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The Ezra Klein Show

New York Times Opinion

Available on

Each Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics t...

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    We’re on the Precipice of a Post-Roe World

    <p>A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court let stand a Texas law creating a system of vigilante legal enforcement against anyone who participates in an abortion after the point of ...

    Economics Needs to Reckon With What It Doesn’t Know

    <p>“The world discovered that John Maynard Keynes was right when he declared during World War II that ‘anything we can actually do, we can afford,’”<a href="https://www.nytime...

    How Colson Whitehead Writes About Our ‘Big Wild Country’

    <p>“If he got a thrill out of transforming these ill-gotten goods into legit merchandise, a zap-charge in his blood like he’d plugged into a socket, he was in control of it an...

    Tyler Cowen on the Great Stagnation’s End

    <p>Tyler Cowen is an economist at George Mason University, the co-founder of the blog Marginal Revolution, and host of the podcast “Conversations With Tyler.” But more than th...

    Can We Change Our Sexual Desires? Should We?

    <p>“Feminists have long dreamed of sexual freedom,” writes Amia Srinivasan. “What they refuse to accept is its simulacrum: sex that is said to be free, not because it is equal...

    This Isn’t Your Grandpa’s Joe Biden

    <p>President Biden’s economic policy isn’t what you would have expected from his long career. That’s true in the legislation he’s backing, which is bigger and bolder than anyt...

    Ask Ezra Anything: Degrowth, Third Parties, Reading and More

    <p>We asked for your questions, and you answered. Hundreds and hundreds of fantastic questions poured in, and our producer Annie Galvin joined me to ask some of the best of th...

    The Foreign Policy Conversation Washington Doesn’t Want to Have

    <p>Everything about the Afghanistan withdrawal is tragic. But that tragedy is the result not of the withdrawal, but the occupation, and America’s profound misjudgment of its o...

    This Conversation Will Change How You Think About Trauma

    <p>“Trauma is much more than a story about something that happened long ago,” writes Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. “The emotions and physical sensations that were imprinted during ...

    The Argument: Should We Say "Hi" to Aliens?

    <p>We're taking this week off from publishing new episodes, so today we're bringing you an episode from "The Argument" about one of my favorite topics: aliens. We'll be back w...

    Best of: George Saunders on Kindness in a Cruel World

    <p>We’re taking a week off from releasing new episodes, so today I wanted to re-up one of my favorite episodes of the show, a conversation with fiction writer George Saunders ...

    How Identity Politics Took Over the Republican Party

    <p>One problem with the conversation around political polarization is that it can imply that polarization is a static, singular thing. That our divisions are fixed and unchang...

    We’re Living in the World the War on Terror Built

    <p>The Sept, 11 attacks might have taken place almost 20 years ago, but we’re still living in the America that the war on terror built. Its legacy is not just mass surveillanc...

    The Good and Bad News About the Delta Variant

    <p>“The war has changed.” That’s what the leaked C.D.C. document says about the way the Delta variant has upended our coronavirus policies. Delta is astonishingly contagious. ...

    41 Questions For The Technologies We Use, and That Use Us

    <p>We all know by now that Zoom causes fatigue, social media spreads misinformation and Google Maps is wiping out our sense of direction. We also know, of course, that Zoom al...

    Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Fight Over U.S. History

    <p>You’ve heard plenty by now about the fights over teaching critical race theory and the 1619 Project. But behind those skirmishes is something deeper: A fight over the story...

    Ross Douthat Has Been ‘Radicalized a Little Bit, Too’

    <p>Am I too panicked about the future of American democracy?</p><p>My colleague Ross Douthat thinks so. He points to research suggesting that voter ID laws and absentee voting...

    How Blue Cities Became So Outrageously Unaffordable

    <p>Joe Biden’s economic agenda is centered on a basic premise: The United States needs to build. To build roads and bridges. To build child care facilities and car-charging st...

    Our Workplaces Think We’re Computers. We’re Not.

    <p>For decades, our society’s dominant metaphor for the mind has been a computer. A machine that operates the exact same way whether it’s in a dark room or next to a sunny win...

    Ibram X. Kendi on What Conservatives—and Liberals—Get Wrong About Antiracism

    <p>“What if instead of a feelings advocacy we had an outcome advocacy that put equitable outcomes before our guilt and anguish?” wrote Ibram X. Kendi in his 2019 book “<a href...

    How Octopuses Upend What We Know About Ourselves

    <p>I’ve spent the past few months on an octopus kick. In that, I don’t seem to be alone. Octopuses (it’s incorrect to say “octopi,” to my despair) are having a moment: There a...

    Critical Race Theory, Comic Books and the Power of Public Schools

    <p>Eve Ewing’s work as a sociologist, poet, visual artist, podcaster and comic book writer manages to do two things that are often in tension: it gives us a clear picture of h...

    Best of: What ‘Drained-Pool’ Politics Costs America

    <p>In February, I spoke with Heather McGhee. I’ve been thinking about the conversation ever since. </p><p>“The American landscape was once graced with resplendent public swimm...

    Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy Wants You to Be Bad at Something. It’s for Your Own Good.

    <p>Recently, I picked up Jeff Tweedy’s<a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/670253/how-to-write-one-song-by-jeff-tweedy/"> “How to Write One Song.”</a> It was a bi...

    Why Do We Work So Damn Much?

    <p>Historically speaking, we live in an age of extraordinary abundance. We have long since passed the income thresholds when<a href="http://www.econ.yale.edu/smith/econ116a/ke...

    Republicans Are Setting Off a ‘Doom Loop’ for Democracy

    <p>The insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 failed. Donald Trump is not the president. But at the state level, the Republican war on elections is posting startling wins. They...

    Sarah Schulman’s Radical Approach to Conflict, Communication and Change

    <p>Sarah Schulman’s work — as a nonfiction writer, novelist, activist, playwright and filmmaker — confronts the very thing most people try to avoid: conflict. Schulman, far fr...

    Welcome to the ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ Economy

    <p>This is a strange moment in the economy. Wages are up, but so is inflation. Jobs are growing, but maybe not fast enough. Quit rates are at a 21st-century high. It isn’t cle...

    The Freeing of the American Mind

    <p>Free minds. Freedom fries. Free speech. The Freedom Caucus. Freedom from. Freedom to. What do Americans really mean when they talk about freedom?</p><p>Louis Menand’s “<a h...

    Sam Altman on the A.I. Revolution, Trillionaires and the Future of Political Power

    <p>“The technological progress we make in the next 100 years will be far larger than all we’ve made since we first controlled fire and invented the wheel,” writes Sam Altman i...

    Employers Are Begging for Workers. Maybe That’s a Good Thing.

    <p>There has been a bit of panic lately over employers who say not enough people want to apply for open jobs. Are we facing a labor shortage? Have stimulus checks and expanded...

    Is A.I. the Problem? Or Are We?

    <p>If you talk to many of the people working on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence research, you’ll hear that we are on the cusp of a technology that will be far more...

    Obama Explains How America Went From ‘Yes We Can’ to ‘MAGA’

    <p>“My entire politics is premised on the fact that we are these tiny organisms on this little speck floating in the middle of space,” Barack Obama told me, sitting in his off...

    Sway: How Online Sleuths Pantsed Putin

    <p>Today, while I'm on vacation, we're sharing an episode from Sway, a fellow New York Times Opinion podcast. Host Kara Swisher talks to Eliot Higgins, CEO of the open source ...

    The Argument: Should We Cancel Student Loan Debt?

    <p>This week, while I'm on vacation, we'll be sharing work from two other New York Times Opinion podcasts. First up, an episode from our friends at The Argument about how to c...

    Violent Crime Is Spiking. Do Liberals Have an Answer?

    <p>Early estimates find that in 2020, homicides in the United States <a href="https://www.vox.com/22344713/murder-violent-crime-spike-surge-2020-covid-19-coronavirus">increase...

    The Spectacle of the G.O.P.'s Shrinking Tent

    <p>On May 12, House Republicans voted to remove Representative Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House, from her leadership post. Her transgression? Vocally rebu...

    Status Games, Polyamory and the Merits of Meritocracy

    <p>Agnes Callard is an ethical philosopher who dissects, in dazzlingly precise detail, familiar human experiences that we think we understand. Whether her topic is expressing ...

    Michael Lewis Is Asking the Right Question

    <p>Michael Lewis’s new book, <a href="https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393881554">“The Premonition,”</a> is about one of the most important questions of this moment: Why, despit...

    Elizabeth Warren on What We Get Wrong About Inequality

    <p>One lesson of covering policy over the past 20 years is that whatever Elizabeth Warren is thinking about now is what Washington is going to be talking about next.</p><p>So ...

    How to Have Better Conversations About Hard Things

    <p>Anna Sale is one of my favorite interviewers. As the host of WNYC Studios’ “Death, Sex and Money,” she has an uncanny ability to get her guests to open up about the most pe...

    How Chuck Schumer Plans to Win Over Trump Voters

    <p>In his 100 days address this week, Joe Biden outlined his plans for a big, bold legislative agenda to come. He previewed a two-pronged economic package: the $2.25 trillion ...

    Shame, Safety and Moving Beyond Cancel Culture

    <p>I’ve been thinking lately about how to move beyond the binary debate over cancel culture. And a good place to start is with the deeper question we’re all trying to ask: Wha...

    Noam Chomsky’s Theory of the Good Life

    <p>How do you introduce Noam Chomsky? Perhaps you start here: In 1979, The New York Times<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1979/02/25/archives/the-chomsky-problem-chomsky.html"...

    That Anxiety You’re Feeling? It’s a Habit You Can Unlearn.

    <p>This has been a bad year for the anxious among us — myself very much included. The pandemic was objectively terrifying. And many of us were trapped inside, with nothing we ...

    Why Adults Lose the ‘Beginner’s Mind’

    <p>Here’s a sobering thought: The older we get, the harder it is for us to learn, to question, to reimagine. This isn’t just habit hardening into dogma. It’s encoded into the ...

    Your Success Probably Didn’t Come From Merit Alone

    <p>Prepping for a conversation with Tressie McMillan Cottom is intimidating. McMillan Cottom is a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a 2020 MacArthu...

    The Best Explanation of Biden's Thinking I’ve Heard

    <p>With the $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, the economic theory that is Bidenomics is taking shape. It’s big. It puts climate at the center of everything. It is more worried a...

    Did the Boomers Ruin America? A Debate.

    <p>Donald Trump was the fourth member of the baby boomer generation to be elected president, after Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The Senate majority leader, C...

    Humanity’s Awesome, Terrifying Takeover of Evolution

    <p>For years now, I’ve had the same recurring worry: Am I focusing on the trivial? When future generations look back on this moment in history, will they remember the daily po...

    The Author Behind ‘Arrival’ Doesn’t Fear AI. ‘Look at How We Treat Animals.’

    <p>For years, I’ve kept a list of dream guests for this show. And as long as that list has existed, Ted Chiang has been atop it.</p><p>Chiang is a science fiction writer. But ...

    A Top G.O.P. Pollster on Trump 2024, QAnon and What Republicans Really Want

    <p>In the aftermath of the Capitol attack, the polling firm Echelon Insights decided to ask voters a simple question: Do they think the goal of politics is more about “enactin...

    An Unusually Optimistic Conversation With Bernie Sanders

    <p>Bernie Sanders didn’t win the 2020 election. But he may have won its aftermath.</p><p>If you look back at Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders’s careers, the $1.9 trillion stimulus...

    Andrew Cuomo and the Performance of Power

    <p>Six months ago, Andrew Cuomo was on top of the world. He was touted as the anti-Donald Trump — the calm, fact-driven coronavirus leader the country needed. Now, amid allega...

    Mark Bittman Cooked Everything. Now He Wants to Change Everything.

    <p>Mark Bittman taught me to cook. I read his New York Times cooking column, “The Minimalist,” religiously. I bought <a href="https://www.amazon.com/How-Cook-Everything-Recipe...

    How America’s Covid-19 Nightmare Ends

    <p>On Jan. 28, I published <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/28/opinion/new-covid-strain.html">a column</a> that began like this: “I hope, in the end, that this article...

    What Does Toxic Stress Do to Children?

    <p>Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’s pioneering work on how childhood trauma shapes adult outcomes led to her being named the first surgeon general of California. That was in 2019. An...

    Stop. Breathe. We Can’t Keep Working Like This.

    <p>We were promised, with the internet, a productivity revolution. We were told that we’d get more done, in less time, with less stress. Instead, we got always-on communicatio...

    What a More Responsible Republican Party Would Look Like

    <p>If you watched this past weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, you heard a lot of debunked election conspiracies, dire warnings about “cancel culture” and unw...

    How the Texas Crisis Could Become Everyone's Crisis

    <p>Last week, freezing temperatures overwhelmed the Texas power grid, setting off rolling blackouts that left millions without power during an intense winter storm. But this s...

    A Radical Proposal for True Democracy

    <p>One thing I want to do on this show is give space to truly radical ideas, to expand the boundaries of our political and moral imaginations. And Hélène Landemore, a politica...

    What It Means to be Kind in a Cruel World

    <p>George Saunders is one of America’s greatest living writers. He’s the author of dozens of critically acclaimed short stories, including his 2013 collection, “Tenth of Decem...

    What ‘Drained-Pool’ Politics Costs America

    <p>“The American landscape was once graced with resplendent public swimming pools, some big enough to hold thousands of swimmers at a time,” writes Heather McGhee in her new b...

    The Senate Is Making a Mockery of Itself

    <p>The Senate is where Joe Biden’s agenda will live or die. More specifically, the intricacies of archaic Senate rules — the budget reconciliation process, the filibuster, the...

    Should We Dim the Sun? Will We Even Have a Choice?

    <p>“We are as gods and might as well get good at it,” Stewart Brand famously wrote in “The Whole Earth Catalogue.” Human beings act upon nature at fantastic scale, altering wh...

    An Appalled Republican Considers the Future of the G.O.P.

    <p>"I don’t think conservatism can do its job in a free society in opposition to the institutions of that society,” Yuval Levin told me. “I think it can only function in defen...

    To Understand This Era, You Need to Think in Systems

    <p>As my colleague Ben Smith wrote in an August profile, sociologist Zeynep Tufekci has “made a habit of being right on the big things.” She saw the threat of the coronavirus ...

    What’s Happening to Our Economy Is Like a Natural Disaster

    <p>The Biden administration’s first legislative priority is a $1.9 trillion economic rescue package. It’s the kind of mega-package where the individual policies contained insi...

    The Man With the Plan to Beat the Pandemic

    <p>I’ve never covered a moment that simultaneously merits so much despair and so much hope. It’s dizzying. The Biden administration takes office with over 25 million Covid-19 ...

    Coming Soon: The Ezra Klein Show

    <p>Every Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation about something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Ha...