Strongly-held opinions. Open-minded debates. A weekly ideas show, hosted by Jane Coaston.
What Biden Is Still Getting Wrong on Immigration
Our immigration system is broken. So is the way we talk about it.
Most conversations about immigration come down to a yes-or-no debate. Two sides talking over each other with very little constructive and achievable propositions. That might be part of the reason that little effective reform has made its way through Congress in the past 20 years, despite calls from both Democrats and Republicans for an overhaul.
In reality, immigration is a complicated system and there’s no easy answer to the problems it entails. This week, Jane Coaston breaks down one group of approaches that could have a significant impact on individuals and families who want to enter the United States: temporary work programs.
These programs allow migrants to come to the United States to work based on the labor needs of certain industries. And because their legal status is tied to employment, workers are beholden to their bosses and the companies that hire them. Oftentimes, the companies use that power to take advantage of workers.
The guests today analyze these programs and debate whether they should be expanded without other changes or what reforms are necessary to ensure workers aren’t exploited. Michael Clemens is an economist and the director of migration, displacement and humanitarian policy at the Center for Global Development. Daniel Costa is a human rights lawyer and the director of immigration law and policy research at the Economic Policy Institute.
Mentioned in this episode:
Daniel Costa’s paper “Temporary Migrant Workers or Immigrants? The Question for U.S. Labor Migration”
Michael Clemens’s study on the Bracero program in a paper he co-wrote called “Immigration Restrictions as Active Labor Market Policy”
“Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers” in The New York Times
“The Fixer: Visa Lottery Chronicles” by Charles Piot with Kodjo Nicolas Batema
Love listening to New York Times podcasts? Help us test a new audio product in beta and give us your thoughts to shape what it becomes. Visit nytimes.com/audio to join the beta.
Are You Contributing to America’s Affordable Housing Crisis?
Rent is soaring, but close to two-thirds of renters remain on leases because of financial reasons. In 2019, nearly 70 percent of millennials surveyed said that they could not afford to buy a home on account of rising prices, and the number of people in the United States without shelter has increased by about 30 percent in the past five years. We’re in a housing crisis.
There’s a ton of debate on how we should go about solving these issues, particularly in dense cities. People who are for building more housing units in cities argue that zoning restrictions should be reduced, which would increase the number of homes, ideally allowing supply to keep up with demand. On the other hand, some residents support strict land use regulations that prevent further development in their areas.
Today, Matt Yglesias, a D.C. resident, and Joel Kotkin, who lives in California, join host Jane Coaston to talk about the pros and cons of building more housing and single-family zoning and why moving to the suburbs isn’t the only answer. Also, the Times columnist Jamelle Bouie tells Jane about zoning policy in his city, Charlottesville, Va.
Mentioned in this episode:
“Building Housing — Lots of It — Will Lay the Foundation for a New Future” by Matt Yglesias on Vox
“In Defense of Houses” by Joel Kotkin, published in City Journal
“How Blue Cities Became So Outrageously Unaffordable,” an interview with the Vox policy reporter Jerusalem Demsas on “The Ezra Klein Show”
What We Get Wrong About Online Sex Work
This episode contains strong language.
The online content-hosting platform OnlyFans declared in August that it would ban all “sexually explicit content” from its website. After immense backlash from users, the company reversed that decision just six days later.
OnlyFans isn’t the only site to come under fire for providing a platform for adult content. Pornhub and Backpage have been threatened with restrictions over child exploitation and trafficking allegations. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation filed a lawsuit against Twitter, accusing it of allowing and profiting from human trafficking.
But a big part of this conversation includes legal sex work and the rights of sex workers. The move to online work has made it possible for performers to have a direct line to their clients and to the general public. And with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, such sites have provided an avenue for content creators to continue earning money.
In today’s episode, Jane Coaston speaks with two women who are intimately aware of the workings of the sex industry. Jamie Rosseland is an advocate for victims and survivors of trafficking. And Cherie DeVille is a 10-year porn veteran and a contributor to The Daily Beast.
Mentioned in this episode:
“What We Can Really Learn From the OnlyFans Debacle,” by Jessica Stoya on Slate
“OnlyFans Is Not a Safe Platform for ‘Sex Work.’ It’s a Pimp,” by Catharine A. MacKinnon in New York Times Opinion
“OnlyFans and the Future of Sex Work on the Internet,” an episode on NPR’s “1A” podcast
How They Failed: C.A. Republicans, Media Critics and Facebook Leadership
In a special Opinion Audio bonanza, Jane Coaston, Ezra Klein (The Ezra Klein Show) and Kara Swisher (Sway) sit down to discuss what went wrong for the G.O.P. in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom of California. “This was where the nationalization of politics really bit back for Republicans,” Jane says. The three hosts then debate whether the media industry’s criticism of itself does any good at all. “The media tweets like nobody’s watching,” Ezra says. Then the hosts turn to The Wall Street Journal’s revelations in “The Facebook Files” and discuss how to hold Facebook accountable. “We’re saying your tools in the hands of malevolent players are super dangerous,” Kara says, “but we have no power over them whatsoever.”
And last, Ezra, Jane and Kara offer recommendations to take you deep into history, fantasy and psychotropics.
Is Being a Football Fan Unethical?
It’s the start of another N.F.L. season, the time of year Americans turn on their televisions to watch their favorite teams make spectacular plays and their favorite players commit incredible acts of athleticism. But is America’s favorite pastime actually its guiltiest pleasure? Can fans ethically enjoy watching a football game?
The effects of the tackles on players’ brains is one reason you might feel guilty for watching. The injuries come on top of long-running disagreements between players and the league. How do you balance the brutality of the sport with the athleticism and beauty?
Steve Almond gave up watching football because of the values he sees it embracing. Kevin Clark watches football as part of his job as a writer and reporter at The Ringer.
Mentioned in this episode:
“Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback” by George Plimpton (1966)
“Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto” by Steve Almond
Kevin Clark’s recent reporting at The Ringer
'I Fear for My Country Today:' Vets Reflect on 9/11
As the world reflects on the anniversary of Sept. 11, what does the day of the attacks — and the 20 years of war it precipitated — feel like to America’s veterans? With the Afghanistan withdrawal suddenly reclaiming attention for the “forever” wars, is the 9/11 era finally over, on the home front and in America’s foreign policy? Jane Coaston brings together Kenneth Harbaugh and Michael Washington, two friends and veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, to discuss the pax Americana, the 9/11 roots of today’s divide in the veteran community and the political weaponization of service members’ patriotism. Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and is a podcaster and veterans’ advocate. Washington is a former Marine and firefighter who today works as a licensed therapist for veterans and emergency workers.
Good , deserves her own show. This is well executed and researched so Well done. Always Room for improvement, surely will improve more with time given her skills; I recommend others enjoy this, as many nerds will surely enjoy the humor, well deduced arguments, and cohesive thoughts.
So much wasted potential
Like others have said: It’s meant to showcase arguments but it almost always has two milquetoast people with small quibbles about their general agreement with the liberal position on an issue. It was especially infuriating when the host dismissed a call in argument about the insidiousness of religion with a hand wave of someone who has never critically thought about their religion but instead treats it like an identity fashion accessory. There has to be a middle ground between this and the old Crossfire format.
Very much appreciate!
It baffles me to read the poor reviews, especially when folks are writing $&it about guests not arguing on the podcast. Guests are having respectful conversations from different perspectives ABOUT the argument/topic. This podcast is is a breath of fresh air in a smoggy, noxious, argumentative environment. Thank you, Jane!