300 episodes

Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

The Ezra Klein Show Vox

    • Philosophy

Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

    Coronavirus has pushed US-China relations to their worst point since Mao

    Coronavirus has pushed US-China relations to their worst point since Mao

    The COVID-19 pandemic is a grim reminder that the worst really can happen. Tail risk is real risk. Political leaders fumble, miscalculate, and bluster into avoidable disaster. And even as we try to deal with this catastrophe, the seeds of another are sprouting.

    The US-China relationship will define geopolitics in the 21st century. If we collapse into rivalry, conflict, and politically opportunistic nationalism, the results could be hellish. And we are, right now, collapsing into rivalry, conflict, and politically opportunistic nationalism. 

    The Trump administration, and key congressional Republicans, are calling COVID-19 “the Chinese virus,” and trying to gin up tensions to distract from their domestic failures. Chinese government officials, beset by their own domestic problems, are claiming the US military brought the virus to China. The US-China relationship was in a bad way six months ago, but this is a new level of threat.

    Evan Osnos covers the US-China relationship for the New Yorker, and is author of the National Book Award winner, The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China. In this conversation, we discuss the past, present and future of the US-China relationship. What are the chances of armed conflict? What might deescalation look like? And we know what the US wants — what, in truth, does China want?

    Book recommendations:
    Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China by Alec Ash
    The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom by John Pomfret

    Confused about coronavirus? Here’s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we’ve found most useful.
    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)
    Credits:
    Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Is the cure worse than the disease?

    Is the cure worse than the disease?

    "We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself!"
    That was President Donald Trump, this week, explaining why he was thinking about lifting coronavirus guidelines earlier than public-health experts recommended. The "cure," in this case, is social distancing, and the mass economic stoppage it forces. The problem, of course, is COVID-19, and the millions of deaths it could cause.
    This is a debate that needs to be taken seriously. Slowing coronavirus will impose real costs, and immense suffering, on society. Are those costs worth it? This is the most important public policy question right now. And if the discussion isn't had well, then it will be had, as we're already seeing, poorly, and dangerously.
    I wanted to take up this question from two different angles. The first dimension is economic: Are we actually facing a choice between lives and economic growth? If we ceased social distancing, could we sustain a normal economy amidst a raging virus? Jason Furman, professor of the practice of economic policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School and President Obama's former chief economist, joins me for that discussion.
    But the economy isn't everything. What is a moral framework we can us when faced with this kind of question? So, in the second half of this show, I talk to Dr. Ruth Faden, the founder of the Berman Institute for Bioethics at Johns Hopkins.
    And then, at the end, I offer some thoughts on my own on the frightening moment we're living through, and the kind of political and social leadership it demands.
    Confused about coronavirus? Here’s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we’ve found most useful.
    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)
    Credits:
    Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 7 min
    An economic crisis like we’ve never seen

    An economic crisis like we’ve never seen

    “What is happening,” writes Annie Lowrey, “is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced.”  
    It’s also different from what anyone alive has ever experienced. For many of us, the Great Recession is the closest analogue — but it’s not analogous at all. There, the economy’s potential was unchanged, but financial markets were in crisis. Here, we are purposefully freezing economic activity in order to slow a public health crisis. Early data suggests the economic crisis is going to far exceed any single week or quarter of the financial crisis. Multiple economists have told me that the nearest analogy to what we’re going through is the economy during World War II.
    I have a secret advantage when trying to understand moments of economic upheaval. I’m married to Annie Lowrey. I can give you the bio — staff writer at the Atlantic, author of Give People Money (which is proving particularly prophetic and influential right now) — but suffice to say she’s one of the clearest and most brilliant economic thinkers I know. Her viral piece on the affordability crisis is crucial for understanding what the economy really looked like before Covid-19, and she’s been doing some of the best work on the way Covid-19 will worsen the economic problems we had and create a slew of new ones.
    But this isn’t just a conversation about crisis. It’s also a conversation about how to respond. I wouldn’t call it hopeful — we’re not there yet. But constructive.
    References:
    "The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America" by Annie Lowrey
    If you enjoyed this episode, check out:
    "Fix recessions by giving people money," The Weeds
    Book recommendations:
    Severance by Ling Ma
    Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham
    Crashed by Adam Tooze
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 25 min
    "The virus is more patient than people are"

    "The virus is more patient than people are"

    Ron Klain served as the chief of staff to vice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. In 2014, President Barack Obama tapped him to lead the administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He successfully oversaw a hellishly complex effort preparing domestically for an outbreak and surging health resources onto another continent to contain the disease.
     But Klain is quick to say that the coronavirus is a harder challenge even than Ebola. The economy is in free fall. Entire cities have been told to shelter in place. And there’s no telling how long any of this will last. In this conversation, Klain answers my questions about the disease and how to respond to it, as well as questions many of you submitted. We discuss:

    How to change the virus’s reproduction and fatality rates

    Why you need to work backward from health system capacity

    What it means to “flatten the curve”

    Why social distancing will be with us for a long time to come

    The difference between “social distancing” and “self-quarantine”

    What the Trump administration needed to do earlier, and what they still can do now

    The testing debacle

    The economic policy necessary to make social distancing possible

    Why we need to remember not everyone can work at home

    What it would take to surge health care capacity in the US — and how fast we could potentially do it 

    The strengths and weaknesses of America’s particular health care system in responding to a pandemic like this one

    Whether the coronavirus is showing authoritarian systems perform better than liberal(ish) democracies

    What Joe Biden is like in a crisis 


    And much more. I’ve been covering the coronavirus nonstop, and this is one of the clearest, most useful conversations I’ve had. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, the clarity of Klain’s analysis will help.
     Also: We want to know what kinds of coronavirus conversations you want to hear right now. Email us at ezrakleinshow@vox.com with suggestions for guests, or just angles. This is going to be a hard time, and we want this podcast to be as much a help as possible.
    Book recommendations:
    Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael Osterholm
    The Great Influenza by John Barry

    Confused about coronavirus? Here’s a list of the articles, papers, and podcasts we’ve found most useful.
    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)
    Credits:
    Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 20 min
    A master class in organizing

    A master class in organizing

    The Bernie Sanders campaign is an organizing tour-de-force relative to the Joe Biden campaign; yet the latter has won primary after primary — with even higher turnouts than 2016. So does organizing even work? And, if so, what went wrong?
    Jane McAlevey has organized hundreds of thousands of workers on the frontlines of America’s labor movement. She is also a Senior Policy Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Labor Center and the author of three books on organizing, including, most recently, A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy.
    McAlevey doesn’t pull her punches. She thinks the left builds political power all wrong. She thinks people are constantly mistaking “mobilizing” for “organizing,” and that social media has taught a generation of young activists the worst possible lessons. She thinks organized labor’s push for “card check” was a mistake, but that there really is a viable path back to a strong labor movement. And since McAlevey is, above all, a teacher and an organizer, she offers what amounts to a master class in organizing — one relevant not just to building political power, but to building anything.
    To McAlevey, organizing, at its core, is about something very simple, and very close to the heart of this show: how do you talk to people who may not agree with you such that you can truly hear them, and they can truly hear you? This conversation ran long, but it ran long because it was damn good.
    References:
    No Shortcuts by Jane McAlevey
    Raising Expectations and Raising Hell by Jane McAlevey
    Book recommendations:
    Democracy May Not Exist But We'll Miss it When its Gone by Astra Taylor
    I've Got the Light of Freedom Charles M. Payne
    On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
    New to the show? Want to check out Ezra's favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner's guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)
    Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com
    Credits:
    Engineer - Cynthia Gil
    Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld
    Researcher - Roge Karma
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 2 hrs 2 min
    Weeds 2020: The coronavirus election

    Weeds 2020: The coronavirus election

    This week, President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential contenders Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders each gave separate speeches in response to a rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak in the United States. What did they say? How do their responses differ? And what do those speeches tell us about how their future (or current) administrations? Vox’s Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias discuss on this week’s 2020 election edition of The Weeds.
    Then, how will coronavirus impact the general election in November? Matt and Ezra run through the political science research on how economic growth correlates with electoral success, how analogous situations (like severe weather events) have impacted past elections and more. Hint: things don’t look so great for Donald Trump.
    For more conversations like this one, subscribe to The Weeds on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts!
    Resources:
    President Trump's oval office address
    Joe Biden's coronavirus address
    Bernie Sanders' coronavirus address
    Hosts:
    Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior correspondent, Vox
    Ezra Klein (@ezraklein), Editor-at-large, Vox



    About Vox
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
    Follow Us: Vox.com
    Facebook group: The Weeds
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    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

Schwarzkopf1 ,

👍🏼

consistently awesome episodes!

Luckyjackism ,

guest suggestion

Guest suggestion: Al Gore, Tulsi Gabbard, John Grisham. Great show, keep up the good work

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