn’t just a conversation about politics and polarization in the present. It’s more fully a conversation about whether the politics of the present are distracting us from the forces that are, even as we speak, deciding our future.
    References: 
    Dave Robert’s piece on Tim Urban’s aversion to politics 
    My conversation with Andrew Yang
    Book recommendations: 
    A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich 
    The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu 
    Atomic Habits by James Clear

    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com.
    The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule!
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Credits:
    Producer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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  • Jill Lepore is a Harvard historian, a New Yorker contributor, the author of These Truths, and one of my favorite past guests on this show. But in this episode, the tables are turned: I’m in the hot seat, and Lepore has some questions. Hard ones.
    This is, easily, the toughest interview on my book so far. Lepore isn’t quibbling over my solutions or pointing out a contrary study — what she challenges are the premises, epistemology, and meta-structure that form the foundation of my book, and much of my work. Her question, in short, is: What if social science itself is too crude to be a useful way of understanding the political world?
    But that’s what makes this conversation great. We discuss whether all political science research on polarization might be completely wrong, why (and whether) my book is devoid of individual or institutional “villains,” and whether I am morally obliged to delete my Twitter account, in addition to the missing party in American politics, why I mistrust historical narratives, media polarization, and much more.
    This is, on one level, a conversation about Why We’re Polarized. But on a deeper level, it’s about different modes of knowledge and whether we can trust them.

    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com.
    The “Why We’re Polarized” tour continues, with events in Portland, Seattle, Austin, Nashville, Chicago, and Greenville. Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for the full schedule!
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Credits:
    Producer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Tom Steyer has worked for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. He made his billions running a hedge fund for decades before moving into progressive activism on causes like democratization, climate change, and impeaching Donald Trump. Now, he is running for president of the United States. 
    Steyer’s primary message on the campaign trial is that we need to get money, lobbyists and corporate influence out of politics. At the same time, he is the living embodiment of much of what he thinks is broken about our system. He used his wealth as a shortcut onto the presidential debate stage and, in doing so, essentially wrote the playbook for any future billionaire who decides they want a shot at winning the highest office in the land. 
    So, is Steyer the solution to our dysfunctional politics -- or is he part of the problem? That question is a lot bigger than Steyer himself. It is about the kinds of people we think will best represent the interests of non-billionaires. It is about the sort of influence we think wealth should have in our society. It is about whether, in our current political moment, we want to trust the arsonists to put out the fires they helped create.
    I’ll let you decide the answer.
    Book recommendations:
    The Holy Bible
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    The Good Assassin by Paul Vidich

    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Also, we’ve announced more tour dates! Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for all the details.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Credits:
    Engineer - Cynthia Gil
    Producer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  •  The Why We’re Polarized book tour kicked off this week with a wonderful event at Sixth and I in Washington, DC. My conversation partner for this one was New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie. Our interview was great, and then the audience questions were so good we had to keep them in as well. We discuss:  
    • Why things were far worse in the “golden age” of the 1950s and ’60s than they are today
    • Why the key question isn’t so much “why are we polarized?” as “why weren’t we polarized?”
    • Why “moderate” Republicans end up losing to conservatives
    • Why demographic change is the core cleavage of American politics today
    • How polarization makes bipartisanship irrational and political dysfunction the norm
    • Why Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are not the causes of polarization but rather the most clear manifestations of it
    • That more information doesn’t rescue politics
    • Why America today is not functionally a democracy (and why I hate when people claim it is a “republic” to justify our current system)
    • Why the most underrated divide in American politics is not that between left and right but between the informed and the uninformed
    • Why we can’t reverse polarization and instead need to reform our political system so that it can function amid polarization

    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    Also, we’ve announced more tour dates! Go to WhyWerePolarized.com for all the details.
    My book is available at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • “The bad days are back” wrote Batya Ungar-Sargon in the Forward in December, “Orthodox Jews are living through a new age of pogroms. This week, as we celebrated the Festival of Lights, there were no fewer than 10 anti-Semitic attacks in the New York area alone.” 
    Antisemitism is occasionally called “the oldest hatred.” It thrums across continents and eras, finding new targets for old prejudices. But where, exactly, does it come from? Why is it such a hardy weed? And why does this era feel so thick with it? 
    Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, is the author of Antisemitism: Here and Now. We discuss the earliest forms, tropes, and rationales for antisemitism, and the cultural reasons for their persistence. Lipstadt explains the way right- and left-wing antisemitism differ, and examines the charges of antisemitism levied against some modern politicians, like Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn. We talk about antisemitism in the age of social media and rising party polarization. And we talk about the convergence and divergence of antisemitism and anti-Zionism: what distinguishes a legitimate critique of Israel from an antisemitic slur towards it?
    This episode airs on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It’s a reminder that the very worst days lie in living memory, in an age more similar our own than we like to admit. 
    References: 
    “Why No One Can Talk About The Attacks Against Orthodox Jews” by Batya Ungar-Sargon
    Book recommendations: 
    If This is Man by Primo Levi 
    Still Alive by Ruth Kluger 
    The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs

    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Engineer- Cynthia Gil
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • This is a podcast episode literally years in the making. It’s an excerpt — the first anywhere — from my book Why We’re Polarized.
    A core argument of the book is that identity is the central driver of political polarization. But to see how it works, we need a better theory of how identities form, what happens when they activate, and where they fit into our conflicts. We’ve been taught to only see identity politics in others. We need to see it in ourselves.
    If you’re a longtime listener, this excerpt — like the broader book — will tie a lot of threads on this show together. If you’re a new listener, it’ll give you, I hope, a clearer way to understand a powerful driver of our politics and our lives. 
    Why We’re Polarized comes out on January 28. You can order it, both in text and audiobook forms, at WhyWerePolarized.com.
    Find the audio book on Audible.com
    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • With “reeducation" camps in China, religious disenfranchisement in India, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, street violence in Sri Lanka, mass shootings in New Zealand, the flourishing of far-right parties across Europe, and the mainstreaming of Islamophobia in America, there’s been a global surge in anti-Muslim bigotry — often supported by the full power and might of the state. It’s one of the most frightening and undercovered political stories of our time.
    Mehdi Hasan is a senior writer for the Intercept, the host of the Deconstructed podcast, and the anchor of Al Jazeera’s Up Front. He’s done some of the best reporting on anti-Muslim prejudice and persecutions worldwide, covering everything from Narendra Modi’s rise in India to the treatment of Uighurs in China to the role that social media plays in amplifying anti-Muslim sentiment. We discuss all of that in this conversation, but we also try to answer some deeper questions: Why Muslims? Why now? What is the ideology that drives and justifies anti-Muslim bigotry? What are the political incentives that foster it?
    Not everything in this conversation is easy to hear. But understanding the scope and scale of the war on Muslims is central to understanding the world we live in, the Orwellian nature of the Islamophobic narrative, and the resentments and traumas we’re inflicting on the future. 
    Book recommendations:
    The Fear of Islam by Todd H. Green 
    The Enemy Within by Sayeeda Warsi 
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Engineer- Cynthia Gil
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Vox's Matt Yglesias and I unpack the debate that did, and didn't, happen.
    Related reading:
    "Joe Biden will never give up on the system" by Ezra Klein
    "4 winners and 3 losers from the January Democratic debate" Vox Staff
    "The case for Elizabeth Warren" by Ezra Klein
    "Bernie Sanders can unify Democrats and beat Trump in 2020" by Matthew Yglesias
    "Joe Biden skates by again" by Matt Yglesias
    "Elizabeth Warren’s new plan to reform bankruptcy law, explained" by Matt Yglesias
    "The Third Rail of Calling ‘Sexism’ Warren tried not to talk about it." by Rebecca Traister

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • There is a moral radicalism to the way Cory Booker lives out his politics. He lived for years in a housing project. He leads hunger strikes. He challenges political machines. He’s a vegan. He has a more ambitious policy vision than is often discussed. But beneath that is a far more radical ethical vision than he gets credit for.
    I think there’s a reason for that. When Booker turns his politics turn outward, they lose clarity. He shies away from drawing bright lines, his answers double back to blur out potential offense. As a result, his arguments for a politics of radical love end up emphasizing his love in ways that obscure his radicalism. As admiring as I am of what Booker demands of himself, I often can’t tell what he’s asking of me.
    In this conversation, I wanted Booker to risk my discomfort, not just his own. And in his answers, I think you can hear both the remarkable promise and power of Booker’s politics, and some of the challenges that ultimately led him to suspend his campaign.
    References/Book recommendations:
    Tightrope by Nicholas Kristof 
    “Who Killed the Knapp Family” by Nicholas Kristof 
    The Violence Inside Us by Chris Murphy 

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Engineer- Cynthia Gil
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is the way we often conflate two very distinct things when we assign political labels. The first is ideology, which describes our vision of a just society. The second is something less discussed but equally important: temperament. It describes how we approach social problems, how fast we think society can change, and how we understand the constraints upon us. 
    Yuval Levin is the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, the editor-in-chief of the public policy journal National Affairs, and the author of the upcoming book A Time to Build. Levin is one of the most thoughtful articulators of both conservative temperament and ideology. And, perhaps for that reason, his is one of the most important criticisms of what the conservative movement has become today.
    There’s a lot in this conversation, in part because Levin’s book speaks to mine in interesting ways, but among the topics we discuss are: 

    The conservative view of human nature

    Why the conservative temperament is increasingly diverging from the conservative movement

    What theories of American politics get wrong about the reality of American life

    The case Levin makes to socialists

    How economic debates are often moral debates in disguise

    Levin’s rebuttal to my book 

    The crucial difference between “formative” and “performative” social institutions

    Why the most fundamental problems in American life are cultural, not economic

    Why Levin thinks the New York Times should not allow its journalists to be on Twitter

    Whether we can restore trust in our institutions without changing the incentives and systems that surround them

     
    There’s a lot Levin and I disagree on, but there are few people I learn as much from in disagreement as I learn from him.
    Book recommendations:
    Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville 
    The Quest for Community by Robert Nisbet 
    Statecraft as Soulcraft by George Will 
    If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like:
    David French on “The Great White Culture War"
    George Will makes the conservative case against democracy

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Engineer- Cynthia Gil
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Introducing season 3 of The Impact!
    The 2020 candidates have some bold ideas to tackle some of our country's biggest problems, like climate change, the opioid crisis, and unaffordable health care. A lot of their proposals have been tried before, so, in a sense, the results are in. 

    This season, The Impact has those stories: how the big ideas from 2020 candidates succeeded — or failed — in other places, or at other times. What can Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposal to fight the opioid crisis learn from what the US did to fight the AIDS epidemic? How did Germany — an industrial powerhouse that invented the automobile — manage to implement a Green New Deal? How did public health insurance change Taiwan?

    Subscribe to The Impact on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.

    On this special preview:

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren is running for president with a plan to fight the opioid epidemic. Her legislation would dramatically expand access to addiction treatment and overdose prevention, and it would cost $100 billion over 10 years. Addiction experts agree that this is the kind of money the United States needs to fight the opioid crisis. But it’s a really expensive idea, to help a deeply stigmatized population. How would a President Warren get this through Congress? 

    It’s been done before, with the legislation Warren is using as a blueprint for her proposal. In 1990, Congress passed the Ryan White Care Act, the first national coordinated response to the AIDS crisis. In the decades since, the federal government has dedicated billions of dollars to the fight against AIDS, and it’s revolutionized care for people with this once-deadly disease. 

    But by the time President George H.W. Bush signed the bill into law, hundreds of thousands of people in the US already had HIV/AIDS, and tens of thousands had died. 

    In this episode, Vox's Jillian Weinberger explores how an epidemic begins, and how it ends. We look at what it took to get the federal government to finally act on AIDS, and what that means for Warren’s plan to fight the opioid crisis, today. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • “Socialism” is simultaneously one of the most commonly used and most confusing terms in American politics. Does being a socialist mean advocating for the complete abolition of capitalism, markets, and private property? Does it mean supporting a higher tax rate, Medicare-for-all, and Sen. Bernie Sanders? Or does it simply mean a deep hatred of systemic injustice and the institutions that perpetuate it? 
    In his new book Why You Should be a Socialist Nathan J Robinson, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Current Affairs magazine, attempts to shed light on these questions. In his writing, Robinson distinguishes between a “socialist economy” (think collective ownership, worker cooperatives, single-payer health care) and what he calls a “socialist ethic": a deep sense of moral outrage that animates agents of radical change. This distinction may sound like a dodge, but I think Robinson gets at something here that — while hard to understand from the outside — is crucial to understanding today's left politics. We also discuss: 
    - The central role of democracy to the socialist worldview
    - What it means to be a “libertarian socialist”
    - What Robinson's socialist utopia would look like 
    - Why so many socialists have turned on Sen. Elizabeth Warren in favor of Sen. Bernie Sanders 
    - Robinson’s special loathing for South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
    - What he believes Sanders’s “political revolution” would look like
    - The lessons of Jeremy Corbyn
    - Whether the deep difference between liberals and socialists is temperament 
    - Why “public vs. private” is often a false choice
    - The challenge of economic growth 
    And much more. 
    Book recommendations:
    Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky
    The Anarchist FAQ by Ian McKay 
    The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
     If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like:
    Leftists vs. Liberals with Elizabeth Bruenig
    Matt Bruenig’s case for single-payer health care
    Why my politics are bad with Bhaskar Sunkara

    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Engineer- Cynthia Gil
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The 2010s witnessed a sharp uptick in nonviolent resistance movements all across the globe. Over the course of the last decade we’ve seen record numbers of popular protests, grassroots campaigns, and civic demonstrations advancing causes that range from toppling dictatorial regimes to ending factory farming to advancing a Green New Deal.  
    So, I thought it would be fitting to kick off 2020 by bringing on Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard specializing in nonviolent resistance. At the beginning of this decade Chenoweth co-authored Why Civil Resistance Works, a landmark study showing that nonviolent movements are twice as effective as violent ones. Since then, she has written dozens of papers on what factors make successful movements successful, why global protests are becoming more and more common, how social media has affected resistance movements and much more. 
    But Chenoweth doesn’t only study nonviolent movements from an academic perspective; she also advises nonviolent movement leaders around the world (including former EK Show guests Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement and Wayne Hsiung of Direct Action Everywhere) to help them be as effective and strategic as possible in carrying out their goals. This on-the-ground experience combined with a big-picture, academic view of nonviolent resistance makes her perspective essential for understanding one of the most important phenomena of the last decade -- and, in all likelihood, the next one.
    References:
    "How social media helps dictators" by Erica Chenoweth
    "Drop Your Weapons: When and Why Civil Resistance Works" by Erica Chenoweth
    Book recommendations:
    These Truths by Jill Lepore
    Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky
    From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation by Keenga-Yamahtta Taylor
    If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like:
    Varshini Prakash on the Sunrise Movement's plan to save humanity
    When doing the right thing makes you a criminal (with Wayne Hsiung)

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Engineer- Cynthia Gil
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • It’s here. The final AMA of 2019. Among the questions you asked:
    - If you believe that changing someone's mind about a topic, any topic is difficult, how do you function as a journalist?
    - What’s your opinion on capitalism?
    - What have you learned about yourself since being a dad that has surprised you the most?
    - You talk a lot about polarization. But it seems your audience leans liberal. So how do you reconcile that?
    - Do you believe in free will?
    - What’s your take on the left/liberal divide?
    - Red wine or white wine?
    - We know 2020 will come down to a small collection of swing states. Shouldn’t the Democrats just run whichever candidate will be strongest in those states?
    - What’s with Vox and NBER papers?
    - What would get journalists to leave Twitter?
    - What happens if Trump loses the election but refuses to leave office?

    All this, plus you get to hear from the mysterious Jeff Geld…

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer, Editor, Guest Interviewer - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Engineer - Cynthia Gil
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Here, at the end of the year, I wanted to share one of my favorite episodes of 2019 with you.
    Earlier this year, two essays on America’s changing relationship to work caught my eye. The first was Anne Helen Petersen’s viral BuzzFeed piece defining, and describing, “millennial burnout.” The second was Derek Thompson’s Atlantic article on “workism.”
    The two pieces speak to each other in interesting ways, and to some questions I had been reflecting on as my own relationship to work changes. So I asked the authors to join me for a conversation about what happens when work becomes an identity, capitalism becomes a religion, and productivity becomes the way we measure human value. The conversation exceeded even the high hopes I had for it. Enjoy this one.
    Book recommendations:
    Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris
    White: Essays on Race and Culture by Richard Dyer
    The Vertigo Years: Europe, 1900-1914 by Philipp Blom
    A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

    New to the show? Want to listen to Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out The Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide.
    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Engineers - Cynthia Gil
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Dave Roberts is an energy and climate writer at Vox and a senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He started as his career covering climate science and clean energy technology, but -- for reasons we discuss here -- he now writes just as much about political psychology, media ecosystems, political institutions, and how they intersect with climate change. We cover a lot in this conversation, including:

    “Tribal epistemology,” and why it’s crucial to climate paralysis 

    How the GOP went from the party of cap-and-trade to the party of climate denial 

    Why the right and left-wing media ecosystem’s diverged so dramatically

    What today’s climate activists get right about our politics that their predecessors got wrong

    The carbon tax dead-end

    How nuclear energy became so divisive

    The conflicting moral and social visions at the heart of the climate movement 

    Why it is impossible to separate technological innovation from the policy ecosystem that shapes it 

    Whether climate change really is an “existential” threat 

    What climate change will mean for the world’s poor


    References:
    Dave Roberts on America's "epistemic crisis."
    Book recommendations:
    Caught Stealing by Charlie Huston
    "State of the Species" by Charles C. Mann

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Engineers - Cynthia Gil
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  • Most analyses of how to “solve” climate change start from a single, crucial assumption: that carbon emissions and global warming are inextricably linked. Geoengineering is a set of technologies and ideas with the potential to shatter that link. 
    Can we use them? Should we? Could they be used in concert with other solutions, or would simply opening the door drain support from those ideas? Even if we did want to deploy geoengineering, who would govern its use? And is mucking with the earth at this level more dangerous than climate change itself — which may, ultimately, be the choice we face?
    Jane Flegal is a geoengineering expert at Arizona State University and a program officer at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust. She’s able to parse this debate with an unusual level of clarity, fairness, and rigor. This isn’t an argument for or against geoengineering. It’s a way to think about it, and that turns out to be a way to think about the climate change problem as a whole.
    Book recommendations:
    The Planet Remade by Oliver Morton
    Experiment Earth by Jack Stilgoe
    Frontiers of Illusion by Daniel Sarewitz 

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Engineers - Cynthia Gil & Ed Cuervo
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The climate series is back! The reason for the delay is that I wanted to make sure that this episode was next up in the series. Once you start listening, you’ll understand why. 
    So far, we’ve spent the series talking about the problem we're facing and what the world will ultimately look like if we fail. Today’s conversation is different: It is about what it will take to solve climate change and what kind of world we can build if we succeed. 
    Saul Griffith is an inventor, a MacArthur genius fellow, and the founder and CEO of Otherlab, a high-tech research and development company on the frontlines of trying to imagine our clean energy future. Griffith and his team were contracted by the Department of Energy to track and visualize the entirety of America’s energy flows — and as a result, he knows the US energy system better than just about anyone on this planet. Griffith is also clearer than anyone else I’ve found on the paths to decarbonization, and how to navigate them.
    Most conversations about climate change are pretty depressing. This conversation is not. We have the tools we need to decarbonize. What’s more, decarbonizing doesn’t mean accepting a future of less — it can mean a more awesome, humane, technologically rich, and socially inspiring future for us all. This conversation is about a vision of decarbonization that is genuinely awesome, and how we can actually get there.
    References:
    Otherlab's diagram of US energy flows
    Griffith's piece on paths to decarbonization
    Book recommendations:
    Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber
    Freedom's Forge by Arthur Herman
    The Extinction Rebellion Handbook
    Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    The first batch of stops for my book tour is up! Get tickets at http://www.whywerepolarized.com
    Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Engineer - Cynthia Gil
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • It’s cliché to call podcasts wide-ranging. But this conversation, with Nobel-prize winning economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, really is. A sample of what we discuss:
    - How economists mucked up the climate debate
    - What a Democratic president should pass first
    - The politics and policy of Medicare-for-all
    - Krugman’s three-part test to determine whether a program needs to be paid for (don’t miss this!)
    - Why Pete Buttigieg is wrong on tuition-free college 
    - Why Andrew Yang is wrong on automation
    - What the Obama administration got wrong, and right, in the financial crisis
    - The means-testing vs. universal program debate is a false dichotomy 
    - What it would take to revitalize the economies of middle and rural America
    - The productivity puzzle
    - The antitrust problem
    - Geographic inequality
    - Whether elite or mass opinion is the key constraint on policy ambition
    - Path dependence in social welfare states
    - Whether private insurers should exist 
    And much more. Don’t miss this one.
    References:
    Krugman's upcoming book, Arguing with Zombies
    Book recommendations:
    An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume 
    Plagues and Peoples by William McNeil 
    Collected essays of George Orwell

    My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.
    Submit questions for our upcoming "Ask Me Anything" at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
    Credits:
    Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Engineer - Cynthia Gil
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices