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Political Economy with Jim Pethokoukis


Tune in each week as James Pethokoukis interviews economists, business leaders, academics and others on the most important and interesting issues of the day. You can find all episodes at AEI, Ricochet, and wherever podcasts are downloaded, and look for follow-up transcripts and blog posts atRead more

Popular episodes

Mark Mills: Will the cloud revolution unleash the next economic boom?

Nov 24 • 29:41

When we think of infrastructure, roads and bridges are among the first things that come to mind. But over the past decade, massive investments in warehouse-scale data centers constitute a new kind of infrastructure build up. And that cloud computing infrastructure might be the beginning of a new economic revolution. My guest today is Mark Mills, and we'll be discussing the...

Beth Shapiro: Synthetic biology and conservation

Nov 17 • 28:19

De-extincted woolly mammoths, genetically engineered livestock, and transgenic crops: Are biologists opening a Pandora's box that will lead to the further destruction of the natural world? In this episode of "Political Economy," Beth Shapiro joins the podcast to discuss that question, explain the latest discoveries in synthetic biology, and explore the possibility of bio-e...

John Logsdon: The Apollo program and the future of space exploration

Nov 10 • 24:45

On the heels of a summer of billionaire space flights and William Shatner's recent rocket trip, some Americans are echoing old arguments about the wastefulness of space exploration. Alongside this controversy, massive declines in launch costs and a burgeoning space economy have renewed interest in manned missions to the Moon and Mars. In today's episode of "Political Econo...

Charles Pappas: How World's Fairs changed the world

Nov 3 • 30:18

World's Fairs hosted in American cities, like Chicago in 1893 and New York in 1964, are remembered as odes to progress. The United States showcased its prowess on the world's stage and exhibitions awed visitors with the latest technological marvels. But America hasn't hosted a World's Fair in nearly 40 years. In this episode, Charles Pappas explores the impact the fairs on...

Kyle Pomerleau: Tax hikes and paying for Biden's Build Back Better agenda

Oct 28 • 28:51

The Biden administration is pushing forward its legislative agenda with the Build Back Better program, and Democrats have a number of tax proposals to pay for it. Looking to the largest corporations and the wealthiest Americans, congressional Democrats are constrained by President Biden's pledge not to raise taxes on Americans earning less than $400,000 a year. But will De...

Michael Strain: The state of the labor market

Oct 27 • 29:38

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted supply chains and disrupted the US economy. Production levels are back on track, but the labor force participation rate has remained stagnant since the summer of 2020. And millions of Americans are quitting their jobs in a labor market that was already facing a shortage of workers. What's going on with this "Great Resignation"? And sho...

Neil Chilson: Emergent order in a complex world

Oct 20 • 22:55

The word "order" evokes images of top-down structure and planning. Yet, in the absence of central control, economies almost seem to operate like machines — a concept economists call "emergent order." How do systems of order emerge? And how can we benefit from the unplanned organization they create? Today, Neil Chilson joins "Political Economy" to explain the concept of eme...

Jamie Beard: Geothermal energy as a climate solution

Oct 13 • 32:23

Futurists of the past dreamed of tapping into the heat of the Earth's mantle to supply our energy needs, but today's geothermal provides only a tiny fraction of the power we use. In today's episode, we'll be discussing what's next for geothermal, its possible advantages over solar and wind power, and the obstacles it faces. I'm joined by Jamie Beard to answer those questio...

Arthur Turrell: Is fusion power the energy source of the future?

Oct 6 • 30:19

"Fusion power is the energy source of the future . . . and always will be," skeptics joke. But a series of exciting breakthroughs have some experts convinced that we're nearing a fusion revolution that could deliver abundant, clean energy for the future. My guest today is Arthur Turrell, and we'll be discussing whether fusion power reactors are on the horizon, the advantag...

Adrian Wooldridge: Defending meritocracy

Sep 29 • 29:59

Americans love rags-to-riches stories, believing hard work and talent — not connections — should be rewarded. But meritocracy has come under scrutiny, with some questioning how well America lives up to its ideals, while others ask if they're even worth striving for. In this episode, we'll discuss whether meritocracy succeeds in pulling talent up from the bottom, or if the ...

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