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    Plain English with Derek Thompson

    Longtime Atlantic tech, culture and political writer Derek Thompson cuts through all the noise surrounding the big questions and headlines that matter to you in his new podcast Plain English. Hear Derek and guests engage the news with clear viewpoints and memorable takeaways. New episodes drop every Tuesday and Friday, and if you've got a topic you want discussed, shoot us an email at plainenglish@spotify.com! You can also find us on tiktok at www.tiktok.com/@plainenglish_
    enThe Ringer235 Episodes

    Episodes (235)

    Harsh Truths About 2024 and the Future of the U.S. Economy

    Harsh Truths About 2024 and the Future of the U.S. Economy
    On today's episode: the state of American politics and the future of America's economy. Derek discusses a media myth in the aftermath of the failed Trump assassination attempt and reviews three basic truths about Joe Biden's doomed presidential bid. Then, Chicago Fed president Austan Goolsbee joins the show to answer Derek's blunt question, "Are you going to cut rates next month?" Plus, they discuss the Federal Reserve, how it works, how he sees the economy, whether high rates are constraining housing production, and whether Trump's signature economic policy idea—high tariffs in an age of global inflation—would help the U.S. economy. (TLDR: No.) If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Austan Goolsbee Producer: Devon Baroldi Links: “Stop Pretending You Know How This Will End,” Derek Thompson, The Atlantic “Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War,” by Benjamin Jones and Benjamin Olken Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    "The Weirdest Housing Market in Recent History"

    "The Weirdest Housing Market in Recent History"
    Skyrocketing rates, shrinking affordability: The U.S. housing market is a mess. It's also a bit of a mystery. Why are prices still sky-high, even though many measures of demand are weak? If the supply of new homes is nearing a historic high, how come the inventory for existing homes is close to a historic low? Today's guests agree that this is one of the weirdest housing markets in recent history. Mike Simonsen, president founder of Altos Research, and Lance Lambert, cofounder and editor-in-chief of Residential Club, join to talk about the state of the U.S. housing market—what makes it ugly, what makes it weird, and what would have to happen to make it better. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Mike Simonsen & Lance Lambert Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    "People Feel Lied To": The White House, the Media, and the Joe Biden Blame Game

    "People Feel Lied To": The White House, the Media, and the Joe Biden Blame Game
    Joe Biden's disastrous debate performance has created a crisis for the Democratic Party and a set of interlocking debates about whether the White House—or the White House media—covered up his cognitive decline. The Atlantic’s Mark Leibovich, who first wrote that Biden should drop out of the race two years ago, joins to discuss Biden campaign strategy and the hypocrisy of many Democrats who refused to state publicly what they knew privately: that Biden's age-related blunders were getting more serious. Then we are joined by the busiest man in media, Alex Thompson, political correspondent of Axios, who has absolutely dominated this story in the past week. As a group, we talk about Biden’s age, the Democratic campaign strategy—Project "Bubble Wrap"—that is blowing up in their faces, the failures of the political press and Democratic operatives to see what’s in front of their noses, and the chances that Kamala Harris will imminently replace Joe Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Mark Leibovich & Alex Thompson Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Whatever Happened to Serial Killers?

    Whatever Happened to Serial Killers?
    In the first five decades of the 20th century, the number of serial killers in the U.S. remained at a very low level. But between the 1950s and 1960s, the number of serial killers tripled. Between the 1960s and 1970s, they tripled again. In the 1980s and 1990s, they kept rising. And then, just as suddenly as the serial killer emerged as an American phenomenon, he (and it really is mostly a he) nearly disappeared. What happened to the American serial killers? And what does this phenomenon say about American society, criminology, and technology? Today's guest is James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University. The author of 18 books, he has been publishing on this subject since before 1974, the year that the FBI coined the term "serial killer." If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: James Alan Fox Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    The Radical Cultural Shift Behind America's Declining Birth Rate

    The Radical Cultural Shift Behind America's Declining Birth Rate
    We've done several podcasts on America's declining fertility rate, and why South Korea has the lowest birthrate in the world. But we've never done an episode on the subject quite like this one. Today we go deep on the psychology of having children and not having children, and the cultural revolution behind the decline in birthrates in America and the rest of the world. The way we think about dating, marriage, kids, and family is changing radically in a very short period of time. And we are just beginning to reckon with the causes and consequences of that shift. In the new book, 'What Are Children For,' Anastasia Berg and Rachel Wiseman say a new "parenthood ambivalence" is sweeping the world. In today's show, they persuade Derek that this issue is about more than the economic trends he tends to focus on when he discusses this issue. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Anastasia Berg & Rachel Wiseman Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Breathing Is Easy. But We’re Doing It Wrong.

    Breathing Is Easy. But We’re Doing It Wrong.
    Today’s episode is about the science of breathing—from the evolution of our sinuses and palate, to the downsides of mouth breathing and the upsides of nasal breathing, to specific breath techniques that you can use to reduce stress and fall asleep fast. Our guest is James Nestor, the author of the bestselling book 'Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.' If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: James Nestor Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    The News Media’s Dangerous Addiction to ‘Fake Facts’

    The News Media’s Dangerous Addiction to ‘Fake Facts’
    What do most people not understand about the news media? I would say two things. First: The most important bias in news media is not left or right. It’s a bias toward negativity and catastrophe. Second: That while it would be convenient to blame the news media exclusively for this bad-news bias, the truth is that the audience is just about equally to blame. The news has never had better tools for understanding exactly what gets people to click on stories. That means what people see in the news is more responsive than ever to aggregate audience behavior. If you hate the news, what you are hating is in part a collective reflection in the mirror. If you put these two facts together, you get something like this: The most important bias in the news media is the bias that news makers and news audiences share toward negativity and catastrophe. Jerusalem Demsas, a staff writer at The Atlantic and the host of the podcast Good on Paper, joins to discuss a prominent fake fact in the news — and the psychological and media forces that promote fake facts and catastrophic negativity in the press. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Jerusalem Demsas Producer: Devon Baroldi Links: "The Maternal-Mortality Crisis That Didn’t Happen" by Jerusalem Demsas https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2024/05/no-more-women-arent-dying-in-childbirth/678486/ The 2001 paper "Bad Is Stronger Than Good" https://assets.csom.umn.edu/assets/71516.pdf Derek on the complex science of masks and mask mandates https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2023/03/covid-lab-leak-mask-mandates-science-media-information/673263/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Microplastics Are Everywhere. How Dangerous Are They?

    Microplastics Are Everywhere. How Dangerous Are They?
    Plastic is a life-saving technology. Plastic medical equipment like disposable syringes and IV bags reduce deaths in hospitals. Plastic packaging keeps food fresh longer. Plastic parts in cars make cars lighter, which could make them less deadly in accidents. My bike helmet is plastic. My smoke detector is plastic. Safety gates for babies: plastic. But in the last few months, several studies have demonstrated the astonishing ubiquity of microplastics and the potential danger they pose to our bodies—especially our endocrine and cardiovascular systems. Today’s guest is Philip Landrigan, an epidemiologist and pediatrician, and a professor in the biology department of Boston College. We start with the basics: What is plastic? How does plastic become microplastic or nanoplastic? How do these things get into our bodies? Once they’re in our bodies what do they do? How sure are we that they’re a contributor to disease? What do the latest studies tell us—and what should we ask of future research? Along the way we discuss why plastic recycling doesn’t actually work, the small steps we can take to limit our exposure, and the big steps that governments can take to limit our risk. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Philip Landrigan Producer: Devon Baroldi Links: "Plastics, Fossil Carbon, and the Heart" by Philip J. Landrigan in NEJM https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2400683 "Tiny plastic shards found in human testicles, study says" https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/21/health/microplastics-testicles-study-wellness/index.html Consumer Reports: "The Plastic Chemicals Hiding in Your Food" https://www.consumerreports.org/health/food-contaminants/the-plastic-chemicals-hiding-in-your-food-a7358224781/#:~:text=BEVERAGES,in%20this%20chart Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Why the New NBA Deal Is So Weird. Plus, How Sports Rights Actually Work.

    Why the New NBA Deal Is So Weird. Plus, How Sports Rights Actually Work.
    In an age of cults, sports are the last gasp of the monoculture—the last remnant of the 20th century mainstream still standing. Even so, the new NBA media rights deal is astonishing. At a time when basketball ratings are in steady decline, the NBA is on the verge of signing a $70-plus billion sports rights deal that would grow its annual media rights revenue by almost 3x. How does that make any sense? (Try asking your boss for a tripled raise when your performance declines 2 percent a year and tell us how that goes.) And what does this madness tell us about the state of sports and TV economics in the age of cults and cord-cutting? John Ourand, sports correspondent with Puck News, explains. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: John Ourand Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    What America’s Bold New Economic Experiment Is Missing

    What America’s Bold New Economic Experiment Is Missing
    The news media is very good at focusing on points of disagreement in our politics. Wherever Democrats and Republicans are butting heads, that's where we reliably find news coverage. When right and left disagree about trans rights, or the immigration border bill, or abortion, or January 6, or the indictments over January 6, you can bet that news coverage will be ample. But journalists like me sometimes have a harder time seeing through the lurid partisanship to focus on where both sides agree. It's these places, these subtle areas of agreements, these points of quiet fusion, where policy is actually made, where things actually happen. I’m offering you that wind up because I think something extraordinary is happening in American economics today. Something deeper than the headlines about lingering inflation. High grocery prices. Prohibitive interest rates. Stalled out housing markets. Quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, a new consensus is building in Washington concerning technology, and trade, and growth. It has three main parts: first, there is a newly aggressive approach to subsidizing the construction of new infrastructure, clean energy, and advanced computer chips that are integral to AI and military; second, there are new tariffs, or new taxes on certain imports, especially from China to protect US companies in these industries; and third, there are restrictions on Chinese technologies in the U.S., like Huawei and TikTok. Subsidies, tariffs, and restrictions are the new rage in Washington. Today’s guest is David Leonhardt, a longtime writer, columnist, and editor at The New York Times who currently runs their morning newsletter, The Morning. he is the author of the book Ours Was the Shining Future. We talk about the history of the old economic consensus, the death of Reaganism, the demise of the free trade standard, the strengths and weaknesses of the new economic consensus, what could go right in this new paradigm, and what could go horribly wrong. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: David Leonhardt Producer: Devon Baroldi Links: David Leonhardt on neopopulism: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/19/briefing/centrism-washington-neopopulism.html Greg Ip on the three-legged stool of new industrial policy: https://www.wsj.com/economy/the-u-s-finally-has-a-strategy-to-compete-with-china-will-it-work-ce4ea6cf Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    The Five Superstars Who Invented the Modern NBA

    The Five Superstars Who Invented the Modern NBA
    The game of basketball has changed dramatically in the last 40 years. In the early 1990s, Michael Jordan said that 3-point shooting was "something I don’t want to excel at," because he thought it might make him a less effective scorer. 20 years later, 3-point shots have taken over basketball. The NBA has even changed dramatically in the last decade. In the 2010s, it briefly seemed as if sharp-shooting guards would drive the center position out of existence. But the last four MVP awards have all gone to centers. In his new book, ‘Hoop Atlas,’ author Kirk Goldsberry explains how new star players have continually revolutionized the game. Goldsberry traces the evolution of basketball from the midrange mastery of peak Jordan in the 1990s, to the offensive dark ages of the early 2000s, to the rise of sprawl ball and "heliocentrism," and finally to emergence of a new apex predator in the game: the do-it-all big man. Today, we talk about the history of paradigm shifts in basketball strategy and how several key superstars in particular—Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Manu Ginóbili, Steph Curry, and Nikola Jokic—have served as tactical entrepreneurs, introducing new plays and skills that transform the way basketball is played. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Kirk Goldsberry Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Are Smartphones Really Driving the Rise in Teenage Depression?

    Are Smartphones Really Driving the Rise in Teenage Depression?
    Today—a closer critical look at the relationship between smartphones and mental health. One of the themes we’ve touched on more than any other on this show is that American teenagers—especially girls—appear to be “engulfed” in historic rates of anxiety and sadness. The numbers are undeniable. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that from 2011 to 2021, the share of teenage girls who say they experience “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” increased by 50 percent. But there is a fierce debate about why this is happening. The most popular explanation on offer today in the media says: It’s the smartphones, stupid. Teen anxiety increased during a period when smartphones and social media colonized the youth social experience. This is a story I’ve shared on this very show, including with Jonathan Haidt, the author of the new bestselling book 'The Anxious Generation_.'_ But this interpretation is not dogma in scientific circles. In fact, it’s quite hotly debated. In 2019, an Oxford University study titled "The Association Between Adolescent Well-Being and Digital Technology Use" found that the effect size of screen time on reduced mental health was roughly the same as the association with “eating potatoes.” Today, I want to give more space to the argument that it's not just the phones. Our guest is David Wallace-Wells, bestselling science writer and a columnist for The New York Times.  He says something more complicated is happening. In particular, the rise in teen distress seems concentrated in a handful of high-income and often English-speaking countries. So what is it about the interaction between smartphones, social media, and an emerging Anglophonic culture of mental health that seems to be driving this increase in teen distress? If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: David Wallace-Wells Producer: Devon Baroldi Links My original essay on the teen anxiety phenomenon https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2022/04/american-teens-sadness-depression-anxiety/629524/ "Are Smartphones Driving Our Teens to Depression?" by David Wallace-Wells https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/01/opinion/smartphones-social-media-mental-health-teens.html 'The Anxious Generation,' by Jonathan Haidt https://www.anxiousgeneration.com/book Haidt responds to his critics https://www.afterbabel.com/p/social-media-mental-illness-epidemic Our original episode with Haidt https://www.theringer.com/2022/4/22/23036468/why-are-american-teenagers-so-sad-and-anxious Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Are Flying Cars Finally Here?

    Are Flying Cars Finally Here?
    For decades, flying cars have been a symbol of collective disappointment—of a technologically splendid future that was promised but never delivered. Whose fault is that? Gideon Lewis-Kraus, a staff writer at The New Yorker who has spent 18 months researching the history, present, and future of flying car technology, joins the show. We talk about why flying cars don't exist—and why they might be much closer to reality than most people think. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com.  Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Gideon Lewis-Kraus Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    How the Logic of Cults Is Taking Over Modern Life

    How the Logic of Cults Is Taking Over Modern Life
    Several years ago, I told some friends that I had an idea for a second book. It would be called ‘Everything Is a Cult.’ I’d noticed that in an age of declining religiosity, capitalism was filling the god-shaped hole left by the demise of organized religion with companies and services and products that were amassing a cult-like following in media, entertainment, and marketing. I never ended up writing the book. But last week, Sean Illing of ‘The Gray Area’ podcast with Vox asked me to come on his show to talk about my thinking on cults, identity, and the history of news media. Today, we're running that conversation on this feed in a rare example of me getting interviewed on my own show. Enjoy! If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Sean Illing Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    How Will the Gaza War Finally End?

    How Will the Gaza War Finally End?
    Today, with Gaza protests spreading across the country and around the world, we dive deep into what’s actually happening on the ground in the war between Israel and Hamas—and how this war might actually end, or lead to a broader conflict. The status quo in Gaza is horrendous in every conceivable way. Following an attack that killed more than a thousand Israelis on October 7, Israel has retaliated with a bombing campaign more destructive than the most aggressive World War II fire-bombings in Germany. 80 percent of buildings in north Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. Tens of thousands of Gaza civilians have been killed, according to various estimates. Millions are displaced and hungry, and many are camped near Rafah, where Israel is considering a new military campaign to root out Hamas leaders. Today’s guest is Natan Sachs, the director of the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. I asked Natan to come back on the show because, while the entire media is covering the campus protests in excruciating detail, I felt like the news cycle was losing its grip on the actual war itself. Today, I asked Natan my biggest questions about the war as it stands, including whether Israel’s military strategy has already failed; whether Hamas’s top leadership actually wants the kind of ceasefire that campus protesters are calling for; and whether anything about this war would actually change if the U.S. immediately halted military aid to Israel. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Natan Sachs Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    A Political Scientist on How Protests Can Change Minds or Backfire

    A Political Scientist on How Protests Can Change Minds or Backfire
    In the last week, hundreds of protests across college campuses and American cities have taken place in response to the war in Gaza. Campus life has shut down at Columbia University in NYC. The news is strewn with images of police confrontations on campuses, from Texas to California. Hundreds of demonstrators across the country have been taken into police custody. And many people now anticipate that, without a major course correction in the war in Gaza, demonstrators will converge on the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, in a replay of the infamous 1968 anti-war protests and police riots that defined that national convention. Next week, we’re going to have a full episode on the war itself. Today, I want to talk about the nature of protest itself. Omar Wasow, a professor of political science at UC Berkeley, is the author of an influential paper about the history of 1960s protests. Today we talk about what made the 1960s protests different, how protests succeed, how protests backfire, and how his research applies to today. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Omar Wasow Producer: Devon Baroldi LINKS: "Agenda Seeding: How 1960s Black Protests Moved Elites, Public Opinion, and Voting" [link] Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    What Kind of a Superpower Is India Becoming?

    What Kind of a Superpower Is India Becoming?
    Today’s episode is all about India.You don’t have to believe that demography is pure destiny to appreciate the fact that the future of India is the future of the world. In 2024, today, India is the largest country by population on the planet, having surpassed China two years ago. In 2050, India is still projected to be the largest country in the world. In 2100, when I am 114 years old and this podcast is hosted by my cryo-frozen vat brain, India's projected to be larger than the next two biggest countries combined: China and Nigeria. This spring, nearly one billion Indians are eligible to vote in India's election, and the big winner is almost certain—the highly popular and highly controversial Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What kind of a country is India becoming under Modi? Ravi Agrawal, the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, joins us to discuss. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Ravi Agrawal Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Health Fads and Fictions: VO2 Max, Supplement Mania, Sunlight, and Immortality

    Health Fads and Fictions: VO2 Max, Supplement Mania, Sunlight, and Immortality
    Today's show is a critical look at some of the most popular health fads of the moment, with return guests Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg, from the Growth Equation and the ‘FAREWELL’ podcast. We’re talking VO2 max, the benefits of sunlight, so-called morning and nighttime “stacks” (complex multivitamin routines for optimizing your energy and sleep), and Silicon Valley dreams of immortality. Plus, a rant from Derek about the supplement mania of independent media. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Steve Magness & Brad Stulberg Producer: Devon Baroldi Links: The ‘FAREWELL’ podcast: https://thegrowtheq.com/farewell-podcast/ The FDA's note on dietary supplement regulation: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/rumor-control/facts-about-dietary-supplements Joe Rogan's supplement stack: https://jrelibrary.com/articles/joe-rogans-supplement-stack/ Huberman's sleep stack: https://www.nsdr.co/post/andrew-hubermans-sleep-cocktail The Mayo Clinic on creatine: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-creatine/art-20347591 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    U.S. Economy FAQ: Skyrocketing Insurance Prices, Stuck Inflation, Higher Rates, and Wrong Experts

    U.S. Economy FAQ: Skyrocketing Insurance Prices, Stuck Inflation, Higher Rates, and Wrong Experts
    Jason Furman, a professor of economics at Harvard, returns to the show to discuss the biggest economic questions of the moment, including: - Why have home and auto insurance prices skyrocketed? - Why did inflation stop falling in 2024? - How did economic experts get their disinflation forecasts so wrong? - What sticky-high prices are preventing further disinflation? - Are interest rates going to be higher for years? If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com.  Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Jason Furman Producer: Devon Baroldi Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    If the 2024 Election Is So Important, Why Does It Feel So Boring?

    If the 2024 Election Is So Important, Why Does It Feel So Boring?
    "This presidential election is not very interesting, but it is important," the political commentator Josh Barro wrote in his newsletter, 'Very Serious.' Americans certainly seem to agree with the first part. Engagement with political news has been in the dumps, and many Americans seem to be tuning out the Biden-Trump II rematch. But the conundrum of this election is that it is both numbingly overfamiliar for many voters and also profoundly important for America and the world. The differences between a Biden and a Trump presidency for America’s domestic and foreign policy are huge. Too often, these differences are ignored in horse-race coverage—and, sometimes, they even go underemphasized by the campaigns and their own advocates. If you turn on a news segment or read a long article, you’ll probably hear about the dangers that Trump poses to democracy, or the rule of law, or the administrative state. All worthy concerns. But what is at stake for our most basic bread-and-butter issues: abortion, inflation, economic growth, government spending, entitlements, immigration, and foreign policy? Josh and Derek talk about the roots of voter ambivalence, what Trump's second administration could look like, and the biggest differences between a Biden and Trump White House. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com.  Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Josh Barro Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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