Tune in each week as James Pethokoukis interviews economists, business leaders, academics and others on the most important and interesting issues of the day. You can find all episodes at AEI, Ricochet, and wherever podcasts are downloaded, and look for follow-up transcripts and blog posts at aei.org.
John Haltiwanger: American entrepreneurship during the pandemic
Health safety measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic have shaken the American economy. Long term staples like indoor dining have taken a hit, while new opportunities have emerged in contactless services, telecommunications, and ecommerce. Just how have America's entrepreneurs responded to these challenges and opportunities? Today, I've brought in John Haltiwanger to discuss.
John is the Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland. Last year, he was awarded the Global Entrepreneurship Research Award for his statistical work in studying firm dynamics.
Ed Glaeser: Did capitalism cause the opioid epidemic?
Rivaling even the death toll of COVID-19, opioid abuse has wreaked havoc in countless American communities. Some have suggested that these deaths are the result of an economy that left Americans behind and feeling trapped. In their desperation, they reached to oxycontin and fentanyl to cope with the insecurity of a global economy. But is this the full story? My guest today is Ed Glaeser, whose analysis offers a different account.
Ed is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at Harvard University and co-author with David Cutler of "https://www.nber.org/papers/w28873 (When Innovation Goes Wrong: Technological Regress and the Opioid Epidemic.)"
Michael Strain: The post-pandemic economy
The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed an economic downturn on the United States, forcing workers and businesses to adapt. Now that Americans are getting vaccinated and the country is opening up, what is the state of the US economy? How has the pandemic — and our public policy responses to it — affected the labor market? Has the pandemic brought about new opportunities and entrepreneurship that will boost productivity going forward? Today, Michael Strain returns to the Political Economy podcast to discuss.
Mike is the Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy and the Director of Economic Policy Studies at AEI.
Ramez Naam: The future of clean energy
Is economic growth compatible with environmentalism? One key to answering this question is clean, renewable energy. The cheaper it becomes, the easier it is to reduce our impact on the planet while still raising living standards for people around the world. So what does the future of the energy industry look like? How affordable have solar and wind energy become? And how should that influence our willingness to embrace a more optimistic vision for humanity? Today's episode discusses these questions with Ramez Naam.
Ramez is a computer scientist and futurist, as well as the Energy and Environment Co-Chair at Singularity University. He is also the author of the https://www.amazon.com/Nexus-Trilogy-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00TOZI7FM (Nexus trilogy), an award-winning science fiction series that explores how neurotechnology could impact our society.
Mark Jamison: Is Big Tech anticompetitive?
America's biggest tech companies have revolutionized work, entertainment, and just about every aspect of life. But some in Washington are raising concerns about Big Tech, hoping to make the tech sector more competitive using antitrust action. Companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook are seen as too powerful, anticompetitive, or politically biased. Today, I'm joined by Mark Jamison to discuss the possibility of antitrust action against some of our biggest companies.
Mark is the director and Gunter Professor of the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business and a visiting scholar at AEI.
Alex Edmans: Is capitalism a zero-sum game?
Milton Friedman famously argued that the social responsibility of a company is to maximize its profits. Today, Friedman’s argument is coming under fire from both sides of the aisle. Shareholder capitalism is viewed with suspicion, and many Americans think workers and consumers are getting a raw deal. Greedy business practices are enriching the few but leaving the rest of us behind, the narrative goes. But are the interests of shareholders and the interests of workers and consumers really opposed? Is American capitalism really a zero-sum game? Alex Edmans, today's guest, argues that companies can invest in people without sacrificing profits.
Alex is a professor of finance at London Business School and the Academic Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance. He is also the author of last year’s https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Pie-Companies-Deliver-Purpose/dp/1108494854/ (Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit).
My Favorite Podcast
James and his guests draw you in every time.
242 future of clean energy
The failures of wind & solar are ignored. Wind & solar have proven themselves to be grossly in adequate in both California and Texas.
Lacking is the recognition of the ‘energy poverty’ currently being experienced in the EU. Particularly in Germany where they will rely on Russian oil due to the inadequacy of wind & solar.
No mention of the negative impact on our economy (increasing trade deficit, out sourcing of manufacturing to China, loss of US jobs).
China is the biggest carbon polluter yet sell us solar panels while they expand their massive coal energy production facilities.
Temperature outliers in Portland & Seattle don’t prove his premise - the world has been warming since the last ice age, 12000 years ago
The US has had a significant decline in pollution due to technology advances in extraction and use of fossil fuels
The obvious solution in the US is nuclear power and the utilization of SMRs
In depth conversations
I enjoy the focus on a topic and interesting interviews. Well done!