16 Episode results for "Romer"
Bill Roemer and Informants
"You are listening to gangland wire hosted by former kansas city. Police intelligence unit detective gerry. Wire-tappers out they're coming from the studio gangland wire today. I want to talk about the identity of two informants that were codenames sporting goods and romano. These two guys were chicago outfit connected guys. They were used by the well-known either loved or hated. Fbi agent bill. Romer i think sam giancana particularly hated bill romer. He was a real aggressive. Bigeye minute athlete in college and he just drove sam giancana crazy and he was aggressive with all these guys. I know like here in kansas city. I got a couple of stories from bill ouseley in his. Oh barton early flossy flossy. Especially he was aggressive kind of guy and he liked to walk up to these mobsters and he'd always get a big cigar and he'd start talking to them they hang out in the city marketing. Walk up to be talking to him in he'd like to take a big drag on garner's blow smoke radnor face if they weren't you know cooperate in any manners. Fbi agents are a little bit like coppers in some way they can. They can cata stretch. The rules a little bit least of civility. Many say that romer was blowhard and he made everything app you know. He wrote several books but others would take his facts as gospel you know. He wrote five books he wrote five books the publisher labeled all them as nonfiction and he did write one novel. I would imagine that all those nonfiction books are like any story that gets told her somewhere between total falsehoods. creating memory and solid. Facts is what you're gonna find a bill roamers books in probably all the true crime. Books that you've ever read an and even all the nonfiction books that you ever read you know as i like to say. Never let the facts getting away of a good story and we had these memories at sometimes. are false mean. I've talked with somebody about something we did on the police department. We each had separate memories the totally opposite on most so who knows what the real story was. Those books are the first one he does. And nineteen ninety romer man against the mob and that basically goes over his career in the chicago office of the fbi a member. What they called the c one squadron. Kansas city they called it the one squad. It was the organized crime squad number. Two book was wore the godfathers. Nineteen ninety one. This is one. I never heard about before the amazon listening shows. It is about a conflict between tony. Accardo and bill bonanno over. Las vegas and getting money las vegas. I've ordered it as a used. Paperback i wanna get that. And i'll probably go through that and do some stories out of it now. An aunt he creates a name of an agent or the storyteller and in a bill richards but he would admit later that was actually him talking and out of his own experience is third book was released in nineteen ninety five. The title of it is enforcer spalato. The chicago mob man. Over las vegas and i've got. That book has got a lot of good stories in it The ones that. I know much about seem pretty true. I've used it whenever. I didn't my stories on block throw in this. Last book is his novel. Can't find it anywhere. The title is mob powerplays. The mob attempts control of congress in casinos. If and you guys know about this out there you got it. That'd be interesting to hear about this Now law enforcement is always used informers. I use in forwards day. What and using informative especially when you've got you want an ongoing deep throat kind of guy that you can go to for anything at anytime. Sometimes they can tell you stuff and sometimes they can. I know my first one in the organized crime subculture show is after i went to the intelligence unit. I just let him go for a long time. He was caught up in a alpern. A mob guy with a stolen caterpillar. but he told us all about it and he didn't really have anything else. I don't think but and i just used him. I remember one time he had a guy came to him. That had a stolen car that you wanted to sell. My guy had a body shop so he got hold of me. And i said okay. Let's warr yup and you gotta go take a look at this kearns so can find out where it is and we thought we knew where it was and to john wire demob over this guy's house and he went in the garage and there was a car sitting there and guy says yeah. You know it's it's stolen didn't want very much money for and giancana. Nicot around with him uninjured well. Let me think about it. During this time we'd wired him up what was really funny as we couldn't get close enough to pick up the signal without exposing ourselves too much kind of an odd place where this car was and john. Also we didn't get an honoree good and it slipped out onto the floor and he just grabbed it up and stuck in his pocket. Real quick into this damn patriot keeps falling off. Bell guy. didn't even blink an eye because couple weeks later we got it all set up until johnny good hometime to bring it down to his body shopping by for the bryce at the guy asked for set up attack unit. Three or four guys nail had Unmarked cars with the red lights and siren intimate and so they set up all around where they could see the guy lee. They signed leave. Siam headed south towards john's body shop and then graduate stopping and they weren't really you know the one leg another car in place. Maybe in front of moore anything and a guy ran and they lost him and we never did get that car. But what's funny is. That guy didn't trip to the fact that john said he might be thought it was just an accident so the guy ditched that car and then he came up with another one Couple months later. Got hold of john and on that one we had john go over and take a look at it in on that one. You served a search warrant on his house and sent him off to jail now now. We wouldn't have done that. That really put it risk other than this was not a mob guides comma part-time guide. We had another one that we set john at my. I got a couple of guys from. Ah what they call the overland park sting as a suburban city here in kansas city. Bliss mall police department. That set up a reverse sting operation. These two guys were getting out of a house. These two guys were crazy they would stage shootouts. That house the neighbors were recalling. Police department like crazy and always drive around with a bunch of guns in their car in trying to intimidate the other guys come why i actually was a ban. They had go to strip clubs and make contacts with criminals and in front themselves office. These guys don't del still property and guns. They wanted to buy guns particularly and they always had a bunch of guns in the back end of the ban. Jeter another informant kennedy during this time in canada another and more the closer to the mob but not really a mob informed either and he got hold of me one and he's and you know he said now i got these two guys been hidden joints ovarian cancer kansas in their wanted to buy guns and they're really wanted to buy anything and i told him you know come up with a stolen car may be but i just wanted to see what they're about. They said we got in their van. Went from one joined the other mood drinking. He said they had all these guns in the back. And i knew a little bit about him. This guy hold up his life. It's a sticky wicket there. I can't go back until this guy. Anything i just told. This guy knew when he told his story. I knew i said you know. Just stay away those guys. I don't know. I don't know who they are and they sound dangerous. And you need me messing with those guys. Get hold of this thing guys as it. Hey boy well. My guy was not satisfied with that eight and say to me but he knew some other guy over there. Casey k would go kan city. Kansas his guy but to bit thief that it's still cars for him to a mind format did he mainly stole cars. But he's stripped him and and had a bunch body shops he would take the pronouns to talked about him before low button. And this is the dimmer story Have until this one. He he had one of his little buddies. It can turn that stolen cars and and that guy you know they were just discussing things. That guy said yeah. I sold a car to those too crazy fuckers it that have all the guns in their van all the time and drinking all the time and the different joints around here in strip clubs said yeah. I said i saw him a car. But you know i took it over and drop her off at their house and it just sat there for a few days and then it disappeared so my friends suspicious. He said well you remember what kind of car was or anything about. Oh yeah. I said i got the license plate number here i had gotten note tag number of lebanon. Got somebody run it for me so i could find. Were parked at night. Got registration saw ram down the street and at some idea. He added connection than the wyandotte. County sheriff's office. It would get those home addresses for him so my informant as always suspicious of these guys in the very resourceful guy. Hey i learned more from me than i learned from him. I think most of the time he went back by the house were that car was registered to and it was back home again. So they'd gotten it staying. They bought it taking pictures of it and then gave back to the owner and he came back to me with that fact. And i said well i don't know man then sound good so i get hold of the of these guys in this thing said. Hey here's what's going on. Well luckily at that point in time they were just about ready to busted out any and take everybody down. They had enough. I spent all her by money. And and these guys had been partying for several months. Anyhow as i did was was partying by stolen property. A couple of single guys inform answer at times ran across each other and they they get in each other's ways but they can make good over the long haul but a lot of them were doing crime all that time to. That's where you get in a sticky wicked this guy here Of dominant about that sting operation. He was dealing cars all the time and partner mount anybody got caught because one of his drivers got popped by a state trooper. I think in the stolen car and he ended up breaking down and breaking down on. God did little time. I think he he got. Actually i want to make that popped. I got whole fbi it. You know this guy is good and you re. I didn't have anything on him. He was always dreamed. Debrief may about how the police work even like took law enforcement courses go over into community. College learn more about how. The police work but The innate used him for a little bit. I don't know i kind of lost track of him after they got hold of him. Seemed like there was some kind of scandal going on. But i never asked what the deal was civil in. I had another guy that got caught up stealing the bulldozer and he was never committing crimes all along but he was always on the edge. And i was always having to go new staff for him. So it's odd. They're always come a pain a bite but you get close to him. I know the guy that i didn't so quite so close again that stole cars but couple of the others. I got really close to so and one gal. And i got really close to for a while now and then i had. I had to tell her. She's got to go down and testify in front of a grand jury so you always had these sang. Try to keep them out there so he can find out what's going on one guy could even like here something dirty about another place and one guy i could send him in. Say okay in. And he was a bush intern and he'd go in and start talking and acting lackey wisdom gama criminal and make friends with them as best he couldn. He'll back out and at least tell me in general what was going on but romer. He was kind the master of this. I know here in kansas city. Bill ozzy was really good at this. He had a guy named mike roof. Low that he used for a long time and then the roof low got himself in a position that the mob was asking him to go in and perjure himself and he goes back to bill within. That's always that's where you have to draw. The line is if he had allowed him to go perjuring himself in order to keep him in place. That guy on your view approve of that. Especially if you're f. b. i. Agent they may not realize the owns at the time but he'll you know he is navy. Mandel angeletti not s and control. Orien- you do do not want that you know going all the way back. I know joe patrocino and the black hand days in new york city he had to use informers to find out who is who heck when you first start working these guys. You know who's who they all look like legitimate businessman many times his guys in hanging out at a particular social club and so he got his start. Finding people who know what's going on bureau turn job lachey and They didn't really use him as an ongoing informed he was more like a witnesses. A difference in a witness in an informant informant as like a source somebody keep out there in place for a long period of time a witness you get him in this debriefed. The heck out of him keeping protected so he's not out doing other crimes or let's go back to bill romer. I'm kinda digressed enough about informants in my experience with that. And you know back in the sixties fifties and the sixties especially went on longer than. But i know like even though eliot ness supposedly using wiretaps in thirty eastman aiming back to the twenties but the equipment was pretty rudimentary in. I know during the fifties. The deal was there was no law against it as like man. If you had any wherewithal and you had any might any electronic knowledge in a unit way is go. Buy stuff from radio shack dan but they had amateur radio shacks stores and people knew a lot about that and hobbyists and say just find those guys and figuring out how you can throw worked app on somebody and it's pretty simple areas gotta go find the pairs close. Their house made like go up to their house and tap into the box and run a wire to garage across the street or apartment rent gaza street. And and do it like that now. It's got a lot more sophisticated after that. But that's the way they do. It backing did it. Back in those days and the kansas city police department every other big city police department were using hidden. Microphones in those wiretaps up until nineteen sixty five. President johnson ordered all federal agencies. Remove all these electric surveillance devices. Zayd kept these things going for years or the famous one back in new jersey. That they did there is. They're all over. They were here in kansas city. They threw away all those records for the most part. Very hard to find began. Find anything you just have to look in those reports museum talkin about certain sources. Sometimes you could figure those that may add source number two. Yes thirty six. Might be a wiretap. You just call it. Use it named the wiretap a source. That's a pretty common language. Coppers did back in those days but then everybody quit by nineteen sixty eight because congress passed the omnibus crime control act of nineteen sixty eight and that made it illegal and attach criminal penalties to conduct electronic surveillance unless it was done under what they call title. Three new year agents talkin about a t three year titled three your technical surveillance electron surveillance in any audio intercept devices. Have to be approved by court. You have to have what's basically the same as a search horn yet have probable cause enough talked about that many times and four classic example. Is we watch a place and we see mob guys going in and all the time we go inside. We see him sitting at a particular table all the time. Somebody else gets an informant. Says you know. I've had dirty talk back at that table. you know. we've talked about the sports book we've made plans to murder people back there. That table were these same guys. Always sending and coppers of seen him. There there's really no other way to get into this. Other than the kind of the unsubstantiated word of informant so throw out all that together with the history of the place you know this has been a mob location for ten years and give it to a judge in the opening in an order against him for thirty days at a time. Now is to renew m. is a really long tedious. Investigation is very exciting. Guys my guys to sergeant down. There wish darted alone and out guys to go. Sit on wiretaps said recording stations and boy. They hated that hated. Aca you just sat there for eight arjun sometimes your phone ninth even ring or it might you know but you listen a little bit of it. Seemed like as pertinent you market pertinent tape it but you know really know what they're talking about for the most part for quite a while you don't know who's voices who you have to learn to whose voices are when they get on there. It's just really complicated. Not easy now. In the sixties there bill romer was assigned to the c. Ones squad and chicago and they started the top hoon squad. I did a story on that with bill. House the go back and find. That was pretty interesting about starters. Top hoon squad and he talks about the good old days the fbi For start investigating organized crime after fifty. Seven apple can mating one chengdu. Hoover said ou men who may have to do something here. And after robert kennedy got became the sixty whip for sixty three sixty sixty one Robert kennedy got the attorney general and the start yearly using the more taps. More and more after rob candy became the attorney. General he used these illegal wiretaps and then they took those away from it was devastating. These guys they hadn't really develop the informants yet to really got really worked about these informants and it's time consuming. Wiretap is time consuming and people get dirty themselves. You spend too much time with how these criminals sometimes try to be too friendly with them. They're always trying to suck in always trying to give you some that stolen always. I've had several things offered to me that they don't say it stolen but you know you know what he is and they know it is and they know that you know. It is may began proven. But you can really get caught up in a bad deal on that chicago. Fbi one squad and see one squad have been pretty proficient in using this leg on surveillance and so now they needed to find a substitute and they started really an aggressive and former development programming. Bill romer was the guy he was the most active guy in the development of informants. It takes a certain personality that everybody can't do that. I've noticed over the years. Wabi i once was former chicago police officer and also secret member the outfit richard kane. He worked really hard to recruit. Checking nicoletti probably caused the horrible to death of bookmaker william action jackson when he was trying to recruit him with these guys. They just jaw pitcher high on home and go in and talk. Are they seeing on street and a real friendly with here. If you're in a joint or something just walk up to you and start chatting. Yep delayed hopefully you know give you leave your their card. But i just do it all the time. Is these guys leg. Roman and ashley was like this is constantly going and seeing some of these guys going their house. You know the famous stories. Bill romer would go sam destefano. He was assigned dry to develop andrew stefanos. An supposedly a go in in this defy knows wife would have made coffee and native romer. A cup of coffee and disciplined later would say they always put P and the coffee. So i don't know you know it would be something he would do. But you know anytime. A mom guys sees another mom guy talking with an they get suspicious. It can depends on the context and as a possibility that they saw romer talking to jackson. Wao probably won. The only reason they were suspicious. I remember right. There were other reasons. He was not informing. He would not testify one story. I read that a sime coming out of courthouse up in milwaukee the federal courthouse. They thought he was up there. Maybe you know testified at a grand jury or agency used to be the. Fbi's offices were always in the federal courthouse. They're not anymore than kansas city. They got a big fancy new office. Just outside of downtown so many safeguards and fences and stuff to keep people out. It's unbelievable back in those days. You just walk in the courthouse and you know there's one floor that would basically be the fbi offices. Y'all most there'd be awesome. Gamut secretary may be front. Maybe not depending on the time of day and in regards these. Fbi they'll never ever mention the name of one of their informants and less. That guys had to testify. His been brought out in court otherwise ages will refuse to say those names out loud and say that their informant. Which is you know rightfully so because these people have families and extended families you painted with this brush of being an informant and maybe they're dead but once it comes out they were. They're going to have a brother or sister. Children grandchildren out there community and they're gonna be ostracized because of that now. Bill romer did leave us some clues to couple. His main informants is kind of interesting story. I really that's the store really share. Here's one was called sporting goods. If you follow any of the mob. Facebook page izzo talk about this every once in a while. A lot of people don't like bill romer so they'll always claim that he made everything up but he had one that he called sporting goods and he would say in some of his books later on and sporting goods was a street boss and considered him a source for more than ten years. Eight-member riding tidbits about things from the early nineteen seventies and romer would say that he did become almost fulltime and nineteen seventy-four mentioned his ethnicity where they was italian. Jewish your pecker wood or what he was now a chicago outfit you know. They don't have all italians in the outfit and who are important people and a street boss with the outfit would be a guy if romer identifies him as a street boss. He'd have to be a guy who managed to crew and directed some venture gambling bookmaking her fencing. Good fence at had a bunch of really. Good boosters your work for him. We had some of those here on junior. Bradley was not italian and he had the every good booster in the city going out throughout the midwest steel and stuff and then he was vincent it through a story and and in chicago will have to be within assigned area. Kansas city is not like that. Can't cities not broken up in this series it's all one all mob territory one family territory but in chicago you know. Got the south side nor side in the loop for sure so will these different crews resume chinatown crew and karen elson knob lost him. The names emirati guys know this better than i do. But there are several different crews and they had defined geographic areas like nationally. The outfit the mafia has you know the outfit gets a cargo and sell against kansas city in the sabella family. One family has cleveland. Five families have these particular areas in new york. Somebody has some stuff other south. New jersey seemed like the. The new york families had the northern part of jersey. They're basically a suburb of new york. Nia fit unlike. The new york found was was not a coast no-show organization from top to bottom. Now if you remember al capone was from naples. He wasn't from sisley. If you're from naples you're not going to be made mafia member. You might be a member of the comoro. But when you're from naples you don't qualify to be a mafia member now. One thing he did say. The sporting goods was not an inducted member of the mafia or a may guys say and staff had had a lot of non italian mobsters that were pretty important to them. Jake kuzak degrees. Lethem jake using murray the camel humphreys and gus. Alex was lenny patrick. They all had crews managed others after capone even some of them started on was under capone and the other two youngsters when capone was going out but aol way. I've even accardo always giving these kinds of guys a lot of power responsibility because they're really good moneymakers. Romer would also claimed. The sporting goods provide the fbi when names of crap politicians crept law enforcement members in this general updating of outfit activity and what individual people were into and who they were you know running with and doing business with and that stuff is invaluable may not lead to any direct indictments or even a direct investigation. But you just gotta keep up on. Who's who who's done something with somebody else. And who's who they see together more often than not and then when something else does come up that it you can make sense out of it and who has what pardon in whatever it is that you start. Working on rumoured talked about how he sporting goods maintained an ongoing close friendship. Nia had dinner supposedly every friday. That man friday evening dinner. I don't think i'd wanna meet mine former narrow friday for dinner but he made him on friday almost every week even introduced him to his wife. Now that's something. I would never do but i could see how could happen. Especially like if you're guys calling you at home and which he did and which you're gonna be working informants. They got to have your own phone number back then with enough cell phones so they had to have your home phone number because they may have some. Come up the middle of the night today. That sums going down and they need to tell you about an may need some help or something. You gotta be there at their a gun informant. You're gonna be there for them so his wife would answer the phone. And she got to know him that way and and supposedly even joined him predinner once in a while now romer would claim later that sporting goods suffered a heart attack in the middle nineteen eighties and died. He also claimed the sporting goods and once offered to give romer a large sum of money so he could retire early. They were like tight. Rio romar him obviously had some kind of shared from kind of bonds of affection. I would say. I don't think he would lie about that. May be would. But it's like an unnecessary lie. That and these guys do that all the time they offer you. Run your offer you stuff. If you're break close to at all other people would say that romer report his death with sadness when he talked about the death sporting goods would say later on. The sporting goods was an older man who was pretty polished in was really intelligent. More intelligent than your normal mobster. He was successful and it was more like maybe like some supposition may be johnny rosell. But it wasn't him for sure nineteen seventy-eight before sporting goods died. Romer left chicago and he would die not too long after that. So if you look back and see who was a street boss during these years and died about this time in johnny rosell was important but he wasn't particularly street. boston wasn't particularly in chicago. It was out in the west coast all the time. He was the polished sophisticated. Kinda guy he might be friends with but got a guy. You might reduce your wife. Do i guess but but he really was not in chicago enough. I was a guy named knows a street boss at that time who died during that time. Maybe a little bit earlier dominic dibella but he was a real well-known unpolished guy with a big reputation as a killer. Not the kinda guy you're gonna bring around your wife at all there's a couple of non-italians guy named less crews and ralph pearson. Were probably the leading non-italian members the outfit in the seventies crews was called killer kane crews. He was a gambler that its oversight foot rackets in the suburbs on the north side of chicago. He would have an intimate knowledge of politicians bribe. And and who was corrupt and canada general day to day activities which is what sporting goods providing with and he had worked with murray humphreys over the years and gus alex were the noted political fixers for the out. Fan the other guy ralph. Peer was a gambler and a bookmaker and he had his crew on. The south side was one of the top jewish gangsters associated with the outfit during these years all during his career. Romer claims to have worked really hard to make a case on route beers. Then he died of a heart attack. Nineteen seventy eight so peers is probably the best matt's who would be sporting goods. My money's on route pierce mainly because supposedly romer talked about and was assigned to make a case on him and somehow he just never made that case romer would describe his other informant in his writings as romano and he was a top tier mobster. Who was high up in rank and chicago mob. But he also described him as an inducted elsie and member which means he'd have to be saying in his book. Cargo romer indicated indirectly that romano was a capital. He had maybe a couple of crews working for him now it wouldn't dominate di bella because he wrote when dominic developed died. He was a capital on the north side. And we weren't able to ascertain who successor was so i went to romano was a made guy in the same position as dibella and learned it. Was vince solano. Another interesting fact about this revelation just before develop died the entire hierarchy of the outfit editor restaurant to pay him some tribute because he was dying. Now they say it was after Joy lombardo was made because he was the only one wearing a suit. Maybe they did both things together. But everybody's seen if you pay any attention to bob steph at all and especially in the chicago outfit facebook pages. There's a famous picture called the last supper photo news taken just before developed died. And so this guy who would been capito at that time would had to have been there at that picture of dark narrowing it down like you know. What i you know when Couple three others were there when lombardo as he had just gotten promoted to capital of labor is he just made a you know. Get those mixed up. Sorry about that. Now there's one man that is the most possible and probable i think and that's dominic blase. It's well known that romano had been kept informed by romano about sam giancana all during the nineteen sixties by somebody who had stayed close to him net time down when he was down in mexico and romano rain closed giancana alder in that time business in mexico and then when it came back he was like his guy back up here. Nine nineteen seventy four. Romer would ride about our dealt with romano. He said he often mean predinner. Just as kind of interesting of benson t things like this. You just talk about the mob in general and so you state some mob gotta probably some you know something. You probably know isn't true. Maybe even you make it up and then you wait. Formed a correct you and then they may correct you hopefully and give you what you're after about. Who's what you know. He said well vince. Llano already really wanted to be capito. When the bala start getting sick. But i don't think he's gonna get it. You know. ramada might say hannah. You know you're wrong on that he's going to be next. Capco people like to straighten you out. I learned that from an old time detective in the usa unit. Ac don't miss. You don't wanna get these kids in here. He said you know like start talking about some kind of crime the kind that you use them of and start talking about how it went down but get all the facts wrong and pretty soon. They're trying to straighten you out and then pretty soon you get them down down that path straightening out then you come back and say hey wait a minute i do. You know all that but you weren't there. Thought she didn't know anything about that. Zach logical tool that works but he didn't want romano or who we think is probably blase to feel. Lackey was snitching are. He was a rat ages. Let the guy you know. Let his ego play and let him play it out. Romero's originally men as you know romano an informant. Probably give him a what. We call a jacket. You're right out dollar real details and give it to the city visor and put it in the snitch files so people if you leave or something happens to people who that was so romero gets transferred out of chicago. Think the tucson and so other. Fbi just then knew that this guy had been working for him and they went to him and and actually document this they didn't say it was bush blase but they said they approach romano to work with them and he's like went off on him he said i never been informed. I never met that bill rumor. I don't know what you're talking about. And so then the fbi start pressuring him a little bit figured well. He's weak. They put him in jail for allow for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigation but they never could break him down now. They say checking. English might have met the description to but my money's on blase i mainly because of giancana and somebody's researched into this and they pulled up a bunch of old gen conor reports and there was a particular informant. That was tahmina. Bill romer abidjan kata right around when he was in mexico when he first returned had his. You know if you know. Anything about the murderer. Sam giancana who is Been the boss man. He was a guy. That bobby kennedy got after after. He got promoted the boston and they were after so hard as the one. They did lockstep on whether his foul name got on the golf course they'd be the foursome right by neiman. Drive up into him. I'm sure that was roman feilding right on his bumper everywhere win and out need got las vegas. He had a girlfriend out. There was mcguire sisters and they embarrass him in front of her and things like that. He finally went to mexico. He had other action going in other parts of the world. Really and at some casino action. I think in the caribbean maybe even a casino in iran. I can't remember exactly what he had other gambling action going on and but he was out of as far as the outfit was concerned. He comes back and blassie's buddy when he comes back but blasi accardo i open. They didn't really want him to come back in and he was trying to come back in and his man richard kane. I think was working with him on that. Because somebody killed richard came. No one of. That's when it came out that he had been one of romero's he'd been one of Roamers informers and blahsy was the last guy to see giancana live that night. When he was killed he'd been orders house earlier and they say that serena's got pulled off and blase came back and killed him and then left again was never charged with the murder. No my was ever charger that murder. But you know he met with romer rumor report that he met with blase the very next day and butch when claim that sam was peaceful and content when he died but that outside forces that killed him. And you know that whole cia thing was going on the time when they killed roussell. Those guys kind of tried to work with the cia and kill castro and the old school outfit guys in chicago car on them. They did not like that. Didn't take you should have anything to do with knicks. Like he named lacking buddy even talking to an agent even light in any manner. Any manner at all. He refused to speak to you. You know get out of here not talking to you he will. You can get him to strike up a small talker law these guiding get em strike up small. Talk joke about smoking joke about something but a did not like that and jen. Connor was not like that then. Apparently blasi was so. My money's on blasi in boston ended up dying a natural death that was the story of sporting goods and romano bill. Romer was an interesting. I tell you what regardless of what you think. There's a lot of good facts in his book. See most had had digits memory to remember all enemies lack ouseley he copied of stuff and took it home so it could refer back his. You'll reports and things like that. I know bill bill really. He had a great memory. Better on best memories. I ever heard me also. Brought launched at home and he did a lot of premium formation act request to help ride his books in romer pride did the same thing and that in and he's really close with a lot of other agents so what he can remember. You could call them up and they would talk about that. So that's the story of bill romer and he has two main informants Romano and sporting goods. Thanks folks or folks. Thank you for listening and all your comments on the apple. Podcast reviews bless your nice comments on my youtube channel. Where i often put up the least zoom interviews so you can see what my guest like in real life also on our facebook group. Gang man wire podcast. I see a lot of really good comments on that. I've got some great people that help put up really good content. So if you want more mob information than you can shake a stick at go to gangland wire. Podcast facebook page. You're actually it's a group. Remember that if you support. The podcast was some donations. You'll get an invite to my lives. Zoom call where we'll share stories answer questions and in general have a good time. Don't forget to buy me a cup of coffee or a shot and a beer on then mo on your mobile app or you can go to gangland wire. My website gang lenoir dot com and donate donate page and each podcasts. At put up has a pretty lengthy written blog piece about what the subject is and at the bottom of that pagers away to donate. I have some fixed costs and bless. I'm raising some money for my next documentary. Which is about the casey mob and the election fraud of nineteen forty six have already had to hire a film guide. Do couple of my interviews. I have one more interview to film. Plus i have an artist that i paid. Do some illustrations for my movie. If you remember from brothers against brothers are gangland wire some illustrations in those and by the way you can rent those on amazon. For only a dollar ninety nine to ninety nine if you want the hd version and finally. I have my book leaving vegas. The true story of how fbi worked apps ended mob domination of las vegas casinos now. That title is a mouthful but in that book. You're gonna find copies of a lot of the transcripts of the actual wiretaps and if you get the kindle version. I took those audio's that i got out of the court files and link them to the book in the proper places have an explanation. And then the actual audio wiretap. Which i think is kind of unusual so you can go to amazon and get that book and get it. In kindle version man wire supports the veterans administration and their programs that help veterans with. Ptsd you can call her hotline at one. Eight hundred eight seven three eight two five five in push one or go to their website. Www dot p. t. s. d. dot v. A. dot gov. I hate saying that. Www i left it out when i said something about gang. Why are you guys all know. I can leave that out haiti. How thanks for listening and listen up next week. I tried to put out one a week using provided by our good friend and superfan from portland oregon. Casey mcbride thanks casey.
Ep. 88. Corby, Mandernach, Mettler: New Era Blueprint for Federal and State Partnerships
"Romer labs believes that food safety starts with no no extra costs and no compromises instead romer labs offers tailored solutions and results without compromising accuracy scale ability in time romer lab supports you with a dedicated team always looking to respond a research and development organisation with the ambition to push the envelope and the technology to make it happen. This is romer labs way of doing what they do. Best helping you make the world food safer for more information. Visit romer labs dot com. Hello everyone and welcome to food. Safety matters the podcast for food safety professionals. I'm stacey jason publisher foodsafety magazine. And i'm here with my co host. Barbara van renton editorial director of food safety magazine. Woo well as you can tell. We're happy if you back view. Here on the puck. Yes oh my god here we go again. can you. Were already at the end of january. Where where are the brakes on this thing. It's just going so fast. For today's episode. We're going to feature barbara's interview with joe corby and steve monitoring knock with the association of food and drug officials also. Eric mettler fda. The three of them will be discussing an important feature of the new era of smarter. Food blueprint domestic mutual reliance. Which as many of you know has been going on for quite some time. But it's been getting a lot more attention because of the blueprint and is a feature in the december january issue of the magazine. So see there. It is so i was just i. We are a part of all of that of giving it more attention. So we've created. I'm gonna go for it here a bit of a triptych so for those of you who want to have fun with fun. I know fund trip back so you can look it up. It's the three panel piece of art. You know there's diptych triptychs later. We will be mentioning a pen taptic. But i don't want to go to okay. So the three panels of our work which are in different. Mediums include the arcadia media and mediums. Yes platform soon The article in the december january issue This podcast and a webinar. That will broadcast live on january twenty seventh. So if you're listening to this on the day goes live as tomorrow still time to register. the webinars called how. Fda's ingres integrating the blueprint for smarter food safety now. Some of the players are a little different in each part. There's some people writing in the magazine that aren't in the thing. Those people in the webinars. That are on the podcast. But it's all good. You wanna check out all three I put links in the show notes to all of them and most importantly stay tuned today. Because that's what's going on here. So that's why you're listening so keep doing that no matter. How goofy gets well. This january in new england that get some excitement somewhere you know there you go so speaking of excitement we've got. I guess we've got some news. We got a lot of news here. But it's kinda housekeeping but it's pretty newsy when it comes for food safety magazine first of all. We've got a new website. That's where you woo barbara. And i say yea so. It's so shiny. New associated new just went live like yesterday. These spill electic new website. It's got new navigation. It's got lots of great images and here's the best part it's responsive which means that whatever device you're on it looks great from your desktop to your tablet to your phone. You don't miss a beat. It looks great and it works great all devices so we're really really happy to make that upgrade. It's been longtime coming so one of the great reasons we're happy to be part of. Bnp now so that so with that we also have a new web address which is food. Dash safety dot com. Pretty simple and i guess in other words like last year media. It said we are food safety so we are. We are now officially food safety. Just don't forget. The dash. Food dash safety dot com. And you'll find everything about us all the time magazines. Podcast news webinars everything. Great and the food safety summit so all kinds of great stuff but even if you forget and type in the old address you will get to the new one you will. You will worries yes. Google is of course doing their thing about indexing everything and blah blah blah. But you'll get to the new site so we promise you'll be happy when you do because it's pretty good. We are also rolling out a new platform for our digital edition so that will heretofore be known as the ea magazine so the first version of that will be with our december january issue that will be available. But we just heard it's gonna be available so it'd be available by the time this drop so subscribers to the magazine will will receive this first of its kind version of the magazine and i really like it. It's got some. It's got some great features and i think barbara you've you've actually even been having fun with this technology adding some bells and whistles. It's it's very cool. It's very cool platform. We have the ability to add animation video and actually tipping my hand a little bit. We do have some video on deck for the february march issue But a lot more engaging an active than anything. We've been able to do. And i wish i could have effectively. Do that. sound the you know the old page turning flip book or but this is not your grandad's flip book it is not it's really somewhere in between it's it's it's it's it's it's good. It's the best of both worlds. But it's got some really really great features and i agree with arbor. It's very engaging and easy to use. So i also want to mention that if by chance you've previously only been subscribed to the print edition of food safety magazine. You wanna be sure to sign up for the new zine because going forward we are going to be a hundred percent digital so go to okay. Everybody altogether now. Food dash safety dot com and subscribe. Today that's a lot of new. It's been quite a year. Well it's been quite a year like not on the calendar part but like it's been a lot. Actually i think that's true. It has been already in the first part. This is big enough for us to the transition of you know moving to bmp and then basically taking everything that we do apart and putting it back together again in new way. So if i've sounded a little like you know what's going on with stacey she doesn't she says it's been a lot but we're really were so happy to be able to continue to bring our industry leading content on new state of the our platform so yeah so in some other news foodsafety magazine in partnership with loan jespersen founder of cultivate and a globally recognized leader in food safety and most importantly a member of the magazines. Yes our editorial advisory report loans going to be working with us to bring you a five part series where loan will be exploring how the unique regional cultures of where your company is located. Impact your company's food safety culture loans going to be joined by three m food safety and a food company representative from each of the five different regions on february twenty fifth will get started in europe. This episode will feature loan a european representative from three m and liddy and wall. Sick from danone register now for this first webinar on our new website at food dash safety dot com. Look for the webinar tab under our events section. And you'll find it there. We're going to follow this up with explorations of australia. Asia north america and latin america in future webinars to complete that five. Five part pen taptic. Okay i did. It's a great series a great series. It's i've been super super excited about this series and it's such an honor to work with loan as well as to get tremendous support from three m food safety's regional experts and just a stellar lineup of food safety practitioners who will be joining us in each video webinar. It's an incredibly valuable series. And the i leave it alone to explore food safety culture in this way you don't wanna miss it. I'm not going to miss it. We know you're not gonna miss. I'll be there. Yeah yeah and even if we didn't have to we'd be there because that's how exciting i i am. I'm just really hopped up about this one. So all right in other news we got an email. We love it when we get emails from you guys. So we received an email last week from a listener collin wilcox. Who's a q at who's a qa technician sanitation supervisor at once again nut butter. Who asked if we could discuss a story that he's seen circulating about fda finding distilleries who made hand sanitizers to help out with the shortages early on in the pandemic colin shared a story that he'd seen citing that on december twenty ninth craft stores received notice. And we assume here that other people other than craft distillers but this was the tack that that he saw received a notice from fda that they now owed a fee sometimes as much as fourteen thousand dollars if they had not previously registered as over the counter drug manufacturers. I mean fourteen grand. That's a lot for small companies even in the best of times let alone when they're struggling to keep their own their businesses open when they've been impacted through the pandemic and you know do a good thing step up and then get a fine so so barbara reached out to some folks that fda. Where did you hear. So i did go onto. Fda's website to see if they had any statement about that and sometimes it's not easy their site. But i did find a wonderful Press liaison who who sent me a link that we put in the show notes Essentially saying that fda well not assess facility fees on those companies that i entered the over the counter drug market only to produce hand sanitizer during The covid nineteen public health. Emergency so I did find online. You know a lot of sources claiming that this was the case. But i really wanted to hear it directly from fda which you know it's important to find the truthful accurate yeah base source of information so And some of my more personal context of fda sent me additional links Saying the same thing so so fda's do on the doing the right. So i guess we can file this under oops never take offence of saturday. Night live never mind anyway colin. Thank you so much for your email and and thanks of course for listening so for the rest of you. That are listening. Maybe there's a question that we can help get answered for you. We would love to do that for so go ahead and send us an email to podcast at foodsafety magazine dot com. So i know. I mentioned a bunch of links. I'm going to. I'm going to certainly Make sure that those get listed in our show notes you can visit our podcast. Page at food. Dash safety dot com. Then find the podcast. A link and episode eight and don't forget follow us on twitter linked in 'em facebook you can just search for food safety magazine all right. So now. it's time for barbra. Discussion with steve. Modern knock joke. Corby and eric mettler. Steve monitor knock the executive director of the association of food and drug officials after and barbara. Most importantly oh yes else. Also a member of our industries magazine a b. and joe corey is senior adviser of food safety regulations for afro and eric mettler is assistant commissioner for partnerships in policy within the office of regulatory affairs at fda short chain. Anybody you can find those bios in the show notes well and listeners. May know that. We've had stephen joe on previously. But i had not met eric before. We recorded of the subs- episode It was a really great Group very engaged with a lot of insight on developing relationships in creating trust between regulators at all levels of our government so definitely a conversation not to be honest and such an important conversation. Obviously we having an all of those different a mediums media platforms media everywhere. Yeah it's good all right so after a quick break. We're going to hear that interview with over thirty. Five years of experience. Romer labs is a leading supplier of diagnostic testing solutions for the agricultural food and feed industries. Romer offers one of the most comprehensive testing portfolios for food manufacturers and their suppliers this includes allergen mycotoxin and gm. Oh detection kits as well as environmental and finished product testing solutions for pathogens. In addition romer operates four global iso accredited laboratories that can serve as an extension of your onsite labs for more information visit romer. Labs dot com. I i'd like to welcome all of you to the podcast. Today am really excited to learn how. Fda's new blueprint will work with. Its state partners across the country. So let's get started here in a one. When fda rolled out the new era of smarter foodsafety blueprint that concept of domestic mutual reliance was woven throughout eric given your position at fda as the assistant commissioner for partnerships in policy. Could you please describe what is meant by the term domestic mutual reliance and what it looks like in practice will thank you. It's a it's a pleasure to be on with a stephen jovan really to sort of talk to everyone about The new blueprint for new era of smarter food safety as well as domestic mutual reliance on as you stated domestic michio reliance is a key aspect to the blueprint But it's also a key aspect in our everyday work in what we've been doing pretty much over the past two decades in moving forward even beyond into the future fifth years from now you know really is really this concept that domestic mitri alliances sort of where we're headed and when i say domestic mutual. That's what i'm really targeting and really getting at is essentially. A seamless partnership between fda. The states It's really you know. Treat other is trusted partner. And rely on coordinate. With and share one another's work data and actions really is the goal of a safer food supply at the end of the day and the purpose really is to improve industry compliance. Avoid duplication of efforts drive efficiencies and prevent or reduce human animal. Foodborne illness outbreak. That's it at its core. I think for the most everyone really recognizes in understands on that there is so much inventory out there that fda cannot do it on on its own and also that The states cannot do it on their own as well. And we've there are actually several in practice right now One key part that you can see actually happenings in. The retail space retails a prime example of domestic airlines. Fda helps provide standards help how how help promote consistency across the states and then also provides resources for the states to go out there and locals go out there and actually do the real work and this is key because in the local areas you know states and locals know their industry a lot better than we do and so we're really rely on each other for them to do the local hands on inspections and really work altogether to really sort of change that public health metric release her get food illness and foodborne illness under control so in states where in states that are very rural that you have a lot of space between say retail stores. And you don't have the resources. How does that work in practice. Is there an added challenge in locations like that. i. I'll take that out for a second. So yeah. Distance definitely makes a challenge but when you have distance you often have a another challenge related to that. You're quantity goes down so For those that are highly urban areas. You tend to have a lot more stores but you're drivetime may actually be worse because getting lawyer commute between places however you doing driving or or public transit can actually take you longer than sometimes the sixty miles distance between stores and some of the rural areas You know what would you really look across programs that tends to not be a real determining factor at how you have to set up a program in which you need etc. The bigger factors are some of the things like employee costs and those sort of things that really impacted so drivetime is a piece of it but a smaller piece than you might imagine so all the states have kind of their own set of regulations that they follow are there any incongruities between federal and state levels. That have been difficult to mash. When you're trying to rely on each other for for coverage inspections. I think this sort of goes back to the concept of domestic. Mitchell reliance And i think one of the key pieces here that everyone has to remember is that there's never going to be an expectation that every single state meets the same standards and are similar with each other that that is just not feasible and i think everyone understands that at the end of the day will we do need to do. Moving forward is really making sure that we understand what each other's abilities are what each other's enforcement authorities are and really leverage those different pieces so for example with california's gonna be drastically different than working with the state like new mexico. There's just a different amount of capacity of different mount resources and both sides and they also have different regulations in that is completely fine ended the concept of domestic mutual reliance will really doing here is really going after and sharing data with each other and leveraging each other's strengths. I think that's the key part about this to really sort of get at that foodborne illness curve that we talk about. What are your thoughts joe. Well a number of years ago. That was a bigger issue than and it is. Now i think with With physical bean Implemented by the federal government and estates. Many of them are adopting. That i mean years ago. It was different. You had states that would react to a nellis that occurred in their states and they would promulgate their own rural weather was on beef jerky or smoked fish or our food salvage and you had all these different regulations. But now i think we become more and more uniform in part because phys mma and in many of the new regulations hassle preparations that the fda has so. I think we're much much more uniform. It sort of jump on top of that completely agree and we also have programs. Such as know helps set standards. That really sort of steady standard out. There encouraged the states As well as fda to meet those standards to make sure there is that consistency of application Of food safety across the board one other thing we should hit on barbara. And i think it would be a mistake if we didn't say this. Fda has really supported funding wise things to help move states forward. So whether that be for for the program standards and manufactured foods animal food or retail They've done a lot of things that help make it easier for the states to move their regulations forward and keep them current along with improving their inspectional quality their compliance and enforcement programs etc but that funding has made it much simpler Moving through fisa y may have been insurmountable without funding attached to it. And by having that Really good level of funding. We've done much better and much faster. It's a great point. So another of the pillars of the blueprint was food safety culture so Can each take a stab at how you see culture fitting into Domestic mutual reliance. Eric want we start with you now. Absolute i i think i think one of the key parts is actually defining what food safety culture actually means. Because i think there might be different versions of that the way i see food. Safety culture is released under the attitudes beliefs and practices. That people are doing essentially want nobody is watching right so really taking its heart. That food safety is at the core and the crux of everything that we do whether it be at a retail level wh manufacturing level or anywhere in there i think it is a core component upon everyone to sort of make sure that every employee really has that food safety culture in there on that we are doing it for the right reasons so again i think in in retail you actually sort of appear quite a bit From a food safety culture standpoints. And it's really making sure that you know the simple as aspect that when individuals are the employees. Go in that. They're truly washing their hands for the full twenty seconds before and after they touch a rock commodities and things of that nature It really sort of building every single step but it's also not just having the actual something on a wall. It's actually everyone believing in it at the end of the day and it really goes from the play on the floor all the way up to the corporate attitudes and levels and same thing with an fda. I'm in the states as well. So barbara i i think the thing to think about from a regulatory scheme of food safety culture is really having a public health culture. Are we doing every day. The things that will Best protect the public house for doing that. We probably have good food safety culture in place from a regulatory system and we've seen evolution on that i will tell you ten years ago. I was more focused on building a case some days than i was focused on actually making sure. He had a good public health outcome. We have gotten better at that and thinking about those things in earlier notification when we're seeing in illness haywar seeing this. We're not sure what it's linked do but let's talk to the firm early because we might figure something out much quicker but without additional information or they might say. Hey if you even think we're involved we'll stop product right now Which can be a very much faster. Public health outcomes. So i think those that's really what is important in food safety culture from a regulatory specter of his thinking. What's best for the public health. There's there's always been used to be different philosophies on un particularly in in compliance and enforcement between the federal government and the states and locals. Y'all states and locals use a lot of education to gain compliance whether it's manager certification or or mandating that operators attend a food safety course whereas you know. Fda did not do an awful lot of that. When i think what we're doing now is harmonizing those philosophies so that we can be more uniform and share in the enforcement and compliance activities that we do. That's a great point. joe steve. I wanted to go back to something you said about. You know the fact that there has been movement to be more transparent in terms of where investigations are and with the core Network and the table. They just put out it. It's so great to say you know. There's been criticism Over the past couple of years about fda may be not coming out fast enough with what they know. but I think i've really seen a lot of movement in the direction of of information sharing and transparency like never before and that's really great Advance so i wanted to ask you if you could describe some of the partnership efforts there were already in place before the blueprint Was there something missing in the past that prevented more widespread roll out of this concept previously. So the concept has been there in jail. I'm going to argue. Is the father of the contract. The internet. I don't think there's any argument there. I think that's so that was the beginnings we started thinking about this. How do we really promote a solid public health system throughout the whole food safety system. If started it but really at some point you have to start putting name a title to it and domestic mutual reliance makes sense. Were we doing a lot of the features of domestic Reliance yes but by making it emphasis point. It helps generate commitment at both the agency in the state levels and the local levels to across the board it just formalizes it with everyone. You know where we working together. Compliance and enforcement inspections even training across the board. Yes this just makes it a formal concept that we have a clear commitment to from leadership at all levels right. I agree completely with a job. Being the king of this concept I think for a number of years you know after was had a cover story in food safety magazine on the integrated food safety system and and really the boots on the ground. The state and local folks play role in that so From your perspective. Joe Maybe you can talk about. Why do you think it took so long. And and actually you get Should get an award for perseverance on this topic That it's finally being recognized at the top. It's it's been an interesting journey that We've been onda to integrate food safety system It's been over twenty years and you know we had to overcome an awful lot of barriers before we could before we could implement a system like this. You know when we talked about some of these barriers One of them was of the food safety culture that we all we all talked about. Twenty years ago there were stakeholders. Didn't think an awful lot of state programs and they they consumer groups for instance were dead set against integration because they they believed that the states were were too comfortable with their industries did not want to shut him down and were only interested in marketing In in their states so we had to overcome that and and and deal with all the other bears. We talked about the philosophies That would that were different. We had overcome that. But you know we. We put in regulatory program standards which was an enormous help. Enormous of we we were able to prove to the skeptics. That that the states and locals and a federal agencies could be equivalent and have and have comparable programs that that took us quite a while to do that that that was a big thing to do. the other thing that i think was a big thing as we had to develop trust. I mean we were all friends. But i'm not sure that there was a a real intense trust between agencies. We didn't share data and information very well fda and usda was was really unable to to accept our laboratory analysis. Well we worked on that for years to overcome those barriers. And and you know in twenty years. There's so many people that i've heard say we've we've Were were hitting a home stretch. We've we've turned the corner. I don't think i've ever said that in twenty years. But you know i'm ready to say it now because i have such confidence and faith in this mutual reliance that that i think we are hitting home stretch to an integrated food safety system. Barbara is one other thing that i think is taken us a long way toward being able to do some of the things that we had a vision of doing twenty years ago but maybe not the tools we needed to do that twenty years ago. The technology has just completely shifted in the last twenty years. Almost all of us were on a home growed individualized it structure. That would not play well with others. And that's been a challenge to gradually move toward these systems. That will work together where we can transfer information readily. I mean. it's never going to be perfect. If our method of information transfer is pretty out to excel sheets and trying to figure out what's in common. That's not a good method and we've gotten well beyond that so i think Technology has definitely helped us to. That's certainly true So i think we can all agree that this has been in the works for a long time and many of the concepts behind mutual reliance have been in place for a long time. Would you say that that domestic mutual reliance exists across the country. Right now or do you think it's going to take some time for complete adoption Across the country. Well i mean. I think we are seeing examples across the country today of domestic mutual reliance. They just aren't formally acknowledged maybe not formal agreements on how it's going to happen As we move to formal agreements it's just going to go faster and faster and faster. And what one state does will suddenly multiply to Forty states doing this thing as we find good ideas that work well So it's just one of those things the more we have Start doing it. The more we will find and the greater the the integration that will occur through the program. When i think we're also gonna see it not as holistic piece but it's going to you know even potentially come by commodity area so for example we do have Purdue safety a cooperative agreements that are in place already. And that's a key part where you know as of it started in the spring of two thousand nineteen and as of june of this year. We've already had near fourteen hundred inspections on that have been done in shared with Both fda in the state so that that's a prime example. And i think it's these successes that we can actually then sort of take. Do the lessons learned and build it across either other commodities or areas one area. I'd be remiss to talk about really. Is the animal feed side. The states in an fda worked phenomenally well on the animal feed side and in fact they do. I would say close to eighty percent if not more of inspections In that space the states that's great So i'm going to to give a little plug for an article in the december january issue of the magazine on this topic And within that there are some success stories That are described but i love for our audience to be able to hear you describe some of Examples were were concentrations being used successfully so Joe why don't you start us off. One of them was was new. York new york has a pilot. The mutual reliance program with the fda an new new york state agriculture markets shares. Their food recall information on the arc does do an awful lot recalls they had been doing over three hundred recalls a year average and a lotta those are are imported food products so so new york will share that recalling formation with fda and include any laboratory analysis that relate to the recalled product. And what. I really do as the big success. There is that. Fda is has now begun to accept. New york's laboratory analysis on these imported products and will institute import. Alerts on annette on their product is is recall. I said that that was one of the big big barriers. We had overcome so here. We have a mutual reliance program that illustrates that that we can do this. And so and so i. I think it illustrates really true. Integration and mutual relying anson in. New york's program. That's great eric. You wanna talk about one. No absolutely. I think yeah absolutely to build upon that this year was sort of. Fda's first time and we're calling it approval process but working with the florida state agriculture and consumer services. Where they actually you know went out and did non-contract inspections at this. You know we looked at them and really brought those in in in accepted as our owns. This is sort of the first time that fda has a in this space allowed a state to go out or sorry not allowed worked with the state to leverage the resources to really sort of get that added benefit from it. And right now. I believe that at a florida and fda have shared over two hundred and thirty inspection results and accepted them both from the state standpoint and fda standpoint as their own. That's great you're up steve. Well i think Minnesota wisconsin in california artists other examples of the same sort of thing sharing information sharing inventory working together as they're planning who's going to do what inspections where they've all done that california even more so as it relates to some of their work that's happening And outbreak response but they all show that willingness of a division and the state being willing to collaborate and do a more formal planning process and resource allocation. That best serves the food safety system In those are all great examples of and if we were going to look across the country there are hundreds more of these examples. That aren't necessarily being highlighted because we may not even necessarily know they're happening but good people at the in those positions have said. This is just more efficient. Let's do it this way. And they've done it and they may not have been championed. Is doing something great. But they are. And we know what's happening across the country barbara. I wanted to add something about the wisconsin pilot project. Wisconsin agriculture Head a inspection sharing a pilot with with fda and where they would take fda inspections include them in the workload that they had you know it reduced the resources they they needed because they are accepting these inspections and in putting it in their data. I i happen to mentor. A young lady from wisconsin agriculture Who conducted a research project Forty ifp ti fellowship where she compared the compliance rates in the manufactured food plants that have been inspected by fda or wisconsin agriculture. They would go out and determine if if compliance was achieved if if if it was equivalent. I remember telling her when she was doing this project that that i thought her results would would really be very important because it could illustrate that true sense of equivalence and an established that fda in states had comparable poke programs at least in this inspection matter I was really anxious to see our results. Whether they be good or bad unfortunately they were good and it showed very clearly that there was equivalency in the compliance outcomes achieved following routine inspections by both fda and wisconsin and to me that was a validation that that mutual reliance program would was was working in that we were equivalent in what we were doing with compliance. Now that brings to mind how training factors into the so What's going on on the training front to make sure that these programs are equivalent in that there is this level of trust that you referred to earlier so we have national standards to the program standards and training for virtually all of the commodity areas in some way or another and even if there aren't programs standards there are still some national standards now while there may be some isolated changes between the training for each individual jurisdiction for the most part. This is what people are in the manufactured food world. If you're going to do work for a under contract for fda there you have to essentially have equivalent training Literally the exact same coursework that fda inspector has normally talk by the same people. So there's little difference. We're seeing the same thing through the retail. World is a standardized training program. This savell along with the standardization or verification process to make sure people indeed are able to find the the violation and a site them in an appropriate manner We've done the same thing across programs areas and that's really Been much more. Broadly subscribed to now. The contracts have helped manufactured foods the program standards of help but the training is is equivalent is largely done by the same people at the same time. That's another wonderful result though being training together with your federal colleagues and the state colleagues and the local colleagues results in a stronger system of balu professional networks We found that it was much more likely to call each other when they have a question. Hey i'm seeing this. I know you've done a lot of work in this area and it's common in your area. I don't do very many of these type firms. What should i be looking at. Or what might. I need to know when i'm walking into that type firm. That happened so much more because of that. Joint training Happening that's great Eric i wanted to ask you What some of the challenges That you've seen as we're trying to implement this sort of partnership. And and what approaches are you to overcoming them. That's a great question. I think the challenge is one is really going back to that route. Part of just culture change and i think you've heard it over and over again and i think it sort of what's taken this long but that culture changing culture changes takes time. I think one of the key parts about this is we are coming up and starting to discuss and share lessons. Learned in actually places where it's really worked. Well it's always in my mind. It's if you can't really prove a concept and say that everyone has to adopt the concept was sort of take part of it until you've actually gone through concrete steps pilots learned. You know what you could as as much as possible and really start tracking and sharing. All the lessons learned across the board. And i think you've heard a lot of them already today. I think also the other part in steve mentioned this earlier is really technology. I think technology has really built out our capabilities here and you could sell associate within the new era blueprints of one of their core values of looking at traceability of commodities and products. And i think that's a key aspect to all of this to allow us to look at the entire food chain and share that information with each other so we can get more to the real time aspects of food safety. That's interesting you know so. You're both talking about technology. In terms of you know data collection in one place being able to talk to Another computer somewhere else. But throughout the pandemic one inspections were limited to be in person. There have been a lot of innovations with regard to doing inspections and audits remotely And i know that that maybe this is off topic a little bit. But what are your feelings about How remote inspections or audits will take place in the future. Is it just a tool that we can use in certain circumstances I am a proponent that it's not going to replace in person completely because their benefits to being on site but How do you see that playing out. over the long term. So i'll start of of spending a lot of time on virtual inspections and i and other types of virtual verification activities I i think it is going to be in our toolbox for along long for the long term. There are some things that we are finding that. This is just effective. Let me give you a handful of examples. Perhaps a pre-opening inspection for a firm that has a known footprint so places that have a standardized footprint across the inventory. The pre-opening inspection may be more vow just as valuable because you really not looking at that much at the individual footprint. Is everything working. You can verify that pretty easily What you're really looking for is just the management system in place to follow their policies and procedures to be effective and that's more of a discussion activity than it is a Let's see what you're doing there that you can do via zoom and the truth is you may get the right people in on the zoom. Call that you wouldn't get when you're in person because it's harder to schedule the right people in the door at the time that you are available. So that's a good option sub types of of those verification activities. Let's say we've had a dishwasher or some sort of equipment that's has malfunction was identified during inspection. Will we may be able to verify. That's been fixed through an invoice through something else that doesn't require visit and particularly in those rural areas or even the urban areas work commute time could be substantial. That's a huge time saving So i think we're going to keep seeing innovation in this area and we're going to see some tools that we don't even know about yet but we're going to get better at it the other pieces on a manufactured food inspection. We may be able to short the time in plant while were implant is just it is naturally challenging to the firm because it does disrupt the normal flow of activities so if we could be there fewer days and have equivalent result that is that is a huge improvement in the system and helps make the efficient not to mention it limits. Travel reduces costs. There there are lots of things that make that advantageous. And i think we're finding those things Really have some potential. Were not done by any means figuring out what the potential virtual inspections are or or virtual assessment activities or. There are lots of different terms out there but We're just starting and i just wanted to shout out right now. You know i. I give a huge amount of credit to the south carolina department of health and environment environmental control. I hope i didn't butcher their name. Too much They have done at last count. I think it's seventeen thousand of these virtual type audits In fact they've only done a handful of in person inspection since the pandemic began. But they're seen rope very positive results. Are they looking forward to getting back in the field in a more substantive manner And doing the work. Yes but they think that they've been providing a lot of value to the restaurant in a community which a the grocery community in particular by doing this virtual work and helping them through covid helping with those core discussions and they're going to the point of literally having them show them. Okay show if the temperature receivers so is the test strip after you've read it through and those sort of things. It's a really innovative things. And i want to give them a lot of credit for their work. And i will tell you. Their program was operational and functional before. The end of march may transitioned extremely quickly and then they shared across the country so hundreds of jurisdictions if not thousands took what they did used it to make their own program and they and Continue the important public health activities. And i just want to give a huge shout out to Sandra craig in her team at south carolina because they were a huge innovator and helped everyone in the country figure out how to move forward in these unique and challenging times so for those who aren't in the public health Sphere you are in youth route. Seventeen thousand how does that compare to what they were doing. In person for an equivalent period of time. Would you say actually they probably accomplished more. It's activities because they didn't have the drive time You know just. I have a rough to count probably A good number more because of not having that transition time this great. Yeah steve. I just want to jump on there I think you know that this tool is something that we can definitely use for the future. But i do agree that it's one tool to toolbox and it cannot replace in person inspections now. I do think that this also has thrust us into a space of thinking about what we can do with technology a little bit differently in the field so for example not only on his zoom call. Can you bring the right subject matter expert from an industry side or a company side onto the phone but also while you're doing an investigation or during an outbreak situation. You might be able to bring relevant. Sme's from either the states or from fda almost onsite actually sort of help come to a quicker identification of a potential hazard a source as well so. I think there's lots of options. And i think this is. The pandemic has really sort of opened. Our eyes enforced us since the future. Which i think is a really bright interesting future as we go along. But it's definitely for sure one tool in the toolbox. Any thoughts joe well. I couldn't add any anything. More than what steve were eric. Said and steve certainly has the pulse of the states. Right now I just agree that we can't do away with with the visiting these establishments. I i just reflect back some old school. I reflect back when we started Evolving into hassle and. I remember all the people that were saying. Well goodbye inspections we can just send the reports. The hasa plans we can. We can send our monitoring records in into a central office so we can review them and then the world will be all right and we realized without some form verification visiting these plants that that would not work so so. I think we'll see a mix of both virtual and visual inspections joe. You brought up the success story In new york Their program. I'm guessing that You know under your tutelage in new york that this is one of the earliest examples of the success of mutual reliance so maybe You could give us all maybe at historical perspective not poking fun at age or anything but how this concept god's got its legs in the first place before mutual reliance we had partnership agreements and we would come up. States would come up with these innovative ideas to have a partnership with with the fda district or region that that they were oriented well ours was established sometime in the nineteen nineties When we got together with fda's import district in in buffalo their head the buffalo district at that time To to deal with imported foods eventually expanded that we would have the partnership also would with new york but but the genesis of this first of all new york is a big importing state. At that time. I think thirty three percent of all the imports that came into this country would come through new york entry points which they be flown in. Jfk in new york city or or they would be shipped into the the new york new jersey poor or they would be trucked from canada down through buffalo and northern new york so we were a big importing state in in with our very diverse population. Allow the products would stay here and be marketed here in new york and so we formed this partnership agreement because we were not comfortable with all the violative imported products. We are finding in in new york an an a. were things like illegal additives. We would find a legal Sweeteners legal colors on eviscerated fish. Whole litany of of different things. We could find what was most frustrating to new york inspectors. As we would find these products we would recall them. We would supervise their destruction. Share the information with fda and then we would find the same product with the same problem just the different lot that had been imported into new york. And we said we gotta do something about this so our partnership allowed us to do that. Eventually the partnership evolved into mutual reliance where fda would take our information and institute the import alerts and and to me. It's it's a great great Mutually lies program. I frankly would recommend any of the large importing states that they consider something Something like it. So let me get this straight so be so even though you did everything right because fda had not issued an import alert a different lot could still come into new york existing probably. That's exactly yeah. And and it wasn't that they were unwilling to accept our analysis in those days. They were unable nets one of those big barriers. Come so barbara one thing. We haven't talked about as it relates to domestic mutual reliance to great extent the work. That's happened with our laboratories across the country the food in a in a human and animal food laboratories Fda there again made us a very substantial financial commitment to help them move into Iso accreditation in similar quality systems. Which is really made it much. Easier for fda an annual both to accept results from these laboratories quickly and take action on on that those results quickly very forward thinking and we're really seeing lots of lots of benefit that work. I do wanna do a shout out either. We have talking. Fda mostly here fsis just revised their policy related laboratory acceptance of results for state and local labs recognizing that those labs that do have the ice accreditation or equivalent gravitation. Get fast tracked. They have very little information information they have to provide and then those results can be accepted and i want to recognize him for that and really following the fda model so that was a great work on both parts but our labs have been great work on this and we're in really stepped up their Their quality management systems with implementation of ice. Oh that's great erica. i wanted to ask you Since roll it at fda involves partnerships given the global nature of the supply chain. Do you think this concept of mutual reliance if we leave domestic out for a minute. Do you think that this could work across. Country borders Absolutely it actually. We we already have sort of implemented this concept of in. we'll throw the term in front of international nature reliance. We've seen essentially with three different countries to date And sort of going through the same process at were calling it a sin recognition. We've actually gone to both new zealand Canada and done an evaluation of their overall food safety system to determine if it was comparable with our food safety controls and over the course of several years going back and forth with those individual countries. We have made that determination. And so now we are. Leveraging again is the same as it would be in the domestic mutual reliance standpoint that we are leveraging each other's information and regulatory decisions in those spaces. And so it's it's one concept it's a concept that we're trying to push out additionally we're also working with the european union right now From the same concept to help broaden our perspective there but it's really comes down to making sure that that it's comparable system Between the two parties not the same but comparable and i think this is the exact same process that we're going through the states right now. Really establishing standards really working with each other to making sure that our systems can talk to each other and that we are you know going towards that end goal. That's great do you. Do you foresee the need for fewer Federal inspectors to be in other countries as a result of really rolling that out so as far as going to canada new zealand and australia absolutely We're leveraging their systems in what they're doing more now there are some countries. I think that we're gonna have to work really hard on So for example mexico where we received the vast majority of our purpose. I think we're going to work over the coming years to see if something like that is actually possible at the end of the day But i do think it's. It's helping narrow. The i guess entire inventory from our standpoint if we can get some off our plate and release her leverage are comparable partners and our partners partners out there. That's what we want to do. So we can focus more high risk areas or volume areas. Great as we wrap up. Today i went. Ask each of you What you see as the end goal for mutual reliance in practice joe. Let's start with you since this was your brainchild twenty years ago. So what's the end goal for you. I i think. Neutral alliance is the big step forward to establish an integrated food safety system again. Weevil we it took us twenty years to find the exact mechanism we needed to create the integrated system. And i really do believe that. Mutual reliance is that way forward. It is the mechanism i believe. Steve why think it goes back to the the core principle of improved public health outcomes and also more efficient investment in those public health outcomes if we truly are are successful in domestic mutual reliance. We'll have better outcomes and it will likely be more efficient than where we're actually current eric. The final word. I couldn't agree more with joe and steve. I think sort of the next steps after we're working towards domestic mutual reliance. It's really going after. What joe said is integrated food safety system and really bringing in our other strategic partners into this conversation so it's no longer just at the federal government talking to the states and locals but we're really starting to bring in academia or bringing in industry in having these conversations to really bring that holistic view together to really assure the safe supply Food chain at the end of the day. I think that's where it's at answered. That's where we're going to be headed over the course of the next decade. I would like to thank the three of you for joining me today. On the podcast. It's been a pleasure as always speaking with you. Thank you barbara. thanks barbara thank you. Thanks again to joe. Corby steve monitor. Knock and eric mettler for joining us on the podcast today. And of course thanks to all of you for listening you can find links to all the references that we mentioned in the episode today in your shown us you can access those on your podcast player or on our website at food dash safety dot com. Hit that podcast tab at the top in the top navigation and then find episode eighty eight and please take a cue from colin. Don't hesitate send us questions and suggestions to podcast. Foodsafety magazine dot com or post us a note on twitter on twitter lincoln or facebook. And of course you wanna make sure that new and bonus episodes magically appear in your feet by clicking subscribe button and while you're there go ahead and take a moment to rate the podcast you know few stars around. It's fun it's good for everybody. All right that's it for us today. Our next regular episode will post on february ninth. Take good care of yourselves. Knows around you and we'll talk to you then.
Nobel economist Paul Romer says the path to tech privacy may be taxes
"This marketplace podcast is brought to you by. Indeed, are you hiring with? Indeed, you can post job in minutes set up screener questions than zero in on your shortlist. Qualified candidates using an online dashboard get started today and indeed dot com slash marketplace. That's indeed dot com slash marketplace. And buy evidence evident provides a simple secure platform that lets businesses confidently know who they're dealing with without the risk and expense of handling sensitive personal data from identity and credential verifications to background checks and everything in between. Businesses of all sizes can get the answers they need easily and securely visit evident ide- dot com slash tech to sign up and start running verifications today. Wanna know how an economist things will get more privacy from big tech taxes from American public media. This is marketplace tech demystifying the digital economy. I'm Ali would. This week. Google showed off lots of new privacy oriented, tools, and products and user agreements at its big developer conference Google. I o apple is marketing privacy Facebook as promising privacy. Eventually federal regulators are still trying to figure out privacy laws and regulations, but Nobel prize winning economist, Paul Romer says company promises and even regulations won't actually change anything because the ad supported business model is what's broken? He argued in the New York Times this week that the US should tax revenue from targeted advertising, we called Paul rumoured to talk more about this idea in quality assurance the segment where we take a deeper look at big tech story. He says companies need to creatively. Evolve their businesses boo ad model was very important it made possible. The emergence of Google and Facebook and supported open source software. So it was very valuable it a crucial point in time. But we've outlived the usefulness of this model we need to move. On what we're stuck in right now is a bad equilibrium. And we got us think creatively about how are we going to get back to the vision? And the optimism that many of us had when we first saw the potential of digital. Well, then tell me more about the creative solutions that they might come up with to change the business model one of the models. That works is a subscription model. People pay to have access to a music service to game supplier of this lots of workable subscription models. If you tax Adra eventually it'll be in the interest of these firms to develop subscription models. The other thing that is if you make that tax on the ad revenue. Progressive what happens is you're gonna end up with a version of the remember the marriage penalty onto p with income get married and their total tax Bill goes up with progressive taxation. We want a marriage penalty in the market because if two firms joined together, we want their total tax Bill to go up because we don't want more big firms would actually. Like to have lots more small ones. So really creative innovative firm that keeps you know, developing new products, it can just off independent firms get the value when it when it's been those off and keep the total tax Bill though by not letting any one of them get too big. There is I wonder what you there is. Also, an argument though, that subscription models are themselves kind of inherently regressive, and that increasingly actually we're finding that access to good information is almost based on your income level. And I wonder what what your responses to that? If this would put information services out of reach. I'm sorry. I just have trouble with this idea that these firms her in jeopardy tens of billion dollars for a relatively small number of people were doing this as a an effective policy for redistribution. Just I just don't think that that argument you passes the left. That's not what I'm arguing. I'm just saying that a lot of information is now stored within these platforms that people may no longer be able to access if they have to pay for it. But but look I mean who who really provided the world's information to everybody on earth Wikipedia. Right. And if you're asking what could we do to make the digital world work for people? You know, the Wikipedia model is great. It's a donation model a subscription model would work a combination of subscriptions and donations on all of those things are possible. This ad model is not helping the users and or they wouldn't be called users. And it's not helping the most vulnerable users. Either is the business model the problem here. Or is it the scale is that the size of these companies always both, but the point of progressive revenue tax is that you create incentives both for breakup, you can allies. The acquisitions and you encourage the development of models where the customers are customers. And they know what they're giving up and they can compare that with the services they get back. I'd rather live in a world where firms don't have these enormous incentives to spy on individuals. So if we had that at advertising model that didn't involve all of this, you know, deep surveillance of individuals. I'd be more comfortable with that. I still think a firm that's collecting revenue on that scale is probably not a healthy thing for a society where we want to have competition and free discourse. And you know, freedom to take unpopular stands Paul Marilyn the Nobel prize in economics in twenty eighteen the union has also been debating at three percent tax on digital ad revenue for big tech companies. And now for some related links. You'll find a link to Paul remers op Ed on our website marketplace, tech dot org, and you're probably asking yourself. What about those stories about how Amazon paid zero income tax in two thousand eighteen on eleven billion dollars worth of profits? Wouldn't companies just dodge any new taxes anyway? Well, rumour told me that income is a big fuzzy pot that can be stashed in a place with the lowest possible tax rate, but a revenue tax would apply to revenue that's earned in a specific place like by showing ads to people in Illinois for California. So there's less opportunity for creative accounting. European regulators have made a similar argument in favor of their digital tax Francis pushing hard for that one but not all EU regulators are on board. And US officials have already said it would be unfair to American companies and potentially present a. Trade barrier. So I guess they might not be in favor of rumors idea either and for a complete counterpoint to the tax idea. You should also read another op-ed in the times this one by Chris Hughes, one of the co founders of Facebook from back in the early days. He says it is time to use our existing antitrust laws to break up Facebook immediately, and that a new government agency should be in charge of safeguarding user privacy. And also deciding what speech is appropriate for social media to super provocative pieces, read them both. And then tell me what you think Email M P tech at marketplace dot org. That Purdy and Stephanie Hughes produced marketplace tech this week eve is our senior producer Sarrebourg as our engineer. I'm Ali would. This is a PM. This marketplace podcast is brought to you by the university of San Francisco at USF. You can study the new digital economy from its ground zero surrounded by the firms that built it and the startups that will create the next revolution. Their new masters in applied economics is a stem designated program that combines economics training with the practical skills and data analytics needed to understand the new digital economy to learn more and get an application fee waiver. Go to US FCA dot EDU slash marketplace.
Nobelist Says System of Science Offers Life Lessons
"This is Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Steve Mirsky the benefits from science as they show up in our daily lives are just enormous, but I want to transfer you that right now science can do something for us. Give us a kind of hope that goes beyond just those benefits Paul Romer. He showed the two thousand eighteen Nobil will Morial prize in economic sciences. Romer spoke April night that the National Academy of sciences in Washington DC at an event honoring tenuous Nobel and Calveley prize laureates. Now, there's nobody who's got benefits as direct and his immediate as Jim Jim Ellison who was also there and who shared the two thousand eighteen Nobel physiology or medicine for his work that led to new drugs against cancer when you can show there are people alive now because of the discovering you've made that just you know, that trumps everything most of us create benefits in an indirect way. And they come. All steps. So they're harder to perceive warmer than cited. William Nord house with whom he shared the two thousand eighteen economics prize Bill has this beautiful paper that measures a particular type of benefit which is asking how much light and luminaires can somebody get from an hour's worth of work. And roughly speaking from say, the beginning of the Neolithic revolution up to say, the time of the founding of the National Academy. That's about twelve thousand five hundred years ago to eighteen sixty three that went up by a factor of twenty people just bump into things they discover things so twenty times more light. But from the time of the founding of the kademi until now it's gone up by factor twenty thousand so one hour of work translates into twenty thousand more luminaires of light than it did. The time this this institution was founded, so those benefits are just huge. And we need the by the way, it's it's the system of science that made those very rapid ones possible. Not just curiosity not just random search. So they're huge benefits. But right now, I think there's more anxiety about how we're going to interact with each other as people than there is about just can we keep having more material of benefits, and here thing science is maybe even more important because it's very unusual community of people draws on people from all backgrounds from all over the world and unites kind of common purpose, and we get things done because we insist on things like truth and honesty, and we can trust each other because of that instead insistence, and we welcome people in to that community. If you're willing to live by those those norms, and we ask you to leave. We don't pay any attention to if you don't live by those norms. And the goal is really one of offering benefits that can be shared by everybody. So if you think about kind of like the hope for humanity scientists model of what we can accomplish. But who we can be and how we can be with each other for scientific Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Steve Mirsky.
Paul Romer on Growth, Cities, and the State of Economics
"The. Welcome to econ talk part of the library of economics and liberty. I'm your host Russ Roberts Stanford university's Hoover Institution. Our website is econ- talk dot org, or you can subscribe comment on this podcast and find links and other information related to today's conversation also find archives, we listened to every episode we've ever done going back to two thousand six or Email addresses mail it contact dot org. We'd love to hear for. Today is Tuesday March twelve twenty nineteen and my guest is a connoisseur and twenty eighteen Nobel laureate. Paul Romer of New York University. This is fourth appearance on econ- talk the last being in March of two thousand fifteen Paul welcome back. Hey, it's good to be back. And how many more times do have to be on before? I become the leader. I only about thirty two. Okay. Well, two rental. Let's get. Let's get busy. You're on your way, you're on your way. I want to start with your your thoughts on growth, which we've talked about at length here. But I I want to talk about recent formulation. You gave which I really liked you contrasted the economics of objects and the economics of ideas. What do you mean by that distinction? We have these fundamental units in our in our models economic models. There's people at make some assumptions about able but there's an external world, which is usually characterized by physical objects. I think that is the kind of the world of mall. I think it was also the world we evolved in as species in, you know, the Pleistocene era, so they're scarce objects. We are rivals for the use of those objects. There's some food resources that one group of people can have another people can have and were going of fighting over there's zero sum game. And the kind of the the most I think most important location of that world of objects is if there's more people it's worse for everybody on average because the fixed set of objects. There's fewer objects person if you have more people it's just kinda like iron raw in escape -able. Now the world we live in especially since the Neolithic revolution. We settled down in started discovering things is a world with both objects than ideas, ideas are insights about how to rearrange the objects to transform them to turn them from things that are less valuable to us into things that are more valuable to us so ideals. Let's get more value out of affects set of objects. And the really exciting implication about this to me is that if there's more people even more people that are remote for me. I don't know him. I don't like them. It may still be good to have them around. Because even though there's less total objects person, they might discover something valuable, and this is where the difference between objects ideas, really matters. They discover something valuable than I can use it. They can use it at the same time. So for a smaller set of. Objects per person on earth. We might actually get more value per person because we're using a lot more ideas to extract value from the fix set of objects. So that's the that's the fundamental difference between objects and ideas, this notion of everybody can share it A, or it's only one person can use it, it, it does have the implication that if you keep discovering more ideas, you can keep getting more value. So we get growth, but I've injured I recently gotten more excited about the the broader implications about this about how we treat other people. So that we start to see other people as allies at least not as foes, and I think in some ways what's happening is we're learning to live in a world of ideas with a mentality. That's carried over from, you know, the multi Pleistocene and that tension between us versus them. They're coming together. Versus how people work together. We can do these amazing things that tension. I think shows up in all different parts of modern life. Jonathan sacks former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom talks about the dignity of difference and the importance of difference in trade going back to Ricardo which is very narrow example of talking about that if you're not quite the same as I am there's opportunities for specialization, and then for trade, but I really love the point you're making more generally because I think so many people's commonsense view of the world is there some and one of the things that economics training does few is it allows you to see the possibility of non zero sandwiches ramble. You're pointing out that you know, if another country does better that doesn't make us poorer. And that's so hard for people to understand and accept in. It's so goes against Hauer hardwired, probably those prenatal times. I think so and you know, the the kind of what was really exciting me about. Ideas right now is that different in our endowments of physical objects like Portuguese had land with more son British land, but more grass that could lead the differences in the agriculture products in we could show people this notion of gains from trade a non zero sum world, but that was all derived from differences in in the kind of endowments and the other thing that we were kind of embarrassed about. So we didn't highlight was that if the British could killed the Portuguese and had the Portuguese land. They would have been even better off. So it wasn't didn't want the Portuguese. They wanted the land they want. So that plays the scene mentality was much L. Let's go pillage take their stuff. Their stuff is useful week at all this new insight about ideas, says you know, it's actually good to have the Portuguese around. Because even if we all start out in similar, even if we could, you know, take away all of their land or they. Took our land from us. It would still be good to have other people out there discovering things because we're more likely to stumble onto something which is gonna be beneficial for everybody. As for and of course. Because I I I've had some people's kind of pushed me not to use like, they told me not mind, Nobel speech. Don't use the story about the Portuguese or something. But the thing that really is interesting as we can value the Portuguese, not just Portugal and usual story by gains from trade says it's good that Portugal exists. What this new insight is that? It's good that the Portuguese exist. And I think that somehow makes us better people if we start to think of other people in that kind of light. I couldn't agree more. That's that's fabulous. You argue that ideas are also about who we are. And I think that's partly getting at this point. You just made I want to push in a different direction. Get your reacted something I've been thinking about lately, which is that. I don't think economics. What you just said. It's profound. It does. Reduce potentially the economy between us and them wherever them are. But if we just think about daily life and the things that make our hearts sing. And that bring joy, Shirley, a some of those things are. Our interactions with other people are friendships love our families the connections. We make the communities we belong to it strikes. Me that economic says virtually nothing to say about that. And yet we report to do what we call welfare economics, which is how do people feel about different policies, and all that stuff that enormous corpus if economic theory just ignores that social aspect that I mentioned earlier there everything about that said body. Yeah. Well. I I was a adopt. The kind of the glass glasshouse full interpretation of these things of I can. So I think of it as oh, this is a way we could expand 'economics and make it much more useful. And the way I would do it is by saying this thing, we call the utilities, which leads to some notion of kind of wellbeing, or you know, you know, kind of quality of life. There's some things that go into that utility function that were we ignored some inputs consumption. It puts one of the consumption inputs might be consuming. The physical presence of another person and consuming the interaction of the conversation with that person. So we could include as part of consumption in utility social interaction, and I think if we keep pushing along those lines towards what I one point. It was calling extended preferences. Ben, I think we've got a just an. Extension of our usual framework of analysis. We can still do things like welfare economics off about efficiency. But I think we would have a much better insight into all the different things that lead to an experience of wellbeing for for people is that I don't think that works. Tell you why. And then you could Graham we know somebody did that Gary back are really good at it for an economist and in his hands. It was a somewhat insightful framework certainly more than it would have been my hands. I like, which which papers are using of beggar Syria of social interactions, which is directly I don't directly out of an attempt. I would say I didn't appreciate at the time because they didn't know much about Adam Smith, but it was an attempt to bring Smith's theory of moral sentiments into the framework of utility maximization in some ways, I think that's a trying to put a. Square around bag into a square hole. I don't think it's made for that. For example, an example us on her sometimes, you know, spent about propriety it's about doing what's proper some some spent, and of course, that's part of human interaction. That's that's me not talking too much on this program. It's may not interrupting you too much. It's talking about. It. It's also by the way, it's also may trying to figure out how to make you look good. So I might add at that part out where you made that interruption case people. Maybe people don't know joking. I'd say, well, you know, even though that made me look, maybe looked better than Paul the right thing, you could say, yeah. But that's the long run. That's your wellbeing, also, blah, blah, blah. But I think the I think we find a mentally my point is I think we fundamentally miss what's many things that are important about life. And why does that matter minutes for a lot of reasons? But one of which is our obsession with efficiency and growth, both of which you and I care a lot about. But both which we understand are not the only things that matter. Yeah. I think we're agreed about what life is like for us as we live it. And then the questions just how how do we respond to that? We're not capturing important parts of this. The the reason I asked about which paper by Gary is that in this thinking about extended preferences. I was very influenced by his work on addiction. But that that. Addresses a different part of our preferences, which it's not just that. There's other things that influence whether we feel good or bad, but the history of our interactions can influence how we feel about something today. So if I've first time, I taste, you know, beer, I might think beer, tastes, awful or coffee coffee. First time, you taste coffee. It's bitter aversive. Why the hell anybody drink this? But then over time you can really develop a taste for it. So I think that's another part of this aspect that. We're trying to get at. I agree. I'm really like I'm at in. I mix my metaphors. I'm adding episode calls to this where peg that I'm trying to force through the whole. I think that the way anything about it is that I have feelings like utility about something like giving example when I showed up in New York City from California, I'm standing at the side on the sidewalk the sign says don't walk and all these people start to walk. So I have this feeling which is. This it this urge to scold those people and tell them you shouldn't do that signed says don't walk, you know, so we can actually feel like moralistic about somebody else's behavior and even feel this desire to to scold them. You know, at some risk is golden New Yorker, you know, you might you might get yelled outer punched. Now. Fortunately, I was smart enough to hold a bite my tongue and not say anything about the jaywalking. But if you're willing to buy the idea that we not only utility out of interacting with people, but we can even have a kind of utility, which is like a small desire to punish somebody. When we think they're violating the the rules. Then then I think even starting to send why do things like school each other for like not taking up dog or jaywalking. And if you'll bear with me now, let me bring it back to this history dependence that Gary was talking about when I came from California. I had developed a set of moral preferences that put cross against the light in the that's bad behavior kind of category. So I saw people doing bad things. You know, I have this tendency to want skull them after I'd lived in New York, and I paid attention because it was so different after about six weeks that desire to scold people had completely gone away. I look the people crossing the street. I grow street when it said don't don't walk, and it was like, yeah. Of course, that's what everybody does. So my desire to punish people for crossing the street went away because my preferences shifted walking against the light from the bucket of that's bad thing too. That's just a normal accepted thing. So you could say that when you make it so complicated. You got preferences. Which are Soufli. They don't really mean anything. But my my view is that they're actually kind of rich enough to describe this complicated behavior that explains why people sometimes wanna skull each other. And why we can have like an equal brim where everybody my neighborhood picks up after their dog. Even though the police don't ever give anybody at ticket for for doing it. I think you're getting something else. I think maybe more important which is. Our human urge also not in our bottles to belong to something feeling of community EM to pick something that's actually somewhat dangerous, and it's dangerous habit that has benefits 'cause you don't sit ways time standing on the corner of there's no traffic. So we understand that. But but your general impulse to go along with what's happening around you. Whether it's wearing a certain type of clothing, whether it's your hair style. Whether it's what you do on Sunday morning versus us Sunday night. It those things those are those are really important tribal parts of our makeup. I think that we neglected our peril and failed to think about and we and we as a communist, and we shouldn't fail. It's they're really important. And we assume that stuff compensates for that. So if we have more stuff, but less belonging, we sort of ignore the belong because we can't. Measure it, but we can measure the stuff so we count that. And I've become obsessed in the last few weeks with this idea that by looking where the light is where the stuff we could measure as remitting really important part of the human experience. Yeah. Oh, I think that's very important insight that we can have a very rich analytical framework for doing comics. But if it uses inputs measurements or data on certain kinds of things were almost inevitably going to over attend to the miserable things in not pit pension to the things that are that are tougher to measure. But I think what that suggests that we need to work harder to measure those important, but hard the measure things spreader than just whether out of bounds. We're just not gonna not gonna talk about them. I think we're I think we're actually pretty similar in our view of the world in the kind of questions how best to get economics to relate to this. It could be that we kind of have a division of labor where other people think about something like norms and moral beliefs in a social context community columnists economist just we could use kind of insights from that group. But but maybe it's forced. But I think if we can cheat it into our existing apparatus like a preference function, we could make much more effective use of that stuff. And I think it's those insights, and I think those insights, really important. He said quoted Faulkner one of my favorite writers. He said relevant to offer practical policy advice, economists embrace the full range of motivation that William Faulkner alluded to in his Nobel, but speech, quote, love and honor pity and pride compassion and sacrifice. And I'm gonna we don't have too much on this. But I think I disagree with you. I don't think we should be looking for better ways to measure those things I think that's a I think that's a fool's game. I think that's scientism. I think those are things that don't lend themselves to measurement don't lend themselves to cost benefit analysis. They do lend themselves to trade-offs, I there's where where I think the emperor economic says something to say and scarcity that matters, but I don't think the human heart works that. Well in a maximization framework all the time, and I think our app. Rattus? In encourages us to think of anything we do in that area. Scientific when often it's not. Well, I, you know, I I hear you. But I think this is such an important you'll with me I'd like to keep going on it for a second hunter. I spoke with Martin wolf recently who was trying to work in development now writes com Martin said that years ago, he was thinking about writing a paper that he was going to call the value of values, and what he was thinking of is that a society can develop certain values like some of the ones you referring to before like, courtesy or propriety, those might be very important values when you live in dense urban kind of context, and if we can accumulate more of those values we might all the better off. So however, kind of go about their work, and what they measure what data they look at much the ticks, they consider and so forth. I think it would be good. If we could at least allow for the possibility that makes sense to say as the science. It would be good. If we could invest in more values of this type, like more, courtesy or more more value on a reputation for honesty. Now, it still leaves you with some practical questions like can you actually change values in a social context, it's hard? But you know, if one could and historically I think societies have sometimes it's important to be able to talk about the real benefits that could come from different sets of, you know, prevailing moral beliefs. I think they matter of time. And I think all that's correct. Except for maybe the last part, which is. Implication, we could do something about it. I think it's I think most people would agree that it's better to live in a world of trust than a world without trust. If people are generally, honest about trust each other. It's alternate. Right. 'cause cheaters explained that in the world of trust is great for cheaters. And there's two Peters the trust of apparatus. But I think most of us agree that those those intrinsic motivations are often much more effective than extra sick. Once. Whether you know, it's prices are punishment or very types of cost benefits that that we might impose on each other. I think the challenge is like you said we we don't really know how to get there from here. And we might disagree about what they are and so- civilization. It seems to me is just the attempt of what we would normally call market forces. But they're not typical ones their norms and social pressures, various kinds ideologies movements fiction, all kinds. Of stuff that affects how people get the world. And then things emerge out of that that some work better than others, the ones that were better tend to create better societies, but it's a pretty blunt system. She could have pretty functional society that works for a long time where the little trust and people struggling suffer. If they were relative to a different equa liberate right within their that culture. But is not much to do about. It's pretty hard to change. We don't understand better rate. It says we don't understand that process for. Well. If we did maybe we could do something about it. Well, I can draw link to charter cities for minute. This was part of it was on my mind. I was thinking about charter cities. And let's give what they Arctic examined. For people who don't. Okay. But but I set it up. So let's imagine let's take a people in Greece. After the midst of the crisis. It's quite possible that most people in Greece would say to themselves. I would really rather live in a society where everybody feels like it's right to pay taxes, and they feel shame. If they don't end if is uncovered that somebody didn't pay taxes, there's social, you know, disregard loss of status for that person. Now, a personal in Greece might type, but I don't live in that society. If I just try and pay my taxes and people find out they'll think I'm an idiot, and I don't know how to change them. And so they might say boy, there's nothing we can do about fact that you know. So it's everybody thinks you should pay taxes in Greece. They don't, but but what we have to think about now is not so much competition within one of these equal area but competition between people can move from Greece to Switzerland. We. We know that when you take somebody who had like the Greek values that hey, it's it's kind of a game to cheat. And everybody thinks you're cool. You move that person Switzerland and pretty soon they're going to think it's bad that she'd on your taxes, and they're gonna think you're supposed to wait for the light to say, you know, walk before you cross the street. So so I think you need to start thinking about competition between different social groups to think of these dynamics of of norms. Now, what was the idea of charter cities? It was basically create a sort of a blank sheet of paper on which one could build a new social group. So magin you had a bunch of Greeks some of whom are in the tail really feel like it's important to pay taxes. They wish their fellow citizens agreed with them suppose, a group of the moralistic, we should really contribute to the society. We should Texas suppose a group a group of those Greeks moved to a brand new place. Instead of being the minority. Suddenly, they're the majority population in this new city, and then as other people move in and join them they're going to simulate to their values like everybody pays their taxes. Just as they would assimilate to say that the Swiss values, so a new startup in society gives you an option for changing social norms by a breakaway group and then slow rate of. Immigration and assimilation to the to the new sets of of norms. So working back. What I was trying to think about is what kinds of practical, Lille and social or engines would it take to create opportunities for starting from nothing just empty land? The possibility of new city growing up because I thought city was the smallest like a city that could get the ten million people. That was the smallest viable unit. You could imagine trying to create in the in the modern world. But I think it would be give us an opportunity to. Change norms in a way that people living in societies they're unhappy with would really like to to change them. So this was really the motivation for that for that project along with. I assume they are to have a legal and and other extra norm system of enforcement that might lead to good behaviors. Well, right. Well, yeah. Well, but this is and I wasn't fully explicit about this. Because this was all in my mind by also that was going to be a hard slog to persuade people. But I'll tell you where I came out. I started thinking about this at first the way Kambas stews saying, okay, if we had a brand new place, we could start a new city we could quote impose law the rule of law, and then people would come in and we'd have the benefits of the rule of law. I think that analysis is just deeply flawed because I think if you look at places where somebody comes in and they pass laws. They set up courts. If those laws are not consistent with the norms in the society. Nobo- nobody follows the law system just collapses. So I think I decided we had to start first with the norms and then figure out a way to change the norms, then on top of those norms could build, you know, some supporting laws, and you get a kind of a positive feedback loop between the norms and the laws, but I don't think moving I with the laws is is likely to succeed. There may be rare cases when it does. But generally, I think you really gotta figure out how to get motion get things going on the on the norms. So a lot of attention to the charter settings turn to practical details, and it also got cut up in two very distinct -cations one could be within a country where they're trying to do internal reform project by creating news on kind of refer to this. These down the Shenzhen approach under. Deng Xiaoping within China. The other would be an external jurisdiction where somebody outside says, here's a place people could move to if they want to and if you wanna leave the country and welcome to come and that's more of the Hong Kong model and. Especially that second model has gotten caught up in the very kind of fraught debate about how to respond to pressure for migration right now. But, but it was all grounded in a belief that we needed to think about how to give people a chance to actually help change the norms of the society or choose the norms of this -ociety, which they wanna live. And is there any prospect of them actually happening? It's such a interesting and potentially transformational idea, and I know you've got close, but where we stand now. So I had a few conversations in in Madagascar and then under where the approach was a little bit. Like the Deng Xiaoping tries internal reform with a special zone within the country. This is even if this was likely to succeed, if you cases, you'd have to expect a fairly high failure rate, but having looked at these things up close my sense is that a country, which is at a low level of development and with low government capacity. It's going to have real trouble trying to set up a zone that is run differently. You know in Honduras in particular, I was pushing very hard to try and bring in an outside influence, and that was not in the interests of the actors who were in pushing domestically. But so I've kind of given up on for most of the developing world, this internal Shenzhen model. I still think there's room for developed countries like Britain, Germany, Canada to look for places where they say, we're going to replicate the Hong Kong experience, we're gonna choir some land voluntarily in. Oh, this is nothing about. The historical brands taking land by force want to replicate. But there's there's ways to replicate just to get a deal where you acquire some land. And then one of these countries could say we're going to set this up as jurisdiction that people could you know, voluntarily move into. And I think it would be good to think about that. As a way to change norms about things like paying taxes. You know, also change broader norms about you know, kind of the propriety and civility that we talked about before changed on on a bunch of dimensions that might create societies that people would would rather live in. And I don't think everybody else seems to think that this is a ridiculously feasible prospect. I think it's just outside of our realm of comfort and familiarity. But I just don't see any reason why Canada couldn't create up in a. Twenty by twenty you know, square mile zone someplace in the world and say, let's let's create a place. People could live to a move to live in work, organ and say how it goes. And it just such a thought provoking idea thinking about areas of the United States that are struggling economically. West Virginia say or rural Ohio parts of Kentucky places that have lost say industries, coal mining and other activities used to be productive the people who used to do those things for reasons that we might talk about stay. Instead of leaving and their opportunities quite diminished as a result. They don't migrate to where there's more opportunity. So it's not. But I don't think the the problem is is that they've got bad norms. They're just the people. Who skills the people who are there have low levels of skills? And there's nothing there to enhance those skills now Amazon has has changed a little bit. Amazon has put, you know, warehouses in low density places because lands cheap, and they they put some stuff in the middle of nowhere or you could put a you know, a server farm in middle of nowhere. But it's not Hong Kong. Well, I think one temptation that you know, I have to resist an everybody should resist is this. You know, I have Amer I wanna go. Find a nail kind of nomin. I don't think sort of cities is the right way to think about any kind of policy was sponsored to West Virginia or other places where there's some distress. But on the other hand, it is the case that there are hundreds of millions of people who say they would leave. They wanna leave this year from they wanna leave the society that currently they've been so I think that is this demand worldwide, we should think about trying to accommodate somehow, and the, you know, there's there's obvious concerns about this charter city proposal, there's reasonable people. I think should have been calms about setting something like this up. But I think we have to ask ourselves. What's the alternatives that could that we would let us off? For in some humanitarian way an option to people who wanna leave very very dysfunctional dangerous environments, and I think it's very hard to come up with some feasible alternatives to this of the scene. Yeah. Now, I'm with you. And of course, the United States when it had large swaths of undeveloped territory. It was a perfect place to let people come and just push that western frontier out, and you know, I I like the idea of of of taking a a forest it's owned by the government and not being very productive as a forest either as a beautiful place or as a place to grow trees for commercial. But just let it Chris. Let some entrepreneur do something crazy and creative there and let people come there. So I love the idea that it's great science fiction might be it might be even feasible who I I think sometimes I put myself in the mindset of people in like seventeen thirty or something indicative, we'd been in the seminar room in seventeen thirty and somebody came in Thomas Jefferson came in and said, I'm going to design a new country. We're gonna have a constitution. We're gonna separation of power. You know, what do you guys think we'd laugh him out of the room? That'll never happen. You know, sometimes these things happen. So I think it's worth keeping the conversation alive. But recognizing that, you know, the dynamics are slow and the the odds are not are not very high before we leave this top. I just wanna ask you now that you live more New York's in California sides jaywalking. Do you walk more quickly from place to place? Oh, yeah. I think do. Yeah. Walk a lot more. And I think I haven't quantified this precisely but my impression is that even distances. They're the same. There was a kind of a habit about oh, I'd get my car and drive to copy shop where here it's like. Okay. Walk out the door and I walked to the coffee, shop even comparable distances. I think more likely to walk here. Then then there, and I that's one of the things I really love about New York is kind of freeing myself from the car, which if you think about is kind of strange thing to say. Because. Carden forced me to drive it. But somehow being environment where I don't drive so much makes me feel differently. Let's shift gears. I want to talk about a paper he wrote that got a lot of attention called the trouble with macroeconomics. We out getting deep too deeply into the weeds of real business like theory and other organza, what did you Adelphi in that paper in NFL Sahfiqul sense or loss of science sense? That is I was wrong with the state of academic macroeconomics. Yep. Well, let me let me tell the story of where how it merged. I had written. This paper about Mathis, which was specific to grow theory, and how we used mass to advocate for different grows models. I was critical of a paper that at Prescott had had written. Somebody sent me an Email describing interaction with Ed in Minnesota where Ed was referring to these productivity shocks that were at the heart of these fluctuations in the represents cycle models. And as the first described someone asked what what are these productivity shocks what hits the economy, and then makes a lot of people on employed or makes output, go down. And it the way he described it was kind of like sputtering for a minute. Like couldn't come up with the saying he looked out at the traffic. Instead, the productivity shocks are like. That congestion there. You know? It's like the traffic congestion. This is a very funny effect on me because it sort of like hit me like a like a jolt of electronic which was. Yep. What are these productivity shocks? These things are just kind of like made up in the models. And so I started calling in the paper like flip phlogiston was like imagine anything in physicist referred to at some point. And it it made me realize that there was something really deeply wrong. I think with the style explanation their NFL responsible in some sense as macro-economists I didn't do business cycle theory. But I, you know, I have I'm a macro economist, I have some responsibility for the profession, I think others of should have been critical of the style explanation long before the time when this was assistant was was raised for me. So I shifted from my kind of critique that was specific to grow theory in math into critique of how macro-economists the, you know, kind of default leading a group of macro-economy profession were doing their work. And. Big made what what is a I think very harsh critique of their approach that it was not just that they were coming to the wrong answers. But more in a more fundamental sense. They were not following the practice of science. They had really departed from science. I called it pseudoscience. And I think this is this is really a version of ad hominem attack. You know, it's the kind of criticism you don't want to make lightly. You don't want to encourage, you know, easily. But on the other hand, if you think you've gotten to the point where this is what's going on? I think other members of the profession have responsibility to. You know? Raise their hands and say we need to stop. And and look at this. So in that, and I should be clear that paper I still haven't published because it was so critical. It's was in circulated draft form, but it still is out the journal much like the publish it. I think I need to go ahead, and publish it. But I only said that I think the problem macro is not just that the answers are wrong. I think they've stopped doing science and give some illustrations of what I thought about that. I also did something I've never done before the paper, and I generally disapprove of which is to use sarcasm as a way to criticize the results of this group to biding, hyper to a little bit acerbic not I've seen worse, but it's got a little bit. But I generally don't like that easy recourse. That's just like, I don't like at hominem argument. But one of the frustrations over my career, and you kind of know these guys that were friends class. Mates. You know, I like them as people one of my frustrations has been this failure to engage win. Someone like me raises. The question about the logic of argument or the telling thing for me about the pseudoscience. Here was the in attention to data. They just stopped letting evidence be the, you know, the decider of what's going on in the world theory, somehow became the, you know, the definitive way too stylish what's going on. I felt like was I felt like there was just a unwillingness to even engage with will intended. Critique. And so, you know, the the assertion that this poll pattern of behavior was unacceptable and the use of sarcasm was my attempt to. To really coal attention to this in say, it's if I'm right? This is a very serious problem. We need something about it. I because it's it's kind of like somebody pulls the fire alarm if you do it, and it's a false alarm personnel to pay. And so I think there's a consensus that I was just flat out wrong and not just wrong. It's good macroeconomics. But I was wrong cues them. Not engaging science. I should I pay a big reputational price for that. I really think that just don't want this to be an everyday thing. But on the other hand, I do feel like I think, I'm right? And I think it's something deserves deserves some attention. And unfortunately, I think deserves attention even if it hurts the feelings or upsets people that I like in care about I think what we're doing is is more important than to start our feelings. And whether we get the right answers. Really matters. So I have a similar issue. And I don't I don't know if you wanna weigh in, and I'm just gonna mention it and a little bit of a confession my listeners who heard me bring this up any times. I think it's come to be commonly believed by the public and by vary sought journalists, and at least on paper, many, brilliant communists, that the average American has made no economic progress for the last forty years, and there's data to support that of course. And I argue that data's flawed in. That's an interesting question. You can debate how flawed it is whether the CPI's Berkeley measured the rate of inflation, the problem, I have is that there are other data that show progress, and that's I just doesn't engage. It doesn't put it in their paper might be an note they might say to play out. So and so has done made some different assumptions say about thinking about say the growth in. Equality? We quote, everyone knows is grown dramatically. And yet if you make different assumptions about family size, and how you measure non monetary benefits fringe benefits and other things you get a it's not like, oh, you know, it changes by ten percent. You get like a two-thirds reduction. So it really matters. And if you're scientists, you shouldn't just say, oh, they're other opt- their other paintings or data even mention them. You should be grappling with them and trying to understand why get different results in one of sumptious than another. And I don't want to accuse those people of having an agenda, and I hate that that's the ad hominem side. And and I don't even wanna cues them of of being wedded to their own series. Which is part of what you were writing about that after a while become religious about about the beliefs. You have about how the world works in which would be otherwise be a science. But it's it's scary because it matters. Well, I think the kinds of things when do any area is I try and do a kind of a census in NC. Do we think it's possible to have a consensus about the facts that we might wrecking? We don't have a consensus yet. But is that possible there exist facts, and we could reach a consensus about those. I think if people don't agree on that. Then you really got trouble. I think in this area. I think people would agree. I'm betting that in some cases. What you have is people saying, I don't really want to be engaged right now in sorting through all the facts in coming to the consensus about those. I wanna start work right away on how to deal with inequality because I'm pretty convinced. It's a really important issue. And I'm guessing that the way it will come out as an equality up. I I think you could be can probably tolerate certain. Division of labor along those lines. And then you gotta watch for tendency for somebody doing that to overstate the well, we know that inequalities gone up. So here's the way we respond to it. And kind of call them out and say, well, you know, there's actually not a consensus about that. We need to look at the the measurement issues. If you know, if that's the way, the debate is playing out a little bit of overstatement of, you know, the the baseline and the motivation for what they wanna do. I think that's all you know, manageable within science. I there's another problem that I think when should be worried about which is that there may not be enough professional reward for the hard work of sorting through the facts and summarizing them in a way that people can use them. But yet really being careful about the different ways to summarize them in the possibility that you're. Building in some sumptious that are influencing how you how you summarize them. So I I wish over time I've become more and more convinced of the importance of that pure hard work of collecting data and summarizing them in a manageable way. And frankly, I think we we give too many rewards to people who do theory like I do and not enough to the that data that is actually the basis for judgments about in like growth in growth GDP. So as a tweet in the profession, I I'd like to see us pay more attention to, you know, the analysis of data in the summer in the process summarizing, the data that we then use to make models and make policy recommendations. So there's something in between want your opinion on actually which which you've taken us to. Which is a lot of people are saying now that theory is on the decline. What what sells what is honored and rewarded in our profession are various kinda of metric techniques for denting causal connections, natural experiments and the like, so it's not the the hard work that you're talking about of getting the data. Right. I'm just gonna mention something in passing as an example average, hourly earnings would seem to be the most basic kind of data on this question. How people are doing it yet. When you look a little more closely at if has compositional PECS affects that are quite complicated in that regard endlessly in any public presentation of that data don't people just say, it doesn't matter just put it up there. But that doesn't get any reward certainly very little reward. What gets reward is manipulating whatever date is out there in noon, creative ways and the younger contests that I talked to we're not the younger. Economists younger economists, I took they say things like well, just let the data speak. I don't have Syria theory. I don't wanna be constrained by theory. I just wanted to see what the day to say. And I think that is actually intellectually bankrupt. But I'm curious what you think Paul well bankrupt. I might attorney like distance myself from the like the judgmental or moralistic kind of on the table there. But the equivalent thing when we could say is that it it's unrealistic or it's inaccurate to say that the summaries that most people provide of data are free of beliefs about policy or free of beliefs about the underlying causal mechanisms. So I think we need to be skeptical of people who say oh my data summary. You know activities were, you know, penalty free model free. Policy free and just you can just take my results in work at work with them. I think we need to look carefully at all the steps in the constructions data and just basically look empirically to see what if a bunch of different people went through the same process of summarising, the data would they all come into the end. They were supposed to invest case they were working independently would they all come to the same results. And if not why not and then trying to figure out what what we need to do to reflect the lack of consensus about how to summer, it's well said, I I probably mentioned this before on the program. But I was once I don't go to many seminars anymore. But I was at one recently where someone made some rather bold claims about the magnitude of some relationship between say the financial sector and change ADP or growth rates, and I found them unlikely implausible, but that doesn't matter. I just but I asked that innocent question, I said, how many regressions did you run to get that result? I don't want an. I don't know. I don't want to hear why these are the right? Variables yet. It'd like to hear that too. But before we get there just like how many did you run? Did you run twelve thousand three hundred and eventually I know how and I asked how many of them found this result because it's okay? If if you do three hundred and two hundred ninety five show the same thing, it's just a question magnitude, and what else is in the in the soup. But otherwise, I kinda see it was in the kitchen. How did he take question? He or she. Hey, and he was shocked. Really taken aback by it. But I wrecked to all young economists out there listening in who would go to a lot of empirical seminars than I do. Please ask that question. Let's let's turn to the your experience. Two things one. I'm gonna make a plug for a book by a colleague colleague at Berkeley, Ted McGill, Ted and his co authors have a new book about really kind bring more transparency and reproducibility to to social science, and it's it's just coming out from Berkeley. And it's it's great because it's very practical and pragmatic. It just says here's some things we could do keep track of for example, how much you know, pre-testing has been done on the data. How can we, you know, reset our, you know, standards of significant in light of pre-testing, and I think with technology. There's actually a lot of ways to do do more on this on this stopping. So so I can't I can't remember the name of the book, but a hits coming out at your interested in your word. You know, people should be worried about these these issues. I think I at some point it could become a vulnerability for all of social science. If you know if we keep keeps coming out that there's weaknesses in our empirical methods, or you know, things that aren't reproducible then like the whole integrity of our, you know, our disciplined gets called into question. Here's a title, transparent and reproducible social science research who could be against that. Well, you know, a long time ago. Ed Lima wrote a paper called taking the con- out of a condom attracts, and it should have transformed Heracles economics and did not he's you know, he's still work at it. Can't hurt. I wanna turn to the World Bank. You were there for about a little over year year and a half or so you're a quarter. And then you laughed and some might consider that a short tenure. I felt I'm surprised you lasted that long ball. So what what happened? There is a little bit rocky. You're the chief economist, but you left why what happened? Well. I look over my career. I've done a bunch of different things and one of the the general patterns, I've kind of tried to stick to be willing to take a chance and like like charter cities, I was willing to take a chance on site though, into Matagorda talking to people under is even knowing maybe one in ten chance it's going to succeed if it was a high NFL, you succeeded. You know, it's worth doing things might not succeed to take some risks. But if you learn that, it's not succeeding, just go do something else. And don't don't just just dig in and entrench yourself and keep doing it. If it's not going to succeed. So I thought it was a risky endeavor for me to go to the Bank. And I concluded that I was wasting my time there, I wasn't doing anything value. I don't think for the Bank or the world. And so I just decided I was going to leave and. People. There were worried about the fact that I wanted to leave. And so there was a little bit was kind of messy on the way out. I could fill in the details if you want, but the the fundamental dynamic is that you know, these things like every job is a match. There's a job in this person. It wasn't clear to me that this was a good match that helped me go to the Bank. And I think ex post it was not a good match. And so once you figure that out, and it's time to go on and move on to something else. Now, you want me to fill in those ninety. Well, the first thing I want you to talk about is most people have no idea what the World Bank does. And according what it actually does is not the same thing as what it is romantically described as doing I have friends who work there, by the way, they're all to the earth. I'm big fans of like a lot. They're well intentioned. Good economists. And but I don't think it's fulfiled its promise. So talk about what the Bank supposed to do. What you think it actually does? And why you hope to do something when you were there would that might have been well in doing that. I wanna Lous part of why was the awkward match between me and the Bank. I'm increasingly insistent about clarity in communication, and I'm going to describe the Bank. And why things very simple clear way? They don't they're not comfortable with this level of clarity. But the Bank is a Bank. It's got assets of about two hundred billion. It's got liabilities of about the same size. I mean, there's there's equity in liabilities the World Bank can borrow the sensually the sovereign rate. The same rate that the US could borrow at a borrows at a low rate. It lens the country's at a higher rate and on that two hundred billion dollar portfolio. It makes a kind of Ned of about two billion a year and spends that two billion a year on its staff. So that's that's what the World Bank does as couplings the note. I two hundred billion dollars is a drop in the bucket in world of really very substantial financial flows after World War Two two hundred billion would have been a lot these days. It's pretty small. So it's appropriate to ask. Well, what function is this organization now now serving? Because it has, you know, it's it's a Bank and the shareholders of the banker countries. So there's a board with shares of ownership because it's the countries that are the shoulders, and they back the Bank it can borrow at this the sovereign rate. So as a kind of a government like entity with his privileged position. The Finch markets is a reasonable question to ask. What should we do with that ability to to borrow it? These low rates, I think there used to be view that the two hundred billion in loans could let countries do things they wouldn't otherwise be able to do. But now these days countries could issue that they can borrow in private markets. The loan's themselves are probably generating a lot less value than they did, you know, fifty seventy years ago. I think the question that one should ask is with two billion a year if this organization said about providing global? Public goods, and especially public goods that would be valuable particularly valuable for people in the developing world two billion could could make could make a big a big difference. And I think the fundamental tension at the Bank is that two billion is really devoted to staff salaries. And I really doubt the value created by the work that those those people do just be totally blunt about it. And I think the organization should be willing to ask hard questions about let's quantify. What are the public goods that? We think we're providing to the world, and is our way to produce more of for the the resources we could spend. It's dominantly supposed to help fight poverty with those loans that it makes or to encourage growth by subsidizing or financing infrastructure, various kinds or reforms, I think in most people's minds who are casual readers of the newspaper or. Twitter Facebook, they see the World Bank as a ideological arm of free-market capitalism that that the World Bank Lynn's money to poor countries. And then extorts them to change their policies toward globalization and free market policies in return for those loans as sort of a a form of a blackmail. What do you what's your perception of that perception? Well, I think I if that's your fear. The good news is the Bank just doesn't have nearly as much power as it used to. Because a lot of these countries can go get financial resources from other places. So part of what I think, you know, making people think the Bank question their new rule is they don't have as much leverage as they used to have. Now, we could talk about whether they used it. Well or poorly in the past. They just don't don't have as much of it. But let me let me give you a the I tried when I got there to Bank ask, well, let's our greatest hits album. What are the best things? The Bank is overdone. If we've done a bunch of things we ought to be able to quantify and measure particular instances. Here's I think the best thing ever done and this alone might justify its existence when when Deng Xiaoping was trying to undertake perform in China, they had very serious deficits in terms of their understanding of a market economy. They were very worried about removing price controls. They could see the arguments I recently benefits price controls were very worried about removing price controls because they feared inflation and thought that inflation could lead to rebellion and collapse the of the government. So the the World Bank Representative. In China is a guy I've met at wouldn't limb Edwin arranged some some basic macroeconomics wanna one so like James Tobin, you know, gave some macro lectures, along with a few other kind of on a boat trip on the Yangtze where vary I leveled government officials were kind of confined to this boats. They couldn't be distracted other things and had to go through the basics of how at the time. People thought about using aggregate demand policy is a way to control inflation. And that gave them the confidence. It was a close fight. But it gives the reformers enough confidence to win the battle and start to liberalize prices. And this is the really critical step towards moving towards the the market economy. So being in that position being a trusted adviser the Bank, and then the Representative of the Bank being in a position of as the trusted adviser who could help win question has. Technocratic issue about what can we do in the circumstance? So you tell them what you know, you bring an experts who fill in the details that can be a very valuable function ended. It may have been critical to the path that China took towards the rapid gross that it's it's enjoyed. I should mention that you know, the other thing Deng Xiaoping did was create these special zones of which Sinjin was I think the most successful really the four only engine success which engine was a phenomenal success. And so having people who told them, this is how you manage inflation. If you liberalize and in this separate idea about we're going to try and reforms on those things where the the keys in them in China, but hug factor the Bank. The question is how many times as it actually served that function? There are lots of reports that keep the Bank. Use. There's a lot of talk about we have to be engaged and ongoing loan projects. Sure that somebody else could finance this bridge instead of us. But if we're engaged we know the context will be ready to provide advice, but I was actually very disappointed at how hard it was anybody to come up with a case where the pink actually provided useful advice, which changed the policy direction. And in a way that was that was benefit. We had two guests on. About a year and a half ago. Simon Jan cough and met Werner talking about the doing business report that the World Bank produces in. It's an attachment attempt to quantify the business climate the ability to cut through red tape. They -bility to open a business things that are basic, and you know, there's a one can debate whether those kind of the two it was Simeon. Yes. Thank you doing. And then we wonder who's the head of the atlas he's not a World Bank person. He's the head of the atlas network which would. Then. Free market think tanks outside the United States in the world. Okay. And their fans of that report. And and I'm I'm not in general fans of that kind of aggregate, and I'm not a fan of the freedom measures, particularly nice friends of mine work on those in God bless them. But I don't those are fraught with measurement challenges, and he's manipulated. And you got entangled with some of that. So talk about okay. Well to put this in the larger context, I remember I was ready to leave the Bank. I had a concern about a fact that I think needed to be out in the open and be transparent and part of how I when they said you can't resign. I'm just going to newspapers talk about my concern. And then they said, and then they said you have to resign. Well, that's what I wanted to do. So, but here was it was the fact I I was worried about the possibility. Ability that some kind of ideological political views had distorted the numbers that were reported a from in the doing business report in particular. I was very worried about a pattern in Chile where again could have been just random chance. But doing business ranking moved down, you know, every year when the party of the centre-left was in control and moved up every year when the party of the center right was in control. Clan policies. Right. Well, but if what what turns out is if you hold the mirrors of what's going on in Chile constant. I'm all those changes virtually all those go away. So it's like saying, okay Chileans are weaker this year because they can only do twenty push ups, and you say, wait a minute last year. You said Chileans were the Stringfellow because it was chips instead of push-up since while we're using push ups this year. And then it's, you know, it's, you know, it's like lunges your after they kept changing the the measures that went into this doing business ranking in if you just hold constant imagers, most of these changes went away. So good. Yeah. This is this oughta make you worry. And I also think that in science the burden of proof for integrity lies with the individual not with me. This is not a case of, you know, a legalistic right to do a job until you know, the definitive proof that they're not qualified women in a certain pattern of facts merged that raised doubts in my mind about know, the integrity of some of the people involved minute is that in my job. As a scientist is the I have concerns about the integrity of this process. Now, let's pull back from the fact about what happened in Chile. What you know? How's the doing business report constructed? I mean talk about the way the Bank responded. They commissioned an audit. They described on maybe Simeon described as he was talking about that particular. This was for the again, November twenty seven. I think it was before maybe not. But yeah. Yeah. That was before you. So they commissioned an audit which has a report was by. Got him. We forget Randall Mark has a report the rental wrote, which is which is pretty reasonable, basically says we don't think rumors, right. But. But the Bank did not release the underlying work that Randall had done looking at the different indices like when I left the Bank. I actually taught myself python and put the code out on the internet and said, look, here's how you could construct the doing business index Chile without changing the components that go into the index. Here's how they actually do it noticed the difference that there's virtually no change in the extra chilly, if you don't change the components in the index. And so I didn't even take a phone call from Randall when they were looking at this because I thought they should do the report on everything I had done on this issue was publicly visible. That's the way it's supposed to work in science Bank wrote this report, which was the basis for a summary by Randall, which was the basis for PR, you know, a press release which said, oh, you know, roamers wrong. There's no problem here. They would not release the underlying analysis, and I just think that's. Kind of the. Indicative of all of the problems with the intellectual culture at the Bank. And I think the questionable value of the stuff that they call research that you know, I think you just can't trust if they're going to comply with the most basic kind of practices about transparency nothing sensitive about these numbers. And it was really just a question of how you weight them when you can prove these indices, and basically their criticism be chilly was basically, look it when you change all the components in the end ex all these countries are moving up and down all the time. So there's nothing unusual about Chile. I still was a little worried about the, you know, the direction -ality, but still there is a kind of a problem here. But the fact that they wouldn't release the underlying data is I think really telling point quick thing. I wanted to ask you before we when we're talking before about macroeconomics. Did you learn anything from the great recession? Do you think the professional learned anything? Well. I think the first thing is I think we've learned some humility. I think we we did not intimate the severity of the crisis. And so the confidence we had before the crisis was misplaced. We should have been more in a more humble about how much we really knew. I think we've also acquired more data which suggests that the financial sector is very dangerous and the cost of the world are extraordinarily high. I I mean, it sounds like a joke. But I actually mean it literally I think if you quantify the losses from the financial sector and set them along side the losses of nuclear power. The sector's done much more harm with its accidents. The nuclear power stunned, and why is it that we have such radically different presumptions about the role of regulation or these two these two industries the answer to that. Love quoting. I know, you know, the Paul flattery were which he's talked about in contact where we actually start to believe that our models describe reality in can therefore make welfare judgements. That's one thing that comes to mind, but the other is interviewing Luigi in galleys where he points out that and he's pointed this out in print to that economists to the only group that we pretend doesn't respond to incentive. So I'll just leave it there. Scratchy for when it's worth I wrote this paper tour jackal off about the big damage that could come from deposit insurance. We called looting, and it was about the savings and loan crisis. Learned a lot from that pay for Paul some some people have said that that. Dave them, the they took it more seriously after the great crisis and killer, kind of realized that if things aren't set just exactly right with your regulations. A lot of things can happen. I didn't feel like financial crisis gave me George the right to take a victory lap. I I don't think the positive shirts per se was the causal factor in this this crisis it may have contributed. But but I do think it's worth asking more. Seriously. What you know, what in a simple, you know, takeaway expression some rate what happened here. And how are we gonna make sure it doesn't doesn't happen? Again. I still think there's work to be done up boil this down to simple takeaway about what happened. Well. The thing. I learned for your paper is that if you think you're not gonna lose your money. You're going to be a lot less careful, not profound. But for some reason, it's not easy to remember. And I do think that that too big to fail heads had something is not the only thing that had something to do the best. We got ourselves. Just one take away that I do think is interesting, and I'm not the only person to say, but there's a there's an insight from how the we regulate air safety, which is have a sharp separation between the entity. That's the finder of fact and the other entity that actually proposes regulation. So that's the job of the NTSB established. What happened in each class? It's the job of the FAA to specify what regulatory changes might be required. I think that separation between finding fact, and then setting regulations is a really valuable one. And it's something we should replicate in many other contexts it's related to this problem. I had with the Bank. It's trying to do a job and is trying to be objective finder fact about its job, and it it just can't do both of jobs after dot part of Dodd Frank was the setup this entity. That was supposed to be a better. Together. So that we could do a better postmortem when the next crash happens. I think it wasn't strong enough. It's been weakened since then. But, but it is a little bit of sign of progress in the sense that we've we've recognized that we should have an independent entity whose job is only to look at all the facts in the data and say, here's what happened and delete it to the regulatory agencies to deal with in a like who's to be blamed, you know, who cares about that. But what changes should we make changes we should make just different from what are the facts? And I hope that I hope that incite gets taken up and gets a replicated many other parts of the government. We need a black box for Lehman and Bear Stearns. We gotta have it. Of course, we have a record of their transactions. We have their emails to some extent. We do have an auditor who now increasingly hangs out there in those kind of institutions, but it's not quite the same. But I don't put partly partly matters. Like, what are the institutional? Incentives. When what's the organizational structure of the people who go in, you know, read what was in the blackbox. Yeah. Because this taken to take the SEC, the congress is actually not gonna work. That's kinda. Yeah. I agree. It's like no comment a lot of really tasteless and Mecom dark jokes to make and I'm but I'm not gonna make them close. And I want to talk about cities because I know that's something that you think about increasingly, and I've argued well, let me ask it in a couple a couple of things you can just opine on them because I'm sure you thought about a great deal. One is the fact that people in cities seem to be more productive. And it seems to be an example of the complementarity and Senator between is that you have who have spent a lot of time working on. And I've always wondered as skeptic whether some it's just the people who go to the cities to be the more productive ones. Gif thoughts on that. Yeah. You know? That's that's a question. We can ask empirically their dress in prickly at again, I think this should always be with this spirit of humility that were we're often just seeing a piece of the puzzle. But you can look at for example movers. People who move from Earl area to the city and see. So the what was there say like what was the rate of growth of their wages? Ruler was Riddick growth in the city and sort of holding the individual affect constant Transi. What's different niece? These two environments. There's a little bit of evidence that you holding the individual affects constant people's wages. Grow faster in cities, even grow faster. The bigger city is the faster the growth. So that's just something about like a potential for learning. It's it's greater in in cities. I think this general approach looking at ways changes over the life cycle is something that we should be doing a lot more of. Because there's a lot of learning that goes on when people in the job. So it's really that. They're better jobs is just like there's some schools that are good, and some that are bad sort of itching valuable things some jobs that are better. Some that are worse. And it may be that cities on average tend to have more of the better jobs, but we really should be fair. What are those better jobs, and how can we get more of those? And then, you know, it's really secondary to their where the where they tend to locate. I do think that we did one of the empirical projects we did at the Bank was look at these what they called mincer Russians look at wages as a function of how many years of education yet. And then how long have you been on the job and this increase in wage with time on the job, which you can interpret as a sign of learning people move. It isn't just a contract with one firm wages grow faster by about a percent per year in a urban area in the developing world than a rural airy. So the suggests big advantages to moving people from rural urban, but then if you compare the developing countries, a whole with the richest countries wages grow about a percent per year faster in rich countries than in the developing countries, say like urban urban, you get another point so urban environments in the developing world are somehow not offering the same opportunity to learn and experience wage. Gross that somebody could get moving to another country, and this is actually a little bit disappointing for me because I thought we might be able to get more by just encouraging renovation within these Felton countries. I think we really have to deal with something. That's at least as big which is what are these differences between countries? And how can we raise the chance to to learn in the developing country and lastly, which is related to this question. I've speculated I dunno where got maybe thought of got probably somewhere else. But. It appears to be a a something of a fact that mobility, the United States is falling steadily over time, which is showing people. Yeah. Just tell them that they come out of that can't be true. It's Kintu was a bunch facts. Like that that I like, but I don't like them. But I find the mystery of interesting. Yeah. And so one of the things I worry about is urban areas. A handful of urban areas all them have made it difficult to build new buildings and they made a built difficult to build dense denser buildings. And so as a result, rents have have risen dramatically and in certain cities, and that's gonna make it hard for people to move. It strikes me. And then what do you think important? You think those things are? Well, I haven't looked at that data about fulling mobility. But it does seem that people look at this. There's something there. So that's worrisome, and I've number. People have conjectured that this reflects something about the growing relative price of rental accommodations in cities compared to you know. Rural areas or smaller cities in the big cities. So and you can see a mechanism that operates here. If you have a minimum force base in an apartment, and if the price of floorspace goes up people at the bottom end of the skill distribution, simply will not be able to live in a city can't live in a city with, you know, very very high income now in those cities might be like the urban areas in the developing world, where they offer the best chance to learn if you come in with low skills, so it's a problem if we're denying people access to what might be if you think of work is like school, and I like the work is school denying people a chance to go work might be like denying them against to go to the best the best schools. So I think it it should be very high priority to think about ways to get entry level price of combinations down in places that might be the most vibe. Offer the most opportunity in. That's gotta be both increases in supply and re removing restrictions on minimum apartment sizes, whether those could could lower the the entry price for starting starting apartment, if I can kind of push this point, more broadly. I think this is much much bigger question in more important than most people recognizing suppose that people spend a constant percentage of their income on housing like third or something through it rent or mortgage payments, and so forth. That means that you know, a ten percent increase in income means ten percent increase in spending on unsure space. So then the demand for what will people willing to play the demand for space and urban areas is going to grow at the rate of growth of urban income urban income will grow, partly because income per capita grows. Also in the developing world because a lot of new people will move into urban areas. So then if you project forward. What's the rate of growth of urban income and ask is there? A mechanism for supply could keep up with that Ridha growth. It's really scary there just isn't. And so on the with business as usual we're going to face. I rocket increases in the price per square meter of floor space in urban areas and with minimum apartments. I mean, people are going to see segregation where people levels of skill or not going to be in those those places. So I think the whole world needs to start paying attention to this simple market for floorspace urban forces. What's the demand? What's his supply for floorspace? And then look at these questions about restrictions on building building hype son expansion the city through that lens of what would it take to have an increase in supply that could meet the the increase in demand and keep the price of force base, constant it's a it's a very sobering. Sedaka? Calculations related social phenomenon that that just makes it worse is another one of my favorite little known facts, which is that the marriage agent. And I'd states is rise risen quite a bit and the marriage rate, especially among low skilled, low -cation people who have finished high school or have only finished high school has fallen off the table, which means that if you're not married, if you're married you have children, you could imagine living in the suburbs. You could imagine wanting to commute if you're if you're saying though, you tend to want to be in the city for whole bunch of reasons, and there's a lot more people trying to do that. Four. Well, I mean, it should say that I'm if I have his colleague Lambert. Oh, by the way, has a great book out about revolutionize. I think urban urban design schedule on the schedule recontact ball L aunt tells me about this little apartment that he and his wife moved into Paris which was tiny when they were young couple. But yet they loved it when they lived there, and we have to remember. You know, the thing about dormitory housing is like for our own children ocean. You gotta share bathrooms two people are in Bubba. You know, we think it's fine when kids go to college, and we think it would be like, you know, like a crime if somebody had to live in that of college, but we ought to be a little bit more open minded about these things. But that on this point about, you know, historically, the only way to have a growth in the supply urban force base. That keeps up the demand is a very big expansion and built or area. This is my take away from that. You didn't get some you know, extra floorspace by building taller in the center. But the bulk of the digital place is gonna come from expansions and built area and Paris and London grew by a factor of about two hundred and built area over about two hundred years, and we dealt with that he's got a lot bigger and they're both perfectly livable exciting cities. But. Reasons that are really hard understand is very widely shared belief that cities shouldn't expand anymore. And if you don't let cities expand that's where we're headed for a crisis. But we just let cities expand. And it doesn't have to be all of them. If once that he doesn't expand while fine. Let the other ones expand. But if all of your city, stop expanding you're really gonna I think face a crisis. My guess today has been Paul Romer Paul thanks for part of contact good. It was fun. This is econ- talk part of the library of economics and liberty for Maury contact econ talk dot org where you can also comment on today's podcast and find links readings related today's conversation. The sound engineer recon talk is rich yet. I'm your host Russ Roberts. Thanks for listening. Talk to you on Monday.
"On. Abortion. So. That is why People are very concerned about your views as articulated. Pre nomination which convinced Senator Holly You Mattis Test. This morning Senator Feinstein as your question about the Supreme Court Twenty fifteen decision in Borger fell the hodges the case in which to court recognize the constitutional right to same sex marriage I was disappointed that you wouldn't give a direct answer whether you agreed with a majority in that case or if you instead agree with your mentor justice, Scalia that no such right exists in the constitution. So even though he didn't give a direct answer, I, think your response did. Speak volumes not once but twice you use the term sexual preference to describe those in the. Queue community. Let me make clear sexual preference is an offensive and outdated term. It is used by anti lgbtq activists to suggest the sexual orientation is a choice. It is not sexual orientation is a key part of persons. That sexual orientation is both. A normal expression of human sexuality and immutable. was, a key part of the majority opinion in Bern fell which by the way skull yet did not agree with So, if it is your view that sexual orientation is merely a preference. As, you noted. Then the LGBTQ community should be rightly concerned whether you would uphold their constitutional right to marry. I don't think that you use the term sexual preference as just I don't think it was an accident and one of the legacies of Justice Scalia and his particular brand of originalism is a resistance to recognizing those in the queue community as having equal rights under our constitution. In one thousand, ninety, six, Justice Scalia wrote a dissenting opinion and Romer v Evans defending states ability to openly discriminate against the Lgbtq community in two thousand and three Justice Scalia Rodas dissenting opinion.
425. Remembrance of Economic Crises Past
"If. You'd like to listen to freakonomics radio without ads place to do that. Is stitcher premium five dollars a month and you can get a free month trial going to stitcher premium, dot, com and use the Promo Code. Freak you'll also get access to all our bonus episodes, and you'll be supporting our show to that stitcher premium dot com. Promo Code Freak things you like podcasts right whether you listen occasionally or can't get through your day without them. There is a great app you need to try. It's called stitcher. stitcher is a free APP for. android that's really easy to use from classic favorites, too. New Hit shows from Oprah and Conan O'Brien as well as the best of true crime like cereal and my favorite murder stitcher is home to all your favorite podcasts visit stitcher dot com to download stitcher for free today. So, what's it feel like? As an economic historian to be living through a moment, that's plainly historic from an economic perspective. It is sort of mind blowing. I remember back from the two thousand and eight recession I said to myself oil. I never thought in my life I'd lived through a bank run and here were people lining up outside banks? Now. I'm living through a pandemic. It is really hard to fathom that is Christina. Romer. I'm a professor at the University of California Berkeley. She's a scholar of economic catastrophe. The Great Depression in particular. She was also chair of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers at the start of his first term during the darkest days of the global financial crisis. She had been surprised to get that job. And several months later, I was talking to Rahm Emanuel the president's chief of staff and I said by the way. Tell me why I got this job and these head. You're an expert on the Great Depression and we thought we might need one. It. Did take several years, but the US and global economies recovered from that catastrophe recovered pretty well at least. But now the covid nineteen pandemic has produced an economic threat that borders on the. The first quarter this year the GDP shrank by four point eight percent, nearly forty six million jobless claims have been filed in the last three months. Some advisors to the president are warning of unemployment numbers straight out of the Great. Depression Great Depression is way worse than anything. We saw the Great Depression and so. With, everything going on right now. We thought it'd be good for us to consult a great depression expert if only to help us make sensible today on freakonomics radio. Christina Romer tells us the valuable lessons. We can draw from the past a still feel we should have done even more. She lists the current priorities. It is the single biggest thing that needs to be done very quickly. And whether will make it out, okay on the other side. I mean the history of this country is rising to challenges. From, stitcher and productions, this is freakonomics radio podcast that explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your host. Talk Stephen Duffner. The National Bureau of Economic Research recently declared that the US economy went into recession all the way back in February. Christina Romer sits on the committee that make such declarations. For the past few decades, she is studied the causes and consequences of Economic Downturns. Why did she choose such a cheerful topic for an economist? There's almost nothing that matters as much in people's lives as whether they have a job whether they can support their families. It probably doesn't hurt that. A high came of age. I was in graduate school during the Volcker recession of the early nineteen eighties and I think that was a series experience for me and really made it stand out in my life, rumors parents were children during the Great Depression and she saw the market made on them as they got older, my mother was. Was the most frugal person you could imagine, I can remember when my father they were buying a house that was a little bit of a stretch and I can remember finding my father sitting up one night just in a sweat over whether he should take on this mortgage if we were having this conversation at the start of twenty twenty with record low unemployment. Unemployment record high stock markets, a generally robust economy. If we were having this conversation back then, and I said professor boomer I believe that real GDP in the US will fall something on the order of five to six percent in twenty twenty. You would have said what to me. You're out of your mind. I can even remember having been on a phone. Phone call with one of the advisory boards that I'm on after the pandemic had started, but it was really early and someone said I think the unemployment rate's GonNa Coach to eleven percent, and even then I said Oh for heaven's sakes. This is not the great recession. It's GONNA be dislocation. It's GONNA cause problems. But how do you get to eleven percent? The unemployment rate actually blew past eleven percent. It is worth noting that an economist as experienced as Romer as experienced in economic catastrophes didn't see that coming. It's also worth noting that the magnitude and volatility of this labor implosion make it even harder than usual to measure the true unemployment rate. Always has be oh some problems with it. There's some particular problems because we're asking questions that we don't normally have to ask like. Are you employed? But staying home because you've been exposed to the corona virus at that's not a question that was ever on the survey before, and so there are certainly some problems just with how'd we code those things? How does this compare to her time in the White House during the great recession. You know I thought in late November of two thousand and eight while we're headed for a terrible downturn. Maybe the unemployment rate will go up three or four percentage points. And then the numbers start to come in, and it's hitting you just my heavens. How horrible! This thing is of the private forecasters those of us in government. Everybody was having to readjust in. Say Wow, this is really bad on goodness. It's worse than really bad and I'm sure that the people in the Treasury in the Council of Economic Advisers today are having those same kinds of moments of. Holy Hell I didn't know it could get this bad. So I guess the big question really is. How worried are you right now? About the near and long term future of the US economy? That's the million dollar question I'm of course deeply worried about the near-term outlook in what we're living through right now is truly wretched and there aren't. Bad enough words to describe just how much many people are suffering. We've had a added decline output fallen in employment. What worries me a lot is I think some people think. Oh, we're starting to you. Know End. The lockdowns will snap right back, and that unfortunately is not going to happen and I. People may be aren't prepared for the fact that is gonNA. Be a long hard slog, and so the pain we may have four not just a few more months, but a few more years is something that concerns me greatly. There is growing evidence that this log will indeed be long and hard cove. Nineteen diagnoses are rising fast in many places, many states, including Texas and Florida and California have paused or reverse their plans to reopen the economy. This may cause a much more permanent change in how we live, and how we do things, and so we have to shut down some industries, and there's GonNa be some new industries that grow up and then even for some of the same. Same Industries that we still want the restaurants the services if those businesses have gone out of business than somebody else has to come in figure out how to do it higher, the workers build the customer base, and that's GonNa take time. So how does Romer compared the current US economic damage to the Great Depression, so we don't have quarterly data for the Great Depression, but the numbers for the first few years of the nineteen thirties was real. GDP fell at. At about ten percent a year, and from the peak to trough of the Great Depression real GDP, declined by about thirty percent, so we lost a third of our output, and when the numbers come out for the second quarter of this year were likely to learn that it's fallen by about forty percent at an annual rate, so when we talk about a forty percent annual rate, it means if we had the same behavior in the second quarter and in the. The next three quarters GDP would be down. Forty percent, and nobody expects that to happen. I, was just looking at some numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, they think when the dust is, all said it will probably say that GDP fell about five or six percent overall of twenty twenty so again. That's horrible, but when you compare it back to the Great Depression where it was ten percent a year, and where it didn't happen just one year, but three years. It does at least help you to realize what our grandparents lived through back in the nineteen thirties. Dwarfs even what is truly a horrible time now? As for the great recession when Romer had a front row seat, real GDP fell then by about six point three percent in the fourth quarter of two thousand eight. But apart from being a useful comparison past recessions and depressions may also offer lessons on how to escape from this one. I asked Romer to describe what she considers. The most effective parts of the Obama Administration's Recovery Act the first thing to say is we still had a quite severe recession, and so at that sense, nobody should take a victory lap because it was really painful for for lots of people. The, one piece of the Recovery Act that has been now studied in hindsight is but a state and local governments for an economist. It's a great example because some of the state local fiscal relief in the recovery, act was actually given more based just kind of on historical accident, meaning the relief was almost randomized as if in an experiment, and so it gave. gave us a nice natural experiment. We can see if states that thought more fiscal relief for relatively exogenous reasons did better, and the answer was there. Did you know it was only about one hundred and thirty hundred and forty billion dollars I know only, but it seemed to have been very effective for instance one analysis of Recovery Act aid found that increasing estate. Funding helped increase long-term employment. On the flipside states and municipalities had drastic cuts were slower to recover all by years. In, roamers, own analysis of the Great Depression, she found that federal aid to states and municipalities was very effective, absolutely before Roosevelt came in the states were the main ones doing relief, and then as soon as Roosevelt started to have some of his public works and things like that one of the things we see as state saying Oh, thank heavens now we can get our fiscal. Fiscal House in order so as we were designing the Recovery Act I was one of the big proponents of we gotta make sure that state and local governments don't start laying off public workers and cutting a lot of the crucial services because that's just GonNa make this so much worse. Rumor thinks the same formula is important in the current crisis, state and local governments are. Are experiencing huge drops in revenue and huge increases in spending for public services like health, care and unemployment, state, governments, or something like seven hundred and fifty billion dollars in the red, and unlike the federal government states can't just keep borrowing and run at deficit, they have laws requiring at least the proposal of a balanced budget, and because they're not allowed to run budget deficits. Deficits. They're gonNA. Have to start cutting spending cutting social programs cutting infrastructure, and that's going to be the real test of bipartisanship, because Democrats tend to be proponents of giving money to state and local governments and Republicans often are not, and that will be the real test if we can get through because it is the single biggest thing that needs to be done very quickly. So if you are running one of these states that's on massive debt now dealing with Covid, would you try to undo this balanced budget requirement and running a deficit? That's a great question. May I think the much better? Thing is probably for states to stay the way they are, and for the federal government to use its power to borrow to help the states, simply because we are one country and especially something like doesn't affect every place the same, but it seems like the natural thing that we all share in those burdens. You don't say Oh, you're a state that happened to get unlucky. Unlucky, so you're just going to have to pay for it. A benefit of being in a large country is that we have insurance. We take care of one another. When there's a hurricane in Florida the rest of the country helps them when there is a terrible covert outbreak in New York City, I. The rest of the country should help them right, but the fact is that a lot of these states that are in real trouble. They claim that they're not getting anywhere near the federal money that they need so relying on the old model may be catastrophic. So what do you think will happen there and let me include the question? That's a matter of some discussion controversy about bankruptcy for states and weather. It should perhaps be permitted. Just as I think it's a terrible thing for anyone to talk about the federal government defaulting on its debt I think we're a country where we pay our debt, so I think letting states go bankrupt. That's just not a a sensible strategy. We ought to actually deal with the problems that we have where a rich country we can do this and we don't have to act like a country that doesn't have effective government. What should be happening to a? A STATE FIT is in real trouble. I think it would certainly be much better for them to find a way to borrow van to not serve their people to not deal with the public health crisis so I. Hope it doesn't come to that I hope that we can have sensible federal fiscal policy to help the states that are in real trouble, but barring that finding a way to allow them to borrow. I, think would be a much better strategy. Keep in mind. Rome was among the most enthusiastic proponents of federal aid to states during the recovery from the great recession while putting together the two thousand nine Recovery Act One of the major debates over the size of the federal, stimulus package. A still feel we should have done even more, but I do feel good that I argued people up by. Several hundred billion. Yes, so talk about that for minute. We've read about your participation as a member of his team, which included among others Larry Summers, whose think sometimes misunderstood in? His aggression is intellectual or personal or whatnot, but you wanted the aid to be. How much bigger than ended up being. And how much more did you get than was originally proposed? The main thing that I remember actually was a meeting where Larry turned out to be a crucial second vote for my opinion, so yeah, I think the proposals had been for numbers closer to do a fiscal stimulus of about six hundred billion, and I remember having run lots of numbers. I came in and I said this is much too small I. Think needs to be you know at least eight hundred billion and probably bigger and I almost fell off my seat when Larry said I agree with Christy. Why were you so surprised? He agreed. Because Larry doesn't agree with anyone. But. It was really important for you. Know as I said, it's not nearly as big as it needed to be, but it was a lot bigger than anyone had been saved teen. Now with your desire to have the fiscal stimulus be larger then was that a result of your understanding of the Great Depression, and the way that fiscal was used back then and that it essentially was not large enough. Absolutely there's two things that I think I learned from the Depression, one was relative to the size of the unemployment problem in the early nineteen. Thirties what Roosevelt did was much too small. It was big relative anything they'd been done in the past, but it was not nearly enough to deal with the problem it. The other thing is actually monetary policy can be very effective. Effective even when interest rates are quite low, and so you know though the Federal Reserve was doing wasn't the Bailiwick of the administration, one of the things that several of US trying to convey to the president. Is You know what the Fed is doing is a great thing. You supporting bed? Banenky what specifically was Banenky doing that you thought was positive. That needed encouragement. Things like when interest rates get two zero. What are the tools that you have is to try to affect people's expectations of inflation because that affects what the real cost of borrowing is and so I. Think Burnett Hewas taking number of steps for example at this time they started giving out something. It's close to a target for what they were for for the inflation rate and I remember trying to explain that that was probably a good thing because we were in a world where. Unemployment ten percent people might be starting to expect inflation to come down, and if the Fed is is signaling, no, we're GONNA. Keep it at least two percent that can actually be very positive, so the political costs of the recession, and and your the Obama White House response to it. We're pretty extreme whether it was the recovery plan itself or just the the depth of the recession. Dem's got crushed in those midterms two years after Obama's election. Surely the trump administration's looking back at that to judge how they want their responses to affect the next election. How do you think that will influence what they ultimately decide? I pray. It doesn't affect what they decide. What everybody should be doing is right for the country, and so this is a case where you would think that both their political interests and what the country needs would be you know. Let's deal with the public health crisis. Let's make sure there's enough support for workers that there's support for state local government, so I'm hoping that this is a time when there's no conflict between the politics, and what would be right to do? See coming up after the break, the mistakes learned from previous economic recoveries, and how even in a crisis Romer keep searching up. Yet taken that optimism out of me. Also, don't forget to check out our new spinoff podcast new stupid questions, which is sort of freakonomics for psychology. You can get it wherever you get your podcast. Let's breathe in. And breathe out. We're about to get into any money state of mind. I'm Dr You. Monte Walker I've been practicing psychiatrist for over ten years. I know that so many of y'all don't know where to start when you WanNa talk about your mental health. Only mining state of mind I'm going to have those conversations with you. Imani said of mind is out now. Subscribe now in Stitcher Apple Podcasts, spotify or wherever you listen. Christina Romer former top White House. The communist spent her career, analyzing the causes and consequences of recessions and depressions. In light of the fact that the economy has become much more globalized in recent decades, I asked Romer to describe how the US economy is unique, and how that will affect a recovery from the Cova crash. Traditionally, the American economy has been. Motto I WANNA say more vibrant more dynamic so if you want to compare us to Europe, we have more flexible labor markets. It's easier to start a business here. It's easier to close down a business here. And that has often served us very well. Because capitalism is good at some things, and especially at figuring out what consumers want, but it does mean it. It makes an economy much harder on workers is a lot easier to lay people off. You don't have the same employment protections. It certainly has been very hard on workers in this downturn, compared to a lot of European countries where the governments have just been paying employers to keep on the books, so one thing I could imagine is we've discussed it? Some industries may never come back brick and mortar retail. It may come back sound, but it'll never be like it was and. I think the positive would be that. The US economy may be better at adjusting to such changes that we are dynamic economy, and so there's an opportunity American firms are pretty quick to step in, but if you're going to be a dynamic economy, you also need to think about. How do you protect? The people that may be harmed by all that dynamism, and don't move as easily from one industry to another, and we have to have a way to protect them and make sure that they're able to keep body and soul together and retrain them. For what do jobs are coming down the line? I S Romer think back to the great recession and identify the mistakes that she and her fellow Obama Economic. Advisers made or at least the ideas that didn't work out so well. Fair couple we had. Had the making work pay tax credit? We thought rather than right people checks and have them arrive in their mailbox or in their account. We would just go slip it in, so it's just GONNA show up in lower withholding, and we thought people would just notice. They had more money in their bank account, and maybe that would have a good effect on spending. As it turned out, most people didn't seem even now. They've got it or worse yet. They thought the Obama Administration raised their taxes. which they hadn't, we cut them by a lot. So that was one that just didn't work as we'd anticipated, and was that a communication failure perception failure. How did that happen? I think some of it was a communication failure I. Think some of it. It turns out. Economic Theory doesn't give us good insight. It's really in some sense of behavioral question. Do People respond more if they see the check in their hands or do? They respond more if it just shows up in their paycheck? Every month and I think it was partly. We are just learning. There was another idea that looked good, but never gained traction. We were trying a lot. Especially in twenty ten to think of another fiscal stimulus that may be would not be terribly expensive, but could have a big bang for the buck, so we were very interested in a new hiring tax credits away to convince businesses to hire workers, and you know we really did due diligence this. When we ran surveys, and we spun the CPS. TAPES CPS STANDS FOR CURRENT POPULATION survey. Just all the research we could think of. We were just desperate to get them over the Hump and ready to hire again. We ended up getting a small kind of pilot program through Congress. That nothing on a big scale, so I'm not sure that we ever learned whether this wouldn't work, but that was a policy that I was very excited about so baby. That's still something we could have in our arsenal and try at some point. Rumor also thought that more could be done around public employment which. which she thinks, play a big part in the US recovery from the Great. Depression because you know what Roosevelt was able to do of putting. Just millions of people directly on the government payroll I think was incredibly valuable. This is the WPA WPA the civilian conservation court, but in a modern world, trying to figure out how to her. Millions of people quickly is something that seems. Really hard and I think it's something. President Obama would have liked to do and we thought about it. We tried I. Remember having a conversation with some other cabinet secretaries. I'd say if money was no matter. How many people could you hire? They'd say oh lots. You Know Twenty thirty thousand. Is Not GonNa do much when we've got millions and millions of people unemployed. Why is it so hard? I mean I realize you're talking about the federal government hiring people versus private firms, but you have been extolling the virtues of our nimble and robust capitalism. which can you know? Move fast break things hire and fire lots and lots of people. Why's it so hard for the federal government to do that? They partly, we have different standards for the federal government so. We try to do things probably more carefully. Think about the civilian conservation corps, so that's the hiring program from the depression that built a lot of the buildings in our national parks and things like that it hired mainly young men. It took them out into the woods to build roads and log cabins, and that sent three quarters of their paychecks to their mothers, and it was by all accounts incredibly successful and I've met with some. Some of these people that were on CCC projects they're now in their eighties and nineties, and it was life transforming, but imagine proposing that today of. Let's you know hire young men send them out to the woods and send their checks home to their parents that just I think is not in the modern American way of doing things right, but there are certainly modern equivalents for instance one problem with disbursing aid. Money has been that. It needs a lot of manpower. One problem with contact tracing needs a lot of manpower. So is it really so hard to imagine a massive shift from private to public hiring over the next couple of years? Because this is not going to go away, unemployment is not going I assume back two three four five percent anytime at all soon right now I agree so contact tracing is a great example that is something that we ought to be able to use lots of people and put them to vary very fruitfully I. Think even if you were to think about. Reasonable numbers I suspect that you're not going to be able to deal with the millions and millions of people that were currently unemployed. I'll give you another example of one of the ideas. I was thinking about back in two thousand nine was. Know How just a massive program of hiring people to be teachers, aides and I was really very taken with this because so many of our public works jobs tend to be for construction workers male, often oriented jobs and I thought this was a great way to make sure that we were getting some balance something that might be particularly good for female employment in a tough time, and we ran into a certain amount of opposition from you know, think about local school districts. Districts that are laying off teachers and you say but I have this great program. I'M GONNA. Give you all these teachers aides, you know. They tended to say what we really need is the money, so we can keep our teachers employed, so it is hard to figure out what's the right way to do this. And I came away thinking well. Let's give more money to state local government, so they're not laying off teachers, and maybe they could hire the teachers aides. Okay so if you're running some kind of economic swat team right now, let's imagine you were running. Ca Now national economic council or something to the equivalent? And you're trying to game plan. The current recession or economic doldrums do you look more to the great recession as the model whether because it's more equivalent in some ways and door, just because it's more recent or do you look more toward the Great Depression. Where are you trying to draw your best inspiration from both in terms of positive moves and mistakes to be avoided. I almost think we need to not look at either of them in both those episodes are basically any other recession. The only problem is a lack of demand, and so just any policy you take gets demand up. This is so different because it's a public health crisis and you'RE NOT GONNA. Get demand up until you solve the public health crisis, nor do you want to because you don't want every business producing at full capacity? Because then you have more workers than you can actually keep safe so i. I think we really need to throw away some of our previous experience and focused more on what's unique about a pandemic, and how do we actually deal with the public health problem? So I think I would go much less. Let's just get demand up. pledged. Just give people. Tax Cuts had much more. Let's spend so that we solved. Public. Health Crisis I may be you know. Take inspiration from other countries today that have made more progress than we have rather than looking back at previous us, recessions. Talked earlier about there's a dynamism to capitalism and. Dynamism to the way Americans do things, but there is a cost which is because we're laying off a lot of workers that firm employee. Link is being broken, and they're hard to get back at. It is hard to hire workers and get those right matches again and so. That's GonNa be costly, and that may tend to slow us down in the recovery process. There's also the issue I've heard this from several employers, mostly small and medium sized firms that even if they survived covert pretty well or are now returning to business they. They are having a really hard time rehiring their own former employees because the unemployment insurance and the other aid that people have been getting is really great, and they can literally earn as much if not more by not going to work I. Know this was an early concern. When the cares, act was being put together. It was largely dismissed saying hey, it's much better to support individuals. If this is, the downside will live with it, but now there are employees yours who are living with it. What are your thoughts on that? I think absolutely in the initial stages. It was great to get more money into the hands of people who were struggling, and we do as a country of a terrible inequality problems so giving six hundred more dollars a week and benefits to a low wage worker. That really was a great thing to do I think as the economy recovers, and you want people to go back to work. You don't want them to just lose those funds. We ought to be worse off if they go back to work. So can you give us some benefits? People have been talking about reemployment, bonuses or things like that. Could also comes back to you know we've got a long run inequality problem. We should be dealing with that at some point. You don't want to be doing it through your unemployment system. You WanNa be doing it in a more sensible way through your tax system or the earned income tax credits, or you know better benefits in the form of universal health insurance things like that. So one early and much cited paper was about fiscal policy, and you argued that fiscal policy during the depression didn't help the recovery all that much, and that finding of yours has been interpreted over the years as an argument against fiscal intervention, which as I read? Your work was not at all what you intended. Can you quickly summarize your actual finding and then describe the misinterpretation? Then we'll take it from there. So the actual finding is if you look at what it was, that helped the economy to recover from the Great Depression, the monetary actions that Roosevelt when he came in. We're much more important. That didn't have anything to do with whether fiscal policy could have been valuable. It was just the fact that we didn't do all that much fiscal stimulus in the mid nineteen thirties, and so it was not the main driver of the recovery much of my subsequent work, and all of it joint with my favorite co author, and also husband David Romer has actually been pointing out that. That fiscal policy is very effective, so we have a paper looking at the effects of tax changes. If you cut people's taxes, it does help to stimulate the economy in the short run. It helps you to increase demand. Get an increase in output. We've looked at the effect of transfer payments, and that too has a substantial positive effect on consumption, so I think we've done some very important work. Saying that fiscal policy is really valuable. It just turned out. It was not used in nearly aggressive enough way in the depression to have been a big factor accounting for that recovery. Although Roosevelt must have felt that he was using a lot of fiscal stimulus. Yes, seemed like a lot at the time relative to what had been done in the past of course. And it was even a lot in an absolute amount in the sense that the actions taken by the federal government were pretty substantial, but if you look at the total fiscal situation for the US. Because state and local governments were going in the opposite direction of hunkering down of actually raising taxes, cutting spending the net fiscal stimulus was pretty small, because the states counteracted anything Roosevelt was doing on the positive side. We should also say this is ten gentle, but I can't let it pass without saying that among your husband's most noteworthy research has to do not with depressions recessions, but with fourth-down decisions in football. True he calls that his midlife crisis paper. Even he would tell you. His most important work is on monetary and fiscal policy and financial crisis, but I gather the bill. Belichick read the paper and integrated IT INTO HIS PHILOSOPHY S. I believe he did read the paper, but you'd have to talk to David about. Whether he listened to it enough. Obviously, it is tangential to our conversation, and yet in some way it's not which is, it was an empirical finding which argued. That using the tools of economic analysis, you can determine that all most all football coaches are playing fourth-down wrong and they should punt much much much much than they do and yet it's been mostly ignored by all, but maybe a handful of coaches do you see equivalent empirical research done in the realm of fiscal or monetary policy that is demonstrably correct or at least worth considering among the tribe of economists, but is largely ignored by practitioners. One of the things that's. Been, nice is that in the lot of macro research. It actually has been the opposite of ignored that policymakers have listened so I think especially central bankers have been very interested in academic research on the effectiveness of quantitative easing or the impact of monetary policy or credit things like that so I think on the monetary side there is a lot of interest in research and learning from the research. On the fiscal side, it's been a mixed bag I feel. There's a lot of professional research that fiscal policy can be very effective when I was in the Obama Administration is certainly later in the Obama administration when we desperately needed more fiscal stimulus. That was the moment when policymakers. Republican policymakers decided that no fiscal policy didn't do anything. But then part of what's happened over the last ten years this there's just been paper after paper. Looking at what was done in the Recovery Act looking at was done across countries in terms of their fiscal response to the great recession, and those again almost uniformly find that fiscal policy is very effective, so I've taken a little bit of relief that facing this crisis Congress, said he I. Guess We'll do it again. In fact will do even more so maybe policymakers are in fact, listening than realized that these things do help I have to say when I first started paying attention to economics years ago. It was one of the things that most dispirited me because. I found that the greatest economists of the era were still debating the degree to which fiscal policy during the depression either helped end the depression, or on the other hand, exacerbated it and I thought well wait if these people can't tell us the answer to that question. Perhaps you're not very useful to us. I don't mean to indict your whole tribe, but you're saying that you feel. There has been more consensus at least on that kind of macro policy intervention in the last ten or so years. Do I. Think if you look say at the University of Chicago's their panel of experts of you say. What did the Recovery Act? Some very large faction will save. It absolutely was helpful. We should say that's a survey that you've see runs. It's not all University of Chicago economists. No, it's actually a very wide range of economists. So I think everyone wants to say. Oh economists disagree. You can always find somebody to take the other side, but it's often the case that ninety percent of economists believe one thing and ten percent believe the other, and so the vast majority would say monetary policy is very important of vast majority would say if you cut people's taxes that will indeed stimulate the economy in the short run. Okay so let's in our remaining time. Look at the future as best we can. It's obviously unpredictable I'm curious when you look at the policy that you see being considered and being made now fiscal and monetary policy, and if you try to play it out in your mind, not just a few months from now, but a few years, maybe many years from now I'm especially curious. If you think there are any lessons from the Depression in particular that we should be taking especially when the cure turns out to be, you know as dangerous as the ehlmann itself so one example I, think about this is not a perfect parallel. The war when there were controls and health insurance began to be offered as a fringe benefit and bundled with employment, which is something that most health economists say is one of the really difficult things better healthcare system now when you look at the policies, being considered were made now what you think we should watch out for what might be some sad or difficult downstream effects. The one that worries me is the budget deficit so not in the immediate term, but if you think about. How much money we're spending, it's completely appropriate. We need to be doing it, but we are better running budget deficits than we are at dealing with them when the crisis has passed, and so if we keep dealing with crises, but then not getting our fiscal house in order An- afterwards at some point. We're not even GONNA be able to deal with the crisis because we will have run our debt to GDP ratio up so high. We should have a plan to raise taxes eventually to get back in a more sustainable system. I think the pandemic may well exacerbates inequality, and that was already a terrible problems so I think we need to be. Getting through this, but also thinking about what do we do? When we're through all this to make sure that we're sharing the benefits of this amazing economy much more broadly much more fairly. I do feel compelled to point out that it's a little disorienting to speak to you a democratic or democratic associated at least economists who is urging against a certain level of deficit spending because we're used to Republicans saying that especially recently Fed Chair, Jerome, Powell, he pledged to use what he called the feds full range of tools to support the economy, and he also urged policymakers to not worry so much about raising debt. And instead to use what he called, the great fiscal power of the United States to get through this with as little damage to the longer run, productive capacity of the economy as possible, so is this just a matter of the Republicans are in office now and you respond to the crisis in front of you, or has there been some kind of switching of direction for Democrats? Democrats and Republicans or economists to support them when it comes to deficit spending I want to be clear. I am wildly in favor of doing the deficit. Spending that we're doing now. We need to do this. I agree completely with chair, Powell that we should be doing anything. We need to do to get the economy through this crisis, but that doesn't mean that you don't. Think about the deficit, even in two thousand and ten redoubt about to try to deal with the deficit right then, but we were talking about it because you need a plan for. Three years five years from now. How do we deal with this? And perhaps because I believe so firmly that fiscal stimulus is a crucially valuable tool I. WanNa make sure it's there the next time we face something like this, and so I think I've been very aware of the need to. When you make it through a hard time in your back in the good times. That's when you repair the roof on your house. Right so are we all going to come out of this? Okay, do you think? I hope so I mean there are going to be some workers whose jobs disappear forever. We're not just going to go back to the way we were. So? I think we could all come out of this. Okay, provided, we take policy actions that we need. We invest in the training. To, make sure everybody's okay. I worry that we'll get through the worst of it and then. We'll forget about some of the people that have been hurt in that remain struggling, and let's say that some of the changes that have happened thus far to travel to live entertainment to restaurants. Basically, all of them wiped down. You know close to zero. Let's say that for variety of reasons they sort of stick and that people don't return to them in large numbers. At least do you feel that the US economy and our brand of capitalism is still set up to be as vibrant and nimble to adjust, and for people to job reallocate or D. worry that a lot of people in those industries which play millions and millions and millions of people that they will. Be Adrift Perhaps for a long time unable to reallocate into commensurate James. I think many of some will be able to reallocate again. I have a lot of faith in workers, and in their ability to develop new skills and find jobs when they're available. I think they'll need a helping. Hand fell need support in the period which they are trying to learn a new skill. It also is going to be a lot easier for. Twenty, five or thirty year old worker than it's GonNa be for fifty five or sixty year old worker. I sometimes think that this moment is you know that if you were looking at this from the future like an archaeologist looking at sediment like the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, ultimately that this is going to have. A huge scarring. On the world, and maybe I'm totally wrong, but my sense is that this disruption has already led just about everybody to question the way they live their life the way they earn their living the way they interact with their families, the rest of society community, and so on when you look down the road. Do you think the world is fundamentally different? And if so on what levels or do you think? I'm maybe being way melodramatic here. I've perhaps not quite as dramatic issue but I agreed that this may set off a sea changed. I think you're right that we will probably trade less travel. Less work differently weather, it is a giant shift or just a moderate shift. I'm less sure, but I think it is. GonNa Change Things and the real question is. How well we manage this, do we manage it so that it changes things, but we're all still okay, or did it change things and make some of our underlying problems even worse, but I guess you know you haven't yet taken the optimism out of me I still. I'm hopeful that we can recover I mean the history of this country is rising to challenges and I desperately hope that we do it again. Coming up next time a topic that didn't come up in today's conversation with Christina Romer, but maybe should have. One of the most persistent economic problems in American history, the racial wealth gap is such that the typical black family has about ten cents on the dollar as a typical family, so our reparations the answer hear the arguments in favor the material redress. Would in a retrospective way bring about justice by affecting. The racial wealth gap that we see today and the arguments against I think you're playing with words and avoiding the hard work of trying to discover complex historical causal chains, also several other ideas to address black white wealth inequality. It's next time on freakonomics radio. FREAKONOMICS radio is produced by stitcher and W productions. This episode was produced by Daphne Chen. Our staff also includes Alison Craig Greg Rippin Matt Hickey Zach Lipinski married to Duke and Karen Wallis. Our intern is Emma Terrell. We had help this week from James Foster or theme song. Is Mr Fortune by the HITCHHIKER's? All the other music was composed by Luiz Cara. You can get freakonomics radio on any PODCAST APP. If you want the entire back catalogue, use the Stitcher. APP or go to freakonomics dot com where we also published transcripts and shown us as always. Thanks for listening. So the political cost. Is that your dog remind? You. Do not have a dog. Okay sorry. STITCHER
A Nobel Prize Winners Suggestion for Fixing the Economy
"From Pushkin Industries. This is deep background. The show where we explore the stories behind the stories in the news. I'm Noah Feldman and we are still talking about corona virus in particular. We're going to talk today about the interaction between the virus and the economy. How soon can we go back to work? How safe will that be? How unsafe will we be if we don't look out for the economy to discuss these very difficult issues? I spoke to Paul Romer Nobel winning economist at New York University. He used to be the chief economist of the World Bank. And he's been thinking hard about this subject. Paul thank you very much for joining me. I want to start with a very influential essay that you and Alan Garber the provost at Harvard published in The New York Times. Where you were the first. I would say serious people to put in a major public venue. The economic concerns about what we do about corona virus on a par with the public health. Concerns are in relation to the public health concerns described to me if you will your current thinking on that very challenging question. Yeah I I mean to be honest. I think there were a lot of people who were recognizing the size of the economic costs that we were going to bear. I think what was distinctive about our op. Ed was a very specific proposal about how to craft a middle ground. Where we get out of this trap where we either have to kill the economy or kill lives so if I can let me. Just try and explain the basics of the challenge. Please do. There's this notion of the replication rate if one person is infected. How many New People does that person? In fact that's what people call the nod or the Zero Yep are zero are not a replication rate. That number has to be less than one to keep the pandemic and check if it goes above one then. It just grows like wildfire. Social distance is one way to get it below one but of course it's really hurting the economy. The way to keep it below one that is guaranteed to work is find the people who were infected and isolate them now right now. What we're doing is we're isolating everybody because we don't know who's infected so all we need to do is switch to a strategy where we're testing everybody with regularity. As soon as we find somebody who's positive we have them go in isolation for say two weeks and that's all it takes to get on a path where this this pandemic is dying out and we can stick with that policy as long as it takes to get a vaccine which is the other way to protect ourselves so all it takes is to figure out who it is. Who's infectious and to isolate them without isolating lots of people who could otherwise. Just go back to daily life and work. I am not an epidemiologist and I wanna be clear about the the caveat to that to that effect but I want to ask a question. That's informed by my conversations with epidemiologist and when I'm reading this under circumstances where we already have community spread unless everyone were tested nearly every day. Isn't there a substantial risk that even testing every week or every ten days which requires a tremendous number of tasks much greater than? I think. It's realistic at least a what I've read for us to be able to produce in the next few months would leave open the possibility of spread. I mean your your key line is all we have to do is but the question is. Is that in fact doable? We don't WanNa be the people on the punchline and the economist joke who has in the can opener no I I hear. And this is a good way to phrase the question. Here's the way I would respond to the epidemiologists that you guys are supposed to be the ones who take the numbers seriously. So do the numbers here. What they're saying is something like A. We can't get enough testing so I my gosh you'd have to test people every every day. That's just not true. All you have to do is do the numbers here if you tested people on average about once every two weeks and even if your test has what they call a false negative rate you failed to catch some people who are actually infectious. Even under those circumstances you can get our zero below one and I'm really disappointed and want to challenge them. Why do they switch into this kind of know? Nothing mode of that. Just won't work. And then they the ones who claim they're the ones who do the math. They just stopped doing the math. Don't let me be clear about what it would mean to test people on average about once every two weeks. This means running about twenty million tests a day. That is a huge expansion in the testing capacity that we have in. It's never been the case that public health authorities had the kind of resources to do that kind of testing. So I understand why they're saying it's not possible but just think about other cases where we've done something like this the TSA screens about five million Americans a day and you could have imagined a time before nine. Eleven where people were saying. Oh my God you could never screen all people who get on airplanes just impossible and so we have stop flying because we might have a terrorist attack or something you know if we're serious about scaling out to millions a day. We got this economy that could prove twenty trillion dollars where the value. We've got a one hundred and sixty million workers. We organize ourselves to administer twenty million tests a day. It's really not that big a challenge. It isn't something that was ever available to public health before but we could easily decide to do it now and I really WanNa just insist. And I'm going to get aggressive about this. Epidemiologist can't just go into no nothing mode and dismiss this without actually doing the math and engaging seriously so. I think that many epidemiologists that I know at least would say. It's not that we're not doing the math at all. They say you know we live on math. We're not ignoring the math. I think the first thing they would say the second thing I think they would say is that they have to recognize not the normative claim that we ought to or we might be able to generate twenty million tests today but rather the predictive claim because they engage in minute to minute prediction to of whether this particular president with this particular configuration of economic forces facing him is even plausibly capable of doing what you think we normally ought to do and I think someone would say we concede that it would. We should have twenty million tests. The I have not heard anybody. Meteorologists saying it doesn't matter about the test they also we need the testing. We need in a very serious way. But if they have a different assessment of the empirical probabilities. Well Yeah let me let me just say I understand that but I think people have to stick to their area of expertise. They understand the math of these models. They're not experts in politics. Public expenditure mobilization. I don't think they're the ones who should make for everybody judgment about what's politically feasible. And then worst of all having made that judgment. Hide it behind some phony assertion like you'd have to test people every day what they should say. I think is the same thing I'm saying. Which is like look if you want to be sure. You're below with our zero below one at any level of prevalence the United States. You'RE GONNA need to test something like twenty million people a day and then let's leave others to figure out if setting ourselves up to do that kind of testing would actually be less costly than continuing to do what we're doing to the economy. I think some epidemiologists at least privately worry that if they say more or less what you're saying that that's an invitation to the trump administration to say even without the twenty million tests a day we can return to greater degree of normalcy. And that if that happens it could genuinely lead to a public health disaster but let me just jump in on this because this is exactly the thing I've been saying I would say exactly the same to anybody in science. You cannot tell people things. That are just factually untrue. Because you think that the political spin is such that will get better outcomes that way and give you a very clear example of how this is coming back to bite us the W. H. O. And some supporting authorities said out masks. Don't help so don't use masks now. It's just not true. If you've got everybody who goes out in New York City for example to wear a mask that could reduce our zero. The reason they said something that wasn't true is because they were worried quite reasonably that. We don't have enough masks worried if people ran out to buy masks. We wouldn't have masks for the people in hospitals who need them the most but it was a huge mistake to say something that was misleading bordering on being false to try and achieve a good outcome what scientists need to do is stick to what's true protect our credibility and then tell others well given that it's true. That masks will protect people. You may face a sudden. Surge in demand for mass. You better move right away to make sure your hospital workers have the masks. They get the first in line to get those masks but we just should have stuck to the truth there and my answer to the epidemiologist right now is the same. I don't see any danger in saying consistently if we test on the scale of twenty million people a day and we isolate everybody who's positive everybody else can return to work and we can contain this pandemic and if you need to go on and say if we just start sending people to work without testing without any strategy for identifying who's positive and isolating them we will kill hundreds of thousands of people. I just don't see why those are hard statements to make clearly and directly to the public. We'll be back in just a moment. Business Casual in new podcast by morning group. That makes business news enjoyable relatable and dare I say it fun host Kinsey Grant Interviews. The biggest names in business covering topics like how technology is changing the fitness industry to the economics of influence or marketing. It's the business podcast that makes you smarter and makes you laugh. Listen to business casual. Wherever you get your podcasts I WanNa ask you about this potential disciplinary gap that you're describing and maybe I should be more aggressive and say maybe there's even a disciplinary war that's emerging and roughly speaking there are the epidemiologists most of whom also have. Md's as well as new degrees in public health or statistics on the one hand and on the other hand are economists and each is in his element because the public health epidemiologists are spending their whole lives studying what happens when disease spreads and diseases greatly dangerous and it's spreading and the economists spend their whole careers studying what happens in especially if two people do macro studying the rise and fall of economies and our economy is now in a kind of a free fall each says. My disaster is very very bad and needs to be taken seriously and there's a kind of struggle going on it. Sounds like perhaps this is i. Pop Asus over. Which struggle is the greatest which challenges the greatest where the priorities should lie and there also may be some epistemological differences because the epidemiologists are accustomed to thinking about avoiding harm? And they don't spend a lot of time thinking about costs and benefits and in contrast economists whole undertaking is to think about costs and benefits is. Does that resonate at all with what? You're observing. I think there's a lot of truth in what you said there so i. I don't disagree with that at all. I also think the important remember that I think everybody. The vast majority of people operating in these different camps are doing so with good intentions and in good faith. So this isn't a case of of bad actors. I think it is hard to appreciate the perspectives and the arguments of others. But let me just say that Ellen? Garber is actually an MD and PhD economist. He's not an epidemiologist model. Or but you know. He's certainly knows those guys so Allen. I really in a sense trying to bring these two communities together and the ironic part if you extend that you think about the public health people if you think about what Alan I R- saying we're saying in effect. Those economists who are telling you all about stimulus and so forth. We're spending way too much on their proposal and we're not spending nearly enough on the kind of thing that you in public. Health have been arguing for for so many years so oddly on the public health side were coming in from the outside. But we're saying actually you know you guys were right and we should have been spending billions more on you and so. Let's just do it in a hurry. Now there's a special dimension that makes a little bit tough in the epidemiological community right now. Which is that. They have been attacked. Basically by trolls. Who are trying to say that like this imperial college study with many deaths and some of these other studies were politically motivated. So they've been blindsided by suddenly being pulled into the world of the trolls and vitriol and lies and they don't quite know how to respond some of them understandably are feeling defensive and you know at first glance they may worry a little bit about. Well how do we know that? Romer and garber aren't just you know kind of one more you know subtle attempt to try and undermine our credibility but here. I think what we need to do is just engage and engage on the specifics. Take each other's arguments seriously and I think we should be able to all come to consensus around some of these basics. Like even if we don't know things prevalence if we test at a sufficient scale and then isolate the people who test positive we can get a below zero and then from the economist side. I think we can say and this is a policy. We can stick with indefinitely. Everybody who tells you well. I've got this policy and I know it's so damaging we can't do it for very long but let's just do it for a little while and then the never say well and then we'll do something else. We should be extremely skeptical right now of anybody who says well just do this really damaging thing and then we'll make it up as we go. Do you have a view? On whether president trump should be invoking the defense production act in order to compel the kinds of investments. That you're talking about. I mean the analogy to World War. Two into other wars is pretty striking here. What the World War. Two historians are always telling us. Is that the build up post Pearl Harbor actually really took awhile. You know that it took a couple of years for the United States to generate the kind of they also think that the United States won the war because of its capacity to mobilise productions. So don't get me wrong there in broad agreement with you but there's a question of temporary. There's two ways to respond to a question like that one is yes indeed. President trump should or president trump. Should not I think we just economists have to get out of the mode of thinking that we're philosopher kings? Who can tell somebody else? Here's what you should do you know and it takes self control and discipline. Those are not the right kind of answers to provide. But here's the kind of answered that I think would be helpful. Here's why something like the Defense Production. Act MIGHT HELP US ramp up production very quickly thing about just masks or bodysuits. We say to a manufacturer. We'd like you to increase the output of your equipment by factor of ten so we can get a surge of production in the next few weeks and months to then meet the sudden demand. Were facing and we want you to do it at the same price Sell your goods at the same price. Were selling your goods before well. The manufacturer then says listen. You're asking me to buy all this equipment which will last for ten years and you're asking me to run this equipment for maybe two or three months six months the demand Mike. Go Away and then. I've paid for equipment that could have been producing for ten years but I only get to use it for six months and then I'm going to suffer huge losses if I operate that way. So if the market operated the way we describe it in textbooks we just say okay well. The market price for a surge in production asks is like ten times what the market price was before and that will help you know. Give you an incentive Mr manufacturer MS manufacturer to take risks. That you'RE GONNA end up with obsolete capital equipment in a few months but now we have this constraint which is just the fact which is that many people the vast majority of people respond more realistically to what they see as price gouging or You know kind of opportunism so the reality is we can't let the market do its job with high prices to motivate production. So what might work in a case like this is for the government to say okay? We'll buy the equipment for the production line. We'll rent it to you on a month by month. Basis you provide the workers you do. The design manufacturing sell the masks. Something like the prices you sold before and then if it turns out the demand falls off in a in a few months you can stop paying rent on the machines we. The government eat the loss of machines. That are now obsolete I think this would be a socially acceptable way to radically scale up. Production and the trick here is to avoid the moralistic kind of analysis. And just look pragmatically and say gee if we're talking about a surge. Somebody might bear some costs because equipment becomes obsolete in a few months and we as taxpayers would like our government to bear that cost. Because we really WANNA get this equipment very quickly and that I think could be done either with or without the the DP and might be an effective way of doing it. But I think there's touched a room for the president to do what you described in a voluntary deal with the companies without having to invoke centralized industrial. Yeah I think and there's just been some lack of clarity like this is also unfamiliar and we're moving so fast. I think some firms are worried that how the DP will be used is that some official will say you have to expand your production of masks. You have to charge the prices from before in effect you have to bear the cost of the equipment which may turn out to be obsolete very soon so as long as we make it clear that the DP is really a mechanism for. Just brokering a deal. That is the deal that we as taxpayers and citizens want but which for variety of reasons. We can't allow through a mechanism where we just pay a very high price for production right now. This is just a mechanism that would let us use our government to broker the deal. We want which is fundamentally. We just need the masks as fast as possible. Paul let me ask you one more question before you go. And this has to do with the relationship between your own academic expertise and trajectory and the work that when you the Nobel Prize and your views in this particular crisis. So at a gross level of generality your works innovation had a lot to do with taking into account in models of macroeconomic growth the way that new ideas innovations and technological change actually affects trajectories. Do you find that when you're thinking about this set of problems in your sticking out your own position that your view maybe in some direct way influenced by your sense that yes we're in this crisis. Yes there's a trajectory that the epidemiologists and others are predicting but they're not taking into account the kinds of innovative interventions. They could be undertaken of precisely. The kind. You're talking about yeah. I one thing about using twitter as it does force you to boil things down. I send out a tweet where I said that I've spent my whole career trying to make a single point which is just because something is unfamiliar. It doesn't mean it's impossible now. Who CAN ARGUE WITH THAT? But it something which we don't keep track of we don't think about so when somebody says testing twenty million people basically. I've never seen that. I have no experience with it so unfamiliar. Oh that must be impossible. No actually it's not impossible and every time we go down a path where we try and do something new when we try to estimate. Well how hard is this going to be? It's inevitably much less hard much less costly than we think. Because we discover ways to do it once we start trying to do it we discover ways to do it the we we never even knew were possible so. I'm not only confident that we could afford to scale out. Exactly what we're doing right now absolutely certain that if we start doing that we're gonna find ways to do it at much lower cost and much more quickly much less disruption than than anybody imagines right now and you can actually go back and look at various episodes. Like how hard is it going to be to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions that caused acid rain or like? How hard is it going to be to stop using the chlorofluorocarbons which were destroying the ozone layer? You go back and read that you know the literature and the debate before it was like this is going to be the end of life as we know it if we don't have chlorofluorocarbons but you know we banned them. We found an alternative. We stopped using them. And you know as Brady Odin role on you know. There's a almost unlimited infinite number of alternative ways to do things but because they're unfamiliar. We tend to think they're not possible and we need to just lose that kind of fear in commit to. Let's go down this path. We don't know exactly how we're going to do it. But we're going to find a way to do it and once we commit it'll turn out fine Paul. Thank you very much for your insights. I think your core insight which you described as spending your career on that unfamiliarity is not. The same thing is impossibilities tremendously. Valuable in this particular moment and I wanna join you in a hoping that we're able to scale up testing Other interventions with the kind of speed and capacity that it would take on your account to to make the interventions that you're talking about. Thank you very much. You're well thanks for being so you know so patient with my my in my arguments not at all. That's that's a sign of passion in a moment when we need. We need lots of that. Talking to Paul Romer was genuinely fascinating for me. The Passion with which he expressed his point of view captures to my mind. The intensity of this moment and the importance of listening seriously to experts of all kinds as we try to chart a course forward on the one hand I benefited hugely from hearing the core insight that Paul described as the primary one of his career and for which he won the Nobel Prize namely that the unfamiliarity of challenge does not translate into the possibility of a new and creative response to it on the other hand. I was a little surprised to discover myself defending epidemiologists in this conversation against rather sharp charge that they're not doing the math properly or that they're failing to take into account the capacity of the system to respond and to produce twenty million tests a day in the end. I think a significant part of the dispute between Paul and the epidemiologists depends on the question of impeachable reality namely. Can we actually do this? And on that question you'd have to be genuine prophet to give a definitive answer until I speak to you again. Be Safe be careful and be well. Deep background is brought to you by pushing industries our producer. Lydia Gene Cod with research. Help from zooey win. Mastering is by Jason Gabrielle. And Martine Gonzalez. Her showrunner is Sophie. Mckibben our theme music is composed by Louis Garra special. Thanks to the Pushkin Brass Malcolm glad well Jacob Weisberg and Michelle Obama. I'm no feldman I also write a regular column for Bloomberg opinion. Would you can find at Bloomberg dot com slash feldman to discover Bloomberg's original slate of podcasts? Go TO BLOOMBERG DOT COM slash podcasts. You can follow me on twitter. At Noah are feldman this is deep background. We just want to be treated fairly. I don't care what he says. He's not getting mogul. Hi everyone is true. Mainly MSNBC correspondent and host of a new podcast into America featuring the journalist of NBC News. It's a show about politics about policy and about the power that both had shaping the lives of the American people each week. We're going into America to tell voters stories. New episodes drop every Thursday search for into America. Where you're listening right now and subscribe.
S4 Ep. 5: The Road to Hell
"Before. We get back to the show. There's another podcast I WANNA! Tell you about. It the investigative podcast in the dark in its second season examines the case of Curtis Flowers, a Black Man Mississippi tried six times for the same crime by a white prosecutor determined to execute him. In. The dark team of reporters spent more than a year looking into flowers as case and they uncovered shocking new evidence. Witnesses recanted to the team. Reporters discovered an alternate suspect in the case. And they exposed junk science being used in the courtroom. After the podcast aired. The US Supreme Court overturned Curtis. Flowers is conviction. And after almost twenty four years, flowers was released on bond. You can listen to in the dark wherever you listen to podcasts. Is it true that he's kind of a private and quiet like introverted person when he's by himself. Me Or him. Asking him if you want to weigh into that's. He definitely is. That's Trina Edwards. We were talking about her husband Edwin Edwards the former governor of Louisiana. Trina is almost forty. Two and Edwin will be ninety three in August. She was passing along my questions because he has a hard time hearing over the phone. Is it that you're a quiet kind of introverted person when you're not in public when you're home by yourself. I'm a very different person when I'm not on the stage. The Way I am. I'm very quiet and and private and I don't drink at all. I. Don't use drugs at all and so. Now. Knows Fun having life is taking care of my. Seven year old child. And my wife. Okay. Trina is Edwin. Third Wife. They've been married since two thousand eleven. The two of them met when she started writing him letters in federal prison. Edwards served eight years on corruption charges. He was convicted of rigging casino licences during his final term governor. When he got out, he intrigued brought their relationship to reality TV. In this story is. I is why. Show went off the air after eight episodes. Since then Edwards is run for Congress and lost, and he's had a couple of healthcare's, but he still has a remarkable command of Louisiana political history, much of which he shaped during his four terms as governor. To understand David Duke you need to understand what makes Louisiana politics distinctive, the unique alliances, the entrenched corruption, and the charismatic figures who've molded the state in their own images. And Edwin Edwards is Louisiana politics. personified. Edwards is first. Gubernatorial campaign began in Nineteen seventy-one, first of all spoke French, and in in Nineteen, seventy one. There were still people old people. In Louisiana, who? Understood English but prefer to hear and figuring French. So made some franchising. It helped me with that particular group of people. I mean he had a coalition a distinctly Louisiana Coalition. He had Cajun's blacks. That's Marc morial. He worked with Edwards. Is the state legislator and as the mayor of New Orleans in Louisiana? If you can put those two voting basis together in those days, it was unbeatable coalition. Unlike most of his white democratic peers Edwards was an unabashed civil rights champion. He invited Black Louisianans to work in government positions and helped craft state constitution that outlawed discrimination. He also made Louisiana Richer. As Governor Edwards helped change how crude oil got taxed moving from a flat fee per barrel to a percentage of the barrel price. When oil prices shot up, state revenues soared, so did Edwin Edwards his popularity. Stories about Edwards. Gambling and womanising didn't hurt him with voters. The MIASMA of corruption and scandal that hung over his administration didn't damage them either. There were six grand jury investigations during Edwards is first term, but he wasn't indicted in any of those cases. It seemed like the silver-haired silver. Silverton governor could talk his way out of anything. When asked about some iffy political donations, Edwards said it was illegal for them to give, but not for me to receive. Edwards led Louisiana for eight years leaving office. March nineteen eighty. The only thing stopping him from being governor for life for term limits that Edwards himself had pushed for. So he went on a brief hiatus, sitting out the next election cycle, then returning in nineteen, eighty-three to reclaim his throne. In the last days of that campaign Edwards fired off his most famous one liner. The only way I could lose. This election is for got caught in bed with A. Dead Girl, all live boy and. That took on a life its own and has been quoted many times. By other people as I got enough or Thank you. Does he regret saying that, or is he happy that it? A guaranteed regret anything he's ever done hold on. Do you regret saying that, or are you happy? No. It's one of the things that I said that. People identified with being thought it was kind of funny. Edwards was right to believe that nineteen eighty-three election was a lock. He'd win it with sixty two percent of the vote. To celebrate his victory, he did something audacious, even by Edwin Edwards standards. If there's one thing Louisiana governor elect Edwin Edwards knows it's Outta. Have a good time. Even with a four million dollar campaign sits staring him down Edwards chartered jumbo jets announced he was going to Paris and invited anyone willing to contribute ten thousand dollars to come on law. More than six hundred people joined Edwards on that trip to France which was touted as the largest single political fundraiser ever thrown by an American politician. The writer Roy Blunt Junior on assignment for people magazine went along for the ride. You know the whole deal did not. Smell of righteousness. That's for sure. But. Some people said is hard to be. Proper and having a real good time. The french-speaking Edwards and his crew of Louisianans, eight high class at the palace verse I. The governor also received a warm greeting from a non outside Notre Dame cathedral and she gave him what she described as a French kiss, which was actually of course more lacking nuns guest, but She can take a joke, and so he said okay sister, but just don't let me get into the habit. And all of his supporters gathered round, cheered and beamed, and that's kind of thing the had come to Paris for. The party ended Fred when Edwards, as soon as those jumbo jets landed back in Louisiana, the campaign of eighty three was great. It was one of the finest experiences of my life service in the governor's office from eighty four to eighty seven. It was not it was. It was a very difficult experience. That said Moreland he was Edwin. Edwards is assistant. By the mid nineteen eighty S, oil and gas revenues had plummeted in the state was facing a huge deficit. Edwards tried to fill that hole with tax increases. His constituents didn't find that rakish charming. You know when you're trying to raise taxes on people who are really struggling already. It's a very precarious political situation to be in so this tax package was probably the beginning of his unpopularity. In February nineteen. Eighty five Edwin Edwards is run of bad lot got a whole lot worse, the Fifty Count Federal Indictment Charges Governor Edwards and six others, including his brethren, a nephew with racketeering and fraud in a multimillion dollar scheme, involving the sale of state approval for medical facility construction projects. Edwards was accused basically of accepting bribes to steer state money to his friends. The trial dragged on somehow for fourteen weeks. Moreland spent most of it on a payphone outside the New Orleans courtroom. I was constantly calling the governor's office in Baton Rouge in getting the phone messages in returning those phone calls in explaining to people under the circumstances you know the governor can't talk to you right this minute and We tried to be as diplomatic about it as we could. And of course, most people knew where he was in. He was going through, but they call anyway. The case ended in a mistrial. Edwards was later retried and found not guilty. When that verdict came in, the prosecutor said if we didn't make him honest. I hope we made him sorry. When I asked Edwards about the case, he didn't sound all that sorry. That was an example of. Of A stupid process prosecutor, who didn't know anything about was happening. Today by their him when people said he was profiting from his role as the governor. Did it bother you when people said you were profiting from your role as governor? No. because. There's no truth to it, so it didn't bother me at all i. just laughed about it. Edwards may have been laughing, but he was still in a precarious spot. In good times, most people in Louisiana loved his misadventures. But, these were in good times. The boom years of the nineteen seventies were long gone. In one, thousand, nine, hundred, seven Louisiana was ready for a change. I noticed my opponents. Don't make many people angry. That doesn't surprise you. Does it politics as usual? I don't like Louisiana Politics I love Louisiana. I love Louisiana enough to make some people angry. Buddy Romer was a congressman from North Louisiana. In the last four weeks of the nineteen eighty-seven governor's race, he's zoomed from fifth to first in the polls. By Folksy TV ads a string of newspaper endorsements. Romer lead Edwards by five percentage points after the first round of voting setting the stage for a runoff. But when Edwards emerged after one a m to greet his supporters, he made a move that nobody had anticipated. And I have determined that under the circumstances since I did not run I. That it would be inappropriate for me to continue this election. Supporters were stunned. Some of his family cried. He's sixty. He's been governor twelve years. He said that's long enough. Most voters thought so too. There would be no runoff. Romer would be the next governor of Louisiana. and Edwin Edwards it looked outside observers like his career was finished. But. That's not how Edward sought. Dropping out of the race, that was the first step in his comeback plan. I spoke with him that night and he. He was absolutely resolute. Good Look, you know I'm GonNa let him have it. I'M GONNA. Turn it over to him. He's been going all over the state saying he's GonNa. Fix this. He's going to fix that and he's GonNa Disintegrate. You Mark My word. Edwards had it all mapped out. He would let Romer run the state for a few difficult years then reemerge to save the day. It wouldn't be that simple. The nineteen, ninety one election would be about a lot more than who got to sleep and the governor's mansion. It'd be a fight over one Louisiana was and what it should be. An, Edwin Edwards and Buddy Romer wouldn't be the only ones in that battle. In Nineteen ninety-one David Duke was at the height of his powers. He'd honed his message. Don't a rabid fan base and come shockingly close to getting elected to the US Senate. The governor's race would be the culmination of his life's work. This was Duke's chance to turn his words into actions to take control of an entire state. And make it into whatever he wanted. This is slow burn. I'm Josh Levin? Episode five the road to Hell. What's the number one sign of a bad home security system? Oh. It's so complicated that you never use it. That's exactly what simplisafe has been a decade fighting against. They believed that simple safer, and that's why simplisafe is the home security system for right now. SIMPLISAFE was designed to be easy to use while protecting your whole home twenty four seven. Order online with the click of a button open. The box placed the sensors. Plug it in in. Your home is protected around the clock. You don't need to have technician or a sales person. Come visit you at home. And you don't pay any outrageous monthly fees or sign a two year contract. Simply safe was named best overall home security of twenty twenty by us, news and world, report, and there twenty four seven professional monitoring and emergency dispatch starts at just fifty cents a day. Had this simplisafe dot com slash slow-burn and get free shipping and a sixty day money back guarantee that simplisafe dot com slash slow-burn to make sure they know that our show saint you. When Edwin Edwards was three years old. The governor of Louisiana a man kidnapped. It was nineteen thirty and the governor was Huey, long? The Guy who got snatched was about to expose rampant graft and state government. Four days after he disappeared, the victim reemerged to say not at all credibly that he'd staged the kidnapping himself. In a radio broadcast, the man announced that Governor Huey long with his best friend in the world. Long was shot and killed at the state capital five years later. A lot of people in Louisiana will tell you that he was the best friend the state ever had. Yes. Long was a corrupt dictator ensure he orchestrated the kidnapping, but he also built bridges and hospitals and paid for it all with money. He pride free from the big oil companies. Edwin Edwards carried on Huey long tradition of economic populism. Like Long Edwards US money, not from big oil to build bridges and hospitals all that and he finished construction of the Louisiana, Suto. David Duke on the other hand said he wouldn't follow long's example. Ray Nate another populist, not apart gross like. For more government, but a populous for the state, of Louisiana, burlesque government and more power to the people thinking. In reality dukes brand of populism had nothing to do with shrinking government. It was built on racial resentment. dukes message journalist John McGuinness wrote held a lot of appeal for the children and grandchildren, a few long's old voters, I, doubt the duke cared one way or the other about long's policies, but he did respect the man's power in fame in reference to to make a point about his own celebrity. The ladies that do the tours, the state capital not far from here. They always tell me they say you know. There's two things people want to see when they come the state Capitol and Baton Rouge. They WanNa see what you re long shot and we're David. Duke says. Buddy Romer offered voters a third option. A complete break from the sleaze and self-dealing did marred Louisiana politics from the long era to the present day. The Harvard Educated Romer said that long's legacy was something for nothing. Somebody else pays. Romer promised a new era of responsibility one that would earn his home state national respect. He called this the Romer Revolution. Most people in America will never come. To Louisiana. Most people in America will no US only by a reputation. I'll put Louisiana I and will make them stop laughing. And Start List. Roamers big initiative was a plan to modernize the state's approach to taxation. One day early with votes to spare tax reform finally made it through the Louisiana lead after we're talking a new way. Of approaching our old problems that are eating US alive. Romer was adamant that his fiscal reform plan was not a tax increase. He said it would just shift more of the burden to people higher incomes. In the spring of one, thousand, nine, hundred nine, he made that pitch to Louisiana's voters who needed to approve the proposal in a statewide referendum. David Duke then a newly elected state legislator was one of the governors, most outspoken critics, overall a six hundred and twenty five million dollar tax increase, and this from a governor who swore to would not raise taxes. I'm going to ignore David Duke. I mean I. don't Care What the American Nazi Party thinks about this program. A lot of people in Louisiana did care what David Duke had to say. Duke staged a series of rallies across the state railing against Romer and presenting himself as the champion of the working class at one event, a Louisiana anti-tax tea party. He climbed aboard a riverboat and tossed him. t into the Mississippi River. You don't raise taxes in a recession. Duke said You don't tax your way into prosperity. The Blues on the streets of new. Orleans are now being son in the governor's mansion. After voters resoundingly rejected new taxes, digging Louisiana's already troubled economy ever deeper in debt and forcing reform minded governor Buddy Roemer to scramble his way out of a new financial crisis. As of May Nineteen, eighty-nine, the Roma Revolution was pretty much dead. Later that year. Rumours wife Patti left him. When the political consultant Raymond Strother visited rumour and early nineteen ninety-one. The governor was still in a deep funk. He said I'm glad to see. Need your help. He said. I need to write a letter to Patty. I know of made some mistakes, but he said I want her to come home, and he said helped me write this letter. You're a good writer. struthers said that he wasn't the man for that job. His own wife had just left him a few weeks earlier. But strother who helped drummer win in nineteen, Eighty, seven was available to work on the governor's reelection campaign. He said move move into the mansion and I did and it was nice. You know you have a dry cleaners, downstairs and He. Put your shoes outside the door every night and they come. They start the next day. She Shannon. And every night when I'd go to my room. It'd be. Pitcher of milk and ice. And some still warm cookies. How good were the cookies? Cookies were splendid. They were every afternoon. I sometimes again just before breakfast so I always had fresh cooksey probably gained ten pounds already fat so. Apart from cookies stronger has no fond memories of working on rumors reelection the first big conflict came when a new agey rumour advisor named Danny Walker suggested that the governor where rubber band around his wrist. And he said well Larry Time. We have a bad fuel pop. That rubber abandoned house pain pretty soon. You won't be having bad thoughts, I, said you. Keep your damn. Rubber Bands Yourself Danny. Rumour actually liked the rubber band idea. The governor also embraced Robert. Full James Book all I really need to know I. Learned in kindergarten, which touted the virtues of sharing everything and playing fair. But he was ended that Guru sorta stuff touchy feely. I can't stand that kind of thing. After reading that self help guide. The governor decided he'd been too abrasive. In his State of the state, address Romer apologize to the legislature for his inflexibility and insensitivity. Let's say goodbye to me. And Halo We. Let's say goodbye lines in the sand. For Strother, the self-help stuff was bad, but what happened next was worse. One day at the mansion. He happened upon meeting that he wasn't supposed to know about. Aso Mary Matlin a whole bunch of. High Echelon Republic considering round a table with by the dining room table with buddy. And I said Oh my God. Number had always been conservative. As a congressman, he tended to vote with Republican President Ronald. Reagan and against his own Democratic Party. But. struthers says Romer had always assured him he would move to the GOP. He broke that promise and March nineteen ninety-one. Romer explained himself at a press conference outside the White House. President George H W Bush. Just welcome him into the Republican fold. Parties not the most important thing in American. Families are integrity ideals, commitment principles, those are more important and on those issues I never chain, but when it comes to political action. I will be a Republican and proudly work in the party. Romer was the first sitting governor in modern American history to switch parties. Ideology Aside Romer thought the move with smart strategy. Edwin Edwards was going to grab votes from his left. No matter what. Romer figured that branding himself. A Republican would help stave off right wing challenger. Who might threaten his re-election? The statewide polls showed that the top three candidates or Duke. Edwards and myself and in the last poll I was in the forties. Thirties and do ten eleven or twelve with some undecided. I felt good about the politics. Raymond strother did not feel good about the politics. It was a dumb move for him and me. It was just a dumb move. Democrats in Louisiana felt burned by Romer. And Republicans including state. Party, officials were ensure they trust him either. Billy none Gasser the Republican chair. Who'd undercut the effort to censure David Duke resented that Romer hadn't included him in discussions about the party switch. And Romer forgetting the lessons of ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten cursed out on Gasser, rather than trying to appease him. The Louisiana Republicans made their endorsement in the governor's race at a state convention in June nineteen ninety-one. That endorsement wouldn't go to Buddy Roemer or David Duke. The GOP's choice was a pro-life Congressman named Client Holloway the preferred candidate of the Christian coalition. Romer knowing that he wouldn't endorsed, didn't bother to show up at the convention. But Duke and his supporters made presence known. Here saw the Anti Duke activist. Bats Ricky described the scene in nineteen ninety one. It was like a do convention. They were just. Booing indiscriminately anything in every body, and they were just wild and they were. Then Duke was egging them on. You know to disrupt things. They had to sing Dixie to quiet them down. Quite literally they tried God, bless America and the battle hymn of the republic, but it wasn't until. Saying I wish I were in the land of cotton it a hush fell over the convention. But he romer had tried to consolidate the conservative vote. That plan had been a total failure. The splintering of the Louisiana. Republican Party would be a gift to Edwin Edwards. And to David Duke Let's take a quick break. Now is the time to catch up on the PODCASTS. You've always wanted to listen to you. And so many of them are available on Luminary. Luminaries subscription podcast network with original shows. You won't find anywhere else. One of their new shows is murder on the towpath. Captivating true crime mini series hosted by a word winning journalist Soledad O'Brien. Murderer on the towpath explores the nineteen sixty four murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer in the neighborhood of town in Washington DC her death resulted in a trial that rocked the country and became a time capsule of all the racial tension scandal in distrust of the nineteen sixties. It remains one of the most fascinating unsolved cases in US history. Listen to murder on the towpath only on luminary good a luminary dot link slash towpath and get a seven day free trial of luminaries original podcasts. That's luminary dot link slash towpath. Cancel anytime terms apply. No other state does elections like Louisiana the credit for that or the blame belongs to Edwin Edwards. The first time he ran for Governor Edwards had to compete in three separate races a closed. Democratic primary a democratic runoff, and then the general election. In the days when Democrats dominated Louisiana that last race against the Republican also ran was pointless nuisance. It was like winning the hundred meter dash at the Olympics, then having to outsprinted kid pulled from the stands to get your gold medal. And I I. Didn't like that idea. I said well look less change it everybody. Qualifies at the same time regardless of party, affiliation and everybody votes for anybody he or she wishes regards the registration. Louisiana's open primary system went into effect in nineteen seventy-five. Edwards cruised to re election that year as the Republican Party didn't even field a candidate. But in the Reagan years, the GOP surged throughout the south. By nineteen ninety-one, the open primary was open in a way. Edwards may be had anticipated. It was a true two party free for all. Political writer John McGuinness had a name for the showdown between David Deep at Edwards and Buddy Romer. Call this, the the race from Hell you have three very angry. Men candidates for governor and the people aren't happy either. In the beginning, the race from hell wasn't exactly rollicking. One reason for that was a package of campaign finance reforms part of buddy roamers, good government agenda. The new law limited individual contributions to five thousand dollars and major state, wide races, band cash contributions of more than one hundred dollars and required that small cash donations be reported. Do could pass the bucket with impunity during his nineteen ninety Senate campaign because that was a federal race, but thanks to Romer the revolutionary. Louisiana's guidelines on cash. Giving were now stricter than the nation's. Hamstrung by these new rules Duke held fewer rallies as a candidate for governor then when he ran for the Senate. And Edwards is fundraising slowed to a trickle. He raised sixteen million dollars during the nineteen eighty-three governor's race in the one, thousand, nine, hundred, one primary, he brought in a little more than one million dollars and Buddy Romer. He preferred staying in going out to meet his public. Rumour had always been like this Raymond Straw there saw it up close during the nineteen eighty-seven race, he was sitting back to campaign headquarters and re novels, usually mystery novels, and he wouldn't go out and campaign. We'd go to a restaurant to eat lunch and he would sit in the back of the restaurant in a corner with his back to the room. So nobody would seem and recognize him and come over and start talking. Rumors. Charismatic misanthrope routine. And Nineteen eighty-seven and it seemed possible he could pull off the same trick in Nineteen ninety-one. Michelle shower started volunteering for the rumour campaign when she was still in College Louisiana Tech then got a job on staff right after graduation. She says the when the governor did make public appearances early on, he seemed totally energized, and he literally walked into the room. Pushing both doors open, good afternoon, everybody great to see you know. He was clapping and smiling and really exuberant, and it was really very exciting to be in a room with them. He was just really engaging the crowd and I would say for the first part of the campaign. That's the way he was. He really came into room and made it alive. The problem for Romer was a lot of swing. Voters felt drawn to another candidate. At first Straw like the focus group results. He was hearing blue collar. Democrats said they couldn't stand hypothetical candidate with all of David dukes characteristics, but then as soon as they learned, it was David Duke. They'd say well. That's what politicians do our. Cake well. He was a young man in Nazi while he was a young guy. College kids do stupid stuff. You know whatever it was. They make an excuse for him. While? Rohmer struggled to hold his coalition Together. Duke was finding a new way to expand his appeal. It's been tough for me some Tom last couple of years a lot of media tax, but was made made it better for me. That I'm a Christian I work hard. I believe in Christ and I'M GONNA keep on fighting for you and for the future Louisiana thank you very much. Do convoked is Christianity far more in the governor's race than in any of his previous campaigns. He used religion as a shield and sword. At a debate in September Duke, said that he'd repented for his past sins in those who tried to discredit him were being. UNCHRISTIAN I've certainly been intolerant before my life. But we condemn, and point their fingers at me I'd like them to look in their own lives and ask if they'd never heard a friend or change their opinions. It wasn't clear based on polling. How White People in Louisiana were responding to Dukes latest attempt at image management? Susan Howell had been struggling for years to get a handle on duke voters. Hell was a professor of political science at the University of New Orleans. She taken her first. Look at Duke during his run for the State House when his opponent John Trine. A phone, survey. How old's poll in the primary had duke at seven percent? She was off by twenty six points. And I was stunned. And, then John Trine stood up on a table and he was done to and I remember him saying the people of memory are not racist and I thought well. Maybe we should rethink that. trine fired Howell after the primary, so she'd have to wait poll. Another do grace. But, she had a pretty good idea of what was going on with his supporters. People were reluctant to say I'm going to vote for Duke because they were afraid of being labeled racists. Even talking to you know On an anonymous phone call to upholster. It's like people are reluctant to say how much alcohol they drink or were. They ever arrested? This became a research challenge for howl and her graduate students. How could they get David? Duke Silent Army to break it silence. We came up with some alternate. I would call sneakier indirect questions. To identify someone who might be sympathetic to Duke. One of them, which actually worked pretty well in increasing the duke support. In. The poll was to ask people if they approve or disapprove, but the Martin Luther King Holiday. How conducted a survey one month before the gubernatorial primary. Respondents were asked to they were voting for and also how they felt about statements like. If blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites. The raw number showed that thirty five percent of people were voting for Buddy Romer thirty percent for Edwin Edwards and twelve percent for David Duke. But when how old accounted for sneakier, indirect questions support for Romer and Edwards dept and Duke. Support doubled. Given the margin of error, the election was too close to call. That's how things look from the outside. On the inside, there was gossip about a possible secret alliance and the governor's race. Roamers political consultant Raymond's brother heard that speculation. The rumor that we heard was it at Edwards was encouraging and perhaps funding David Duke. Edwards wanted revenge on Buddy Romer after losing to him in nineteen, eighty seven. But Edwards also knew how to play the odds. He was smart. Enough theory went to sense that he'd have a better shot against an ex clansmen then against the incumbent governor. nobody had any proof whatsoever, but I saw brandon anybody on either side. Who didn't think Edwards was playing funny with David Duke. When I got Edwards on the phone. I asked if there was any truth all that chatter. Did hear his supporters do anything to help duke make the runoff like giving him money or or propping him up in some way. You. Help you get into the runoff with you know? I I didn't I I didn't do that because I didn't think it was necessary and I would've. Got Caught at and so I didn't do that. I just let it run as rape Iran mine. Role Moran is. and. That's as far as I got chasing down that rumor. But I did learn something else. The Edwards campaign it turns out had a totally different secret alliance. Clyde Holloway was the pro-life Congressman who've gotten the official endorsement of the Louisiana Republican Party instead of Duke or Romer. He was way back in the polls in a distant, fourth and needed cash. Dare commercials. One of Edwin Edwards closest friends Bob to him mcchord new one of Holloway's campaign advisers. To him, accord says the two of them hatched a plan he would. Show me. Results of a tracking poll which I'll, people confirmed that. Every vote declined Holloway. Lose receiving the getting. WHO's coming directly off of. The sitting Governor Buddy. and. We have people who notched out a lot of money to support it everyone. Everyone's Asir what else they could do it, so we get discussions on. TV radio. I said that would help. US awesomely. Getting in the second private would be able to do. Rather than a sitting governor. To him, accord is describing an electoral double bank shod. Edwards supporters and money to Holloway. Holloway takes votes from Romer. Romer slides out of the runoff and Duke Slides and. We felt that we could be. David do cross substantially. And Motorola would have been a different results bill. Don't WanNa not. Fully at the time, it would have been tight. Governor. Edwards know about this strategy. Yes I informed in this was going on. Here is answerable is be careful. When I asked Edwards about the alliance. He told me he didn't know anything about it. In John McGuinness his book about the nineteen ninety-one Campaign Clyde Holloway's campaign adviser. Bryan Wagner, also denied making any such deal. Wagner died in two thousand eighteen. That said I believe to him accord story to be clear. None of this would have been illegal. Assuming the campaign contributions guy reported. that it was kind of devious away to help David Duke without giving him direct support. I don't WanNa. Make this alliance seem more important than it was those Holloway. Ads were just a small drop in an enormous bucket of campaign spending. In the final days of the race, the owner of a hazardous waste recycling company spent a massive amount of money on anti-roma commercials because he was angry about the governor's environmental regulations. That ad by was a huge deal. The Holloway ads really weren't. But it still telling that the Edwards campaign was willing to take active measures to help. Do get into the runoff. I. Think it is. Very typical of Edwards. That's Quinn Hillier. He was one of Louisiana's most prominent Anti Duke Republicans. He also thinks that words is totally corrupt. Here's what he had to say about the Edwards Holloway Alliance. I'm not saying it's immoral. It's just amoral completely without regard. To the morality of trying to help David Duke get into the runoff, and whether or not that would be good or bad for the state of Louisiana, it certainly was. Playing every political angle and it was at words and his people at their Edwin Edwards Gist. This was in some ways typical Louisiana Chicanery. Politics is sport with a win at all cost mentality. The Duke wasn't a typical candidate. Maybe, the Edwards camp was rate that they're odds were better against Duke Than Romer. But what if they were wrong What if David Duke One? We'll be back in a minute. I wanted to tell you about another podcast. I think you'll love. Deep cover the drug wars is a true story. The begins with the Detroit. FBI agent, going undercover in an outlaw motorcycle gang and ends with the US invasion of a foreign country. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jake Halpern guides listeners on this wild journey of marijuana, motorcycles and mayhem. It's perfect for fans of narcos, sons of anarchy or anything by the CON- brothers. You can hear it now on apple podcasts, or wherever you listen brought to you by Pushkin Industries. Come on in. In. January nineteen eighty-nine David Duke had been a bit player. A second tier candidate in a small suburban race. Now almost three years later, he was a star and a contender. His Election Night Party was a celebration of how far he'd come, and how close he was to winning the state's biggest prize. Oh, you got Duke Dukes is over my shirt. Big Deal. I'd have to. Face if I didn't have to see. On October, nineteenth. Nineteen ninety-one Dukes fans gathered at the pontchartrain center in his home territory of Jefferson parish. They were treated to a short performance by that blonde woman. The Blue Dress who sang at lots of Duke rallies. After Dixie came. We asked. Our leaders and that they might govern with compassion and love and understanding. We ask a special blessing upon this assembly, and that which is done here will be ultimately to the glory of the Kingdom of God. And then David Duke himself took the stage. With every minute gentleman. It appears. That we will be. In a run off the governorship. Back in Nineteen, eighty-nine Dukes First Victory Party. He'd shouted about winning a state. House seat without any big political endorsements. Idea and the political establishment and wind that he was always getting light about. A nineteen ninety-one, he didn't sound bitter or vengeful. This David Duke was smooth, humble conciliatory. He'd figured out how he was supposed to sound and how to make an appeal that wasn't entirely based on grievance. My thanks goes I. To the forest in my life. That's given me strength and help me. Withstand a lot and continue to stand up for you. And That's Jesus Christ Ladies Gentlemen. David Duke was in the runoff with thirty two percent of the vote. Duke finished with two points behind the leader Edwin Edwards. Buddy roamers political consultant. Raymond strother new. His man was going to come in third. He went to bed at the governor's mansion before the race got called. And the next morning I got up. I went down to get my cookies and milk and buddy was down there, and he said well. You didn't have a good candidate you, I said. Must not have buddy. He's well. We took our best shot and he walked out Nisa last time. I've ever spoken to him. Buddy Romer finished five points behind David Duke. Ultimately, he wasn't taken down by an electoral conspiracy. He'd lost because Louisiana didn't want a reformer. And tonight, the people spoke. and. They said buddy thanks, but she didn't do. Enough I think that's fair. When Michelle shower started working on the campaign, she'd been inspired by buddy rumors energy. But now that it was over shower thought Romer seem relieved. She found her own feelings harder to pin down. She was thinking about leaving the state, maybe going to live with their parents and Montana. But, then she got approached by some people she knew from the Louisiana Republican Party. They said we have an offer for you before you rejected outright just listen to us and they said. You could go to work on David Dukes campaign, and of course my eyes widen like. Are you crazy? Shower had never considered supporting. David Duke much less working for him. Her family had been on government aid when she was growing up, so his rants against welfare weren't persuasive. But shower really didn't want Edwin Edwards back in charge of Louisiana. Plus those people from the State party told her that she didn't need to take public facing role that she could stay in the shadows. Shower agreed to me with Dukes campaign manager how we feral. When they got together, he said that the time had come to brought in the duke operation by bringing in people from the establishment. Shower wanted to be campaign manager someday and she liked the idea of learning from one. She was also unemployed. So from my perspective I had a job in an opportunity to look at an alternate campaign, and that's how I started. During her stint as a Duke Staffer Michele shower would hear things that shock turn. She also make a lot of phone calls on behalf of David Duke, using a list brought with her from the Romer. Campaign. That list was the main reason. The do campaign had hired shower. Romer supporters! We're now up for grabs. If voted Republican in the November runoff, then David Duke was going to be the governor of Louisiana. The State Republican Party was still not going to support Duke publicly. But he was the last Republican standing. And when shower talked to her friends in the party, they said they knew how to keep Duke under control when I would have those discussions. They would say. There's not much he can do. He's going to have so many eyes on him. If he wins. There's so many is. We're going to have people around him. He won't be able to push board any of these. Agendas from his past, he'll have to stick to the policies. And at that time I, believe them, and at that time I thought while I wasn't really willing to say. I was four him. I was more for sweeping in. A Republican governor urged tried to fix things in Louisiana. That's really where I was coming from at that time. Next time on the final episode of our season. Four weeks to decide the fate of Louisiana. What would David Duke due to win? and. Who would fight to stop him? slow-burn is production of plus slates membership program, slate plus members get weekly bonus episodes. We'll dive deeper into the history were exploring this season. This week you'll hear an exclusive interview with writer in. New Orleans. Native Clint, Smith and Van newkirk of the Atlantic the host of the podcast flood lines about Hurricane Katrina. We spoke about what Louisiana was like. When Katrina hit in two thousand five and the parallels between what happened then, and when David Duke was on the rise in the eighties and nineties. We couldn't make slow-burn without the support of. Les, plus so please consider signing up if you like the series able to contribute. Only thirty five dollars for the first year and you get a free two week trial. Good slate dot com slash slow-burn to find out more. slow-burn is produced by me and Christopher Johnson. Editorial Direction Buy Low and LOO AND GABRIEL ROD! Madeline. Ducharme is our production assistant. Summer Grad Slow Burns assistant producer. Are Mix engineer is Paul Mounsey. Gave it gross composed our theme song. The artwork for slow-burn is by Lisa Larsson Walker. John McGuinness book on the Nineteen ninety-one campaign is called Cross to bear. Special thanks to Jordan Hirsch Jessica Seidman and slates chow to Katie Raeford. Laura. Bennett Alison. Benedict and Jared Holt. Thanks for listening.
"Hi, I'm Megan Romer in Louisiana, and you're listening to Billie winner datus on to broad talking politics. Are you listening? Hi, everyone. This is Kelly with two broads talking politics. I'm on tonight with my co hosts, Sophie, hey, Sophie, Cari, and joining us on this episode is Billy winner. Davis. Who is the mother of reality Lee winner. Hi, billie. Hello. Thank you for having me on. Yeah. Thanks so much for joining us. So we'll talk a little bit more about sort of realities situation. And I think a lot of people are at least familiar with the name. But what I was hoping we could start with if it's okay with you is just sort of getting a better picture of who reality is as a person, you know, maybe a little bit about kind of the things that she's interested in you know, what sorts of things she was doing before she became a household name. So if you wouldn't mind talking about that, I think that always sort of helps ground the conversation a little bit, right? Okay. Yeah. Well reality is twenty seven years old now she was twenty five. Five years old at the time of her rest. So she is actually spent two birthdays. Uh-huh. Bars. Reality is my youngest daughter my youngest child, and when reality graduated from high school, she joined the air force, and she became a crypto linguist, and she was taught three different languages, the Middle Eastern languages, Farsi Dari and pasta and she worked at the NSA as a crypto linguist while she was in the air force and worked on some special project what with the drone program, and she actually earned ING medal of common Dacian with air force for her excellent service and work in identifying targets in threats and after her service term Lissa, she she did get an honorable discharge from the air force. And she went to work at the NSA there in Augusta Georgia. At fort, Gordon, forty contract agency there and so she was kind of doing a little bit of the same work that she was doing while. She was in the air force. She was you know, translating a lot of documents and things like that. And so she was she's always been one to serve her country. She's always been and extremely caring and giving person she's always served all the communities that she's lived in even as a child, you know, I worked with child protective services, and, you know, our entire family was very involved with our community and helping those in need and reality, you know, was was always involved in projects that I was involved with involved in projects with her high school when she was in the air force. She volunteered with an athletic organizations club called athlete serving athlete where they actually run Ray. Races and marathons with disabled kids to give disabled kids in opportunity to become marathon runners and to give them that opportunity. She also collected shoe boxes for children or the Samaritan's purse. She fostered animal she's always volunteered with veterans organization. And so she's always been, you know, a pretty remarkable young woman in that she she was more serving more about serving her community than she was about serving herself. I read that she also did yoga in was head turned vegan suit made me think a little bit about myself. Okay. Yes. Reality is a certified instructor. And yes, she is begin. She follows the vegan diet, it's a very important to her. She's very concerned about climate change. She's very concerned about our environment. You know, she's things if you look at her social media things of she's done things to make sure that she at least is her part in trying to help the world. She's always been a person who wants to make the world better place. And even just today, she called me, and she asked me if if I could donate some money in her name to the victims of the cyclone over in dim, Bob way, you know, that that's reality. Is you know, she's just a very giving caring person. She is issues, quite an athlete. She does yoga she teaches spinning. She's cross it athlete and pro right prior to her as she was training for her very. Weightlifting competition. She's also a very talented artist. There's a website that's been put together which showcases some of her art work. And so, yeah, she's she's a pretty remarkable young woman on proud of her to say the least. So then let's talk a little bit about about the arrest. And you know, what would actually happen what she was charged with. And and then we can talk sort of about the trial in the sentencing and stuff. So I believe this all happened in summer of twenty seventeen. And so as I understand it. I what happened what she's been alleged to have done was to have taken a document that was a top secret document taken out of the the contractor company of where she worked for the the contractor for the NSA, and then given that document to the intercept which is a news organization. And so then she was indicted under the espionage act you elaborate a little bit on what happened what you know, sort of the the situation. So basically, it was in may of two thousand seventeen and this was at the time when you know, there were questions out there as to whether or not the Russians had interfered in our election in our presidential election of two thousand sixteen and this was at the time when our administration our White House was doing all that they could to deny it. And as you may recall James Comey was fired. I believe it was on may eighth or ninth. And right after that, then President Trump met in the White House in the Oval Office with some Russian diplomats. And he actually bragged to them that he had gotten rid of this whole Russia thing and by firing James Komi, and he made it known that he did fire James Comey because he wanted to make the Russia thing go away. And so at that moment in time, you know, although I've never had the conversation with reality about what was going on. In her mind at this time. But it was within that timeframe where reality she did have access to this document with the NSA, and she printed it, and she did she mailed it anonymously to the intercept. I believe she mailed it like on may tens and so it was right. And within those, you know, those days, and you know, if you read the FBI interrogation transcript, you know, basically when she admitted to doing this. She said, yeah, I mean, it was just like a boiling point at that moment. She said just she couldn't take it anymore, and she just felt like this document needed to be out there. And this document was actually like a compiler tion of intelligence information. It was a summary of intelligence information showing how the Russians had attempted to sand the phishing emails to the election the voting systems in about. Twenty one St. and those those phishing emails actually contain viruses. And so if somebody had opened any of those sphere phishing Email than it would have they would have given them access into those voting system. And so this was definite proof. This was this was absolute proof. It was an intelligence summary of information that they had our intelligence agencies had collected as far as this piece of it of what the Russians had had done to try to hack into our actual voting systems. And yeah, and it didn't take long for the F B I to kind of track down who had printed, this this document, and it was postmarked mail from Augusta Georgia and led them straight to you know, reality and they went into her home on. On Saturday, June third of two thousand seventeen told her that they had, you know, search warrant for her house for vehicle Andrew person, they took her car key. They took her cell phone and free much made it clear to her that she wasn't free to leave. Although they never Miranda Easter. They never told her that she had the right to remain silent. They never told her. She had the right to to call anyone and to to have legal assistant, and they interrogated her there in her home in Augusta in back room, and from there, you know, she did admit to being the one to to print out this document and to mail it to to intercept. And she was arrested on that day. She was taken to a a rural county jail there in Georgia in a small town about forty miles from Augusta Georgia, and she was held there. And she's been the only person only non military person charged with this sort of crime. It's a non violent crime. She has no prior arrests. No prior record of any kind. She has outstanding service. She's been the only person who's been denied bail. And so she was actually denied bond the entire pretrial time, which was something that we really tried to fight and her attorneys really tried to fight that she was denied for times. And so she was held in this little county jail for about seventeen months, and it got to the point where. The court continued to rule against her to where it didn't look like she even had a defense. And basically, they they pretty much just beat her down until she led guilty. And she accepted a plea deal. What we some of the reasons they gave for denying bail. Oh my gosh. This was it was absolutely crazy. My husband, and I were at we were at the very first fail hearing. And at the very first bail hearing, you know, they said that they were not done processing all of the all of the evidence that they had gathered that she had all of these cell phones and these computers in her possession. And they were they were finally decide whether there was more information. They were sure that she had possibly had other documents in her possession. And so they were telling the court that basically the the country wouldn't be safe in in allowing her out that there was just too much that they didn't know. At that point. They also lied to the court and told them that during a conversation with myself that reality had actually told me that the case was about documents plural that she had to leak where that came later. They had to apologize say. No, that's not what she said. You know, I had asked her what she was being charged with. And she said that I leave the documents. She never said document. So they made this big deal that they were sure that there was other evidence out there that would show that reality was a threat to the country. They also indicated that she has thirty thousand dollars in her Bank account which made her a flight risk. And when you compare that to some, you know big cases that are going on right today. And you see these millionaires who are being let out on bond that really, you know, really doesn't make any sense to me how a young woman with thirty thousand dollars in her Bank account is a major flight risk, and they took her passport. So I don't know how they thought that she was going to you know, flee. They, you know, the indicated that training with the air force, you know, made her an ideal kind of target for like, the Taliban and ISIS to recruits, and therefore she couldn't be trusted to be let out on bail. Even though she had just received a medal of combination from the air course, Reno with regard to how many targets she had identified and taken out of the field. You know, I mean, why would? The Taliban ISIS, even give her consideration. I mean all of their arguments were so bizarre. And they just they twisted. Everything about her everything. Good about her. They twisted into a negative. You know, the fact that she speaks all of these languages. She could go anywhere. You know, she anywhere your honor. You know, the fact that she had thirty thousand dollars. I mean that writes in in and of itself or suspicious. However, you know, then they made a big deal out of you know, when they went into your home her home didn't have any furniture because she didn't believe in material things, she didn't need, you know, a dining set, if it was just her, you know, so it was it was just so it was just really pure evil. How they took everything about reality winner. And they twisted it into this narrative that here we have a person who is not to be trusted reality journals, everything she. She had many many journals at her house, and they took one journal where she had doodles in the corner and head said, I wanna burn the White House down and mood to Kurdistan. Ha ha, you know, and they showed that as, you know, here we have a very dangerous person, you know, but they didn't introduce all of the other journals that, you know, we have that show that here we have a person who cares about everyone and about humankind and about her country as well as as other countries, you know, they just took took little pieces like that. And it's kind of scary. This could happen any one of us. You know, they could take just bits and pieces of any of our lives, and they could twist them, and they could turn it into the narrative that they wanted it to be you know, so so that was. And that was probably, you know, the the hardest thing during all of this is trying to fight for her release just her freedom. So that she could work with her attorneys to defend herself and to at least talk because really what they did they silenced her. Nobody heard from reality winner because you can't they they've locked her away and they've silenced her. And so nobody else, you know, knows that the public out there, you know, they got to hear what the prosecution put on as far as why this person's a dangerous person that they didn't get to hear from reality herself. And that's why I guess I do as much talking as I can on her behalf. So that I can help people know who she really is. You know, the other side of this. So reality is currently serving a prison sentence of five years and three months, which is the longest prison sentence. Ever ever ruled for leaking classified documents to media. Why do you think I mean, this is such a really intense sentence? Why do you think the judge ruled that way? I mean, why do you think that happened? It's so strange to me. I I mean, I watching the whole thing unfold in how this court ruled against her at every turn, you know, I I have I have to believe that there was pressure from above. I have to believe, and there was pressure from the DOJ, you know, at the highest levels and also from our White House. I have to believe that, you know, when Trump at the beginning was indicating that they had to stop the leakers, and they had this up the leakers, and you know, how in James Comey's memos indicating that yes, we just want to catch one. And we want him nail him to the door as an example to others reality was there. I leak or that they caught and they intended to make such an example out of her to scare anyone else out there who might have access to information who might think about doing the same thing. And in fact, in their press release and in their sentencing memo, the government said that they said that we needed to make the sentence harsh enough to deter future all others. You know, so reality winners actually, paying a huge price. Choubey a deterrent for any other. You know, intelligent personnel out there, it it's really a chilling message to them no matter what don't say anything. You no matter what you see do not leak. Do not come out and say anything because look what happened to reality winner, and we can post the actual document that the inner suburb released in. You can see it's only five pages long. You know, you made a point that it was just the one document. And it's I mean, it's very damning document. I think of you know, sort of what Russia was trying to do in how they're trying to do it. But it is only five pages long, and the at least the way the intercept has posted it there's some things that are blacked out. Yeah. That's something that I have, you know, venture putting it out there like it. It was one document one time, and she certainly wasn't selling secrets to a foreign government. She wasn't betraying her country. But yet they use the espionage act against her. And they persecuted her to the very fullest, you know, where we've never seen that before you know, when you look at all other cases of whistle blowers. You know, you look at that. They may have leave several documents. They may have made a lot of data, you know, like Chelsea Manning's case, you know, and but with reality winner, you know, she it was one document one time, and it really it didn't harm us. I believe that it helped us I believe that it within the, you know, our public interest for the information to the out there, especially at. Time. So that it didn't get lost. And so and for that, she's she's really she. She got the toughest sentence. What's here? Next step like, are you focusing on appeal that you focusing on trying to get the president to pardon reality. What's what's your next step here? Yeah. Because reality did sign of the agreement. And this was the this was the absolute best yield that the government will give her and reality took this the agreement because the government made it known that they were going to they were going to seek the full tenure sentence on her say that, and that's what people need to know as well reality pled guilty to get this sixty three months prison sentence and three years supervised release. So that she wouldn't end up with the ten years because the government was really going after her for the full ten years, if you believe that and so and with the court ruling against her at every turn, and the fact that she was being kept in this small. Paul county jail that couldn't meet her needs for seventeen months. You know, she really was back into a corner. So our next step. We can't, you know, look for an appeal of any kind that our next steps is is certainly to get awareness out there, we really gave the public to know reality winner is. And we need people to start speaking out in her behalf. I would like for all congressman to know her name, and to know exactly what happened and to look at this to really look at her case in order for her to get some sort of Justice. Her attorneys are looking at the possibility of filing for a pardon or clemency down the road. I myself I write the White House. I we I I'm out there doing whatever I can to raise awareness, and you know to ask for her release. He said the you are in touch with reality that she called you today. A how how is she doing? How is you know, obviously being in prison. I I'm sure is terrible. But I is she holding up. Okay. She is she is. She has always she's been very strong. And definitely now that she's in federal prison. It certainly is a much better environment than the county jail that she was being held in while she was in the county jail. You know, the conditions were not ideal. They weren't meeting her diet. She was basically living on peanut butter and potato chips and oatmeal the entire time that she was there because they didn't know how to meet her dietary needs in that in that place. She was assaulted. She was injured. She was the night medical care. And so she certainly she's in a better place now that she's in the federal prison. She is doing well. I'm she is taking college courses, she's working two jobs within the prison. She's teaching. Exercise programs, which she loves she. She absolutely loves that. She is keeping strong. I do know also that you know, she she wakes up every day. And thanks, this is it this is my life until December thirtieth of twenty twenty one, you know, and so she she does everything that she can keep herself busy and to keep herself, you know, motivated and positive. But there are there are moments where it's tough for her. You know, and and when she does see the news it does frustrate her. You know, she thinks of all the people of all the things that are happening in our world today. Really? She's the worst criminal out there where she has to you know, carry this burden and be imprisoned for five years. You know? So it is frustrating for her. What can our listeners do to help? And where can they sort of go to find out more information? I think probably the best place for everybody to go is the stand with reality dot org website, and that website, basically has has all the legal documents. It has our Twitter accounts are Facebook groups, it has realities address if people want to write to her they certainly can write to her. There's an online petition that people can sign, you know, an and just following us on our different social media's we will have, you know, call to actions we are looking at getting together an advance around her the second anniversary of her arrest coming up in June. So that we can really weight raise awareness and get you know, different things going on across the country to really get it out there. We asked people to write their congressman to, you know, say her name we we've had in the past where we've had a call to action. S people to call the White House, which we've done, you know. So we we are doing, you know, certain things, and we're we're just I think right now we're trying to grow the campaign again the campaigns been a dormant for a little bit. And just recently were trying to grow it back up again to get volunteers in ticket. You know, fresh ideas on what we can do. So that we continue to grow the awareness of of who she is what's happened to her and what people can do to help steer anything else that you'd like to make sure that we talk about. I think another thing is for people to understand that reform is needed with regard to the espionage act. They use of this against citizen like reality, and like some other whistle blowers before her and even going on right now this is wrong for government to be doing. I can definitely. See that if somebody is selling secret, if somebody is actively spying, and you know, jeopardizing our safety and working with foreign agencies bad for espionage act should be used not against citizens like reality who are doing public service for us. We'll billy. I wanna thank you so much for coming on and talking to us. I think a lot of people sort of hear things in the news. And don't really know all of the details in it. It's easy to sort of think of people is just names people in. So I think it's always useful to to hear. You know, just you know, that that someone is a real person with feelings in a motivations and all sorts of things that we should be thinking deeply about. And you know, I think a lot of our listeners would agree. We need a lot of reforms in the way that we think about criminal Justice. And that includes things like the espionage act of Nally. Absolutely answer if they are whole criminal Justice system as well. This has this has really been an eye opener for us. We've never been involved in anything like this and just navigating through the criminal Justice system. And and learning about all of the the things, you know, if you're not rich in our country than you can expect to be trampled on that. You know, there's no other way to say it. Well, we will put links on our website up to those stand with reality website. And also as I mentioned to the the article that was published in the intercept so hopefully, people will pay more attention and follow the Twitter account, Facebook and get to know some of the calls to action and and try to help out. I appreciate that so much. Absolutely. And definitely next time. You talk to reality, please, let her know that there are people out here thinking about her. Thank you so much that that does that does go a long way for her. It does. Thanks for listening to to broads talking politics. Are theme song is called. Are. You listening off of the album elephants shaped trees by the band, EMU Newry, and we're using it with permission of the band our logo and other original artwork is by Matthew Westland and was created for use by this podcast.
HeadCast Network Hiatus!
"The lights incident marred by true believers. This is ED speaks did you. I hid for sex. The star man man under our proud member of the head cast network family shows as usual I of your host. Aaron Moss Aka listens my mostly monthly cast. We're talking about comics movies roleplaying games. TV shows and anything. Niels Geeky that I want so sit back and enjoy the right. Let's begin in the show. Hey Hey this is Aaron Moss as I now some intro Heiki head this is actually code across all four four actually five from my feeds all four shows plus by head cast network feed. I know it's been a couple of months to urge me a little worked on the GI. Joe Romer head cast crew but podcasting. I kind of stepped away for low bits as I talked to my Gi Joe. FACEBOOK group My personal life has hit a bit of a snag much detail right now about it. A once rinks thanks cleared up and settled and I figure things out. I'll probably talk about over on head speaks but I just wanted to give you a quick little. Hey are there. I think he is listening to my shows and let you know that I have not pod. Faded I plan on coming back. I'm going to be around not dead. This is my personal. Life has hit a bit of a road. Bub of blow us up in life you will. It's like my life a chessboard. Word and on the other player pissed off and talk a worthy heir to all over so I'm trying to pick things up and and figure out where man where the piece of skill And so there's just a quickly little message everybody here this script more than one of my shows. You'll hear the same message of the other shows. I'm doing across the brand deliver. There were no again. I apologize for the delay in getting out to you guys. I was hoping to have things situated and ready to roll by January but I'm still furious life out so please bear with me. I will return all four. My shows post-bravo team which Gi Joe Joe Aroma head cast. Not Gone hopefully not forgotten but I just I take a little break and do some mental inventory being in my life situated and figure out and so again please keep bear with me it keep watching the Airways and hopefully sometime next couple of months. I'm hoping I'll be back but I will be at some point thankyouverymuch he is very much. We'll see thank you for listening to another fantastic sort of head. Speaks hope you enjoyed it. If so let me know grub email to head at head speaks dot com or visit our home at head dot hit speaks dot com. You can also visit talk with me on facebook and Google plus both under head speaks you can offset an MP three file with your thoughts. And I can play that on the air hanging. Also get more podcasts. Be Sure to listen to task. Force X were monthly. I look at John. Oscar Suicide Squad and Paul Cupboards Checkmate Comics from the eighties and early nineties also over on Gi. Joe A real American head cast my caught podcasting friends Brian Daily and Kyle Benning along of myself or looking at all of the Joe a real American hero comics and related titles for marvel an idea w all of my head casts are Orrville tunes and stitcher along with respective blogs and my main page at head speaks dot com all comments thoughts. That's an opinions expressed on head speaks are owned wholly by the speaker of said comments and do not express the opinions of head speaks. Unless of course I'm the one making the comments let's head speaks Task Force X and GI. Joe Rohner can head cast all part of the head cast family so join US next month. Another wonderful so uh of head speaks until then. I'll see you in the funny pages tonight.
The Roadblocks to Mass Testing
"From Pushkin Industries. This is deep background. The show where we explore the stories behind the stories in the news. I'm Noah Feldman a few weeks ago on the show. I spoke to Nobel Prize economist. Paul Romer and Paul had what he considered a simple plan to reopen the economy without risking people's health. All we need to do is switch to a strategy where we're testing everybody with regularity. As soon as we find somebody who's positive we to isolate them without isolating watts of people who've could otherwise just go back to the daily life and work. Paul is not alone. Public Health experts have been almost unanimous in saying that we need a lot of tests very soon in order to protect health and eventually reopened the economy and yet we are behind Germany Canada and even Italy when it comes to per capita testing and as of now less than one percent of the. Us population has been tested for corona virus. So what is the holdup? What are the bottlenecks that stand between us and effective tasked to learn more about krona virus testing both for diagnosis and then for antibody tests if people have already had the disease? I'm joined by Dr. Oh Mike Garner. He's the director of clinical microbiology testing. Ucla health his lab does more than one point five million tests a year of all kinds and so he finds himself right in the thick of the question of how we tested for covert Omar. I'm so grateful to you for agreeing to talk to me. I want to ask you to help. Guide us through the process of just. Why testing takes so long to generate and to cause to function. So start wherever you want. Maybe start with the diagnostic tests. I what are the challenges to having millions of diagnostic tests up and running on a daily basis? You know that's the million dollar question. I think that there are lots of challenges for many ends and so just. I think it's useful to walk through the process of getting a diagnostic test for Kobe. Nineteen by Ar because it starts to that outlay with the challenges are in the system and so the first part of the diagnostic test is the collection of the sample. This is the part. I think people are most familiar with you either. Go to your doctor's office or a hospital or a drive through. Location and a swab is inserted deep into the nasal cavity and then that sample is sent to a centralized testing lab. I think there's been a little bit of confusion around this. Because they call those locations testing locations but no actual testing happens there and so I think people think why would it take so long if the test happens right where you collected it so. The sample needs to be sent to a centralized laboratory like my laboratory where we perform the test and the test. Depending on which platform is us can take anywhere from two to six hours and I think this is also something. That's not well known because if the test only takes two to six hours why are people waiting seven to fourteen days to be able to test result right now? I think one of the infrastructure challenges around this particular outbreak and testing itself is that there are just not enough centralized laboratories that are able to do this testing right now and this starts to key in on why we don't have testing across the country and a lot of and we have labs so it's not to say that there aren't centralized clinical laboratories there are centralized clinical laboratories and almost every single city across this country. The challenges that each one of those laboratories does not have the equipment to be able to test for cove in nineteen and the labs that do have the equipment. There's such a shortage on the tests themselves. That many labs that have the equipment still can't run. The capacity of tests could run within a day. One of the fascinating questions to me is is. There's some alternative technology. Potentially in the pipeline. That would make it easier to collect samples by means other than the long swab that goes deep into the nasal cavity and Donald Trump himself said it was a miserable experience for him to have that done in. Though I'm not super worried about his own experience it does mark the fact that we need not only the swabs that we need medical professionals to do swabbing whereas it might be a lot faster and more efficient people could do it at home or there was a saliva test right now. Why is it the case that we can't do that? I think a lot of this is about clinical sensitivity of what you're collecting and when I say that I mean how likely is it for a false negative to be given to a patient so in the environment of cove in nineteen. We want to try our best to avoid a false negative and in order to do that. You WanNa take the best possible specimen to increase your likelihood of actually collecting virus. Now this is really then the question is. Where's the virus right? Is the virus out at the end of the nasal cavity is the virus very very deep in the nasal cavity. Is the virus in the throat. Is the virus in different? Various oral fluid compartments and the reason why nasal for NGO collection was the first thing that was used is because that's where we know other respiratory viruses live and so whether you're doing a PR test for influenza or a PR tests for something like respiratory virus. The best possible specimen meaning the specimen that gives you the highest likelihood for recovery of virus is actually that really deep nasal for NGOs specimen so then I think ultimately the question is. Do you need to take the best possible specimen or in this particular case with this particular virus? Can you find an equal amount of virus in some of these other specimens and those studies are ongoing? I agree with you if we could just use ORAL FLUID. I would change all my tests oral fluid tomorrow but I won't do it if it's going to mean we produce more false negatives now let's turn to the lab so you're saying the sample comes to you reaches you in the lab and you're going to perform a PR test what is a PR test. The test is actually two components with being the second component. So the first component is really. It's called extraction. And what happens? Is that when the sample comes in? This first step actually takes out all the nucleic acid from that sample and so now what you have instead of the full sample from the patient you just have a pool of origny and then you run the PR tests and so the test is called an RTP test. It's a reverse transcription polymerase reaction that's that. Rtp CR and what it does is because we're looking for Arnie. Pcr's technology that examines DNA. So the first step is you have to turn the Arnie into DNA and that stat reverse transcription the second test. That is the polymerase chain reaction. And the plumbers chain-reaction is really a way to amplify a specific target on DNA to see whether or not that target is there. And of course the target we're looking for is cove in nineteen and so if some of that viral Arnaiz there. It's been converted to DNA and then. Pcr can target to tell you whether or not that viral aren't was originally in that specimen and exquisitely sensitive the tests that we're using in my laboratory. Get down to about five hundred copies of virus per meal of fluid. And so what? I'd like to Tell People. Is that if the virus is in the sample the test will find it. That's super clarifying and helpful. Now you said that are enough laboratories in the United States to handle even substantial volume of testing and that the problem is that they don't have the necessary equipment in a concrete sense. What is missing in these labs because if we could figure out what that is. Maybe we can talk about how we provided. Sure so there are now. I don't know somewhere around twelve. Fda emergency use authorization approved PCR tests for cove in nineteen the challenges that the manufacturers of those tests need to get those tests to those laboratories to be able to provide testing so giving an example from my own laboratory. I actually run four different. Fda approved test for cove in nineteen. And the reason. Why do that is because I can't get one manufacturer to give me enough volume of test kits to meet the need so I actually have to bring in four different tests to be able to do that. You get a couple of hundred a day from one place you get a couple of hundred a day from another place and you combine all of that volume together and I can get up around the thousand tests a day or so that I can offer in my laboratory. This is a significant challenge in the shortage by the manufacturers other diagnostic tests really is contributing to our inability to have widespread testing and. I don't WanNa put the blame on the manufacturers for this. What they've been asked is very very difficult which basically pivot their entire operation and these are diagnostic manufacturers that make all kinds of diagnostic tests. Hiv viral load tests gunnery committee apiece. Er tests and they're saying to them. Okay we need you to make a covert nineteen tests and ramp it up a hundred times more the volume. You would make for testing. What do you think is slowing them down in doing that? I mean just at the most basic level. I'm picturing the factory where they make the tests and I'm picturing them shifting over the functionality they usually have to produce other kinds of tests onto producing Cova nineteen tests. What's hold up for them? That stops them from doubling or tripling to say nothing of going up to one hundred times so I think one of the holdups is just manufacturing capacity. Because you can't just stop making the other tests because people still have those other diseases and so it's almost like you need to on top of what you were making before. Now go ahead and produce a hundred fold times. Covert nineteen testing. And so you know. I really think it's a manufacturing bottleneck. You can only do so many runs at a time because you only have so much manufacturing capacity in that setting in speaking with the manufacturers. This is what I've been told the other part of the problem that we've discovered over time is that a lot of these manufacturers rely on some of the same chemicals to make their own proprietary test kits and if one chemical that say that multiple manufacturers use is shortage that then stops all of them from making more tests. So there's a whole supply chain here of the chemicals that are necessary to make this work and so one has to go back a further step and go the chemical companies and make sure the chemical companies are manufacturing more of this in terms of stopping though the production of their other tests. Canton argument be made that given the tremendous almost unimaginable cost of keeping our economy shutdown and given the testing is so crucial to reopening that they actually should stop manufacturing. The other tests rely on whatever backlog they have and just prioritize cove in nineteen tests ahead of everything else. I agree with you there. You know I don't work for the companies. I can only speak as an end user. That's in an academic medical facility and and running these tests that yes. I think that the pivot needs to be fast. I think part of the challenge as well though is that these companies aren't made to pivot like that and so you know getting the either federal support or whatever would be necessary to encourage them to be able to do. This is one of the challenges but yes I will agree with you overall to meet this immediate need there needs to be a shifting and I know a lot of companies are shifting. It's just the scale of the shifting when we think of clinical lab testing. You know there has never been a test in my laboratory where I need to do. Two thousand tests a day so the scale of this is just. It's mind boggling from a overall diagnostics perspective because I don't WanNa representative as something like what? The manufacturers should have shifted in. This would have been relatively easy for them to do when they're negligent to not do that. That's not what's going on. This is really an unprecedented shift. That's being asked for yet at the same time we have to be able to do it in your lab the PR test if you have the equipment can be run in two hours. So what is driving the backlog that causes people to have to wait seven to ten days for a result? A lot of that is that every single state doesn't even have large scale testing. That's available one of our reference laboratories in California Quest Diagnostics was receiving samples from New York and New Jersey. Well if you're shipping samples across the country to be able to have them tested at a facility and then once they get to that facility if the queue or line is two hundred thousand tests long you can see that it just increases exponentially the turnaround time which is the expression that we use in lab diagnostics for the amount of time it takes from the sample to beat collected all the way to the person getting the result back. Is there any in centralize national planning for where tests should go? I mean it seems very crazy that someone could be tested in New York and then have their samples sent to La so that allow their can do the work. But I get that you have to send the test where there's there's access it sounds like the kind of thing which would benefit from a centralized model. I agree with you. I think a centralized model would be helpful. But you know. I think that this is tied into our healthcare system and our healthcare system is not built around a centralized model and so I think this is why you see. Some of the great disparity across the country is because there is no centralized model thus individual areas some can be very very fast and some may not have access testing at all. What realistically is going to happen in your view. If in the next few weeks you know sort of like end of April first few weeks may we see an effort to get people back to work coupled with big companies trying to get tests done for their employees eventually over the course of the summer campuses like university campuses trying to get people tested in a systematic way? Is that at all realistically doable? From your perspective. Given where we stand I mean you're perfectly placed to give a credible answer this question because most people are just speaking theoretically yea. I'm optimistic. So within that optimism and again I talked to multiple manufacturers of these tests on a daily basis. Everybody is ramping up and as everybody ramps up I see more and more hospitals even just in the Los Angeles area being able to provide testing. And so I think we're moving in the right direction. The question is are removing in a direction. Fast enough to match what we're GONNA do with changes in social distancing policies. And that's a really difficult thing to be able to predict because I think the two need to be tethered together as we increase our testing capacity. I think that's one way for us to start in a responsible way opening backup getting people back to work but you know I think if you just flip the switch on May Fifteenth or whatever. Arbitrary Day that said. It's going to outpace our pace of testing that we're going to end up right back where we were so. I think that states that are going to be able to do this in a scientific and educated way to meet the testing needs. While you open up I think that we can be successful at it. We'll be back in just a moment. Let's talk about transfer wise the smartest way to send and receive money international. If you've ever had to move money across borders chances are you were haunted haunted by hidden feats whether you use your bank or another provider. They like the hidden extra the exchange rate and you pay too much if you didn't notice well that's the point. Transfer wise is different. You always get the real exchange rate when you send money to over seventy countries pay one super low fee and hold onto more of your money. Transfer wise also offers an easy alternative to opening a bank account in a new country. They're multi-currency account. Let you hold up at forty five watts convert between them at any time. You can even get your own bank details for the US UK. Eurozone in Australia. Which means you receive money from those countries for free speech for freelancers or anyone who works internationally. But don't take my word for it. Transfer White says over six million customers who save three million dollars every day in bad rates him. Banking's that's over a billion dollars in savings every year. Try them out today. Get your first transfer for free by visiting transfer wise dot com slash podcast So far we've been talking about. Pr Testing which is to see. If a person from a sample has been taken has the virus now but part of opening up will also be extensive antibody testing. Do you guys do that in your lab. So not yet. I'm going through the validation process now and so my expectation is that we should go live at Ucla with antibody testing hopefully sometime early to bid next week. I do WanNa make kind of a general comment about the antibody testing compared to the PR. Though so I said there were like nine to twelve manufacturers the PCR test ultimately. They're using the exact same technology human over. There are small differences between the tests. And so you can really see those tests the same tests so whether I offer a PR test or hospital down the street offers a PR tests. They're all going to be kind of the equivalent sensitivity and high quality. Unfortunately that is not true for antibody testing at all and so the challenge of antibody testing. Is that it was unregulated by the FDA to begin with so there are a lot of tests that flooded the market that were very very low quality and every single antibody test manufacturer. 'cause I've now talked to five or six of them are using different target on the virus to be able to look for antibodies in that distinctly effects whether or not these tests are processed reactive and they produced false positives. And so unfortunately what you're GONNA see with antibody. Testing is that depending on the platform. Each testing area uses they could have vastly different results and this makes antibody testing then in determining what it means very very challenging. So how did you go about the process of choosing the approach that you're gonNA use in your lap so I was looking for the best test possible right? I think the challenge with antibody testing is that it needs to be of the highest quality. If we're GONNA have any chance of trying to establish some level of immunity or even affect behavior by having something like a positive test result and so in speaking with the companies what I really wanted to look at was the size of their validation data whether or not they proved non cross reactivity with something like seasonal corona virus influenza. Some other viruses that we all have I-I've for that you would not want to be cross reactive in a cove in nineteen antibody test and so we did a long process of evaluation. And then now. Once we've chosen our company we want to move forward with. I'm going to do an extensive inland validation with serum that I already have from cove in nineteen positive patients and from patients with other viruses to prove that it works before I go forward with the task for my patients. So you're actually doubling up first year choosing what you think is the best and then you're going to test it yourself in the lab to make sure that you have confidence in it before you start using it absolutely. I think it's the only way in the current environment with the amount of antibody tests that are out there. It's just I have to be sure because political decisions are going to be made based on these results. Personal decisions are going to be made based on these results. And so you know that's really the role of a clinical lab director in choosing the best possible test. One of the things that has fascinated me is to hear about scientists around the country trying to come up with outside the box solutions to massively increased testing capacity and one of the most intriguing ones that I read about was produced by a group at the Broad Institute Cambridge Massachusetts which is where I'm based not at the road but in Cambridge that was proposing at least theoretically a massive throughput approach where they would bar code using a crisper like DNA technique barcode samples so that they could then run through sequencers hundreds of thousands of tests at a single run. That's obviously a very different technology. And it's using very different kinds of methods than are used in most clinical labs as someone who does it the old fashioned way as it were. What do you think are the odds of success here? I mean it might be worth trying to. Even if the probability of success is very low because it will be great to test so many people so quickly. What are the big challenges that that approach faces? And your yeah so the the scientists that run these approached are very talented. Scientists research based scientists. And I think that they will be able to successfully put together a system that could theoretically do one hundred thousand samples part of what differentiates our research test from a clinical tests. Something that's allowed to be used on patients is that you have to prove that it works before you can actually use it clinically and part of the challenge of assists a Mike DECI libs literally having this exact same conversation with some researchers at UCLA. Is that in order to prove that it works on scale. You need to test fifty thousand samples one hundred thousand samples and the challenge of doing that is how do you get those samples within a research setting under IRB approval and not have it take nine months a year a year and a half which is typically what these sorts of things would take before you even began to have enough data to submit to the FDA to get approval of your new technique? And so while. I do think that this could work. I don't know if it's going to move in a timeframe that's gonNA make it feasible. There are other concerns that I have wrapped up in this a lot of the challenges of. Let's say the paper that you had talked about it doesn't use. Rtp CR uses lamp which is a different nucleic acid apple vacation technology that can have sensitivity issues. This is also part of the some other challenges when you pool large things together as that on an individual sample basis. Sometimes you're just not as good as the gold standard and these would be the things that these places would have to prove to the FDA before they got approval to do massive testing. In addition while I respect the fact that you can run a hundred thousand samples at one time just collecting a hundred thousand samples getting them sent to one area and getting them process to be able to. Run is a phenomenal challenge. That's wrapped up on the pre analytical side or even before the testing begins so I am excited about this because I actually don't think this is GonNa be our last pandemic. There isn't anything to suggest IT WOULD BE. And so if we can get things online like this and really start thinking about how the country when we need to pivot to mass-scale testing for a virus. That's a really good thing to have in our back pocket. Is this something. That's going to work for Cova. Nineteen I don't know if the timescales actually GonNa meet up with the technology if I could close our conversation on a modestly lighter note but nevertheless important one I read that you had said that watching Cuba gooding junior in one thousand nine hundred five film outbreak was one of the things that inspired your career path. And of course a lot of us now. I feel like we're living outbreak the sequel. Yes what does that feel like for you personally to be on the front lines here? It's interesting so two thousand fourteen. We had our e Bala crisis in the United States and at Ucla. I was part of the Ebola treatment team and so in that setting you know as Ebola treatment. A person participated that the treatment of the patient. You have to get fully suited up so you can imagine in Cuba gooding junior outbreak in that yellow suit. That's similar to what you wear when you're attempting to discern whether or not somebody has ebola so it was that moment. I really Kinda had my outbreak moment. This one I've found. It's a little bit strange because until we all move forward with masking it was a pandemic but everything looked fine so it was kind of different from the outbreak scenario. It was like the a shift in what I thought a pandemic would look like. And that's what I've found to be the most surprising of this whole thing. Hundreds of thousands of potentially millions of people worldwide are. GonNa die of this disease. But it's not like running around in the biosafety level four suits all of the movie is TV shows and so forth. None of them has seen where people say what? We should all suit up. Oh but wait a minute. We don't have enough suits. No that's not a plot detail that they've ever taken advantage of in the past though I suppose it will. We'll see it going forward. Yes thank you oh my this was extraordinarily clarifying and helpful. I really hugely appreciate your step-by-step patients in explaining what you do. Every day to us. Thank you for doing the work they are doing and we all appreciate it excellent. Thanks for having me on. No I appreciate it listening to Dr. Oh my garner. I had moments of optimism because he himself said that he thinks are scaling up our capacities in a way. That will facilitate a lot more testing. Then we're doing at present. That was the good news on the other hand on my also made it very clear that there are significant limits to how many test we can do under current circumstances. We have the shortage of chemicals in the existing tasks we have limited capacity and when it comes to antibody testing. We still don't really know how well the various tests work last but not least although my thinks that some of the most fascinating experimental techniques being proposed to test hundreds of thousands of people at the same time. Have a good shot of working. He's concerned that it may not be possible for that kind of testing at that kind of scale to be ramped up in time to help us address the covert nineteen epidemic as opposed to future epidemics above all doctoral. My Garner is a kind of model the clear speaking clear thinking scientists who can explain things with to all of us and I feel very lucky that he's at the helm of an important lab like the one that Ucla. Until the next time I speak to you be careful. Be Safe and be well. Deep background is brought to you by Pushkin Industries. Our producer is lydia gene caught with research help from zooey win mastering by Jason Gambro and Martine. Gonzales her showrunner is Sochi. Mckibben are the music is composed by. Louis Garra special. Thanks to the Pushkin Brass Malcolm Bradwell Jacob Weisberg Emilio. I'm Noah felt. I also write a regular column for Bloomberg opinion. Would you can find at Bloomberg dot com slash felt to discover Bloomberg's original slate of podcasts? Go TO BLOOMBERG DOT COM slash podcasts. You can follow me on twitter at no are felt. This is deep backward.
"This is planet money from NPR. In the mid nineties there was this big new economic theory that was all the rage. It was an idea for how countries can produce unlimited economic growth, which is kind of the whole point of economics. Growth means less poverty more prosperity for decades. Economists had said there are basically just two ways to make an economy grow, invest in capital, or in labor in intangible mundane things like factories and workers, which means growth is ultimately limited because there are just so many people you can hire or factories you can build, but then some economists most notably Paul Romer, said actually. There's a third way to grow innovation, and before this people thought of innovation is a sort of mysterious force that kind of comes and goes at its own discretion Paul. Paul Romer said actually you can make innovation happen. Innovation is just like a factory you can build all you have to do is like invest in science education promote market, competition, and most importantly pass strong patent laws, so that ideas can be protected and monetize. D-. Just do these things pass? Those laws and innovation will follow, and people love to this idea, Paul Romer eventually won the Nobel Prize in economics for it, and he taught it to an entire generation of economic students, but one of those students apiece g candidate named Lisa Cook. As she learned about this, she thought I am not sure it's that simple. Just pass patent laws get innovation. When we'RE GONNA work. Build it, they will come, and that's not the. That's not how it works. You can have laws on the books and not enforce them and never have growth Lisa. Cook was skeptical in part because of personal experiences. For one she'd spent some time in Russia. She was studying the banking system there in the nineteen nineties, and at the time Russia technically had patent was, but what they didn't have was a lot of innovation, and to Lisa, the reason seemed clear like sure there were laws, but no one seemed to enforce them. For example, several of the bankers she was supposed to interview disappeared mysteriously. She was scared, just walking to work if I don't get. Hit by a moving object falling out of a window or Attacked on the on the street like I'm lucky. If you're afraid for your life, you're probably not inventing things also roamers, big innovation theory assumes that the law is enforced equally and Lisa knows very personally for example from her childhood in Georgia, that equal treatment is not guaranteed. I mean I. I was desegregating schools along with my sisters and and I was beating. You know is beaten up. I still have scars from that scar where. hair won't grow my eyebrow. And a scar on my leg from from having been beaten during that period during the period of desegregation, so Lisa is pretty sure she's found a blind spot in that hot new economic theory. She suspects that there is more to fostering innovation than just science schools and patent laws. Maybe innovation also requires safety and equality to test her hunch. She needs to find a pool of inventors where some were subject to violence and inequality and others weren't she thinks? now where could I find such a data set? So of course you know knowing a little bit about American. History I need that. African American inventors were subject to the things that started happening to African Americans around the period of the end of reconstruction. When mountings were largely at their peak, and when segregation laws were being put into place and thereafter, and this is how Lisa Cook decided to study the very things that people are protesting right now. Violence against black people and the unequal enforcement of law, and whether those things stunt innovation. All she had to do was gather a bunch of data. Plug it into a formula, and she'll have her answer simple, and it was nowhere near that that easy. Hello and welcome to Planet Money I'm Mary Child and I'm Karen DEFEC-. Today on the show Lisa Cook sets out to investigate whether one of the most important theories in economics is missing something. If she's right, it would have implications for the wealth of black Americans, and also for entire economies. She would spend more than ten years. Creating new data sets from scratch Djing Basic American history to her colleagues and shining a light on one of the biggest blind spots in economics. Planet Money Tiktok. It's economics relate. We, what was it originally planet money to talk radio for your eyes but shorter. Best One. You may have noticed something that all these protests over police violence. There are a lot more white there than you'd expect. But how long will that last this awoken among White American voters? How far they really willing to go beyond dethroning trump Adam server on race and lessons from history, listen and subscribe to. It's been a minute from NPR. Lisa Cook! Has this hunch that one of the most important ideas and economics has a big hole in it. To test her theory. She needs a way to measure exactly how violence and a lack of rule of law how that impacts innovation? She needs concrete data things she can count for innovation. There actually is a way to count ideas. Patents on inventions has a whole database of patents going back centuries so okay. She's got that side of it and to measure violence and unequal rule of law. She uses a range of markers from segregation laws to the most extreme example lynchings. She'll look at data from eighteen seventy to nineteen forty, and compare the number of patents filed by black and white inventors, if black inventors file fewer patents during periods of increased violence and lawlessness, and they file more patents. Lawlessness decrease. Then she's proven it. She's right. The thing that I was deluded about was that all these data which just hanging around and available like pats were not searchable. There was no google patents you know. Races not recorded on a patent record yet. The most critical information that Lisa needs the race of inventors dot is not listed on patents. In fact, the only patent filing that does list race is one of. Of the earliest granted to an African American, it was a man named Norbert. Really you. He invented an evaporator that's used in sugar production in eighteen, forty, three and the reason the patent file notes. His race is because someone tried to take it from him. Because of his race, the person was living on a plantation in new, Orleans and they thought it was an illegitimate patent because it's a person's. person's couldn't receive patents beyond that Liza will have to patent by patent figure out a way to identify the rays of each filer for the two million patents filed in that seventy year period, so she starts looking for common african-american Names in census records which do list race, so she can cross reference those with the patent records one theory about black names that African Americans named themselves after resident she. She checks it out well. It turns out all Americans named men after presidents. She also combs through historical newspaper articles, scholarly papers biographies, also a surprisingly useful source, if African, Americans who are working for a government entity, and that entity was completely secret like the Department of Defence We wouldn't know about that person's inventions, but in their obituaries their family could talk about that person's inventions and they did. x-rays actually is a great inventor of some sort. The place where she finds the most data is in a survey that was commissioned by the US patent office and W E. B deploys. They wanted to showcase African American inventions at the nineteen hundred world fair took me a year or two defy the names, and then you're to match them to the data and then another year to fail at that. She ends up with a list of seven hundred and twenty six patents filed by African Americans between eighteen, seventy and nineteen forty. Finally she has all the data. She needs to start testing her theory, so she plots out the number of patents filed per year chronologically on a graph and staring at them, all lined up, she can look back in time and see how black innovation grew or fell in different times and places throughout this history, starting at the beginning of her data sat in eighteen seventy. The civil war was receding in the background. The fourteenth amendment had recently passed promising equal protection under the law for all men born in the United States during this period, African Americans made a lot. Lot of gains holding office, owning property, end filing, more and more patents. She sees the line her graph rise. African Americans filed patents at roughly the same rate as white inventors through about nineteen hundred given this new freedom and new rights African. American inventors flourished. They admitted all kinds of things in this period, an elevator rotary engines, a tapered golf, t a donator, a telephone system, a fertilizer distributor and a bunch of other things, but then as Lisa followed patent line further the story her data set was telling her took a turn. There was a sharp decline in patenting. Right right at nine thousand nine hundred around the time of plus versus Ferguson, and and thereafter plessey versus Ferguson the Supreme Court ruling that gave official legal sanction to a so-called separate, but equal America legislators were passing laws that pushed African Americans into at all equal homes and schools, or just cut off access to things altogether including things that you would need to invent. They've been locked at libraries where they used to go. Check the patent registries. They are locked at the commercial districts where there pat maturities are. They were cut off from talking to other inventors. I think that was one of the biggest casualties for those who were still inventing. They had to go to extreme lengths like she found this one. Guy Garrett Morgan he invented a precursor to the gas masks used in world war, one also hair, straightening cream, a better stop light, but he couldn't sell all of those things himself, so he had to find work around at the time. Time Lisa says native Americans held a special prominence as inventors of medical remedies and clothing and boats, so Garrett would go to trade shows with a sort of cover story he would bring along native American and he'd have the native American sort of give the pitch, and he was the native Americans Research Assistant. That's how he would present himself, but for a lot of African, American inventors after Plessey versus Ferguson just straight up lost their jobs. Including one of the top patent officers at the US Patent Office also a top inventor at the US Postal Service who was in charge of coordinating with other inventors around the country, neither of them ever filed a patent again and as Lisa connects the fluctuations in patent filings to specific spikes in lynchings or new segregation laws. The data seemed to be confirming her. Her hypothesis, but then she sees another big dip in the patent filings from African Americans and this one does not appear connected to lynchings or segregation laws and I couldn't get rid of the effect like you. You have to test when you're looking at something that is, is that stark? You have to test adjacent years to see if you are seeing what. What you're thinking. You're seeing and I just couldn't get the effect. Go Away, no matter what I throughout her data were screaming at her. That something big had happened in nineteen twenty one. She couldn't scrub it out as a calculation error, no matter how many times she checked, she looks into it and realizes that nineteen twenty one was the year of one of. Of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history, the Tulsa race massacre if you've seen watchmen on H. B., o., this was the attack on black. Wall Street. This one neighborhood in Tulsa had become famous as a bustling affluent community, a place where black Americans could settle and live well. It had its own newspaper. Its own hospitals schools inks a service. But, in late May of nineteen twenty one mobs of white men invaded the town, they massacred residence shooting on. They also firebombed the neighborhood from airplanes. This haven of black affluence burned to the ground Tulsa demonstrated. No one would help them. No one. The local government failed. The state government failed. The US government failed. At every single level, nobody had their backs. They were all afraid. It was a message that was heard across the country. The government would not provide even the most basic protections for black-americans, not for their lives, not for their property, so certainly not for their inventions. It's a sensitive personal security. Hope feels safe anywhere. But also my likelihood might be in jeopardy. I may never be able to make a living doing the things I'm doing. So that's why if I'm a block inventor in another city, why would I ever invent anything if I thought the intellectual property was never going to be defended. If the Black Wall Street that everybody knew about if it weren't protected, why would I be protected, so it shouldn't be surprising that after that patent filings by African Americans dropped off not just in Tulsa not just in the south, but across the country. As. Lisa trace the graph from the beginning of her data in eighteen seventy through the plessey ruling the toll, so riots and up to nineteen forty, she saw a consistent trend. The divergence between white patenting in black patenting was just so stark when she does the final math, she finds that the United States had lost out on more than one thousand one hundred inventions from black and vendors, and there's no real way to quantify what those things might have been the things that never got invented. But Lisa says that looking at some of the inventions that narrow lead did make it into. The world gives us a window into what we almost lost. She thinks about her own cousin Percy Julian. He was the first African American to head a major corporate laboratory, and in one, thousand, nine, hundred forty. He invented an improved way to make cortisone an anti inflammatory steroid now this major medical advance. I don't think I know anyone over the age of twenty who hasn't used Curtis her? House houses firebomb twice. We wouldn't have that if they have been successful. If whoever firebombed, his house had been successful. So is not an abstract idea. What's even less abstract is the economic impact of all those lost inventions, the number of patents that were lost would be equivalent to that of a medium-sized, European country at the time. We'll. An entire Netherlands, so LISA has found the gap in the innovation theory that she had suspected might be there the idea that if we just make strong patent laws that innovation calm. Her data show. It's true for some people not true for others. She's pretty sure that she's sitting on findings that have huge implications for African Americans most directly because this cuts them off from an important source of wealth, but also for the wealth of entire nations, so she starts putting her findings in front of respected economists. She takes it to Martin Feldstein a Harvard professor. who had been Ronald Reagan's chief economic adviser. Walked in the door and sat down. He said young lady. You've got us. This is one of the best ideas I've seen. In the last generation, you got to publish this. And I was just taking back. Because you know, economists are not known for being if. She sends her paper. Too Paul Romer and two other Nobel. Prize winners Ken Arrow and Milton Friedman. They all said. Yes, publish this, so that's three. Nobel Prize, winning economist and Harvard Professor. Saying this is important. You have to tell people. After the break, Lisa finds out how hard it is to innovate within economics. This message comes from NPR sponsor td Ameritrade with their desktop trading platform. Think or swim. You can customize screeners charting and stock forecast, so the market is always tailored to you. You can get started at td Ameritrade. Dot Com slash think or swim. Protests over racial injustice are spreading across the country. Mullah pandemic continues to take its toll. The next weeks and months are leading to a consequential election. This November and every day. The NPR politics podcast is here to discuss how it could reshape your world. To get an academic paper published, it has to get through a panel of experts who read and critique it. If you make edits to their satisfaction, maybe they will publish it. She sends her paper to some of the major economic generals, and what she expected to come back was feedback about her methodology assumptions, specific equations things in the paper, but instead most of their questions were about US history. They weren't about the econometrics. They weren't about the underlying economics. The thing that I was shocked at the thing though shocked at the most. was that. People in Okinawa next didn't know US history, her readers seem to be getting bogged down in these questions about definitions like a lot of people asked. What is a former slave that I got that question just took me back, you know. And I sent it to like my senior colleagues like. Is this asking what I think is asking for. This, do you interpret this for me? Please please I might be missing something. There may be some new onto your that I don't get. Also. She had used the words, lynchings and extra judicial killings, interchangeably in the paper and Journal Editors would ask do lynching really count as extra judicial killings. I kept getting this. Change it like not even there's a debate to be had changed it. Just change it because We don't think this applies here. Extra judicial killings happened to white people and to people in developing countries or emerging markets. This is a lynchings. Different and granted debating definitions is a normal part of the academic publishing process. But the questions she's getting also fell to Lisa little like they were to baiting American history and ideals across the divide of the black and white experience like the questions she got the most many of her readers kept asking wait. How would a local lynching effect would be inventor across the country? Why would you care about lynching that happened in a different state? Why would you care? The kind of fear and terror the. Black people knew then and that they know now was not even Fatima, bowl it was unimaginable, and this was a post Rodney King. So I really was I was flabbergasted. Why would you not care and I thought Oh boy? I'm in trouble I'm in trouble, so she basically wrote a black history paper on top of her ECON. Paper spelling out the effect of racial violence, as it rippled through black communities across the country. Lisa says it usually takes two to three years for a paper to be published, but for her paper it took ten years of critique and revision and debate also support from her Nobel Prize winning colleagues before her research was published in the Journal of economic growth in two thousand fourteen. It shouldn't take all that. Really should it shouldn't take. Three Nobel laureates to rescue the idea, and then it show up at. Do you know hand to hand combat? The field of economics prides itself on its detachment on its ability to set aside the noise and chaos of human behavior and explain things in cold hard data in models and equations, but as Lisa's research showed if you aren't putting all of the variables into. Into, these equations that you're using to explain the world, maybe because you haven't learned about those things or live to them, or you don't believe they even exist. If you're missing a variable, you'll get the wrong answer. And that goes back to the fundamental equation, if there is something that impedes the rate of a rival of ideas, you going to slow down the economy. It's not just for that period, and it's not just for black people. This is a cautionary tale for all economies. A cautionary tale that America does not seem to have fully. Lisa extended her initial data set through two thousand ten to see how far things have come eighteen, ninety nine was the peak year for African. American patents per capita still was so that has not that is not returned. Really, that is still the peak per capita. For African Americans. A few weeks ago, Lisa Cook got promoted to full professor. There are more than nine thousand full professors of economics in the country. About Twenty of those professors are black. If you've spotted. Major economic theory we would love to hear about it. Email us at planet money at NPR DOT Org. We're also on twitter instagram facebook, where at planet money we're also on TIKTOK now. If you WANNA know how many people it takes to start a successful revolution, check out our TIKTOK special thanks today to Paul, Romer today's show was produced by Alexi Horwitz Ghazi with help from Nick Fountain and Liza Gator or supervising producer is Alex Goldmark, Bryant, or stat at it's the show and Karen Duffin and I married child. This is NPR. Thanks for listening.
BONUS: Patent Racism
"Pay Up first listeners today we have a bonus episode for you from. NPR's economics podcast planet money. I'm Mary childs here it is. This! IS PLANET MONEY FROM NPR? In the mid nineties, there was this big new economic theory that was all the rage. It was an idea for how countries can produce unlimited economic growth, which is kind of the whole point of economics. Growth means less poverty more prosperity for decades. Economists had said there are basically just two ways to make an economy grow, invest in capital, or in labor in tangible mundane things like factories and workers, which means growth is ultimately limited because there are just so many people you can hire or factories you can build, but then some economists most notably Paul Romer said actually there's a third way to grow innovation, and before this people thought of innovation is a sort of mysterious force that kind of comes and goes at its own discretion Paul. Paul, Romer said actually you can make innovation happen. Innovation is just like a factory you can build all you have to do is like invest in science education promote market, competition, and most importantly pass strong patent laws, so that ideas can be protected and Monetize d- just do these things pass? Those laws and innovation will follow, and people loved this idea. Paul Romer eventually won the Nobel Prize in economics for it, and he taught it to an entire generation of economic students, but one of those students a PhD candidate named. Lisa, Cook. As. She learned about this. She thought I am not sure it's that simple. Just pass patent laws get innovation. Work It seem naive. Like you know. Build it. They will come, and that's not the. That's not how it works. You can have laws on the books and not enforce them, and never have growth Lisa Cook was skeptical in part because of personal experiences. For one she'd spent some time in Russia. She was studying the banking system there in the nineteen nineties, and at the time Russia technically had patent was, but what they didn't have was a lot of innovation and to Lisa. The reason seemed clear like sure there were laws, but no one seemed to enforce them. For example, several of the bankers she was supposed to interview disappeared mysteriously. She was scared, just walking to work if I don't get. Hit by a moving object falling out of a window or Attacked on the on the street like I'm lucky. If you're afraid for your life, you're probably not inventing things also remains big innovation theory assumes that the law is enforced equally, and Lisa knows very personally for example from her childhood in Georgia, that equal treatment is not guaranteed. ooh, I. I was desegregating schools along with my sisters and and I was beating. You know a beaten up. I still have scars from that scar where? Is Hair won't grow in my eyebrow and a scar on my leg from from having been beaten during that period during the period of desegregation, so Lisa is pretty sure. She's found a blind spot in that hot new economic theory. She suspects that there is more to fostering innovation than just science schools and patent laws. Maybe innovation also requires safety and equality to test her hunch. She needs to find a pool of inventors where some were subject to violence and inequality and others weren't she thinks? now where could I find such a data set? So of course you know knowing a little bit about American history I need that. African American ambassadors were subject to the things that started happening to African Americans around the period of the end of reconstruction. When lynchings were largely at their peak, and when segregation laws were being put into place, and they're after, and this is how Lisa Cook decided to study the very things that people are protesting right now violence against black people and the unequal enforcement of law, and whether those things stunt innovation. All she had to do was gather a bunch of data. Plug it into a formula, and she'll have her answer simple, and it was nowhere near that that easy. Hello and welcome to Planet Money I'm Mary Child and I'm Karen. Shepper. Today on the show Lisa Cook sets out to investigate whether one of the most important theories. An economics is missing something. If she's right, it would have implications for the wealth of black Americans and also for entire economies. She would spend more than ten years creating new data sets from scratch teaching, basic American history to her colleagues and shining a light on one of the biggest blind spots in economics. Planet Money Tiktok. relatable. We? What was it originally planet money talk radio for your eyes, but Sh- order. The best one. You may have noticed something that all these protests over police violence. There are a lot more white people there than you'd expect. But how long will that last this morning? Among White American voters? How far they really willing to go beyond dethroning trump Adam server on race and lessons from history listen subscribed to. It's been a minute from NPR. Lisa Cook has this hunch that one of the most important ideas and economics has a big hole in it. To test her theory, she needs a way to measure exactly how violence and a lack of rule of law how that impacts innovation? She needs concrete data things she can count for innovation. There actually is a way to count ideas. Patents on inventions has a whole database of patents going back centuries so okay. She's got that side of it and to measure. Measure violence and unequal rule of law. She uses a range of markers from segregation laws to the most extreme example lynchings. She'll look at data from eighteen seventy to nineteen forty, and compare the number of patents filed by black and white inventors, if black inventors file fewer patents during periods of increased violence and lawlessness, and they file more patents, violence and lawlessness. Lawlessness decrease then she's proven she's right. The thing that I was deluded about was that all these data which is hanging around and available like pats were not searchable. There was no google patents you know. Race is not recorded on a patent record yet. The most critical information that Lisa needs the race of inventors that is not listed on patents in fact. Fact the only patent filing that does list. Race is one of the earliest granted to an African American. It was a man named Norbert, really you. He invented an evaporator that's used in sugar production in eighteen, forty, three and the reason the patent file notes. His race is because someone tried to take it from him. Because of his race, the person was. On a plantation in New Orleans and they thought the it was an illegitimate pan, because it's a person's couldn't receive patents beyond that Lisa will have to patent by patent figure out a way to identify the rays of each filer for the two million patents filed in that seventy year period, so she starts looking for common African American names in census records which do list race, so she can cross reference those with the patent records one theory about. About black names that African Americans named themselves after resident. She checks it out well. It turns out. All Americans named men after presidents. She also combs through historical newspaper articles, scholarly papers biographies, also surprisingly useful source, if African Americans who are working for a government entity, and that entity was completely secret like the Department of Defence We wouldn't know about that person's inventions, but in their obituaries their family could talk about that person's inventions and they did. A great inventor of some sort the place where she finds the most data is in a survey that was commissioned by the US patent office and W E B Two boys. They wanted to showcase African American inventions at the nineteen hundred world fair took me a year or two, then by the names, and then a year to match them to the data, and then another year to fail at that. She ends up with a list of seven hundred and twenty six patents filed by African Americans between eighteen, seventy and nineteen forty. Finally. She has all the data. She needs to start testing her theory, so she plots out the number of patents filed per year chronologically on a graph and staring at them, all lined up, she can look back in time and see how black innovation grew or foul, in different times and places throughout this history, starting at the beginning of her data sat in eighteen seventy, the civil war was receding in the background. The fourteenth amendment recently passed promising equal protection under the law for all men born in the United States during this period African Americans made a lot of. Holding Office owning property end filing more and more patents. She sees the line on her graph. Rise african-americans patents at roughly the same rate as white inventors through about nineteen, hundred given this new freedom and new rights African. American inventors flourished admitted all kinds of things in this period, an elevator rotary engines a tapered Gulf. T A- donator, a telephone system, a fertilizer distributor and a bunch of other things, but then as Lisa followed the patent further, the story is set. Set was telling her took a turn. There was a sharp decline in patenting a right right at nine thousand nine hundred around the time of plus you versus Ferguson, and and thereafter plessey versus Ferguson the Supreme Court ruling that gave official legal sanction to a so-called separate, but equal America legislators were passing laws that pushed African Americans into not at all equal homes and schools or just cut off access to things altogether including things that you would need to invent. And locked at libraries where they used to go. Check the patent registries. They are locked at the commercial districts where there pat maturities are. They were cut off from talking to other inventors I think that was one of the biggest casualties for those who were still inventing. They had to go to extreme lengths like she found this one Guy Garrett Morgan. He invented a precursor to the gas masks used in world war, one also hair, straightening cream, a better stop light, but he couldn't sell all of those things himself, so he had to find a workaround at the time. Time Lisa says native Americans held a special prominence as inventors of medical remedies and clothing and boats so Garrett would go to trade shows with a sort of cover story. He would bring along a native American and he'd had the native American of give the pitch, and he was the native Americans. Research Assistant, that's how he would present himself, but for a lot of African American inventors after Plessey versus Ferguson just straight up lost their jobs. Including one of the top patent officers at the US Patent Office also a top inventor at the US, postal service, who was in charge of coordinating with other inventors around the country? Neither of them ever filed a patent. And as Lisa connects the fluctuations in patent filings to specific spikes in lynchings or new segregation laws, the data seemed to be confirming her hypothesis, but then she sees another big dip in the patent filings from African Americans, and this one does not appear connected to lynchings or segregation laws and I couldn't get rid of the effect like you. You have to test when you're looking at something that is, is that start? You have to test adjacent years to see if you are seeing what you're thinking, you're seeing and I just couldn't get the effect. Go Away, no matter what I throughout her. Her data were screaming at her. That something big had happened in nineteen twenty one. She couldn't scrub it out as a calculation error, no matter how many times she checked, she looks into it and realizes that nineteen twenty one was the year of one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. The Tulsa race massacre, if seen watchmen on HBO. This was the attack on Black Wall. Street, this one neighborhood in Tulsa had become famous as a bustling affluent community place where black Americans could settle and live well, it had its own newspaper. Its own hospitals schools banks a bus service. But in late May of nineteen twenty one mobs of white men invaded the town. They massacred residents shooting on site. They also firebombed the neighborhood from airplanes. This haven of black affluence burned to the ground Tulsa demonstrated. No one would help them. No one. The local government failed. The state government failed. The US government failed. At every single level, nobody had their backs. They were all afraid. It was a message that was heard across the country. The government would not provide even the most basic protections for black Americans not for their lives, not for their property, so certainly not for their inventions. It's a sensitive personal security. Hope feels safe anywhere. But also my likelihood might be in jeopardy. I may never be able to make a living doing the things I'm doing. So. That's why if I'm a block inventor in another city. Why would I ever invent anything if I thought the intellectual property was never going to be defended? The Black Wall Street the everybody knew about if it were protected, why would I be protected? So it shouldn't be surprising that after that patent filings by African Americans dropped off not just in Tulsa, not just in the south, but across the country. As Lisa trace the graph from the beginning of her data in eighteen seventy through the plessey ruling toll, so riots and up to nineteen forty. She saw a consistent trend. The divergence between white patenting in black patenting was just so stark when she does the final math, she finds the United States had lost out on more than one thousand one hundred inventions from and vendors, and there's no real way to quantify what those things might have been the things that never got invented. But Lisa says that looking at some of the inventions that narrow Lee did make it into. The world gives us a window into what we almost lost. She thinks about her own cousin Percy Julian. He was the first African American to head a major corporate laboratory, and in one, thousand, nine, hundred forty. He invented an improved way to make cortisone an anti inflammatory steroid. Now this is a major medical advancements. I don't think I know anyone over the age of twenty. WHO HASN'T US cortisone? His house firebomb twice. We wouldn't have that if they had been successful. If whoever firebombed, his house had been successful. So it was not an abstract idea. What's even less abstract is the economic impact of all those lost inventions? The number of patents that were lost would be equivalent to that of a medium-sized European country at the time. We'll. Entire Netherlands so LISA has found the gap in the innovation theory that she had suspected might be there the idea that if we just make strong patent laws that innovation calm. Her data show. It's true for some people not true for others. She's pretty sure that she's sitting on findings that have huge implications for African. Americans most directly because this cuts them off from an important source of wealth, but also for the wealth of entire nations, so she starts putting her findings in front of respected economists. She takes it to Martin Feldstein a Harvard. Professor, who had been Ronald Reagan's chief economic adviser. I, walked in the door and sat down, he said. Young Lady you've got to publish us. This is one of the best ideas I've seen. In the last generation, you've got to publish this. And I was just taken aback. Because you know, economists are not known for being. If. She sends her paper Too Paul, Romer and two other Nobel Prize winners Ken Arrow and Milton Friedman. They all said yes, publish this, so that's three Nobel, prize, winning economist and Harvard Professor. Saying this is important. You have to tell people. After, the break Lisa finds out how hard it is to innovate within economics. This message comes from. NPR SPONSOR TD AMERITRADE with their desktop trading platform. Think or swim. You can customize screeners charting and stock forecast, so the market is always tailored to you. You can get started at td, Ameritrade. Dot Com slash think or swim. Protests over racial injustice are spreading across the country. Walla pandemic continues to take its toll. The next weeks and months are leading to a consequential election this November and every day. The NPR politics podcast is here to discuss. How could reshape your world? To get an academic paper published. It has to get through a panel of experts who read and critique it. If you make edits to their satisfaction, maybe they will publish it. She sends her paper to some of the major economic journals, and what she expected to come back was feedback about her methodology assumptions, specific equations things in the paper. But instead most of their questions were about US history. They weren't about the econometrics. They weren't aborted the underlying economics. The thing that I was shocked at the thing. Though is shocked at the most. WAS THAT People. Economics didn't know US history. Her readers seem to be getting bogged down in these questions about definitions like a lot of people asked. What is a former slave. That I got that question just took me back. You and I sent it to like my senior colleagues like. Is this asking what I think is asking for? This you interpret this for me. Please please. I might be missing something. There may be some nuance here that I don't get. Also. She had used the words, lynchings and extra judicial killings interchangeably in the paper and Journal Editors would ask do lynchings really count as extrajudicial killings? I kept getting this question. Change it like not even there's a debate to be had change. It just change it because We don't think this applies here. Extra judicial killings happened to white people and to people in developing countries or emerging markets. This is a lynchings or something, different and granted debating definitions is a normal part of the academic publishing process. But the questions she's getting also fell to Lisa little like they were to baiting American, history and ideals across the divide of the black and white experience like the question she got the most many of her readers kept asking wait. How would a local lynching effect would be inventor across the country? Why would you care about lynching that happened in a different state? Why would you care? The kind of fear and terror the. Black people knew then and that they know now was not even fathomable. It was unimaginable and this was a post Rodney King. So I really was I was flabbergasted. Why would you not care and I thought Oh. Boy I'm in trouble. I'm in trouble, so she basically wrote a black history paper on top of her ECON paper spelling out the effect of racial violence, as it rippled through black communities across the country, Lisa says it usually takes two to three years for a paper to be published, but for her paper it took ten years of critique and revision and debate also support from her Nobel Prize, winning colleagues before her research was published in the Journal of economic growth in two thousand fourteen. It shouldn't take all that. Really should. It shouldn't take. Three. Nobel laureates to rescue the idea, and then it show up at. Do you know hand to hand combat? The field of economics prides itself on its detachment on its ability to set aside the noise and chaos of human behavior and explain things in cold hard data in models and equations, but as Lisa's research showed. If you aren't putting all of the variables into these equations that you're using to explain the world, maybe because you haven't learned about those things or lived them, you don't believe they even exist. If, you're missing a variable. You'll get the wrong answer. And that goes back to the fundamental equation, if there is something that impedes the rate of a rival of ideas, you going to slow down the economy. It's not just for that period, and it's not just for black people. This is a cautionary tale for all economies. A cautionary tale. That America does not seem to have fully learned yet. Lisa extended her initial data set through two thousand ten to see how far things have come eighteen, ninety nine was the peak year for African American patents per capita. It still is so that has not that has not returned. Really. That is still the peak per capita. For African Americans. A few weeks ago, Lisa Cook got promoted to full professor. There are more than nine thousand full professors of economics in the country. About. Twenty of those professors are black. Today's show was produced by Lexi. HORWITZ Ghazi with help from Nick Fountain and Mesa Gaiger supervising producer is Alex Goldmark Bryant at? It's the show. I'm Karen. Duffin and I'm Mary, CHILDS THAT PLANET MONEY NPR's economics podcast out twice a week. In recent episodes, we have traced the origin story of the first vaccine back to imperial China. We've also looked into all that stimulus money to explain where exactly the two trillion dollars is coming from. That's planet. Money your regular up. I will be back tomorrow. Thanks for listening. This is NPR.
Travel WITH Stephanie Abrams_Show ID 1747
"Welcome to travel with stephanie abrams. I am delighted. You're with us this hour. If you've missed any part of today's show which you may have already done. Make sure you go to s abrahams dot net s. Apr ams dot net. Lots of good stuff. There lots of good stuff for you know about And archives everything podcast. Everything both radio. Tv got it all photo galleries and remember. We're a work in progress so we're always adding more Especially since this is a rebuild of our once fabulous website. That won an award every time. I enter contests You know fabulous award for best website because we got hacked in. I mean twenty twenty or not enough. We had to get hacked and brought to our knees in august last year. But you know we've been working diligently to Recreate everything that was important. And we're still working on it but there's a lot of really good stuff there so it's not a waste of your time to drop in s. Apr dot net You know i'm constantly being introduced to referred to and stumbling upon people myself that i think would be of interest to you and one since such incident happened last week. And we rearranged a bunch of stuff so that we could squeeze in an interview with someone who has a really interesting perspective on travel partly coming out of his own interest in traveling but also propelled and motiva- motivated by what he does in the business world. And you know we talk about a term. I invented that. I referred to as intentional travel. And that's when you know you're on a mission whether the mission is some personal interest or some public service or philanthropy or something to do with business or family whatever it is. You're whatever you're doing has a duality of purpose. It's not just gee. I need a break. Where's a nice place to go and veg out. And so i learned about a fine fellow who has been learning a great deal from his travels in his business mission to the point that he's also written a book related to his business mission that have the imprint of his travels upon it and the best part is i got introduced to this fine fellow by our senior producer. David is be who as luck would have. It went to school with his fellow years ago and they've managed to keep in touch and whatnot. And if you write a book you're going to want to dig out of your old friends and get them on the social networking bandwagon to get out the story. Well lucky for him. David is be isn't radio and luckier for him. Since much of what he talks about and was in pursuit of in the business world require travel on his part not only in the us but overseas as well and David and i will go into our twenty. Th year working together in june we started working together in june two thousand two and we started the first show aired the first sunday in july two thousand and two so we will celebrate our nineteen th birthday and start our twenty th year on the air the first sunday july this year and we've managed let each other live even more remarkable but david is a joy to work with And incredibly skilled and talented. And i you know the biggest problem. I have is blocking out time in his nutsy schedule to get him into chats with me on the air because he's busy in production all the time. So we're gonna try this year to get him back on the air with me more. Because i think you've almost forgotten the sound of his voice and that's not a good thing but in any event he is always up to some kind of good mischief and the newest good mischief was introducing me to trent romer and his new book. That's going to come out in june twenty twenty one and so you wanna be on the lookout for it and i want to be talking about it because we don't have to wait until the book comes out to talk about it and you can put it on your moscow and get this list. So we're gonna do that. And we're gonna start talking with trent romer right after this portions of today's show brought to you by cure sal offering vacationers cultural experiences wrapped in history and charming traditional european architecture. A unesco world heritage city on a southern caribbean island with kkob speeches and over sixty dive and snorkelling sites curious field for yourself visit curious. How dot com on the line with me. Is trent romer. I love his movie star name and he has written a book that is at the intersection of his business interests. And his need to travel as part of those business interests and what he has learned in the process and enjoyed in the process as well. So welcome aboard trent. What is the name of your new book. Thank you stephanie. Appreciate it. I appreciate you. Having me on. It means a lot in your interest. The name of the book is called finding sustainability It's really a journey about The our business in trying to become more sustainable in the process I can give you a little background on our business if if it's okay to go into that needs to explain. Yeah yeah yeah so. We are a Sixty year old custom. Plastic bag manufacturing firm. My grandfather started the business back in nineteen sixty one. My father owned it for about twenty to thirty years and now my brother and i own the business. My father is one of eleven. And i have thirty two first cousin so we have a very very large family And they were tremendous source of dedication and loyalty And and labor as business grew and increasingly as we progress in two three years ago The anti plastic narrative really began to take hold not only in society but also sort of within the kind of i didn't feel great about the end of life problem with plastics that we're seeing our environment so i decided to embark on a journey to begin to learn About what we could do to solve that problem or at least to address it. And i kind of felt found myself at a crossroads back in two thousand eighteen. You know to one side. Was the survival path where you know. You could continue to make the same bags that you're making and use the same materials. The other side or the other path was more of a preservation path. Of what can i do now to to make a better future into leave future generations In a good place. And i felt like i couldn't take both pass You had to choose one or the other and When i chose to do was to take this journey Towards sustainability to try and learn more about it where maybe i could do some of both And apply it tar on industry so that journey really started two years ago. It took me to to multiple places and really. The book is about that journey multiple places. Like where so The the first place i visited was Aplastic free supermarket in amsterdam in the netherlands. the the was full of composed bags And no bags at all or paper bags or variations of plastic. That that was an amazing trip and Right after that. We went down to brussels In belgium i went to a european strategy conference on this very topic and In both places we enjoyed a couple of days a leisure. We took bite tours in in both places so that my my wife and i are are big biker so that was so enjoyable when you say bike tours where they the kind that after you pedal kind of becomes motorized or this was all you know human power yes so so amsterdam as you probably know. There's there's actually more bicycles than inhabitants or city inhabitants in amsterdam. It's just unbelievable around. You know they did that. I don't. I don't know how somebody didn't explain that peace to you. You know there are a good jillian bicycles in bicycle racks all over amsterdam and if you wanna get from one place to another and you don't wanna walk or take a taxi or some public form of transportation. You just take a bike any bike. Just take the bike and drive it where you want to go and park it in the bicycle stan. That's got an empty slot wherever you land up and when you maybe went to a museum cafe or hotel or whatever and then when you're done doing whatever you're doing and you're ready to go to your next place you come out. Take any bike you want and go and they did it because bike. Bicycle thefts and amsterdam was enormous and in order to get rid of people stealing bicycles. The municipality came up with the system. Let us populate the city with bicycles and bike racks and just go take a bike and get where you need to go and leave it. Wherever but as a rail tour as a result there are people that are from parts of eastern europe who have found themselves in amsterdam and want to go home and have taken a bike that turns up you know five eight hundred thousand miles away often with flat tires that somebody just lifted into golf. We're gonna take a quick commercial. Brilliant that people in holland in the netherlands. Come up with such good ideas. Not the least of which for many is their coffee houses which nobody goes to for coffee. We'll be right back. Don't leave me. Don't leave me say Each travel with stephanie. Abrams on the line with me. Is trent romer. Who's written a book called finding sustainability which has to do simplistically with saving the planet from refuse that a we can't get rid of Be winds up being pollutant And or creates horrible problems I by accident Just the other day trent. I went to youtube for something. And you know they're always coming up offering you you you wanna see this they give you a bunch of things they think you might be interested in and one of them. I literally couldn't watch. Because i'm just too squeamish and anything that has to do with animals being hurt. I can't handle i. I probably can watch some terribly violent film where everybody gets killed. And have you know less of a reaction to it painting desensitize from so many visual images but to see an animal suffering makes me crazy and this was a poor seal with a plastic straw embedded up its nose and somebody was trying to save it At some rescue center somewhere. I mean i was very happy to see somebody. Was you know fixing up this poor seal but those kinds of things drive me mad and so i do my best to have my consciousness raised without dwelling on it and being a completely depressed from it because that could happen to me. I once cried for two hundred miles because we passed a dog in the road that had been hit by another car truck. And i just couldn't stop crying. It just so disturbed me so you know but but we all need to be bringing some kind of sensitivity to what is happening on this planet. You know there's a couple of guys who were surfers divers or something who started an organization. They're always looking to sell bracelets to raise money to clean up the oceans their spots. You when you see the visuals of the beaches. They're cleaning up. That are a a natural dumping ground of the tide bringing in unbelievable megatons of plastic. That's not disintegrating and is just filling up the oceans and interfering with the marine life. I g i got funny i. I'm wearing a watch right now. Made from recycled plastics. So it's the band and a lot of the parts are made from Ocean bound ocean plastics that they recovered from the ocean. It's a super super new company and one of the things that we've really bought into is if you're not buying recycled content. You're not recycling That was a term or a phrase that we picked up on a few years ago. And it really brings you into focus is to say when i'm buying recycled content. Now the clothing company or the packaging company needs to request that recycled content. And they're starting to pull it through the system so that the processor Who is who is recycling items has a market to sell it so that that is a really big element of of where we're trying to get to as a society is to keep buying recycled content. So there's the demand for it so there's no such thing really is trash is really a resource To make something else know that such point point you've made that. I haven't heard anybody say before so i i want to thank you for that. Wanted to tie that stephanie. Into travel. Because you and i had a discussion yesterday and this is one story From one of the the travel places that i went to that really made that connection for me. And i wanted to share that with you. I went to the sustainable packaging coalition. We're members and went out to seattle washington for a week. And i stayed there for a week and one of the things that we got an opportunity to do was to go on tours of local places that that were more so that were on a sustainable path. The place i visited with centurylink field. Which is the home of the seattle sounders in seattle seahawks The stadiums seventy seventy two thousand Seat arena when. We walked in at ten o'clock on a tuesday morning. We were the only ten people in that place in our tour guide for the ten people When we walked in there He said to us only two or three trash receptacles in the entire place. And i was thinking to myself. What how how is that even possible. How is that possible. hang on. we're gonna commercial break and come back and find out. How do you have an enormous arena with three trash. Receptacles stay with john. We'll leave on the cliff with this riddle. we'll be right back Ask wall a stephanie. Abrams novel of secrets. Lies and conspiracies. That ensnare the lives of ordinary people in tightening web it all starts with rumors available at amazon dot com in print and kindle formats and barnes and noble dot com rumours by stephanie abrams. The perfect leisure-time companion coast to coast with the most travel professionals and the best business and leisure travel. Information travel with stephanie. Abrams and on air traveling companion. David is be eights. Travel with stephanie. Abrams trent romer author of a book that will be published in june twenty. Twenty one called finding sustainability left us hanging on a cliff He went out to seattle washington. High all your out there listening on the radio stations that carry us and He went to more about how various places are dealing with issues of. What do you do with plastic and refuse that doesn't want to naturally breakdown and disappear and one of the places he went wasn't arena in seattle huge arena. How many people would that arena. Have if it were full at a game. Here is a seventy two thousand seat stadium outdoor stadium and yet the tour guide. Who took you around told you there were only three trash receptacles in the entire arena. How is that possible. Yeah so or something to that really really low number so obviously. We pressed him on that question. We said how is that possible. He said well the The stadium is filled with two bins All over the stadium One is a composting bin and one is a recycling bin so one of the things stadium has an advantage of is they control the waste. When you come into a stadium you get checked. You know you cannot bring in things so them not allowing anything into the stadium. They then control what they give you so anything. They give you in the stadium in the souvenir shop or the concessionary area. They control that. So they are giving you either recyclable. Items or composed of items. So there's such things as compulsively packaging can possible. Cups can post civil cutlery So when you're done you're at the stadium. You have burger whatever And you go to dispose of those items. You can dispose in the recycle bin. Or the composting been. There's only two choices at the end of the stadium. Event there's a composter Outside of the seattle city limits they come and pick up the compost. And there's a recycler who comes and picks up the recyclers The recycled recyclable items. The really interesting part was for the composter. They will develop compost and ninety to one hundred days under set conditions and whatnot Local farmers will buy compost from the The composter and then the stadium will buy back vegetables from that farmer. So you think about a french. Fry that you're eating at the in the seattle centurylink field that could have potentially been grown out of the compos from the From the compost. That was In the trash bin a month earlier to that's a really savvy about why that is not perfect but the circularity is just really. Hit home to me that you know the stadiums are very idyllic Spot because they control the waste but it really locked into that circularity idea of all items. What we're really trying to do. The imagery kills me. You know i mean. I understand that takes fertilizer to help grow all kinds of vegetation that we eat but it's not an image. I want to dwell on. No but it's it's a mindset. There's no there's no such thing as waste. That's really what we're all trying to do. There's no waste everything has a place you know you hear that term. I'm going to throw that away. Well there's no such thing as a way it has to go somewhere right so there's really only four places something can go. It can go to a landfill it can go to an incinerator. We don't really want those or it can be recycled or can be composted. We there's really only two spots we want something ultimately to go in order that we can repurpose it into something else. So your question. On thefts in your for instance in traveling to seattle you mentioned something about a coalition of companies involved in an organization focused on sustainability and whatnot. See any governmental leadership Either coming from the very top or from the states or from the cities that we help somebody in the middle of of the country. You're on the east coast or the south or you know up in the northeast somewhere. Having an opportunity you'll maybe isn't a member of that coalition but could be changing the ways. They're doing things if they even knew about it. How is the communication going on. Because i have to tell you my nose is into all things related to communications and this. If i weren't talking to you. I wouldn't know about this and i've got five radio. Stations in the seattle tacoma bellevue washington it region. And you know. Even though i pay attention to what's going on as best. I can everywhere that we have radio stations places that i know we've got a big podcast audience Even places in other parts of the world where i know we have listeners that i'm looking at. What would they be interested in knowing about. Or what do they know that. We don't know that we ought to know when we ought to share. If if you weren't coming on now and you know the chain of events kind of divinely inspired if you didn't go to high school with my senior producer. David is we wouldn't be talking now and this is how he really is. He is not only a love bug. He's a stud muffin now. He's he's wonderful. He's a member of the family and so is his wife and children. I mean they're all members of our family. I think he was shocked that we saved christmas cards. They sat down every year. Which are those photographic things of the family and we saved them every year and line them up on our mantle along with all other treasured correspondents that we get from a unique group of people that we want displayed on our fireplace mantel. I was shocked in the find out this year but Were it not for the fact that you contacted him and told them the mischief. You're up to and you know. Is there any outlet for you to share your information which led to me. We wouldn't be talking now and you have something of real importance to say so. My my question is like your question. Your questions really good. It's almost like when you look at this Whole problem that you're trying to solve is it's either top down or bottom up right so the top down says okay. The government says you can't use plastic bags or you can't do this or this or whatever the bottom up is what can i do and i think for the longest time stephanie. I felt like This thing was too big for me to do anything about you. Know i'm a seventy person company. We're not this hulking company. But over time i thought to myself it's too big to ignore like we have that. We have to do something. And that's where. I think all of us can say all right. What can i do. And i think that's sort of the question you're trying to get at is what can i do without the government. Now i hope you know with the new administration. I'm hoping that we see regulations. Like you know by twenty thirty twenty. Five percent of packaging has to be post consumer recycled content. Or something along those lines. That will push us in that direction but some things that i think we can all do is one is. I think we can all buy recycled content. When you when you get a little bit more in tune with that you can buy shirts and clothes and watches and souvenirs recycled content souvenirs souvenirs huge plastics industry. Yup i mean so. I think that's a big one. I think the second one is Participate in a clean up after one is called the river keeper. It's the hudson river where we There's about thirty or more like two hundred different crews up and down. The hudson river in early may where you go down to the riverfront and then you pick up trash and when you do that and within two hours you have a couple of bags full of trash you really think to yourself. Wow our society. I think has a pretty good recycling and pretty good waste management system. Think about a developing country. That doesn't have one you know if they don't have the waste management systems that we have how can't garbage and whatnot go into rivers. When i'm down at the hudson river and i can pick up a couple of bags full so it really begins to you. Start to think about that infrastructure of how do we get from thinking of garbage as something. That's a resource. And then how do we get that recycled into a position or accomplishment of the vision where we can reuse it. So you in our off air conversation and you told me about how your company is. Creating bags are compostable so they will over time actually breakdown and not just become a blight on the earth but where else in your travels did you go. That had you not gone there. There's something really important You know that you learned because she went that you would never have known about toward. You might not have come to this on your own. Yes so it's just it was almost serendipitous. How all of this stuff just sort lined itself up. You know i. I mentioned i went to europe. I went to that strategy conference i. I went to a week long sustainability leadership at harvard university. Which i got accepted to and i was so thrilled. Goes an unbelievable experience I went to seattle and at the summer vacation. That we took with our family really locks something and we went to yosemite valley in yosemite national park and spent eight days. There you know and just being around in mariposa grove with those two hundred foot sequoia trees that are two hundred years old being in yosemite valley and seeing those rock formations and realizing how long they've been there. How pristine things. Were just that that that thing inside you about preservation and future generations and people who have been here before you it just has such a powerful effect when you can experience that And it makes you want to do something and even if you're doing something really really does add up. I always think to myself you know. Improvements are made infractions right there for us. They're not made in huge jumps usually. They're made infractions. But when we can all add up these fractions you come up with real change and that trip to your seventy a whole we. We did a couple of hikes. You just super powerful experiences and so you saw that portion of it as the motivation for why. It's so important to for future generations. Yeah you got you gotta do something right and and when you go there and you go to places like that. And that's why i love these The national parks to others. That i have spent some time with my life. is is katie national. Park up in Up in maine holly aquila hawaii now. The one in a. Why is that with the volcano is. Yeah so what can on that one was. We got a three. Am wakeup call to van. On the back you go up. You watch the sunrise on top of the volcano and then you ride bikes down us. Incredible experience in the the scenery underway down where you actually in a volcano national park. I'm not sure is highly national park the same. I don't know because. I only know it as you know hilo national park if there's another piece or another park then you know. Maybe i was there but it didn't realize it was a different place. It's a place to know people and by the way you used to have to go over this god awful unpaved bumpy dusty gravelly took you forever road And they paved it so that that cut a lot of time and the first time we went. It's interesting that you say you got up at three o'clock in the we were in cona. Which is the you've got to airports. You can fly into kona or hilo hilo the smaller one and it's on the side of the island that reigns that's why the rainforest is there where the volcano is. The other side of the island is kona where it's it tends to be more and more sunny dry days and whatnot and a and less vegetation. All fields of of laval everywhere. You go in fact. The graffiti is done by placing white stones on top of the black lava. That's the wild wild you drive along the road from kona airport to where the hotels are then. If you keep going you'll eventually get the hilo couple hours later. But it started with the people making the road. We have to take a break. My goodness we'll be right back. Only won't see each travel with stephanie abrams. I'm talking with trent romer. Who has written a book called finding sustainability. It'll come out. June twenty twenty one and It's a combination of what he has been learning for his family business. That was started by his grandfather. And what he's learned in the biz this what. He's learned in the industry of manufacturing products in plastic and what he has been learning about making plastic composed able so it will break down be recyclable. Be reusable and not just be a glut on the planet and in doing that as visited a lot of places and we were just talking in the last segment about his visit to hawaii To the and the big island of hawaii and I was mentioning about the graffiti along the roadway when the men were building the road from the airport that leads along parallel to the ocean and on the right side it's just fields and fields of black lava laying there for however long and then on the left side is where all vow tells and those are lush green because the landscapers at the hotels have planted evidence of those trees shrubs bushes and flowers and The men wanted to in there. You know to break the boredom of building this endless road They would take white stones and do things like make a heart shape and put an you know. Mike loves lisa that kind of thing they would do. Their graffiti side of the road. Using white rocks on top of the black lava is very cool. But if you went to hilo national park you can actually stand in the same spots. Wear a report louis. Stevenson the author. Who lived in the hawaiian islands in the pacific for so long And a their iraq's be like boulders with with brass plaques engraved with quotations of their comments about what it was like standing there Which were lifted from literature that they wrote also there's one mark twain imagine in the eighteen hundreds which is when they would have been going Imagine a mark twain from his book I think it was from his book. Innocence abroad His commentary about standing in the spot and looking out at the crater. And you're looking at the same thing i mean. That's the ultimate in sustainability that you know you're looking at a scene that looks identical to a hundred two hundred three hundred or more years ago and so we have some obligation There is a whole sector of the travel industry devoted to sustainability and an organization called towards them cares that not only dives in by spearheading fundraising. When there's a soon nami or a hurricane or an earthquake in some touristic destination and just about every destination has something of touristic value so the always raising money to help at end. Send people You know people general managers of oh tells and people that work in the travel industry will take time off from their work and fly to a destination to pitch in you know after. Some colossal messes happened in that destination to help bring things back to normal. But we've got another situation here And that is that all of us have an opportunity to be able to participate in sustaining the earth. So we don't become one big garbage dump We've got about half a minute. Do you have some closing message. You'd like to share with our listeners would so Packaging is not going away. It's going to double in the next twenty years and by far the best the best thing to do is to reduce. I mean that is number one. You want to reduce and you wanna repurpose. If you actually do need a package you wanna look for something. That's bio based made from renewable energy. Sources you want to look for something that has recycled content. Or you want to look for something that may be close. At the end of end of life more recyclable of life so just want to choose the best packaging that really applies to everything closed. Everything we can under the umbrella and when you're going travelling bring along a shopping bag folded up in your role award so let you always have your own packaging to carry away your purchases and that you can reuse. Thank you so much for joining us today. All of you come back next week. This is stephanie. Abrams were flying i.
March 30th: Sherrie Peif HR 2
"This is mornings with kale and northern colorado's voice. Thirteen ten kfi a colorado. Voters might have the chance to do just that when it comes to imagine making roads a budget priority with a proposed ballot measure. Not a done deal yet. But it's definitely in the works seven seven now thirteen ten. Kfi a thirteen ten. Kfi am dot com northern colorado's voice mornings with gail from the auto collision specialists studios joined this morning By a sherry pipe Complete colorado investigative journalists are weld county political insider who just posted great piece up on complete colorado relative to this very topic. All you have to do is go to complete colorado dot com if you want to follow along this morning and click on that page to link k. Sherri how are you this morning. I'm doing great and you wonderful marvelous marvelous model. I always jump on the chance i asked. This is a damn roles. Reboot call it six damn fix our jam roads two point. Oh yeah hunters. Yep yep right so give us the back story on this well. Basically back in The ninety i think. I can't remember off the top of my head. Exactly what year The state passed a bill. It was senate bill one and what it did is it took ten percent. It was during the the roy romer years it took ten percent of sales and use taxes that came into the state for automobiles And earmarked at essentially for transportation and during that time that it was in place for about eight years generated one point four billion dollars in revenue to fix the roads right then in two thousand and nine. When the the democrats had control back then they repealed senate bill one and they started taking that money that was generating and putting it into all of their other little special interest programmes pet projects. Yeah the ones that will bring hollywood to aspen to make movies and give waste management thirty thousand dollars a year to to put c g tanks in their in their waste. Waste trucks those kinds of projects for that money. Went away for all this new proposal. That has gone that is now sitting in the legislative council offices. Down in denver would do was is essentially. Reimplement that bill. I it it just puts that bill back into play Senate democratic senate republicans tried to get this the path last year and failed so now my boss who is known for putting things on the ballot. have come forward and said okay. Fine if you're not gonna do it. We're going to do it because this was a bill that when it initially past had bipartisan support. This was a bill. That has or senator mark udall on. It had representative. Ed pearl matter on it. It was fine by governor roy. Romer this was what everybody in. The states thought was probably the best way to go about raising money for our roads. So where do you see all this going. Because i know there is A signature requirements. And by the way your boss. Of course jon caldera president of the independence institute no stranger to this process but the measure as you write in your story on complete colorado. The measure was actually filed by john caldera in another very familiar name to those of us in northern colorado and beyond a state senator. John cook yeah. And and you're right My boss is not a stranger to these propositions i mean. He's done this many times. It has to go through the process anytime he do. A citizens initiative to get on the ballot. You have to go before you have to take what you want and take it to the legislative council legislative council go through it's a little process and approves it then it goes to the secretary of state's office and the title board and a title set and then once all of that is done. Then that is when you start gathering the signatures now the signatures require about one hundred and twenty six hundred twenty seven thousand valid signatures but again. This is not something that john doesn't know how to do. I mean way back. He proposition one zero four. Which forced teachers teacher unions into public negotiations. That was john caldera at past One sixteen last year which lowered the state income tax. That would john caldera. It passed a couple years ago when he tried fix. Dan roads that one got on the ballot. That one did not pass but with that one did do was technically what it was intended to do. And that was split a vote with another ballot measure. That was would have raised taxes for roads so john knows how to get the signatures. He knows how to get things on the ballot. And that'll be the process that will have to go through to get there so it's got you know some months down the road but it because it's a table because it's a tape measure and it concerns money. It can go on the twenty twenty one election. So that's what it's slated to do is go on the twenty twenty one election in november and this initiative as you write in your piece complete colorado page to Not their first rodeo. Apparently this is a mere image of a similar attempt to made by senator paul dean right. Yeah and that's exactly what they did so when you when you write ballot initiative whether you're in the state legislature or you're a citizen trying to get it put on the ballot. Colorado has a single subject law. And you can't have more than one subject in a ballot and so last year pollen. Dean attempted to do the same thing and his bill last year. Basically with a mirror. Image of senate bill one from back in the day which by the way i wanna make sure everybody knows that former mayor tom norton was also a co sponsor of senate bill one and he was you know. He was instrumental in getting that past. And in the beginning but paul one beans bill basically mirrored senate bill one and this bill basically mirrors pullen beans bill. That way we don't we didn't have to worry about or i shouldn't say we we because john my boss but that way john didn't have to worry about The single subject part of that so everything is pretty much identical to what has has occurred in the past so when it comes to the signature gathering No you don't have a crystal ball. I know you can't put on your karnak hat as the case may be but i can't help but think that They would gather signatures in a heartbeat. Yeah i don't think. I don't think it'll be an issue at all. I mean like. I said before this is something that that colorado anybody who drives colorado highways knows that we need to do something with our roads and this does not raise taxes. We can't raise taxes right now. With code and business losses and job losses and people trying to get their incomes back. Now is not the time to start trying to raise taxes. Yeah me personally never a time to raise taxes but that's another story But you know it's not gonna be hard to look somebody in the face. Say hey would you like to have your sixty using existing money. I mean basically. That's what fix are damn roads. Did you know two years ago. It was the same thing it was. We're gonna fix these roads and we're not going to raise your taxes. It's not going to be hard to convince people to sign that to sign that petition to get on the ballot. And i don't think it'll be hard to convince people to you know after the year that everybody had to say. No we want you to use the money you hob currently in your coffers to do what you've been told to do and not as fix our infrastructure and stop worrying about other e little things like taxes on tampons and and you know bag fees i just stop you know. War on plastic continues. Yeah you know. Do your job you know. Elected officials are supposed to focus on certain aspects of life. And that is your infrastructure. Your fire your safety. Those things they're not supposed to focus on saving you twenty cents in taxes on your tampon. Grocery store not there The inimitable sherry pipe investigative complete auto a real absurdity that takes place in the state capital. Just boggles the mind doesn't and you know what else you know. What else boggles the mind. Speaking of signature gathering. Well the uproar. Apparently over that terry ranch project that brilliant in my very humble opinion aquifer to supply greeley's water needs well into the future. Well you've got a pretty vocal group of opponents Save greeley's water and they are hard at work trying to gather the necessary signatures for a referendum. Though the greeley city council passed this unanimously to force it to a special election wanted to shake I've been very vocally in support of the terry ranch project. I did a video. Ford really water. I wrote a letter to the editor guest column for the greeley tribune And i actually saw the signature gatherers outside a king supers the other day and i thought to myself the first thing that i thought to myself as they're telling people that is uranium in the water at terry ranch. I wonder if they're telling people there's uranium in the water. They're drinking out of their tap right. Now it's amazing to me the miss information but a small group of people want everybody. I've called it scared toxic tactics. I'm gonna continue to call it scare tactics. God bless there are people on the other side of this. That are friends of mine that we have disagreed repeatedly over it. And we're gonna continue to disagree repeatedly over it. But i have looked every inch in corner of this project that i can look at and financially. It's the best bang for your buck. It is the most creative form of financing. I have ever seen the risk in the financing is all on the owner of the terry ranch project this all falls squarely in their lap. It doesn't fall in the lap of really city council. we have to have water storage for the feature. Greely is going to grow. And this is the best possible project. That you can the uranium. That's in the wealth out on that ranch. It has been tested. There is one. Well that is over the epa standards one well and that level once it goes into the awful for an is mixed with the other one point. Two billion acre feet of water is going to be deluded and then cleaned no different. Let me repeat that. No different than the uranium levels that are currently in the water that are cleaned up by the city. Already the process that it takes to clean that They want to tell everybody is so expensive. And it's going to cost you so much money down. The road is not true. No it's not cheap to clean water but we already clean water and it's not cheap to clean water and that is just something that we do the thing about this whole project. That really gets me is greeley have been known for decades in its innovative ways of making sure that we have water. We are the best city the best county in the entire state when it comes to this process. And that's because the people that are in place at the water department and the people who sit on that waterboard mic todd harold evans. Those people know what they're doing. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best project and water law water. Activation water storage is not an easy topic is complicated confusing. Matter best left to the experts not to folks who just have other ideas. I wonder you have to wonder if there's some sour grapes behind this as well you have to do and i think there are some sour grapes behind this You know i don't wanna. I don't want to blast anybody too bad because i i said in my my opinion column for the tribune i have always supported the petition process. I will always support the petition process. But that being said like i said with six damn roads there are certain things that our elected officials are elected to do. That is what we elected to do. And the things that we elected to do our our roads. Our police are our fire our water. It's it's those infrastructure things that is their job when when i get into. We need to make sure that we go to a vote on things is when they wanna do things like build new city centers. Build hotels loan people money. That is what you know star municipal broadband service. That's not intended for public service that for for cities to do in the first place. This is something we elected them to do. And the people that know and understand. This are the people that this should be left. If there are just some things we should not be voting on and this is one of them on ben quite they are successful in gathering those signatures for this referendum. After all the due diligence that has been done by those who know what they're talking about when it comes to water. Does the city of greeley really have the money for a special election. That could cost as much as two hundred thousand dollars and it's not even just a special election and no you know that's the special election couple hundred grand and the biggest problem is one of these petitions that they're asking people to find would literally Undo an already signed the contract and there are state laws that look over contract law and so it will also stick the city in a in a battle in the courts that will cost several more hundred thousand dollars trying to fight Something that's the resident said. You can't do that. The state says you have to do because you've already done it and on top of that now. The pro the the other project milton seaman reservoir. Not ever get approved now. No luck with permitting. Yeah because when that whole thing started that was a matter of you need to look at all options and and the corps of engineers will approve the best option and now that the corps of engineers has approved terry ranch. they don't tear that greeley residents. Don't want it. It's the best least economical Impact to the area for what we wanna do. So it's very likely almost one hundred percent likely that note and semen would not even get approved now so now. A successful excess excess successful election would overturn. Not only overturn. What really city council did but it would also cause greeley to be pushed back in water acquisition. Which is the last thing we want. Because as i'm saying it's not a matter of if you build it they will come. They're coming there. And greeley and northern colorado is going to continue to grow and i would amend the last statement to some greeley resident some wrestling. It's not in favor of the terry ranch project. Cherry pie complete. Colorado investigative journalists are weld. County political insider. Boy we cover the ground. Don't we a pleasure down a rabbit hole today. Works what yes one is up with that. Well we'll dress that next conversation to be thanks to my cherry. Bob is very complete. Colorado's seven twenty four now thirteen ten. Kfi k. here mornings with gail weekdays. Six to nine in northern colorado's voice thirteen ten. Kfi at seven. Thirty four keith. Whiteman presidential wealth management in. And we're looking at the signs and investors taking that under advisement looking at the stocks of companies that will benefit from a recovering economy. The yield on the ten year treasury rose to one point seven percent early this morning. It's back down to one point seven five now but at one point seven. Seven is the highest. It's been in fourteen months that rising yield in the ten year treasury and the rise in corporate bond yields that goes along with it continues to fuel the move away from high tech growth stocks like apple amazon microsoft netflix and facebook and tesla for all matters and into so-called value stocks many of the in the dow industrial average stocks that will benefit from an improving economy and and the proposed trillion dollar infrastructure plan. That president vicodin is set to announce tomorrow in pittsburgh with that the dow closed at a new record high yesterday. Thirty three thousand one seventy one. The snp and the nasdaq were down slightly. This morning that yield on the ten year treasury is back down just a little one point seven five percent. The dow industrial average down forty seven points at thirty three thousand one twenty four the s. and p. Five hundred down thirteen at three thousand nine hundred fifty seven and the nasdaq down ninety. Four that seven tenths of one percent at twelve thousand nine hundred and sixty nine. Be prepared for continued heightened volatility in this holiday-shortened week no trading on good friday. As pension funds and large investors adjust their portfolios at the end of the first three months the first quarter of the year and west texas intermediate crude oil continues to settle back down after that ship is shreve and oil is moving again through the suez canal the west texas intermediate crude at sixty dollars and five cents a barrel. That's down a dollar fifty questions about what's going on. Perhaps with your investments that are the base of your retirement income. Give me a call. Our loveland office of presidential wealth management nine seven zero seven six. Seventy five hundred gems say that flap over elon. Musk tweeting. I believe it was this past friday. That tesla be bigger than in a few months. And then he just summarily turns around deletes. The tweet no. I didn't but it doesn't surprise either. Not with moss and once again the man. There's no question he's a genius. he's very successful. He's responsible with all those characteristics and traits that go along with being a genius some good somewhere that got him in trouble once. You're exactly wife. Stop now. Got that right keith. Lineman presidential wealth management. Thanks so much. Seven thirty eight now. Thirteen ten kf kfi. What's happening in your own. Backyard listened to no co- now with tanner's swint a northern colorado's voice thirteen ten kfi k. Tastes headlines podcasts mornings with gail and more and schedule upcoming sports broadcasts find them at thirteen ten k. a. dot com. Now even if you do get hit with the best shot when it comes to the covid nineteen and at the pfizer. Biontech the medina or the jane j. vaccine pretty good chance of That shots doing it job. But necessarily mean that you won't get infected with covid nineteen There's a question. Seven forty seven thirteen ten. Kfi k thirteen ten k. App a dot com northern colorado's voice mornings with gail from the auto collision studios. I turn to catherine wu who wrote a great piece in the atlantic. That kind of breaks this all down. Because it's hard to know exactly. When the first cases called breakthrough infections actually appeared but Certainly by the end of january. You saw a slow trickle of them. In the united states in the west making headlines in oregon they sprouted in the mid west and in the south and some of the latest reports. Have come out of florida. Texas and hawaii these breakthrough cases discovered in people more than two weeks after they had received their final in the case of the Shot regimen their final covid. nineteen shot. Well they will continue to grow fi. Here's the point. That's absolutely no cause for concern. Breakthrough infections occur when fully vaccinated people are infected by the pathogen. That their shots were designed to protect against their entirely expected. Part of any vaccination process there the data points that keep vaccines from reaching one hundred percent efficacy in trials basically. They're simple proof that no inoculation is a perfect preventative. And so far. The ones found after covid. Nineteen vaccination seem to be rather less than extraordinary so summits since men december. That's when the rollout of the newly authorized vaccines actually began over a forty million of us. If not more at this point in time have received the jobs that they need we need for four immunization now vanishingly small percentage of those people have gone on to test positive for covid nineteen. Po shot sicknesses documented. At least to this point in time seem to be mostly mild reaffirming. The idea that inoculations are powerful weapons against serious disease hospitalization. And yes death. This smattering of cases is admittedly rab. A rather hazy portents of our future corona virus infections will continue to occur even as the masses joined the ranks of the inoculated. The goal of vaccination isn't as some might mistakenly believe eradication but kind of like a tante in which humans and viruses coexist with the risk of disease at well more of a tolerable low when breakthrough cases do arise. It's not always clear why that happens. The tree of vaccines now circulating in the us. We're all designed around the original corona virus variant and. There seems to be well some anecdotal evidence evidence that these vaccines might be just a teeny tiny bit less effective against some of the newer versions of the virus and these troublesome variants have yet to render any of our current vaccines obsolete but side. The omar vaccine expert at yale said the more variants. There are the more concern you understandably have for break. Through cases the circumstances of exposure to any version of the corona virus. That will also make a difference. If vaccinated people are spending time with groups of unvaccinated people in places where the virus is running rather rampant. Well that's still raises their chance of getting sick. Large doses of the virus can overwhelmed the sturdiest of immune defences. Now the human side of the equation matters as well. Immunity is not a monolith and the degree of defense roused by an infection or a vaccine that will actually differ from person to person even between identical twins some people might have underlying conditions that hamstring system since vaccination others might simply by chance churn out fewer or less potent antibodies and t cells that can nip a corona virus infection in the bud l. Ellie body is and immune not immunologist at washington university in st. louis kind of puts it all in perspective he says. The effects of vaccination are best considered along a spectrum. An i response. For example to vaccination mike create an arsenal of immune molecules and cells that can instantaneously squelched the virus no time whatsoever for symptoms to actually appear but some times well that front line of fighters is relatively sparse but should the virus actually make it through. It becomes a race against time. You see the pathogen russia's to copy itself and the immune system doing that booth that it does so well recruits more defenders and the longer the tussle drags on the more likely. The disease is to manifest now. Apparently the range of vaccine responses isn't a variation of two to three fold this according to ali alaveddi this immunologist at washington university in saint louis. It's thousands bottom line being sincere. It doesn't mean you are immune to covid nineteen it simply means you have a better chance of protection against it. Think about it this way. Vaccination is kind of like a layer of protection. Think about an umbrella. Well it might guard in some situations than in others could keep unlucky. Lucky traveler relatively dry and light drizzle. Umbrella would but in a windy mao. Strom no my gosh. That win yesterday was absolutely incredible. Well if you're in a situation like that and it happens to be raining you're going to be blanketed by heavy droplets. Every which way so another person because you have to remember in that range of vaccine response again. it's not a variation of two to three fold. It's thousands so it could be different for everybody so following that analogy to its logical conclusion. You could actually be overwhelmed in a storm depending on well how good of an umbrella you have an under many circumstances. Vaccines are best. Paired with safeguards according to the experts such as mass and social distancing. Just douse to continue. That train of thought just as rain boots and jackets would help buffer someone in a storm now admittedly. There's something touch counter. Intuitive about these Breakthrough cases the more people we vaccinate the more such cases that there will be in absolute numbers but the rate at which they appear will also decline as rising levels of population immunity cut conduits that the the virus actually needs to travel now people who have well rounder lackluster b and t cell responses to vaccines as well as those who can't get jobs for any number of reasons maybe co morbidity they have compromised immune systems the list goes on and on well enter herd immunity. Because it's those people that will receive protection from the many millions in whom the shots actually did work and in a crowd of people holding umbrellas. Even those who are empty handed will stay more dry seven fifty six now. Thirteen ten k. f. k the whole sports story in northern colorado state in the country tune into the whole show weekdays noon to two and thirteen ten kfi k. Hey if you miss any portion of mornings with gail go to thirteen ten. Kfi a. dot com download. The podcast today. Back to gail brian kelly at the con doing a great jobs. He does each and every morning rocketed out for us. Thanks so much for all you do ryan seven fifty nine now thirteen ten. Kfi a thirteen ten kfi k. A. dot com northern colorado's voice mornings with gail via the auto collision a specialist studios. All right mentioned this piece this morning and just Wanted to follow up as promised talking about the fact that governor. Jared police has announced the general public will be eligible to get that covert nineteen vaccine at The peiser biontech of the maderno or the j. and j. vaccine i. I haven't talked to anyone that was successful in finding that jane j. vaccine do you know of any one nine seven three five three thirteen ten but we'll get into all the details everything that you need to know about that right around eight. Oh five thirteen ten. Kfi k greeley loveland longmont for collins. It's eight o'clock.