Vox's The Weeds

By Vox

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 Oct 15, 2018
Really just covering the full history of topics in a way that other podcasts do not. Truly journalists questioning the world around them for our benefit.

A Podcast Republic user
 Jul 9, 2018


In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, Matthew Yglesias is joined by Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, Dara Lind, Jane Coaston and other Vox voices to dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare, immigration, housing, and everything else that matters. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Episode Date
A Weeds farewell to Paul Ryan

Jane, Ezra, and Matt consider Paul Ryan’s legacy and new research on crime and the minimum wage.

References and further reading:

Ezra’s piece on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s legacy

Matt’s essay following the announcement of Paul Ryan’s retirement

Ted Cruz’s confusing tweet of Beto O’Rourke speaking on the shooting of Botham Jean

A white paper examines the effects on criminal recidivism when states increase minimum wages

Annie Lowrey’s piece in the Atlantic on a jobs guarantee

Dec 11, 2018
Pod Save the US-Saudi alliance?

Special guest Tommy Vietor of Crooked Media’s Pod Save the World joins Dara and Matt to break down the anti-Saudi backlash sweeping Washington.

Dec 07, 2018
Midwest Republicans lost in 2018 — but they’re not giving up power

Jane, Ezra, and Matt talk about state-level GOP power grabs and the curious case of Trump’s disappearing populism.

References and further reading:

Tara Golshan’s piece on the recent legislation proposed by GOP lawmakers

David Frum’s book and Yascha Mounk’s book on populism and the threat to democracy

Ezra’s conversation with Nate Silver

Matt’s explainer on the Indiana Carrier factory

Michael Brendan Dougherty’s essay on the support Trump needs after the 2018 elections

A research paper on Americans’ misconceptions of the major political parties

Dec 04, 2018
Mexico was the wall all along

Dara and Matt explain the situation at the border now that the caravan has finally arrived.

References and further reading:

Li Zhou explains the liberal blowback against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Vox’s piece on the shutdown negotiations

The weird outlet mall at the border

Dara’s article on the asylum bottleneck

A New York Times piece on the current conditions in Tijuana

The Washington Post breaks down the “Remain in Mexico” policy

Dara outlines what we still don't know about “Remain in Mexico”

Nov 30, 2018
The many flavors of Medicare-for-all

Dylan Scott joins Sarah and Matt to break down eight different plans circulating to expand government health insurance programs.

References and further reading:

Sarah breaks down five competing health care plans from Democrats

Dylan lays out the Urban Institute’s proposed health care plan  

A white paper finds ICE partnerships with local police led to a decline in elementary-school enrollment of Hispanic students

Are you interested in more discussions around health care policy? Join our Facebook community for conversation and updates.

Nov 27, 2018
The Impact: How do you make education funding fair?

Our Thanksgiving special is an episode of The Impact -- a show about how policy shapes our lives hosted by Sarah Kliff.

This season, Sarah and her team are focusing on the most exciting, innovative ideas at the state and local level. This episode, they're in Vermont, looking at a radical law to equalize education funding.

Like what you’re hearing?

Find The Impact on Apple Podcasts|Google Podcasts|Spotify|Stitcher|Overcast|ART19

Nov 23, 2018
The future of conservatism is being forged in California

Jane, Ezra, and Matt explain a new brand of right-wing politics rising under conditions of permanent opposition.

References and further reading:

Jane’s piece on the driving force that is California-style conservatism

A white paper examining which voters supported Medicaid in Maine’s 2017 referendum

John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck explain the 2016 presidential election through identity politics in their book Identity Crisis

Nov 20, 2018
Facebook is bad, please join our Facebook group

Dara, Jane, and Matt analyze the social network that America loves to hate and can't escape.

References and further reading:

New York Times exposé on Facebook’s reaction to Russian interference on their site

Michelle Goldberg tells Democrats to leave Facebook in a Times opinion piece

An article from the New York Times on advertisers’ reactions to the Facebook report

An interview with Sheryl Sandberg from CBS News

Ask Weeds Anything is back!

Sarah Kliff, Dara Lind, and Matt Yglesias will answer your questions about politics and policy on an upcoming episode of The Weeds.

Got a question? Ask away in our Facebook group or send along to weeds@vox.com.

Nov 16, 2018
Voting in America

Dara, Sarah, and Matt talk recounts, late votes, voter suppression, and the state of American democracy.

References and further reading:

A story from the Washington Post covering criticism of the White House and the NRSC’s reaction to the Arizona Senate race

German Lopez’s piece on the voter fraud allegations in Florida

A working paper on Medicaid's impact on voter turnout

Nov 13, 2018
Jeff Sessions is gone but not forgotten

Dara, Jane, and Matt talk about the endgame for the attorney general Trump loved to hate.

References and further reading:

Dara reports on Trump’s asylum ban

Dara defines Jeff Sessions’s legacy through immigration crackdowns and deportation

Heather Mac Donald’s “The War on Cops”

The Trump administration enters its Leeroy Jenkins phase

A piece from Politico on the magical powers of Trump

Jane’s essay from National Review on Trumpism

McKay Coppins’s Atlantic article on the GOP’s adoption of Trumpism

Nov 09, 2018
About last night

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt break down seven key takeaways from Tuesday's election.

References and further reading:

Ezra’s piece on Trump’s failing political strategy

Ezra’s essay on William Kristol’s 1993 health memo

Nov 07, 2018
Seattle’s plan to save democracy

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt offer midterm predictions, look at democracy vouchers, and analyze the real impact of Daylight Savings Time.

References and further reading:

Sarah explores the effects of Seattle’s democracy vouchers on The Impact

Nicholas Carnes’s piece on the representation of the working class in government

A working paper presents evidence that Daylight Savings Time results in an increase in electricity demand

An article in Quartz explains the lobbying behind Daylight Savings Time

Matt’s case against time zones

Nov 06, 2018
Bad for the Jews

Jane, Dara, and Matt dissect the rising currents of anti-Semitism in the Trump era.

References and further reading:

Adam Serwer’s piece on the Pittsburgh shooter

Dara joins Today, Explained to discuss the migrant caravan

Time analyzes Ted Nugent’s anti-Semitic Facebook post about gun control

The Atlantic’s profile of a neo-Nazi who took Trump’s speech as an endorsement of anti-Semitism

Michael Brendan Dougherty’s piece in National Review on why he’s disappointed

Jane's essay on conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism

Maureen Dowd's controversial opinion piece in the New York Times:

A Bellingcat essay on how anti-Semites were "red-pilled"

Nov 02, 2018
Operation Win the Midterms

Defense correspondent Alex Ward joins Dara and Matt to analyze Trump’s dispatch of thousands of US soldiers to the border.

References and further reading:

Alex’s piece on the role of troops at the US-Mexico border

An article from Reuters on the clashes at the Mexico-Guatemala border

Dara explains the migrant caravan

Dara’s piece on the shrinking caravan

Dara reports on a new “travel ban” that the Trump administration is considering

Oct 31, 2018
Republicans’ health care message: Lie a lot

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt break down rhetoric and reality on preexisting conditions.

References and further reading:

Sarah outlines the position of Republicans on preexisting conditions

Sarah’s piece from 2016 on the future of Obamacare

Robert Draper’s article on Priorities USA and its campaign against Mitt Romney

Ezra makes the case that Trump is a moderate

Oct 30, 2018
Our elections are being hacked

In this episode, Ezra and Jane dig into the dismal state of election security, as well as the many, many ways that people’s votes are obstructed, distorted, and prevented. Isn’t democracy grand?

References and further reading:

Benjamin Wofford’s piece on our hacked election system

Jamelle Bouie in the Daily Beast breaks down the motive behind voter ID laws

Issie Lapowsky of Wired clarifies that you cannot cast a vote with a text message

The Atlantic reports on black civic engagement versus voter turnout during the Trump era

A report from the Brennan Center on democracy

Ezra’s interview with Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson’s timely book on a history of voter suppression

Matt’s piece on the hack gap

The Daily Kos explains that when more people vote, Republicans lose

Oct 26, 2018
What's next for House Democrats?

Ella Nilsen and Dylan Scott join Matt Yglesias to talk about Democrats' midterm message and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's future.

References and further reading:

Ella’s piece on the priorities of House Democrats if they take the House in November.

Ella breaks down the fight for leadership over House Democrats

Dylan outlines the 2018 midterms using an ad from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

Dylan explains the role of health care in the Missouri Senate race

Oct 24, 2018
Cory Booker’s plan to close the racial wealth gap

Dara, Sarah, and Matt talk about a new "baby bonds" proposal and new research that explores perceptions of illegal immigrants.

References and further reading:

Sarah’s piece on Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) plan for baby bonds

A report on the racial wealth gap

An article on unclaimed cash from baby bonds in the United Kingdom

Ira Katznelson on racial inequality in “When Affirmative Action Was White”

A white paper on the social construction of illegality

Oct 23, 2018
Introducing Future Perfect

A sneak peek at Vox’s newest show, about provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. Host Dylan Matthews tackles big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, reform prisons, fight global warming, and end world poverty, from decisions in Congress to choices in our everyday lives.

Find Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts | Spotify | StitcherART19

Oct 20, 2018
Trump versus the Caravan

Jane, Dara, and Matt explain the reality behind the migrant caravan fueling the latest MAGA conspiracy theories.

References and further reading:

Trump’s first campaign ad

Rep. Matt Gaetz’s tweet claiming to share footage relating to the caravan

Oct 19, 2018
Republicans run everything, and they’re mad as hell

Tara Golshan joins Jane and Matt to analyze the state of the GOP on the brink of the midterms.

References and further reading:

Ella Nilsen gives a rundown of the creative political ads from this midterm season.

Tara’s piece on Rep. Duncan Hunter’s attacks on his opponent.

Jane’s article in the National Review on “Trumpism.”

Matt Schlapp’s tweet about Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

Oct 17, 2018
America’s moral failure on climate

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt debate the new IPCC report, William Nordhaus's Nobel Prize, and a hot new working paper about Medicaid contraction.

References and further reading:

The IPCC report on the impact of global warming

David Roberts’s piece on the fight over the carbon tax in Washington state during 2016

Earl Swift tells of the disappearing Tangier Island in his book Chesapeake Requiem

A white paper on the effects of disenrollment from Medicaid

A contrasting paper on the effects of disenrollment led by Craig Garthwaite

Oct 16, 2018
I’mma let you finish

Jane, Dara, and Matt talk about Kanye West, Taylor Swift, the black conservative political tradition, and the shifting politics of the Trump era.

References and further reading:

Jane dissects Trump’s meeting with Kanye West

Jemele Hill’s article on black men and Brett Kavanaugh

Hoteps, explained

Jane’s piece on racism within the Republican Party

Vann Newkirk’s piece on black civic engagement in the Trump era

Vox's Constance Grady analyzes the Taylor Swift voter registration bump

Oct 12, 2018
As tough as Texas

Tara Golshan and Ella Nilsen join Matt to talk about the critical midterm races in the Lone Star State.

References and further reading:

Ella’s piece on Democrats running in Texas

Tara outlines key themes in the race between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke

Tara’s piece on a potential blue wave in the state

Tara details more on the battle between Cruz and O’Rourke

Oct 10, 2018
The craziest Obamacare lawsuit yet

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about Obamacare (again!), waning democratic legitimacy, and why retaking the SAT drives class and racial gaps in college enrollment.

References and further reading:

Josh Blackman’s piece on the ACA lawsuit

Amicus brief from the pro- and anti-ACA law professors

Katie Keith’s article on oral arguments

John Harris’s piece on the ruthlessness of the Republican Party

David Farris's book on fighting dirty

Jennifer Victor's pinned tweet on the meaning of democracy

A white paper on how retaking the SAT affects college admissions

Oct 09, 2018
Alexa, raise the minimum wage

Jane, Dara, and Matt talk about Amazon's pay raise, Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Stop BEZOS Act, and the new politics of big tech.

References and further reading:

Alexia Fernández Campbell’s piece on Vox about Amazon’s pay raises

Sarah Butler of the Guardian lays out the pay raise versus bonus situation

Matt’s piece in Slate on Jeff Bezos’s relationship with Wall Street

Dylan Scott explains Medicare-for-all

Kevin Roose’s daily Twitter updates on sources of the top-performing Facebook posts about Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Oct 05, 2018
When women run

Congressional reporter Ella Nilsen joins Sarah and Matt to explain the unprecedented surge in women running for Congress this year.

References and further reading:

Michele Swers’s paper that highlights how women representatives bring back more funding to their district

Sarah’s piece on how electing women changes the way the government functions

Jennifer Palmieri’s book that examines the criticisms of Hillary Clinton

Oct 03, 2018
Death to NAFTA! Long live USMCA!

Ezra, Sarah, and Matt dive into the latest on the Kavanaugh nomination — and why USMCA is great for Canadians who drink milk.

References and further reading:

Alvin Chang charts every question the Senate asked Kavanaugh

Ezra’s piece on the Republicans’ strategy to save Kavanaugh

Catherine Rampell compares Trump’s new trade deal to the old

A white paper on “College Party Culture and Sexual Assault”

Oct 02, 2018
Do Republicans even care if Kavanaugh is guilty?

Sarah, Jane, and Matt break down an excruciating day in American politics.

References and further reading:

Laura McGann’s piece on sexual harassment claims against Glenn Thrush of the New York Times

Constance Grady explains rape culture of the 1980s

A poll found evangelicals would support Kavanaugh even if allegations against him were true

Eric Erickson argues Trump will escalate matters if Kavanaugh is rejected

Sep 28, 2018
What Sarah learned on parental leave

Sarah, Matt, and Ezra dive into how other countries design parental leave policies — and what the US could do better. Plus: a white paper on subways, and outer space!

References and further reading:

RAND review on child care allowance

Pew research finds birthrates are down while the desire to have kids is not

ProPublica relates mothers to candy wrappers

Henrik Levin charts attitudes toward working mothers with school-age children

White paper on subways and pollution in urban centers

Sep 25, 2018
What could stop the next Botham Jean?

Jane, Dara, and Matt discuss a tragic death in Dallas and the difficult politics of police reform.

References and further reading:

Adam Serwer’s piece in the Atlantic on the National Rifle Association’s Catch-22

Numbers on the NRA

David French names this “the worst police shooting yet”

Jane Esberg and Jonathan Mummolo paper explaining the misperceptions of crime

Josh Sugarmann explains the ties between the firearm industry and the NRA

Pew poll on how the police and the public view policing

Justin Moore reacts to comments by Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall

Sep 21, 2018
#MeToo goes to the Supreme Court

Dara, Ezra, and Matt discuss the allegations that could derail Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation

References and further reading:

Christine Blasey Ford speaks out to the Washington Post

Malcolm Gladwell's episode of Revisionist History on Brian Williams

Twitter thread from Sandra Newman on false accusations

Report on binge drinking by high school students since the 70s

Slate article on Judge Kozinski's inappropriate emails

Caitlin Flanagan's piece on why she believes Ford

Jian Ghomeshi reflects after becoming an outcast

John Hockenberry's essay on exile

Sep 18, 2018
Can Elon Musk save Tesla from himself?

Jane, Dara, and Matt talk about the potential meltdown of one of America’s most important entrepreneurs.

References and further reading:

Emily Stewart's piece on Elon Musk smoking pot

Sep 14, 2018
I am the Resistance inside The Weeds podcast

Dara, Ezra, and Matt talk about Bob Woodward’s book, that op-ed, and the two-track Trump presidency.

References and further reading:

The infamous NY Times op-ed written by a White House insider

Andrew Prokop's explainer of Bob Woodward's new book

White paper: Does Rape Culture Predict Rape?

Sep 11, 2018
Colin Kaepernick, the most important election issue in the world
Sep 07, 2018
What’s at stake in the midterms

Jane, Dara, and Matt kick off the unofficial beginning of campaign season by asking what happens if Democrats win in November and what if they lose?

References and further reading:

Matt's piece on the House Republican list of investigations that could happen if Dems win

David Mayhew's Divided We Govern, mentioned by Matt

Dara's piece on where DACA stands now

Sep 04, 2018
America picked a lousy time to turn its back on refugees
Aug 31, 2018
John McCain vs. the idea of John McCain

Vox politics editor Laura McGann joins Dara and Matt to talk about John McCain's legacy and Donald Trump's response to his death, then Dara and Matt tackle a white paper that looks at the connection between financial decisions and partisanship.

References and further reading:

Matt's piece about John McCain's death

Laura's piece on John McCain's ties to Sarah Palin

Ryan Lizza's piece on the 2013 immigration plan, mentioned by Dara

White paper: Partisanship and Risky Financial Decisions

Aug 28, 2018
The art of the squeal
Aug 24, 2018
Elizabeth Warren’s plan to save/destroy capitalism
Aug 21, 2018
We’re not gonna pay rent

Jane Coaston joins Matt and Dara to talk about exploding housing costs in America’s coastal cities and what we can do about them.

References and further reading:

Jeff Stein's piece on rent and housing

Aug 17, 2018
Lordy, Omarosa has tapes

Emily Stewart joins Dara and Matt to talk about the perhaps-unbelievable book everyone’s talking about, and the dysfunctional White House that spawned it.

References and further reading:

Emily's piece on Omarosa's recording of John Kelly

Emily's highlights from Omarosa's book Unhinged

Maggie Haberman tweet confirming that earlier secret White House tapings were not Omarosa, mentioned by Dara

White paper "Unemployment, Temporary Work, and Subjective Well-Being: The Gendered Effect of Spousal Labor Market Insecurity"

Aug 14, 2018
Aug 10, 2018
The Great Twitter Wars of 2018
Aug 07, 2018
Paul Manafort, alleged ostrich-collar criminal

Andrew Prokop joins Dara and Matt to talk about Paul Manafort’s trial and what it means for the larger Russia investigation.

References and further reading:

Andrew's piece on the trials of Paul Manafort

Andrew's breakdown of the opening statements at Manafort's trial

Franklin Foer's profile of Manafort, mentioned by Andrew

Aug 03, 2018
The great white panic

Jane Coaston joins Dara, Ezra, and Matt to talk about the racial panic tearing America apart and also salt.

References and further reading:

Ezra's piece on the changing demographics in America

Identity Crisis book mentioned by Ezra

Salt white paper

Jul 31, 2018
“Mission Accomplished,” trade war edition

Congressional reporter Tara Golshan joins Dara and Matt to break down Trump’s kinda sorta trade deal with the EU and ongoing trade tensions with China”

References and further reading:

Tara's piece on Trump's mischaracterization of the US trade deficit

Politico Europe rundown of the trade deal, mentioned by Matt

The Weeds has been nominated for this year's People's Choice Podcast Awards! Cast your vote for The Weeds for free before Tuesday, July 31st at podcastawards.com.

Jul 27, 2018
What Republicans can do on Trump and Russia

Matt, Dara and Ezra talk about Republicans, Trump and Russia. Plus: A research paper reveals how Dara lost on College Jeopardy.

References and further reading:

Politico Playbook piece mentioned by Matt, "GOP to the world: What would you like us to do?"

Law Review paper "Separation of Parties, Not Powers"

The Weeds has been nominated for this year's People's Choice Podcast Awards! Cast your vote for The Weeds for free before Tuesday, July 31st at podcastawards.com.

Jul 24, 2018
It’s surprisingly easy to get away with murder in America
Jul 20, 2018
There’s collusion, and then there’s collusion

Dara, Ezra, and Matt discuss President Trump's remarkable performance in Helsinki and new research on employers colluding to hold down pay.


Dara mentioned Quinta Jurecic's piece tying Trump in Helsinki to Trump on Charlottesville.

Here's the Ari Fleischer tweet Ezra referenced.

Ezra walked through what we know about Trump's dealings with Russia. Here's that rundown (and more analysis) in text form.

Trump tweeted during recording — here's the full text Matt read.

Matt mentioned Adam Entous's New Yorker piece on Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Emirates.

The 2015 Morning Joe interview Ezra mentioned. Joe Scarborough says Putin has a record of killing journalists and political opponents, and invading countries. Trump responds, "At least he's a leader."

White paper: "Theory and Evidence on Employer Collusion in the Franchise Sector" (Alan B. Krueger, Orley Ashenfelter)

More on the news about the no-poaching agreement in Washington state.

Jul 17, 2018
Republicans' plan for health care: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dylan Scott joins Dara and Matt to talk about the Trump administration’s latest moves to destabilize health insurance markets.

Dylan's piece on risk adjustment payments, and another piece on the Trump administration’s latest steps to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

Dylan also specifically referenced Nicholas Bagley. Read him on risk adjustments here.

Jul 13, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh and the future of the Supreme Court

Dara, Ezra, and Matt break down what we know about Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court

References and further reading:

Paper about Norwegian immigrants, mentioned by Matt

"Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions that Forged Modern Greece and Turkey" good book with background on the refugee paper

Jul 10, 2018
1,2,3,4 Trump declares a trade war

Staff writer Zeeshan Aleem joins Dara and Matt to break down what's really happening with Trump and trade, and how much it matters.

References and further reading:

Zeeshan's piece on the US-China trade war

Jul 06, 2018
Family detention is the new family separation
Jul 03, 2018
America’s Next Top Supreme Court Justice
Jun 29, 2018
With borders wide open

Ezra returns from the wilds of book leave to talk about open borders with Dara and Matt.

References and further reading:

Dara's piece on the 1996 immigration bill

"Trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk" white paper

Bryan Caplan paper on open borders

Ezra's interview with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti

Jun 26, 2018
The messy drama queens of the Supreme Court

While Sarah, Matt and Ezra are away Dara is joined by Dylan Matthews and Andrew Prokop to talk about the friction between how the Supreme Court says it makes its decisions, and the way everyone assumes it really works. Is it time for the Court to stop getting polite and start getting (legal) real(ist)?

References and further reading:

Andrew’s explainer on the gerrymandering decision

The “efficiency gap,” explained by one of its creators 

Dylan on the public-sector union case Janus v. AFSCME

Dara’s piece on Trump v. Hawaii, the travel ban case 

Sonia Sotomayor endorsed legal realism before joining the Court 

KENNEDYWATCH, 2018 Edition

Jun 22, 2018
Which children matter?
Jun 19, 2018
Ask Weeds Anything...Again!

Sarah, Dara and Matt answer your questions.

Jun 15, 2018
Why 12-step programs work — and family separation doesn’t

While Sarah and Matt are away Dara is joined by Vox.com congressional reporters Tara Golshan and Ella Nilsen to talk about immigration and family separation. Then she's joined by Vox.com criminal justice reporter German Lopez to talk about a white paper that looks at the effectiveness of 12- step programs.

References and further reading:

Ella's piece on Democrats trying to stop family separation at the border

Tara's piece on the chaos in the House over immigration

Sarah's piece on the missing children and family separation

Miriam Jordan's NYT piece on transitional foster care placements for migrant children

White paper on the effectiveness of 12-step programs

German's piece on Alcoholics Anonymous

Jun 12, 2018
Can we get tough on rapists without being “tough on crime”?
Jun 08, 2018
Cake Wars, Supreme Court edition

Dara, Sarah and Matt trace the Supreme Court Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling back to peyote and then discuss a Swedish study about lottery winners.

References and further reading:

Vox.com explainer on the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling

Vox.com piece about religious liberty in American history

The Gallup poll on rates of support for gay marriage, mentioned by Sarah

White paper on Swedish lottery winners

Jun 05, 2018
Trump isn’t losing immigrant kids, but he is taking them from their parents

Sarah and Matt are joined by Vox.com Congress reporter Tara Golshan to talk about missing children, separated families, and the latest immigration action on the Hill.

References and other reading:

Sarah's piece with an immigration expert explaining the 1,500 "missing" migrant children

Sarah explainer on family separations

Tara's piece on Republican moderates and immigration

Dara's explainer on the family separation policy

Jun 01, 2018
The debate over “no excuses” charter schools, explained

Libby Nelson, Vox.com news editor and former education reporter, joins Matt and Sarah to talk about the discipline practices and educational outcomes at so-called "no excuses" charter schools. Then they turn to a white paper that looks at lead poisoning and fertility.

References and further reading:

Illinois Public Radio story on Noble Academy

Video of teacher at Success Academy ripping up student's homework

Research mentioned by Libby on outcomes at the Harlem Children's Zone

Upper West Side parents mad about school integration plan

White paper on lead poisoning and fertility

May 29, 2018
BONUS: Worldly "Trump’s breakup note to Kim Jong-un, explained"

This episode comes from Vox.com international news podcast, Wordly. Matt and Sarah will be back on Tuesday with a brand new episode of The Weeds.

On a special all-North Korea episode of Worldly, Yochi, Jenn, and Zack talk about President Trump’s surprise cancellation of his planned summit with Kim Jong Un — a decision Trump announced literally as the Worldly crew was sitting down to record the podcast. Trump scrapped the meeting in a strangely personal letter to Kim that alternated between reading like the world’s worst breakup note and threatening to use America’s “massive and powerful” nuclear arsenal against the North. We would put jokes down here but it all happened too fast and we’re still processing.


Trump’s letter to Kim Jong Un canceling the North Korea summit

Here’s a piece with more helpful background on the lead-up to this summit collapse, and a longer C-SPAN clip where Trump answered some questions about his thoughts on the summit.

We pulled clips of both National Security Adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence speaking about the Libya model.

Jenn mentioned Pete Hegseth on Fox News suggesting that Kim Jong Un “probably doesn't love being the guy that has to murder his people all day long. Probably wants normalization.

Zack mentioned that many international relations scholars see status as a motivator for countries’ actions. 

Zack and Yochi went back and forth on previous talks with North Korea.

Jenn mentioned Pompeo’s meeting with Kim. Here’s a piece about Kim asking for US investment in North Korea’s economy, and what Pompeo communicated about those meetings.

Talking about concessions North Korea has made, Jenn brought up the recent explosion at a North Korean nuclear test site.

May 25, 2018
Nobody has babies anymore (except Sarah)
May 22, 2018
Caught in the Intellectual Dark Web

Senior politics reporter Jane Coaston joins Dara and Matt to debate the “identity politics” backlash and the prospects for pluralism.

References and further reading:

Bari Weiss' piece on the 'intellectual dark web'

Conor Friedersdorf's piece on how the left fuels the right's bigotry

May 18, 2018
Drugs! (But not the fun kind)

Sarah, Dara and Matt discuss the the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs and a white paper that looks at the correlation between counties that vote Republican and the number of low and high-skilled immigrants living in those communities.

References and further reading:

Dylan Scott's piece on the price of prescription drugs mentioned by Sarah

The white paper on 'The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States'

May 15, 2018
The many scandals of Michael Cohen

Vox.com senior political reporter Andrew Prokop joins Dara and Matt to explain the strange tale of Donald Trump’s lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who now seems to be in serious legal hot water.

References and further reading:

Andrew's piece on the corporations that hired Michael Cohen

Andrew's piece on the Cohen's ties to Russia

Andrew's Stormy Daniels explainer

May 11, 2018
Did you read the memo about the TPS reports?

Sarah, Dara, and Matt analyze Trump’s drastic rollback of Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador, and Haiti and discuss new research on the never-ending “economic anxiety” debate.

References and further reading:

Dara's TPS explainer

White paper on attitudes toward social change 

May 08, 2018
Should psychiatrists diagnose Trump? Should journalists?

Vox's science reporter Brian Resnick joins Dara and Sarah to talk about psychiatry's Goldwater Rule, which has never met a test like Donald Trump.

References and further reading:

Brian's piece on why Trump's fitness for office is not a medical question

Brian's explainer on the Goldwater Rule

Sharon Begley's article Trump's mental health mentioned by Sarah

Sarah's piece on fax machines

Dara's piece on why the palace intrigue stuff matters to Trump

May 04, 2018
What if the government guaranteed everyone a job?

Vox's Dylan Matthews joins Sarah and Matt to break down the jobs guarantee debate and discuss research on a promising school desegregation initiative undermined by racist police practices.

References and further reading

Dylan's jobs guarantee explainer (with links to Stephanie Kelton's writing)

Dylan's explainer of Sen. Cory Booker's jobs guarantee proposal (with links to Darrick Hamilton and Sandy Darity's writing)

Bryce Covert's piece on the case for a jobs guarantee

Gallup poll on workers getting a sense of identity from their jobs

White paper on school integration "risks and benefits"

May 01, 2018
Ambien for all, Ronny Jackson and the VA, explained

Congressional reporter Ella Nilsen makes her Weeds debut joining Sarah and Matt to break down the botched nomination at the Veterans’ Administration, they also address the questions around the troubled agency’s future.

References and further reading:

Sarah's piece on the Ronny Jackson scandal

Ella's piece on the controversy surrounding Jackson's nomination

CNN piece on Ronny Jackson's alleged 'grab-and-go' clinic

NY Times piece on the concierge emergency room 

Apr 27, 2018
Speaker Ryan had a farm bill (E-I-E-I-O)

Sarah, Dara and Matt discuss a Republican farm bill that would impose work requirements on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) beneficiaries. Then they turn to a white paper on OxyContin and the heroin epidemic.

References and further reading:

Good Politico article summarizing the farm bill

Marion Nestle's piece on the farm bill

White paper on OxyContin's impact on the heroin epidemic

German Lopez's piece on the OxyContin white paper

Apr 24, 2018
Boiling the frogs of war

Zack Beauchamp joins Dara and Matt to explain the ever-expanding 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force and Trump's even more expansive legal rationale for bombing Syria.

References and further reading:

Vox's history of the AUMF

A primer on the legal dispute in Doe v. Mattis

Chesney primer on the Corker-Kaine Draft AUMF

Who is Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben?

Apr 20, 2018
Honor cults in the FBI and Norwegian military

Matt, Sarah and Dara work backward from James Comey through FBI history and discover an 18th-century demon hidden in the Constitution. No, really.

References and further reading:

Dara's piece on the tension between the rule of law and political leadership

Recent PBS poll on how Americans view the FBI

Max Weber, explained

White paper on gender integration in the Norwegian military

Apr 17, 2018
All 👏 payer 👏 rate 👏 setting 👏
Apr 13, 2018
The imprudent Scott Pruitt
Apr 10, 2018
Sinclair’s alarming takeover of local TV news
Apr 06, 2018
Is Donald Trump ruining the Census?

Sarah, Dara, and Matt talk about the citizenship question, funding, and the potential consequences of a botched enumeration. Plus a weedsy dive into potential redistricting mischief, and research on Jose Canseco's malign influence on Major League Baseball.


Dara's piece on the 2020 census

Carlos Waters' video on the 2020 census

The baseball white paper

Apr 03, 2018
The optimistic take is things have always been bad (Worldly crossover)

The Weeds/Worldly crossover event continues: Jennifer Williams tries to persuade Dara and Matt they're wrong about an Islamophobic shift in Trump's new cabinet, and the old-fashioned democracy-promoting hawkery of George W. Bush.

Mar 30, 2018
Is Facebook bad?
Mar 27, 2018
Cambridge Analytica: Scandal, hype, or both?
Mar 23, 2018
The opioid debate: could reversing overdoses worsen the epidemic?

An economics working paper finds that access to Naloxone, a drug to reverse opioid overdoses, may increase opioid abuse. Sarah and Ezra explain the paper that started a social media firestorm — and what it means for combating the opioid epidemic.


Doleac and Mukherjee working paper

A good summary of the debate from The Atlantic

Health Affairs blog post 

Working paper from Daniel Rees

People are dying because we misunderstand how those with addiction think

A lifesaving drug for overdoses doesn’t reduce opioid deaths? Be skeptical

Trump’s opioid crisis plan: more death penalty, fewer prescriptions, more treatment

Mar 20, 2018
Abolish ICE

Dara and Matt break down the history of Immigration & Customs Enforcement: how it got this way, and why some on the left want it to go away.

Mar 16, 2018
Bonus: The disability belt

The news comes at us really fast. It can feel totally overwhelming sometimes. Luckily, Vox has a new podcast that will help you understand what's going on in the world: Today, Explained

This is an episode we thought Weeds listeners would especially enjoy: an on-the-ground look at the disability belt — and the reality of America's disability insurance programs — with Vox's Dylan Matthews. This is one of those episodes that takes a policy you hear about a lot in Washington and makes its role and consequences in actual people’s lives very, very real. After you listen to this episode, subscribe to Today, Explained on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your favorite shows. 

Mar 15, 2018
Trigger warning: Discussion of White House chaos and political correctness

Vox senior politics reporter Jane Coaston joins Ezra and Matt to talk about Trump turmoil, political correctness and the latest research on the state of the parties.

Mar 13, 2018
Nickname fights and wildcat strikes
Mar 09, 2018
Relief at last for America’s long-suffering banks

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about a bipartisan bank deregulation bill, Medicaid work requirements, and constitutional hardball.


Mark Tushner’s original constitutional hardball article

Ron Chernow’s biography of Ulysses Grant

Why there are two Dakotas

Dylan Scott’s “Trump’s Hidden War on Medicaid”

Mar 06, 2018
Guns, Weeds, and Steel

Vox senior politics reporter Jane Coaston joins Dara and Matt to talk about a week of extremely erratic policymaking from an increasingly chaotic Trump White House.

Mar 02, 2018
BONUS: Today Explained "Give Us Your No One"

This bonus episode is from a new Vox.com podcast called Today Explained, which comes out Monday through Friday. It tells you all about what happened in the news that day. This episode is Monday's edition of Today.

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court denied a request from the Trump administration to expedite a decision on DACA. This keeps the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on life support for a few more months, but also keeps its 690,000 recipients in limbo: Do they stay or do they go? Congress still hasn’t been able to pass a vote on DACA. Vox’s Dara Lind and Matthew Yglesias say that’s because Trump has moved the conversation into unfamiliar territory: from illegal immigration to legal immigration. 

Feb 28, 2018
Medicare for Many More

Dylan Scott joins Sarah and Matt to talk about a new universal health care plan — plus some exciting administrative data from the good-old USA!

Feb 27, 2018
The stupidest fucking idea I’ve ever heard

There are also some good ideas discussed. All of them are about guns. German Lopez joins Dara and Matt to talk about gun control in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

Feb 23, 2018
It's finally infrastructure week

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about what’s really wrong with American infrastructure, the massacre in Parkland, FL, and new research on legislators’ irrational decision-making.

Whitepaper! Bias in Perceptions of Public Opinion Among American Political Elites by David E. Broockman, Christopher Skovron

Feb 20, 2018
DACApocalypse in the Senate

Matt, Dara, and Andrew Prokop talk about the Senate's failed immigration push, and they parse through the many-layered Rob Porter scandal.

DACA/Immigration References

Rob Porter References

Feb 16, 2018
The gender pay gap is mostly about children

Matt, Ezra, Sarah, and Dylan Matthews try to explain Trump’s budget and Disability Insurance. For today's white paper: Move over Swedish administrative data, it’s Denmark’s turn.

Trump’s budget references:

Disability Insurance references:

Gender pay gap references:

Feb 13, 2018
The six-hour shutdown, explained

Matt, Dara, and Tara Golshan, all weary from lack of sleep, try to make sense of the few hours on Thursday night/Friday morning when the government was shut down.

Referenced Works

Republicans laughing in Tara's face about addressing immigration: Immigration anxiety got Trump elected. Congress isn’t touching it.

Further Reading

House Democrats’ confusing, high-risk DACA government shutdown gamble, explained

Congress just funded CHIP for a full decade

Feb 09, 2018
What's up with Amazon's health venture — and the stock market

Matt, Ezra, and Sarah talk about the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan announcement about their joint healthcare venture, as well as the recent volatility in the stock market.

White paper: From the Bargaining Table to the Ballot Box: Political Effects of Right to Work Laws

Referenced Works:

Ben Thompson's Stratechery piece: Amazon Health

Feb 06, 2018
MS-13, explained

Dara, Matt, and Zack Beauchamp talk about the policy failures that created the gang haunting Donald Trump's dreams.

Referenced Works

Are there more than 2,000 MS-13 gang members in Virginia’s wealthy Fairfax County?

The Teens Trapped Between a Gang and the Law

The 'one percent' statistic Dara mentioned: Why Trump is Wrong to Blame Migration for MS13 Expansion, Violence

Further Reading

3 winners and 2 losers from Donald Trump’s first State of the Union

Gangs in Central America

Feb 02, 2018
The state of our podcast is strong

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt parse through Trump's State of the Union address and the response delivered by Rep. Joe Kennedy III.

Referenced Works:

Matt's piece on the State of the Union: Donald Trump has no solutions for America’s big problems

German Lopez's piece that Ezra mentioned: Trump’s pathetic response to the opioid epidemic

The Health Care Cost Institute report Sarah referenced: 2016 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

Further Reading:

Dylan Scott's piece on the address: State of the Union: Trump’s abandoned promise to bring down drug prices

Jan 31, 2018
The white genocide episode you’ve been waiting for

A DACA ransom note from the White House prompts Matt, Dara and Jane Coaston to muse on whose nation this is, anyway.

Referenced Works

The American Conservative piece Jane referenced: Of Sh*tholes And Second Thoughts

Elizabeth Bruenig's op ed for The Washington Post: The antisocial politics of Trump

The Passing of a Great Race

Nations and Nationalism

Imagined Communities

Profile of Stephen Miller in high school: How a liberal Santa Monica high school produced a top Trump advisor and speechwriter

Further Reading

Explainer on the White House immigration framework: The immigration deal Trump’s White House is floating, explained

Dara on framework pitting current immigrants against future immigrants: The White House is trying to force Democrats to choose between current immigrants and future ones

Jane’s piece on white genocide: The scary ideology behind Trump’s immigration instincts

Economic consensus on immigration: There's no evidence that immigrants hurt any American workers

Jan 26, 2018
Shutdown deal special

Dara, Sarah, and Ezra dig into the details of the new shutdown deal — and what it means for the future of shutdown politics.

Jan 22, 2018
The Shutdown Special

A few hours before a looming shutdown, DC is a very postmodern place.

Referenced works:

Dara on the DACA situation

Dylan Matthew on past shutdowns

Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard

On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and its Consequences by Julian Zelizer

How the National Parks Became the Biggest Battleground in the Shutdown from The Atlantic, by Garance Franke-Ruta

Jan 19, 2018
No one wants to take responsibility for sick kids or fake news

Matt, Ezra, and Sarah talk about Mark Zuckerberg's recent announcement regarding what Facebook will focus on in 2018, and the state of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Jan 16, 2018
Shithole special

The mask slipped with Trump's "shithole" comments, and Matt and Dara take a hard look at what lies beneath it. Content warning: explicit policy discussions.

Jan 12, 2018
Lie back, light up, and enjoy some executive time

German Lopez joins Matt and Sarah to talk about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' most recent move on marijuana, how Trump spends his time, and child mortality in the US.

Jan 09, 2018
Winter, explained

Brian Resnick joins Dara and Matt to talk about the 'bomb cyclone' and how it relates to the climate.

Jan 05, 2018
Why is US life expectancy falling?

It's only the second day of 2018, and Matt, Ezra, and Sarah are already talking about alarming statistics--this time, to do with average American life expectancy.

White paper: Bias in Perceptions of Public Opinion Among American Political Elites

The GOP is trying to pass a super-unpopular agenda — and that's a bad sign for democracy

Impact Policy Submission URL: bit.ly/voximpact

Jan 02, 2018
The most undercovered policy stories of 2017

Sarah returns from New Zealand in time to reflect with Matt on the year in policy.

White paper: Uniform Pricing in US Retail Chains

Dec 29, 2017
Ask Weeds Anything!

Matt, Ezra, and Sarah answer your questions.

Dec 22, 2017
Tax reforms and garbage factories
Dec 19, 2017
The Great Awokening comes to Congress

Matt, Dara, and Tara Golshan talk about how Congress does and doesn’t handle sexual harassment allegations.

Dec 15, 2017
Alabama senate special

Matt and Ezra talk about the result of the Alabama senate race and the state of the GOP.

Dec 13, 2017
Is the FBI good now?

Matt, Dara, and German Lopez discuss the (shallow, according to some) politics of pro-FBI liberals.

Dec 08, 2017
Net neutrality, explained (Also! Why CVS is buying Aetna)

Matt, Ezra, and Sarah talk through the argument around net neutrality, the possible CVS-Aetna merger, and a white paper about who becomes an inventor in America.

Ben Thompson's defense of Ajit Pai

Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation

Dec 05, 2017
How the GOP is weaponizing the tax code

Matt, Dara Lind, and Vox contributor Mike Konczal talk tax reform and Democrats' sexual harassment problem.

Dec 01, 2017
Five big problems with the GOP tax plan

Matt and Ezra parse through the many flaws of the tax bill.

Nov 28, 2017
Fax reform [Bonus]

No, it's not a typo! On this holiday bonus episode of the Weeds, we're bringing you an episode of The Impact, Sarah Kliff's podcast about how policy affects real lives.

In this episode, we tackle the question: Why are fax machines still such a staple of American health care?

We talk to a pair of policy makers who hatched a plan to replace paper files and fax machines with electronic medical records. We explain why that plan backfired. And we go into clinics to understand why the fax's continued use isn't just annoying, but also sometimes harmful for patients' health.

Subscribe to The Impact on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Overcast or wherever you get your podcasts! You can send us feedback at impact@vox.com, and for even more fax facts, check out Sarah's text version of this story.

Nov 24, 2017
A very Weeds Thanksgiving

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about what they're thankful for this year — plus disturbing new research about gender bias in surgical referrals.

White paper: Interpreting Signals in the Labor Market: Evidence from Medical Referrals

Nov 21, 2017
Tax reform special

Tara Golshan and Dylan Scott join Matt to break down the two different GOP tax bills.

Nov 17, 2017
Republicans’ Roy Moore problem

Matt and Sarah discuss allegations against Roy Moore, Trump's new pick for Health and Human Services secretary, and a slightly better work week.

White paper: Time as a Network Good: Evidence from Unemployment and the Standard Workweek

Nov 14, 2017
Virginia is for Democrats

Dara Lind and Andrew Prokop join Matt to talk about this week’s election results and the implications for 2018.

Nov 10, 2017
The vaunted, versatile VAT
Nov 07, 2017
The tax bill's winners and many, many losers

Dylan Scott and Dylan Matthews join Matt to talk about House Republicans’ tax plan.

Nov 03, 2017
Indictment special! Plus: is Paul Ryan cowardly or courageous?

The gang talks about recent developments in the Russia investigation, and Sarah tells us what she learned visiting Canada with Bernie Sanders.

Oct 31, 2017
Purge 3: The Bannoning

Andrew Prokop joins Matt to talk about Steve Bannon’s war on the GOP establishment.

Oct 27, 2017
Republicans: "Math" means you have to cut taxes on the rich. Weeds: Nope.

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk more tax reform, John Kelly's failure to fix the Trump administration, and new research on dental scams.

White paper: Health Services as Credence Goods: A Field Experiment

Oct 24, 2017
How immigration took over Virginia’s governor race

Dara Lind and Andrew Prokop join Matt to talk about the surprisingly interesting governor’s election in Virginia.

Oct 20, 2017
The Impact: The curious case of the $629 Band Aid

Introducing The Impact, a new show from Vox hosted by Sarah Kliff. 

The Impact explores how policy affects real lives. This season, we’re focusing on healthcare, and the first episode tackles with one of thorniest questions in the American healthcare system: prices.

Subscribe to The Impact wherever you get your podcasts.

Oct 18, 2017
How do you solve a problem like Harvey Weinstein?

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt dig into the Harvey Weinstein story, talk a bit about tax reform, and cover new research on Medicaid expansion and savings.

White paper: Medicaid and Household Savings Behavior: New Evidence from Tax Refunds

Oct 17, 2017
Trump couldn't repeal Obamacare, so he's making it worse

Dylan Scott joins Sarah and Matt to dive into the newest forms of Obamacare sabotage, and to talk about heroin.

Oct 13, 2017
CHIPping away at gerrymandering

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about CHIP reauthorization, the Supreme Court's big gerrymandering case, and a seminal Richard Thaler paper (Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice).

Oct 10, 2017
Republicans have big dreams and big problems on tax reform

Dylan Matthews and Andrew Prokop join Matt to talk about Republicans hopes, dreams, and nightmares on tax reform.

Oct 06, 2017
Australia solved its gun problem. Could America?
Oct 03, 2017
The Puerto Rico disaster and Trump's inadequate response

Eliza Barclay and Alexia Fernández Campbell join Matt to talk about Hurricane Maria and its aftermath.

Sep 29, 2017
What's budget reconciliation, and how did it eat the Senate?

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt delve into Senate procedure arcana, break down the latest GOP repeal bill, and talk about a surprisingly easy way to reduce theft.

White paper: SNAP Benefits and Crime: Evidence from Changing Disbursement Schedules

Sep 26, 2017
Weeds Live: Canadian immigration and a health insurance experiment

Dara Lind joins Matt and Sarah at the Now Hear This Festival to discuss the Canadian immigration system, and the audience chooses a white paper (https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9174.html) for them to talk about.

Sep 22, 2017
The worst GOP healthcare bill yet

Ezra and Sarah parse through Graham-Cassidy, the latest Republican repeal bill.

White paper: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3025749

Sep 20, 2017
White House Chinese food summit leads to congressional chaos

Congressional reporters Jeff Stein and Tara Golshan join Matt to talk about congressional Democrats' hopes and Republicans' fears.

Sep 15, 2017
BernieCare and Hillary's abandoned UBI

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt discuss Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All bill and Hillary Clinton's musings on creating a national version of the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Sep 13, 2017
Weeds Live: Atul Gawande on opioids, end of life care, and rock and roll

Atul Gawande is a surgeon and the author of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Sarah interviewed him live, asking about the opioid epidemic, his work with end of life patients, and his terrible college rock band.

Sep 08, 2017
Trump's art of the sabotage

Sarah and Matt discuss DACA, ACA implementation, and some game-changing new research on the real history of all-payer rate setting.

White paper:

Uncompensated care and the collapse of hospital payment regulation: An illustration of the Tinbergen Rule by Jeffrey Clemens and Benedic Ippolito

Paper on Maryland and hospital rate setting:

Tracking the demise of state hospital rate setting by John McDonough

Sep 06, 2017
Deferred action podcasting

Dara Lind joins Matt to talk about the past, present, and future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Sep 01, 2017
The policy origins of America's most expensive natural disaster

Sarah and Matt talk about the policy errors behind Hurricane Harvey's devastation, the single-payer wonk gap, and new research on kindergarten red shirting.

White paper: School Starting Age and Cognitive Development

Aug 30, 2017
Donald Trump vs the congressional GOP

Tara Golshan and Andrew Prokop join Matt to talk about the bad blood between Trump and Mitch McConnell.


Andrew's interview with Dave Hopkins

Now Hear This registration (Promo code Weeds)

Weeds Facebook group

Aug 25, 2017
How the rich ate all the growth

Ezra and Matt discuss two big papers that help explain America's economic malaise:

Income and Wealth Inequality: Evidence and Policy Implications

The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications

Aug 23, 2017
Statue limitations

Libby Nelson and German Lopez join Matt to discuss the politics and history of Confederate monuments.

Aug 18, 2017
A very meritorious podcast

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt break down Trump's plan to slash legal immigration, a new way to sabotage Obamacare, and research on ER scams.

Got a bill from an emergency room? We want to hear about it.

The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills from The New York Times

Surprise! Out-of-Network Billing for Emergency Care in the United States from NBER

Aug 16, 2017
Can John Kelly fix the Trump administration? Can anyone?

Dara Lind and Andrew Prokop join Matt to talk about Kelly's record as DHS Secretary and Trump's bizarre Twitter feud with Mitch McConnell.

Aug 11, 2017
Is Google in an "ideological echo chamber"?

Matt, Ezra, and Sarah talk about the now-infamous Google memo, the Democrats' plan for prescription drug pricing, and a study on opioid prescriptions and medical schools.

Aug 09, 2017
The bacon fat theory of school segregation, and some White House chaos

Ezra, Sarah and Alvin Chang talk about the quiet return of segregation in schools, chaos in the Trump White House, and taxing marijuana.


  • The Washington Post article on school desegregation and the Supreme Court.
  • Alvin's piece on school desegregation and gerrymandering
  • Alvin's article on living in poor neighborhoods
  • Alvin's article on white America self-segregating
  • Alvin's piece on Obamacare repeal splitting neighborhoods
Aug 02, 2017
ACA repeal is finally dead (maybe)

Sarah, Matt, and Dylan Scott analyze the night Trumpcare died and what's next for health care.

Jul 28, 2017
Skinny repeal and Trump's management by tweet

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about yet another Obamacare repeal plan, Trump's feud with Jeff Sessions, and new research on retail health clinics.

Jul 26, 2017
A deep dive on basic income

Dylan Matthews joins Matt to discuss the three different version of universal basic income, and why only one of them is good.

Jul 21, 2017
At last, a Weeds about weed (also Obamacare)
Jul 19, 2017
McConnellCare II: Cruz Control
Jul 14, 2017
Minimum wage research showdown (also Russia)

Sarah, Ezra, and Matt wonk out on the latest minimum wage research and Ted Cruz's new health plan — plus some Russia stuff, too.

White Paper: Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle

Jul 12, 2017
Understanding the opioid epidemic

Drug policy reporter German Lopez joins Matt for a close look at the biggest drug overdose crisis in American history.

Jul 07, 2017
Trumpism and travel bans

Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews join Ezra to talk about the updated travel ban, how Trumpism has translated into policy, and the impact that increasingly awesome video games have had on young men's work habits.


White Paper: Leisure Luxuries and the Labor Supply of Young Men

Peter Suderman's piece about young men playing video games instead of getting jobs

Jul 05, 2017
Meanwhile, House Republicans are trying to write a budget

Jim Tankersley and Tara Golshan join Matt to talk about House Republicans' struggles to write a budget resolution and get their tax reform agenda on track.

Jun 30, 2017
CB--Oh no this health care bill is terrible too
A new CBO score on the latest Obamacare repeal bill pushes Sarah to the breaking point!Links:Follow along as Matt, Ezra, and Sarah read through the CBO reportGraphs comparing silver insurance plan costs under different health care bills for different income brackets  White Paper: Health Insurance Coverage and Health — What the Recent Evidence Tells Us
Jun 28, 2017
Senate Republicans' health care idea: Make the poor pay more for less
The Senate health care bill is out — and Sarah, Ezra, and Matt are back in the studio to dive into the details of what it means for the marketplaces, Medicaid, and very rich people.
Jun 23, 2017
Georgia (and Obamacare repeal) on our minds
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about Tuesday's special elections and the soon-to-be-released Senate health care bill.
Jun 21, 2017
Trump’s “buck stops somewhere else” foreign policy
Foreign editors Yochi Dreazen and Jennifer Williams join Matt to talk about the diplomatic crisis in Qatar and the never-ending war in Afghanistan.
Jun 16, 2017
Legends of the secret health care bill
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt take the deepest look they can at Senate Republicans' secret health care bill, plus a quick look at Jeff Sessions’s non-answers on Russia and new research on the long-term impact of lead exposure.Links!White paper of the week from the Brookings Institution: New evidence that lead exposure increases crimeCaitlin Owens in Axios on the Senate GOP not releasing their healthcare billDylan Scott on what it would look like it Senate Republicans voted to repeal ObamacareDavid Leonhardt's New York Times piece on the half-hearted opposition to the GOP’s health care planJeff Stein's piece on the left's game plan for beating the GOP health bill9 legal experts weigh on whether or not Sessions can discuss his conversations with the presidentKevin Drum on lead's connection to violent crime and lower IQs in Mother Jones
Jun 14, 2017
Infrastructure week (jk it's about Comey)
Dara Lind and Yochi Dreazen join Matt to talk about Comey's testimony and the larger consequences of the Russia investigation.
Jun 09, 2017
Meet Sprinklecare
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about competing single-payer bills in Nevada and California, plus research on the value of access to the Obama White House.
Jun 08, 2017
Jared Kushner: International man of mystery
Dylan Matthews and politics reporter Andrew Prokop join Matt to talk about the Paris Accords and the mysterious role of the First Son-in-Law.
Jun 02, 2017
A platinum get out of jail free card
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about the real causes of mass incarceration, Trump's move to roll back contraceptive coverage, and the mysterious world of high-end credit cards.Links!German Lopez’s piece about John Pfaff’s “Locked in” Mark A.R. Kleiman, Angela Hawken, and Ross Halperin on graduated reentry as prison reform.Today’s white paper, "Status Goods: Experimental Evidence from Platinum Credit Cards" Our Weeds in the Wild Episode about birth control Ezra Klein’s conversation with Chris Hayes about “A Colony in a Nation” Jon Bois excellent video, The Dumbest Boy in the WorldBooks!"Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration" by John Pfaff"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander"A Colony in a Nation" by Chris Hayes
May 31, 2017
Weeds in the Wild: Tennessee's Healthcare Bald Spot
Sarah Kliff travels to Tennessee to see what it looks like when Obamacare explodes.Links!Sarah's piece about her trip to Tennessee More details about the Missouri bald spotAn interactive map of the counties most at risk of losing all their insurers Our lovely Weeds Facebook groupEmail us at weeds@vox.com
May 29, 2017
CB--Oh, this bill stinks
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about the new CBO score of Trumpcare and the results of this week's special election in Montana.
May 26, 2017
Trump's budget has landed, and it's terrible
A tanned and rested Ezra joins Matt and Sarah to talk budget, auto-enrollment in health care, and some eye-popping research on zoning.Links:Sarah's piece on auto-enrollmentJeff Stein's piece on reactions to Paul Ryan's agenda The wonderful Weeds Facebook group
May 24, 2017
All the Trump scandal drama you've been craving
Yochi Dreazen and Jennifer Williams join Matt to talk about the new Trump/Russia special counsel and the latest scandal swirling around Michael Flynn.
May 19, 2017
Trump chaos, UBI, and the fracking baby boom
Dylan Matthews joins Sarah and Matt to talk about Trump's latest problems, his reporting on basic income in Kenya, and new research on fracking's impact on marriage and childbearing.
May 17, 2017
Weeds in the Wild: Free Money... For Everyone!
One of the world’s first universal basic income experiments is happening right now in a small Kenyan village. Dylan Matthews went there to investigate.Links!Dylan Matthew's piece about his Kenya tripTwo economists make the case for and against an American UBIA longer UBI explainerPlease send us feedback! Post your thoughts in our Facebook group or email us at weeds@vox.com
May 12, 2017
The wall in our hearts
Vox's Dara Lind joins Sarah and Matt to talk about James Comey's firing, the border wall, and whether incomes have really been as stagnant as they seem.
May 10, 2017
AHCApocalypse III
Dylan Scott joins Sarah and Matt to discuss the surprisingly swift passage of a revised and reanimated version of Paul Ryan's repeal bill.
May 05, 2017
High-Risk Podcasting
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about Congress's big spending deal, Republicans' newest Obamacare repeal idea, and research on what happens when abortion providers shut down. 
May 03, 2017
AHCApocalypse II
Live at Vox Conversations, Sarah, Ezra, and Matt discuss the GOP's doomed effort to reboot Obamacare repeal and the White House's "new" tax reform "plan." 
Apr 28, 2017
French elections, national service, and Queens at war
Libby Nelson and Dylan Matthews join Matt to talk about the global nationalist tide, forcing integration across class and ethnic lines, and research on gender and foreign policy dynamics.
Apr 26, 2017
Weeds Live!
In front of their first-ever live audience, Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about Trump surprises, Singapore's health care system, and the impact of longevity inequality on retirement programs.
Apr 19, 2017
Weeds in the Wild: Meet Joan, the Robotic Pelvis
Sarah and Byrd take a look at some policy experiments working to drive down teen pregnancy and abortion rates. They're showing promising results — but they're also under threat.
Apr 14, 2017
The World's Worst Club
Sarah and Matt are joined by Dara Lind for a discussion of the United fiasco, Trump-era immigration enforcement, and pre-K's surprising health benefits. 
Apr 12, 2017
Bonus Episode: The United States Attacks Syria
The United States has just intentionally bombed a Syrian regime target for the first time since the country’s civil war began in 2011.  Zack Beauchamp joins Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias to discuss how we got here, and the significance of chemical weapons, in this bonus episode of The Weeds.
Apr 07, 2017
Nuclear Winter
Jim Tankersley joins Sarah and Matt to talk tax reform, senate procedure, and the most exciting Swedish administrative data yet.
Apr 05, 2017
A cheery discussion of global warming, Obamacare repeal, and death
Ezra, Sarah, and Matt pick apart Trump's next executive order on climate, exhume the AHCA's corpse, and read a white paper about death.
Mar 31, 2017
Weeds in the Wild: Postville
It was the biggest workplace immigration raid the U.S. had seen to date. 389 workers, almost all of them Hispanic, were detained at a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa on May 12, 2008.On this episode of Weeds in the Wild, we look at the effects that this raid had across the state of Iowa, and then take a step back to understand how our immigration policies made this kind of raid possible. 
Mar 24, 2017
Mad Dogs and Obamacare Repealers
Ezra and Matt are joined by Yochi Dreazen to talk about national security policy in the Trump era, the latest on ACA repeal, and research indicating the internet's not to blame for political polarization. 
Mar 21, 2017
CB-uh oh!
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about Donald Trump's taxes, the disastrous CBO score of the GOP health care bill, and a study on how Chinese imports reduce Americans' marriage rates. 
Mar 15, 2017
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt discuss how to pronounce the big new Republican health law, plus analyze its content and the puzzling politics surrounding its introduction. 
Mar 08, 2017
Don't Call It a State of the Union
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt try to discuss Donald Trump's address to a joint session of congress through the lens of actual policy. 
Mar 01, 2017
Death Panel If You Do, Death Panel If You Don't
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk fake news, town hall protests, and research on why your cell phone bill is so high. 
Feb 22, 2017
Weeds in the Wild: Sarah Goes to Kentucky
In another episode of their new podcast, Sarah and Vox's Liz Scheltens explore why Obamacare enrollees in Kentucky voted for Trump. 
Feb 17, 2017
Privet, Amerika!
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about the latest Russia-related scandal engulfing the Trump administration, the White House's lack of progress on policy, and new research on how Medicaid expansion reduced the divorce rate. 
Feb 15, 2017
The Time Traveling Emanuel Brothers
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about anti-Trump protests, cabinet confirmations, and health insurance age rating (exciting!) 
Feb 09, 2017
SCOTUS, DBCFT, and Hitler's Highways
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about Neil Gorsuch, a controversial tax reform idea, and Nazi infrastructure building.
Feb 01, 2017
The Don't-Call-It-A-Muslim-Ban
Dara Lind joins Ezra and Matt to discuss Donald Trump's latest crackdown on immigrants and refugees.
Jan 30, 2017
Gag Order and Infrastructure
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about widely-misunderstood Trump administration efforts to shut up career civil servants, talk about infrastructure, and ask journalism's most pressing question: What's up with eggs?
Jan 26, 2017
Inauguration Special
Shortly after the inauguration ceremonies ended, Ezra, Matt, and Sarah gathered to analyze what it all means in the first Trump-era Weeds episode. 
Jan 21, 2017
DeVos, Rigged Polls, and Quitting Bureaucrats
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt are joined by Libby Nelson to discuss Trump's not-so-great hires, not-so-great polls, and new research into how career staff act during presidential transitions.
Jan 18, 2017
Trump Cabinet, Obamacare Update, and Heroin
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about the rush to hold hearings on Trump's cabinet appointees, the sudden emergence of trouble in repeal paradise, and an effort to cut down on pill abuse that backfired massively. 
Jan 10, 2017
Sarah and Ezra Interview Obama About Obamacare
Two weeks before he leaves office, President Obama sits down for a lengthy conversation about the lessons of the Affordable Care Act and the law's uncertain future.
Jan 06, 2017
Happy New Year
Sarah and Matt offer predictions for 2017, and offer tax wonk tips about when to time your child's birth. 
Jan 04, 2017
Year-End Spectacular
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt each review one big thing they learned in a tumultuous year for policy and politics. 
Dec 28, 2016
Kentucky, the Rust Belt, and the Big Picture on Trade
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about what Obamacare-using Trump voters are hoping for, which regions really need help, and a massive overview of the evidence on globalization and inequality.
Dec 21, 2016
Russia and the American Dream
Ezra and Matt discuss Russian hacking, Rex Tillerson, and inequality's role in reducing social mobility.
Dec 14, 2016
Trump's Surprisingly Ambitious Education Agenda
Matt is joined by Libby Nelson to discuss Donald Trump's big plans for K-12 education and his massive financial conflicts of interest.
Dec 07, 2016
Assessing the Trump Cabinet — and Exploring How Recessions Affect Health
Sarah and Matt take a deep dive into what Trump's cabinet picks say about how he will govern, with a particular focus on HHS Secretary-designate Tom Price. Also: an exciting white paper on recessions and health outcomes!
Nov 30, 2016
Conflicts of Interest, Trump and the Media, and Rethinking Teen Pregnancy
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt consider the extraordinary possibility of corruption during the Trump administration, the president-elect's unusual relationship with the media, and a new study debunking the old study about 16 and Pregnant. 
Nov 23, 2016
Sneak peak: a new Vox podcast, about how policy effects real people
This is a pilot episode of a new show Sarah has been working on, looking at the real-life stakes of policymaking. The show's name? That's for you to help us decide.
Nov 21, 2016
The Trump Agenda
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about Obamacare repeal, deportations, and the House Democrats leadership fight.
Nov 16, 2016
Trumpocalypse Now
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt look at the causes and consequences of Donald Trump's shocking win.
Nov 09, 2016
The Massive Policy Stakes of 2016
You may not know it from watching cable news — but both Trump and Clinton have very clear and very different policy visions for America. Ezra, Matt, and Sarah dive into their plans to change the country in the last pre-election episode. 
Nov 04, 2016
Is Obamacare Failing?
Ezra, Matt and Sarah go deep into what's going wrong with Obamacare's rising premiums — and take on a research paper that helps explain a lot about Gilmore Girls (really!)
Oct 26, 2016
Final Debate Special
Ezra, Sarah, and Matt rally after a late night to talk about the third and mercifully last presidential debate.
Oct 20, 2016
Second Presidential Debate Special
The morning after Clinton and Trump's debate in St. Louis, Ezra, Sarah, and Matt head to the studio to talk about internal Republican divisions, Trump's threat to throw Clinton in jail, and the surprising amount of policy the two candidates covered.
Oct 10, 2016
Veep Debate and Cranky Judges
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt debate Mike Pence's puzzling performance at the vice presidential debate and highlight new research on the surprising link between college football and prison sentences. 
Oct 05, 2016
The First Debate and Pet Health Care
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt try to take the policy content of the Trump-Clinton debate seriously and discuss important new research into out of control health care spending -- on pets.
Sep 29, 2016
An Interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell
The Weeds' Sarah Kliff heads to Capitol Hill to interview Secretary Burwell on all things health care. They talked about how to pay doctors to provide better care, the current state of the Obamacare marketplaces, and what she's learned about management running the federal government's largest agency. 
Sep 21, 2016
Best Census Ever, the Trump Foundation, and Class Discrimination
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt get deep into the weeds of the latest Census report on income and poverty, briefly consider Donald Trump's ridiculous charity, and discuss new research into class-based employment discrimination. 
Sep 14, 2016
Gender Wage Gap and the Mystery of State Legislatures
Reunited after many summer vacations, Sarah, Ezra, and Matt take a deep dive into Claudia Goldin's theory of the gender pay gap and possible remedies. Plus hot new research that proves nobody cares about state government. 
Sep 08, 2016
EpiPen Prices, the Clinton Foundation, and Lead Exposure
Why did EpiPen's price skyrocket 400 percent over the past decade? Sarah and Matt dive into the complex world of American drug pricing to find out. Also on this episode: understanding why the Clinton Foundation gets so much scrutiny, and a white paper of the week that shows how problematic a small level of lead exposure can be.
Aug 31, 2016
Obamacare Update and Aging America
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt are all together for a gloriously in-the-weeds discussion of the success and failure of the Affordable Care Act plus some hot new research with bad news for the future of economic growth.
Aug 24, 2016
Think Tanks, Transition, and What Drives Trumpkins
Ezra and Matt talk about conflicts of interest in think tank funding, Hillary Clinton's transition team, and the biggest study yet of who supports Donald Trump and why.
Aug 18, 2016
Trump's tax plan, democratic legitimacy, and the Freakonomics of decisionmaking
Ezra is joined by Dara Lind and Libby Nelson to talk about Donald Trump's new tax plan — how it shows the difference between Trump and reform conservatives, between the Donald and Ivanka, between Democrats and Republicans, and the similarities between Trump and Paul Ryan. The trio also talks about what happens when elections lose legitimacy, and mull over a fascinating new paper by Steven Levitt — yes, the Freakonomics economist — that could change how you make decisions. 
Aug 12, 2016
Interview with Atul Gawande
With Ezra and Matt on summer vacation, Sarah is left to her own devices — and decides to share a fantastic interview from the Ezra Klein Show with surgeon and writer Atul Gawande.  Atul talks about the fascinating academic work he has in progress, attempting to improve end-of-life care and make hospitals safer, and how he became a writer in the first place.  
Aug 03, 2016
With Matt dispatched to Philadelphia, Sarah and Ezra are left to make sense of the Democratic National Convention. They discuss why it feels so different from the Republican National Convention last week, why it matters that a woman was just nominated for president, and whether Sanders could inspire a Tea Party of the left.
Jul 28, 2016
Republican Convention Special
Matt, Sarah, and Ezra take a deep dive into the many detailed policies proposals discussed at the RNC in Cleveland.
Jul 22, 2016
Basic Income and Police Shootings
Andy Stern joins Ezra, Sarah, and Matt to talk about his new book, Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream. Then, the regular cast considers new research on police use of force.
Jul 15, 2016
Hillary Clinton. Yes, that Hillary Clinton.
A special presentation from the Ezra Klein Show: My interview this week is with Hillary Clinton. You may have heard of her.I won't bore you with Clinton's bio. Instead, I want to say a few words about what this interview is, as it's a bit different than the EK Show's normal fare (though I do ask her for book recommendations!).I got about 40 minutes with Hillary Clinton. I wanted to use that time to try to answer a question I've had about Clinton for years: why is the candidate I see on the campaign trail so different from the person described to me by her staff, colleagues, friends, and even foes? I wanted, in other words, to try to see what Clinton is like when she's working her way through policy and governance issues. And so that's what we talk about. Among the topics we covered are:- Extreme poverty, welfare reform, and the working poor- Is it time for more deficit spending?- Would more immigration be good for the economy?- The difficulties of free college and universal health care- What skills does a president need that campaigns don't test?- What's on her bookshelf?- Why America stopped trusting elites — and what elites should do about itIf you want more on this discussion, I also reported out a long piece on how Clinton governs — you can find it on Vox.com.
Jul 14, 2016
Free College, Email Extravaganza, and the China Shock
Matt, Ezra, and Sarah talk about proposals to eliminate college tuition, the real issues behind Hillary's email server, and a new paper on a small policy change with huge consequences. 
Jul 08, 2016
Brexit 2, SCOTUS on abortion, and the missing male workers
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt discuss the United Kingdom's descent into political chaos, a big win for abortion rights at the high court, and a big labor market mystery.
Jul 01, 2016
Welfare reform, SCOTUS deadlock, and health care jerk
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt consider the alarming rise in deep poverty over the past 15 years, a fresh Supreme Court non-decision that imperils Obama's immigration policy, and what to make of the slowing rate of growth of health care spending.
Jun 25, 2016
Guns, Brexit, and Free Condoms
Sarah and Matt discuss the nexus of terrorism and gun control, Britain's upcoming referendum, and an unintended consequence of school condom giveaways.
Jun 17, 2016
5uper Tue5day
Hillary Clinton's clinch of the Democratic nomination gives Sarah, Ezra, and Matt a chance to go deep on what we know about women in electoral politics.
Jun 10, 2016
Accountable Care Organizations, more Swedish administrative data, and the big city recovery
With Ezra in sunny California, Matt and Sarah gets weedsier than ever as she attempts to explain to Matt the mysteries of ACOs before they discuss a brewing controversy over economic journal citations.
Jun 03, 2016
Health care innovation, did Dems rig the primary, and fetal stress
Health care innovation, did Dems rig the primary, and fetal stress: Sarah, Ezra, and Matt look at a specific case in America's great productivity slowdown, assess Bernie Sanders' complaints, and examine some exciting Swedish administrative data.
May 27, 2016
90s nostalgia, Obamacare lawsuits, and the truth about abortion
Ezra, Sarah, and Matt look back at whether Bill Clinton deserves credit for the booming economy of the 1990s, survey the ongoing legal challenges to Obamacare, and dissect new research revealing some surprising facts about abortion rates around the world. 
May 20, 2016
Competition in Obamacare marketplaces and how low-income housing can boost poor neighborhoods
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about which companies are succeeding and failure in the Affordable Care Act's new individual market and why, and delve deep into the weeds of some new research on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
May 13, 2016
Trump is the Republican nominee. What happens next?
Trump is the last man standing in the Republican nominating contest — so Ezra, Matt, and Sarah spend this week's entire episode taking stock of what that means. How did the rise of Trump happen? What does it mean for the Republican party? And how much potential does this have to reshape America's political parties?This episode is brought to you by Texture, an app to help you binge-read your favorite magazines. get a free trial right now when you visit Texture.com/Weeds.This episode is also brought to you by Club W, which will give you $20 off your first order when you go to ClubW.com/Weeds, and will pay your shipping on orders of four bottles or more.And by Goldman Sachs. To learn about developments currently shaping markets, industries, and the global economy, subscribe to the firm’s podcast, ‘Exchanges at Goldman Sachs,’ available on iTunes.
May 06, 2016
Interview with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
Max Fisher sits down with Defense Secretary Ash Carter to talk about the modern international environment, why Carter thinks great power rivalry is making a comeback, and for some deep weedsy talk about nuclear weapons.
May 02, 2016
Land value taxes, soda taxes, and carbon taxes — oh my!
Every policy nerd has their favorite tax proposal — and today on the Weeds, Sarah, Matt, and Ezra talk about a few of theirs. What would happen if we abolished all taxes and replaced them with a land tax? Is it a good idea to tax sugary sodas? And how did the carbon tax become the default option in the environmental debate?This episode is brought to you by Texture, an app to help you binge-read your favorite magazines. get a free trial right now when you visit Texture.com/Weeds.This episode is also brought to you by Club W, which will give you $20 off your first order when you go to ClubW.com/Weeds, and will pay your shipping on orders of four bottles or more.And by Goldman Sachs. To learn about developments currently shaping markets, industries, and the global economy, subscribe to the firm’s podcast, ‘Exchanges at Goldman Sachs,’ available on iTunes.
Apr 29, 2016
Our undemocratic primaries, Obama's new fiduciary rule, and the challenge of information polarization
With Sarah still on vacation Ezra and Matt ask what we want out of our presidential nominating system, explain a new regulatory initiative that could save the middle class billions, and look at some new research on media consumption and polarization.The Weeds is supported by Goldman Sachs. To learn about developments currently shaping markets, industries, and the global economy, subscribe to the firm’s podcast, ‘Exchanges at Goldman Sachs,’ available on iTunes.The Weeds is also brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/Weeds to stream Understanding Investments and hundreds of other courses for free!And by Harry’s Razors. Visit Harrys.com right now and get $5 off your first purchase with promo code WEEDS.
Apr 22, 2016
Interview with Jason Furman
The Obama administration's top economist talks to Vox's Dylan Matthews about the challenges facing the American economy.
Apr 18, 2016
Why inequality matters, Trump's delegate problem, and the geography of life expectancy
With Sarah on vacation, Matt and Ezra talk about the philosophical underpinnings of worries about inequality, take a look at Donald Trump's difficulty grappling with the delegate selection process, and discuss a blockbuster new paper that reveals huge city-to-city variation in how long poor people live. The Weeds is supported by Goldman Sachs. To learn about developments currently shaping markets, industries, and the global economy, subscribe to the firm’s podcast, ‘Exchanges at Goldman Sachs,’ available on iTunes.The Weeds is also brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/Weeds to stream Understanding Investments and hundreds of other courses for free!
Apr 15, 2016
What the hell is going on with tax havens, explained
Ezra, Matt and Sarah use the Panama Papers to discuss how tax havens and shell corporations became such a big deal, and why America has done so little to stop them. Matt and Ezra argue a bit about the effectiveness of global governance. Economist Gabriel Zucman gets name-checked quite a bit. Sarah runs through some really surprising new Obamacare data (Medicaid fans — you know who you are — won't want to miss this!). Today’s episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/Weeds to stream Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries and hundreds of other courses for free!This episode is also brought to you by Re:Dream, a documentary series on Youtube taking a look at the idea of the American Dream. Watch the videos, find local events, and join the conversation at ReDreamProject.org.
Apr 08, 2016
A medical struggle to digitize, a tax calculator, and a paper that explains Trump
It would be really weird to walk into a bank and have the teller take down your information on pen and paper. But it happens all the time in medicine — and we try to explain why. Also in this episode: a new tax calculator reveals how the candidates want to change your taxes, and a political science paper from 2014 helps predict the rise of Trumpism.This episode is brought to you by Club W, offering The Weeds listeners fifty percent off your first wine order when you go to ClubW.com/Weeds.This episode is also brought to you by Re:Dream, a documentary series on Youtube taking a look at the idea of the American Dream. Watch the videos, find local events, and join the conversation at ReDreamProject.org.
Apr 01, 2016
Replacing No Child Left Behind, wonky March Madness, and Uber's productivity
Special guest star Libby Nelson joins Sarah and Matt to explain the Every Student Succeeds Act, examine the strange history and economics behind the NCAA's non-payment of athletes, and break down some new research on why Uber works. Today’s episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/Weeds to stream Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries and hundreds of other courses for free!This episode is also brought to you by Re:Dream, a documentary series on Youtube taking a look at the idea of the American Dream. Watch the videos, find local events, and join the conversation at ReDreamProject.org.
Mar 25, 2016
Super(b) Tuesday special
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt discuss the results of the March 15 primaries and the state of the 2016 presidential election.Today’s episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/Weeds to stream Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries and hundreds of other courses for free!This episode is also brought to you by Club W, offering The Weeds listeners fifty percent off your first wine order when you go to ClubW.com/Weeds.
Mar 16, 2016
The productivity slowdown, TrumpCare, and better textbooks
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt talk about why Silicon Valley's technical marvels aren't visible in economic statistics, dive into the details of Donald Trump's surprisingly banal health plan, and tackle some new research on improving teaching by improving textbooks.This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. Start building your website today atSquarespace.com. Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off.This episode is also brought to you by Harry’s razors. Visit Harrys.com and enter WEEDS at checkout to receive $5 off your first purchase.
Mar 11, 2016
Super Tuesday/Exhausted Wednesday special!
In this episode of the Weeds, Ezra, Matt and Sarah discuss the results of Super Tuesday. Everyone is tired, so it gets a bit weird. Topics include whether Donald Trump is actually a moderate, how the election shows American politics is either polarizing or de-polarizing, and whether Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton would be a stronger general-election candidate. Oh, and Bernie Sanders has finally convinced Matt that free college —including for rich kids — is a good idea! This week’s episode of The Weeds is sponsored by Warby Parker. Warby Parker brings you a new concept in eyewear: Contemporary eyeglasses that are extremely affordable and fashion forward. Visit WarbyParker.com/Weeds to begin your free home try-on experience today!This episode is also brought to you by Club W, offering The Weeds listeners fifty percent off your first wine order when you go to ClubW.com/Weeds.
Mar 02, 2016
TPP, the Nevada Caucus, and the Great Texas Abortion clinic shutdown.
By popular demand, Sarah, Matt, and Ezra finally address the Trans Pacific Partnership before contemplating the GOP's ongoing self-immolation, and the real consequences of the war on Planned Parenthood.Today’s episode is brought to you by Harry’s razors. Visit Harrys.com and enter WEEDS at checkout to receive $5 off your first order.Today’s episode is also brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/Weeds to stream Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries and hundreds of other courses for free!Today’s episode is also sponsored by CNN’s new original series “Race for the White House.” Uncover the reasons some campaigns became powerful while others failed. The series premieres Sunday, March 6th, at 10pm Eastern on CNN.
Feb 26, 2016
The Supreme Court vacancy and the possible collapse of American democracy
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt consider the case for reforming America's current practice of granting life tenure to Supreme Court Justices, discuss the political fight over replacing the late Justice Scalia, and ponder a 25 year-old work of political science that implies the United States is heading for a coup.Today’s episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus. Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/Weeds for a special limited-time offer to stream hundreds of courses for free!This episode is also brought to you by Club W. Visit ClubW.com/weeds and get fifty percent off your first order today, and don’t ever come home to a wine-free house again. 
Feb 19, 2016
Could more corruption fix American politics?
Sarah, Ezra, and Matt use the New Hampshire primary results as a lens through which to discuss Jonathan Rauch's case for "political realism" as a governing philosophy.This episode of The Weeds is brought to you by Squarespace. Start Building your website today at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off.This episode is also brought to you by Harry’s razors. Go to Harrys.com right now to get $5 off your first order with the promo code WEEDS.
Feb 12, 2016
The Iowa Caucuses
Who wins the 2016 election will hugely influence what type of policies Washington passes — and that's why Ezra, Sarah, and Matt devote this entire episode of The Weeds to dissecting the results of the Iowa caucus. We look at Bernie's surprising success, the declining strength of political parties, and how a Cruz administration would govern.For a limited time, The Great Courses Plus is offering The Weeds listeners a chance to stream The Fundamentals of Photography and hundreds of other courses for free! Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/WEEDS to take advantage of this special offer.Club W is a revolutionary new wine club that sends you wine directly to yourdoor -- saving you all those trips to the grocery store. Not only does Club W send you wine, they send you wine that you'll LOVE drinking. Visit ClubW.com/WEEDs to get fifty percent off your first order.
Feb 02, 2016
Will taxing the rich hurt growth – and will third parties save politics?
It’s one of the most fundamental disputes in Washington: what effect do taxes have on the economy? On this week's episode of the Weeds, Ezra, Matt, and Sarah work through some of the top papers to explain. Also on this episode: why a third party won't save American politics, and a new working paper that shows a surprising way to encourage students to attend high school.This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. Start building your website today atSquarespace.com. Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.For a limited time, The Great Courses Plus is offering The Weeds listeners a chance to stream The Fundamentals of Photography and hundreds of other courses for free! Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/WEEDS to take advantage of this special offer.
Jan 29, 2016
Ross Douthat on campus conservatism, being thankful for Donald Trump, and how to write so liberals will read you
In this preview of Ezra's coming interview podcast, he interviews New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat. Douthat is the author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class, Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save Themselves, and Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. He's also a fascinating political thinker with a skill that's rare in these polarized times: he's a conservative writing for an overwhelmingly liberal audience, and he's able to regularly disagree with his readers without alienating them. In this discussion, he tells Ezra about his winding path to the Times op-ed page, as well as his appreciation for Donald Trump, and his predictions for what could split both the Democratic and Republican parties. 
Jan 26, 2016
Campaign finance and global inequality — with lead poisoning in between
On this episode of the Weeds, Ezra, Matt, and Sarah dive into one of Bernie Sanders' favorite campaign trail arguments: that money causes more Congressional dysfunction than partisanship. Also on this episode: why the lead poisoning crisis in Flint matters, and a discussion of a (not so great) paper of the week on global inequality. This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Just for a limited time The Great Courses Plus is offering our listeners a chance to stream this course: The Fundamentals of Photography - a $235 value- and hundreds of other courses for FREE! Visit TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/WEEDS for this limited-time offer.This episode is also sponsored by Ballotcraft, a fantasy politics game. Think fantasy football, but for politics. Win in Ballotcraft by best predicting who's going to win the Iowa Caucuses, New Hampshire Primaries, and other upcoming elections. It's 100% free. Check it out at ballotcraft.com
Jan 22, 2016
Obama's Legacy, debating single payer, and Obamacare's jobs impact
Matt, Sarah, and Ezra reflect on Obama's successes and failures, take a look at Hillary Clinton's new attack on Bernie Sanders, and consider some research on the new health law's surprising lack of impact on the labor market.This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. Start building your website today atSquarespace.com. Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
Jan 15, 2016
Immigration and the minimum wage — with an armed stand-off in between
America's immigration debate is peppered with terms like "path to citizenship" and "amnesty." Those catch phrases can mean vastly different things to different people — and on this week's episode of the Weeds, Vox's Dara Lind joins Sarah and Matt to explain. Also on this episode: understanding the family behind the armed stand-off in Oregon, and a new white paper that argues against increasing the minimum wage. This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. Start building your website today atSquarespace.com. Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
Jan 08, 2016
Teen births are plummeting — and economists are judging your Christmas gifts
In a very merry Christmas day episode of the Weeds, Ezra and Matt talk to Sarah about how why teen birth rate fell in half since the mid-2000s — and whether MTV's 16 and Pregnant might have anything to do with it. Also in this episode: an economic critique of Christmas presents and a deep dive into Hillary Clinton's pledge not to tax the middle class.
Dec 25, 2015
Gentrification, a budget deal, and the decline of floating voters
Matt, Sarah, and Ezra lay out what is and isn't troubling about gentrification, break down congress' latest fiscal deal, and discuss a paper that explores why swing voting has become rare.
Dec 18, 2015
Ezra interviews Ben Bernanke
In this special episode of The Weeds, Ezra interviews former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about what it's like to manage the most powerful economic policymaking institution in the world during a financial crisis. They also talk about Bernanke's views on the Republican party, what he learned from George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and what happened when he went to Texas.
Dec 15, 2015
Why health premiums rise, and how partisans discriminate
Ezra, Sarah, and Matt are reunited at last for a deep dive into why patients in and out of Obamacare are paying more for health insurance, the rising tide of Islamophobia in the presidential campaign, and a look at fascinating new research on the psychological depths of contemporary partisanship. Have you heard The Message? It’s an original science fiction podcast from Panoply and GE Podcast Theater. All of Season 1 is available now, so listen and find out why a 70-year-old alien recording seems to be killing people. Search for The Message on iTunes.
Dec 11, 2015
Dietary fat and climate change
Matt is joined by special guest stars Julia Belluz and Brad Plumer to discuss the science of eating fat, the Paris climate conference, and the public health implications of climate change. The Weeds is brought to you by Squarespace. Start building your website today at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful. Have you heard The Message? It’s an original science fiction podcast from Panoply and GE Podcast Theater. All of Season 1 is available now, so listen and find out why a 70-year-old alien recording seems to be killing people. Search for The Message on iTunes.
Dec 04, 2015
Childbirth, retirement, and terror in between
This week, Ezra, Sarah, and Matt discuss the flaws in the DC elite's favorite idea: raising the retirement age, consider how to respond to terrorist attacks (with a bonus digression about 19th century anarchist assassins), and debate a striking new data set that shows the baffling variation in how frequently different hospitals perform c-sections rather than traditional childbirths. This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. Start building your website today at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace—Build it Beautiful.
Nov 20, 2015
We know how to eliminate poverty. So why don't we?
On this week's episode of the Weeds, fellow Vox editor Dylan Matthews joins Sarah and Matt for what is certainly the most in-depth discussion of basic income ever broadcast. Would it really just work to give every American a base salary, regardless of whether they worked or not? Also on this episode: a recap of the best policy tussles in the Republican debate, and a fascinating white paper on why colleges don't punish cheaters — even when they get caught. This podcast is brought to you by Spotless, a sexy and bold drama laced with dark humor from Esquire Network. Learn more about Spotless by downloading ‘Coming Clean’ a roundtable podcast that goes behind the scenes of TV’s best dark dramas, and tune into the Spotless series premiere November 14 at 10/9c on Esquire Network. Today’s episode of The Weeds is sponsored by the American Heart Association, which is urging lawmakers to save physical education. The average school gets just $764 every year for physical education. Go to heart.org/LetThemPlay to learn more and take action.
Nov 13, 2015
How politics is making us stupid
Facts rarely seem to win any political debate — and on this episode of the Weeds, Matt, Ezra, and Sarah use political science research to explain why. Also: the case for softball debate questions and a troubling new study on rising death rates among white, middle-aged men. This episode is brought to you by Squarespace. Start building your website today at Squarespace.com. Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace: Build it Beautiful. This episode is also brought to you by Audible, with over 180,000 audiobooks and spoken-word audio products. Get a free audiobook of your choice at www.audible.com/weeds
Nov 06, 2015
Are we counting poverty all wrong?
This week, Ezra, Sarah, and Matt finally deliver the equivocal takes on gerrymandering that America has been waiting for, dive into the weeds of the big budget compromise, and tackle what may be the dorkiest policy issue of all time — the use of survey vs administrative data to measure household level poverty. Today’s episode of The Weeds is sponsored by the American Heart Association, which is urging lawmakers to save physical education. The average school gets just $764 every year for physical education. Go to heart.org/LetThemPlay to learn more and take action.
Oct 30, 2015
Want to fix inequality by taxing the rich? Good luck.
In this week's episode of the Weeds, Ezra, Matt, and Sarah dive head first into a new Brookings white paper about income inequality (and how to not to fix it). We also imagine what a Joe Biden administration could have been, with a commander-in-chief who considers Republicans friends rather than enemies. This episode of The Weeds is brought to you by Squarespace. Start building your website today at Squarespace.com.  Enter offer code WEEDS at checkout to get 10% off. Squarespace: Build it Beautiful.
Oct 23, 2015
The Weeds: Can the government trick you into dieting?
On this week's episode, Ezra, Sarah, and Matt debate a little known Obamacare program, learn all about Nordic economies, and take on a new white paper forcing health economists to rethink deductibles. 
Oct 16, 2015
Arthur Brooks on think tanks, happiness, and management
In a special edition of The Weeds, Ezra interviews Arthur Brooks —head of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, a New York Times columnist, a major influence on Jeb Bush, and a surprisingly snappy dresser. Really.
Oct 15, 2015
Would single payer health care work in America?
In the second episode of the Weeds, Ezra, Sarah, and Matt debate whether nationalized health care could work in America, what solutions are really needed to solve the country's mass shooting issue — and introduce an exciting new, regular segment: white paper of the week! 
Oct 09, 2015
Ezra, Matt and Sarah Try to Podcast
In this first episode of the new Vox.com podcast the weeds, Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Matthew Yglesias look at why Hillary Clinton is trying to gut a major part of Obamacare, how Donald Trump's tax plan made Matt sad, and whether American politics is becoming structurally biased towards outsiders like Trump and away from insiders like Bush. It gets real nerdy, real fast. This episode was sponsored by Audible.com. For a free audio book and a 30 day free trial, head to Audible.com/WEEDS
Oct 02, 2015
Vox's The Weeds Promo
Coming soon from Vox and Panoply
Sep 22, 2015