599 episodes

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare immigration, and housing.
Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

The Weeds Vox

    • News
    • 4.5 • 140 Ratings

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare immigration, and housing.
Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

    What the deadliest pandemic in history can tell us about Covid-19

    What the deadliest pandemic in history can tell us about Covid-19

    Dylan talks to John M. Barry, distinguished scholar at Tulane University and author of The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, about the Spanish flu of 1918-1919, its parallels to Covid-19, and what that pandemic’s end tells us about how this one might end.

    References:
    The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

    Hosts:
    Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox

    Credits:
    Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer
    Libby Nelson, editorial adviser
    Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

    Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weedsletter 

    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 38 min
    The case for more babies

    The case for more babies

    Dylan, Jerusalem, and special guest Bryan Walsh discuss the slowing population growth in America, and what a smaller-than-expected America could mean. They also talk about which immigration and child care policies could speed up population growth. Finally, they discuss a paper on why Europe is so much more equal than America.

    References:

    The Great Population Slowdown

    How immigration could reverse population decline

    The rise of childlessness

    The climate case that it’s okay to have kids

    The link between fertility and income

    The complex relationship between housing prices and fertility

    Changes in abortion access in a post-Roe America

    Romania’s abortion ban and its effect on fertility

    Recent research on global fertility patterns and cohabitation

    What is the relationship between gender equality and fertility rates? 

    The Conservative Fertility Advantage

    White paper: “Why Is Europe More Equal than the United States?”

    A critique of the paper’s approach to health care

    Hosts:
    Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox
    Bryan Walsh (@bryanrwalsh), editor for Future Perfect, Vox


    Credits:
    Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer
    Libby Nelson, editorial adviser
    Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

    Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weedsletter 

    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 55 min
    The building blocks of radicalization

    The building blocks of radicalization

    How does someone get radicalized? What do political scientists see as the building blocks of political violence? Is there anything we can do to stop radicalization? One year after the insurrection on January 6, 2021, Vox policy reporter Jerusalem Demsas talks with Peter Neumann, a professor of security studies at King’s College in London, to answer these questions. 

    References:

    Vox’s Zack Beauchamp on where the crisis in American democracy might be headed

    Peter Neumann’s paper: The trouble with radicalization

    A Q&A with a French philosopher about the fear of replacement within white nationalism

    Colin Clarke writes for Politico on what happened after January 6

    Northwestern University research about the perceived threat of a racial demographic shift in the US

    Hosts:
    Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox


    Credits:
    Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer
    Libby Nelson, editorial adviser
    Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

    Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weedsletter 

    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 58 min
    Why hasn’t student debt been canceled?

    Why hasn’t student debt been canceled?

    Dylan and Dara are joined by Vox’s Libby Nelson to talk about the policy merits and political implications of plans to cancel some or all student loans. They also discuss whether President Joe Biden has the power to cancel student debt unilaterally. And, Vox’s Jerusalem Demsas joins Dylan and Dara for a white paper about prisoners of war and genetics. 
    References:

    Brookings Institution’s Andre Perry on why student loan forgiveness isn't regressive


    How canceling student debt helps beneficiaries get out of other debt


    The racial justice case for student loan cancellation

    Luke Herrine arguing that the Department of Education can erase debt unilaterally


    Is there a secret memo saying Biden can erase the debt?

    David Leonhardt’s case against debt cancellation

    White Paper of the Week: “Health Shocks of the Father and Longevity of the Children's Children”



    Hosts:

    Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox

    Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox

    Dara Lind (@dlind), immigration reporter

    Libby Nelson (@libbyanelson) policy editor, Vox


    Credits:

    Sofi LaLonde, producer and engineer

    Libby Nelson, editorial adviser

    Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts


    Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weedsletter 
    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 56 min
    Best Of: The coming climate exodus

    Best Of: The coming climate exodus

    Vox senior reporter Rebecca Leber (@rbleber) joins The Weeds to explain the problem of migration caused by climate change, such as that due to wildfires, rising seas, and crop failures. She explains how a warming planet is forcing people to move both in the US and internationally, and how policymakers are and aren’t adapting. Vox reporters Dylan Matthews and Jerusalem Demsas continue the conversation with ProPublica’s Dara Lind, discussing a new white paper arguing that social mobility in America rose in the 20th century.

    References:


    ProPublica’s feature on climate migration in Central America

    How climate change is driving up flood insurance premiums in Canarsie, Brooklyn


    NPR’s investigation into the federal government selling flood-prone houses to low-income families


    California is encouraging rebuilding in fire-prone regions

    The case for “managed retreat” from coastal areas


    A New York Times feature on how climate migration will reshape America



    The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

    Why Greg Clark is pessimistic that social mobility even exists


    White Paper of the Week: Intergenerational Mobility in American History: Accounting for Race and Measurement Error, Zachary Ward

    Hosts:
    Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox
    Dara Lind (@DLind), immigration reporter, ProPublica



    Credits:
    Sofi LaLonde, producer & engineer
    Libby Nelson, editorial adviser
    Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

    Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weeds-newsletter 

    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr
    America’s Public Health Experiment: Federal failures

    America’s Public Health Experiment: Federal failures

    In the final episode of our series, America’s Public Health Experiment, Dylan, Dara, and Jerusalem discuss how the CDC and the FDA failed the American public in the early months of the pandemic. Plus, a white paper about excess deaths in the first year of Covid-19.

    References: 

    How the experts botched masking advice

    Zeynep Tufekci on the case for masks (in March 2020)

    Inside the Fall of the CDC

    Can the CDC be fixed?

    How the CDC failed to detect Covid early

    Scott Gottlieb on CDC versus FDA turf wars

    The Government Asked Us Not To Release Records From The CDC’s First Failed COVID Test. Here They Are.

    Zeynep Tufekci in the Atlantic: ​​The CDC Is Still Repeating Its Mistakes

    Dylan Scott on FDA approval of controversial Alzheimer's drug

    White paper: Excess Deaths in the United States During the First Year of COVID-19

    What happened to drug deaths in 2020

    Hosts:
    Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jerusalem Demsas (@jerusalemdemsas), policy reporter, Vox
    Dara Lind (@dlind), immigration reporter, ProPublica


    Credits:
    Sofi LaLonde, producer & engineer
    Libby Nelson, editorial adviser
    Amber Hall, deputy editorial director of talk podcasts

    Sign up for The Weeds newsletter each Friday: vox.com/weedsletter 

    Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a donation to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
140 Ratings

140 Ratings

Reviewingapps📱 ,

Perfect podcast, except...

I love this podcast, I listen to it every week. The one thing I would change is the verbal skills of the hosts. They are all smart people, saying smart things. If they could just cut the filler words (‘like’) a bit, it would make it INFINITELY more pleasant to listen to. There are parts of the podcast where *literally* 1 in 6 words is ‘like’. Not figuratively, literally. That’s it, other than that I’m a big fan

Sportifico ,

Good content, dreadful voices

Obviously well informed and insightful but, as many reviewers have noted, it’s constantly undercut by that awful American voice. I’m not sure which one he is, but he sounds like a 16-year old Californian girl discovering her surprise birthday party.

Koosemar ,

It's like kinda irritating, right?

Could be vastly improved if like, the presenters, like, stopped using 'like', like ALL THE TIME, right? It, like, really grates after a while, right? And,like, totally detracts from, like, the information they are trying to impart, right?

Good points lost in a sea of verbal tics.

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