3 episodes

Robot F. Kennedy is a podcast that takes current events to launch a discussion of the past and future of politics and public policy. Eddie Quintana (a screenwriter and historian) and Nick Dazé (a startup founder and futurist) take turns examining where our politics come from and where they might be going.

Robot F. Kennedy Eddie Quintana and Nick Dazé

    • News
    • 4.7 • 14 Ratings

Robot F. Kennedy is a podcast that takes current events to launch a discussion of the past and future of politics and public policy. Eddie Quintana (a screenwriter and historian) and Nick Dazé (a startup founder and futurist) take turns examining where our politics come from and where they might be going.

    16: White Houses

    16: White Houses

    In this episode, we explore one of ur-symbols of the American Dream: homeownership. In the United States, home ownership is a symbol of the prosperity Americans are promised. It’s been a status symbol separating the middle classes from the poor for much of American history.

    Why? And how does one tax policy, the home mortgage interest deduction, play upon our collective dreams of Americanism.

    In this episode, we talk about vacation homes, reparations, Mark Twain, returns on investments, writing letters to curry favor with racists, and guillotines.

    This is Robot F. Kennedy.

    SHOW NOTES

    Six Policies Economists Love (And Politicians Hate), Planet Money Podcast
    http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/07/19/157047211/six-policies-economists-love-and-politicians-hate

    Does High Home-Ownership Impair the Labor Market?, Peterson Institute for International Economics
    https://piie.com/publications/wp/wp13-3.pdf

    Study: Higher levels of homeownership can kill jobs, Washington Post
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/07/study-high-levels-of-homeownership-can-kill-the-job-market/

    The idea that owning a home makes it harder to find a job because of higher moving costs is now known as "Oswald's hypothesis." And it's come in for plenty of scrutiny. Some economists, for instance, have argued that this effect might be counterbalanced by the fact that people who own homes have denser local networks, which makes it easier for them to find jobs in their local area.

    Why is that? The authors find that higher levels of homeownership in a state appear to be associated with lower levels of labor mobility, higher commute times, and fewer new businesses created. Taken together, those three factors tend to increase the unemployment rate. (Why fewer new businesses? One possibility is that homeowners are more likely to use zoning to restrict the activities of firms, though that's just a hypothesis.)

    America's interstate highways: America's splurge, The Economist
    http://www.economist.com/node/10697196

    The 7 big questions Republicans have to answer on tax reform, Vox.com
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/31/15093946/gop-tax-reform-cuts-permanent-border-interest

    The Ryan-Brady tax reform blueprint would preserve the two biggest and most popular itemized deductions—those for mortgage interest and charitable donations—but eliminate all others, as well as a few credits.

    The biggest deal here is the deductions for state income, sales, and real estate taxes, which together provided $80.4 billion in tax relief in fiscal year 2014. That's more than the mortgage interest deduction. The mortgage deduction is widely viewed as politically untouchable, because its affluent-but-not-super-wealthy beneficiaries will cry bloody murder if it’s threatened.

    The Tax Deductions Economists Hate, FiveThirtyEight
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-tax-deductions-economists-hate/

    At the top of many economists’ hit list is the mortgage-interest deduction. If you have a mortgage on your home, you don’t have to pay taxes on the interest on that loan. According to the Congressional Budget Office, that tax break cost the federal government $70 billion in 2013.

    Economists have all sorts of problems with the mortgage-interest deduction. For one thing, because wealthier people own bigger homes with bigger mortgages, the benefit disproportionately benefits the rich. In 2013, 73 percent of that $70 billion went to the wealthiest 20 percent of earners; 15 percent went to the richest 1 percent. The poorest 20 percent, who rarely own homes, got essentially nothing.

    Mortgage Interest Deduction Is Ripe for Reform, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    https://www.cbpp.org/research/mortgage-interest-deduction-is-ripe-for-reform

    • 48 min
    15: Does Petrograd Translate to ‘Oil City’?

    15: Does Petrograd Translate to ‘Oil City’?

    This is the third of a multi-part series on climate change, the President’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, and the politics and rhetoric that surround it.

    This week: where are we headed? What scenarios are likely to play out in the decades ahead, as the climate becomes the arch-issue of the future?

    In this episode we talk about body heat, globalism, the Cretaceous coastline, healthy debt-to-GDP ratios, and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

    This is Robot F. Kennedy.

    SHOW NOTES

    Paper: “Global risk of deadly heat”, NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE
    https://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3322.html

    Right now, about 30 percent of the world’s population is exposed to deadly temperatures at least 20 days out of the year. By 2100, that number could reach 74 percent if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, or 48 percent with drastic cuts to global emissions.

    Articles

    ”A new book ranks the top 100 solutions to climate change. The results are surprising.”, Vox.com
    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/5/10/15589038/top-100-solutions-climate-change-ranked

    Kottke.org, http://kottke.org/17/06/the-100-best-solutions-to-reverse-climate-change-ranked
    If, somehow, we could get to a place where we are talking about dealing with climate change not as “saving the planet” (which it isn’t) but as “improving humanity” (which it is), we might actually be able to accomplish something.

    The Cretaceous Coastline: http://kottke.org/16/10/how-the-cretaceous-coastline-of-north-america-affects-us-presidential-elections

    “A Republican group is framing its proposed carbon tax as “environmental insurance,” not a tax”. Quartz
    https://qz.com/905688/a-republican-group-making-the-case-for-a-carbon-tax-to-donald-trumps-administration-needs-to-just-look-at-what-happened-in-australia/

    “California, at Forefront of Climate Fight, Won’t Back Down to Trump”, the New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/us/california-climate-change-jerry-brown-donald-trump.html?_r=0

    ——

    Paul Hawken: And not only that, they’re about energy — they’re all energy models. There’s an assumption that if you get 100 percent renewable [energy], you basically have a hall pass to the 22nd century. That’s simply not true. It’s a scientific howler. It’s extremely important that we [get to 100 percent renewables], but to put all of it on energy ...

    Malcom Harris’s tweet: I don't think we're all going to die because of climate change, this is what I think is going to happen https://twitter.com/BigMeanInternet/status/870415818378670080/photo/1

    “New Simulations Predict the United States' Coming Climate Change Mass Migration,” VICE | Motherboard: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/new-simulations-predict-the-united-states-coming-climate-change-mass-migration

    ——
    What the Earth would look like if all the ice melted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbiRNT_gWUQ

    Animations Show the Melting Arctic Sea Ice, and What the Earth Would Look Like When All of the Ice Melts

    https://youtu.be/Vj1G9gqhkYA

    ——
    Ice Melt, Sea Level Rise and Superstorms Video Abstract, published in the Journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP-cRqCQRc8
    ——

    Want to Fight Climate Change? Move to a City
    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/want-to-fight-climate-change-move-to-a-city

    ——
    Exiting Paris “probably our most consequential error since the Iraq War,” economist says
    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/6/5/15739792/exiting-paris-most-consequential-error-iraq-war-economist
    ——

    Fighting climate change isn’t a ‘waste of money’ — it’s a good investment, the Verge
    https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/16/14951398/trump-mick-mulvaney-climate-change-epa-budget-cuts

    • 1 hr 9 min
    14: The Overview Effect

    14: The Overview Effect

    This is the second of a multi-part series on climate change, the President’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, and the politics and rhetoric that surround it.

    This week: what are we seeing today? Who are the leading voices on climate action in the public, private, and religious spheres?

    In this episode we talk about Gaia from Captain Planet, Carl Sagan, a couple of popes, and Elon Musk.

    This is Robot F. Kennedy.

    SHOW NOTES

    Elon Musk's Unbelievably Simple 12-minute Killer Break Down on Climate Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKCuDxpccYM

    Musk concluded that if we wait to make the transition, we could see “more displacement and destruction than all the wars in history combined”.

    He then described civilization as being designed to be “super sensitive to climate change” due to the popularity of coastal cities.

    Laudato Si, Pope Francis, Climate Change, and Economics
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/18/guardian-view-on-laudato-si-pope-francis-cultural-revolution

    The Pope, the Saint, and the Climate, https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/pope-saint-and-climate

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

NYChusbands ,

More Please

I enjoyed the casual stream-of-conscious nature of this program. Months later I still think of various ideas they put on the table: like increasing the size of congress and having them work remotely so they’re able to be closer and more engaged with their constituents.

Thanks guys!

vbnickname ,

Super smart!

Love listening to the two! It's like you get to be inside a smart person's brain as they figure out their stance on various topics.

Baseball_fan17 ,

Stay Away

This podcast is two far-left guys regurgitating your run-of-the-mill liberal platitudes and talking points without being entertaining and trying hard, yet failing, to be thought provoking in any meaningful way.

I think it’s important to listen to political commentary from people with differing viewpoints but the smarm and condescension that emanates from the hosts in this show towards anyone with any shred of conservative viewpoints was too much to handle and I’m surprised I made it as far as I did.

It’s dismissive and lazy political commentary like this that comes from the left that turns middle America away from the Democratic Party and the values that they espouse. For that reason, I hope this show goes to the top of the charts.

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