The GOP Tax Bill was marketed to supercharge growth, help the middle class, and boost worker pay. It’s sold both as a “tax cut” and as “tax reform.” Some people really liked it, some people really hated it, but most people don't know much about it. Let's find out!Read More
ReConsider, by Xander and Erik, is a twice per month podcast in which we take on, in-depth, one pressing political issue facing western Democracies with a fresh, researched, and challenging perspective. We help listeners see the full context behind the issue and make up their own minds.
In this episode we welcome Lantern Jack of Ancient Greece Declassified to help us with the burning question we keep getting: how much is the United States today like the ancient Roman Republic or, perhaps, like ancient Athens? Are we going down hard and fast? Are we bound for glory? How much are we even like these ancient civilizations? Learn about all this plus a small bonus about fast food in the ancient world!Read More
Erik and Xander podcast together for the 3rd time ever in Boston! We grab a map and go: no agenda, no plan. It's a ton of fun. You'll find out all there is to know about the world as of precisely March 22nd, 2018.Read More
In this episode, Dr. Donald Marron of the Urban Institute joins us to help bring a big chunk of economic expertise to the discussion we've been having about economics and particularly monetary policy this year. We even manage to get him to crack a few jokes with us about topics from butter to Bitcoin.
Dr. Marron served on the President's Council of Economic Advisers and was Director of the Congressional Budget Office. As you can guess from all this experience, he's particularly great at explaining economics to smart people who aren't economists. We had a ton of fun and know you will, too.Read More
Last episode we heard a lot of arguments in the favor of the gold standard as opposed to having a fiat currency. In this episode we'll understand the decline of the gold standard and the reasons behind it to learn some of the hurdles to returning.Read More
Now that ain't workin'--that's the way you do it!
What the heck is fiat currency? Why are we on it? Can the US print money to pay its debts? Why do people want to return to the Gold Standard? Find out all of this and more as we kick off a series on economics that will include everything from inflation to interest rates to Bitcoin!Read More
Do separatist movements in Catalonia, Basque, Lombardy & Venecia, and other places, constitute a larger threat to the nation-state? What drives people to move towards fixing a nation versus leaving it when they're fed up?Read More
Santa's workshop is underwater, and new shipping lanes emerge in an area once thought of as an insignificant edge on the global map. What happens when the Arctic starts getting wet in the summer? How does climate change affect the conflict between NATO and Russia, global shipping lanes, and habitation patterns?Read More
"Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies and therefore remains a ‘life lie,’ [or ‘sham’]... “ -- Angela Merkel, 2015
Just after enacting the "open door" migrant policy, Angela Merkel and all of Europe faced a political backlash, including rising nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment. Europe took in a fairly small number of Middle Eastern refugees. Why has it been so painful?Read More
After the largest mass civilian shooting in history, can we come together as a nation to reduce violence? Yes, but it requires good problem solving skills.
In this episode we dive into understanding why Vegas was so deadly and how that was allowed to happen. We also look into the broader data on gun violence in America and elsewhere in order to understand what may be the biggest factors in America's death/violence rate.Read More
You've heard of the Fracking Revolution. You may also know that your fuel bill is a little lower than it was in the 2000s.
But man oh man, the picture is much bigger than that. The Middle East, Europe, Russia, and the foreign policy of the United States may be substantially different--for decades to come--than they would have been without the Revolution.
So yeah. Big deal.Read More
Join us as we pick a war out of a hat and chat about how--and whether--realism can explain how it came to be. Make sure to listen to the Realism Toolbox Talk first.Read More
Why do certain countries go to war, where others don't? How do the domestic policies and the personalities of leaders get involved?
In this episode you'll learn the most widely-used lens for understanding the causes behind international affairs: realism. In one hour you'll be able to view the international order with greater structure than ever before.Read More
Is Venezuela's government going to fall? Is North Korea going to fire nukes? Is the US going to fire nukes? Are Maduro and Kim just madmen? Is Trump?
Two brutal leftist dictatorial regimes, both hate the US, both entering crises and both facing substantial constraints about how they can try to navigate them. And the US, attempting to deal with the North Korean crisis, has its own constraints as well. In this episode you'll understand the forces that are pushing Venezuela into a domestic crisis and North Korea into conflict with the US. You'll learn what options are available to everyone and why they're limited. And you'll learn a little more about how to analyze the global stage beyond the rhetoric.Read More
President Trump has had a lot of trouble getting a legislative win, and he's pressing Congress harder than ever to deliver one. The GOP has both the House and the Senate--what are the forces keeping them from getting things done?Read More
Politics gets emotional. However the emotional part of our brain was designed not for rational thought, but for knee-jerk survival mechanisms. How can we train our brain to think more clearly about politics in our daily lives?
In this episode, Erik and Xander talk Stoicism, a philosophy and thought strategy that has been used for thousands of years by everyone from salves to emperors to get a grip on the turbulent world around them. You'll learn why Stoicism is so powerful, and you can apply it in your life and conversations today.Read More
AKA, "The Bromance of the Bad Hombres"
In this episode we interview Prof. Stephen Sestanovich, a Colombia professor, think tank big wig, and prolific writer. Formerly ambassador-at-large and special advisor to Madeleine Albright.
Prof. Stestanovich puts the Putin-Trump relationship in context by warming us up with understanding the evolving US/Russia Presidential relationship since the end of the Cold War. Strap in for this info-packed episode!Read More