20 Episode results for "University Of Chicago"

Simple Solutions To Address Social Issues with Harold Pollack

Big Brains

21:21 min | 1 year ago

Simple Solutions To Address Social Issues with Harold Pollack

"In two thousand thirteen university Chicago professor herald Pollock found himself in the national headlines for one really small idea. It couldn't get any simpler all the financial advice, you really need might just fit on a four by six index card. The idea came to Pollock after he mentioned in an interview with journalists lane Olen that he could jot down, everything anyone needs to know about finance on a small card, then people dared him to do it. So Pollock put ten items on an index card took a snapshot and posted it online, promptly went viral. The index card was a hit. It was featured in the Washington Post Forbes, and NPR, and thus was born Pollock and Olen short new book, the index card, a few simple rules in Pollock has a theory about why people took so readily to his tiny idea. I think we're all both terrified and intimidated by all of the things that we have to do to save for retirement, if you. Turn on financial TB. And it's like you know, President Trump's ins a tiff with China and the stock market is doing some crazy thing. And maybe I should be buying more bonds in Bishop buying stocks. What do I think about bitcoin, and it's incredibly intimidating? That's Pollock the genius of the card was in its simplicity in a world was so much noise and confusion, clear coherent, ideas seem to cut through the clutter in what a lot of people seem to be hungry for is something that is comprehensible that basically, puts pushes them in a sense direction. And I think that's why my incredibly not original said of tips that I put on the index cards seemed to be helpful to people that search for common sense, answers, too complicated questions is driven Pollock's work beyond finances, as he's conducted research on two of the most complex issues. Our society has tried to fix crime and healthcare, what folks have shown as yeah. There's a lot about this. Environment that is really hard. But here's some interventions that really do reduce crime among young people reduce violence, make people healthier from the university of Chicago. This is big brains a podcast about the stories behind the breakthroughs that are reshaping. Our world on this episode herald Pollock straightforward. Advice to tackle, finances, crime, and healthcare. I'm your host, Paul, rand will start with the story behind a little card that started it all. So I was professor at the university of Michigan, and then I was recruited to the university of Chicago formats after we arrived, my mother-in-law died, suddenly very tragically. And my wife's brother Vincent was living with my mother-in-law had to, you know, he, he moved into our house, and he moved in. He was three hundred and forty pounds. He has an IQ in the fifties. He has something called fragile x and Drome and it was a profound challenge for us. If you had to bear, the entire cost of taking care of a person with profound disability, it would bankrupt. You. Because he was so largely to buy some new furniture thinking sitting comfortably in our member one day, I, we bought a lazy boy chair, and it was like nine hundred and fifty dollars or something like that. And I just remember thinking in a very matter of fact way, I will just hemorrhage my money. Suddenly, I'm like, wow. Have totally change the way I live. And so I, I had the skills of a professor of public policy, but I'd never really directed them towards personal finance. I start watching TV and I start reading books and I see very quickly that the expert conversation about saving investing is so much simpler than than this sort of world of self help and financial cable TV, and all that, in effect, a lot of the advice, that was on that you get from the personal finance industries actually fairly toxic. Right. And so I started joking to people, you know, you know, the problem that this industry has is that the best advice for most people's available for free in the library, and you could basically jot it down on an index card. And, and one day I had a blog and one day I interviewed Helaine omens personal finance writer, and I made this joke to her whilst talking about her book, and then people started emailing and saying while kind of wears the index card. So I reached into the drawer, I pulled out one of my daughters for by. Six index cards, and I just scribbled with a with a pen nine things on an index card. And I took a picture of it with my iphone. I posted it and it got like four hundred thousand hits and those that simplicity of it that people really seems to Baillieu and, you know, there's nothing on there that represents an original research contribution that I've made it's all things that are quite obvious to people who teach to teach finance over at boost, but they're things that are not obvious to a lot of people. It's funny. It one money magazine's best new idea year twenty four and so my colleagues at the school, you know who really do? They were like looking at and they were like you're kidding. The ideas on Pollock's index card, which has easy to find with a quick Google. Search are straightforward, Maxine at your 4._0._1._K. Save twenty percent of your income pay your credit card balance in full every month. But a streamlined something that many people find too complicated. Now, Pollock has taken that same approach to tackling a whole other problem crime in two thousand eight he co founded the university Takagi crime lab. A part of the U Chicago urban labs. I would say the mission of the urban labs is to give people a sense of evidence based optimism, that, that we have feasible, realistic interventions that can genuinely help evidence based optimism. That's a cool phraseology. Yeah. And if you look at say the crime lab, everyone in Chicago doesn't matter where you are in politics. Everyone is sad and really concerned about the violence problem. You know it's just all around, but. But the causes of it are so deep in there and they're so they're they're so profound and poignant that we can easily become very pessimistic and therefore passive about opportunities in the here, and now to really make a difference if what we have to do to reduce violence is get rid of all of the negative messages in popular culture that reached young people or get rid of poverty, and discrimination, and racism, those are all important. But while you know, I don't have a plan for how to get rid of those things in the near term and is easy to become discouraged, by the scale of the challenge, and to say, you know, historically, Chicago has spent a century getting ourselves into this mess and, and to throw her hands. And I think what the work of, of Jens Rosanna Andor and all the people the crime lab. What folks have shown as yeah. There's a lot about this environment. That is really hard. But here's some interventions that really do reduce crime among. Young people. Reduced violence, make people healthier make it more likely that young person will graduate from high school. You know, there's violence prevention interventions like becoming a man, that's gotten a lot of attention. There's also a small group tutoring. There's a whole variety of things that can really help the interventions the crime lab has developed all stemmed from Pollack's view that sometime simple solutions can actually answer the most complex questions. Like, why does one person fall into crime while another does not or what can be done to reduce our prison population? The answers to those questions after the break. Capitalism is the engine of prosperity actually sows the seeds of its own demise could both be right? I'm Kate Waldoch from Georgetown University, and I'm losing goddess from the university of Chicago where the hosts of capitalism, it's a podcast about what's working in capitalism today, and most importantly, what isn't we're gonna share the sort of irreverent banter, you'd hear between economists set a bar that he's if it communists went to go to a bar. So it's to capitalism you can find us wherever you get your podcasts. Pollock is work with the crime lab to uncover some inexpensive crime, interventions that have shown incredible results, for example, in New York. The crime lab managed to help reduce the number of people who end up in jail for failing to appear in court by thirty two percent how they do it by simply redesigning, the summons form to make relevant information. Standout in bold text. And by sending text message reminders in Chicago their program. Choose to change has. Showed that, if you engage you through a risk of committing violent crime. With cognitive behavioral therapy mentorships, you can dramatically decrease arrests. A lot of the interventions that we work on to becoming a man, for example, you know, it's pretty simple intervention as once a week group intervention with young people, very often, we're asked wouldn't it be better? If there was a family component, wouldn't it be better, if there was more counseling, and I sort of say, yeah, would be better. But we have tens of thousands of kids who need services in Chicago. And if I make it a really expensive and complex thing, I can't reach all the people that need health back to this implicitly idea this work so simplicity is so critical. In part of simplicity is, is a commie. We're in a resource constrained environment. If I have an intervention that costs thirty thousand dollars per kid, and I bring them down to the university of Chicago department of psychiatry and give them a fantastic intervention. Wow. One kid, I can do that for there are some people who have sufficiently profound issues that, that invention my well be cost effective. But wow. That's going to be a small group because we just can't we can't do that on a big scale. Right. So, so that's one thing that we look for we also look for things that, that we think would give generalize -able lessons to other places, and that build an infrastructure that can be generated for other things that we wanna do. I'm very interested in understanding how we can use the nine one one system to create a data resource so that not only can we respond more safely, when, when there's nine one one call, but we can identify people so before this nine one one call we can go out and try to help them. So we. For things that create an infrastructure so that their generative of other things that we want to do 'em. We also look for things that have scientific credibility, it is remarkable when you can do a rigorous scientific trial, ideally, randomized trial. You can't always do that. But often you can it is amazing how people respond to that. When you say, here's the treatment group of kids, and here's the control group of kids and here's the difference in outcome. Funders citizens everybody. They respond to that in a way that nothing else quite has the same impact. And what do you think that is just because they can see the, the role in the impact of what the work is doing, and it's tangible to them. I think it's tangible. It's rigorous. It's, it's more transparent. Release it seems that way to people. And you know, every if you're say, a big foundation in Chicago, you're inundated with wonderful people who are very passionate about the interventions that they want you to support and they will come into your, your big conference room, and you'll be sitting around coffee table, and they will have someone who has an amazing human story who benefited from that. And that's, that's your appointment from ten to eleven then from eleven to twelve there's the next organization that comes in with their. And you're saying, who, who, who am I going to support? I can't support everybody. When someone comes in and says, I have a rigorous scientific trial. And here's what we found funder say. Wow. That gives me a tool that is very healthy. Now there's a lot of challenges when can make to this perspective. And there's a lot of limitations in this approach, you can't do a randomized trial of a lot of things and a randomized trial has its own limitations, but that rigor is very valuable. And I think the world is increasingly demanding both rigorous randomized trial, and also not only the trial, now they're even going to step beyond that they're saying, I want your trial to designed in a way that you can explain to us with the mechanisms were that made this intervention successful and for which people the world is demanding higher, and higher standard of careful implementation, and documentation, and, and real scientific depth. And I think that is that makes me very encouraged. That the marketplace in public policy and philanthropy is really asking us to raise our game. And to really show that what we what we're doing is working and to really be able to explain why it's working. If you're listening to big brains, there's a good chance you consider yourself a lifelong learner, however, you may not know about the university of Chicago's Graham school and its focus on continuing liberal, and professional studies. For more than a century Graham has been a destination for lifelong learners. They offer courses online in the classroom, bringing transformative education. You Chicago is known for students of all ages. To learn more about the courses certificates and degrees. Visit Graham dot EU Chicago dot EDU. Remember Pollock's index card item, number nine the last item on the list that caused the most controversy among financial experts. It says promotes social insurance programs to help people when things go wrong. This last piece of advice is been a driving force in all of Pollack's work. I do think that there's a basic sense in America that we have to take care of each other increasing or decreasing rethink. It's just inherent in. It's staying the same. Well, I think there's a battle that's going on about that in some ways, I think we have been forced to confront these questions in a very basic way because the society is changing so dramatically, it's changing geographically as we see tremendous inequalities between the wealthy coastal cities, and some of the rural areas were changing demographically, as the population of younger people as much more substantially non white than the population. Of older people, and this has caused tremendous social tension, we're challenged because the rising cost of healthcare is just a profound burden on the economy, just like finances and crime policies. The cost of our health care is an issue this, both central to people's lives, and too complex for them to control. And as a member of the center for health administration studies that you Chicago. He's working to find ways to better understand improve it. But things aren't always so easy. When you're trying to tackle, what's been famously called one of the most complicated issues in America. If you look out to twenty thirty twenty forty twenty fifty we have a big problem, and we problem, we've a problem with long term care. We have a problem with Medicare costs. We have a problem of how we going to finance for Masuko innovation without tremendously increasing costs. And we have to somehow, more disciplined, Healthcare's all technological advances creating more opportunities to save lives and spend money. Absolutely. And we're doing all of those things, I think across the political spectrum, we really don't want to face the issue with the seriousness that it that it deserves. And I think four. I think conservatives have to face the fact that, that greater government control over prices is probably essential to discipline the healthcare system, and we're going to eventually do that in, if conservatives want to ensure that the that the market mechanisms that have tremendous value are part of that process figure out ways to, to combine those things. And progressives also have to have to now that I think, if you believe in things like the single payer system, you have to think of a way that we can raise substantially greater government revenues in a way that, that would not damage the economy and we're guards to healthcare and, and single payer, especially given the clear car political environment. Where are some your thoughts going what, what, what's being better? What's getting worse? What what's looming some things that are getting better? I think that, that ironically, the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act ratified the public consensus around the I. The of universal coverage. It's not the same as single payer, but it is it is, what's the dated to universal single pair. So Daniel on universal coverage is that every American should have health insurance that genuinely works. If you get really sick okay, and that no one should lose their house, because they get cancer, no and should be charged more money for insurance because they have a pre existing condition. No one should be denied care for that reason now that one way to achieve that aspirated would be if we had sort of Medicare for all single payer system. That's only one way to do it. If you look at the countries of western Europe, that have universal coverage, some of them are like England or Canada, where they really have a single payer system. But some of them are more like the Netherlands, Switzerland or Germany, where they have things that look a little bit more like the Affordable Care ACT's exchanges. You have private insurance in the mix. You have nonprofit ensures in the mix. You don't necessarily have to have one government. Payer that does everything. But you do have to have this element where where everyone is protected. People of low income are subsidized people who are sick are subsidized, and we have some way, some national policy that ensures that everyone is covered. And that what, and that the coverage is adequate, if you really need. Okay. This is is, is we've watched year after year is not a uncomplicated subject. Can you boil this down and put on index card ticket? A so we can move on something here. Well, no, I don't tell you why. Okay, many of my friends, who favors say, single payer, say, you know, they're all these European countries that have a much simpler healthcare system that is much cheaper than the American system. That is more disciplined. The genuinely covers everyone and that's basically better than what we have and in many ways, and what we should do. We should we should enact a system like that, that kind of replaces the messy interest group politics. And all the pathologies that we have right now in America and, you know, they're right that a lot of these systems are better than the American system. But the problem is that any kind of single payer system that we create has to be the product of the very same goofy political system that produced what we have right. Right, right. So, so we would we would have to bake in a lot of the pathologies that we currently have in whatever is kind of a cheerful in. So if we enacted something like a Sanders, single payer style party Sanders, Bernie Sanders, we would the revenue required to do that. Even if we really, really reduced healthcare expenditures at the national level lot, we would have to increase federal revenues by something on the order of doubling the federal income tax. And so the idea that we're gonna jump to that in one fell swoop is, which is not going to do. But I do think that what we've learned over the. Several years is that many Americans across the political spectrum believe that people have the option to sign up for Medicare, Medicaid, if that's what they want that private insurance. In many context is not work, particularly well, I would say that the complexities and the all the political wrangling, that's always gonna be, then we have to figure out how to navigate that successfully in a way that produces a better system than we have now. And when this that's it's more humane disciplined than we have now but there's not going to be any simple way to get an index cards system. That isn't an incredible set compromises wonderful. You've been a terrific yesterday. Thank you for all of your thoughts. Your comments will look for to sing Wicha continue to work on thank you so much. Big brains, as a production of the USA, Kaga podcast network. To learn more, visit us at news dot EU Chicago dot EDU at subscribe on itunes, Stitcher Google play and wherever else. At your podcast. Thanks for listening.

Chicago Pollock university of Chicago America Medicare professor Pollack Washington Post university of Chicago departme President university of Michigan Olen professor of public policy USA Google
Gut Instinct

Innovation Now

01:30 min | 2 years ago

Gut Instinct

"There's new hope for people with severe food allergies and it's all in your gut. This is innovation. Now bringing you stories behind the ideas that shave our future. Anyone with severe food allergies knows the fear of eating at a restaurant where a hidden ingredient could become life threatening. But researchers at the university of Chicago medicine may have discovered a probiotic therapy that could prevent and treat food allergies. Although the causes of food allergies remain unknown, many theories involved the disruption of our body's natural bacterial composition. The UCLA team discovered that at least in mice, the introduction of particular strain of intestinal bacteria, common to humans, reversed since ity to food and actually prevented the allergens from entering the bloodstream. The team cautions that their findings may not apply to all individuals, but just identifying bacteria that take protective role against allergens is excite. Tting they are looking forward to future tests that may truly take a bite out of food allergies for good for innovation. Now I'm Jennifer police. Now is produced by the National Institute of aerospace, through collaboration with NASA and is distributed by w HR v. visit us online at innovation. Now dot US.

National Institute of aerospac UCLA university of Chicago Jennifer NASA
How Loneliness and Isolation Affect Your Health, with Prof. Linda Waite

Big Brains

23:28 min | 3 months ago

How Loneliness and Isolation Affect Your Health, with Prof. Linda Waite

"Loneliness in isolation. A lot of experiencing those feelings right now during the pandemic were separated from our friends, our loved ones and our social. Activities. All of this is internalized not just in the mind, but in the body. The same way we need food or water we need to connect with other people this week rebroadcasting past episode that feels especially important our conversation with University of Chicago Professor Linda wait talking about how our social lives affect our physical health. What, contributes or detracts from it and why the healthcare industry needs to pay close attention to the epidemic of loneliness. Hope you enjoyed the discussion. is becoming one of the defining public health crises of the century loneliness. The British Prime Minister appointed a minister of loneliness today the new role will tackle solitude in the UK where more than one in ten people feel isolated. Government studies have found that more than nine million people in the UK often or always feel lonely about half of those over the age of seventy five live alone and more than two hundred. Thousand Britons haven't spoken with a friend or relative in over a month. One study found that loneliness can hurt your health increasing mortality the same as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day in this. Problem isn't just affecting the UK debates about how to tackle the loneliness epidemic or happening in Canada and the United States. Now, one Distinguished University of Chicago professor is researching how loneliness fits into our understanding of social health and how a more comprehensive you're chagall being could address this issue I work on a project that's on the ways that the social world is connected to what I call other dimensions of Health Linda. Whe is one of the world's leading experts on social well-being based on the data she's collected from a national survey of Elderly Americans? One of the largest groups affected by social health issues. Wait. That our healthcare system needs a revolutionary change around how social health is incorporated into our overall health portfolio. It turns out that having lunch with your friends maybe just as important and keeping you alive as exercising dream would be that people would have healthier more satisfying lives if they and we as a society paid more attention to the social and how it connects to everything else we could help people. The same way we provide fiscal therapy of somebody has an injury if we could help people who were lonely. Develops some skills to join a club help with people who have some kind of everybody spotty falls apart as they got older they fall apart in different ways they have to figure out how to manage sex. So anything that could be done to help them, encourage them, help them provide. Whatever. would be all to the good from the University of Chicago. This big brains, a podcast about the story behind the pivotal research in pioneering breakthroughs that are reshaping our world on this episode. Linda wait in our social health crisis I'm your host Paul Rand To find out how social beings should be incorporated into our overall understanding of health. It's important to really understand what it means to be healthy. Oh, absolutely. I. Think that that's the core of the project if what you're doing as saying, what sorts of things influenced half. Then, you have to define health. What we did was to start with the World Health Organization definition in nineteen, forty seven, the World Health Organization said that health is not merely the absence of disease. It's the presence of social physical and psychological well-being. But nobody really had taken that seriously to think seriously about it and to measure it, and so we took it on ourselves to specially do the social. Let me start by saying not everybody in the world with would agree with me on this. Okay. I'm sort of out there a bit but I'm committed and I'm pushing. Okay. Social well-being would be. Having good social relationships being in a good social environment. So the same way you can think of physical well being as being good cardiovascular, functioning, good immune functioning the absence of cancer you can think of social functioning as having a number of different components in the study the National Socialite Health and aging project which we call N. Shep looked at the various. Components dimensions of social well-being, and we either developed measures or we took measures from other studies. But where there'd been a little bit here a little bit there and we put it all together. We developed a measure of social networks that was really extremely cutting edge weights work of the last few years of the national, Social Life Health and aging project has broken. Ground on collecting data that revolutionizes our understanding of the importance of social health. Until the project, there had been almost no real scientific attempt to measure population health while taking sociable being into account and she says that even though the project focused on the elderly, a lot of what they learn can be applied to any age demographic. We've seen that having friends. Having social support is important. Any age if you feel like there's somebody you could count on should you need help than it helps you deal with stress and in fact, just reduce your stress stress is feeling like you don't have the resources to meet a challenge and if you feel like you have more social resources, it's sort of like money in the bank. So. If you have a little savings account and you don't worry about that if you have social, don't worry about that. And you have to think about it the same way. So what did the Shop Project Find? So the project it has its heart. Nationally representative survey of about three thousand adults community dwelling older adults who were ages fifty seven to eighty five. When we first contacted them, we sent a field interviewer highly trained professional to their home she started with this series of questions on social networks. So tell me about your friends we. Allow them to list. Up to five people, the person we're talking to, we call ego. Okay. In this network, speak how their associated. So I'm and say, Oh, my father and my brother Brad and my friend Fava and my colleague Kate, and then we find out. How each of those people is connected to ego. How often they talk whether they live together whether they speak about health the quality of their relationship but then we find out how dad is connected to. Each of the other people Howard they associated, do they know each other? Do they speak? How often do they speak generally a larger network batter connected with good relationships among the people and diverse kinds of people is good for on average better social participation. What does that mean? Social participation means you do stuff with other people we ask how often do you go to? Church or religious services. How often do you tend to meetings of organized groups like a book club earn Exercise Group or a Bowling League or how often do you get together with friends and neighbors? So people who don't participate socially at all in any of these things we would say are socially isolated. We also measured social support. Okay which is extremely important. It's do you have? The feeling. The assurance the perception with that if you needed help there would be placed to get we also. Ask about the marriage or partnership we ask how happy they are with their marriage. We ask about sexuality in the relationship. We ask a lot about that. We also ask about masturbation we ask about sexual satisfaction how emotionally satisfied are you? So we find out about their their primary relationship. The data from wait study is publicly available and researchers from all over the country are using it to delve deeper into how the ways we socialize can affect our overall health with a colleague at Michigan State we looked at link between marital quality in older adults and the development of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Hypertension a new stroke, a new diagnosis of heart disease, and what we found was it mattered for women. It didn't matter for men so poor marital quality put women at risk of developing heart disease but not for men not from it and we have to hypothesize do so and based on other people's work. We know that women are more physiologically reactive to stress. There's a researcher at Ohio, state Janicki Coke Glazer unruly foundational work in this area she brings couples into a lab. She puts an end dwelling Catherine monitoring for galvanic skin response and so on, and then has them talk about something that they don't agree about. And women are more physiologically reactive to the relationship. Tension than men are one factor in social health can overlooked is how our senses either help us or keep us from having a good social life. If I can't see here or touch you, it's hard to make a connection. And of social well-being can be an indicator of physical health that could studying someone census. Tell you whether their risk of dying. Let me tell you about one of the things that the team found that nobody ever expected. One of the people on the team is Martha McClintock WHO's America here she is the smell queen. She really did foundational work on pheromones. Okay. So she beat us up until we agreed to include olfactory assessment in this study and Martha showed that people who couldn't recognize any common household smells. Four. Were thirty five percent more likely to die in the next five years than people like them with the normal sense of smell this is a screener that can be used clinically check somebody's who's four ups check somebody's sense of smell, and it would tell you who's at risk that you might need to look more closely. Okay. So that was huge. It turns out that poor old faction is always. Connected to incident Alzheimer's disease, nobody knew about this. So anybody listening right now is going to be whipping things to see if they can. Think things and I actually wrote Martha when I heard about this and said, are there any smell exercises and they said absolutely in sent me a link have identified no, but I. But I do try and improve your smelled or. Make it more conscious when Wade, in her team incorporated the data about social health into the overall health of the population studied, they found something surprising many individuals who would be categorized as being in robust health. By normal medical standards were shown to actually be vulnerable to all sorts of complications. Normal medical standards focus on the absence of disease, but the social health data revealed issues there were under the surface issues they could lead to death or incapacitation within five years. At the same time people with chronic diseases who normally would be labeled on healthy. We're actually shown to be quite healthy and not at risk with social well-being was factored in. The. Implications of the study could have a dramatic effect on how our medical system should think about health that's coming up after the break. Capitalism is the engine of prosperity actually sows the seeds of its own demise could be right. I'm kate walled from Georgetown University and I'm losing Ghana's from the University of Chicago where the hosts of capitalism it's a podcast about what's working in capitalism today and most importantly, what isn't we're gonNA share the sort of irreverent banter you'd hear between economists set a bar. Economists, were to go to a bar subscribes to capitalist sent. You can find us you get your podcasts. The implications of weights research poetry future in, which is just as important for doctors to ask about how often you're spending time with your friends and connecting with your family as it is for them to ask if you're sleeping well or in any pain if social well-being has this much effect on us, shouldn't the medical establishment be incorporating it into every aspect of their work I'm working on a book. With William. Dale. who used to be head of geriatric medicine here and moved to city of hope we're making the argument that there are things that the medical system. Focuses on that the over diagnosis. And there are things that they under diagnose here they are and here's why. and. That, we ought to be thinking about health. More holistically. Including the social component now that we know that this stuff is going on, people are starting or communities or organizations are starting to develop interventions. So if somebody's socially isolated. What can you do about that? If somebody's lonely, what can you do about that? Doctors Cherry trillions and I'm still working on this with William could talk to their older patients about their sex lives encouraging people, Mike, you encourage them to eat a nutritious diet encouraging them to work on their relationship may be giving them some tools. If you're making sure you get blueberries in bran flakes, focus on your social relationships to assess them, and then maybe put in a little effort it doesn't have to be a lot. You know most people have siblings they might have cousins or nieces and nephews you know you you can make an effort to increase contact and relationship quality. Do something Nice, send a birthday card. Take your brother out for lunch. Or a beer. Just make it a higher priority. So. So those are things that is your work goes along bad ability to have healthcare professionals asking about those questions having recommendations on those. Is as important as your mind as it is covering the physical areas and if there's anything getting in the way of that happening, what what is it adds the physicians don't want to say to this eighty nine year old man, how's your sex life and and often what I hear is that the person will say I don't WanNa, talk about it so it's not a conversation. That either party is is wanting to have well or comfortable with maybe you just have to open the door and. You know probably, people weren't so comfortable with lots of other things that they take for granted now but there's a lot of other areas you mentioned that may not get into house their sex life. How are they interacting? Right right. How how often are you getting out to you know to church or you going bowling? Are you doing any volunteer work? That might be a so is that? Is that now that the studies are showing the importance of what it is the charts leading Are there efforts in place or is there pushback about taking time because? It's not uncommon to go to a doctor's office and did not feel as if you're getting a great deal of attention, you're there to deal with the immediacy of the issue that you have and then shuttled out the door. This would add to it and a substantial way is that part of the question yet could be a prescription, right? For you to our social worker, she's right over here. You can see her for fifteen minutes now and make an appointment and show you know help connect you to services and. Figure out how we can do better on this to make sure you have the support. Has Been a lot of work recently on a related but very distinct concept, which is loneliness. which is the feeling that you're alone. You could be surrounded by a lot of people but feel like you have nobody to talk to. That that, you don't fit in that. Nobody likes you loneliness is a big problem for older adults because. They lose people. It's part of getting older. If you're still alive, the chances are higher than some of the people you'll ever not and it gets harder to get out. And get around. So it may be that you have people you just can't get them. As often as you could. So that's a big problem and something where there are people thinking about it and what we could be doing the military's doing some interventions, returning troops trying some out on loneliness social participation we could make that easier. There's a really wonderful set of studies by led by Linda freed who is at Columbia. Now she's a physician and she'd she developed a volunteer program. For older adults, they recruited older adults in poor neighborhoods to be volunteers in in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in poor areas of Baltimore they assess the kids and the older adults and everybody did better. The older adults were had better physical function. They had better mental health the kids. Had fewer disciplinary action. There's a whole huge literature on it. AARP. I think has taken this over. So we could do more of this, right it's hard for older adults to find volunteer opportunities than than to actually get the training to have somebody who walks them through it, but we could we could do more of this as a society as wages working to get the medical establishment incorporated her research into how doctors take care of patients. She's already planning her next massive study that's after the break. If you're listening to big brains, there's a good chance. You consider yourself a lifelong learner. However, you may not know about the University of Chicago's Graham School and it's focused on continuing liberal and professional studies for more than a century Graham has been a destination for lifelong learners. They offer courses online in the classroom bringing transformative education. You Chicago is known for students of all ages to learn more about the courses, certificates and degrees. Visit Graham die you should Kogo Dot Edu. No matter how much data researchers collect they're always hungry for more weights. Team is already planning. What's next project is going to investigate a group of us are thinking about the next study were planning a study like shop of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual. Trans, over it out community. This is different because it's very hard community to sample want to say we've got a nationally representative sample. It's a lot easier with the general population general population than it is with this population. So were thinking about how to do that, and then what what we WANNA do is basically the same study and then all the things that are specific this population in other things that you have a hypothesis of what you'll be finding different. Well, here's what we know. We have to look at. Okay the National Institute. Of. Health is very interested in the gay. Lesbian Bisexual and Trans Community because there are well documented health disparities. Its population seems at tens to have worse mental and physical, Health Okay and worse health behaviors than they should have given their education in age and so. The question is what's going on. There are a lot of possibilities discrimination stress I'm very interested in. What happens especially to? Say Lesbian older adults who are now in their seventies it did they ever come out to their families what happened when they did because what we cure inches, little bits and pieces that rejection by the family really is the the the source of many of the disadvantages right you know cutting off from your disinherited, you have to move out if you if you lose the resources of your parents in that generation than. Your disadvantaged no matter. So I'm bats possibility also healthcare. Finding healthcare and that's especially a problem for the Trans Community. So These are all things that we want to look into. Big brains is a production of the U. Chicago podcast network. If you like what you heard, he's give us a review and a rating. Our show is hosted by Paul, rand and produced by me Matto. Thanks for us.

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How Can We Achieve Real Police Reform?

Big Brains

30:18 min | 4 months ago

How Can We Achieve Real Police Reform?

"What are we going to do about police misconduct? Police around the country kill around two thousand people a year. Black people are more than three times as likely to be killed by police than white people. And while police violence has been a distinctly American problem for decades this year. It's come to a head. Protesters around the country are calling for cities to to fund the police in create wheel accountability. In fact, though there already is a system meant to hold police accountable for brutality, but is it working? The head of the fraternal order of police is pushing back against calls for greater civilian oversight of the Police Department civilian oversight agencies are responsible for investigating police, brutality and misconduct, and making recommendations about whether officers should be disciplined or even fired. It's really become a basic part of police accountability systems for most of the big cities in the United States, but sure and fairly her professor from practice. The University of Chicago Law School and one of the leading researchers in the country on civilian oversight agencies. Now. If you live in a major American city, you probably have one of these agencies looking over your police force, but the question is. Do they actually work? You had this vicious cycle. There's a scandal you implement some reforms, and that everything seems good for a while until the next scandal happens from the University of Chicago. This is big brains, a podcast about the pioneering research and pivotal breakthroughs that are reshaping world on this episode. Why civilian oversight agencies have struggled to hold police accountable for decades I'm your host, Paul Rand. Before coming to the University of Chicago Sharon fairly spent eight years as a federal prosecutor and was deputy. Inspector, General in Chicago. She describes herself as a person who works for justice from inside the system. Some of her most important work has been in the agency responsible for holding Chicago Police Accountable all through civilian oversight civilian oversight, its concept is sort of grounded in the basic concepts of democracy, right, we give police departments this really important, very serious power to take life and liberty, and we as civilians as citizens one to say, and how they execute those powers. The issue of police accountability is as old police departments themselves dating back to the mid eighteen hundreds and the idea of civilian oversight agencies. Well, that's been around for decades. To understand that long arc of history and issues and civilian oversight agencies across the country. We're going to start with the story of one city in particular. CHICAGO. com when you look back and at into what happens in Chicago. There was actually civilian oversight as early as the nineteen hundreds, and then we started the idea of having civilians who actually investigated police misconduct here in Chicago in nineteen seventy, which was in reaction to a number of scandals, thousands of Chicago cops in National Guardsmen of flammable mix on Michigan Avenue. That would later be called a police riot in one, thousand, nine, hundred, seventy, four Chicago, created the Office of professional standards also known as Opie. Yes, it was the city's first attempted and agency staffed by civilians that would investigate complaints against Chicago's thirteen thousand member police department, but it was still an internal department, meaning the head of that group still reported to the superintendent so that there was questioned around how independent that group could really be. S was part of the police department not to mention the quote. Unquote civilians, investigating police were often ex cops themselves. This is still a major issue in many oversight agencies, today or you have a commission, a group of individuals who may review investigations that are actually conducted by the department itself, and that's a very benign form of oversight. This system of benign oversight is what's led to decades ably scandal and reform, and a two thousand and eight, another violent scandal and cover up. The city responded by creating a new agency called the Independent Police Review Authority to replace Opie S. it came online in two thousand and eight. But really, never Got To be independent literally like all the people that were working inside the department at ups. We're just moved over into this new supposedly independent agency. And all the systems that hip had were continued to be tied to the police department without an independent body. It was only a matter of time before the pattern repeated himself in December twenty, one fifteen, the police murder of seventeen-year-old Quantum McDonald was released on Video Jason Van Dyke the office charged with a quantum MC. Donald's murder had nineteen complaints before shooting and killing the teen, including ten for use of force, none of the complaints resulted in disciplinary action, so of course when the Liquan McDonald crisis erupted in two thousand fifteen, the agency was just completely under fire for its lack of independence and its lack of really strong and effective oversight. What happened? Tragic. Death! This is bigger than one particular incident. And this is where Sharon fairly steps into the story appointing. Sharon apparently. But of course, one of the biggest findings and recommendations was that the EPA has reputation had been so badly damaged that it really could not survive. Say Goodbye to the Independent. Police Review Authority, as of now it does not exist, and all police involved will now be investigated by COPA, the. Civilian Office of Police Accountability Copa Has the power to independently investigate misconduct, but they can only make a recommendation about what should happen with the officer and I think we see cities really struggling where they only have that kind of oversight. Because it's just, it's just not powerful enough once. Copa debuted in two thousand, seventeen, fairly handed. Handed over to new leadership because I had been hired and put in that job when it was Ibra I felt that I was a drag on the agency was COPA got set up I really felt that it needed a new leader to really take it to take it forward in the in the best way, but as you may have guessed even Copa is still far from perfect. So, what does the story tell us about the effectiveness of civilian oversight agencies, and what lessons of Chicago Stories reflect civilian oversight around the country, and is there a way to change these agencies to make them better? That's after the break. As the world resets, be part of the rethinking remapping and retooling to address society's most challenging issues be part of lasting change with part time. You Chicago Policy Degree from the Harris School of Public Policies Evening Masters Program. Build your data science and analytical toolkit to take the next step in your career. Learn more at Harris Dot, EU, Chicago Dot Edu Slash Evening Program. In the past several decades, civilian oversight agencies have proliferated across the US if you live in a major city, there's a good chance you have one. In one. Thousand, nine hundred fairly completed a first of its kind survey, looking at agencies in the hundred largest cities in the country. No other report has ever looked comprehensively at these agencies and part of my goal was to really understand what was happening in the land of civilian oversight to serve to be able to. To assess what these trends are, and how well these agencies were doing also to show that civilian oversight is no longer kind of this weird thing. It's pretty prevalent. Certainly, most of the larger cities have some at least some form of oversight at this point to really become a basic part of police accountability systems for most of the big cities. The United States in a in a reading the report I. Think you said that they were quote? Unquote like snowflakes. And that's that's not the new definition of snowflakes. It's the old definition of snowflakes. When it meant that no two of them really were like. Is that right? That's correct I'm so so part of the challenge over these decades. Is that you know every jurisdiction has put together the kind of oversight mechanisms that they feel work best, so there really hasn't emerged one specific right way to do it, and so that's why every city is a little bit different, but there are some themes about what's really important to having. Having effective investigation of police misconduct, some of those themes are resources. The agency needs to be able to keep up with its resources to be able to do the job. Well access to information. If an oversight board cannot get access to the departments, reports and information and can't get access to witnesses. Who can tell them about what happened then? They can't really be effective either independence. You need to be able to demonstrate that the. The that? The agency does have the ability to act independently from the police department trust. It is worth nothing. If the community they serve, don't trust what's going on and transparency, so let's start with the transparency issue right when we look back to the liquidity McDonald crisis, right? There was obviously a fatal killing, and that was really bad, but part of what I think made it. A crisis was the cover up. Right was the fact. Fact that the city was unwilling to release the video and did not do so for over year that was a transparency issue, and so lack of transparency in the accountability system really undermines trust and has a very very negative impact on trust, and so it's important that these civilian entities be able to have the power to be transparent now, sometimes that actually can be impaired by state law. There's some state laws that actually prevent. Disclosure of police disciplinary records for example so one of the things when I took over every one of the first things I did was to start immediately putting the summary reports out in public and making them publicly available because I felt that the best way to gain that trust is to say look. Here's what we did. Here's how we investigated. Here's what we've found in. Here's how we analyzed it. As fairly says, transparency and trust go hand in hand, but trust is also driven by who exactly makes up the agencies so. This time where they were all Merrill appointees, but now we're saying when you see these ordinances creating these boards they are providing more dictates about who these board should be made up of that. There should be members that are representative of the community that they serve sometimes they are dictating that they have for example youth members so that young people can be represented sometimes they dictate that there are specific types of capabilities and experiences that. that. They wanted to board they WANNA make sure that they had the complement of lawyers. Police experts criminal justice experts faith-based leaders, so we do see that these boards sort of being defined in a way to be more community representative around the country, people are calling for civilian oversight agencies to also include people impacted by police violence. That logic is their expertise is a knowing what it's like to be on the other side of policing. And at the same time there's a common sort of complaint. Certainly among police, officers and unions that civilians can't assess what they do effectively. It's like you. You have walked in my shoes. How can you judge my behavior? You haven't been in these situations and I hear that, but actually with training. These these are professionals. These are professional investigators. One of the things that I wrote about when I looked at these agencies across the country. Is this idea of how civilian these agencies are civilian as a cultural sort of dichotomy, so agencies that are to civilian may not Garner sufficient respect from the officers that they oversee because the officers don't think that they had the right perspective on law enforcement, but the the agencies did adopt too much of law enforcement like culture. I won't have. The respect of the community remembers that they're serving because they're going to be perceived as being sort of too close to the law enforcement entity that they're overseeing, so you got to strike the right balance there in Chicago activists have been calling for the city to replace Copa efforts since fairly built it and part of what they want is a new body that would be fully elected by voters rather than public officials the mayor so far as opposed this. But beyond who was part of a civilian oversight agency and how they got? There fairly says it doesn't matter unless they have independence. No. Beck can only make a recommendation. The Superintendent disagrees. They do this dance. Right is called I. Call It. The DADS is that they have to confer disorder. See if they can reach an agreement. And if they don't then, the matter is then given to a single person of the Chicago Police Board to sort of decide which side they're gonNA. Take I think that's really inappropriate. If you have an officer while shooting, that COPA has done this well done investigation, make a recommendation and find the officer. Did something wrong, and then the superintendents disagrees. You shouldn't have one person to the police Ford Sang Oh. Oh No I. Don't I don't like what Copa did and throw be able to to throw all of that out then moving onto the police board. I think that the way the police board works there also some issues with that, so for example when they have a hearing about an an officer's misconduct, they hear all the evidence about whether or not the officer did something wrong as well as testimony about. Whether or not the off, you know how officers should be punished, so you have. Is You have all this testimony about the officers guilt? And then you have his buddies partners, his wife, coming in and saying Oh, he such a good guy I really like him, and so the police were. Here's all that. Before they determine whether the guy did something wrong, and so that's just inconsistent with proper justice. Right so this is something that I brought to the police board and. Heard nothing back, but you know this is just an example of some of the cracks that I see in the current system, and so this is why I say that we can take this new ordinance this on the table and create this big oversight board. But until you fix these other problems, that's going to be like you know what. I don't know how much it's GonNa help, but to fix the problems in need political support. Political support for police accountability is really important, and if you look at our history here in, CHICAGO? They only did it when their hand was forced right, so you know it was a hand was forced in nineteen sixty when the board was created in one, thousand, nine hundred. When opiates was created and you know and so on and so forth and so. Unless you have an administration that really understands as committed to reform. It's always going to be an uphill battle so now, unions. So. I mean it's clear that by and large unions are an impediment to accountability. There's just no question particularly against civilian oversight. You know a lot of times we have these collective bargaining agreement provisions that are have a negative impact on accountability, and so that we have to go through this process of renegotiating those and so that's always going to be a challenge to. Coming up, why fairly says the issues of effective oversight? Go Way beyond cities all the way up to the federal, government. Krona viruses changing life as we know it on a daily basis, but how will the pandemic permanently our lives in the future? What will a world look like five years from now Kobe, twenty twenty-five, our world in the next five years, is a new video series featuring leading scholars at the University of Chicago. They'll discuss. Corona virus will change healthcare, international relations, education, and many other aspects of our lives. The series from the same team that brings to this podcast can be found on youtube with new episodes released regularly. Despite the proliferation of these civilian oversight agencies police killings aren't going down and when they do happen. The vast majority of officers don't face consequences for their actions. So what does that say about the effectiveness of these agencies? And how do you even measure effectiveness? Yes, so that does. That's a really big question. About how much of an impact does civilian oversight actually have on the behavior of others right and so if you don't have a system that that's results in robust and consistent discipline, whether it's civilian, based or not, you know you're not gonNa have a sufficient deterrent to to these incidents so. My view the issue with these use-of-force incidents and brutality incidents that we're seeing is is not about civilian oversight it's it's about the law and legal rules that govern use of force that need to be strengthened, and that's a whole nother issue, but that to me is the bigger problem in other words fairly saying the civilian oversight agencies cannot possibly be effective it holding police accountable for violence without changes in much higher levels of government right so there's three sources of law when it comes to. To defining how and when an officer can use force when making an arrest, so the first is the constitution right US Constitution has the fourth amendment that says you know. Citizens should not be subjected to unreasonable seizures, so a use of force incident under the law is considered a seizure, and so we have this body of law that's created around interpreting the fourth amendment, and unfortunately that sets very very low standard because the way the supreme. Court has ruled in these cases, and so that's one. One level, and so the reason why that's an important source of laws, because that's a source of law that's typically invoked when someone sues an officer for use of force right, they have to prove that it was a constitutional violation and often. That's a very high bar to me. The second source of our state statutes so most states I think it's up to maybe forty. Two out of the fifty states have a statute on the books that governs when and how officers can use force those. Those statutes also are pretty much behind the eight ball. Many of them are just codifying the low constitutional standard and don't create a big heart up a enough constraints around officers, so there is some movement. We're seeing on that though for example last year, California actually changed their statute and made it much more restrictive on officers in terms of how they can use force. We also see some improvement in the lot. Washington. Washington state improved their law and what was interesting. What happened by Washington was? This. Change in law was largely driven by a group of activists who went out and got enough support to do a ballot initiative that was then codified into law, and so that's where activism really can work to change law, and then of course, the third set of legal rules that govern US afford are the department's policies themselves so each of the eighteen thousand police departments that exist across the United States has a policy governing how people can use force and. And those tend to be the most restrictive of the the legal rules around force, so that's where we can have the most immediate effect on these use-of-force incidents, so so if we come down to this I love the way he just broke down those three buckets so obviously we're not going to change the constitution at least anytime soon to deal with these issues, but state statues and department policies are things that are making an impact and being changed. But the whole concept of civilian oversight. They may help drive these unless those two entities are changing some of these things, the oversight groups are going to have a really hard time, even being effective. Is that accurate? Yes, because when you think about it, the oversight entities all they can do is enforce the rules that are in place at the department, and so those rules aren't as restrictive enough. Then they can't hold officers accountable. They can only hold officers accountable for breaking a policy, and that's one of the reasons why we have this ordinance on the table now here in Chicago Chicago to create this Oversight Board, that actually will have the power to define policy so that there is this independence, the actual ability to make change as opposed to only being able to make recommendations that the department can either choose to take or ignore, and my view is as long as the community feels that they need that. They should have it right because if that's what's GonNa, because trust is so important, we need a system that can be trusted omitted just sounds like such a Herculean task and reform has been talked about forever. Is it. I mean I. IS IT FEASIBLE TO REFORM? And and if so, where does that start at the federal level at the state level that the mental level? That's a lot of things to get lined up, and then you've got to have a well-functioning Oversight Board. How does all that get done in the environment that we're now in? Yeah, so I guess the one thing I was saying about what's going on right now. Is that you know I'm really encouraged because we see many city administrations actually. Having more serious conversations and debates about some of these challenges that brought in the past the idea defunding we see a lot of cities are going reducing their department budgets right now in reaction to to what they're hearing, and because they're seeing that people really want the scarce resources they have did played into their city in the way. It can work the best to solve the problems that we. We have so. I'm optimistic that that that reform can actually happen that being said we know that reform is a long term business, but in the meantime you have to do is put the systems in place to hold the behavior in check. You mentioned a few moments ago this concept of funding the police, and and and that wording that movement is getting traction in one form or another. I don't know if the calls for defunding really literally mean completely get rid of the police forces, or are they telling US actually? We want you to reallocate some funding into some different areas. So I think that when people hear that term, it's really scary. It's like what. Because particularly here like where we have a pretty insidious violent crime problem, we're really worried about taking resources away from keeping a safe, but but the idea is that we do. We want to make sure that we are using our community are scarce community ru sources in the best possible way, and there is some research that indicates that more is not always better and I. Think over time it has just. Just become too easy. The easy solution for political leaders to say I'm just GonNa add more I have a crime problem. I'm just going to add more going to add morgan add more money or more officers because they can point to doing something right when they have a crime problem. See I have a crime problem. Here's what I did. I added more and so I think we need to start thinking. The ways to deal with our public safety issues in a different way, and there's definitely research to back this up here by our very own university Chicago Crime Lab. You know they've identified ways where you can invest money. That may be a better investment. To deal with crime than actually investing more policing, it's the idea of. Can we replace policing takes. Can we identify certain tasks that they are supposed to do now that they're assigned to be doing now and get those tasks to a different public safety resource that might be able to do those tasks more effectively with less risk to the community. We don't always need someone with a badge and a gun showing up to do some of the things that we are sending a person with a badge and a gun to do so. Do you support funding the police? I do I. Do I do and again. This is like looking at some of the work of the crime lab I mean it's clear that. Our crime problem is you cannot police your way out of it right there. There are some underlying social phenomena that have to do with the city and institutional racism, and all these things that we need to focus on and figure out if our resources are better spent their now say that understanding that police reform also has cost to it right so. If we create a new oversight entity that's going to have cost to it, so we have to balance these things, but the important thing is to have the conversation and start challenging and actually making that a conscious decision about how much we're going to invest policing, and not just Oh, we're going to give them the same money or more just like we do every year, but actually have a conscious conversation and decision about how well do we really need this policing effort? And could that money be better spent by being invested in mental health facilities or and job programs for teens or in school funding? I think it's really important to start having these conversations. Fairly Study of civilian oversight agencies is the largest ever done. It contains a tremendous amount of information about how to better empower these agencies. But where does she take her work next? And does she have hope for the future of police reform? What we've gotta try to figure out what's the right systems? We don't have to change everything. When the next! Inappropriate use of force incident happens because people have a system that they feel that they can rely on, and we just haven't figured out what that is yet, and so I would love to try to help. Figure out what that is I. We pointed to some of the characteristics of civilian oversight that make it effective. But but I think I'd like to see and learn more about our. These more multi-tiered systems are they join the job better than most and to relate to be able to advise jurisdictions on. Or how do you create a sustainably effective system? You know what I've been working on. Is this idea about looking back historically at our accountability system here in Chicago to help put. We've been experienced into perspective, and so you know I think that that's really important to understand that these are issues that are just long term issues that have plagued us, and so that's why we need to figure out. How do we break the cycle to create a more robust and sustainable effective system? There are still a lot of work to be done at the state law level. That's where I actually believe that there's the biggest opportunity right now to address some of the state laws that relate to policing. We have what's called the law enforcement officers bill of rights that has a number of provisions that are very counter to accountability that I'd like to see those addressed. We have laws that sort of restrict role of civilian oversight. We have the use of force law that needs to be changed, so there's a lot of opportunity. To Change, state law, that I think could go a way. The the other thing is this is an issue for everyone. Right? Obviously right now there are. Our communities of color are are just. Heartbroken frustrated angry. Mean you name it based on what? People are dying, you know black men are dying every day and are very frustrated. But public safety is an issue for everyone and we need everyone involved in. CARE and be concerned to be asking questions and holding our political leaders accountable. We need everyone to take this on. We need everyone to sort of care about what is the Chicago police departments use of force policy. Really say we need. Everyone's really care about these things because it does have an impact on all of us. Big brains production of the U. Chicago podcast network. If you like what you heard, please give us a review and a rating. Show is hosted by Paul Rand and produced by me. Mad hoed up with assistance from illicit yeats. Thanks for listening.

Chicago officer Civilian Office of Police Acco Police Department United States Chicago Police Board University of Chicago COPA University of Chicago Law Scho Independent Police Review Auth Oversight Board Paul Rand Police Review Authority superintendent Chicago Stories CHICAGO. Sharon
Why The Quantum Internet Could Change Everything, with David Awschalom

Big Brains

25:23 min | 3 months ago

Why The Quantum Internet Could Change Everything, with David Awschalom

"Magin a new computer system that could create virtually unbreakable encryption supercharge the development of artificial intelligence. Remodeled Traffic Systems and radically expedite the development of drug treatments for everything from cancer to Covid nineteen today, we see Chicago and it's esteemed university as the incubator for technology that will change the world, this technology quantum computing, and quantum internet. Quantum science is one of the most important technological frontiers of the century and the Department of Energy is partnering with the University of Chicago Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Laboratory and others to develop it all within the decade. It's not a stretch to say that when fully built the quantum Internet will bring incredible unexpected benefits much as today's Internet already done. This is US Energy Secretary Dan berlet speaking earlier this summer at a University of Chicago event. He was there to announce a strategy that will bring the country to the forefront of the global race to help create a quantum. Internet. To understand what that means, we turn to David Shalom, Davidson professor in quantum science and engineering at the University of Chicago, and he's one of the leading experts in the field. So I asked him, how will the quantum Internet changed the world over fifty years ago when today's Internet was created? Very few people could envision how we actually use it today. So now you're asking a great question, how will we interact with a fundamentally new technology down the road and the like the Internet before us? This absolutely will impact our lives from the University of Chicago. This is big brains a podcast about the pioneering research and pivotal breakthroughs reshaping our world on this episode building a Quantum Internet, I'm your host Paul Rand. It can be hard to imagine life before the Internet tonight, the information superhighway and one of its main thoroughfares, an online network called Internet. Nassif computer network the one that's becoming really big now. What do you read? That's how does one? What do you right toward like male imagine if you will sitting down to your morning coffee turning on your home computer to read the day's newspaper? Well, it's not as farfetched as it may seem. But what if there were a new internet one that would make our current one look like a tool from the stone age? Well, that's the quantum internet could be unimaginably powerful computers communicating over unimaginably fast networks to tackle the world's most unfathomable problems. So how will do that? What will make the Quantum Internet quantum? Right now, our Internet works because our unit information consists of Zeros or ones for quantum technologies in quantum computing the quantum unit of information the cubit isn't just zero or one. It's an infinite combinations of Zeros and one. Data represents itself in a fundamentally different way. Between Black and white and color. Not In Kansas City. The other magic ingredient about quantum internet isn't tangled entanglement. You may have heard of the term before it's a complicated phenomena that means that particles can share information with each other. Even if they're in different locations, we can create information and share it between two optics to quantum bits if you like. And put those quantum bits over arbitrary distances whether it's Chicago and San Francisco or Chicago in bundled it doesn't matter. And I look at one of them it impacts the other. There's a connection between the two without a physical connection and this is called entanglement. You can share information among many objects and the act of looking at wind impacts. The others the quantum effective entanglement is something that Albert Einstein famously called Spooky action at a distance. Bat Plus. The strange fact that simply observing a quantum particle changes it it's responsible for one of the most exciting parts of the quantum Internet that had has the potential to be virtually uninhabitable. If a hacker tried to intercept the quantum network, the active just looking at the particles causes both to collapse if researchers using tangled particles to send information between two locations and a hacker tried to intercept that information, the message would be instantly altered. For example, you could imagine a an internet which would enable us to have secure elections were people could participate in government processes. Securing their information knowing that it could never be eavesdropped upon or tampered with in any way that level of security is also very interesting to the financial sector. David, when handed event here, not long ago you had some of the largest financial players in the world that we're here looking and interested in quantum and how would apply to the financial sector. Where do you think that area the sector's biggest interests are coming from the financial sector looking at quantum technologies and trying to understand how their business challenges could benefit from them because one of the challenges in the financial sector is when someone performs a transaction, they want to be sure that nobody has extracted the information along the way copied it put it back and then you receive it and how do you? That you haven't received information that somebody is copied or tampered with. So they would love technology where that will be virtually impossible. There's no way to extract the information without changing it is ultra secure is interesting to look at the financial sectors around the United States and see that they're also growing quantum groups J. P. Morgan Chase has an extraordinary group of quantum scientists hired. So this Goldman Sachs places that a few years ago you might not have thought be building quantum technology programs. The initial uses of the quantum internet and computing will most likely be companies and institutions. Avshalom. Says that eventually individuals might use it to. And the possible scope of its applications it either level seem almost endless. I think the way that people will end up interact with quantum internet will be driven by the applications the needs. Quantum technologies will enable things like blind computing were the owner of the technology has no way of knowing how you've used it. What you're searching with white you're seeking to do. And you can also imagine a quantum protect building quantum supercomputers quantum machines together to build larger systems to attack problems. Well, beyond things, we could imagine today like drug designs searching Paxton's scenes, traffic control, energy, distribution scheduling problems. You Know One interesting application that people are thinking about now, which will impact us as taking magnetic resonance imaging. Down to the level of a single molecule. Imagine today a hospital, but does MRI scans typically using tented twentieth molecules. Could you MRI. that. We could understand the structure and the functional relationship of every protein inside us and today we can only do that with a few percent of our proteins. Solution is medicine. It would change the way that all of us deal with healthcare David. If I can let me change gears just a little bit on one of the things as a country and globally we're facing a whole host of seemingly intractable problems. You know whether it's Cova situation we're dealing with whether it's the climate crisis that we're dealing with and those things related to it as you think about it and I know that there's hoping many camps, the possibly can quote unquote science our way out of some of these things does that. Get any closer to reality as some of these new ideas and quantum start coming in the place that the ability to truly begin looking for some answers to some of the most perplexing things facing our world can actually be worked on I'm very optimistic that will happen because many of these challenges that you've just alluded to are challenging because they're very complex trying to identify a vaccine, for example, is very hard with a complicated virus changes. Shape reacts to its environment in different ways. How do you model these? How do you even begin design a pharmaceutical? Could you design a system where you could test all different types of configurations minimising real world testing having quantum technologies to attack these problems will certainly help fuel the discovery of of Pharmaceuticals. Problems that we're facing about how to deal with clean energy and energy distribution efficiently minimizing waste. Will deal with water purity was sensors around the globe to monitor and control our ecosystem. I think these are very complicated problems even how you efficiently deliver packages you know how you assemble aircraft. A triple seven has over three million parts for example, for a Boeing aircraft, how do you assemble them in the right order? How do you make that process much more efficient you could use trial and error or you could use an optimization algorithm in a quantum machine and solve it, and that's exactly the right order to do the assembly. I think we'll see loss of impacts on society as we learn more and more about the potential of this technology and get informed as to what are the challenging problems with our partners, where do they need help and how can this quantum technology be used to assist it's clear that quantum technology holds a great deal of promise but what's holding it back and what will need to happen over the next ten years for the Department of Energy and the university to realize the goal of creating Ah Quantum Internet that's coming up after the break. Krona, viruses changing life as we know it on a daily basis but how will the pandemic permanently reshaped our lives in the future? What will world look like five years from now Kobe twenty twenty-five our world in the next five years is a new video series featuring leading scholars at the University of Chicago they'll discuss corona virus will change healthcare international relations, education, and many other aspects of our lives. The series from the same team that brings this podcast can be found on youtube with new episodes released regularly. The quantum internet as we said in the very beginning has the power to change our world. Do we get there from where we are today. So. The a quantum intern that we have to build the quantum technologies like quantum computers and quantum sensors, and then develop technology, which will capture this information from the quantum machines. And allow us to keep it in type of ecosystem. Keep the quantum mechanical nature of this information consistent and untouchable as a move from one technology base to another. And that's a challenge. That's something we can't do with today's Internet. Because at the end of the day, nature at is very small scale. Doesn't behave according to the laws of Zeros and ones. It's not binary. It's more complicated than nature moves information around quantum mechanically. And this quantum technology that we build and quantum connectivity also has to work differently and transfer information without touching it. Keeping the quantum nature intact. One of the biggest challenges in terms of keeping the quantum connection intact includes a key piece of hardware and David I'm says that it's crucial to make sure the particles remain in tangled over long distances we need the bill of technology called the quantum repeater. One of the reasons that our Internet works so well, today is that we sent lights both through optical fibers going all over the country. The reality is that when you send pulses of light through optical fibers after twenty or fifty kilometers, the single starts to drop an amplitude because in the real world when you're sending light through glass their impurities in the glass and light scatters and become smaller and smaller as a wind as way down to the destination. And the critical piece of technology that lets me say the signal from Chicago to San Francisco. His that we have small technologies every twenty year fifty kilometers called repeaters. They take this small civil, they amplify it and they send it out again, and that lets us transplant all over the world. Now, let's think about a quantum metronet. We take a quantum signal and we send it down an optical fiber. Where the quantum properties are in coded, saying the polarization of pulse of light. We need object or technology that will read this single. Amplify it and repeat it. But the laws of quantum physics have a fundamental problem with that, which is the act of observing something changes it. Is called the no cloning theorem you can't simply repeat a quantum signal. So you need to build a technology Becca, take this quantum property, move it somewhere else read it a different way and send it out again. Creating this type of hardware, we're require a new generation of quantum engineers so far there about one hundred and fifty quantum scientists in the Greater Chicago area that makes Illinois a leading center of this technology both nationally and globally, but execute the vision of a quantum internet within a decade will will need thousands of scientists when we talk to our industrial partners both in the United States and around the world one of their most pressing concerns is, how will they have sufficient workforce to meet the demands of technology? There are two challenges. One is the fact that were entering a time. We'll. They'll be a large number of retiring electrical engineers in the United States. The second is these companies will have to replaces conventional engineers with quantum engineers. People whose training covers quantum physics. Science Electrical Engineering Materials Research. With a new type of training that integrates all of these together. To think about how we can use the quantum properties of nature to builds targeted technologies. So the training is a little different it's not the traditional. Discipline is more problem based. It's mixing computer science with quantum. Physics. With engineering with materials development as I was just saying, and that does require a different educational platform and is just a transition that if you're an existing field that you can transition over with relative amount of ease or is this really a complete overhaul I think it's a combination I. think there are many fields where this transition can be made. So, we can imagine training programs that take today's engineers allows the slightly pivot with additional information to use their existing training for quantum technologies. But. We also need to think about from a very early age on making people comfortable developing intuition about quantum science something that few his have. It's a very different way of thinking and you need to be comfortable with very non intuitive way of thinking about information in general the devise new technologies retraining will be a big part of creating this new workforce. At the University of Chicago a first of its kind program starting in a few weeks will enable classically trained scientists and engineers ten transition to careers in quantum science. Now, the Department of Energy will empower seventeen national laboratories to serve as the backbone of the coming quantum Internet, and recently the we launched five new quantum science research centers led by the national. Labs. The Department of Energy Centers which was just announced allow us to build consortium of leaders from around the United States to attack major challenges for quantum information science. The one here in Chicago is quite extraordinary. It's a collaborative center called Q. Next focused at Argonne national, laboratory. That is a consortium of ten companies. Ten universities and three national laboratories focusing on quantum connections. To create a distributed quantum states of matter. Quantum sensors to push the limits of quantum sensing but also to establish quantum foundry to foundries in fact, one at Argonne National. Laboratory and when it slack. In. California. Focusing on building the materials that will serve as a basis of these technologies. It's the first of its kind in the United States and so right now where those materials coming from right now, materials tend to come from different research groups around the country. What many must feels important to standardize the process bell? The foundry were researchers around the country will have access to well characterized pristine materials that can be used for their specific application, their tests and quantification. These materials will be fed back into national database for companies university researchers, national lab researchers to analyze study, improve, and distribute even before the Department of Energy Center Chicago was already leading hub for quantum research earlier this year scientists from the Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of Chicago entangled photons across fifty two mile quantum loop. It goes from Argun and Lemont, Illinois around and through the suburbs of Chicago. Using an existing underground network of optical fiber built decades ago. For Conventional, Telecommunications Avshalom spearheaded the project, which is now among the longest land-based quantum networks in the country is to teleport information almost instantly, this is an extraordinary moment for Chicago in the State of Illinois and that's been echoed by the reap marketable support from the governor's office to devote enormous support the construction of new facilities in Chicago to build laboratories for collaboration between students, our partners are industrial a collaborator to drive this research. It means Chicago can be a center for quantum information science and technology in the country both routes leading academic programs. The state of the art research at the national labs these to Dealey centers. I should also say an exciting National Science Foundation Center established at the University of Illinois Champaign to drive the workforce development and related technologies that will tie that this entire ecosystem. So with the appearance of national centers by different federal agencies, the national labs, major universities such as University Chicago, University of Illinois and Northwestern University's we have an extraordinary opportunity here to become national leaders in this field. And in your mind David What does it national leader or global leader look like what are the important investments that need to be made in growth right now it means that this area can drive discoveries in materials science new applications in partnership with companies driving, international, collaborations. Paul. As you mentioned earlier, how we transfer some of the results to leaders around the world to go beyond the Chicago area beyond the nation and across the globe the impact standards applications. Developments of new technologies, developments of new scientific efforts. The means we could attract some of the best scientists have students from around the world to engage in this effort that think about how we can harness the very best ideas to ask the most challenging questions that emerging science and technology. Because in the end of the day, we want the brightest minds the most exciting ideas. The most impactful industrial partners that can help translate the scientific ideas into technologies here in Chicago at the USA says a spring. If you like wore, our students can be deployed everywhere and impact the world in this area David. You mentioned a little bit ago something about the Chicago Quantum Exchange. Can. You just give us a little background on what that is and how it began and maybe any other aspects of it. The Chicago Quantum exchange began in two thousand seventeen. We began to think in the Chicago area with the benefit of two national laboratories and major universities such as University of Illinois and the University of Chicago happened. We build an enterprise that could identify large opportunities and work together to aggressively compete for them, and that was the birth of the Chicago, quantum? Exchange. Also knowing that we can't do this alone we need to do this in partnership with industry and we need the mechanism to drive and attract the best companies to work with us in this field. So once the national labs and the academic partners got together we launched an endeavor which now has over a dozen companies. Very. Heavily engaged in the quantum exchange exchanging researchers ideas student internships. New Grant proposals attracting new research opportunities for students as a measure of their enthusiasm for this department. Of Energy Center, our industrial partners have committed over sixty million dollars of their own resources to help drive the science and technology effort. It's extraordinary engine. Now that will help drive quantum technologies here in Chicago let's look at Chicago area five years out less look at progress in the field five years out. What kind of things are you looking for? What kind of progress do you expect and hope to be making collectively what we expect to establish testbeds in the Chicago area working prototypes where students and companies could work together and literally try out some of the ideas to optimize technology. And push applications as we were talking about corporate partners in there are many things that are happening. But one that's really quite interesting and exciting is some of the work that Intel is doing in terms of the tests spat out of Argun. I wonder if you can give a little bit more context around that as part of the Argonne lead daily center Intel, we'll be commissioning the first semiconductor quantum computing as in the country, and that's will be happening in a specially built laboratory at Argonne. The intent is to open up that quantum machine to users both within the center and. Around the country. To run quantum computing algorithms, see what we can do with us chip-base quantum machine and think about how we can scale that to larger quantum technologies, for example. Argonne National Lab has launched. The quantum leap. A testbed for quantum communication creating entangled states of matter testing, the security of quantum information transmission, and setting up a testbed that we'd like to extend here into the city. Not just for the financial institutions to begin to test applications for quantum information, transmission and security. But also for students, students at all levels understand encryption and security deep whether they're the Tocado public school students, different high school students, working internships, undergraduates, students at your colleges students from the university is around the area, all using these networks and prototypes the try it these ideas and learn and inform us. So as his building these systems together linking the national labs are in lab building, local quantum Internet's in Chicago. Using local companies to try out concepts and ideas on these internships and building upon that. So I think we'll nucleate lots of new activities with these prototypes and we're very optimistic that these will be launched the next year or two alone. So if we think back in the beginning of when Silicon Valley was created, do you think they were in that similar phase of birth here in the Chicago area and Illinois and we're going to start doing some of the things and experiencing some of those same growth impact that the silicon valley is experienced for years. I think with the leading companies leading students, the attraction venture capital funds to the Chicago area to drive these initiatives. When we're successful that launching start adventure around the Chicago Area I, see absolutely no reason that your Kogyo can't be the next Silicon Valley for quantum information, science, and technology. Big. Brains is a production of the U. Chicago podcast network. If you like what you heard, please give us a review and a rating shows hosted by Paul Brand and produced by me Matt hoed up with assistance from illicit. EADS. Thanks for listening.

Chicago University Chicago United States Chicago Quantum Exchange David Shalom Department of Energy University of Chicago Argonne Illinois Argonne Paul Rand Department of Energy Center Ch Argonne National Lab Albert Einstein Covid San Francisco Argun Goldman Sachs
Prof. John Birge, Professor of Operations Management at the University of Chicago

Scientific Sense

48:04 min | 2 months ago

Prof. John Birge, Professor of Operations Management at the University of Chicago

"Welcome to the scientific sense podcast where we explore emerging ideas from science policy economics and Technology. My name is Gil open. We talked with world's leading academics and experts about their recent research or general radius of topical interest scientific sense as an unstructured conversation with No, Agenda or Preparation. We cover a wide variety of domains where new discoveries are made and new technologies are developed on a daily basis. We are most interested in how new ideas affect society and help educate the world how long pursue a rewarding and enjoyable life rooted in science logic and information. We seek knowledge without boundaries or constraints and provide an Choi. Content of conversations with researchers and leaders who love what they do a companion blog to this podcast can be found at scientific sense.com. And this podcast is available on over a dozen platforms and directly at scientific sense. Net if you have suggestions for topics gas and other ideas, please send up to info at scientific sense.com, and I can be reached at Gill info. My guest today is professor. John Berge who is a professor of operations management at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business his work phone, the phone application Theory and computation for decision-making and uncertainty which applications in the management of operations and finance energy Healthcare manufacturing public policy and transportation. He's an informed fellow msom Society distinguished fellow member of the US National Academy of engineering and editor-in-chief of operations. Research. Thank you. Thanks Google. I want to start with one of your papers optimal conditions and subscriptions in network markets, very consider a platform that charges commission rates and subscription fees to sellers and buyers for facilitating transactions, but that's not directly control the transaction prices which are determined. By the Traders you say the two Salient features of the most online platforms are that they do not dictate the transaction prices and use commissions and or subscriptions off for extracting revenues and you have some some analysis around what might be Optimum for the platform right? I know that eBay for example charges commissions, but I don't think they have a subscription. Right? Right, right. Yeah. So on eBay you you're just paying a commission. You're not paying toll be like you don't have to pay the just to be a member of the eBay. Yeah at Amazon is sort of a platform to I guess a seller's have some sort of subscription there or Amazon. Yeah, I mean Amazon sort of is a little bit of a hybrid and that if you're a Prime member you're paying like a subscription. So you're not paying a commission for them things like delivery charges and the sellers, I guess typically pay commissions. And so and so you want to talk a bit about the paperwork what you found in terms of optimality. Yeah, the paper was looking at whether these platforms are doing the best thing in terms of the way that that they set their prices and their their prices basically being these commissions or some kind of subscription so you can think of subscription might be like you pay just per ride like it for Uber if you were only paying Uber say $5 for a ride and then everything else was going to drop off. Sure, that would be like a subscription from the way we were looking at. Oh, I see I see. Okay. Okay. Yeah, so it's not monthly subscription per se but it's some kind of a constant fee right? It's more like yeah, right like it's 60 like if you it's like the flag date for tax again, okay. So there is there's a little bit of that again with with Uber now Uber is actually sort of separated prices. So the price that you pay as a rider is actually off different and doesn't have to be necessarily even related to the the value that the driver receives so they haven't even I would say even more sort of complicated way of doing it. But generally the way that they set the commission's doesn't vary by wage you might be so if you're in downtown Chicago and you want to go to O'Hare Airport you pay the same commission, even though the price might might be different package as um going from let's say a nearby suburb, uh to oh here Okay, so price might be different meaning so the cut between the driver and Uber are going to be different. Well, the Commission in the the way Uber is set up now doesn't doesn't change. So the the fraction that the driver receives money. It is is somewhat the same but that's not necessarily related to how much the so there's like a commission for the the driver down. There is a commission that the passengers paying and those two we're not necessarily. Okay. Okay. And so so, you know, one of the things I think you find in the paper is that it is not Optimum to have a constant formula right for commissions and subscriptions. It might be Optimum to very that by by consumer and and seller Thai Palm, right? Yeah. Well what we found is that the platforms could actually drive more business and it could be both we both beneficial to let's say the providers as well as the customers and the platform by varying how much they charge into the commission or in terms of some kind of a fee by the different locations. And then what we did is we looked at how would this apply to Airbnb? And we looked at Airbnb in Chicago and we found that if Airbnb in Chicago had actually instead of charging a 6 condition which is the way they they charge now if they had buried that commissioned by location, they could have increased their revenues and they also offer to increase availability for for customers. In other words by lowering the commission's in areas where people wouldn't necessarily be renting a room or environment. They could actually driving a Creator volume a number of customers as well as increasing their revenues. Yeah, so so obviously you cannot be 80 that wage by person by person but but it's you saying bye-bye location by regions by perhaps even time that you actually rented those features could suggest a very great that might be more Optimum, right? Yeah, bye-bye. The rate of both the the platform could benefit but but also consumers commit Bye in particular having lower Commissions in areas that people would not necessarily make their first choice downtown Chicago Navy in Hyde Park. So you might have lower Commissions in Hyde Park more people would then prefer to go to Hyde Park and that might increase the number of people who come to Chicago, right? And so their data should sort of tell them that right do they not use the data that way? Yeah, they they have information about how How likely people in that. That's basically what we were using in our skip about How likely people are dead, um to uh to use their service in other words to get a room or an apartment through them. But but they they tend to have a fixed commission. I think mostly just out of Simplicity. Yeah, but what are what are study shows is that actually it? You know, they're they're essentially losing a significant amount of potential Revenue but it also could be better for consumers. Right if if they're able to bury what those conditions would be. Yeah, so certain areas. It's all sort of a loose loose Precision consumers due south and then now the platform itself is not maximizing profits. Whereas in other areas, perhaps they're losing Revenue, even though consumer might be getting in a cheaper rate or something like that, right? Yeah. That's that's that that's basically the the mechanism behind this that dead. In Chicago downtown Chicago is very popular many people want to stay there. So European big could have slightly higher commission. Now that's going to mean that fewer people will rent in downtown Chicago, but they'll be more likely to rent those locations where the commission's are loan. Yeah. So I gently are you are you suggesting then? You know, obviously we have Dynamic pricing. Are you suggesting sort of dynamic? Commissioning? Yeah. It's it's effectively like Dynamic pricing. Yes. Yeah, it's it's changing to the commission that's received now in in Airbnb since they don't set the price at all the prices basically set by the hosts and then the gift was either taken or not. So they don't have that price control. Whereas someone who is setting the price to the consumer. They can directly set the price. So that is effectively like uber is determining what the commission is going to be because their direct setting the price to the setting the price they're they're flexing Dynamic pricing. So if the ratio between the driver and Uber is a constant that essentially directing wage commission, they would pay the driver to to the price. Right right and that and the way Uber works now is they're basically setting both of those separately off. How much the drivers getting how much the consumers paying those are two separate decisions that occurs making an Airbnb, simplistically. They they have a commission schedule and essentially they're just applying that on whatever the rules are setting the prices prices for and so wouldn't the host take that into account due to set the right price at the right code uncode price to fill their capacity or that doesn't happen. Right, right. Yeah, so this This will also affect how the host sets sets what price they would be offering. So if you're being these offering higher or Airbnb is extracting a higher commission, the the hose may also want to increase the price which again would tend to lower the demand there. Yeah, so I guess one issue Airbnb might have is that the hose if if they were to practice some sort of dynamic pricing that might become may be too complicated for the horse perhaps. I don't know. It's I guess if the host knew that the commission's in my area were a fixed amount it would be whatever. I mean he has changed their commission rate over time. So they're a little bit used to having some kind of changes. Okay? Okay, but but you are not suggesting Dynamic pricing per se but what you saying that Chicago and Hyde Park could have different different commissions schedules based on what they understand from the data, right? Yeah. So yeah, so downtown Chicago in Hyde Park should probably have different commission rates based on people's preferences. And you also find in the paper down that page. There are some sort of interesting pricing issues if you charge commissions and or subscriptions to only one side of the transaction log, You get one answer supposed to both right? Right. And what's yeah in certain circumstances. You can judge charge just charge the house for example, or just charged the gas but in general it's best if you can apply commissions on both sides Airbnb does that to some extent it's it's there is both a charge and the host side as well as on the gas side. And what we found is that I varying in particularly on the whole side by varying the commission's that they charge on that side, they could shove revenues and actually increased the total number of people who stay and so so so one interesting thing is you say that if you consistently follow a revenue-maximizing logic at the platform level it accomplishes at least 2/3 of the maximum achievable social welfare as well. So it's it's sort of a VIN then yeah, that's that's what I was that's what I was trying to say. But yeah, so consumers and and hosts when as well. Right, right. Yeah, I want to another paper Dynamic learning at Market making and spread betting markets with informed betters off. So you study the profit maximization problem of a market maker in a spread betting Market. The spread-betting is sort of a sports Market that thing right off. Right right. And so in this market you say the market-maker codes cut off lines for the outcome of a certain future even as prices and better bet on whether they even outcome exceeds a cut-off jeans and one complication for the market-maker here is that the better is come in two varieties, I guess, you know there there are people who are often informed doing strategic manipulation so to speak and there are more General Bettors who don't really have any information right? So the the Marg Maker has sort of an optimization problem taking into account all the participants. Right. Yeah, so there's the the market maker. the man let's say the sports book manager is is trying to gather information about what's the outcome of a particular event off our game and they don't know how much but they don't know how much information people have so some people might have a lot of information. They might know that particular play or set of players are not a bulb play one example that we had was a game a couple of years ago at the Golden State Warriors and their Stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were originally scheduled to play in the game. And so golden state was favored off the coach made a decision at some point. Not not to play the two and What we saw is that some people started to bet against the Golden State Warriors. So this is so some people had this inside information off forward have been released and they started to they started to place heavy bets against them. Then the information gets released and the the line of the game changed dramatically. It went from the Golden State Warriors being favored by nine points the Golden State Warriors being essentially on the on the losing end by Five Points, So it's a changed dramatically when this information was released to the public but but there were some people who already knew it and so there there are some people that that have this is that information might be trading in so these are not these are not regulated markets, right? So there are no insider trading Restrictions in this market now, there's no kind of insider trading restriction. And that's that's the the role that these managers play that they're supposed to have the information and they're supposed to set them in a way that that everyone has an equal opportunity to win from the game. But in this case there were some people that had this additional information and started to bet against it. So what we were trying to answer the paper was well, how should how should the sports manager operating a market like this? How should they operate created when they want to learn what what people know and but they don't want to actually be fool. So what we show in the papers, it's possible one of these, uh informed Bettors who has this additional information could actually fool the market maker and end up making a great deal on the game. And so what we come up with is a strategy that a sports manager can use in order to avoid that situation. Yes. So I I don't know much about this this Market but in that basketball game how far in advanced desktop Market open so to speak for something like that for most of these games the market is most intense immediately find the previous game. So mm basketball that usually means two or three days off for football. It's always when we essentially one week for baseball could be just one day. It's most intense then but they used. Yeah, but the Market opens at the beginning of the Season essentially on the games. Okay, there's activity until Particularly in basketball and football very little activity before the week of the game because people don't know who's going to be healthy them uncertain about the games uncertain about who will be playing and are not inclined to to bet on those future events like that unless it's like the championship game. Right? Right. And so Market Big Market maker has some level of risk if there is an informed better in the pool. Otherwise, they could they could basically just assume is sort of normally distributed. Right? Right. Yeah, they can they can assume that and there's we have found evidence that market makers realize that sometimes betters are biased for certain teams certain teams are favored more than they really should be dead. The market makers adjust their odds to try to take advantage of that to some extent. Yeah, but they also try to use they they try to clean this information from any anyone who is informed so they try to effectively they caught the smart money. They tried to see what what is the Smart money doing the people who might have some additional information and how can they can use that to set their ads so that they don't end up losing substantially. Yeah, you know, it's interesting. You know, I don't know if it happens in the US but certain markets there is also a problem of fixing the games, right so they have been number of instances in cricket for example in India and elsewhere. I wondered since these are not necessarily regulated markets, but game-fixing obviously is not dead. Is not allowed whether this type of data might allow whoever is looking into it maybe early indications that the game might be fixed. Yeah that could it could allow for that kind of Investigation. This is becoming a bigger issue now because essential now online sports betting is legal in the United in other words, there's no federal law against it how it goes by State Illinois has recently made it legal wage. There's been a lot of activity a lot of advertising for the online sports betting market. Now. In fact, I used to be that Nevada for example, was it the biggest state for sports betting since this law is going into place now, it's moved to New Jersey, New Jersey has a phone number. Just yeah. Yeah it's and so in the paper, so this is from a market makers perspective. They have the sort of balance off the learning that can get overtime by looking at the entire pool of betting but also you say they have to sort of bluff prove. You know, what what they actually come up with in terms of the spread. Right? And so and so so you come up with a family of policies to to do that, right? Yeah, the the the policies that we come up with our we call them a nurse or policies. They're basically policies in which the market maker commits to following a certain strategy that's fixed based on what pets there are and that's different from what we usually think people should do which are called Bayesian policies so that people use the information that they have and they update that information. That's the Bayesian update. Yes. So but if they did that then they would be susceptible to manipulation. That's the problem that when when you do that early information as up having played a larger role than later information. And so what can happen is that the the informed betters can blast at the beginning Force the market-maker moved in the wrong direction and then take advantage later when the market maker has More confidence and what they think the spread might be and that therefore they're more reluctant to move it then they can take advantage of that. So by by following this inertia long as they're able to avoid that, right so so for my understanding John, so this is essentially the market-maker advertising what their policy is and just sticking to it off then sticking to it. That's right. Yeah, essentially saying here's hear the rules. I'm going to follow and There's no way if I follow these rules that you as an informed better, you can still make money. You can still make money off your information, but you can't you can't make money by fooling me and making excessive profits on right, right. So the in-form better, I guess informed better cannot see the book off but inform better could see how the spread is changing. Right? Right. They can see the spread changing right and so can they can you know, sort of wage you suggesting the the Strategic manipulation sort of dabble in it. And if it is moving in One Direction slowly nuts it in that direction and at some point take the other other wage or something like that, but you're saying if if the market make a stick to the original policy the chance of that happening as much lower. Yes if the market makers wage. To that inertial policy that we describe then any kind of left thing any kind of nudging that that informed better might sneak. It would end up being a losing strategy. So they're just going to lose money by doing that. The best thing they can do is just to whatever. Whatever odds they have if they're in their favor, they should ban on that and that's it. Like okay. Okay. I want to get into another paper a different area so credit shock propagation along Supply chains evidence GMC DS credit-default swaps market and you said the paper using a panel of credit default swap spreads and supply chain length, you observed that favorable and unfavorable credit shocks propagate through the supply chains in the serious Market. It's a very interesting way to look at look at sharks in the service Lane, right? You can actually see how the risk is moving around in the entire system through the spread, right? Yeah, and what I think is most But I think there are a few things that are interesting about this, you know, we we might expect that if if your customer has has some kind of problem if your customer is getting to go into default then that's probably going to be bad for you. If you're you're the supplier and that's that's been demonstrated faith in the stock market we've seen that if a customer has a stock price go down there miss miss earnings them. The supplier is is probably going to go down although it sometimes happens slowly. So that information is actually diffused somewhat slowly and there's a package of paper by Lauren Cohan Andrea frazzini that looked at that several years ago, and they had an example of cowboy Golf Club. And Calloway made a statement that they're going to miss their earnings Target and miss it substantially. Yeah, so so Calloway's in stock went down about 25% but Cowboys major supplier Coast cast which makes all the shafts her account wage. And for whom Callaway represented about 50% of their sales goes cast had absolutely no effect. So kind of Legos down by 25% Coast kind of stock remains constant until about a month. So it takes about a month and then Gradually over the course of the Mind Coast cats stock goes down by about the same amount. And so so they put they put that paper out in another paper. I looked at. This kind of propagation the stock market to suppliers and it turns out that that happens to supply for suppliers as well. So if your supplier necessary name is it turns out that's that's bad for your stock price as well. And we wanted to see as well as his true for the CTS Market in the stock market. It looks like a little bit delayed. Yeah, although after this Conan francini paper. There were a number of funds that were set up to try to exploit and essentially the exact disappear but one month is a long time. Yeah. Yeah, we found was that the the supplier effect was was still there. So the birth to the supplier effect. Was actually still there. We wanted to see if it was in the CTS Market as well. Yeah, and yes, but it's very immediate the CVS Market seems to react. almost instantaneously that is if your customer starts to default or starts to have difficulty so that their suggest value their CDs for it goes higher than your CD-ROM going to go are so so how do you explain that John? You know, we tend to think that the markets reflect information reasonably Fast Track is it is explanation explanation for c d s immediate reaction sort of Delayed Reaction the stock market related to liquidity or something else. I think that the stock market because that there's more diffusion of the participant the market. It's it's it's not as quick to react that is it takes it takes a little bit longer for news to travel and it's not as transparent that Marcus lease is not as informed about The supply chain relationships that firms have there's a CVS CVS Market the participants they're arguably are more sophisticated right and and can see that the supply chain affects lot faster. Yeah, and I think they have this ability at this point affects them. And what we show in the paper is if for firms that have greater analyst coverage the reaction is faster, so It seems like that in the CVS Market. The the information is traveling quite quickly and it's traveling in both directions about the same amount. That is if your customer is in trouble your CVS spread is going to be affected about the same as whether your supplier is dead. And I saw I noticed that little bit of difference. I don't know if it is statistically relevant on the customer table jumpy when which is a a dog was pretty shocked 63 basis points move Bears on the supply side is 74 basis points. It just is that different statistically relevant know that's the that's those are essentially the same. Yeah, so that's The supplier and customer effect seems to be about about the same. What's also interesting is that good news also is propagated. It's not propagated as heavily as as bad news. But if someone's CTS Brett goes down significantly, then both our customers and suppliers see their home, uh, CVS spreads go down and and the effect actually goes through several tears. So not only the first-tier suppliers but second-tier wage, even third-tier suppliers and customers have have effects as well. Yeah, and you also say that industry competition and financial linkages between a price change Partners such as Trade Credit and large sales exposures amplify the chalk propagation alarm supply chains. So that is that is fairly intuitive. That's what you would expect to see birth. And so so relate to that I want to get into another paper and this is specific to what just happened to us the impact of 2019 on supply-chain creditors Right Where You examine how supply chain activity reflects into credit risk during different phases of covid-19 birth to make again focusing on the CTS default swap spreads and us China supply chain links. And so what do you mean by two faces is sort of China getting into trouble and getting out of it and the rest of the world getting into trouble right? And so you can see data into different Horizons. Right. Yeah. And so what we found is in that that first. When the virus when people knew that the virus had Community wage in China, so that's that's the. Essentially following February one and when China started to lock down and so many Chinese businesses were forced to close during that lacked am. What we saw is that people in our firm's the United States who had Chinese suppliers. So other CDs spreads go up significant during that. But then what happened in during the period when? The virus is spreading within the United States. But while in China was actually reopening we saw is that firms which off these suppliers. So their CD is France actually go down. So CVS price went up if you had Chinese suppliers during that that first. Where it was just tryna was in a lockdown days and then they went down during the period when China start reopen and business in the United States and in Europe or or being shut down so so from a supply chain flexibility perspective John wage, you know, you said, I guess so about two cases where you have customers and suppliers in in a location like China as opposed to a supply chain where you have, you know suppliers in China, but consumers in the u.s. How would these two networks differ in terms of it's just, you know, it's overall risk in a shock. Well it you you actually get exposure from where wherever your supplies and customers are so so the the fact that your customers are in a location where they gave us their businesses are being shut down that's going to bet is going to lead to stress for you and therefore CVS your default likelihood is going to increase So so any any of any of these exposures when there is going to be some sort of disruption in those locations lead to changes in the CTS Brad. So the CTS price again react very quickly and they they include that information about about your suppliers. But what we also find is that there is moderation so that if for example if I have if I have suppliers multiple locations, so I might have Chinese name is Betty also have suppliers elsewhere in Asia or or suppliers from South America or Europe and then having those additional locations of suppliers actually needs the mitigation of the effects and it might have from China. Yeah, so that's what I was trying to get too. So, yep. You know, if you are regionally organized where you have suppliers and customers then a shock in that region. You're going to get a double whammy right you're going to see it from both sides. But if you have a supply chain that is sort of you know spread out what you're finding is there is a lag in that shock traveling in that supply chain. So from a policy perspective from a from a management decision perspective the the that you know duration for the shock to travel deficit actually give you some additional leverage in terms of managing the business or or not. Not really it might give you a little bit of warning as long if I mean if you're in a business where you can find different suppliers, and we tried to look a little bit at that in terms of flexibility. So people that have flexibility. Yeah who are dead Able to find different suppliers. It seems like they're less affected. Yeah. So so the fact that I have a distance supplier. They have a shock. I know how long that's going to take some time to actually affect me. If I'm in a business where actually where I can find different suppliers, then that that effect goes down and and bought a CD of spreads appear to reflect that. Yeah. It's interesting. This pandemic is sort of shocks traveling back and forth in some ways right now as long as a shock that is great slowly traveled back to China, right? Yeah. Yeah, it's been it's been an interesting process to see how these these shocks are not being transmitted again. What what what I found interesting about this is that the sophistication of the CVS Market. I think the CVS mom Is very much aware of what these different businesses do we saw that for example, that firms that have greater exposure to to the household Channel? Well, it depends on what kind of things would you buy into that as what you know, if you're providing things like staple products that aren't that weren't really affected by the lockdowns then that was again a mitigating factor in terms of your CVS values. But if you're providing things that people don't necessarily need to buy like electronics and then that had You you have more of an effect. So so in conclusion John so, you know pandemic still around who knows what's going to happen. We might have a Coba twenty behind covid-19. Right? What would you based on your research? What would you say, you know from a from a company policy perspective how to best think about organizing your supply chain. What would be the dominant way to think about it? I think having flexibility is one of the biggest things that that firms might be able to do that is making sure that way you have alternative qualified suppliers and suppliers in different regions. And if you can pick up on suppliers in both regions of the world, then you'll be able to react to conditions that might be changing in the institutions. Is there is there any kind of capital structure issues that firms might have learned from this the shock? Yes. We we also saw that firms that had a greater cash firms that lower Leverage. They were less exposed to the to the issues from these shocks. So it it suggests that long. The firms need in their risk management. They need to be planning about these events. I mean, this is what I'm not sure if it's really went cross-country. It might be a once every two decades kind of relate. It's yeah, I mean, I think it's more I mean particularly if if everyone from a from disease point of view, I think it's actually more like a once and once than a decade event in which case if people are going to react to events like this then businesses have to be prepared that that should be part of your risk management strategies. Yeah, there's always a cost to it and so gosh. Yeah. Yeah, and I also wanted so serious works very much like an insurance policy, right? So whoever is on the other side of the transaction also has the same information. So the the spreads are our affection they would imagine right right? Yeah. That's that's one of the reasons why we like to look at the CVS markets because each party actually dead. is is really trying to offload risk or or incur risk, but incurred in a way in which they they think they're being fairly compensated. So there is another words. I think there's relatively little speculation in the CVS market. So it'd be more driven by risk management practices. And therefore I'm not as acceptable Navy to sort of speculative activity that they might see in other kinds of markets. Do they do they? Look at the company's c d s having more diversifiable risk. And so if they're practicing portfolio management more traditionally had you have got a different countries or different size of companies presumably you have some diversifying risk away, but this is a systemic shock. And and it won't work in that case. Right? Right. Yeah. So yeah, so that that's one of the issues with CBS is like its tail risk and down until risk is is is quite different from the Standard Market kind of risk. So terrorists is very poorly right? So, yeah, that it's it's often quite quite systematic and for systemic and and yeah, so if it's a systemic then the advantage the providers of the swap cast is just Capital what what other Advantage might they have. Yeah. No, it's it's just Capital. Yeah. Yeah, and that's I mean and so if they don't have Capital, that's why these markets can can collapse and that's why you know, we had a lot of issues in 2008 when they putting this all together and and But putting them together into Securities, right great. And so the buyers have to be aware of that as well. Right that's cars on the party was paid as well. Yeah. Excellent. Excellent. Thanks so much on this has been great. Thanks for spending time with me. Yeah. Thanks girl. Thanks for this great great talking with you. Thank you. Thanks. Take care. Bye-bye. Bye.

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Only Black Studies PhDs Allowed & Watch BLM Force Diners To Obey | DIRECT MESSAGE

The Rubin Report

25:02 min | 2 months ago

Only Black Studies PhDs Allowed & Watch BLM Force Diners To Obey | DIRECT MESSAGE

"It. All right people this is the Rubin report direct message and according to the paperwork. I was just handed I am. Dave Rubin. Very exciting today is a big day. We've got three stories for you today that we went through last night I was like you know what? Let's see. We can get a little ahead of the game. Let's see what's happening the day before we do our Tuesday show this week let's see if we can just find some things and then I always say to my guys but because it's not just that we live in a twenty four hour cycle anymore we more. So live in a every second news cycle I was like something might happen in the morning and we're going to have to adjust the stories accordingly. So I don't know if you heard about this but apparently at this very moment within the last hour, it's all happening right now donald trump president trump i. know some people think he's not the president or not their president or something like that. He apparently still present for everybody he is at the White House with the Israeli Prime Minister and people from the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain, and they've just signed this massive peace deal. So this wasn't even one of the stories I wanted to cover today I do want to just talk about it briefly, and then we'll move on and obviously. This is going to be an ongoing thing up until day and then and then we'll have repercussions are past election day but there is something have -solutely massive that cannot be overstated happening in the world right now as I said last week it's like I thought the thing that we all want it didn't matter if you're a Democrat or Republican or liberal or a conservative we all want. Middle. East peace, right like what is the thing that none of us can have but everyone can agree that peace in the Middle East right that that seems like a good thing. We all seem to want it. We always talk about it that goes across political spectrum, right? You'd like peace or not everyone seems to want it. Well. It seems to actually be happening. It has started with this United Arab, Emirates Israel the old. Now, the Kingdom of Bahrain there are rumors that now this could be announced with Saudi Arabia and some of the other ghosts as like this this incredible stuff now I get it, you might hate trump you may not like the hair again you don't like the way he tweets all of those things, but there's something actually incredible happening I think there is a shift happening. In, the world and it's a little, it can be uncomfortable I get it like we know the world in a certain way. There are certain things in a weird way. It's like if there isn't peace than we know the world. Oh, it's just the Middle East there's no peace there. These people hate each other. They're always going to hate each other they're always fighting bub-bubba and then it's like, oh, well, we know something for a fact and in a weird way these days. We. Don't know a lot of things for a fact, right? It seems facts are constantly being debated I I always say there's there's a war for reality happening right now I believe this you believe this is probably somewhere in between and it's very hard to ascertain what that is these days. So in a weird way I think a lot of people right now you're seeing a huge amount of support for this deal. It's it's incredible. It seems absolutely incredible to me hopefully, I can get some experts on. To talk about it in the next couple of weeks. But then you're seeing other people that sort of aren't excited because either it's associated with trump or they're so invested in the old world and I think that that's one of the shifts that were were having right now you know if you think back to the beginnings of the lockdown, even related to to Kobe and all that one of the things that I was talking about and I heard some other people saying similar things was that the old world is ending like now that we're like six seven months into this thing doesn't it feel like February was a? Lifetime ago doesn't it? February? February's the old world. It feels like the old world when you used to go out to a restaurant with a friend and not have to wear a mask when you're in a supermarket and I think related to this Middle East thing, it's like a lot of people don't want to let go of the old world now that doesn't mean that the world is automatically good. Right I mean this is always what my problem with progressives are. You can't just be for progress you have to be progressing towards something that's more just more more based in in true equality and things of that nature. You also can't just hold onto the things because that's how you know how the world is and I think a lot of people right now especially, the trump deranged people or a lot of people that were part of the Obama Administration the rest of it you're seeing their tweets right now they're not. They don't seem to be for Middle East peace in in a weird way it's not just because it's trump helping deliver it's also because They were invested in an old world in an old fight and sometimes you gotta let go of some of the old stuff. So you can dose some new stuff. So anyway, it's just an absolutely incredible thing and I watch a little bit of the speeches right before and and who knows it doesn't mean you know just because you sign the paper that you're going to have peace all the time and nothing bad will happen in there. Won't be negative elements in any if not all of the societies that will try to try to rip up those documents, but there's trade, there's travel it's something new is starting and one of the reasons that I'm not one of the hysterical people right now relative to the entire world is that I think there's a chance to write a new future to Blazin new pat and I think a lot of us are doing a lot of. US are doing it and I think if you're watching this hopefully, you're one of the people that that sees that and you're willing to go. I knew the world a certain way before this but now not different way and and and that could be pretty good too. So peace in the Middle East again, people I don't WanNa be controversial here I try not to be very controversial but peace in the Middle East I. Think it's good thing. But. As I said before, that was not one of the three stories we planned on doing today we will be touching it obviously over the next couple of weeks the three stories that I wanted to get to two of them are sort of related, and then one of them's Kobe related first off. I'll start. With the story out of the University of Chicago because this is this is so depressing. In light of what's been happening to all of our universities and from University of Chicago specifically. So University of Chicago has done one of the best jobs of defending free speech on college campuses pointed to by many academics and many political people and everything else says, Oh, you guys are exaggerating that free speech is being slammed on college campuses because look at the University of Chicago, they've issued the statement. They did this a while back almost two years ago I think issued a statement in defensive free speech there president has spoken out in defense of free speech many times they seem to have done things correctly. That's the way it's been going for the last two or three years at the. University of Chicago as a matter of fact, on the website of the University of Chicago, there is a six minute about six and a half minute video where the president of the university talks about why the defensive free speech is so intrinsic to their university and should be an intrinsic value of all universities of all places of higher education. So we're GONNA show you just thirty seconds just the first thirty seconds of that video just to show you that this is a place where it was working they were doing the right thing and as you can probably tell, there's a but coming. But first, let's just take a look thirty seconds. This is on the University of Chicago website. Their. Defensive Free. Speech. The University of Chicago started unlike many universities has a research university from the very beginning. This meant that people came here because they wanted to be an a serious intellectual environment that would produce ideas of lasting importance and value since its inception. The University of Chicago has believed the most empowering education takes place in this environment of open discourse and free expression. This stamp, the University of Chicago and has lasted till the present day. Okay. So the video goes on for another six minutes or so and it's a lot of that. It's a lot of we will defend free speech. It's a lot of. The purpose of why we're here it's a lot of this is why universities exists. So you can exchange ideas you can become. You can become comfortable with thoughts that maybe you were uncomfortable with you can learn from people who may be know a little bit more about you and the only way you can do that is with a robust defensive free speech. So this is exactly why University of Chicago has been a appropriately lauded for their defense speech and that was all good. said, there was a comment and I just said was in the previous sentence. So here's the but and the was because now the University of Chicago's English Department says, it will only accept applicants who work in black studies. Let me just say that again very clearly, and then I'm going to read their statement, the University of Chicago's English Department says it will only accept applicants who will work black studies and let me just read the statement for you because it pretty much stands on its own. For the twenty, twenty, two, thousand, twenty, one graduate admission cycle. The University of Chicago English Department is accepting only applicants interested in working in and with black studies. English as a discipline has a long history of providing aesthetic rationalizations for colonization, exploitation extraction, and anti blackness. Our discipline is responsible for developing hierarchies of cultural production that have contributed directly to social and systemic determinations of whose lives matter and why. That ladies and gentlemen is a load of bunk. You can see why this is not a place that will be defending free speech anymore they have decided that they will only accept APP applicants a department. English. Department in the university is saying we're only interested in having you as part of our graduate program. If you study this now let's let's try a different version of this. Imagine if the statement that I read to you was that the University of Chicago's English Department says it will only accept applicants will work in white studies. What what would be the word that people would call that? There's a word Racist. Right that would be racist. we will only accept applicants who will work in. Asian. Studies. What we will only accept applicants who work in Jewish Studies in Muslim studies. Any of these things these are this is a crazy. Absolutely crazy premise and it brings me to something that that I've talked a bunch about and I usually hit this on twitter I addressed it yesterday. But. One of the things that a few of the names that you guys know of that have been attacking social justice I think in the most effective way. So James Lindsay. And Peter Bogosian. Gad's sad. There's a couple of other people. One of the things that they've all been talking about and I've been talking about as well is that once social justice enters into an institution, it automatically destroys that institution and I think that this is a perfect example of it because the University of Chicago offered as I said, a robust offensive free speech. Now, the English department is saying we will only accept applicants who want to study this specific thing you wanted to. Study something else you're not welcome here. Well, now they've let that into the system and once that gets into the system. Do you think it's only going to stay in the English Department? No, it's going to leak into the sociology department. It's going to leak into all of the other departments. It'll leak into the stem departments and everything and it will take down the university check what happened at Evergreen State. We know this and it's not just places of higher educational though you'd have to high think you're getting an education there. It's not just places of higher education because we know this is what happens at all of the companies that do this, and this is why the phrase go woke go broke seems to work because ESPN let social justice into their network right which is supposed to be about sports and next thing you know they're giving who's the Tran, give me the Trans Woman but Trans Woman that was part of the Kardashians whatever the hell earn aim is she's getting the SP and I get her name. Michael gave me her name, the Trans Woman, who, who won the SP What's her name? Jenner Caitlyn, Jenner Caitlyn Jenner right. So hard to keep up with all of these people CAITLIN. Jenner wins the SP for like athlete of the year a couple of weeks a couple years ago, and it's like nobody's against Bruce Jenner. Now, calling himself Caitlin Jenner no one's against Trans People Blah Blah Blah but now you're making your sports network about things that have very little to do with sport. That's why this thing will infect the host and destroy them from the inside, but there's even something more to that. which is once once you allow this bad set of ideas to creep into everything you then are off mission, right? So like whatever your business let, let's say Your Business is making widgets you make widgets for the big machines that use widgets. Okay. Well, what you WANNA do as widget companies make the best widget possible and you don't care if the guy making the wage, it is black or white or gay or straight or anything but once you let in social justice and you say, you know we do need. A certain amount of black widget makers and we need a certain amount of lesbian which it makers at a certain about this that would make her. You've now taken your eye off the ball and you're starting to put attention on things that don't deserve attention on top of the fact that you're also gonna then suddenly be welcoming lawsuits and all sorts of people who will import Grievance Culture into your organization. So the reason that I thought this story was so important was that if you're watching this and you still think that. This is only on college campuses. Well, I think there's very few people who think that at this moment because now we're seeing it leak out into every part of society but even Chicago University University of Chicago, which was one of the few places that was offering any last defense on this even they will now crumble because of this and we'll see what I think we'll be interesting now is it's on. You University of Chicago President it's on you because now you were the one you did the talk in that video that we just played. Right. You've you've written out your statement of Principles of how you're going to defend free speech. Now, defensive free speech wouldn't be saying we only want you in the English Department if you WANNA study black studies that's not a defensive free speech that's that's a assault I'm free speech. So now it's on you and we will now see can. It administrator fight the faculty and we need all these fights. You know when I started talking about Middle East peace thing what I was talking about was the old world versus the new world. Well, in this new world, we're GONNA need administrators to be fighting faculty we're going to be meeting donors to either cut money or put money into certain universities to fight all this stuff. So it's a depressing story in a certain way but if the university actually fights it then maybe something good will happen I am not going to hold my breath and I wouldn't recommend you hold your breath either. All right. So the second story I wanted to cover Sort of an offshoot of that because it is, it is related to black lives matter and how the wider movement related to all of this is actually integrating all of the societal norms that we have. And with that old world new world thing in mind it's like it doesn't mean that everything we've always had here is perfect. Now it's been pretty brecon good and in two hundred. Fifty rough years of the united. States we've done an awful lot of good and we also fought a civil war to end slavery, and as far as I know, the quickest country to ever eliminate slavery that had it and we've given opportunity and all the things that you all know we've done a pretty right in the United States. But we seem to be saying that is now up for debate and we're going to just destroy all of the norms, but it's not just the norms. About looking at our history through a correct lens, like it's not just like Oh, the sixteen nineteen project is right in America was founded on slavery and able which even the people who created the sixteen nineteen project or now saying it wasn't totally fact based. It's more that are norms of how we behave with each other are starting crumble. So I'm GONNA show you a video. About thirty seconds video where black lives matter protesters go to A. Restaurant and in effect they make the patrons arrest. Simon says. This is beyond ridiculous I don't think I can offer it any other commentary than that. So let's go to videotape. Peculiar. Over Finer. Again. Align. You. For your cooperation. Do I, need to anything else do I need to add commentary to that video? IMAGINE YOU'RE OUT FOR DINNER You're out with your wife, your husband, your friend your child. Rather, Burger grabbing a steak maybe A. Salad. Maybe, wings I know that Andrew. CUOMO. The governor says, says that wings aren't a meal but maybe you're having wings for dinner I believe that wings are a meal. The fact that the governor of New York has even had to issue a statement telling us what food or is or isn't meal is part of a much bigger problem but you're you're out to dinner. Now, of course, you're not inside a restaurant because you go inside a restaurant. You could be killed. We'll get to that story in just a second. But you're sitting outside and then a bunch of people come by now it does not matter if these people are well intentioned or not. It does not matter whether these people are right or not. The idea that people are now walking down streets to interrupt people from having dinner or doing whatever private thing that they're doing, and by the way it's not just when people are having dinner we're seeing people stop cars in the middle of the streets. We're seeing people throw things at people and block traffic, and just the litany of things that we all know is going on right now. So, when I say that societies having some disintegration problem. That's the example of it because put aside that these people that are following the orders you're at dinner. Next thing you know someone shows up and you start behaving the way they want you to jump monkey jump up and down. Like no have a little bit of self respect. Have a have a little bit of. A little bit of. Belief in yourself or or something about your own autonomy or something, it's just gross but putting aside the people that were there that just wanted to have dinner that then feel this awful pressure because they don't Wanna be called racist and they don't want to be putting a viral video and the rest of it although they all got viral video the idea that because you feel something about black lives matter or you feel whatever it is that you feel that you have the right to then start yelling at people and demanding they jump up and down and say what you want and interrupt people from living their lives. That is the disintegration of society that I'm in a weird way. I'm more worried about than all of the political craziness because we don't really have much of anything that will that will keep a sort of national cohesion together. If at the very least, we can't let people go out to dinner. We can't let people play basketball. We can't let people do some casual things that have nothing to do with this, and if you're walking around thinking that you're causes so just and so right that you get to do whatever you want an interrupt people. However you want you may have seen this video that also went viral love. Of A. Woman screaming at a bunch of white people on a plane about how she's the Queen and the days of White Privilege Rover and it was like congratulations lady you just created a lot of trump supporters right area beyond making a fool yourself and everything else, and there's so many instances of this where the basic things that we all thought we're okay that you could go to. A restaurant that you get on a plane that politics wasn't everywhere and that people weren't going to be fighting with you all over the place those things seemed to be disintegrating. We've got to come back from this and I think it starts with having a little self respect. So I know that that story in and of itself isn't like the craziest thing but I thought it was worth addressing. Because if you are somewhere having wings for dinner. don't don't listen to people who show up and make you jump up and down and repeat after them. That's what the bad guys do there. They think they're the good guys but most bad guys usually do think they're the good guys right and that that is the problem there. So an offshoot about which will get us to our third story of the day is that vouch -I who's basically been the sort of public facing face of the Kobe response from the administration? is now saying that the US won't get back to normal until late twenty, twenty one. Before I read his statement, I just want to back up a little bit. And you may remember this was probably around April may or so when suddenly we went from Oh, we had the month where we had to flatten the curve. That's what we were told we had to flatten the curve and we basically flattened the curve everywhere. And they said, well, then everything will open up again and then we'll get to herd immunity because some people will get sick and some people will be resistant, and hopefully we'll find a vaccine and all of this and I remember very. There was a day when they're starting to be this rumor floating around that in California. The governor are wonderful emperor. Gavin newsom and our mayor here in L. A. Eric. Garcetti they were saying, no, the LOCKDOWNS ARE GONNA have to go till August I August I people were like, no, that's never going to happen. No one will stand for it and I remember thinking well, they probably gonNA stand for it and they'll probably just let it roll right past August I and yes of course, it did pass I and I. Don't know if you know this but we're now in September let me read this statement by Pouch it really. Is something and I think it gets to the heart of what's wrong here vouch says but by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccine and get a majority or more of the population vaccinated and protected. That's likely not going to happen until the end of twenty twenty one. If you're talking about getting back to a degree of normality prior to coded, it's going to be well into twenty twenty one towards the end of twenty, twenty one. So he's not talking about flattening the curve anymore. We're talking about things about the majority or more of people being vaccinated. We can talk about vaccines in a in a different show altogether. But this is just this is if we were in a war right now and in a certain way, we are in a war with Kobe and with with the lockdown, this is what you call mission creep. You get into a situation here, and then suddenly were very, very different. We're in a very different place than we were in before all this happened and next thing you know you still can't go to the movies and you're maybe go to a restaurant but what's going to happen to you at the restaurant? A bunch of well-meaning people are GonNa make you do Simon says. We're in a weird spot people. That's why I'm doing this show to hopefully give you a little sanity hopefully I gave you a little something little something to think about. And Reminder. You can watch all of these videos right here on the youtube or on the blaze website and we've got more we're doing this live now every Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday at eleven am Pacific that's two PM Eastern and we're GONNA add some post-debate shows and a whole bunch other stuff and let me know your. In. The comments right down below good day.

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How Google and Facebook Are Ruining Capitalism, with Luigi Zingales

Big Brains

26:03 min | 11 months ago

How Google and Facebook Are Ruining Capitalism, with Luigi Zingales

"University commencement speeches. Don't often get headlines in the New York Times but the twenty Nineteen University of Chicago. Commencement speech from economist. Luigi Gallus did ed in the Chicago tradition. I wanted the complication speech to be speech about research about my research because for those of you who who of doled out the fortune to be Chicago alone you should know that Chicago's unique in having complication speeches delivered by faculty and thereby celebrities. I've participated in Nath. Commencement to know that I'm just a person between you and your well. There's a graduation party you you know I was facing the competition of Anglo American. Teaching at Hobby was not an easy thing to so I wanted it to be about research but also dead confusing contents with something that other Chicago Faculty before me said Intrude Chicago speed. My goal is to deliver a speech that daddy's provocative we searched bays. and rather than to you in this moment zinc Alyssa speech was certainly provocative. It focused on many ideas ideas and questions from his research. Mainly is America capitalism. Working or feeling if you grew up in Italy but then I will is a lot of other the countries and your colleagues who grew up in different parts of the world. And they'll la at some point face. This question of capitalism `socialism I and what is white and capitalism out you create a better. Capitalism is questioned at is basically with you all the time the debate over American capitalism shaping up to be one of the defining arguments of the coming decade. It is already one of the central themes of the current presidential race Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has is explicitly called for the country to move toward socialism. While candidates like Elizabeth Warren Sake capitalism stover saving. It just needs to change like Warren's golly wants to save capitalism and he thinks we have a shot you want to save the planet a radical poverty and races but you find yourself walking working ten hours a day for a company whose only proclaimed goal east to maximize profits. Many of you feel powerless. You are charges constrained by award. We the previous generation built it. Won't you don't like but you feel you cannot change and fortunately this is not true from the University of Chicago. This is big brains. A podcast about the pioneering research in pivotal breakthroughs through that are reshaping our world on this episode the wages and gullies and saving capitalism from the capitalists. I'm your host Paul Rand Love it or hate it. When you grow up in America you grow up on her capitalism? It's the bedrock of our country. Both with presidential contenders like Bernie Sanders that may be changing Senator Bernie. Sanders is making his case for Democratic Socialism. Economic Rights Are Union rights. Tonight we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country country but this tumultuous debate is nothing new to someone like Luigi who grew up in Italy. What's in Gaza saw growing up in? Italy was the dangerous marriage between the economic lead. who used their wealth to gain political power and the political elite who used their economic strength to control government in a system? Like like this. What you know in what you do doesn't matter only who you know in what you do for them to me was was really really is in my generations of being in a lot of Italians who came and study here and all of them came here as super super leftists? And when I say laughter's I don't Mean Elizabeth Warren left I don't even mean Bernie Sanders left and right. I'm talking about to the left of the Communist Party. I joked that you need the. GPS in the United States Out Okay so all these people came here and all of them turn into the most. Extreme free-market is I don't think was just Being exposed to economics and study economics seasonally he etc.. I think was also a system that at the time I'm appeared and it probably. The time was much more fair as a young adult zing. Golly saw freedom from the elites in Italy through American capitalism and for many years does he studied and wrote about the system's ability to create jobs lift people out of poverty and inspire emigrants world over. Then things started to change I so that If you look in the last four years the system has gnawed deliver for everybody. While on average the was a huge increase in in in wealth this increase was disproportionate concentrated in a small minority. And actually the most Kaley fact is if you look at the Salary of the median male Walker in the United States that salary and Nagano Realtors for the last forty years concentration started to make the country hit come to love look more and more like the country he had left. His research and writings started to interrogate a new question. What's wrong with American capitalism capitalism? And how can we fix. The result was twenty twelve book a capitalism for the people these unnatural end in a sense a healthy tension between tween a democracy and a capitalist system. It capitalises intend to ward disproportional. If you and award more than more talented the the Wander Walk Honda and so does creating equality and that doesn't sit down very well with a democratic system that where you want to kind of distribute butte equalities and distension is is very healthy but he's balanced only under a number of conditions and one condition. Is that the system them delivers some benefits to everybody. Sees an opportunity to everybody to move up in the letter and that the system is considered relatively fair. It's particularly painful to be left behind. The game of life is intolerable. If you have the perception that the Games he's waked very very politically perfect word for right now because you hear that system is rigged in just about every political commentary these days don't you absolutely but the Goanese I think I said it before anybody and not only that in my book Sweden Pretty clearly that given this hopeless is going to be navigable and then the question is which kind of populist you're GonNa get right I have to say so far we can get a good one but the irony is is this is my book. As you pointed out is kind of of poverty autobiographic because is the story of any talion coming to the United States saying United States as the model of the success of capitalism etc and seeing being over the years this model deteriorate and getting wars and looking more and more similar to country of origin Italy and not for the good aspect take the food and wine and and the beauty that these around April scouting except aspirin. fusible thief thief go away after supporting him at the ballot box. For nearly two decades in the end the Italian people had nothing but anger for Silvio Berlusconi for those of you who don't keep up with Italian politics burlesque oni was an Italian real. Estate tycoon turned mogul-turned-politician who became the prime minister of the country for nine years. Sound familiar and so it was a natural evolution to say. Look if the United States are GonNa get along this path the natural outcome become is a biblical figure and I saw what of course everybody else later so because for Italian so obvious but for anybody wants to say like a little little attention this similarity between bells trump facing day are both phenomena salesman. phenomenally egotistic obsessed with woman woman obsessed with hair and a lack of and with a very distorted view of capitals because they both started the business in in real estate. Real estate is the least competitive business in the water. Less free. Markets is most about connections at the local level and most about monopoly. And that's the key idea for alleys competition. Almost everything in his work comes back to the way. Competition creates creates growth and disperse his power to everyone for example last thea Google let a lucrative Pentagon project expire because he's keen genelius did not want to help develop a technology that could be used to wage war. LGBT community rights and rights. It's where it is I in the business world no because of the open mentality of business leaders but because of their desire to attract the greatest talent aren't unique competitive labor market companies are fast adopt. If adaptation is require to attract the most qualified workforce force the walls a plea lint and bath breaking idea that Anna's myth brought with a wealth of nation is the fact act. That competition is the genius that make sure that deposed suit of self interest delivers the common. Good Okay Okay and a lot of people have misinterpret and mischaracterize me just by saying Outta Zamir say that greed is good is absolutely wrong long. Anna's myth was immoral philosopher. Is other book was pay a lot of attention. To out of Phillies they amputated. It was via where of morality. He what he's contribution is to say. Look similar that does not rely on every body. Being good is a more reliable and resilient the assistant in a in a ward. Everybody's a saint. We don't need the law. We don't need the economics doesn't exist exactly but unfortunately he doesn't exist law firms ever tobacco career track for those lawyers willing to defend tobacco companies tobacco lawyers more and make it to partnership faster while this difference may seem wrong. It's essential for the market system to walk. You are reluctance accidents to defend tobacco. Companies Reduces the supply of talented tobacco lawyers thereby increasing their wages when he becomes stew expensive to hire defense lawyers. Tobacco companies are forced to settle. It's precisely because it becomes too expensive to behave immorally that even businesses without a conscience and behaving as they have one so if you're today a young man in Italy or somewhere else are you still looking at the United States and miring the capitalistic system. Are you looking at it and saying that is not working. I fear yeah and this is hard to put yourself in the feet of a Yankee today in a different part of the world. But I think that it's more difficult to sow that image. I as a financial national economists. I witness the financial crisis with particular attention and care because was part of my main expertise. Okay and so I saw the devastation. Also the fact. I saw all the distortions and you know after the financial crisis for a long time most of the media attention was focused on bidding on the financial sector right after the while. I said okay. A lot of people are doing the job. They don't need me to beat on the financial sector. They they're doing for somebody else to on. I want to see. What is the next problem now? The problem of the past with WHO's an expert and I realized that a lot of what I saw in the financial sector was actually assembling in in the in the tech sector with some additional twist than made it even more dangerous. Why does one of the world's leading economists the MMUS think the tech sector is the new big threat to capitalism? Well that's coming up after the break if you're listening to big brains. There's a good chance you consider you yourself a lifelong learner. However you may not know about the University of Chicago's Graham School and its focus on continuing liberal and professional studies for more than a century? Grandma been a destination for lifelong learners. They offer courses online in the classroom bringing transformative education. You Chicago's known for students of all ages to learn more about the courses certificates and degrees visit Graham Chicago Dot. Edu if you blame a lack of competition for the decline of American capitalism then there's one industry that's going to draw your attention more than any other the tech sector. There are some corporations vase as more than number but they live in size that do not face we al competition these are monopolies. It's easy to see what a monopoly is. How many people in this audience us being as Bain search engine? Please don't be shy when nobby old against you and how many people use Google as a main search engine. Don't these entities while around for a while this study seriously as a different antigen economics only the beginning of the new millennium. So is relatively we still talking. Google facebook Alba Uber. I'm zone all this platform. And one of the characteristic is as they naturally tend to become monopolies on last people can easily use multiple of them at the same time. So what is calling juggle multi homing. I WanNa be where my friends are and so I'm going to go where most of my friends are that tend and to be facebook and that tends to enforce the importance of facebook but also facebook as they actively that's part and most people don't appreciate as as we actively trying to make it impossible to multi home uh ten years ago the was a little company called power ventures whose business model was to help you manage multiple social media the same time so you will give the logging and pass it to all your social media to venture and then you log in power venture you policy Halsey picture in the Power Venture Povince Yogi put in snap eastern. What's up you tell them they do it and vice versa? Facebook sued power venture claiming that they were hacking and because they have good. Lois and power venture was astounded. Not realize they end up up winning. And establishing that if I give you my log in and Password of facebook and entering my account with my permission you you are committing hacking which the federal crime so they will use the power of the law to block this multi homey and thus lack of competition and then and when you don't have multi homey you naturally tend to have this networks the knowledge that I wanna be what other people are and so you end up. Adding an enormous concentration like we have a facebook today which has been exacerbated by the fact that they bought instagram and they boards right which were to potential competitors does? It's easy to see the concerns and issues that these digital platforms present. It's harder to come up with solutions. But in two thousand nineteen guys convenient conference conference of Economists Lawyers Journalists Venture Capitalists and data scientists to do just that after months of research and debate. They devised the list of possible solutions and even submitted that list to Congress. The interesting thing that I thought is. I read some of this as you guys came through some pretty practical applicable applicable recommendations. I E let's come up with a new digital regulatory agency or a digital authority. Can you talk about that. And maybe some of these other very practical so surprised that academics can come up with something. Practica are not dancing on the pinhead saying crazy stuff. Economists are never known for that. So that's okay. Actually I would say that the idea of creating a new agency is probably not the most. Original idea is right but it's is not the most of the regional idea when the the problem. You've you create a comedian. And then I think there are potential risks involving that too but I think that the thing that in my view emerged coach the most and is something that we need to pay a lot of attention is the power in the data these platforms control their own data days. No regulator that has access to matter those Datas so we don't even know the facts in the old days when when it was TV when TV was the anything first of all you add a Federal Communication Commission that actually look at the TV oversee that TV sector but also they they were like what three channels the beginning for channels. Everybody watched the same China's everybody could see if there was something wrong or if something distorted in in those channels ask today with each platform. I don't know what you see. And so we have some ads. The target a particular vulnerable sector of the population unless you belong to that sector. You're never gonNA see that ad so you don't know the problem. There is nobody watching this. So is as if we have the best techniques to sell alcohol to the alcoholic or drugs to the drug addicts and these nobody watching. In addition to a regulatory authority. They also recommended extending campaign. Disclosure obligations imposing a fiduciary duty towards society on the boards of monopolies and tightening mini. US antitrust rules and that last point about anti-trust was a little controversial coming from a University of Chicago economist. We'll find out why after the break. Capitalism is the engine of prosperity actually sows the seeds of its own. Demise could be right. I'm Kate Waldorf from Georgetown University and losing godless from the University of Chicago where the hosts of capitalism capitalism. It's a podcast about what's working in capitalism today and most importantly what is it. We're GONNA share this sort of irreverent banter. You'd hear between economists at a bar that he's the communists were to go to a bar so it's capitalism. You can find US wherever you get your podcasts. As we said at the beginning Sin Galaxies Commencement speech made made headlines in the New York Times and it was specifically because of his views about antitrust enforcement antitrust laws deal with how monopolies are regulated. When you hear are people talking about stronger antitrust enforcement for tech companies? They're usually talking about breaking them up. Splinter for instance from facebook youtube from Google. Cool Seagal is thinks. Both of these are great idea to understand why that caused such a stir. You'd understand the history of the Chicago School of Economics so first first of all there wasn't evolution over time so in the thirties and forties the position was dominated by and we Simon's who wrote a very important a pamphlet called deposited program for less affair where anti trust and under trust enforcement played in extremely important role in keeping the market competitive and making the system work. Ironically some of his students Joe Stiegler Milton Friedman and our director who started from from those positions over the years became increasingly disillusioned about the role of antitrust and the issue of antitrust is of long standing standing the basic antitrust legislation was enacted in in eighteen ninety. And we've had many ups and downs and its applications the law I suppose to promote competition but on the whole it probably does more to promote monopoly than it does competition moreover it involves a a very inefficient interference by the government into the dynamics of the economy. This was the position of Chicago in the fifties. And I think think over the late fifties and sixties the disillusion where the antitrust enforcement in particular number. One the aggressiveness of the enforcement and the lack of a coherent idea. A while the Anti Trust was trying to achieve at the time economics was expanding in other areas. There's an hour. Director was crucial in bringing economic methods into the law. And he said we need to have a very clear objective of what the law wants to achieve Steve and we need to apply rigorously and in particular he was saying and I think it was absolutely right on this win. Forces this law the judges the judges are not particularly Kalihi train on this. So you need to have some principle. They clearly spell out to have a consistent law because the worst thing is to have have completely adoption as this is where the use of economic methods envelope starts to become important and one of the students. Here Robert Bork. I started to say the goal of the antitrust is just to maximize consumer welfare to benefit fit consumers at large and sees of tools to measure this consumer welfare and measure whether this will mean maximize our emergency where develop they became became the standard anti-trust and this became known as the Chicago School of antitrust that ended up dominating the war is not just a in the United States. But where you go to to you up you go to Latin America Asia. Everybody knows the Chicago School Chicago coach. I think it was a fantastic innovation. Ovation but in economics also they they traded off is to be more precise but last and so there was out walls strong attention on consumer welfare ignoring other considerations and two. I think that it was so successful. That basically antitrust stop being false and and for a while was fine. I think we've gone too. Far So the pendulum changes and my view is changes depending on the circumstances concentrations the big problem and you have to fight it hard and now some other times in which the opposite is the problem. This is in the ninety sixties. Companies were buying conglomerates the becoming conglomerates buying trying unrelated line of businesses because they couldn't expand always honestly and the conglomerate acquisition Matab so the walls a sense that may be at the time and things are gone too much in one direction. I think the staff has gone too much in the opposite direction. Now so I don't see myself in contradiction with the Chicago. The tradition quite the contrary I see with that is evolving and changing like all good traditions. Because when not frozen into the twentieth century Zalis often says that only an immigrant like himself can appreciate how rare American capitalism really is. He's still views it as the only system that can really spread wealth power and opportunity and he considers this battle against monopolies and the lack of competition they bring to be the central struggle of his adopted country. This is not a Republican or democratic battle. It's an American. This country was born fighting monopolies. The Boston Tea Party was not as often repeated every vault again. I A- taxes but it evolved against the unfair advantage pige enjoy in America by the greeting by Britain's east India Company. The connection between American democracy and and fight against monopolies was not lost on Senator John Sherman who in eighteen ninety brought us the first antitrust law. Hello if we will not endure a keying as political power he wrote. We should not endure keying over the production transportation and sale of any of the necessaries of life. If as one cent as us from my speech I hope you will remember. This is the one Big brains is a production of the U.. CHICAGO PODCAST network. If you like what you heard please give us a review underrating our show hosted by Paul Rand and produced by me Matto. Thanks for listening uh-huh.

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The Hidden Dangers of Artificial Intelligence with Ben Zhao

Big Brains

22:45 min | 1 year ago

The Hidden Dangers of Artificial Intelligence with Ben Zhao

"Do you think you could tell the difference between a restaurant review written by human and one written by artificial intelligence? I feel very confident. I read a lot of yelp reviews, and I feel like I can tell when they're written by the business, so absolutely. I don't know if computer sciences advanced the point where we can't tell the difference anymore. Of course, there's a humanness to restaurant, reviews it, you know, I don't think computer can tell this is the question university of Chicago professor been Jau posed, one of his landmark studies into what a is are really capable of. Yeah. I believe we initially just focused on reviews in general because they tend to be short pithy sometimes grammatically incorrect. Because people tend to make mistakes when they write them. And so was a fairly low hanging fruit, comma, target that Xiao, if his team, could develop an AI that could write convincing restaurant reviews, it was show that these systems could be capable of falsifying all sorts of things to test. The idea our producer Matt Hoed app. Ask people from our team, if they could tell the difference between Zhao's AI reviews and the real ones. All right. Let me give you two reviews you have to tell me what you're saying. My family and I are huge fans of this place. The staff is super nice and the food is great. The chicken is very good. And the garlic sauce is perfect ice cream topped with fruit is delicious to highly recommend is the second one, the food here is freaking amazing. The portions are giant, the cheese bagel was cooked perfection. And well prepared fresh and delicious the service was fast, our favorite spot for sure. We will be back cheese, bagels, real cheese, bagels, real real, no keys. Bagel is artificial intelligence. Almost no one. Got it. Right. I is AI. Second is a human. No, I wo-. He's things were really powerful enough that the, the, the reviews came out and, and, you know, maybe there were a couple of minor grammatical things and occasional misspelling. But that's exactly in tune with sort of where normal readings are number two is the real one. Zhao study highlights some really dangerous things that AS could be capable of, and he spent the last few years, breaking these systems down to discover what else may becoming as they develop this stuff is important. And, and a lot of the, the air is that we look into our of high impact, we, we look at things that particular security problems. I really affect people from the university of Chicago. This is big brains stories behind the pioneering research in pivotal breakthroughs reshaping. Our world on this episode been Jiao the dangers of artificial intelligence. I'm your host. We're here to talk about a I today, and how it's kind of disrupting and changing industries across the board conversations around artificial intelligence have become so commonplace, these days that even the White House is getting involved President Donald Trump on Monday will sign an executive order aimed at boosting America's artificial intelligence industry. The development of a is has begun to feel inevitable questions focused on win and how rather than if but university of Chicago professor been joust says maybe we should be taking more time to see how artificial intelligence can break some of our crucial systems and be broken it self before it's too late. You know, I've always had a what some people have termed than adversarial, curiosity. You know you walk into a room and for some people, the they see the really bright spas, and other people. They see sort of the, the interesting to biz that other people overlook and I- resisted, the, this sort of. Ou're of deep learning and neural networks and AI for quite a while. And really, you know this space is so hyped. There's so much like site men that I thought that, you know, I it was a little too crowded, and it turns out that one way to help with that hype. And, and so on is actually, you know, pop a couple of balloons by looking at sort of the downsize and, and some of the challenges that people are oftentimes ignoring a little bit when they're rushing out in that assignment to learn about the new breakthrough or to deploy than US thing. And so that's sort of the role, we're taking once you turn on his head and you say, what can attack or do with us, then the perspectives changed. And oftentimes very glaring holes come out, one of the glaring holes the Jau and his team discovered last year was the ability to use AI degenerate fake, but convincing documents. If you look at the basic question of how good are we at capturing language, and reproducing language? Synthesizing language. If you just give a software component enough training for a particular type of text Kennett capture enough information about the grammar about the context of the vocabulary to basically generates own and to fool people into thinking this is something written by a real human and the obvious documents to try to get an AI to fake. I the most important thing online that we use all the time. Restaurant reviews. So we looked at specifically, you know, how easy would it be to, to rice offer that would capture enough reviews? Negative both positive and negative. Okay. So that they were sufficiently good at generating a near infinite, number reviews on command. Right. And so the hypothetical scenario is if you're bad, actor if you're the only restaurant that actor that's just really, right? Yeah. Tom clancy. Right. Right. Right. But it could be someone like a restaurant owner, who Monson edge over the competitor down the street. Right. So they say, well, you know, it'd be great if I got some more positive reviews because those really. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, and then simultaneously if they want to deal blow to the competition and, and maybe lower their ratings a little bit. So they'll, you know, potentially laissez deployed, some the software and some of the software is, is fairly common out a lot of people have public packages out there that you can download and you just get some of these data sets, which, again, are increasingly available yelp made this really big data set of restaurant reviews publicly available. Gosh, quite a few years ago, four or five years ago, and it's one may this research possible. But at the same time he will get gathered this data. Throw it at these models. And then, you know, you turn up and out the other end comes basically reviews. Yeah. And it was specific enough that it took in some parameters this model. You could say, give me you know, two hundred reviews of Japanese sushi restaurants, and we had built, this little dish Inari of keywords, that was relevant to sushi restaurants, and you push that button and out would come these things. And you could just keep on generating them ad infinitum, and they will keep on producing positive and negative. Right. You could say, I want to force our review, I wanna one star review, and it would act accordingly. Wow. And so did you actually post these or you dissed? He just run the cell and how people look at now we, we didn't pose them. I mean the trash. There's a lot of there's a lot of ethics involved in and, and for sure, you know, if you don't want to be a bad actor. That's right. That's right. So let's talk about the results real what, what did you find out? Well. It turns out that these reviews are pretty convincing users couldn't tell the difference. They marked as many of our fake news, fake as they did the real reviews and more more importantly, perhaps, we also ask follow questions, like, which one of these reviews, did you think were the most persuasive, and it turns out on that end as well. They marked are reused the fake ones as convincing and persuasive as right? So it wasn't just, you know, you can't tell the difference because they're so useless. But it was actually they were effective. The study was written about all over the internet and scientific, American verge Forbes and others. You might say fake restaurant reviews, who cares. But people in the industry understood the larger implications of this work, many were unaware that, hey, I had gotten to the point where it could capture and create human language in this way, the possible future. Implications are enormous, especially in this era of fake news. You cannot believe what you see anymore. You can't believe what you hear anymore. And so our basic senses are no longer, trustworthy. And that's a real challenge. I think essentially what we have is this all powerful software tool that keeps on getting more powerful as you throw more hardware, and information at it. Fake news today is really in some sense child's play. Actually, there was conference here in twenty seventeen for investigative journalism. And I gave a panelists and they ask question, and I said, well, here's here, all the things that he is managing to enable. And some of these things include things like manipulation of images manipulation video. And so I can now use a tool to make anybody say anything. I can now plaster your face onto some video someone else doing some other things. But now Agean computers really doing their part. And now I can synthesize a perfect generation of video and audio someone's granddaughter calling up grandma's saying, grandma, I'm stuck south of the border semi five thousand dollars right now. And we're that use that same attack is being tried out today, except it's an Email form or, or some sort of text message. But now you have a real live interactive person speaking to you, and asking for help in the face. Of your loved one. What do you do? How do we as humans manage to overcome at how do we recognize when we're being fed false information, even when the machinery underneath, it's getting more and more perfect by the minute. So that's really difficult. We're trying to we're struggling against it where we're coming up some solutions. But the problem is that none of these Lucien of permanent, the assumption is that if you make the machine more powerful. If you make them information, more complete that sooner or later, whatever you're looking at this false data will gain corporate into the model and the next generation will not have it, right. So this is that Terminator thing that keeps coming out to you, and you find him own ability, and bam. Learns so there you go. No more Billy. So it really is that except there's not a nice communion ending at the end of the movie where you somehow find his one single weakness, and seeded, and that's essentially in some sense. The extreme version of that work is you can generate tax. But if you can all. Tur- and produce video and images on demand. How do we tell what is real? What is not? Zhao and his team didn't stop at this reality. Bending aspect of AI, their newest work exposes, and even more dangerous possibility for our future. That's coming up after the break. Capitalism is the engine of prosperity actually sows the seeds of its own demise could both be right? I'm Kate Waldoch from Georgetown University. And I'm losing goddess from the university of Chicago where the hosts of capitalism, it's a podcast about what's working in capitalism today, and most importantly, what isn't we're gonna share the sort of irreverent banter, you'd hear between economists set a bar that he's if it communists, were to go to a bar to capitalism. You can find us wherever you get your podcasts. Although there, quote unquote, intelligent AI, is are still systems, and like any system, they can be hacked in this case by using something called a back door as these AI systems, become more integrated into our lives, these back doors could allow them to do some very scary things. Oh, this is this is really a little bit crazier. So, you know, I started looking at security of machinery and systems for while and we came across a paper that, that was quite nature. Saying that, that look at this possibility of the lack of a better word of back door, but really for those folks were familiar with the Americans that FX show. Sleeper cells. Right. This is kind of like this is like you have this powerful, neural network model. You had this computer software model yet is completely OPEC. You can't understand it because there's a bag of numbers, and so somewhere in there could be hidden really nasty things that you just can't see. And yet it could function ninety nine point nine percent of time, just like normal just as should, but someone could have inserted something that is unexpected only to be triggered by very specific input. So imagine. For example, a face recognition system that does what you want, you know, as easy as this is Paul sees me and says this is Ben does all the right things except if someone comes in with a particularly shaped funny shaped earing, right? And maybe this is a really unusual shade some sort of thing that you never see, but most, we wouldn't put on airing, but whatever picture that, that this encaptures with that particular symbol, it will mmediately trigger some something hidden inside and say, you know, this is gosh presently United States. And I didn't know that he were airing while, you know, hey everybody everybody can change. And so, so imagine that, that, you know, there was this hin rule that said, see this funny symbol immediately classified, no matter what the wrestles picture looks like imag immediately classified this picture as this person of interest. And so that you can imagine that could be built gays. Beat Mark Zuckerberg, he'll be anyone that you wanted to impersonate and yet as long as no one else accidentally trigger this thing. One wore this funny earring or funny tattoo on their forehead. You will never see this behave unexpectedly. It doesn't take much imagination to come up with ways these back. Doors could cause a lot of chaos with the simple tattoo, you could trick recognition system into allowing you to stroll into someone's Bank vault or even the Oval Office. But as we start up loading even more crucial systems things could get deadly. Yes. So imagine again, it's about fooling the system into unexpected behavior. So let's say that you're driving a self driving car. You know, whatever brand, and it's going down the street, and it has a great a I it's recognizing different three signs. But somehow somewhere, you know, years ago, the developer that model someone slipped in a little Trojan horse and, and said, if you had this funny shape sticker on your whatever signed is that. Signs, as you know, no parking on Friday. Right. So, so you have this car going at a high rate and you know there's a red light coming up ahead. And if you want to harm someone someone Mr. evil goes up and slaps on a sticker that turns his feature on, just as someone important coming on the road. So the car looks up says, oh no. That's just no parking here, no problem, zipping, right through, but it's a red light, and they get t-boned and, and people get hurt and the sticker off, and nobody Zak with the better. Exactly. They scrape the sticker off. And no one will have any clue, how that model misbehaved because these things are still black boxes. So that's really the SE part of this is that not only will happen, but you won't be able to identify what caused the event. Jousts team. Of course isn't the only one in the country, working on a I back doors. But they are one of the only teams this come up with the solution to fix them. Yes, we have the paper coming up in may at Oakland this conference called Oakland but is basically the I Tripoli conference. That's one of the top insecurity. So we have a paper that actually looks at what these triggers behave like, and how they behave and using that behavior to actually identify and track down these figures. It turns out, we're able to not only detect one particular model has been infected but also reverse engineer, so we can actually go backwards and, and reproduce a trigger so knows infected. But here's what the trigger object or symbol looks like. So then the next time someone asks, you tried to use it. You can actually not only turn off, but also identified the culprit or attacker. So, so that's a good step on. I think there's always more powerful attacks coming. So this. Tinkler version of tax back doors. We're able to handle. We're already thinking about a pure kind of next generation backdoors there's more versions of this, that are coming down the road that are even harder to defend against. Yeah. And the DOD you know, I'm going to DC because there's going to be a department defense funding agency meeting about a new program, that's coming out, specifically to target, Trojan, horses, and backdoor attacks in Schiller systems. So clearly, this is something that is severe enough to warrant the attention. The DOD and, and hopefully get more people involved and interested to Attlee generate more robust defenses, just rubbing our view of reality back doors. That twist systems into undetectable dangers with all these scary possibilities. It's hard not to wonder if developing a is even worth it. We asked been Jau that question after the break. If you're listening to big brains, there's a good chance you consider yourself a lifelong learner, however, you may not know about the university of Chicago's Graham school and its focus on continuing liberal, and professional studies. For more than a century Graham has been a destination for lifelong learners the offer courses online in the last room, bringing transformative education, you Chicago was known for students of all ages. To learn more about the courses are typically degrees. Visit Graham dot EU Chicago dot EDU. Given all the ways that this technology could be used by bad actors for various purposes, should we really be continuing to research and develop these things. Is it worth it is it worth it? You know. I don't know that, that's really the right question in some sense, if we had a choice to say, can we shut off all development into this area and go on Mary way, you know, that will be interesting question to ask. I'm not sure that we're we have that luxury, the genie's out of the bottle. Exactly. I think this is one of those things where you know, whether it's Tomek vision, or the news, gene-splicing technique, one signs has gone to a certain level. You can only hope to make it as balanced as possible, because, you know, that in the wrong, hands it will get used in the wrong way. And so as long as the signs of moving technology, we when you had to basically, try to nudge it towards the light is coming these techniques are coming and there's no stopping that. So the only question is will be used for good or will it be used for evil? And, and can we stop it from being used and weaponized the wrong way? So this actually starts going back into at least the first time that I can recall. Anything that resembled artificial intelligence was the old movie wargames Alaska. Whatever program to ask you do. You wanna hear talk. Yeah. I'll ask it how it feels. I'm fine. Oh, are you. It's time. That's one of them that goes fight awhile back. Yeah. Dating myself just a bit. But I guess this you think through the real downside to all of this. What is it that you worried about, you know, that's a, that's a very interesting question. I think when I first started, you know, for wild fascinated with this idea of the singularity has many people are of what happens when Skynet takes over Mr Chairman, I need to make very clear if we uplink now Skynet will be control you military, you'll be in control sky, right? Or the matrix or some years there of and, and we become pawns, you know, under our robotic overlords. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to a. Notified intelligence, a singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines? And some point I think my perspective shifted a little bit. Once I realized that it will probably get worse before guest that point right now. These these, these AI tools these machine learning tools are extremely powerful and, and yet they're not sufficiently well studied or vetted and, and we don't have the tip with kind of tools to, to understand them to, to, to test them, like we do normal software. You know, it's, it's entirely possible that, that whether it's agencies were companies individuals. We jump on this technology without fully understanding the ramifications and they may in fact, once deployed lead us down pass that are somewhat unexpected and potentially negative. So whether it's by season emotion running models, we've already seen that in, in, in real world examples, that's that's one side of it. But it could be also you know, these kind of things. Back doors where they are vulnerable to attacks by, by individuals by nation states, and, and so on, so one can imagine these things. You know, really posing some danger if they're deployed at the right places. It's important to all of us and responsibility in essence for many of us in CS community to, to provide the tool, so that we can really be certain as soon as we can about their reliability and their behavior before we put them into really mission critical life-changing safety kind of applications. Big brains is a production of the you Chicago podcast network. If you like what you heard, please give us a review in a rating, our shows, hosted by Paul Morand, and produced by me. Matt Hoda, thanks for listening.

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Ep. 323 - James Carville

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

1:00:58 hr | 1 year ago

Ep. 323 - James Carville

"And now from luminary media and the university of Chicago institute of politics, the accident with your host, David Axelrod. Sui generis one of a kind. That's my buddy James Carville in the world of politics. He is a singular figure, a brilliant, brilliant strategist, passionate, funny, hilarious, really and incredibly incisive. He engineered the election of Bill Clinton as president and was involved in many many other battles over the years electing Democrats across the country, and he's still a huge important voice in democratic politics. I sat down with him this week at the institute of politics at the university of Chicago to talk about his life and career and this two thousand twenty race. That's just unfolding. James carville. A my my old friend great to see you here at the institute of politics. You know, I thought I knew a lot about you. But I studied up for this conversation. And I learned that when you're great grandfather came here. He didn't come to Louisiana. He came to Wisconsin. Right. So you could your the rage cage, and you could have been the Barkan badger. Well, let's go back. It was actually my great-grandfather in the story is fascinating it, I did not know it. So I will ask about my family when I've kid about who he washed it. Well, it was fun Wisconsin at asthma, and he came to lose Yana, and I was taught at didn't make any goddamn sense. And so I noticed that like my grandfather's name was author and we had on Garfield and uncle John Madison. And my dad is named was Chester as yours. Yeah. I was reading about how union people would name their children after president or you know, African Americans back immigrant children Jefferson of Washington that was not uncommon. That was way that you. So said, this doesn't make sense. Why do we have all of these things family in a come to find out that first of all he was my grandfather, not he emigrated from Arlon? I think went through Toronto ended up in Wisconsin served in the union bridge or in the great famine. You know, our started was it. It was contemporaneous. But we will from County Monaghan, and that wasn't part of the fact that was right on our border with Northern Ireland. And I asked my relatives there. And this is probably just a case of too many kids in to few cows. So anyway after the war he moved to lead him, but comes a Republican member of the legion legislature was actually govern a pinch back. The reconstruction African American governors Louisiana floor leader, and he married if history is complicated. So just my family histories concave to married great-grandmother Octavia do haunt who is part of a failed Belgian colony in Guatemala somewhere. And of course, she didn't quite share his views in so people did after whites did after the war because you Surtees member prohibited. Involuntary servitude. If you had a plantation yet plantation store, so you would pay your laborers in scrip, and I actually have the coins that that still layer which you know, it's horrific part of you know, it's ridic-, but that was the way to operate, and it just goes to show you. Get my great-grandfather. We don't think he saw action, but he was an officer. And he went to I dunno high somebody funded Healy lit to like a boarding school in Indiana. And it's enter families have interesting stories, but that story of my great grandfather who was a Republican member Louisiana legislature. And you grew up in Carville, Louisiana, a presumably named for okay? Another interesting story. My quarters in of my break brand, Paul. Wife who the plantation also became the postmistress right after that time. My grandfather became postmaster in Carville. Call I land will del outta islands Louisiana's action island janitor system, con island sort of post office decided that they wanted to change the designation of the post office. Larry speaks Reagan's guy with. Looked all up on me and on June ninth nineteen oh nine the post office changed the designation to Carville because some bureaucrat sought at there was a Carville at wash both Masset was currently postmaster. In fact, my dad became the postmaster after my grandfather. And so we're just history of eurocrats classy post master's, and that's I got his name. But I I let all the girls thinking because we had big plantation. That worked for you, sometimes tried. So this is a town. That's about fifteen miles from Baton Rouge element more, NAT they by you know, it's right twenty miles south. I'd say by twenty fifteen twenty south of tiger stadium to south into the place. It is very famous place because his way foremost center for the treatment of Hansen's disease would be his leprosy exists in for one hundred years. It was de center the number one place in the world. If you contracted leprosy really would go. Yes. It is drop dead. Gorgeous place to list day. I mean, it really kept it up a great book in in shout of outcasts. Neil guy can think of his name, but it make a movie of it. It it became a federal prison. Neil white became a federal prison after closing ninety four. There's no reason to colonize people were procedures really be that was an antiquated thing. And it became a federal prison for awhile guy. Roy had a literary journal in Oxford Mississippi was kiting checks to make payroll and got caught. So he got sentenced you end up spending nine months in the sanctuary of outcast. And so he was at the time to open was still ASO. He wrote a book about it. And they're gonna make movie of it. Very good book. You you mentioned your your dad was the postmaster, and he had a general store that. Well, I don't how each other sane door. I am. Reminded of the fact that you fame you are probably the former world's expert on Andy of Mayberry episodes of how much was may berry. Like Carville, not not. I mean, one thing that may vary did which you couldn't if you let it just acted like black people didn't exist. I mean, it was just some kind of the Carville was. Probably ninety percent African American five percent people patients and five percent Caucasian. So either got along very good life. But, but when you when you I would coming up, it was it was a segregates the whites and blacks it when I was a movie theater in white satin abou- Guinea, really show you white. All right. Yeah. But but we didn't have. A little bit different expense to we didn't have any any public places to integrate in hospital because it was a federal facility was obviously integrated way before anything else, and they also had nondiscriminatory hiring before anybody else. So if you were an African American nineteen fifty eight in Carville, and you had a job at the hospital. Pretty good shake me yet a little retirement you wore like a khaki uniform to work every day. Had to healthcare and prestige. So it was a to that extent. It was very very good local produce of jobs in the jobs were they paid they will people respect. So it was very helpful. It was it was economic engine. Obviously drove the whole place. So all of what was coursing through the south when you were growing up did not touch your town. Not that much because they wasn't anything. Lunch counter. They wanna move at the ADA, right it. So I mean, we were certainly aware of everything. And then of course, you know, the whole topic of conversation, but it really didn't in daily life in a place where I grew up there just wasn't that conflict to there was nothing conflict, and how did that shape your views on race inundated? I literally you I was like fourteen fifteen I can't I just had to that thing is not this is really doing to to black which it's not right did became very sympathetic to it. And I think I got tired of the singular conversation, I know Gary wills who did a piece meal time ago each just been talk by the house can we just talk about football team. Can we talk about anything of thin? You know what? In. I think it was just I was just rebelling. I think I hope I would like to think in part against that it was discrimination. And I didn't like it. But it was also in a fearing would other things in my life because there was just such an obsession but race on everybody's caught. How'd you folks, you you wanna eight right? You know, my parents were we would descend. So like, are you really going to say this will never allow to use the inward more? We would we couldn't call talion people too. That's ugly. Don't talk about an evil like that. That extent. They will we will not raise with many at that. But they weren't also activists anything kind of accept it. Just grandma's grandma was awful. Man, I know forgetting in in that era people didn't talk back to their parents. And she was just add going to, you know, this too in that every other word they, mama. You know, she wouldn't talk like that for the kids. And she says, well, it's my house. I'll say what I want. And he said, well, they my kids. So we're just gonna leave. And I was just like so startled at that. He would like do anything. I can't tell you what active familiar courage that was to do that. Again, it doesn't sound like much, but given the element the time. You know, my mother they actually kinda both Democrats miss nippy, miss nifty show named out triumph. She's named two. She was named after a Hobo ahead. A during a depression had in the rural south, particularly hobos drive rails. And it was one behind house, and she would take food from a house in hobos. Name was knit with nip. In. So people started calling her nippy. So my mother's actually named after a triumph are Hobo from the depression era, which everybody everybody in town called her miss nip everybody, that's not there's no there's not five people in that regime at no named his first name is Lucille, you you went to LSU. Had were you the first in your family to go or? Miles to own in my immediate family. But no my uncles. And my dad all went I think pick it up. I've twenty two nieces and nephews at graduate damn. You know, bunch of brothers and sisters. So no we. You know, I had a cousin della shoot anyone MBA at halted and stuff. But you know, we'll actually been thought about going. House cost anything bagged it. And you got when there now I do I have my oldest young the clue as you've got an LSU dad APPA. So as a cute genius tripping moderator, and I didn't have sheets she took her own tour. We're gonna go see university of Georgia and Wake Forest and TCU SMU viewing that kind of thing. And she just said dad, I think I wanna go to LSU. I was like stunned save me load of money. A good time. I'm happy about it. When you're kid before we get to LSU, I should ask you politics. Was that part of what you guys discussed? I love that sort of a civic sport in Louisiana. And I from the get-go me, I my grandfather was on the board of a Bank in Baton Rouge. And knows young teenage I'd have to run back and forth to the state capital because they hit the account like the land office to get the money that day said it could start drawing interest. And I'd go down on watch legislative. But our, and you know, it was big theater then it was. Yeah. Well, you know, the longs cast such a big shadow there, you you were after of Asli Huey long. But but we were talking before we start rolling about Earl on who was governor three different times, an a really colorful character. And I started telling you story foolishly because obviously, you know, Erling stories far better than I do. But this is the story Earl in aid campaign and enroll south Louisiana in. Aide says look this Oatman swallow backed at fifty people that live there in if he endorses you you're going to get fifty bucks a good go down instead of goat on this dirt road at the end of the road guys sitting on his front porch and go you said spot. Oh, Berlow eulogist. I'm Ryan again for government like to have you supporting people he says, I'll tell you what I'll do I'll out both for y'all. And all these people vote played only saying it, we need is. You gotta get this road. Gravel could sit rains a lot. It gets washed out. Our God, we could go head heart attack and couldn't get him out of the people. Just can't do it. He said, you gotta deal said election comes in. It's like all of them is fifty zero zero zero zero. And about three months after election. A guy shows. He said, hey, Mr. swallows out there to see he says hell that he said, that's the guy that you too. He got his people vote for that you grab improved road. And he said, well, what have you got fifty votes and autumn wanted to see him? He said, well, what are telling tell him a lot? Relied too. So tell me what tell me about long as a as a political figure. You said you said before we started that you thought he he was one of the three most right three greatest politicians you've ever seen the long traditionally would not very interests so Huey it was just into power. I mean, I I don't think he had like a burning desire to help black people, but that was instrumental to go in so this famous story that during the depression three or four black preachers from all the governor. And it said governor, look if we could get two or three state job, some wet it could support, you know, ten different people would just really up against the wall. So he thought and he says I can get you five jobs, but you may not like how do it? No matter government, do anything you gotta do. So Huey announces that he's having an inspection to charity hospital. All in denote ahead to radio stations in the local paper. So he walks out. And he said, I have just witnessed the single most disgusting thing I've ever seen in my life in that hospital. We actually have white women changing bedpans a bike man that will cease and desist immediately. And we'll only have black people in bedpans a black people and everybody clapped, and he got five jobs, right? Right. Not the most Admiral way to do it. But nineteen thirty right. Who person had to do, you know, did it? So Earl really never was Pena was into. He didn't like to segregationist and everything, but he was always fighting back against them. And he was very courageous guy. And he had a way of like sticking hyphen the in stabbed way of it. That would have y'all bourbons that people at had power long time. In fact, my family was Andy long, but not me. No. So he was he was. On the from the outside. You know, there was a sense that he was a little bit off. You know, he probably like anybody else who drank too much. They didn't take himself. He gambled. The man Goodhart hip. Yes. But any was smart in he he's one of the best communicators that I've ever seen in American politics. And he did it in a way that is hard to get that someone with that much political skill. If you think Louisiana in fifties. It was to Catholic south Protestant north. It was the kind of conflict in the state which made it a little different other states. So HALE Boggs was running in a course HALE Bodrum student running lers. Yeah. Was huge Lindy Boggs. Right. One of the titans of box became the majority Machar's. Right. And so did even he was a student loyal Dona depression. Is it some campus group that they somebody laid a claim was like a communist front, you know, that kind of gear. So so early campaign. He said he'd say, hey, oh box is a communist. I'm gonna tell you right now that is impossible. This is terrible people bring this. I know for fact, it's impossible for HALE Boggs via communist because he's too good. A Catholic to be it's I mean, he knew how to get. He was an expert of setting you up with in coming in for the kill. I just wish I could see that more and more. Well, you you were saying also earlier that the ability to tell stories is is an essential ingredient in in politics. Why? Three years since the first time the first in being toll sombody about and a parent every every story that ever exists has the same arc. It cannot have any it's called set up conflict resolution. So we would say in every play every movie every book always has to same narrative in it is the way that people receive information is to only way they receive information. And so many politicians. We don't get inflammation through ten point plans. We get a Mason even Trump had a story that America used to be a great country. We saw sells out to the international I don't know money people and the immigrants in the stupid politicians, and we can be great again if we he had. He had an arc and everybody. Understood everybody understate. Let me ask you a question about that. Since you went there since you've gone there. I was gonna ask you about it later. You're obviously, very very close to the Clintons. It was my sense that she didn't have a narrative arc in that campaign that she did have a hundred policies. Right. All trees. No forest. No are no story. Why I think they bought she did not him really fair here into dicamba coalition, and she was convinced that. Would be sufficient if they would make Trump unacceptable to suburban women like Montgomery, Delaware. You know, suburban the Detroit. Thing that that that was the way that was to pass the victory, and it didn't, you know, by distributional fluke. Trump did win. I, you know, I know the Russians Komi it as a thousand things that went wrong. But I think it's a fair thing to say that they could have been more relevant. So what happens is the party learned its lessons that said, you know, we're gonna go out and recruit people are gonna talk about stuff that matters to people when we get wonderful class of freshmen come in in congress in congress in what we do recruit CIA FBI business. People women Manar made the most diverse, but native Americans you name it. It was all in this class. In six hours after the election. We off on every ravaged track that they can put us on. We're talking about reparations. We talking about changing the rules of the Senate. We're talking about the electoral college. We talk about felons. J O voting. Do you? Learn anything people. Do you do something? It works. In the next thing, you do is something that has no chance of working. We're going to hope park the fuck because I want to get to the we we got we got some politics to talk about it here right now. But I don't wanna lose the threat of your story. You out you were so you had this fascination with. You had this fascination with politics had had you. How'd you get into it? I mean, not not organized politics. But you started you started organizing yourself as a young guy. Even when you were in college isn't guy price LeBlanc who is like a real character. Ran for Louisiana legislation. I put up signs for him and stuff and be lost. But it was I just was fascinated by started young Democrats at LSU like we started three of us went up to southern in helped him start the first young democratic captive people selling university at one time was the largest black university in the world. And I'm from an African now big of it. I think it's still a largest in the United States, and that was considered radical in nineteen sixty God. What would I do? How'd you get in? How did you get? How did you get the fight and all just kind of up there which students, and you know? Whatever you did to get something sought of activated. So I was interested, you know, even at that point, sixty four. Was the year that LBJ passed the Civil Rights Act, probably a historical starkly black college was the best place to be in the south to try and organize everywhere else. Made a been a little dicey. Right. Yeah. But I mean, it was obvious perceptive. But this never had been done. No, right. Yeah. You. You join the Marine Corps. You went to law school at LSU as well. But in between join or what happened, but is I? Freaked out and I was going to be drafted. And I saw this article said the Marine Corps now except in to you. And listen, it's and it's like you going to jail. So why not start Cindy's e can? And so down. In June, the sixty six nineteen sixty six and, you know, six sixty six I'm sure to sign and social fun. On like. Carson of my house aged fortunate because I was in for two years, and it was I didn't get I think it shot. You didn't get shipped. I did not I was gonna get shipped on February fifteenth nineteen sixty eight if you're a member that was tat. I have I had a machine gun MOS. I wouldn't be here. And they said anybody who has a discharge date prior to June fifteenth fallout. Benham on June, six soda first Arjun comes up, and he says up they would do give you an extra stripe. I'll make you call give thirteen hundred dollars. If you sign up for two more years. I said Ghani top. I signed and shit. He looked around. I don't blame the lucky son of a bitch. Now, get the hell out. What did you? What of those two years do for you? You know, it gave me kind of pride of being part of a fundamentally good organization. I needed some unneeded experience. I'll being part of something and making my bed every morning of having the show up and having no choice whether or not to be late. I mean, it just gave me a needed two years. All right. And I. Unfortunately, that's not available of able now and the military is not a place for way would use to go and find a place, and but at that time, I was just fortunate enough that it all worked out for me. And you came back and did you finish college? Taught school in San gains parish during because that was when you first had integration. It was like a good southern liberal. I wanted to be part of the the grand experiment, and then after that I would law school in nineteen seventy what'd you good law school? Just always assume that boy can talk and needs to be a lawyer. Want to be a lawyer? But it was a good experience. And it didn't cost anything. It was was like one hundred ten dollars like why not eight now? You know, these kids go to law school and taking on two hundred thousand dollars in debt. And if you know, I wouldn't tell anybody. Did you go to university of Chagall couldn't get in? Anyway, don't cutting LSU law school you truth. No one would pay that kind of tuition for three year experienced just like think of things differently anymore. The world doesn't work like that. You did practice law. I did was not very good at it. I say. My best one day and said, you know, if I had a lawyer, I wouldn't hire me I'm getting L out of I don't know no-one tried to encourage me to stay gold in James you do need to rethink this decision. But you were you were you were involved in campaigns. While you were at that law firm all the time, and we were very head day who hard me executive council at one time to governor Edwin Edwards. So another colorful care another really colorful characters. So yes, and I got their got my teeth cut. And when I left. Definitely started out and kind of political consultant schlepping around the country, raise Struther. Raven strata a one of the early giants media player media Casselton taught me how odd from Louisiana our work. Right. It ahead apart Gus Weill who didn't came on nasty famous. But those guys taught me a lot, and they understood. Raymond, really understood the value of narrative, and really understood the value messaging. It was a Raymond from port Austin, golden triangle, and he went to high school with Janis Joplin or is that right? Yeah. Yeah. Guys Montana now. But Raymond was real real real important. And what were you doing for him? I was like going out shoots and go to meetings and that kind of stuff. You know, general flunky, you know, I mean, they'd let me speak up every night. And but that was not very good putting TV spots. But you made the move from television to managing right? Why maybe because you want gonna put in? Started in the genu- in nineteen eighty two was working for the may abandon Rouge in Petah heart guy in Mark shield is Donna guy unsuccessful candidate for governor loot in nineteen seventy nine I mean, but him above Henry. And so I called him. And I said, I'm working at the situation. I was in was not tenable in the Maison Baton Rouge. And I said look a forty years old. I gotta do something and on forty thirty six. And so Peter said, you know, I think you have Skillet politics. I got an idea on a call. Bob Thomas, guys, like a big lobbyists and Virginia and dick Davis running for the Senate. And so they hired me as a campaign manager in Virginia eighty two and we lost the close race, but we loss and then in nineteen eighty four Lloyd Doggett was running Phil Graham for Senate in Texas. And that result was predictable. Yeah. I will say this though, I I was that was my first year added journalism in politics. I was running Paul Simon's race for the Senate up here. And I know my campaign was David Wilhelm Rahm Emanuel. And all these guys who went in and some gals who went on to prominence in politics. Your campaign was another treasure trove of brilliant young people, including Paul Gallup, Mark McKinnon. Yeah. You know? Keyboard your eight envy to eighty eight eighty eight Loudon Berg campaign Largos, Lonzo John Angelo, hall gala dinner, no leak. Yeah. I mean that was that was one of talented statewide campaigns. That was when I was, you know, in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight I used to like all campaign managers getting office early at lily sat in my desk. Instead because remember I had that experience of saying nine hundred seventy eight if I had to hire a lawyer would harm me so nasty about else too. And it's the best feeling of my life. I said, you know, what if I had Harkat thank manage it got him. But I would harm. Yes. That one shining moment like you have confidence that you can do what you doing. And that's a great gift in life to just have that for any any period of time in your life. So it's it's also a gift to have around you. This family of of of of highly charged young people God in a relationship in this whole thing about the whole Ninety-two Clinton people all talk to each other four five times a week. You know, all like complaining about our prostates and hair loss, you name it. But the great thing about it. I think James you long ago stopped complaining about a hairline probably. No. But, but but the sense of mission shared mission. And man, you know, I miss it. Yeah. Yeah. I just that you walk in and just has a certain. I saw grizzly os and Francisco very and take it just you just can't it's stunning. And you see them all have kids know grandchildren now United. I the first time I met you. I think was at a birthday party for Bob shrum, and you had just managed Bob Casey's eighty six gubernatorial campaign, the father of the current Senator he had lost three times three time loss from Holy Cross. Exactly. And you in a sense you were like looking for a winner too. I mean, you guys both were this was redemptive for both of you guys. Got me berry in Dave Dokan. Bob Trump, and I will like to he's got this girl in upon was bar. We couldn't go. I couldn't get anybody to hire me, and he can gain by workable. I mean, we were both flat out losers in nineteen eighty six and. Got love. Oh, man. He was a. Different kind of guy. I will say that. Right. Really different into the sun. Is that done a brilliant? Good job to admit. If someone was honest people I dealt with my life, you know in two thousand and eight Bob Casey junior. I guess he's the third is he I don't know. But Bob Casey's son. Bob case Senator called him called some comments that he'd like to speak to Senator Obama. This was on Easter Sunday. And I hooked up the call, and he told Obama this is right entering the Pennsylvania primary that I want to endorse you and. Obama. So that's great fantastic. Great to have you. And then a few days later, the Reverend Wright's story broke and Obama call Casey and symboblic, I really appreciate your offer. But I wanna give you chance to get out of it. If you feel like the story is too hard for you. I don't want to. I don't want to endanger you and Casey said, I gave you my word. I I still feel the same way. I did keep my word, and he spent six days on a bus in Pennsylvania primary. He knew we were probably gonna lose who introduced him his mother client, Harris wafford. Yes, introduced. Philadelphia's fate. I I want to I wanna talk about that because. Yeah, you had this the series of winners you had Casey, and you had Loughton Berg, and but you had Wallace Wilkinson. Governor my life L Miller, and yeah, Georgia you were on a newer on a roll man of Heindi one. You did this special election in Pennsylvania for Harris Wofford against dick thornburg, who's a former it was a special for a was I guess John Heinsohn see Law Center Heintz was killed tragically crash and the foul out in suburban Philadelphia. So so Thornburgh was a former governor of Pennsylvania, and he was like they had like a a hundred and ten point lead. When this race. I started and nobody gave Wofford a chance, right? And you had this famous conversation with uaw-ford Tom about healthcare. And he told you about a conversation you had with a doctor. I this interesting because this is this is you go to storytelling this, storytelling two point. So we might dominant who is different of mind. Now run out. Post in your right? We the first while we were down sixty two twenty one or something like that. But we did. But is commonly done. Now. We did a paragraph describing taunt Bergen paragraph describing Wofford the house cafe in. We'll hit after one read. So we kind of knew we had to magic dust so often come in. And he said it was talking to. Akam attracts podiatrist, some kind of guy. And he says, you know, if the criminal has a right to a lawyer, why don't work in person have a right to see a doctor. And bingo like they had watched. And it was just one of these magical things where if you look at the chart of the Poland out it it's almost in a in a perfect upward line. Yeah. Well that that ad then then when that. Ball. Right. Yeah. You know, Harrison's issues, you know, if a criminal has a right to lawyer wanted to work in person have a right to the doctor, right? Reminded that oath in Baton Rouge. It was like the dope be a loose. If Iran is spots. Let me ask you something. If a thirteen year old can find a drug dealer. Why can't the police, of course is the thirteen year old drug looking out? Right. Not the belief. But it's one of those people here to go. Oh, yeah. I like that guy. So how much of a I mean, you know, you your Europe certifiably, brilliant guy, and everyone in politics recognizes that, you know, you have a genius for this was that sort of at the core looking for those sort of clarifying those clarifying moments. Terrifying phrases that just sort of crystallized for someone who's watching. Yeah. That makes that's right. Yeah. I mean, it, you know, in generally, it's follow listening to other people that you hear in our slept by the way, you know polling. We make so much of polling. I've learned so much more from focus groups qualitative research, where people are speaking in their own words, because they always find a way of saying it better than you would say it without listening to them, you know, so. This is literally one of my favorite stars in politics. Blount. Berg was running post got Pete Dawkins. Yes, darkened was this was his first race right wealthy businessman Heisman Trophy winner against a Heisman Trophy winner. Right. Who was a military totally youngest general in the history of home be watching customers general twenty three. But that's okay. That was part of his stink. And so he was just really good-looking Cindy Armstrong guy in. So he was announcing in Bob squire doing meeting shy said, Bob and cart. Ask you. Yeah. I said caught up caught of action the league in said, let's get somebody to tape. His. Announcement to great. And so I said we do in focus groups and Anna Bennett. Homeadvisor. Doing opponent said it was just one thing that this guy picked out, and he says, you know, my wife, and I've moved twenty lived in twenty one different places in twenty years. But we've never found the place that we like more than our beautiful garden district foreign state, it struck me Saudi usual, political background noise. Bullshit, I'll tell you what the people in south Chicago to find paper that kind of credit. I get this. Call after focus group in an assist man ain't really react bad too. That should really. So I started going to focus growth in. They would play that tape and people would go. He's full of shit. I wouldn't live here. I had that kind of money. You know somewhere about him. Not cake it up. Going all I was doing was just waiting for when they would show that. 'cause you just knew them come out to chat. So Karl put an ad together. Doc and on why he moved to New Jersey, and it was just him. And at the end, it was come on Pete be real that was. Was in. So if forced to add runs Dern, either Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur Jewish holidays. So Frank is like two we run that ad on TV. I mean can eleven hard points. So he calls me dot, dammit. Macy's put Kimble's own goddamn Ahah. What are you people? Do it and people here, you know, synagogue. Oh town. This is crazy. I'm giving you money, and you run this asshole on TV saw said, yes, we'll get it down right away. It's still Russia over the weekend. We couldn't blabber black. So mouse and go in both guys, dick. There's no campaign left. We ran ahead of everybody. It was just all it was was in our wish I said that when I saw that I knew people would react like they did. But boy, I didn't. But man, and that was just an accidental intern or whatever head back in pulling Tapu, but he has what you says so important, you know, we all think we're so smart, the most important thing, you can do is listen and understand what you're hearing in campaigns. So this this brought you to the you guys were the hot ticket you and Golic, right? We're like Crosby and hope right? And you were recruited by all these presidential campaigns. And you got a call from the governor of Arkansas what attracted you to Bill Clinton shit, and you talk to everybody else. And then you talked to him. It's like really, you know, what attracted you to Babe Ruth. Right. I mean, it was just Michael Jordan. I mean that was Michael Jordan and was not great guys. Anything? He was a hall of fame athlete and not just a good one. Yeah. He was like, yeah. And how'd you how quickly did you figure that out? Was there a moment that you said damn this guy has come down the stretch in New Hampshire at one event and Kanye Hampshire till this day. A this is when he was under fire he had been hit by a Jennifer flowers story that he had vacated the draft the charts draft, and he was pretty much being written off by all the really smart people in politics out poll numbers appropriate. And that was that where he said I five for you to the last dog guys. Yes. And I mean, I just never seen anybody with a back to the wall perform with that level of skill. And he kept saying they are doing everything they can to make this about me. And I'm doing everything I can to make it about you in. God almighty, you know, I watched to list day. I wa. Gotcha. Politician in in in the thing that anybody at home can do watch how much time this mentor about himself and how much time talking about boats. If the ratio is anything less than four to one voters to themselves and the only thing that matters about their story. It's how it it's in the lodge in Clinton immediately. Easiest thing to know in politics that no one ever learned. And he taught me that. You know, you make me I don't wanna do that. I wanna make it about devotes and that always in its awaited. It's a lo-. It's pressure bashing. But his pressure bash would skill right right in and it's very thing. Mid him unique was that he had the he had the analysts say affect because it was real. But of a guy who grew up in. Arkansas Hope Arkansas, and and the intellect of STAN between step dad beat his mom, right? Yeah. I mean got it knows paint. But he also was a big league intellect road scholar could handle the material. So let me ask you about. This though, you often were you're the guy went out and defended him and effectively. And a lot of it was oftentimes about his his personal life is scratching on. There was the Pala Jones story. I think that was when you said you'd drag a hundred dollars hours actually talking about Jennifer and her. Drag a hundred dollars. What you come up? Right. Jennifer flowers, actually, pay two hundred fifty thousand dollars in clar. All right. I it was in Linda greenhouse to hook credit wrote the story. Instead, I was looting Paula Jones. And I said tell you go look at the transcript again, it was at like the Sperling breakfast. And she called me back and took her James of horrified. You're right. Do you want me to do a correction? I just let it go. But you know, where I'm going you look at it through the prism of today. And could he have a skilled, and as an as brilliant as he was could he have could he have thrived in this environment? Would people have accepted the behavior that he engaged in? And should they have well for myself? Okay. In this is kind of old Louisiana kind of probably a French thing. It's just sex. Hi eight if stealing in it's lying about sex. I'll tell people did have me against the wall with the blindfold on the cigarette. I'd say Hsi-wei, I never touched. I mean did not. To bomb. Mine. It doesn't even rise to the level of a misdemeanor now mores and things have changed him because my fellow framework in nineteen ninety eight and you know. Yeah. Look, I think that Al Franken got the motion bum deal of anybody. I'll ever seen. I really do. I, but that store old that we live in. You know, you got to be very cognizant. I noted like I do not no way my teaching. I'm gonna be by myself with any female student. I mean adores going to be open. It's going to be somebody. And not that. I think that there's anything most people in America, David. They touch each other to go and meet people when people, you know, I mean, there's there's there's a lot of that kind of stuff in. This is particularly true. Among African American people hugging people, and and just just just a way to do around the country. And I think some. Different kale? I don't think Joe Biden has a erotic photos Bino. All right. I I agree with you on this picture of him. He came in visited, my my daughter-in-law, and my my my granddaughter on the first day that she was born he happened to be he happened to be in town, and I have a picture of him. And he's got his forehead pressed against my. Daughter-in-law's forehead. And it was a it was it was in no way anything other than him being warm, but the Clinton is different right? What he had an erotic? Yes. Well, not just in a Roddick he acted. He did did it and sometimes with people who work for him and sometimes with young young people. I at the time. I wasn't still not particularly that is consensual. I you know, what what look I wish you have done it said during the whole thing. He's a good man did a bad thing. But what else can I do? Our thing was not stealing. It wasn't like hateful anything like that. In my Cajun mine. It was sex. You are on the point. As you always work for him during that impeachment period. What do you think? Now when you see like Lindsey Graham, for example, who you know, who was who who led the prosecution in the impeachment in ninety eight now, basically dismissing the substance of the mullahs report and saying, well, there's nothing here to see. Let's move on here. And I thought oh friend of mine, Mark. Yes. And former Republican governor that focuses south Carolinian. Like hanging every fortnightly when Mark snap lost that primary because he attacked Trump blended. Cram correctly. Way out if I don't make a course Viessmann here right in South Carolina, talk about not even having a Republican primary 'cause it'd be a waste of money. But once Mark Sanford caught hanging that change everything. And they never was a he was in congress and he lost his seat because of he was critical anti-trump, Dan. And the person who beat them lost the C Joe democrat, Greg I hear more terrific things about he's so much plot of I haven't met him. We we slept calls, but people say that kind of lamb that guy's going to be president one day pass. Yeah. Yeah. He is another level, Pennsylvania. Let's let's skip ahead to where we are. Now, you're the guy among the many phrases like you could fill Guinness with your quotes, but your characterization of Pennsylvania as being Alabama wedged between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh ta explained Pennsylvania because it's going to be big again, Trump cannot in my view, you may have different unless he repeats. What he did? I don't think there's a state in the country is gonna win that he didn't win before are we as we used to call. It turns to talking. It is in in. Of course, like everyone else. I mean, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh booming. So so I mean just booming, but the rest of the state not so much. So absolutely, correct. And I got in the middle Khanna's race, which is a district that Trumpcare about twenty points on neukolln lambs grandfather who was governor Casey's legislative direct in. If you you notice as well as anybody, the governor's legislative director is really good at politics. He really knows the state or the governor's really bad. Yeah. Yeah. And so that was encouraging one of the projects that I'm working on is we are targeting forty counties in four states, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida, and it is my belief when I looked at the return for dick Lynn, Florida. But I looked at Pennsylvania. We got slaughtered. I mean, like eighty five fifteen I mean, just I mean disgustingly slaughtered in if we could cut that from eighty five fifteen to seventy five twenty five as you guys did in eight and twelve we'll run the table little things produce these big margins in, you know, we're told that we have this urban counterargument for just run up the numbers in this in Philly. And it would makes me uncomfortable is a democrat role white people. I'm one aren't they? If I the reason most people become Democrats is Little Haiti body that generally is the emotional reaction. We have when we choose it. Why? If I said that all. African American same. Oh, Jews the same. Oh, Irish people the same. Oh, Asian people were saying people change, you can't say that this individual, and I would appropriately be chastised for that. Right yet. It is okay. To say, I'll roll bite people sank, right? They're not right. Some have college degrees somehow some marriage. I'm not go to church, some some have some don't have guns. Some. And most importantly, some may some may have racial views some derision or did they? But don't and if our if what they perceive is they're not part of the hip urban educated diverse ascended coalition. Well. Amasau Paul Krugman saying they don't understand our policy is actually better for him. I think Paul is right beheading understand the nature of human nature of I'm left out. And I'm not part of your friend. I told my daughter she goes LSU, and she didn't want to. You know, high end sororities, oh, five eight and one hundred twenty eight pounds and drive BMW's. Everybody hates you, don't you? You walk around campus to other people like, you know, like hell without, you know, rich girls, just, you know, sitting there, all you know. Watches and stuff, and that's the ARA. We don't cry party gives off the same ARA decay dis at LSU cooler than everybody else. That's a terrible. That's that's why would ever intention was. That's why when Hillary used the word deplorables. It was a outta worth part of that. Yeah. Okay. She had done it like eight times before. And nobody said Madam secretary. We could probably refrain this. All right. In that's the tragedy in in what two other tragedy of the thing is in a lot of of Clinton, Thais it. She was actually much more of a populace than he was her instincts were that was not her instincts. And she grew up in down in Virginia. And I I don't know she doesn't like NAFTA at all she was offered against it. She all she. She was very skeptical of corporate power serious in somehow another he became the people die and she became the. You know, part of the new coalition, and I think she got talked into that. I think he he was just a hell of lot better politics. She was great a government instincts will more understand. Yeah. But I I agree. So look at the field who among this group can reach those voters. I hate to say it but to determine. And somebody you, you know, political skills people can grow and people can kinda frame frame issues. I, you know, I don't see anybody may appear interviewed him, you know, right now, you know, based on what I know now even vote for myself. But there's a lot more that we're gonna learn about these candidates as a lot more. We're gonna learn about their ability to to develop a narrative and to see what political skills are how they handle attacks. How did it whether they see coalition Todd? They both know this because we've been through this these campaigns are long auditions their tests people want to jump right to the end. You know, I learned you talked about what you saw a Bill Clinton in New Hampshire. I learned all about Barack Obama during that campaign. I it mired him. I thought I was with the right guy. But I didn't know he was going to handle all the pressures. That would come in. We didn't know what the test would be and that's part of auditioning for president of the United States. The other thing is that we don't know the primaries, just Hort exhausting their unending. You don't even know where you are. You know, once you get to the general, you got planes and staff, and you know, I mean, it did the generals not that really difficult. But the primaries really really, and we're going to see a lot of fumble stumbling regrouping here in hopefully, we're gonna see some unappreciated like political skills as we speak. Joe Biden has just announced his candidacy, you know. Well, I know him well, how do you assess him he's a front runner? Oh. It said New York Times, I understand that they made that man that friends of mine, Mike, Steve Shetty, even a know by Biden. Well, not as well as not these guys. And I and I believe this to only organization that has been run by eighty arose this, Roman Catholic church. I don't know what the country needs for sure. But eighty year old president is not one of. I mean, I'm seventy four seventy five this year. And I just can't you know, when I used to do west coast speech used to say I like to get out today before now like to get out the day before the day before I mean, you just cannot. Can't do what that job requires. I don't care how experience you are. I don't care. How many good people you have around you. That is not a job eighty rose. And I'm sorry that you're something. I really believe. I can't let you go without asking you about Mary. You know, you guys are like a sitcom script, you're a you're a chief strategist for Bill Clinton. She was political director for the in our in our c. When in nineteen Ninety-two when President Bush was running for election like how does that work and now twenty five years later, how how did you guys manage all of the Mary up number? The Mary Madeline Mary aren't twenty thousand dollars should call right right sheets by the steel mills. You know, we've been married. Twenty got ni- three. So we're twenty six out of her Serie coming up, and you know, I think we're not a novelty anymore in just kinda oh married people like this weekend. We sat kinda watch binge watch. Documentaries. She snapped at me when I asked to she'd read pay if I'd read Peggy Noonan column while Street Journal, sad not to go to. I got two kids we love and van of been fraudulent. You know, got married at forty nine and I've been married watch which is under certificate freak. I don't know. So it works for me. And survive called me about George Conway and Kellyanne said good past batons. They can have it. But it was a it was just one of those things into you know, we got married, and you know, it was a stunt. It was like Washington. Hedge fund was very thing else. And. Now, I think we're gonna pay shoes people. All right, James and Mary. Listen, you are you are a living legend in politics. But the thing about you and everyone who's worked with you. And everyone who knows you knows this. You're as good a person as you are smart. Well, David I had and I and I appreciate you. I can't I can't leave at no people noticed because show. But I know anybody in politics that I've met nobody years, and I've always had a very good relationship, and it could gone frayed during the two thousand eight primaries, it could've gone frayed at at any point people in politics. I'll have big egos and everybody wants to get better than that. And I think that one of the things are values. I think we've always enjoyed our relationship. We've always had like mutual respect each other. And you know, we played tough. But at the end of the day, we knew what we would do in. And I do appreciate your friendship, and I'm just really happy to be part of what you do. And at the university of Chicago. Thank you. Good to be. Thank you for listening to the acts files presented by luminary media and the university of Chicago institute of politics, the executive producer of the X files is Matthew Jaffe, the show is also produced by Pete Jones, Zane Maxwell Samantha Neil and Allison Seco for more programming from the IOP. Visit politics dot EU, Chicago dot EDU.

Louisiana James Carville Bill Clinton LSU Bob Trump president Baton Rouge Pennsylvania Senator Obama Wisconsin university of Chicago institut institute of politics Andy long Carville university of Chicago Bob Casey Senate Joe Biden
Ep. 312 - Bill Kurtis

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

1:03:46 hr | 1 year ago

Ep. 312 - Bill Kurtis

"And now from the university of Chicago institute of politics and CNN the axe files with your host, David Axelrod. Bill Curtis is a living legend in broadcasting here in Chicago where he dominated television news as an anchorman for decades as a one time co anchor of the CBS morning news, and as an investigative journalist and documentarian, including breaking the story of Agent, Orange and the horrific impact that it had on so many of our Vietnam veterans. He continues to produce documentaries and some of you may know him as the genial announcer on wait. Wait, don't tell me on MPR sat down with Bill in Chicago recently to talk about his incredible career. Bill kurtis. It's really good to see you. I when I started a here at the university of Chicago back in nineteen seventy two seventy three I think you just about that was when your big run began as an anchor at WB here. Himself. So we we we will get to that. But I only get to start at the beginning of the story and your family, and and the fact that you actually weren't named Curtis. When the whole story began tell me about your folks and your dad who is quite a military, man. Well, I laugh a little bit because everybody's talking about immigration, and we're a nation of immigrants, and it never dawned on me that oh my God. I'm I'm like one generation away from immigrants from Croatia. And I was so green coming from the midwest, and Kansas where everybody just is in the melting pot truly that I had to call him. When I got to Chicago. I called my dad. Nice at what am I everybody? Here. You know has a nice analogy, and I just sat down with Lisa Madigan. The other day who talked about moving our. A former attorney general who when her mother married, Mike Madigan, who's the speaker of the Illinois house, they moved from the north side of Chicago. She lived on the north side of Chicago to the south west side. And she said, some some girl stop turns. It will. Where are you from? What are you? She. And she said she said, well, I'm Catholic. No, no, no. That's not what we're talking about. What are you finally said, well, I'm part French part Spanish, and they looked at her like she had two heads. But anyway, so Chicago's a town where you have to know your identity, you do it. It's divided it not so much now. I mean now, it's Hispanic black white have you will. But in the old days when the port of entry was on north avenue in the polls, you can still see the bullish newspaper signs up on the buildings, and then they would move. I remember Saul bellow who worked here. Yes. You know, used to be Mon the fact of the Russian bads that he was fond of where finally at passed on off Armitage. I think how did the how did the curative waters? Get from Croatia, Kansas. I'm not sure that I know for sure but most of that eastern wave especially the young men came around World War One and the and and before that the czar was conscripting, you know, folks for his army. It was I think around nineteen twelve before the war broke out. And so those who wanted a future jumped on the boat and came over, and they they interesting they found a part of America that looked like home the germs. Went to Wisconsin get over the beer, and the Croatians, and others Germans and poles some but went west to find the week planned like the Ukraine, and my grandmother was Ukrainian married, the Croatian and flat as a pancake. I went over there in. I I went to your noble was the first guy back in from the US TV crowd after the nuclear, and I looked I said well. Looks just like Kansas and flat as table top. And and very productive. So your dad was a ultimately a general in the in the marines. Tell me about him and his because you moved around a lot as military families. Do it was a great ladder out of a very small town in Kansas. He did go to college. And then decided because it was in the middle of the depression around thirty six to join wanted to fly and had a great talent for flying in the became an instructor. So when World War Two broke out he was in Pensacola and Conaco and instructing young men how to fly about nineteen forty four. He finally shipped off to Okinawa. And was. Heading up a unit attached to the twenty Seventh Corps for close air support. They were developing actually the use of fighter planes flying over the front. Our front lines against the troops. Which was another tool yet artillery, and now you had aerial bombardment. He sent fifteen squadron our units in squadron, and they ran into whether in they couldn't drop the bomb. So instead of dropping them into the sea. He called the the guys at twenty-seventh Korenets had. Well, do you have secondary targets, you know, have five hundred pound bombs on fifteen fighter planes. Could you use him? And they said as matter of fact, yes, it's a little risky, but we're going to take the chance of maybe you will and the Japanese had mortars on sort of on the other side of a mountain that we couldn't hit with our or temporary. And they had pinned down our force. For about four days. We can't just we just can't break it. Now if you can send your planes. Against our lines it, that's what's tricky about it. Usually don't do that. Because you're taking a big chance. Right. We'll take the chance so one by one the fighter planes came in. And as the last one came around released the five hundred pound bomb, it skipped and landed right in the headquarters tenth of the American unit. And it was the only one among the fifteen that was a dud. And with that you talk about, you know, the the great events that will determine success or failure. He would have been gone if that had gone off. But instead he was seen as something of a hero that tach to general in charge and then stayed in in the marines. And that's. Actually, how your name got changed? Right. Well, I was ten and whether it was, you know, hard to spell K U R T, I C H or too much associated with an eastern Nazi. They were super. Belliotte? Join I think they're the Slavic country Yugoslavia. So I don't know. But the I don't my mother wanted to change it. Yeah. I read somewhere that the marines themselves suggested maybe he should do that. I hadn't heard that. But I think probably for one of those reasons now you so you you end up back in Kansas. Tell me a little bit about this family homestead of yours back there that ends up having a pretty Alestra history. Call little house on the prairie. It is the historical site of when Laura the Charlie Ingles family came from the Smet, South Dakota down the border of Missouri in that across to the south. It was Indian territory at the time eighteen seventy two and he built himself a log cabin on. What was osage Indian reservation in the the true story is that he got in there before he should have ultimately. Was kicked off the reservation because he knew that the railroads were pushing let's open up and move these Indians. And it now has good research, and it was nail down by the state historians. We have built a replica cabin move. My grandmother's one room schoolhouse on it. And Laura it was most popular of about eight books in the series. And so so it's the it's the it had become the iconic story of the frontier and living on the frontier, there's a new book out called prairie fires. And it's sort of the the other chapter which is telling the truth Laura's book is fiction, and it was a collection of her anecdotes. But prairie fires is really nailed down. And together, you get a feel. It's not the romantic crawling through the tunnels of the tall grasses tying to find rabbits. And there the the kindly Indians. You know that are dancing down by the stream. It was the most difficult thing I've ever heard and most of them the frontier people who were promised free land and got it when they went out there hundred and sixty acres. Or paid a dollar and a quarter the railroads needed farmers to grow produce that they could then make money on by shipping back to the east. But there are incidents in other grasshoppers really did come in and can wipeout a crop in. And you could there were no tractors in the day. So you had a mule and plow hours, and you could maybe handle a couple of acres. There was one story Laura Ingalls wilder Almanza wilder was her husband. They were young. And in this Matt which is sort of the old home place in South Dakota and a blizzard hit. And it was my minus forty two degrees and hold town, which was like Chicago. Two hundred and fifty people, and they had their the Remm shackle houses clinging to the frontier that was the frontier all try to grow and make. And they were they were dying. They were being frozen out and starving so headed to Kansas almost Almanza head south to ranch or farm where they knew he had some stored who eat and talked him into giving him some wheat took it back in the blizzard and save the town, and they would mix the wheat with water. And then fry these little. Things on on whatever they could with. They didn't even have firewood. It was so difficult. And then they alternate said gotta get outta here and took the wagon down to Kansas. They only stayed a year. But boy did she ultimately benefit from that out say and didn't write the book until the thirties. And so you maintain this as a kind of museum. Yes, it's now called a little house on the prairie museum. And when we say, we emphasize a little. I wouldn't drive out of my way. Your and you had to kind of idyllic sort of life there. When did you? I mean. In a sense you suffer for the fact that you have this extrordinary voice that everybody knows. And it kind of eclipses the fact that you've also had one of the brilliant broadcast journalism careers of anyone. But when did you realize that you had this gift that would would serve you? Well, well, when I turned sixteen I know exactly the time and at that period in your life your voices changing. Yeah. And it wasn't deep as it is today, some some people's some people's voices change less dramatically than yours ISIS, but I went down when I was on my birthday got a work permit and went to work at the radio station. The only one in town independence, Kansas population, ten thousand and was able to work to three years in the most form. Leave period of probably any job just soaked up. Everything had very good boss who became a mentor, and I was doing everything from announcing preachers who came across the Oklahoma border and just stood and let the word pass through them. You know, sit in front of a microphone to little league baseball and basketball, and I want to do it all touch on it all so by the time, I got to college university of Kansas and that onto law school. I had an experience that I could go to the commercial station instead of the students station, and you one of the UN to the Washburn University School of law, and I read that you were not competition at Washington University. That was a a speech in debate kind of thing. That's. Smoot court and law students go through that I but the judge was the thing that I wanted to ask the judges Harry Blackmun ended up writing the Rovers his way decision. A supreme as prime court and became a giant on the supreme court. He gave you a little encouragement dead. He said he said, you have the ability to make these things interesting. And it's it's the voice. Yes. But it's also telling a story. So here was you would think these guys are knee-deep, you know, in the opinions the ready to write. But even as sitting on a bench probably aboard. All day will respond to. Yeah. Yeah. Storytelling is the key to everything. This is why I do this this podcast because people have such interesting stories, but I think in politics or in in journalism, the ability to tell a story, well is really so essential to success. The greatest beginning to a story is once upon a time. Yeah. And from there as Don Hewitt of sixty minutes used say just tell me story, right? And suddenly you're captivated drawn. And you forget about the world around you, and you're able to and you know, some of the leading defense attorneys will say that in their closing arguments. They try to be like a six o'clock anchor in which you condense and tell it either chronologically are really interesting. So that the jury remembers our remember six weeks of evidence. But here's our story. Yeah. For this. Why did you go to law school in knowing that you wanted to be a journalist well at that time, which was the early sixties when I started CBS news then. Networks were still using a radio personality than the Murrow boys had just come back from World War Two and they were establishing. You know, Fred friendly claims that he established some of the techniques that we are still using a reverse shot in an interview like this. So it wasn't as clear, then as, you know, practicing law also practicing law in Kansas. The didn't have the wizard of is that I said he kind of the ring to it. And I thought my God I won't be able to travel all so if I go back to my Marine Corps days born of the marines. They're traveled around where my dad was moving. I, but I will say that was very difficult. It was a difficult decision because you know, God law school. I graduated in nineteen sixties, go do journalism and sky. Yep. And there were the New York Times was the emerald city of the day. Chicago Tribune we were far far from. Any metropolitan areas. So it just didn't seem to have the the interesting stories you, but you did have one interesting story, which were was a a a brutal tornado attack. And you're on the air at that time, which was everybody's you hear about Dan rather being around there for the Kennedy assassination if and that was a career making thing in a in a smaller way your account of these tornadoes, which I guess you're on the air forever. When they struck was a something that got a lot of attention. Well, it and it still has the attention today. It was also a very helpful for me and making the ultimate decision. I had tempted to job at a law firm in Wichita finish. The course and a friend asked me to fill in for him during the six o'clock news on the local TV station. And so I went out and. We add some whether I had been a weatherman for two years working. That's my part time job getting relaunch school. And they said why don't you stick around? We may have to go back on and give the either the all clear or add to it. So seven o'clock a time that will live in infamy in two big against us. The general manager said, well, let's go break in then you can give the it not exactly a formal warning because we hadn't received it yet. And so I was on the air for about fifteen seconds and heard two way radio come from the newsroom into the studio, and it was our cameraman. And he was on the southwest said to the city, and he said we have tornado on the ground, and it's headed for the city, and it's big and. I didn't want to go with that. I wanted a confirmation of that. Because as a good journalist were. Yeah, it's a tornado and visit that sound effects, by the way this podcast life. These are fire sirens in the city of Chicago in the background while you people thinking, I'm embellishing the story. But I might say they're very appropriate. Delegates. But. The next. Little report we got is that the Huntington departments had been wiped out. Well in my head. I'm still on camera. I could draw a straight line from the original sighting through the apartments, and like an aero at pointed to the capitol building Washburn the school, I was buried and had a six month old child living on campus. So I said for God's sake take cover. Yeah. And those words now are famous savings favors words. But I'll tell you what giving your voice that that must have sounded like a command from the almighty time, they got the Jari persuasive. And maybe it was the my my sheet white. And you know, you stop you just kind of change into this very serious message that you're well. Anyway, we run for twenty four hours. It was it was the most binging at the time in the United States. It was at five before we even had ratings of FIV, and sadly, we have more extreme weather today. And yeah, so all these records are shattered arm, and and people more people are living in the path. Yeah, hurricanes. Everybody wants to place there on the on the shore. Well, within three months, I was in Chicago. Yeah. Which is for your first tour of duty yet. And it was a marvelous experience because it was a four years sixty six to seventy pretty tumultuous time mulch use you know, when I arrive Richard speck had just been caught mass. Well, he murdered what seven nurses, eight eight years seven seven or eight cordona morale was the the big witness in right? Right one nurse. He broke into a home where nurses were dorming essentially, and and and and murdered them. And there was wonders who was hiding and identified a tattoo on his arm. But for there was a period of time when he was on the loose and the city was absolutely era, the Janta to death. My wife was a young Susan was a young girl at the time. And she said she was absolutely terrorized during this period. So you were covering that story covering the story covering the trial that NPR area they changed venue to by that tattoo said born to raise. Hell, right. Wasn't that the tattoo discovered when he tried to kill himself, and he was taking the county hospital and was identified there. Yeah. Dr. So it was an auspicious beginning as they say years later, you would report you had you had another report about Richard speck that. That made quite a impact which was how he was living in prison in a sensually was sex drugs and rock and roll. But he was partying down. Well in in presented outrage people. Well, here's the most hated man certainly Nolan on perhaps on the country. It was a videotape that had been made they never figured out. Why the closest thing I think is that there is a jailhouse network of of videos that they will do they have that kind of freedom. Anyway, it showed him stripping down naked with his lover of his item. A pile of cocaine was in front hundred dollar bills thrown out in front, and he appeared to have had to have a breast either. Implants or some kind of a chemical enhancement enhancement, and I'm not sure whether it was that or just overweight. But nonetheless, he had some great quotes. Why did you kill those girls? And he said just wasn't third. I yeah. What do you want people to know? You know who see you in here. He said, you know, if they knew how good I have it in here. They'd want me out. Just like rubbing the salt. How did you get this take it was given to be as you know, investigative reporters, you know, don't go in and bludgeoned people to give me the story, but they make contacts. And so lawyer had been given it as the fee paid for feet. She knew just told more than the should. Okay. You vote. Yes. You've narrowed the. Yeah. The list of suspects. But I've got it secret all these years. And so we looked at it. And I said my God, I don't know. Look at that. So he called the prosecutor Bill Morton came out, and should we confirmed everything sat on it for bit as we were trying to figure out where it was shot. Why when he he was dead at that moment. But when it went on. On the air went on local station. W B B M then a crime series that I've been starting to produce. It was about explosive story that I've ever been connected with explosive in the sense that it was shocking shocking and every television station in the country wanted. Yeah. And they were just all over us. And we were the only ones who had. Yeah. So when we say explosive it really was they could not get it. You you you were here during the the period where after Martin Luther King's assassination when riots erupted in the city of Chicago you were here during the democratic national convention what were those times like for you as a reporter? Well, it was. To say wonderful. A fireman liked to fight fire. Police like this solve crimes for me. I was on the street at the time. And so I was there at Balboa in Michigan when the demonstrators pushed into the sixty. I mean, I was there in front of me you talk about history and for a long time. I mean, I reported as I saw it. But it was not quite as accurate is it should be because I couldn't be while the perspectives that other reporters had around, but there was that. And then after king and the the cities began to burn, you know, we had a west side here blocks from the university of Chicago. Lot of. And here's the interesting thing. I mean, I was on the street, and we were literally in a car crew car as as the rioters were going down the street and lighting with torches houses and shops, and that's being righted. They weren't interested in us. They were interested in birding the city. The interesting thing is that here was the largest riot that Chicago had not the not the fire that of course, was eighteen. Seventy one right. Yes. That was but Vic, but the riot that hit the city ever experienced and only eleven people were killed which I say only that still tragic, but it was a time. When there weren't that many guns. Yeah available. Yeah. And I would then go out to LA for the Rodney King riots, and they were much wider spread south central. You did actually in the in the early seventies. As a stint in an NL, a in you covered among other things that Manson trial out there, and you had another encounter with squeaky from who would become a Manson who is a Manson acolyte who became famous a few years later when she tried to assassinate press. Four, but she didn't like you very much either. Apparently, you know, the family vincit billion the prosecutor was worried that he was not going to be able to convict Charlie because Charlie was never at the scene of crime of Eddie of the murders. Because he had created these so-called zombies with drugs and size and sent sent them out. Yeah. So we should point out. This is the famous murder of Sharon Tate. The actress, and it was brutal shocking. Murder by followers of Charles Manson is kind of a satanic figure here. Young people who are doing Charlie's big Charlie being the ex-con spent on whole life, you know, in prison and yet when it came down to it Susan Atkins Leslie than out in Patricia Krenwinkel and Tex Watson living all American high school football player. Were able to dip towels in blood and right on the walls. Pigs trying to make it look like Black Panthers had repeated it to touch off a civil war in which the blacks would be eliminated. But yes, squeaky from they would camp right out on the sidewalk, and they were. Sewing a magic vest journalists. And you know, I walked up, and there was a forty five on the table. My said I mean on their seat. I said, I don't know how you're getting away with that. But at nights with my. Child. And I think the second by that time we were out on Sunset Boulevard all the way to the end almost the ocean. And it had a knock on the door and young woman was at the door and mascara streaming from her is it was raining, and she looked pretty rough. She said, please pull the police call the police I need to get home. So I when like all the police and almost as soon as I turned away from her came back to the door. And there was a large young man standing beside her. So I've got a picture of large, man. Manson like follower in front, and I said well here we go and it was her. No it wasn't. It looked like very much like her. And she they they kind of disappeared before the police got there. I thought that you think they were menacing you because they didn't like your cover. Yeah. I think they were on marijuana, but Charlie had this ability, or at least a magician like quality, an allusion est to make you think that he could communicate with all these people the his family from jail, even though there wasn't a communication. He he didn't even have access to a phone. And so it's perfectly and we had heard threats that he had sent them out to try and get better coverage. So it, you know, is kind of in the air that was a ten month trial. Yeah. Now, I'm glad I did it as a look back because of the history-making. Yeah. You had a lot of you. You cover the trial of Angela Davis. Daniel Ellsberg would did you get some of these signs because you had a legal background? Yes. CVS nude news. And I was out of the west coast, and they simply were happening out there. But then you in. Seventy three as you mentioned earlier, you got called back to Chicago and to be an anchorman, and you got paired with this fellow who's famous here in Chicago. Walter Jacobson who was a newspaper man turned broadcast journalist as volatile as you are com- a political junkie by by by nature. And of course, that's the civic sport here and was even more so back in the early seventies. And you guys had like an immortal pairing here in local news dominated local news. But I was saying you before we start rolling that one of the things that was always fun to watch was when Walter would go off, and you would gently trying real him back in even as all of Chicago was watching. But this is the one that started. I wanted to tell you the night that there was a hitman in Harry alleman who you'll relieve. In Harry, alleman walked up to a guy on the street and killed him in. There were witnesses those witnesses testified, but he asked for bench trial, and the judge acquitted him judge ultimately committed suicide I think and it was the goal. Ultimately, you took a bribe committed suicide ultimately there was a a a a trial about how that was actually fixed. But at the moment, you know, Walter, I think Jon Drummond, who is your great crime reporter was on the street, and John bulldog Drummond, and Jon Drummond was reporting this and Walter said something like, well what you're not saying, John. But what everybody's thinking is this case was fixed. And and I just remember you saying something like Walter, you know, we say things in the heat of the moment that maybe we're not. Fully. And and you just you were frantically but calmly trying to reel the whole situation back in. But you you you had this great running you got some by the network to New York to and you did three years as a morning news morning news with Diane Sawyer. And that my sense was that wasn't that satisfying experience for you. Well, for one thing, you know, you you become a network anchor and everybody wants to do it. It's the top of the mountain. But when you get there, you realize oh my God. I'm not writing I'm not reporting because I have two hours live on the air of anchoring. And that's what I'm paid to do. And my my joy really was in on the streets, and and and actually doing the work of journalism and by I should say parenthetically because I I wanna make sure that people under. Stand. This. You did a lot of investigative journalism. You the person who broke the story about Agent, Orange and its impact on Vietnam veterans, which was a huge, and and really distressing story. And you know, you were you went to Tehran and reported from there in the midst of all of the turmoil there around the revolution time of the revolution and reported on the deprivation of people that lead to that. I mean, you so so reporting I mean, let I said earlier that you don't get your do because everybody is so transfixed by your voice that all the good ending. And you know, breaking work that you did path breaking work really gets ignorant, but that must have been frustrating for you to sit behind that anchor de. And not be free to do that kind of reporting. Well, I was able to use my correspondent background and the argument that look this is going to increase the ratings we were in a very competitive spot. So if you allow me to go to Africa go to so he did this in that period of. Yes, I see and and have a investigative unit hence the Agent Orange story. And yes, and we had some great general managers, and and there was a breakthrough. And I wish that it had continued although you will see local station sending reporters abroad if there's a connection. I've budgets are not what they were. Right. I was inside gone two weeks before it fell went to North Vietnam. On the in story, incidentally, two hundred thousand. Thousand veterans have been compensated for connection. Diseases connected to fifty diseases have been recognized as so that was I think how you measure the worth of the work, you do as a journalist if it can have that kind of impact on people's lives. And that's the key to being a reporter. If we look at what's happening in Washington today. It's in many ways the glory days of returned is certainly with the New York Times in the post. Because investigating reporting there shining, bright light Dr. Yeah. Owners which is but what tell me while we're here because you you did you you you sort of made the transformation into documentary work, and you did return stint you, and Walter, but you became really focused on documentary work, and and providing I mean, you still to this day you and your brilliant wife, Donald Piatra are have produced enormous amount of material for various cable outlets and so on. But before we get that. I wanna ask you about local news where you think local news is today because you're quite right. That in Washington coverage is as robust as it's ever been. And they're all these additional outlets on digital that. Are covering it. But the local news seen is really kind of frightening to me the sir demolition of resources for local newspapers, local news television news stations where is this all going to digital? And it's not quite there yet advertising left, right? And if you don't have the money to support your efforts, then everything has to shrink their four hundred reporters and news people at the Tribune that have lost their jobs. So in many ways, the the newspapers are shadows of what they use. I grew up there. And it it grieves me may do I feel so sad and local news. You know, I think that the reporters are better educated than they ever have been the what happened is that the the schools have caught up. With the convergence idea radio television, writing and other jobs that you can take 'cause there's so many kids who want to get into journalism or broadcasting so, but they kind of come up to local news, and it's full bright. And and we're not doing the the kind of they're doing jobs with, but it's largely standups in the morning and evening, you know, which they're not doing the kind of investigative work that you deep Walter and others used to do in the day. I I really worry about that. He started Kurtis productions in nineteen ninety. And I mean, the list of things that you, you know, investigative reports cold case files American Justice. Tell me what you're thinking was than and and continues to be about about the work. You're doing that in. Eighty five. I came back from New York. I just wanted to do journalism and the in my contract, I wrote in that I was able to start my own company. So while working at the local TV station. I was also forming Kurtis productions, and it was lucky because I was at the beginning of what could be called a golden age of documentaries on cable. They were still running World War, Two documentaries. You know, Hitler going down the street, and they discovered a new formula. And that was local is cheaper. I mean, the there locally original, original produced documentaries. It was cheaper. And it was able to give them an identity and a Aena discovery right down the line. And so it started and investigative reports. I mean, we were into ten years of that. Ten years. Yeah. And cold case files on seven years one hundred twenty seven shows. I mean think about it. We not produce Marican agreed on CNBC. So it all probably five hundred documentaries out of a little local production company, and how much time do you spend on these things? I know you voice over a lot of to my wife done. Runs a company. So we keep it in the family. I just came from narration session. So and I have my spy I have by goal. Climate change is odd button for me appropriate for someone who covered the weather. Yes. And into as one of the solutions is deep rooted prairie plants. Yeah. You you have another enterprise. Yeah. That's soaks up. Not only are we experimenting with it at the one of our locations, but it's more carbon than almost any other thing besides ocean. And because the roots go down fifteen feet, they have filled with billions of organisms that all eat carbon. So it'll get here. And I believe in my mind that we all kind of know about climate and the problem. Gms. But a a panel issues report which says, you know, we're going to be in major trouble in ten years. Ten years. Yeah. We're talking about you. You look at the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We've already gone over the the warning. Yes. Look, I think this is a existential crisis. But why does it anybody react? I mean, even even congress, you know, why? Because there are you know, some economic ramifications for it, and because we're never very good at dealing with problems. That are ten years down the line. Now, if you are watching the news, or if you live in California where they're constantly dealing with wildfires now or you look at the magnitude of the storms that people are dealing with up and down the eastern seaboard or in the Gulf. You know, how much warning? Do you need? I mean, all of these all these forecasts that we've been hearing for years are now coming to fruition. And we've suffered the first the the warmest five years on record in the last five years by the government's own reckoning a one person who's not a big consumer of this data's the president of the United States. However and slowed it down and the strategy of the big economic giants oil companies and others who don't necessarily want to cut back on their emissions is to find that scientists that happens to be a denier and fund him and support that it's the same strategy that was used for cigarettes now, and it just delays think the thing that makes it more insidious and difficult is that there are outlets that have. Big followings that are willing to popularize those kinds of out- outlandish outlying scientific theories, I have to ask you you. In addition to all the other work you've done quite a photographer, and you you've had books of photography, and and talked me about imagery, and what photographs both film and still photographs like the ones that you've taken do to animate a story. Will you have to have television as that's what it's all about motion pictures, still photography is coming back. I think it was replaced by digital you know, and I put it off for an awful long time because you have to know computers and all the little gadgets, but what attracted you to what caused you to take photographs. I was at the scene of so many things fires on the west side the democratic convention. The Benson trial. So I said, you know, I'm air better start taking pictures and that helped because the substance of that imagery carried the day. I didn't have to be Ansel Adams. But I picked it up and became more than a hobby. I wanna ask you about you know, you describe your life, and people will say this is an extraordinary life by we should add that you're also you replaced in two thousand fourteen Carl castle on the on wait, wait, don't tell me. You have a whole new generation of followers for your work on that. You were a you're in the movie anchorman, and probably have a whole generation of followers as a result of that. But your life. Hasn't been all as most lives aren't unchallenged. You you you married your high school sweetheart? She died quite young and of cancer, and you had a son who who struggle with schizophrenia until he took his own life. How you know? I try I raise it because I feel so strongly that we need to talk about these things particularly mental health issues and treat them as the the illness that they are not as some sort of character defect. So tell me about your your son. Well, it's more important now that ever because the shooter's responsible for all these best murders. Yeah. That's a common thread. That's right. And so we have to find out how we can better identify those that are going to be violent. I took my son to the Benning graffman Dacian, which was the last remaining term mental health facility in Kansas. And they have now moved to MD Anderson. And they said, he's not the violet type but schizophrenia is hard to detect. It happens around nineteen twenty years old. And is that what happened with I believe among several theories of why it happens that there's a chemical in the brain dopamine, perhaps that turns off, and they begin to have hallucinations audio problems it they described it to me, and there are different descriptions that. You know, you can go to a movie or go to a concert and the go home and go to bed and and all those senses turn off, but for schizophrenic, they don't so his head can be filled with voices voices. That are terrible toward him telling him, you know, your father is the devil the after kill him. And and lead them, you know, to violence, and of course, there are thousands of different kinds. Anyway, Scott lived with that I felt so sorry for him. Because one of the things that happens is that they're able to hold a job because their attention span is is not too good. They're dealing with all this inside their head at the same time. Trying to live a work be normal. Which they can't. So it becomes Justice crushing negatively, and he was perfectly normal as a younger child up to that point by nineteen twenty. And then it's takes time to determine whether this is polar now or schizophrenia or just being a teenager. And you know, the drugs the medications in nineteen sixty eight many of the states including annoy closed the so-called snake pits. The warehouses for the mentally ill. Right. And the theory was we're going to put him on the street, and they're going to administer their own medications. Administer their own the crazy administer the road medications. What are we nuts? We're trying to save. Money. So it's also true that these places became kind of warehouses. Yes. People were not neglected and abused. Something had to be done. Right. But instead, we know have I think a terrible mental health system. There's no place to go. Yeah. So consider this European you have a child, they're different. They spe spend, you know, all day in front of a computer, the parent has to go in and look at the computer and what they're doing. They're in the Columbine killings. They, you know, had essays and plans almost for a year of what they wanted to do to the people in the school. And so the the the big problem, I think these days is to. Two one come to grips with the fact that your child has a problem and may develop a violence it whether they ever not a tendency, and how are you going to commit them? Well, if you commit them that probably means more than the psychiatrist it could mean to a state hospital Touche's, and that is sort of the end of the world for a lot of parents. Here's a tip. Remember Gabby giffords who shot and writings I saw an early story that came across that said her the young man, Jared, log is took a bag presumably of weapons and got in the car and drove off away from the house. His father saw that. He he said early. In the game. Yes, I saw that. And I went after him that means his father knew something, whether you know, the violence hadn't happened yet. But he knew something was wrong. And he knew that something good happen. So people know, and parents, I think have to be given sort of a guide. Here's what you do. Did you how did you deal with your sons illness and were you monitoring him in that way? Or and what was I mean? I guess he died on your farm or hiss, and I. Did not have him at home, and he actually left for several years and doing what he whether to do. And so I bought him a small house in the town that is adjacent to the ranch because many years tried to teach them to be independent, and so they can live life on their own terms. And I had a cousin there and appointed guardian so they would come and administer the medications every day, Scott. The problem is the medications caused him to gain weight. So by the time, he died, he was three hundred pounds. Oh, my grotesque. So just being that obese prevents you from living up to any dreams. So I I actually in the sheriff new the police new, it's. Thirteen hundred population the other people in town. Well, that's Scott, you know, and they'll kind of then they weren't afraid. So I set up my own mental health system. Obviously didn't didn't do any good. We didn't have anything to cure the disease. We cannot cure it, but we can support it's like an alcoholic alcohol. Ick can run the life of a family ruin it in many cases. But it takes hold money. They have to said the oft to treatment. And then and Scott would go back into the hospital. Probably every six months he would act out and kind of come to the end of those medications, and then he would get his re re retuning and come out after about six weeks and be fine. But it was the back and forth back and forth, and Kansas has a pretty good mental health system. They have you know, but it costs money. In a state that doesn't have any to begin with. So everything is when you got that call you weren't entirely surprised. No, my daughter called me. And she wasn't sure whether he killed himself or just died he had diseases that kind of these city of that. Well, OB city in the pantry tighted David take the alive is. And you know, you got to go down the list. It's a terrible life and the ripple effect affects so many people. It's good to talk about it. I did not talk about it. I did not want to exploited. If you will. But I have since head people the minute they hear I, you know, and they will come to you and say, oh, my God, we have that in on family. Everybody's a regular listener of this podcast knows that my dad committed suicide, and you know, I talk about it. And I didn't talk about for thirty years. And I talk about it because I realized you know, I didn't want to stigmatize him. But that's exactly why he didn't get the help you need. And the best thing that we can do for people who are struggling and their families is to encourage them to get the help that they need in the guidance that they need to deal with what is an illness. You know, medications can stop the voices and the loosen Asians. But, you know, then you have other problems pop out first thing that some of these kids will do go right to the drugs. I mean. Self-medication self medicate, and you know for terminal patients. It cancer. Anything? I say, you know, they should have any drug. They want. Is that we have more and more people self medicating against. Problems that are either mental illness or other stresses and I mean, we have an epidemic now. So well, these are these are sobering challenges. And I think it is important that we talk about him. It's good that you're talking about them. I just wanna not to go from the sacred to the I wanna say profane. But I wanna get back to politics for one second. You have a sister who was in politics in in Kansas. And what what's interesting to me is that she was Republican. And but she switched parties. Tell me about her and her role in politics. She was a state Senator for thirteen years. She had an expertise that education education is the hot button there. Yes, they're still behind. I think three hundred three hundred billion seems like. A lot of money. She just kind of came to the point where an extreme section of the Republican party had taken over the state house, governor Brownback, and we're doing some things that she didn't like she loved the politics. So she said I'm going to change, you know, who had beaten her in the race for congress in her little district southeast Kansas, so Mike Pompeo defeated your sister. Yes. Mike bombayo? And who would know at the time he was very conservative right in with the rest of the. Not sacked coke brothers support problem a very much and one could say they run the state because of all their support. And he went on, you know, he was in congress. Yeah. And made his conservative connections. Yes. And they liked him. Yeah. The may have been most successful member of that cabinet that we have lot lot of speculation that he may run for president. If I in the post Trump era, so it all began with your defeating your sister, apparently. Well, then she ran against go batch who is a secretary of state. Yeah. And was also defeated and co batches now famous for putting a thirty eight caliber machine gun on the back of a pickup and. Entering the political parades little towns of Kansas. He also for all of the stuff that he's done anti-immigration. He was the chairman of the president's vote fraud commission that couldn't find any vote fraud. So he's made quite a name from San just barely lost a race for governor last year. Bill Kurtis, it's really great to see you. I I wanna thank you for being such an illuminated force here in the city of Chicago. And and beyond for for all these years, and I look forward to to to what you do next and to hearing you every week on wait wait downtown back at you. Thank you for listening to the X files part of the CNN podcast network for more episodes of the X files. Visit X-Files podcast dot com. And subscribe on apple podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcast app from our programming from the university of Chicago institute of politics. Visit politics dot EU, Chicago dot EDU.

Chicago Kansas United States Charlie Ingles university of Chicago reporter Bill kurtis Walter Jacobson university of Chicago institut CNN New York Times schizophrenia CBS David Axelrod Charles Manson Croatia Lisa Madigan congress Saul
Ep. 307 - Nate Silver

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

1:16:07 hr | 1 year ago

Ep. 307 - Nate Silver

"And now from the university of Chicago institute of politics and CNN the axe files with your host, David Axelrod. Who is Nate silver? And why does everybody in politics care so much about what he thinks? Well, it has to do with the fact that over the last ten years he's been one of the most accurate forecasters data analysts writing and speaking about politics, he came by the university of Chicago last week, his alma mater to talk about data, and politics and sports, and I sat down with him to talk about how he ended up being who he is. Nate silver, a living legend, it's great to be across the table from you and welcome back to the university of Chicago. Where all began I am a UC graduate. I'm still a huge fan of of the city of Chicago. You know, I've been in New York for like almost ten years now, and it's like a little bit of a weird interval when you come back to a city, it's kinda place Chicago university of Chicago. And then lived Chicago afterwards. Like kind of where I came of age, basically. Yeah. So it's a little bit. Like, you kind of get this like rush of like memories and emotions and like now, you kinda see the city Moore's outside or even though it was kind of your home city. So, but it is always great to. So I have the reverse I grew up in New York. Yeah. And go back there, and I have all these warm memories. But I do feel like a like visceral tell you I came out to Chicago to go the inverse, Chicago and thought this is sleepy little town. Yeah. Yeah. Coming from New York. But now. Now, I'm a thoroughgoing Chicago. And so I can give you the whole chapter numbers case for Chicago over New York. So now that all my relatives are gone from there anyway. But that's not where you started. You started in east Lansing Michigan. Tell me about that. Tell me about your folks. Yes. And my dad is a political science professor. And so I guess it's very on brand for me to have have gotten into politics and covering politics. Was he and impure or what what was what was his how he was? Originally, Sylvia talent when there was a Soviet Union. And what he would do actually look at lot at Soviet demographic data which sounds like it's boring, but it's not because a lot of it was fake. It's like China now or something as he trying to figure out like what's the real story behind abortion rates birth rates or death rates or GDP or whatnot in Russia and somebody I should say when the government is trying to look good and is trying to fudge the numbers, basically. So he worked with data and statistics. So this is not like a this wasn't a surprise that you should gravitate that. I mean, he encouraged me to to major in economics if it was going to pick pick something in in this arena, generally because it is especially you see very quantitative in very rigorous not at the other disciplines, aren't so I don't all that often listened to my parents by did this time and majored in economics at the university of Chicago. But for sure I mean, I've always, you know, part of my fascination with with baseball sports also comes from the fact that like they're lied numbers, obviously to analyze baseball and basketball particular those, and so and so yes, it all it all kind of makes sense in. I I wanna talk to you about that in a minute being a fellow sports. Fanatic, your mom in my noted says, she's a she was a community activist. Yeah. So what what what not manifest itself, it meant that she would attend a lot of city council meetings organized campaigns to to instill more like stop signs and things like that. Right. Which always used to annoy me as a cat. We're driving around on the stop sign with Rex make things slower. But I'm sure you mind when it stopped many accidents and save lives, and ultimately and so on and so forth. And so she was always like very politically aware. You know, my parents. Every day go out and buy the New York Times at the one at the one like bookstore back on their bookstores that had it, you know, in before they had like national delivery than times was able to deliver nationally. It was almost like disappointing to them because they enjoy the routine of going out and like buying their at town papers and reading it at home. So definitely like, you know, it was like a kind of intellectual family. You know, my dad was professor at Michigan state university's that's part of where it's a big ten towns. Like, it's where a lot of like the the sports things come from. You know, where I could actually hear the roar of the football stadium from my house, basically when there was playing games, I would go to had Michigan state hockey season tickets. So I'm also hockey fan. And so kind of it all makes them sit back and reflect you know, it all coast, you're shut he showed air Basque. Yeah. I little bit later on in high school. Wendy one is took over right? But we had some, you know, Magic Johnson. I guess when I was one year old with seventy nine they won the championship. Yeah. And so, you know, people in east Lansing were Lakers fans off in because like because of magic. And then of course, the pistons became big rivals with the Lakers. And so magic was still beloved, but like got a little bit abandoned. But like, but it all makes it all make sense, tell me about which were your folks sports fans was is that something that you just my mom, not realizing my dad's a dad's a sports fan. I'd say like a big sports fan not like a huge sports fan. But like, but again, we're going to like Michigan state hockey games and trying to like go to many Tigers games as we can and so forth. Go to Joe Louis arena for various stuff go to the NCAA tournament now. And then if she can stay it was was playing there was some gaming. To in like Knoxville, Tennessee, I really wanted to stay because the freshman named Shaquille O'Neal was playing the next game. Yeah. He got he was. Well, he was good. Yeah. Like, yeah. We gotta go if you'll get dinner. So that was disappointing. But, but yeah, I mean, the sports thing I think, you know, I always love was never particularly athletic or or good at sports. You know, I'm faster than you would think but like not super coordinated. But like, you know, I like competition I like applying your thinking to problems, right? And again, like Michigan's just a big a big sports state all four it's four sports state baseball football, basketball, hockey, you know, all four of those sports are big and prominent in Michigan. So you have a lot of of picking seducer. So let's talk about the the the the mix of things here, your your interest in or your gravitation to numbers and statistics and sports. So when did you start Bill James baseball abstracts came along at some time. Probably when you when you were coming of age, and so what drew you to that aspect of of of baseball. I mean, Parvez my my friend and I played fantasy baseball, my friend Ray. And I something which is. Still around. I think called scoresheet baseball, which is like you basically draft team. They simulate games simulating the way it's pretty accurate where you know, you want batters with good on base percentages knee. You want pitchers with good strikeout-to-walk ratios? And so the first year we like drafted a team, and it was full of like Ruben Sierra like Andre Dawson, all these guys that we thought were really good 'cause they were kind of famous, but they were not very good saver metric players else out too much in walk enough. We spent much I'm relief pitchers, for example. And so and so our team was really bad, and we really frustrated by that. And so it kind of brought us to the gospel of reading about reading from Bill James reading like the early days of of baseball perspectives that was growing and just kind of figuring out on our own which was like these sixteen and seventeen year olds are like two of the best managers in the country. Like our team one hundred and ten teams every year like sent around like national leaderboards. We would like call these adults in Indiana like proposed trades, right? When they dull to calm at night, and they're like drunk or something like this funny. Kids calling like you'd make make a trade, you know. So so it's always been. Motivated by by kind of a sense of of competition. I think people don't necessarily know that about me is like I'm someone who I'm very competitive, right? I wanna like prove people wrong, and I want like a challenge in computation. I wanna like win that confrontation. And so a debate champion also debate champion. Yeah. Which you know, certainly homes like a lot of like like research skills. I mean, debates policy debate is not necessarily that being the most beautiful like rhetoric or whatever it's not like a presidential debate. In fact, it was about kind of making as many arguments that were evidence driven. But also doing that as fast as you could because I'm not sure if I believe this is the right way to judge the debate now, but like at the time the paradigm was like, hey, if someone else forgets to get to one of your arguments than that carries huge weight, right? You wanna lay down as many as possible? React to it. I still speak too fast. You went to literally speak very fast because we can get more in you can get more into the podcast. Yeah. People joke because now people listen to podcasts on like half speed or whatever, you know, two x speed or whatever else. But like, but yeah. And so that definitely homes like a lot of a research skills. Although it's very very JD way of looking at the world at some in some ways everything kind of comes down to like nuclear war. It's like who has more nuclear wars and their set of outcomes and so on and so forth, and like, so it's a little strange in some ways. I I think actually now debate has become like a bit more socially aware. And they're more critiques of how debate is run. And so maybe it's kind of gone to the extreme where it's less empirical, you're sitting, but you're sitting tonight at the institute of politics who Austin goolsbee, the former chair of the council of economic advisers who was a national debate champion, and it's interesting to hear Austin talk about two bay because he was very aware of the sort of theater of debate. Like he debated and defeated several times Ted Cruz Bates, and he said the way he did it was just by urinating him in would just lose it. And he you know, he would make a point. And he said make it to the judge in that to him about him. And. And this would just infuriate him. I mean, there's a lot of also like this is something where you know, every weekend in highschool for my last two or three years. I was going to a debate tournament usually in suburban Detroit or sometimes Chicago or we went to Texas, North Carolina and Iowa we always drove right because we were like a public school. So kind of raising money out of our pocket, basically. So it was for non athletic. It's like it's very much like that. And it like takes you out of like, it'd be honest like I think high school is a good public school, but I was bored. I was ready to go off to to college do something different. And so this is a way to like, basically like have an alternate kind of education when you're in in high school, and you're meeting people from around the country in like and like. You know, we were partner, Katie Hoff. And I were we're very good team. And so, but it was it was a lot of fun. You you also wrote you our journalist at a student journalist. So oftentimes people who are who gravitate to numbers aren't necessarily the best writers, but you had an interest in both what what attracted you to journalism. I mean, so partly it was just like, I don't know. Right. It's a way to like look at the world. It's a way to like to. I mean, I like to kind of solve problems to think through problems. I love you know, what it was doing was by and large not like not reporting. It was more. More the rambled like a to'real writing and kind of criticizing how the school is run. And so forth. The traditional students your journalism. Yeah. At one point. I actually commissioned a poll where we took approval ratings for the principal, the vice principal the ethnic director and who are the fourth. There's like, you know, quadrant of four people. Right. And like, and like lo and behold the to be poor ratings in that poll, actually like had new jobs next year never ever admit that. That was the reason why you know, I got power math. Well, yeah. I know, but it was like actually got fired from the paper at some point. There was some debate tournament that was more important in. And you know, I think I don't want to relitigate things from from twenty two years ago or whatever, right. Sure, we have listeners that firing was an error, and that they are well informed of my conflict, you you are competitive. So the interesting thing about you writing is that it is a you're you're obviously oftentimes your data. So requires us. But even I I mentioned before this. I read your analysis of the state of the union it tends to be a logical kind of progression. You know, you start with certain assumptions you test those assumptions. You have a very distinct of of form of writing. I appreciate that. And something I've spent a lot of time lot of time working on and writing a book actually helps a lot with that forces you to actually, you know, revise your writing like three or four or five times, you know, sort of a I I know about this. I used to have hair before I wrote. No, I mean writing a book is maybe the most like I wanted to script from writing books. But like, maybe the most taxing intellectual thing you can do because you get so immersed in it. You know, we're so used to whether it's seeing downright in article, right? You're sitting down and usually it's not done in one sitting, but usually two or three sitting so it's all kind of in your in your short term memory. With a book you have to enter things into your long term memory because it's a too big to bite off. And so it's going to be at the very minimum project of of several months in my case running a book took for years over periods where you're doing lot of the things to right, but maybe you know, spread out over a four year period. And so, and it's embedded kind of very deep in your brain. Like the argument you're trying to make in the hypothesis that you're trying to to wrestle with. And so, you know, that's quite that's quite challenging. I will tell you this. I have the privilege of of getting to know Elliot's L, and and I was friendly at the time the time when I was writing the book, and I he asked me how it was going. And in this discussion, I said, you know, you're such a beautiful writer and said, but you know, I find myself agonizing over paragraph. He said sometimes I would just it would take me a whole morning to write a paragraph, and it makes you feel better. Her you know to to hear that. It's it's it's a hard thing. Anyway, you came to the university of Chicago, and you sort of touched on this before, but what attracted you to this place. It was like partly wanting to be in an urban environment. You know, I'm not sure I knew myself, even though I had done debate newspaper things. I'm not sure really knew myself. That. Well, when I was eighteen right? I kind of gay and come out yet things like that. Right. And so it's like I didn't want to look at a lot of schools like. Like Williams College Massachusetts, which is a wonderful school. But is in the middle of nowhere in western Massachusetts. Right. You know, I looked at university of Michigan, which is a very big very big state school. Obviously, you know, even roots Wisconsin where where my parents went. And so just you know, I was like I don't know where my life's gonna go. And so I wanna be in a place to city, and where I'm not getting all my learning just from campus campus, you know, on the other hand, I think I liked the notion that like this is a place where it's okay, like the really intellectual and be really into what you're studying. You know, I liked and I still do like the multidisciplinary nature of the U of C where you're honing your your writing skills, you know, again like in school like I actually I found like classes that involve writing and think. Skills actually like easier. You know, I had some idea like double majoring in in physics and economics and drop the physics part. Pretty fast because like for me. I'm very good with concrete problems at involve numbers data. So probabilities, you know, geometry was good at because it was just very concrete algebra was good at once you get to abstract, and you're like doing proofs like solving equations like that's not how my brain works as well. And so I was particularly good at like at that part. And you recognize that well you were here. I mean, you came to also out of self away. Also. You know, you're trying to have fun, right? I mean, I think I felt like in. In high school ahead like repressed a fair amount of that hurt because you're spending every weekend at a debate tournament literally. And so you're not necessarily like working on like your social life or whatever. And so, but yeah, I know I had a lot of funding college. I kind of made sure that like what's my rule that like every week I had to get off campus at least once going out for tacos or going to a cubs game. It was just at the time. You know, when I go to ninety six or two thousand at the very Sammy Sosa time. Yeah. Yeah. So star that window you could still kind of go, and like, and like some would say, you take it for fifteen bucks. And it was a pretty good. See just kind of be spontaneous. You know member? You know, one time like it was raining. And then so people are like oh. Takes her fifteen bucks. It was like Kerry wood against Tom glavin, and we like sat behind home plate, so total style. Contrasting those two pitchers. I like the White Sox to a lot of fun times at what was then called Comiskey park. But, but yeah, so experiments still call it that. Yeah. Well, I think finally what is it? No. It's not even you know, it's guaranteed rate field, and you know, with all due respect to the White Sox seasons ticket holder what a lousy name for and their emblem is their logo is an arrow going down which is not the logo. You want on your stadium? But if they signed Bryce Harper with money, well Chato is the guy they're going after back to this. We'll get back to baseball in a second. I have to confess that I've had some nights ruined by painful heartburn and acid reflux. So now here comes med Klein met Klein is a comfortable acid reflux pillow system that keeps you in the best sleeping position for natural relief. No, more sliding down a wedge or putting blocks under your bed frame. No more dangerous medication and no more suffering. The med Klein system is available. Three sizes and has a patented arm pocket. So you can sleep comfortably on your side without pressure on your shoulder. The soft supportive body pillow keeps you from rolling to your back. So you could get the rest you desert if you're suffering with nighttime heartburn, you have to try med clientele night for more information. Visit goodnight heartburn dot com. Enter the code AFC checkout for fast, free shipping. That's good night. Heartburn dot com or call eight hundred six one zero one six zero seven to learn more and try med Klein today. You spent one year in London. Yeah. At the London School of economics during your college years, and then you you came back. And then when you graduated you with your degree in economics. You went to KPMG as a transfer pricing consultant, very, which sounds just dreadfully Warren. No, it sounds like some job out of the office or something. I would highly recommend. Going abroad. I mean, I think like, you know, literally, kind of expands your world, align, I just think in general people should travel a lot period. Whether it's on the cheap as a student or more luxuriously or whatever else the one big downside to traveling in your junior year. Is that kind of leaves you with this like rump of a senior year way. You're not quite sure what to do with it. Right. Probably you still have some of the same friends, but some people have have moved on. Right. If you knew people who were seniors before they're already gone, all of a sudden. Right. And so like all of Li like a little bit drifting. And I'm not really sure that like that. I thought that much about what I wanted to do. It wasn't should interrupt and say one thing I read is that you came back from there in and you told your parents you were gay. Yeah. So easy way out or you. Go to London. Okay. I'll fucking different countries the continent. And so that can solve that problem. How did they had have they received that they were supportive? I mean, I, you know, they're like they're good liberal. Parents basically. But you know, people forget like how much it changes even like year to year. Right. We're like, you know, if if I were like two year, again, I'm forty one now or seventy eight if I was like two years younger or two years older, it would kind of make a lot of difference. But you're kind of on the cusp of like of where it became much less of a big deal. I suppose, obviously, you know, you see gay marriage legalized and whatever else, but like, but that was a big people forget in two thousand eight three democratic candidates cleaning Bama, where all at least sensibly sort of opposed to gay marriage, right? And so opposed again comfortably. Yeah. And that wasn't very long ago. And so it changes fast the exact kind of year in which you're born is is relevant wrote a piece actually when the supreme court made its ruling on gay marriage about your own journey. But also about the the pace of change. Yeah. Which is extrordinary and partly not, partly but probably a function of the modern media environment. You know, advancing these things at a much more. Yeah. I think. What I think trip people up for a long time is that you know, the fifties through. Well, I guess the sixties aren't really good example. But with the exception of the sixties the importance of the sixties fifties to the nineties were a period where things were just very stable, which is good. And a lot of ways it means. There are few were recessions, there was less inequality and so on and so forth. Well, they'll much more like racial, and you know, inequality and so on but like, but. You know? That's civility is actually kind of like an outlier over the course of American history. More broadly, and and politics are tumultuous one friend who's really into like, literally political theater. So like these little shows in the in the east village, you know, you like when you kind of see a show about like, what was it like in Hungary, kind of amidst the rise and fall of like, oh my gosh. Right. Like throughout the world. Things are crazy all the time in their regimes that are brutal and and oppressive in life, people struggle to have have freedom people struggle to live. Well, and like and there's tremendous upheaval that can change over the course of of, you know, months or years so tavist very long stable period in the US from the fifties to the nineties, I kind of kind of trick people into thinking, that's that's the normal period. And that's how politics normally are. Now every. Thing is. So is so crazy now when when American history is full of there's no doubt. I mean when people say, oh, this is the worst it's ever been in this country where we fought a civil war. You know? So you have to put it in perspective. But I do think that because we're being bombarded constantly with messages all the time. There is the sense of kind of frenetic change. And I wonder how much that is driving some of the, you know, these these very sharp political divides, not just here. But you know, you see it in Europe and elsewhere, but it, you know, having lived through all of this. But the the the the the pace at which attitudes toward gay marriage. Changed was pretty astonishing. You know, it was. But I think like. The lesson from that. Is that attitude can also change in a less progressive direction. Absolutely pretty fast. You know? I thought people were to say, okay. Well, things always gonna you know, you experienced progress. Well, maybe you do six ten times. He's become more progressive but still four to ten times. They don't you still experience. It's kind of big jolts toward toward a lot of reaction toward immigrants, for example. The revival of more explicit forms of racism in parts of Europe and the United States. I would argue that the the pace of change yields these backlashes, you know, so, you know, I think what's animating a lot of what we see in the base of Trump's most vocal base and the Brexit movement. What you've seen in in Hungary. What you see in France? And and and Italy, you know, is is driven. It is a reaction. It's reactionary politics. And and. Think the pace of change has something to do with it. So you are transfer pricing consultant, I don't wanna waste a lot of time talking about what that entail, but whatever it entailed. It was enough to drive you into poker. Yeah. Transfer pressing consulting involves trying to figure out how I was trying to give. Explanation that made it sound interesting. And there's not really would. It's how companies price their goods and services within the company, so they can meet tax authorities in different countries. Right. If you sell a semiconductor from Singapore to the United States, and how do you price that to make sure you're not taking advantage of the US by having all your profit in Singapore? Which is lower texture section. You're basically like trying to like work with companies to improve their tax situation without getting audited early. So it was not really something that was very excited about this was however a period where there was a poker, boom. Or would I kind of call it poker? Bubble more. So two thousand three Chris moneymaker when the World Series of poker? He was guy who had been kind of had a job like mine, he was an accountant at delight into sh. Like paid twenty bucks. Parents his story is like he like enhanced the legends. That's not strictly true. But a legend was that like he twenty bucks to enter qualifying tournament won a ticket to the real World Series of poker in in Las Vegas, and then one that to twenty bucks into two and a half million dollars or whatever. And so this combined with poker being be good with numbers to say. That's a pretty good return a very good return on investment. But also when you see poker on TV. Then you get a very. Edited version of what what poker is like, we're number one. You kind of put yourself in the shoes of the winner of the protagonist. They it's that Chris moneymaker looks like he's always making good decisions kind of underplays the role of luck. Was his name. Really Chris money made pretty much made for TV. Yes. Very very spot on a little on the nose. In fact, was there like a Joe never wins Joan era. I mean. These guys were kind of old like 'cause now the poker's dominated by it's gone through phases now on like younger kids, quote, unquote. They don't necessarily have a ton of personality. Although a lot of the better players are really interesting people, and I think. Are able to have two sources of income or they play poker? But they also coach teach or have YouTube channels or or write books or whatever else I'm still friends with with several poker players because they're actually made a living for a couple of years. A couple of pretty good living. Right. Yeah. I think I made. You know, some of the hundred fifty K one year and two hundred thirty K one year and the next year like lost seventy K and quit. But they were very juicy games for awhile. You had a lot of new players weren't that. Good. And where were you playing in Vegas or no ninety or ninety five percent of is is online. You know, part of it was like, I don't know how technical you wanna get how you decide. How do you read someone's poker face online? You don't you're trying to play the so what I would do I would play more aggressively than than other people. And it turns out I've only been talking to you for half an hour. But this doesn't surprise me somehow. But like, in fact, if you follow like the game theory approach to poker you're supposed to play quite aggressively. You're supposed to bluff a lot because you don't bluff than people have no reason to like call you down when you have good hands. And so people wouldn't play Gresley enough. I didn't like every analyze this in a proper way. It was just kind of you intuitive by repeated trial and temps, right? No here. These hands that you're not supposed to play. But like the add to my repertoire, and actually all these are pretty profitable for me. She kind of learned through trial and error just kind of being like being competitive and how many hours a day. Would you spend on this? I would spend I would say would spend twenty five hours a week. I mean, it's like five hours actually playing poker to me online for online you're often playing three or four tables at once. Right. Some people would play like fifteen or twenty. I couldn't do that. Because I wanted to concentrate more individual gangs. It's like it's talked about things very taxing mentally like playing poker where you're really concentrating is very taxing. And so, you know, so twenty five hours. I mean, we can talk about like how productive our people in their weeks a twenty five hours of like of my week. Now, I mean spend twenty five really really productive hours in a week. I hope so most weeks especially in the peak of election periods. But I work, quote, unquote, seventy hours, even though or eighty hours not as much anymore, but still, you know, but a lot of reading reading Twitter kind of thinking about something when you're at the gym, right and like going to meetings, and so it's not necessarily highly productive time. So like twenty five really productive hours playing poker or twenty hours a week like writing or things are these really high intensity tasks is a quivalent to like, seventy hours of medium intensity. No doubt. No, that's an impressive. That's impressive number. You also in this period. I guess still when you're when you were working for KPMG you developed a a system. That called the player. Empirical comparison optimization test algorithm. The name is kind of it wasn't. It was because you were playing off of a guy named Koda. Yeah. Who was serving average player for the Detroit Tigers when you were growing up. So a talk about talk about that. Because that was sort of the that was the pathway to your next engagement. Yes. So so behind the code I would say to real innovations. Only both gonna borrow from other people. What is the idea of using similarity scores? So Bill James has had this thing, for example, where we talked about before talking about like Frank Robinson, for example, you'd find like who are the players in history who are similar passed away. PC was a he was a really giant figure in the game. But you know, building heads things culture malaria escorts, you can look up and say who are similar players to Frank Robinson. Well, you know, Hank. Aaron might be might be one good. They want to ample there, aren't too many. When you get that. Good, right. You know, Willie Mays is faster, but not a terrible comparable. Frank robinson. But you know, I kind of realized okay Bill James, what do that to be backward-looking? So we're now looking back at Frank Robinson's career, we'll say we're looking back at someone who was a more not as eminently great as as Frank Robinson near looking back at Scott Rolen, for example, and the bidding should Scott Rolen be in the hall of fame. You kind of say, oh, actually this that like had numbers like Scott Rolen are in the hall of fame or the aren't or whatever else. But I thought what if you're actually using that to make projections with you look at a guy who might be twenty one years old, you know, Kris Bryant a few years ago, and he has various promising skills, but there's also the ghost of Gary, Scott or other former cubs prospects are their based project to burned out and see say what's a whole set of comprom- players that we can look at as a predictive exercise in the second part that stems from that is the notion of probabilistic forecast. So instead of saying, okay, you know, Kris Bryant will hit to ninety one with thirty four homers one hundred six RBI's next year. Right. Well, the one I can guarantee is that he's not gonna hit exactly to Ninety-one slash thirty four slash one six if you're lucky will be within a few of each of those categories. So the notion of like saying which takes the season didn't have very good year last year. Yeah. You take that probably. Yeah. It's a good year. But like, but if you being explicit about quantifying, the uncertain Tina forecast, and of course, you see for for young players. There's more. Upside and more downside for injured players, more, upside more downside. But so that kind of touched off this notion that probability which figures into into later work that we would do at five thirty eight you C O. Epstein we've sat across the table or eight table talking for this podcast. And actually I spent a lot of time with the oh because I wrote piece for the New Yorker about the cubs of years ago. And he said with just about the same level of enthusiasm as you have. He said, you know, we know about three percent of the game. And he said, and I'm just trying all the time to understand. And my my team might my my the guys I work with like another one percent of the game. What are the insights that we can gain by kind of combing through data? And and of course, he's been very successful. With that. You know, he was one of the early. Great successes with continues to be how much has data analysis. Changed sports. Oh, it's totally transformed. I mean, particularly baseball and basketball. I mean, I'm a stay the way that the way that baseball is played now with the focus on on strikeouts. With the ways that relief pitchers are used with with defensive shift -sition where I think they've actually been overused and now hitters readjusting. And so you often can make the mistake in politics or sports are other things we system as static. Yeah. When it's dynamic, right? Like the first time like someone trying to shift it was really problematic. Right. But like, but if you repeat that they and their professional athletes and their smart guys, some of them, and they adjust and adapt. And then all of a sudden probably isn't great against professional history hitter. Half the field uncovered that they can figure out how to how to work around that. But yeah, I mean, it certainly transformed baseball. You know, I think, you know, once you turn forty you're allowed to like be a in about some things, you know, I don't happen to love the very strikeout focused. Visit home runs and strikeouts are dominating Yano. And it's it's it's not as much fun as when you know, your plane hit and run, and no it's not as much fun. It's redundant and like going four and a half minutes now between the average ball in play. I mean that is that is problematic. I think baseball for a long time sort of denied that it was a problem. And I think they're starting to pay more of a price for it basketball. Also, unmistakably changed with focus on on three pointers, and you have to be a math genius to figure out that if you get three three for one kind of basket and two points for another maybe should focus on raising three advantage. And at the point now where like, you know, even the best Kevin Durant shooting an uncontested brain shot. That's a good shot. But that's the absolute tip of the iceberg for like for like win a. Amid range to is worth it period. You know, I actually do think that like the NBA's a very attractive phase now. And in that case, it's led to the game being more interesting and more wide open. Go back and look at clips of basketball from the fifties. Bunch of tol dudes like with their squeak squeaking sneakers standing in the paint. And like it's like not very attractive. And now, I think basketball's really interesting, actually, probably follow basketball. More than baseball now in part because by the way, like if you do cover campaigns for a living. Yes, then that's really problematic for baseball. Because every other year the climax of the campaign coincides with the climax of the baseball season. Whereas the other three sports are kinda perfect. You're done right with campaign early November. The season's just starting NFL. He can see the second half of the season, the NHL, whatever just kind of being in this line of work has probably it's well, this good segue. You you you writing for baseball prospectus after your poker years and probably during your poker's. And and then you started bringing some of your data analysis to the daily Cho's, and you you in the two thousand eight election became kind of a FINA. Yeah. I mean, this wasn't exactly planned. So I started getting into following politics. More seriously for a couple of reasons one of which was in in two thousand six they were efforts by the Republican congress to ban online poker. Which actually succeeded. But in this kind of beckon they attached like some other Bill very last minute. But that got me way in to tracking the mechanics of congress and the Senate and how bills worked I knew something about politics. But like, I don't know. Right. But not a lot. But so then all skinny until the twenty six midterm where it was like, okay. The hope is that number one that Republicans aren't able to pass a Bill now number two that like Democrats sick over at least one chamber of congress because then to save video poker to save to save poker. And it's not Democrats were particularly pro poker. But like you're gonna have gridlock harder to get things done. Good for my polka career. If you have a split in government. And so, but yeah, your special interest is what you were sort of. Yeah. That got me more into like following real clear politics and site like that and tracking the different Senate races and so forth. And the other thing though, honestly was like a little bit being in Chicago and having. Having a bomb run where it was kind of like, okay? This is not the type of same politician that like you're used to seeing Ron right? He's kind of cool guy. He's from Chicago. He's kind of geek in his own way. Right. He's a black guy when you've never had a black president. Yeah. He actually seems to be very popular. And so a lot of ways as you see connection. I remember when he ran for for congress against Bobby rush and got his butt kicked. And data analysis before he decided that he probably could have right time campus hipster thing like Barack Obama who the hell is that? This congressional race on every speaking at the C shop or whatever. But like, but it was kind of it was that. And it was also feeling like I was a little bored with with poker games. Because of that law were starting to dry up a lot where kind of let things ambiguous territory where in poker wasn't quite band. But you couldn't really like it was cumbersome to play. And that meant that bad player players didn't play in poker gets only. Good players, not very fun or profitable. You know, feeling like the baseball thing had had sort of run. Its course maybe to Theo's comment that was arrogant. Right. But it kind of felt like okay now, are you are in the business of baseball. He's in the business of. Yes. I mean, he loves it. It's obviously a passion. But he also has a pecuniary incentive to try and find that extra one percent of. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I I felt like. You know, the moneyball revolution had occurred. Although I think it was like much more of a bloodless revolution. That was much more a synthesis synthesis of data plus scouting kind of good management practices than people might assume. It wasn't quite as much of a not a bloody war. So you know, you you you. You your data analysis, basically took various factors. The most of which was polling data and develop probability models for outcomes we had a guy a young guy who was a field guy for us. I think in Iowa named Dan Wagner, a fellow graduate of the university Kogyo who you probably know. And he came to us in the Obama campaign and said, you know, I think I can make some reasonable assumptions about who is likely to be voted for us, and how likely they are vote, and I can segment the electric based on probabilities, and he he tried it out in Iowa. And and then, you know, by two thousand twelve we had a fifty seven person data analytics unit in the campaign, but his. Even though the techniques were similar in some ways. He also was doing different things because he was taking thousands of points of data about voters and trying to make suppositions about individual voters. You're doing something different. Yeah. In opposite. In the sense that what we're doing very macro, focus. We're not trying to to convince voters to do anything. We're trying to say, okay. What are people thinking right now? And how predictive is that? And where the uncertainties. What are the complexities of like the electoral college were how much vote, you know, high. Oh correlated with vote in Pennsylvania is a problem that you have to solve. If you're looking at polls should use a fewer number of pulse in her more recent or take a longer running average. I mean, these are all technical things that you have to spend how you evaluate a pose. And one of the things you've done is you've assigned wait two more way to pulse at have a a strong predictive record and part of a lot of what our our. My miles are designed like in some ways, it's like Mary like much on ought to put up like you're playing defense a little bit where it's like, okay. What happens if you have like a really weird outlier poll come in? You know, how robust is my model to weird things that can happen in the electorate weird things can happen in the data. A lot of times people say, well, I have a model and it works in our these in that and X Y and conditions. You know, I don't really think it's terribly useful. It's easy when you have a model or not to get the calls. Right. It's like what do you do about the weird like edge cases instead, but at the same time politics in sports are a little different in the sense that that campaigns have always been pretty sophisticated about data, and the Obama campaign might have been the most sophisticated ever. But it's not like it's not like Karl rove was Trump with this stuff either. And so there it was more like the campaigns were doing it. And the media was not very state-driven. The flip side of that from from sports where it was a teams that we're kind of old fashioned. And it was Bill James who, you know, kind of outside out shooters I began writing on blogs, and sometimes making into more mainstream media and whatever else, and then the teams kind of adopting it. So the factory was a little bit different. So you were Bill James in this analogy, I'm saying it because I know you don't want to you probably don't wanna claim overclaim. But you're not over claiming you were the first guy who brought that kind of of discipline and orientation to how media organizations looked at polling data. I I mean there were other efforts. I mean, there was like the Princeton election consortium and things like that. And like, I think some of those were were goods, and then we're not as good. But it was a combination of like of being a pretty good statistician and being pretty good communicator. And having being like a eight out of ten on. Both those skill sets and said being a ten on one and two on the other. I think was important for that getting forty nine out of fifty states where I in two thousand eight was helpful to it was helpful to. Although I don't know probably talk about the event is in a minute. You'll see tonight which probably find recording of Austin. I talk about that, you know, to me that's not necessarily the best way to evaluate forecasts. And one of the things it's like a little frustrating for me. I think we actually I think the best forecast we ever issued was when we issued in two thousand sixteen because it's so much less. Yeah. Bullish thought path on Hillary cross chances for the right reasons because they're all undecided voters because he liked to college help Trump because all these outcomes different states were correlated. So she underperformed just here in the mid west at alone could cost her the presidency from my standpoint like that was like the best model ever designed because it kind of. Sought things that other people missed for the right reasons, you know, ninety nine hundred people on the street, we'll say no, you said Hiller was seventy one percent or whatever. And therefore, you're wrong and therefore two thousand eight or twenty eight team the models were very good those are two years. And so so that is one thing you learn actually from from poker into some extent sports. Also in poker in sports. Like you have repeated trials to play eighty two MBA games. A year to baseball games in poker? The minute you win or lose a hand. You the next hand is dealt to you. Why you're collecting your chips or shipping ship over the other player? And so you really get repeated trials, and you learn that like, you know, it really is ninety percent about process. You know? Yes, if you have like bad outcome after bad after bad outcome. Then you have to reexamine and say is there something wrong with my process, but it's like it's being very process focused. It's you know, it's like impo cliff. You make tough Foale your opponent shows. You a bluff it's not getting tilted by that saying, you know, what against his entire range of hands is a pretty easy fold in the fold will make money in the long run. And so, you know, so having that or you nation. Is one thing. I don't care about politics where things are. So are so reactive and everything is so like, okay. Well, this got screwed up this way last time. So it's like overcompensate. Yeah. In the direction again. Well, this is yeah. We tend in politics to look backward returned to pal in politics to sit on the back of the bus look backward. And that's you know, I think the successful campaigns sex successful politicians are looking forward and saying you know, what what is what is new. What is going? What is different? What is going to drive? This thing in a different way. You know, it is important to point out. If you say the probability of her winning seventy one percent that means that in almost one of three instances, it's Kris Bryant getting a base it. But also it's also about where you realatively to other people if we had said that like Hillary had a seventy percent chance and everyone else was like, oh, Trump is the favorite, and I don't think we would be saying as much. Much about like actually good forecast square on the wrong side of the argument in this case, the commission was was that Trump had either no chance or a snowball's chance in hell, but not much better than that. Which I think is not what the data said. And so there also was a an I think I was guilty of it as well. There wasn't elite media bias that just there was a sense of incredulity that he could win. So that I think influenced the analysis of what was in front of. Yeah. I know for sure it was like if you had had John casick with the exact same polls. And you kind of had a trial of this in in two thousand twelve where you had, you know, Oba very consistently had an electoral college advantage against Mitt Romney with the exception. Maybe you could tell me section may be a time around the first debate. Where really got quite close. Yeah. I will tell what. We'll tell you just real since you asked is that we actually had gained quite a bit. When we had gained three points really didn't deserve in our own polling. We were set six seven points up after Romney made that era in which he talked about the forty seven percent. I always say that in our in a spirit of charity. We gave it all back in the first day on that. We never I never felt. I don't think anything in our modeling ever suggested to us that the basic structure of the race was was was altered much. No. And and you know, the campaigns are actually good about like isn't a case where the campaigns are often more sophisticated than in the media discussion. There also off I know, for example, that the Clinton campaign after the access Hollywood tape was worried because they thought that this is a little bit of a sugar high that will deflate. Inte- last three weeks. Now, they weren't worried to the point where they thought they were going to lose. But you know, but they thought okay. Well, this might might tighten up a bit. And so maybe if some contingency were to happen say that after FBI director saying there might actually be some evidence after all, you know, I mean so that affected things. But yeah. Well, I mean, that's the difficulty is that there are two elements that seems to me kind of defy some of what you do one is are these executives events that you can't. And I want to make clear since you entered access Hollywood that I'm saying exaggerates, not erogenous exaggerates events. And the second thing is that people are there. There is a non linear kind of element to this. How people react to personalities, you know, and you know. I know your analysis, and I wanted to ask you about this about the what the presence of a Howard Schultz would do first of all it's impossible to make these judgments with great precision a year in advance. But what what a what a or more than a year in advance really to almost two years in advance. But and you used a battery of issues to show that Trump had voters who were socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but it's not entirely true. That people vote only on the basis of what their issue positions. No, they don't and might see shelf, especially liberal guy from from from Brooklyn. Although I think. Democrats have been Seattle or Seattle. Right brooklyn. Right. And he talks about like that's now become warier of like. Okay. So first of all he does not formulate the best contrast to Trump where another another billionaire who says, hey, we'd businessman to come in from the outside another older white guy. Another guy who had as Trump did with the USF L kind of dalliance impressions sports ended, you know. Well Schultz actually did but his ended badly for the people of Seattle. It could be talking about like how ship is team to Oklahoma City. Okay. Or the Seattle Sonics has three pronged dynasty with James harden. But but yeah, no it looks. So some don't mean to claim that like oh sheltered actually hurt Trump. But but it is true that like traditionally those libertarian ish voters are Republican leaning, and it was true. Even in twenty six team where there's a lot of focus on on. Trill issue. So it depend on kind of how Schultz ran the campaign. I mean and also who the nominees are. I mean, one of the things you wrote in you wrote a piece that I was very motivational to me in the November of two thousand in eleven a New York Times magazine covered because you created five thirty eight New York Times took took it on. And the piece was called his Obama toasts front page piece in the magazine. And so I took that as a personal challenge to make sure that he wasn't toast. But I don't begrudge that. Because at the time the data suggested that he was Volna Rable. We didn't have an opponent at the time. However, and one of the things that happens in elections as their dynamic process when you have an opponent, it's not just a referendum on who you are. It's also a by, you know, sometimes a binary sometimes more choice these questions like would you vote to to reelect president acts. I don't think. I was thinking very useful questions. You know, it's also not particularly useful to ask about a candidate. Who in the first phase is not very well known necessarily the second phase, which by the way, right now, Joe you wrote about the day, you have a model to an early model to try and understand the democratic primary process. Joe Biden is sitting now in if you aggregate them probably about thirty percents yet in the democratic race. And look he he has obviously he has qualities and strengths. Maybe people think that he can he's the guy who can be Trump there. There are a lot of factors here. But it's also true that he is better known as Bernie Sanders is better known in there. It's no coincidence that they're number one and number two in this race rate. No. And sometimes sometimes it holds up. I mean, you know, something like half the time the early polling leader wins. But you don't usually have these big complex fields where you're gonna have, you know. By my count, something like probably eleven or twelve. Credible. Democratic candidates. I'm not going to get angry emails who I think is credible candidate. And who isn't? But eleven or twelve people that I think really have a chance without something really weird happening. And you know, let's kind of chaotic it's like literally like a game of billiards where you kind of break in like fifteen or twelve balls, balancing everywhere, like unintended things will will happen in Corinne off win. Another you think about the, you know about the GOP where what if Chris Christie who kind of chummy with Trump and kind of for whatever reason had like if indebted against Marco Rubio. Boy, I think he was a man from jersey and that cat bait up him, but that hadn't happened. What if the narrative had been okay now, Trump lost Iowa? And then maybe. Maybe Rubio gets surgeon New Hampshire said of casick and then Rubio wins. I don't know. I tend to think that the Trump thing as someone who was very skeptical about Trump's chances to win the nomination. So it we'll take blame for that that first half of it. Right. But like, but you know, but you can imagine a scenario where things turn out a little differently in. And you know, it was also fairly late into the campaign. It looked like he might have a contested convention for the GOP. And I think voters said, you know, what the alternative is a convention where we probably wouldn't with Trump anyway, Ted Cruz. We'll just go with Trump. This is this is this is my point. Which is there are limits to what their elements what you can do because all you can do is work with data in front of you. And there's so many elements that are beyond the scope of what's on that page that in a very dynamic process involving human beings, and the reaction that other human beings have to them and so on, but you did create this model. And you acknowledge Biden's Biden standing, but I suggested that the the level of attention that people are paying among his supporters suggests that there's more casual commitment, and you you, and you suggest and I I know you have a sort of this then diagram of five different categories of segmenting, the democratic electric, but your conclusion was that an additional by Beddoe Rourke and comma Harris looked you at the starting point as the candidates who may have the best chance to navigate the process. So this is this is not a four math matico model. It's more of a a mental model that we turn into something that we call the five the five corners democratic primary. So it's what we think of as the five major constituencies, which are party loyalists. Our party stylish voters more moderate, but they're often often women off an older kind of core. Hillary demographic there is the left which is sizable. There is millennials who are. There could be overlap here. So searing all five groups, right? There are black voters are Hispanic voters. If you wanna put Asian voters with Hispanics or consider them, a a six little mini group, or whatever then put them where were you want increasing democrat, increasingly important constituency, but he is who is a candidate who can AP L to like at least three or these five major constituencies. And so who checks boxes? Well, you know, Kamala Harris is someone who I think will do well with African Americans. I think in California has very multiethnic coalition. So also popular with Hispanics, Asians. I think we'll do well with. With party stablishment voters, think of her as strong and able to take on Trump, and she's raised a lot of money and has the most Renault small fame in the with no small thing. But in a press California's playing earlier, and maybe millennials think that like, okay? Well, you know, she's kind of cool looking and she's tough in like and her social media metrics are are pretty good. Maybe the left actually she's not left enough for the left. But she's also she's not a moderate in either. And so they can probably learned with with Barack Obama partly? He was against the war in Iraq. So that gave him some. But there's something about being an African American or in her case Jamaican indian-american. Yeah. Candidate that gives a certain presumptions to you, hammers Gelo, more latitude in a certain authenticity there that I think, and I think a lot of millennials are also very very concerned about like, you know, do we really want? Like, just like white men was the Democratic Party when when forty percents or you know, what percent of the Democrats are actually white, man. It's like probably like like twenty five percent or something. Right. And so shouldn't like the candidates like reflect the composition of the party itself. And so and so yeah. And so so she does. Well, by that metric, I think I think beta if he were to run is also someone who would have different arguments different group, so millennials. I think would obviously he's did very well among young in Texas. Got a lot vote for the first time and excited them around the country. Yeah. You know, he is not Hispanic. However, he represents an extremely Hispanic district represented in Texas. And so you have to give some credit for that. And I think like again with the party loyalists thing people would see him as electable we can debate with that means and sometimes it's probably easier. For a good looking white guy to be seen as electable. What is painting? More optimistic message. You know instincts are sometimes they're weird. I think he's actually had if it's a roll offer campaign. I think it's like not what been a particular rollout. Had I have mixed feelings about that. I on the one hand as a guy who's been around this long time. I have the same view on the other hand. It was exactly that sort of kind of you know, open and sharing of his thoughts and his encounters and so that made him popular and it's a little bit. Like when you read all of these travelogues of his in a row, there is a kind of narrative art that sort of leads to and so, and I think that's what we're what we're going to see we should point out though, that there are different their overlying elements of this that, you know, are could be mitigating factors. There's a process, and it starts an Iowan starts in New Hampshire. And if you bomb out in those two places. Whatever your potential down the line. They tend to filter out a lot of candidates. And so thinking about like, you know, there are some candidates who have more obvious passed others in the early states. So come Harris, I think would say well, first of all, California, potentially. We'll begin early voting on same day as Iowa. So she'll say, you know, what I would New Hampshire. That's fine. They're small stays don't have very many delegates to white. It's a relic of an old process. And so I'm going to do very well in California can do very well, Nevada, whether a lot of California transplants, Wendy, very well. As one of the couple of black candidates in South Carolina. Right. And so she has added her theory of the case, they call it the Pac twelve yeah. SEC theory and Amy Amy club char could say, right. Like, I'm from Minnesota. I could do well in Iowa that will catapult I do think that whoever wins. I think the notion that comma will dominate California unless she does well in those early states, whoever does do, well if someone else if bell Rourke where to win the Iowa caucuses, and maybe if he's going to get votes in California, Biden could get votes. So, you know, I think these are formidable candidates, I have no idea what's going to happen. I'm just trying to underscore. The fact that. Predictive models at this point are subject to a lot of and look and one thing I think we're pretty good at five thirty eight is, you know, we have things we call all models, but our formal official forecast model where we say this has an extra chance to win Weiss state. We're pretty awful about when we put that out, right? Because at this early stage, then as much as like a data driven guy at this early stage me, and you having a conversation about this or me and my team thirty eight going out and looking at data and talknet campaign field. Right. Right. And watching the reaction that other people have and reading other things that's probably more robust, right? I think when you're a week away from Iowa, we would say, we have our polling average, maybe accounts for whatever other regional ingredient there is empirically tested and an ignore the discourse, we wouldn't say that now, right? If and so many things are going to look foolish. The one thing though, it occurs to me is like all these. Very interesting the one perception that seems to have completed there was that like the Democrats have like a bunch of lightweights, and they're not gonna be able to find any nominee against Trump. And now, you know, you see a vacuum trust people in. And so you see people saying, hey, look, you know, number one you had the Democratic Party dominated by by the Clintons and by Obama, even call a Bama a dynasty, quite right. But like, you know, so there's a power Beckham there because Obama can't run again in the Clintons are picture. You know, and number two there is an opportunity to be Trump and people probably think that Trump is a forty percent approval rating in the shutdown went really badly. Like, and hey, if I don't run now there might not be not particularly in twenty twenty four. There might be a democrat president already. And then I can't rental twenty thirty everyone running including people, I think, frankly, like might have been better my been better biding their time, but everyone's running and Democrats I think feel enthusiastic about their field. But to kind of get back to the point like, you just care about general election polling when you have a candidate who running in the context of the primary, and then all of a sudden, they kinda shifted in general election mode. I mean, I'm sure you remember. No that in two thousand eight when you know, look this. You may disagree. I think two thousand eight wasn't election, whereas economy got worse and worse over the course of the year. I think it was a general election. Democrats had a lot of advantages. Oh, there's no doubt. I don't disagree with you at all. I would argue the two thousand twelve was strategically a much more complex for sure that's not one of those things that was obvious right run hell scenario where the economy was still very sluggish and like a Bama had tried these things that some which works in which there was a big tea party backlash and Romney was a competent opponent. It's not the hard to tell a story of of you know, twenty twelve where Romney wins. It is hard to tell two thousand eight story McCain win, but there was a period in in April may the kind of nastiest most dragged out fights in the primary where a bomb pulling its became was was pretty awful because the information flow about among was very negative because. Critiquing him because he was probably going to be the nominee at that point. And he'll still find forty nine percents Democrats because one forty I was very evenly split. We're also, you know, anti-obama, and and again, I would say Obama overall it was treated pretty well by the press. But you know, the press also wanted to see the contest play out. It's a lot more fun seeing every state matter, and may and June and having to write your kind of general election prebaked style to have this feeling that people I think Democrats wanted to see a longer may maybe not even consciously, but you had a guy who was four years out of the state Senate. And I think everybody wanna see him run the gauntlet, you know, just show what he had an, and I think it was a proving ground for him that ultimately cemented. His and there is there is something great about seeing. Sink all fifty states matter. Yeah. In the primaries really are that way, especially democratic primary where everything is so proportional that delegate in Idaho is as worthwhile as delegate in Ohio. In fact, IDO turned out to be a critical one of the critical states for Obama around the time of the Super Tuesday. Right. So you can use because we, you know, Obama campaign netted more I think our margin in Iowa in terms of delegates was greater than Hillary Clinton's in New Jersey the same day, just because we so dominated that stay listen, I could talk to you forever because we share these weird passions. But I have to ask you this last question, and let me just say anybody who enjoys and is interested in passionate about politics or sports or science or the other subjects that you cover five. Three eight is a great read. It's always a great read, no matter when you look look at it. And so I I uh. I highly recommend it. But I gotta ask you this. Last question. Do you ever say to yourself? It be kind of fun to be inside a one of these things and play with these huge databanks that they have and sue what I could do with them strategically. I I think my thinking is two different. And also like whatever went to work for a sports team. And I think it's different because like I like to have my work be public. I like when I have no idea to be able to to write about it and have lots of people read the article or going podcast and talk about it or tweet about it. You know, that's where I kind of derive like gratification from. You know, I do think about like because I have these different interests that we've very generously middle to talk about today. I do think at times like, you know, do I really want to be spending the rest of my life doing election models and election stuff? When I you know, I like poker. I like sports. But like I also would like to write another book, and he's only went takes about Satistics or whatever else. So I definitely do think about like about like these campaigns and kind of like they're kind of like, I mean is there like it's kind of like very Olympian like cycles where they build up, and it's a big climax every four years. Listen man, that was my life for three decades if you like in, but you can you can cook yourself right because like right now superior where I spend a lot of time in December and January like like, traveling, right? And like kind of one of the slower periods. Although not as those that used to be because Trump is making news every day. Boy, this democratic primary started really early, you know, a year for now be frozen in some shitty hotel in New Hampshire trying to cover the primary, right? And watching the Super Bowl from some TV in Manchester and whatever else right and like and like hoping there's like a WalMart or something you can buy beer and snacks and stuff. And like, so so it does get to be very much of a of a grind, and increasingly you kind of get swept up in it. And you don't really have these moments where you get to step back. And and pause. What's the sweeping up starts? Then you're kind of you're in it. And it goes very fast, and you're reacting to things in real time when covering on the inside and the outside, and so so, you know after period of time that got becomes a little bit exhausting. So I think about things that don't involve what I'm doing now. But I I. I think one of the things that would rank pretty low, and let's go we'd actually working for can tell you what whether you're writing and analyzing about a presidential race or whether you're on the inside of one it is exhilarating to be in New Hampshire and a shitty hotel room in in February. So I'm looking forward to it myself. There is there is an energy to it. I think even though like the primaries are much harder from like a modeling standpoint. I mean, the arched inherently unpredictable. I mean, the primaries are held a lot more fun than general election. We go one St. at a time where you know, you really do. Listen Isla because Iowa is more spread out because the caucus has much lower piss patient than a primary, but in New Hampshire really does feel like bowl week or something. And it's you know, January is actually very cold could be quite beautiful in New Hampshire's always a lot of snow and so forth. And like, you know, you are going to town to town. And like, it's very energizing, you know, probably. My favorite part of the campaign is that term between Iowa. And. Yeah. And you Hampshire. And then the election is like more of it is weird. Right. Where you have like the primaries like way longer than the election to. And so all these people, you know, all these, you know, Lisbeth Warren and Kamala and Bago and clo- char and Biden they're all gonna be in our lives for like for like a long time like next year and a half. So hopefully, they'll be entertained, well, at least this drama has a lot of characters. So you know, that'll be interesting. Yeah. Nate silver. Great to have you back here at the university of Chicago and really fun to thank. Thank you. Thank you for listening to the X files part of the CNN podcast network for more episodes of the X files. Visit X-Files podcast dot com. And subscribe on apple podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcast app from our programming from the university of Chicago institute of politics. Visit politics dot EU, Chicago dot EDU.

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Ep. 386 - Mayor Lori Lightfoot

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

1:05:09 hr | 6 months ago

Ep. 386 - Mayor Lori Lightfoot

"And now from University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN audio the axe files with your host. David Axelrod Lori. Lightfoot became mayor of Chicago year ago this week her tenure began with a acrimonious teachers strike. And it's ended with an epic pandemic sat down with her last week to talk about this baptism of fire aware. She thinks the viruses going and how she plans to open up her city plus her own remarkable story her journey from a small town in Ohio. The granddaughter of Sharecropper to become a prosecutor and ultimately a big city mayor and we got her status as America's first gay woman of color to lead a major American city. And here's that conversation mayor how are you? I'm doing well. You good good to see you so next week. May Twentieth One year in office. Hell the baptism you've had here. I mean you couldn't have imagined when you took that oath of office in Millennium Park a year ago that this is how you'd be marking your your first anniversary in office. How are you personally holding up? What's what is the emotional toll associated with having to lead a city through this kind of catastrophe issue might imagine it ebbs and flows. My personality is one where don't get too high and I don't get too low but certainly you know there are times when I feel like I'm I've reached maximum capacity and so I try to take some time for myself every day usually early in the morning. I'm an early riser. So I just kind of take some time to kind of slowly move into the day set myself emotionally and then I I definitely do it every night before I go to bed sometimes. I'm so tired and don't need to just fall asleep but you know there's a there's an expression In the Church that I grew up in about lane your burdens down. So what I try to do. Every night is just kind of let the what the burdens of the day to the side. Because they're going to be there the next day. I don't need to Russell with them all night long. You know easier said than done. Of course. That's a great quality. I need to take some lessons from you on that I've never quite mastered that. But that is it's important. How's your family doing you and your wife? Amy Have a twelve year. Old Vivian. Twelve year olds are not necessarily all that keen on being penned up inside. How's she doing she? She's doing fine. She starts her day off every morning with a zoom conference call from her teacher and with their classmates. So when I'm running out the door in the morning she's engaged in whatever the day's events are and then I come home at night. And she and her. She is discovered fortnight. So that's like the daily obsession between her and In varying groups of of friends. But you know it's hard I mean this. Be a time where she'd be out running tracks athletic kid. She missed a a lot of her basketball season because he had a broken leg so it was very looking forward to track and then covered hit so we tried to kind of get that as much exercise that we can reform enough to have a yard so we we do that but it's not the same. It's not the same you know being with your classmates every day and that kind of intimacy that close proximity rents but these are kids have grown up in the digital age with all these devices so it's probably a little bit different than when you and I were growing up. Speaking of the digital age you become quite the sensation online. Here you're a you're a viral sensation and you've been doing. You've you've done all these videos about how to occupy yourself at home you you've done. I guess parody of singing. You're baking. You're you've done a lot of some some crazy things that have really caught on with people. How how you eased into the role of a viral star. Well I I don't pay a lot of attention personally to social media but I've got a great creative team and when the memes started popping up and having me all over Chicago you know we wanted to kind of bring this message of Staying home to save lives We've done it in a parody of that a take off around census so we're trying to meet people where they are and this these memes caught fire. They kind of originated organically and so we rode the wave. That somebody else really started. Now Vivian catch you on tick tock in those places. So here's Vivians reaction. She's obsessed with Tik Tok and she's been trying to get Amien I to do with her and I'm like no. I'm not doing so when I came home that night and said by the way I just did my first talk. Of course the reaction was. I believe he did it with somebody else. And you didn't do. What made such as such the life of a twelve year old. Yes I remember that I remember that period. Listen you know. I was a city hall reporter when Harold Washington got elected mayor of Chicago you or the second elected African American Mayor of Chicago. One of the striking things about this pandemic is just how brutal it has been on communities of color. Those faultlines that you talked about during your campaign that you've talked about since they've been exposed in just a really tragic way Seventy five percent of the cases in Chicago reported cases have been in the black and Hispanic communities deaths half the deaths in Chicago among the African American community which is only thirty percent of the population. How do you process that? And what do we do about it? How do we begin to deal with the things that led up to this kind of tragedy? Well it's it's an enormous challenge and for me personally processing. Those realities has been hard when I first heard the data around. I'm African American The impacting Afric African-american Community. A immediately went to thinking about my mother. Now she doesn't live here but she's ninety one years old and has underlying conditions. I'm but the youngest of four and my siblings are older old enough that they fit into the demographic of over sixty and several have underlying conditions. So it's hard not to feel that personally but what I also knew is really important for us not to just drop this information on people but as you said to really come up with some concrete ways in which we as a city and then embracing our community partners could really respond to this because there is a need. I mean. It's not a secret that there are healthcare disparities inner city. It's not a secret that way. Too many people live in poverty and that black and Brown communities are cabot much higher rate of these underlying conditions that we now know. Are The death mill for Kovin. In Ninety three percent or higher than that of the people who have died had underlying medical conditions like diabetes heart disease upper respiratory disease. So that is a a haunting statistic and I think the way that I process it is to feel like we are doing something to address it that we were empowering people by giving them information that were connecting them up to healthcare systems. Whether it's a family doctor or a federally Qualified Health Center that we are being as responsive to close to the ground in these neighborhoods that are so dramatically affected and being empathetic. And making sure that we're doing everything. We can't afford those areas with resources. You know what worries me is that When when this goes when this lifts whenever that is in God knows we all hope that it's sooner rather than later that those same conditions will exist that made these communities vulnerable. You've talked a lot about and you've laid out ambitious visions and plans for trying to radically poverty in the city and getting to into these neighborhoods That are most vulnerable right now. It's also true that this viruses also eating away at cities revenues. Creating extraordinary budget concerns for you and you already had a situation where you have pension obligations that are growing that you're now responsible to deal with the stress of this. Is that when these things happen? The first communities that suffer are the communities that always suffer the poor the vulnerable. How do you want launch a war on poverty when you are in such a financial bind? I think we have no choice. I gave a speech last December to the Economic Club and then I spoke with them Yesterday and at the time in December I said that we can't be a great global city unless we focus on inclusive growth that we see the city as being something larger and bigger than the central business district. I repeated that message yesterday and while. Yes of. These problems are tough daunting. They were daunting before Govan. They're even more daunting now. But the thing that we've been doing all along and I've really push my staff is to not build temporary staff scaffolding. We don't want to put a band aid on a gaping. We're not going to solve the problem and innocent tiredly in the you know the months and the Ark of this virus but we've got to accelerate the plans that we previously had and start to address these longstanding problems now and that's precisely what we've done and then thinking about the budget and it's yeah it's the impact of this is significant. There's no question about it. I am grateful for the money that we've gotten from the federal government and got to give credit to of the Democrats in the house because we would have gotten a lot less but but for the leadership of the speaker and others to insist upon direct aid cities like Chicago. I'm hopeful that though we more because the care act money that we received already is constrained. We can only use that for covert responses and believe me. We're going to use it because we're GONNA need it but we need more support but we have to continue to speak our values even in these tough economic times if we shed and move away from those communities that are most in need right now. We're giving up on a huge swath of Chicago. We're saying that Chicago is not going to be two point. Seven million barely going to be two million because people will leave. The most of the people who are leaving are a people have colored poor people. Chicago's who really one of the only world-class cities where UC population declining. And that's where the decline is happening as exactly right and if we'd give up and say we can't afford to do the kind of investments that we can't afford to have inclusive economic growth. Were giving up on vision of Chicago that I just think is critically important to define who we are now and in the future. I I totally get that. I just don't know where the money comes from. Some of it may be from the voluntary contributions of those people. You were talking to yesterday at the Economic Club and the question is how much are they willing to put their money? Where your mouth is and try and Deal with some of these problems because it seems impossible that you can get money. You need simply taxpayers property. Taxes are high already. Yeah there's no there's no question I mean. We never envisioned that. We were going to have a the city of Chicago go it alone strategy we have to have partnerships partnerships in helping us. Think about what. The policy prescriptions should be but of course partnerships in terms of of the money in the revenue. And we've been very fortunate already when we announce for example are invest southwest program which is investing in exactly the same neighborhoods. Run out we put up money from the city but we were joined by be Mo Harris Bank to put up twenty million dollars and then we got another ten from starbucks and on and on. We can't do these things and move the needle the away without partnerships of the Philanthropy Rico up community but also the business community. I've always thought that to deal with the massive problems that go into the situation that these communities are in would require a massive response from the philanthropic community. The corporate community government simply doesn't have the resources to do everything that's necessary listened in addition to making people laugh You've also scared the hell out of people and you've been out on the street at times when there were People who are defying the stay at home order including young people partying. And you've been very blunt about your feelings about that. Now we're we're we're reaching something of breaking point with some people been inside for a long time. It was predictable that you know as time went on people would be impatient. Lot people out of work a lot of small businesses. I know you've spoken to that are on the at the breaking point and yet we're not nearly done. The virus is still out there There's no vaccine yet. So are you worried about that? Are you worried about just more and more defiance more and more resistance lack of political will To do what's necessary and then finding us as Dr Bright who testified before Congress today warned finding us back in a situation that is as bad or worse a few months from now so I mean those are all the things that we worry about in talk about on a daily basis and really multiple times a day we as humans and I think certainly as Americans take our physical whole liberty very seriously and we'd like to together in groups in our city is really built around having fun recreational and entertainment options. That's one of the things that make Chicago special and as the weather gets warm and while we didn't have the terrible winter that we've had in many years. There's there's your body I think. You mind has an expectation that when days get longer when the sun is shining it's time to be outside. It's time to to reconvene with people that you may not have seen during the winter months so we have to manage that and deal with that reality. So I've been reading a lot. Ask has our department of Public Health about how we can safely convene particularly outside and I think there's opportunities for us to not move away from the diligence about social distancing. That's going to be with us. I think for the foreseeable future but I do think that there's a way in which we can gather outside safely with limitations. Certainly mask certainly hand sanitizers smaller groups but listen to music. Play all the kind of things that we would ordinarily do inside some of what we do outside. I think there are ways giving great venues that we have to bring those experiences outside. I do think that that is possible. President has been sort of encouraging that spirit of resistance lately. I know you've had an interesting relationship. He called you. When you were elected you had a nice conversation. I think Yvonne could trump called you and you met with her. It's been a little less friendly at times since then but what do you. How would you way what he's doing right now? And his insistence that things open up and it seems in contravention of some of the advice. He's getting from his own public health. People look I mean I really don't spend a lot of time thinking about Donald Trump. He would be disappointed to hear you say that big because I don't really think that In this time in the daily press briefings that he's offered things that are really helpful and constructive for me as a leader or really for people residents of Chicago and in in many instances. And there's been a lot of reporting on and of course he said things that are just downright dangerous and so I don't spend a Lotta time kind of trying to unravel the psyche of donald trump basis. I just I juicy making it harder though for you and other mayors and governors. There's no doubt there's no doubt that he's making it harder but he's making it harder mostly because the federal response has been so halted and it's been that way really from the very beginning of this pandemic. It was too slow. It wasn't a plan. They weren't bringing us into a lot of early things that were necessary of that they were dictating. That had to be operationalized at the local level. Particularly around airports and screening. And a lot of that. We're on the ground here. We have to take responsibility for that. And they weren't talking to us and it was very clear that they didn't have a plan more recently. And we've been well positioned with things like PCBS invents because our public health department really prepares our your raw long but the one thing that we absolutely need to have some uniformity on is testing. We need a physical test kits to be able to make sure that we can open safely and acted lettering literally is every man and woman for themselves is a terrible indictment of the federal response but also it makes it really difficult for us to cogently be able to tell our residents that they're safe because we're scrambling literally every single day following every lead to have a small handful of tasks that we can put into a community center or federally Qualified Health Center or pushing our our labs in hospitals to ramp up there taste testing capabilities. But it's the scramble an agenda that's been developed because of the void left by the federal government. Will you also told people on Monday? Mayor that everybody who wants to test can get one. Well he said that before and we know that's true it just simply not true now everybody whose name Donald Trump that WANNA test can get one. But that's not true for you me we're GonNa take a short break and we'll be right back with more of the axe falls if you're stuck at home like me may be feeling isolated or maybe this new reality were all sharing is made you anxious better. Help OFFERS ONLINE. Licensed counselors who can help their therapists. Specialize in issues many are facing today's such as depression stress anxiety or family conflicts. Get matched with a counselor in less than twenty four hours after that. You can connect with your counselor in a safe and private online environment where everything you share is confidential. It's easy to schedule. Secure video or phone sessions then exchange unlimited messages. And if you're unhappy with your therapist request a new one at no charge better help makes it easy to get professional help when you want it wherever you are and when you use the discount code acts you save ten percent off your first month so get started today at better? Help DOT COM slash. Afc that's better help dot com slash. Acts you talked about people seeing a play hearing some music outdoors. One of the things that you did that got quite a bit of tension. You did it early was you. Shut DOWN THE LAKEFRONT. Which is of course the front yard of Chicago. That's where people do. Gather Ju- expect to open that up soon. I wouldn't say soon but we are working on plans on to be able to open up the Lakefront. Look I get it. I love the lake. There's nothing more calming to me than you know. Taking a drive on lakeshore drive finding that little secret spot which I won't reveal that. Go to just watch the water waves. I mean it's it's Cathartic and I get it but what I go back to. What led me to close it and we had a lot of education around social gathering danger of clustering into larger groups. We talked over and over and over again and people just flat out ignored the guidance. And what I WANNA do is when we reopen the Lakefront. We will we do it in a way that smart and that you know unfortunately in many of these things with the play to the lowest common denominator the person who's just not going to pay attention. What do we do to make sure that we can be backwards and save and and minimize the risks? That they're gonNA pose to other people so I've gotten a lot of very interesting suggestions from residents working with a lot of Lakefront on a plan. We'll get there but we're just not ready yet. That's one of the things that worries me about the president telling people that things are getting better that this is going to go away on. Its own that we we've got reopened because it sends a signal that is consonant with the situation. We're facing you. Also said was critical of Dr Phil. Chief for questioning at school should open in the fall about Chicago schools Are you confident that school will schools will be public? Schools will be open and students attending them with their physical presence in the fall. You know I'll play lawyer in. Say define confidence. I can't look into a crystal ball and say where we're going to bet your old life. You can't do that. Yeah Yeah it might my law department tells me that every look my ambition is to get our kids back in school this fall we have done. I think Yeoman's work on remote learning but the reality is we have a huge digital divide and various parts of our city that affects our young people's ability to connect up with the Internet WIFI access. And we will end up spending Multiple tens of millions of dollars to address that issue and we got to address it. Because it's a larger problem. But I also know is I think about the little kids when my daughter was a three year. Old going to pre K. The the social emotional learning at happens in that environment when they're away from their parents for the first time and there with other kids and their with their teachers and they start to learn the love of learning structure of school being able to play safely. All those things are critically important particularly for our youngest kids. And that doesn't happen when you're seeing your teacher for the very first time ever on digital screen so those kids when I think about it. It's really important that we get them back in school now again. We're not going to do it in a way that puts anybody this. We're not going to do it in a way that isn't consultation with the entire ecosystem of school environment. The principals the teachers the AIDS. The lunchroom staff. All of those people are important for the lifeblood of school and we got to do it in a way that we keep them safe and we keep the children safe but absolutely. I haven't ambition that if the if we keep trending in the right direction. We want to get our kids back in school and it may not be full-time thirty kids in the classroom. That's probably not smart but we can do it in a lots of different ways. We can spread out the spaces because there's lots of different spaces that are available in schools where we can hold up classes. They're going to be remote learning of it's done. I think at the city college level. Maybe we repurpose some of those spaces. I think the way in which we can think creatively about how to bring our children back with their teachers. There's no limit to that. And we got an explorer every opportunity because of how important it is for those youngest of children to find that connection with their beloved teachers so ambition but no guarantee basically we can't. There's no way anybody who can guarantee what's going to happen in the fall making up. There's no guarantee that can be given so You are a big sports fan. You've been a bears tickets season holder for twenty years. Everybody wants to know if there's going to be sports in the foreseeable future and if that sports will involve actually fans you and others sitting in their seats watching the game tour are they going to be consigned to watching it on. Tv until there's a vaccine or a significant treatment for this at first again we've got to be guided by the data and the Sports League executives that I've talked to of course are thinking about. How do they get their players back on the field for the obvious reasons their most valuable asset of course are the players and they all every single one of those professional sports teams as really strong robust unions? So I have confidence that will be a meeting of the minds. About what makes sense if I had to protect right now again looking into my crystal ball. I do think that sports will start. There probably could be some delay. But I don't think they're gonNA start with fans in the stadium and the first instance. I just don't see that as a possibility you I ask you that question. As the former star point guard for Washington High School in Massillon Ohio and I wanted to touch you mentioned. I WanNa talk a little bit about your story. Which is a a remarkable story? You mentioned your mom and I'm sure when you say you think of her. It's not just that she's ninety. One invulnerable shelter spent a lot of her life working in nursing homes and As a home healthcare worker and so she would have been on the front line right now she would have been one of those people who's more exposed than others because she she was out there helping people. I think lot about that as I talked to. Healthcare workers as I talk to the unions who are concerned and also just the folks that run these facilities. I know from my mom's experience and I hope I hope to God is a million times better than it was when she was out there. They are in the frontlines. They don't get the training that they should get and they don't oftentimes get the kind of equipment to keep them safe. I think it's a different world. Now and part of that is because many of these workers are unionized. But we know that there are still other workers mostly women of color who are in a care community who were taking care of. Seniors. You know. At the end of my mother's a work life. She took care of people who were sick and shut in made them meals babe them and just kept them company. Those workers they're invisible too many people and I worry a lot about them in particular now we also know from the archivist virus that congregants settings are places where is fires just spreads like wildfire. That's why our department of Public Health has been very active and engage with senior centers nursing homes and other settings like that because it's so critically important that those places understand the data have every support possible possible and that they are getting testing of their workers and the residents. Who Live there absolutely Your folks your Father Elijah. The son of a sharecropper both your parents grew up in the segregated south moved north. He had hearing loss as a result of meningitis. And you you've talked about that and how. He had to scuffle to make a living and deal with his his disabilities And so tell me about that and tell me about your your dad. My Dad's been gone for ten years. I miss him every day. I'm have a picture of the two of US side my bed that I look at at night and I look at it in the morning. He had a very hard life and in some ways I think he never recovered from growing up in the south and then adding proverbial insult to injury growing up not really having an opportunity to live out his conditions. Getting sick sir. Early on in his early twenties losing his hearing so being a black man with a high school education and then a profound disability just really shaped and confined on his world. But my dad had a great sense of humor He is loved life but he had to work hard every single day. I talk a lot about my mother because I spent a lot of time with my mother's a kid. 'cause my dad was working two and three jobs every day and just to you worked. A full-time job. And then he would come home and eat and then he owned do Work at night and then on the weekends. He was a barber so he cut people's hair and and shine shoes. That's that's that's what my dad did and Sundays. Were really only day where I got to see my dad for the entirety of of the day because his work life was six days a week But he he's very very different person than my mom and someone very different than me. I'm much more like her in terms of personality but just a good decent human being and I think a lot about him every day I see my father in the faces of a man of color. Who were working new tails off to have some dignity not at all not at all. Do you How much did his struggle forge your determination to do what you've done with your own life. It definitely deeply influenced me to see my father worrying every single day about six the utilities as car payment rent and then We reported enough to move into a house and have a mortgage. I never wanted to struggle in the way that he did. And I didn't know where my life would take me but I knew that I wanted to have some economic freedom. At least so that I can. I can help them which I have done but also be able to help myself and have some freedom when you have to worry every single day about staying in your house about somebody coming and taking your car About just being able to get through the day financial league that takes a toll on you and that was the story of. My parents live for much of their married life together. You mentioned that they were able to buy a house. They moved two years was a segregated town. Like most towns were In the day small Industrial kind of town about four hundred miles from Chicago in Ohio but they moved to a predominantly white neighborhood. And they did. That intentionally talked to me about that. And how did that impact on you because you must have been Very much in a minority in in some of your school classes and in in your neighborhood and so on how did that shape your thinking and your life. I think that Look the town was incredibly segregated and at the time that my parents were making a decision about where they could buy they wanted to buy. We lived in this area for the entire my life. We moved probably into a house that was about four or five blocks away from our rental home but they wanted to us to be able to stay close to the friends of we'd known our entire growing up years and to be in the same school system that we had known so my parents really sacrificed everything for us as children and and really the way in which they live their lives with about what was best for us and so that religious rove the decisions. And you're right when I have a brother. Who's six years older than me when he left? I Elementary School for the entirety of the rest of the time that I was there which is about five years from first grade to sixth grade. I was literally the only black kid in my school and it might town. It was black and white. There are a tiny tiny. Maybe two or three families that were Latin Mex so yeah I grew up for most of my schooling until I got to high school as being either the only or a small handful of black students in another wise white score. And how did that feel was there? Did you feel the as an outsider there or I mean Yes yes. Yes and no right. I grew up in the late sixties early seventies and while it was not Alabama segregation still issued blatant on the table. Racial discrimination was still a thing. There were certain things I couldn't do and I knew places I couldn't go because I was black that my classmates were going to and yeah. I definitely struggled with my identity as a black person for a long time growing up in very widened environment. I think the thing that was helpful to me as I was a good student so I was always one of the best in my class. Best in the school that made a huge difference and then what I was in seventh or Eighth Grade. My mother got appointed to the local school board and then she ran for election and then for the rest of my time in school. She was a member of the school board. So frankly that helped a lot. But but when I got to high school and then we were one heist one public high school in my town. I started seeing black kids. Some of them who I knew from Church and a lot of them. I didn't know and it was a struggle because I stood out like a sore thumb. I talk like I talk now. I didn't as they said talk black and there was a lot of you. Think you're better and you know a lot of the petty crap that happens in junior high and really in high school. I experienced a lot of that but I had. I had my mother in my ear constantly literally in but also figuratively telling me to push myself to do the best. I could not let people bring me down. I mean that was kind of a daily mantra in my house. Whole but yeah it was tough absolutely tough one of your siblings you brother Brian Took a different path and not a happy one And as I don't know what his status is now but spent a lot of time in the in the criminal justice system. How did that impact on you and it must have been terribly difficult for your parents. It was really hard. It was really hard on us as a family. I told the story but yeah my for some people in my brother was definitely one of them. The street life is almost like a narcotic in of itself. It is incredibly alluring and my brother started kind of going in a different direction when he was a teenager. I can remember when he was probably thirteen. Fourteen years old hanging out with a group of guys. Some of whom you know. Beat him to jail Some of whom died. He had a friend who was killed in a robbery when he was a teenager. But my brother was determined to to really take very different course And he ended up spending most of his adult life locked up. The last was seventeen years in federal prison. He got out now probably five or six years ago. He lives now in the same town that my mother. I'm lives in by when you're sixty something year old man and you've never really had a legitimate job in your life and you spent your the entirety of your growing up years on the inside. That does something to do you. Are you in touch? Kind of we go through ebbs and flows you know. He came and he was here for the inauguration and we've our context is kind of slowly diminished over time. My brother you know. He struggles with addiction still he. He's now sixty something years old and he's got some physical challenges but not having any any skill that's transferrable. We'd love to be wearing a suit every day and being an office. That's just not realistic. When you've been guy on the streets for most of your life and so the hustle is is very still very annoying and now we're from our sponsors. We'll be right back with more of the xbox you know things aren't always what they appear to be but that's not so with. Adt the most trusted name in security the X. Files sponsored by ADT. Whatever you WANNA protect. Nobody has more ways to help. Keep you safe than ADT. Adt offers all the essentials for convenience security and reliability HD video doorbells indoor and outdoor cameras. Smart Lights smart locks and smart thermostats controlled by the sound of your voice or the. Adt APP fire and carbon monoxide detectors. That are connected to twenty four seven monitoring fled sensors to help you avoid flood disasters and more. Adt is the number one smart home security provider with products rigorously tested to deliver the quality. You expect from. Adt You also get the largest security network with nine. Adt owned and operated monitoring centres operating twenty four seven one of the best money back guarantees in the industry learn more at Adt dot com slash podcast. Later in your life You became a federal prosecutor and you prosecuted gang bangers drug leaders and leaders of of drug cartels and had if at all how did the experience of having senior brother go through what he went through and do the things he did did in any way impact on your view as a prosecutor. I mean it really did from the very beginning when I was going through the final stages of my background check as a federal prosecutor. My brother was a fugitive and I had to sign allegiance form which I still makes me angry. I'll use that word that I was going to be loyal to the constitution and all laws because my brother was a fugitive from justice. Yeah and of course like with seeing my my father in the men in the eyes of really hardworking men of color. I of course thought about my brother when I when I was prosecuting Chicago Street gang members and it made me want to know their stories and made me WanNa how they came to choose the life that they chose and we had a range of interesting store conversations with you know the young men that were both cooperators but also the young men were we were arranging up plea deals for some of the men that I prosecuted here on. The streets in Chicago ended up in a facility in mile in Michigan when my brother was there at the same time so that made for interesting conversations with him and with my parents. But when you you have a family member who is locked up. It has incredible impact emotional impact. You can't my brother was still locked up when my dad died and he didn't get to say goodbye and I I know that. So there's nothing about the incarceration of human beings. That is easy. That is simple. Even the people that are that are the most dangerous and that are psychopathic and some of them are that. Somebody's kid that somebody's sibling in. And you can never forget that. And I certainly never forgot that. When I was a prosecutor you went to the University of Michigan and then You came here to the University of Chicago Law School. You arrived here just when Hera Washington was Completing his first term rain-free a very interesting dynamic kind of tumultuous time in Chicago Politics. I'm wondering what your memories of of Herald were. He was having worked for him at covered him and then I worked for him by the time. You've got heroes working for him. Maybe one of the most charismatic figures that I've ever known in in politics and I've worked with a lot of people Remarkable God yeah so I remember him because when I was a junior in college I took a semester and worked in in Washington and attended American University and I just by chance happen to be in a committee. Hearing as a young staffer when of announcement came out that he had one and he was in. Washington. He's being congratulated by his colleagues so I was fascinated from him Of Him from a distance and then fast forward several years later. Yeah I you know I never knew him as a as a mayor as a human being but yeah he he clearly was one of the most fascinating charismatic elected officials. I think the city. Maybe this country has ever seen and coming here in eighty six. When he was running for reelection and seeing the machine in all of its words and glory and then understanding of the excitement that he ignited particularly in Black Chicago and the kind of Progressive Lakefront Liberals as they were called those days. And you know I remember Election Day really really well and I left in the morning and I plan to vote after I came home from class and I had like ten notes on my door saying. Hey you haven't voted. Hey you have voted now. That was not my experience and I thought how these people I didn't vote yet because I didn't understand at that stage of the dynamics but it was it was like nothing had ever seen and then I remember. I remember really clearly hearing the news. That you've done says seven months or something after he got reelected. Yeah and the days. After the how things were so tumultuous I walk through The City Hall lobby to view his body I was at. Uic would have infamous rally was held and people for who were saying. No deals no deals at already. Cut Their deal to replace him yet. Yeah Yeah No. Those were I I remember them as as clearly as you. I was very much involved in that. The great thing about that moment The sad thing. It was unbelievably sad. It was remarkable though how the city that was so divided when I got elected so embraced him at the end. And when you walk through those lines at City Hall there were people white and black from every neighborhood in this city who had come to embrace him as their leader and it and It was really tremendous loss. Can I ask you something else about law school in it relates to the conversation? We're having earlier. I asked you about how you adjusted to the racial identity issues. When you were growing up you also came out when you were in law school and I am. It made me wonder. When did you embrace your your own identity or your sexual identity? And how is that experience of deciding when it was time? And and how was that received by family well coming coming out at the? University of Chicago Law School in Eighty six eighty. Seven was not the place that I would have anticipated doing. You know eight. You know the law school. This time it was hyper conservative. Now there are very few people of color but interestingly there were actually a lot of gays in in the law school and that really helped me there were. I have still to this day. Incredible friendships among a lot of gay men and women that I met during that time and it really helped me see that I could be my authentic self. I heard a lot about losing my parents. My parents were really going to church every Sunday every Wednesday in a couple of days in between conservatives. I didn't know at the time. Of course I didn't know anybody gay that was when I was growing up and of course I would benefit of hindsight I I did and so I was. I spent a lot of years worrying about losing my parents but something clicked over time and law school where I just felt like. I'm not going to be happy if I'm not who I am and I to my parents credit when I told them they were. They couldn't have been more gracious. They couldn't have been more lovely and by father Really I think was my mother. Didn't talk much about it. Because that's what she doesn't do when she doesn't WanNa talk about something she just shut it off and you know moves on. My father was lovely and couldn't have been more generous and embracing and loving. You spent seven years in private practice and then as we mentioned earlier you you became a prosecutor. Why did you choose that direction? I WANNA cly particularly given my brother's circumstance. I am always kind of been drawn to law enforcement. You know. I'm a rules girl. I believe in justice and I thought about the FBI. When I was in law school but both because I was gay and also the time the FBI had a rule that you had to travel to a different live in a different city for five. I five years. I want to do that so I just kind of put that ambition to the side but I liked. I liked the work I was doing at the firm which increasingly became internal investigations and criminal defense work and I work with a number of federal prosecutors former federal prosecutors who Suggested to me that if I was interested I was not one of these Law School people. Who had this ambition? My my professional life was already charted out so I kind of fell into the opportunity but it was the best thing that could have ever done. Really taught me how to be a lawyer It taught me the power of being a prosecutor and by that I mean you know you do. You do literally get to make decisions about people's liberty who gets charged with against charged with how tough you go or not. I mean that is an awesome power that that one can never underestimate and I you know I got some grief to be sure from my more liberal friends saying. Why do you want to be the Maryanne right? I what I wanted to be was somebody who sat at that table because of the power and debris bring my life experiences to those very nuanced discretionary decisions that every prosecutor holds in her hand. It's a little bit of a different talent set or Orientation than the Office. You have now Prosecutors are in many ways solitary figures. They are responsive to the law and two judges but As you say make a lot of decisions on their urine a position. Now where you are. You have to build consensus in order to get things done. Yes you have to make decisions. But you can't make them all by yourself. Most of the time Has Been An adjustment for you. Why would actually say that? My experience as a prosecutor was was very different than what you described first of all. It's an incredibly collegial place because you can't talk about what you do. Every day with the world is hard to have your spouse relate and I know this from I'm having drug amy to a lot of events where there a bunch of former prosecutors she. She learned pretty quickly. Say No. I'm good you go on your own. You know it is it is it is kind of a it is a unique collegial world and of course you have discretion but you're talking through these issues which our colleagues with your supervisor on a regular basis and so I learned a lot about collegiality from that experience and I hope that my style is mayor both with my team but also Embracing members of the public is much more collegial because of that experience. And what I know is that I'm very decisive. I can get to a decision pretty quickly but the best decisions and the ones that are most valued are the ones where you bring people along the journey from the very beginning so You know a. I don't think you do a plebiscite on every decision. Can't you'll be paralyzed particularly at in a time like this? Where literally every single day? I'm making you know. Tens of not hundreds of decisions micro decisions every day and big decisions every day but but being able to have a sense of the pulse of people whose lives are going to be affected by what you're doing that's a good thing it makes things slower but it's a better thing at the end. I have to ask you in. This is a painful thing that you've spoken to but you got rebuked at one point by a federal judge Richard Posner who actually was associated with the University of Chicago. Because you're handling of one case and that thing stuck with you for while. I know you feel that was unjust. It was fundamentally unjust. I look it's too complicated to explain but you know man on a total poll involving an international extradition as you might imagine as a junior lawyer knee office. I didn't make those kind of decisions on my own and made them with my supervisor. But posner I think frankly got over skis and wanted to hold the. Us Attorney's office responsible. And there were some other. I think dynamics going on between the seventh circuit in the office at the time and I got the short end of the proverbial stick I I I pride myself on my integrity I I. I worry over particularly when I was a lawyer every word I wrote when I was signing my name on a pleading I wanted to make sure that was something I could be proud of and that I can defend and I never have ever in thirty. Plus years of practice departed from that. Obviously the seventh circuit saw it a different way but the thing that gives me then and now heart is. I had people from every side of the meeting the prosecutors defendants judges at a whole host of people from the bar in Chicago. That stood up and say I've worked with Laurie Line. Could I know who she is? This is a person of integrity and luckily pose cited that and saying well. The public rebuke is enough. But if you dealt with poster you You know he's. He's undaunted by the facts. Times quickly have to cover some very big things One is you prosecuted political corruption cases in the city. You prosecuted an Alderman when you were there at the. Us Attorney's office you also prosecuted as we mentioned drug dealers gangs on those on the political corruption issue. Why is she? I get this question a lot. Why Chicago so subject to corruption Why has it has? Has it been historically so and then the second one I get is? Why is it so subject to gang violence more so than other cities You've had a now Several different looks at this. And I'm wondering what your thoughts are are. Those are both great and big complicated questions on the public corruption. I think part of his just because we've tolerated to mall. You know think Chicago historically is any more corrupt than other places New York you know Philadelphia. La But the tolerance for it in those other places became less and less over time in in in my experience in thirty plus years of living in the city. The tolerance Ford is still a really great. If you I probably you probably didn't read the The indictment of Edberg but I did at Burke the senior Alderman in the city council longtime power in the city in the Democratic Organization. Go ahead there's a lot of fascinating things about about the indictment but to me one of the most telling and I think response to your question is there's some dude from the the buildings department that gets whistled to at Burkes word office. He stays there for five or ten minutes clearly got a set of instructions and then dutifully went and on some trumped up bases shut down a building site because from the at burkes perspective. The guy hadn't come across with the money he hadn't hired him to do the legal work. And and so while. This person probably didn't know there was a criminal conspiracy going on the obedience to this power and doing something that didn't comport all with building cold or what is actual true job wise but the willingness to be a party to it because powerful. Otterman in a staff had commanded it. We have just tolerated corruption way too long and gang. Violence is really complicated but it in short strokes it calms sail into in my mind to poverty. It's the absence of is the absence of jobs. Investments money good quality education. You know in you know. We're both experience with you. See what do they teach us? People rational economic actors when you have nothing and then there's this opportunity for something in when drug dealing becomes the only the only form of economic activity that can get you money to take care of your basic needs so our goal has to be obviously to lock violent people and make the community safe but it has to be grounded in a strategy of supplanting that form of the economy with another Jimmy and gives people a pipeline for a lifetime. Without question I think That does not. I agree with that. Complete doesn't completely explain why gangs have flourished in Chicago in such great numbers in a way that they haven't in other but that's we could probably do a whole hour on that I before I leave you I have to ask you about policing and Because you were chairman of the Chicago Police Board. You're the chair of the Policy Accountability Task Force after McQueen McDonald Was killed here in Chicago. A national A nationally known a case. Now you're the mayor of the city and the police force works for you and you've been a prosecutor and I guess my question to you is. How do you find that balance? Police officers are working vigorously to protect the safety of citizens and but there's a relationship between citizens in the community and rights are respected. And you don't have those kinds of incidents it strikes me as a terribly difficult bounce. In both cases it's often the same community that gets victimized either. Victimized by crime were victimized by overzealous policing. It's not easy. Obviously and you have to. You have to really set The right fish for what policing has to be in the city like many things in public life. If you don't have the community on your side you will never be successful and effective policing depends upon the legitimacy of the police in the eyes of the community that they're sworn to protect and understanding that kind of basic fact you you work everything else around. Meaning you've gotta you've gotTa bring officers into communities and let them see the nuance and not just the crime statistics. You've got to bring people into the academy so that they see officers it a very different light. You've got to put them in circumstances where they interact as human beings not the cops in the community. Those are hard things to do. But if you don't do those things and you don't do them consistently forever. You're never going to bridge that divide and then inside of the police department itself man. Oh man it is a complicated tough organization cultural mores run deep and it is a constant struggle. It's a bad and you gotta have a very strong leader at the top. You have a new police chief now and you make you gotTa make sure you empower that leader. But I'm also hands on as I say to them all the time. I don't have time or inclination to be the mayor just at the police department. But I'm going to be hands on it and I'm going to be a presence until I feel like we are moved to a different chapter in the history of this police department and we are just not there yet. You have a new union leader. There who Is a contentious character. Not necessarily a lightfoot supported. I'd say exactly the opposite of I mean how is that going to. How is that going to work? You know look. I don't know him but I've had a lot of exposure to him. He used to come to police board meetings. When I was a police board president sit in the front row and everything about his demeanor was hateful. I mean to just be blunt and he likes being provocative he likes being controversial. He loves the media but I also know that he is now the leader of the largest police union in my city and I have to figure out how we can forge some kind of working relationship if it's possible we've had some preliminary conversations. I'm I'm expecting that we re getting together. Relatively soon I intend to give him the benefit of the doubt but I'm not going to cut and paste my values to try to accommodate somebody whose values are very different than my own police officers important. We need to support them. And I'm going to continue to do that. No matter who their leader is but I hope that we can reach some common ground up for the benefit of their members but also for benefit of the department in the city mirror. So appreciate your time. It's always good to talk with you. There's there's probably hours and hours more that I could ask you about and want to ask you about. Maybe we'll have a chance to do that again. But right now you have a pandemic to deal within a hundred other pressing issues so I just very much I very much appreciate your time. Thank you and thanks for a viewers and good luck. Talk to you down the line. Okay thank you for listening to the X. Files brought to you by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN audio the executive producer of the acts files. Is Emily Standards? The show has also produced by Miriam. Annenberg Samantha Neil and Allison Siegel and special thanks to our partners at CNN. Including Courtney coop naked. Marcus and Ashley less for more programming from the IOP visit Politics Style. Chicago DOT EDU. Berg things are not always what they appear to be not so with. Adt the most trusted name in security x-files sponsored by ADT. Whatever you want to protect. Nobody has more ways to keep you safe. Adt Did you know. Adt can help you customize a security package that fits your lifestyle every adt security package is designed to help. Protect your home in a way that works with your budget. Learn more at Adt dot com slash podcast.

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Jack Gilbert, University of Chicago  Diversifying Your Microbiome  10-Year Anniversary

The Academic Minute

02:30 min | Last month

Jack Gilbert, University of Chicago Diversifying Your Microbiome 10-Year Anniversary

"We're celebrating a decade of the academic minute this week with one segment from each year. I'm Dr Lynn Pascarella President of the Association of American colleges and universities, and on this segment from twenty. Sixteen Jack Gilbert professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago detailed the importance of diversifying your microbiome. Perhaps, right now, you in your car with your kids so in your office. Austin hour you've been sharing bacteria with those kids or office mate's in essence you're being becoming more similar. Each person is shutting thirty, eight, million microbes our each time you interact with people you picking up some of the microbial thumbprint of your neighbors which is altering you'll microbiome the microbiome is the community of microorganisms live in our bodies, all homes, and in fact, in every ecosystem on earth the. Good news is that when we share bacteria resulting diverse microbiomes, a more robust and resilient, we are finding that some bacteria can protect us from certain illnesses, improved productivity, and even remediate conditions such as allergies, asthma and depression. The bad news is that microbiomes have become less diverse and resilient over one hundred and fifty years of deep cleansing our homes and buddies with the widespread use of antibiotics. And sterilization techniques living in over sanitized environments, leaves us with microbial gaps that put us at risk. When we encounter new microbes instead of being able to adapt to these changes, we find that the human immune system can overreact as evidenced by gastrointestinal problems, respiratory disease, and even neurological problems. We learning a great deal about microbial communities using high through sequencing techniques, computational sequencing analysis to identify map and. Predict the behavior of these microbes we have shown that when we interact broadly with each other and in the outdoors, we diversify microbiome, which actually makes us more able to fight harmful bacteria and viruses kids who play in the dirt dokes who tract bacteria from the outdoors inside and social practices like kissing and handshakes actually help us to become healthy overall that was Jack Gilbert of the University of Chicago. You can find this other segments and more information about the professors at academic minute dot Org. Production support for the academic minute comes from a and you advancing liberal learning and research for the public. Good.

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Ep. 288 - Barack Obama (Live)

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

1:16:38 hr | 2 years ago

Ep. 288 - Barack Obama (Live)

"This special live edition of the X files with President Obama is brought to you by audible listening to audio books brings us closer together. And there's no better place to listen than audible audible has the largest selection of audio books on the planet. And now, audible members get even more exclusive audio fitness programs audio books and audible originals with custom made content. Start a thirty day free trial and your first audio book is free this month. I'm particularly excited to listen to becoming the new book from an old friend. Michelle Obama, go to audible dot com slash acts or text axe to five hundred five hundred that is audible AU D I B L E dot com slash ax. You can do it with audio books. Now from the university of Chicago institute of politics and CNN the axe files with your host, David Axelrod. When I first met Barack Obama had just finished law school at Harvard, and he returned to Chicago and settled in Hyde Park in the university of Chicago community so ten years after he was elected president of the United States. We welcomed him home to Hyde Park for this special live edition of the axe falls. Mr president. Welcome home. It is good to be back. How's it going? Money. And welcome back to the neighborhood. What what what's your fund this memory of your like, two decades? And I'd par. Well, first of all, I don't think I've ever been this building. No. I know that's very happened since. Happened since things have spruced up. Well, look, I my memory of high park is. Me and Sasha being born. For example, I've been big things happened around here for me. But. One of the things that I always talk about is coming to Chicago for the very first time. I've been living in New York. And I had decided I wanted to be a community organizer. I didn't know what I meant. But I thought it somehow involved doing good and this group. On the south side of Chicago to hire me sort of sight unseen. So I drove out here. And I had only been Chicago once when I was eleven I didn't really remember it. And I drove. From New York through Ohio, and I get to Gary. And I think that's Chicago. And I'm thinking, you know, it's rough out here and unity, Oregon. Yeah. But this is my job. So I'm looking for the turn off. And then I hit the skyway, and I come through Jackson parking it's high park, and I say, oh, well, this is nicer than I expected. So. And. And so high park was the first landing spot for me moving here and. This ended up being the place where I lived. It was home base was where Michelle, and I I bought a home, and where our children were born and where I made lasting friendships. So. Love this place. Plus they're much better restaurants now. You. You know, we remember discussion we had a right after new years in two thousand and seventy just come back from Hawaii where you talked about whether you were going to run in that news, you leaning very much in that direction. And I said to you my fear for you. And if you remember this was not that you would lose, but that you would win and that your lives would change forever. And you can't go back. It's like Damn Yankees. You know, you get to play center field for the Washington senators, but you don't get to go back to your life. What do you miss most about your life before all of this before you had all these people coming you everywhere? Well, let me say a couple of things first of all your reference to Damn Yankees. Nobody here under stands. I I mean, you got to be basically sixty or older to be familiar with Americana. I knew I let myself in for this kind of thing when I invited. So that's point number one. I do recall the conversation we had and. For those who don't know as much of the background. Axe was. My partner in crime. When we first started real crime. But but acts really was the person who. I worked with together to shape are unlikely Senate campaign than thrust me into the national spotlight, and then continued into the presence, and one of the things I valued most we've talked about this was that David, and and David Plouffe, and Robert Gibbs and Valerie Jarrett, and all the people who are close to me actually, gave me a very clear sense of how. Unappealing running for president is and and that was important because if you were going to do it, then you had to be clear eyed and Michelle had understand what was involved then. I do recall our conversation, you said. The thing. I worry about you is you're not pathological enough right to I thought you were to normal to to do this. You're right. That once it happens. It is. Somewhat unique you feel launched into space, and you don't fully recover. What you had before? I think the thing that you miss is anonymity. And you don't realize the value of anonymity until you don't have it. And the way that manifests itself is simply that you can't take a walk. That's what I miss most taking a walk. You know, the the idea of. On a nice day balking along the promenade. And or you know, we used to take our kids and just bike during the summer from along. L along along lakeshore drive all the way up to. The aquarium and before it was all I don't know. What happened something got regulated? But there used to be these. They were little bit like food trucks that would be along the way. And and there was this one in particular that they had this lemonade that was just killer on a hot day, and you could buy some snacks. And the kids are. You know, trailing behind the stop at a swing and that kind of unplanned. Pleasure. You don't have the difference. Now is they'd set up the lemonade stand for you. It's just it'd be nobody else around. Well, listen, Michelle just wrote a book, I don't know if you heard about this. I heard mentioned it. So it's a great read. And I I want to say that because I'm worried about her book sales lagging so I thought I should give it a plug. But in it, she was, you know, it's vintage Michelle because she's very honest about everything including your struggles as a family, and this particular question because you guys lead separate lives professional lives before you ran for president. She was she worked at the university of Chicago hospital. She had a very significant role there in the community, and she had her friends, and she was routed here. She gave up a lot. For you. And for the cost. There's no debt and she reminds me of this. Often. The. I am extraordinary. Extraordinarily fortunate to. I have. Been chosen by a woman who. Is one of a kind and. And I do recommend by the way, her book becoming outstanding. I didn't come here to plug it. She's doing quite well, but it is her and speaks of her spirit. And I think the thing that you, and I have always wrestled with. It's not just the candidate you can to deal with it. All the senior staff had to deal with it. If you were married or had children or had a just a partner that you deeply loved and you're on a presidential campaign. You're not seeing them and. Susan, your wife would be the first to testify but the sacrifices that all of our spouses or partners or kids made during that process, which is part of the reason why. Once we got there. My attitude was let's make this worth it. And I remember a lot of discussions that you, and I used to have about do we take risks in terms of trying to get certain things done. Or do we play it safe because the polls don't look like they're tilting our way on this? Or that issue? And I think it's fair to say, I think you'd confirm that. My general attitude was if I am going to make the sacrifices and ask some. Michelle and my children to make the sacrifices involved in this seat. I'm not doing it just for a title and a plaque and. Vacation Sunday morning interview on doing it presumably because I'm delivering. On the promises that I've made you people who voted for me. And let's let's try to get as much done as possible during this time. Yeah. My my my point was just that. In addition to you being away from home because you were away from home for eleven years. In fact, you probably say your family more when you were president what do you want because you lived in above the office? Then when you were in Springfield in Washington cheat, but she had a brute her she gave up. What was a very? Promising and rewarding career and that that's hard. I just wanted to not because I think it was a moving part, and you must have had some very during that Christmas in two thousand and six some very. And she wrote about it some very emotional discussions about all of it. Well, look, I think that. Michelle. Continues to. Give voice to the challenge that a lot of. Remarkable talented gifted ambitious women wrestle with and I'm sure a lot of the young people who are here after wrestle with it. We do not yet live in a society that is friendly towards family, we give lip service to it. But we have some of the worst family leave policies and childcare policies and. Support. Of that are provided particularly want children are in the picture of any advanced nation on earth and the brunt of that still falls on the woman, and this proceeds me being president. This was true. When I was a state Senator, and frankly, it would have been true to some degree if I've had been an investment banker or of big time litigator or a political consultant and and. Those young men who are in the audience who think they're woke should be mindful that there is still an imbalance that exists. And and we have to have as a society in addition to individually in our partnerships of try to correct that. Because Michelle, and I both tell me and Sasha look. Being being with somebody as easy. Forging a family and raising children is hard and it requires attention. And when those little things show up. That's be Bure job. That's your first job. That's your highest priority. And so you as a pair are going to have to make a decision about how does that work and? I'm the first one day acknowledge that Michelle ended up making more sacrifices than I did in that process and. It's one that. As I talked to my daughters about it. I say to them you you've got to make sure that your negotiating the festively not to be too transactional about it. But to make sure that you have a sense of how is that burden going to be shared? I know your daughter's I'm confident they will. Yes, you you. Striking. When you ran for president was that you were and you spoke about this. You're literally just a few years out of being a state Senator from Illinois, a middle-class guy living over there in east view park, a very nice, but but but middle-class. Condo development over there and paying off your just paid off your student loans and all of that. Now, you're you're ten years removed from all of that twelve years remove or fourteen, but you live in this rarefied world where you know, you never have to wait in a line you fly for a good reason. Fly private and all of that. How how do you lose you feel for for people? Does it worry you? No, actually. And I think part of we've talked about this Michelle, and I were fortunate that we didn't become famous till we were like forty three or forty four. As you point out. We were well into our careers. Adulthood, raising kids parents going to target go into the car wash buying groceries paying bills going to Chucky cheese. And so by the time, we were sort of catapulted into. National prominence. Our characters I think we're fairly set, and we didn't think change significantly during that period and coming out of it on the other end as I said, we don't have the luxury of. Just hopping in our car and wandering around the way, we used to that. I'm sure has some impact. I don't know ex-. You know, me do I seem significantly different than. No. But I tell you. You're not missing anything on this waiting online. The fact that I don't take my shoes off before I got on a plane, I'm fine with and I don't I don't feel as if somehow I can't relate to. The people. As a consequence. I here's what I do think though. Which which may get to your question about. About sort of the feel of politics, and and zeitgeist, I think age does shift how you sense where the world's going. I actually we've we've talked about this. I. I actually am glad that. Having had the extraordinary privilege and experience of serving as president that you don't have the option here of. Being prime minister president in perpetuity or as long as you want. Partly because I actually think that. You you. You don't get as good of a sense of where the energy is of the society where it's pushing in the same way as you get older. I think that. I look at me and Sasha and how they get information. And and what issues they feel are settled? And what issues are still in dispute? And I may not have the same sense of those things as they do, or as, you know, the the young people in the audience here, do you you're right that you can't serve in perpetuity. Although there are some people who would like you to. You hear all the time. She can't he come back can you run for vice president? And so on which I know you enjoy. But. And I'm curious, and you may not want to answer the question. But you think if you in a ballot in two thousand and twenty that you would defeat President Trump. I. I will not answer that direct question for obvious reasons. The reason I ask you as people say, well, you know, we can't have another candidate of color. We can't have a woman because that that kind of stuff. I don't I don't buy. I I am. As you know, I'm fairly confident. Yes, that is a parent and. And when I left office, I think people felt after having gone through all kinds of ups and downs that I had. Taken the job. Seriously, worked hard. Been true to my oath. Observed and hopefully strengthened the norms and the rules and. The values of our democracy. I think America was more respected. Of around the world than it was when I came in and. I feel very confident that I I wasn't a position to. Had not been for both the constitution and Michelle to continue in office. But I guess what I'm saying is is that I'm not sure it is a bit as a healthy thing. I see in other countries. I've known even very good people who they they lose their edge, and they get stale and comfortable in the position. And I think it's useful to to to have a democracy. Have have to. Continually evolve. With respect to going forward. The idea that there's some demographic or. Profile of a particular candidate that is the optimal one or the ideal one. That's just not how I've seen politics work. I think people respond to candidates who speak to the moment in some fashion. And. You're the first one who talked about the fact that you sort of don't know how some buddies going to play out until they're in the race. And and they're they're often running. I think it's fair to say that. Although by the time, I announced I was running for president people were familiar enough with me, they thought this guy has talent they didn't necessarily think we were going to win. In fact, I think the odds were I think they wanted to see you run the whole gauntlet just they handled. It exactly I think our current president. Nobody expected that that would happen. But it did you don't know how. All these various factors are going to converge until you try and. Generalizations that we draw about well a woman's not gonna win this time. Oh, this is ideal time for a woman. You've had one black guy. So you can't have another black guy. But you know, why they I mean, I'm not subscribing to that theory. But you know, why it comes up because because I'm Mike you spoke. Right. You spoke. Great. You're great. For those of you who are listening in not watching president enjoyed his last come. The. The reason I ask is because you spoke your signature line in two thousand and eight and it was powerful was I'm not running to be the president of red America. Blue America, I'm running to be president of the United States. We we are divided America is bluer and redder today than ever and races at the core of some of that. Yeah. Why? Well. Because because of history of because of human nature and our. Deep flaws and foibles. It is. It has always been the fault line of American life. The it is it is the original sin. Of america. The fact that that declaration. We hold these things to be self evident that all men note right away there. There's an issue. Are created equal. That that obviously was just some men at the time, and we had to fight and struggle to try to make that real. And and that doesn't go away right away. It has. We've made enormous progress. It's remains a strong factor in our society. We are not unique in this regard. I think what's unique about America is our aspirations to be a large successful multi racial, multi, cultural, multi ethnic, multi. Religious. Pluralistic democracy. You think that's President Trump's vision? No, obviously, not we have. We have contrasting visions about what America is. And that's self apparent. But but what I what I would say is that. The majority of Americans believe in that story. And there's power in that store in America at its best is a story of. Trying to approximate and realize those ideals that were set forth. And my election did not somehow put an end to that struggle. It was one more path along that process of opening up our democracy to all people. And as I've said repeatedly, I think over the last couple of years history doesn't just go forward. It goes backwards and democracy is not a static thing. You have to struggle for it. And you have to nurture it and and ten to it. But. As divided as we appear right now. And we can talk about all the factors that contribute to that many of which young people. Here are familiar with? The truth of the matter is that the majority of Americans think that people should be judged on the basis of their character, not the color or gender. The majority of Americans. Believe that we are better off where our daughters have the same chances as our sons to succeed and do well and where. We should consistently. Do our best to make sure every child has equal opportunity in this society. Where where we fall short a lot of times majority of American. Let me interrupt for majority of Americans also voted for a different candidate for president. And so I know that there is a majority of you on I understand, look, David. I mean, if what you're saying is is that we have issues in our society around race. Yes, we do. If the issue is does that then foreclose the possibility of? Another African American or woman or DNA or a lot, Dino or. Indian-american at some point becoming president the United States because those issues exist, the answer's no now, do I do I think that conversely the measure of? Every candidacy in our politics is. Judge solely by diversity. No. There are other factors involved to like what's their platform? Do they have good ideas about how we're going to create jobs in a new technological society? Today. Have a good sense of how we're going to manage. The threat of climate change. And while still maintaining our economic growth, there are whole range of factors here. And I would argue by the way, and you and I've had this discussion. But. Opposition to me, and my presidency, and my agenda was not solely driven by raising. There were a whole range of factors. I think they're genuine conservatives out there who are not racist. Simply because they didn't agree with my position on the Affordable Care Act, or they didn't agree with my position on guns or they didn't agree with my position on a woman's right to choose bay. Sincerely, held set of beliefs that we're different than mine. And I think that it's important for those of us who disagree with. Others on some of these issues that we make sure to listen to determine whether. There is an honest disagreement about issues here, or whether we think this is just a tribal clash that is somehow inherent and in American life, and we're never going to overcome it. I I don't think we should be naive and pretend that there's never issues a brace involved in the fault lines of American politics. But I also don't think that. We want to be reductive and say that that explains everything. This special live edition of the X files with President Obama is brought to you by audible, so it's that time of year, and everyone is brainstorming about thoughtful gifts. They can give well have you considered giving yourself the gift of an audible membership? Now's the best time to do it. Because audible has a special offer. For a limited time, you can get three months of audible for just six ninety five a month. When you go to audible dot com slash acts or text acts to five hundred five hundred membership includes access to an unbeatable selection of audio books, including bestsellers motivational books, mysteries thrillers, memoirs and more this month. There's an exciting new addition to audibles library becoming the new book from an old friend of mine. Michelle Obama, it is an inspiring memoir written in her authentic, and honest voice becoming chronicles the experiences that have shaped her from her childhood on the south side of. Kogyo to her time spent at the world's most famous address becoming as the deeply personal story of a woman of soul and substance a great American story. Remember right now. For a limited time, you can get three months of audible for just six ninety five a month that's half off the regular price. So give yourself a gift of listening in while you're at it. Why not knock off a few names on your list by giving the gift of audible to someone you care about for more. Go to audible dot com slash acts or text axe to five hundred five hundred. I went to share a question from one of the young people here, Jack it less. Wrote looking back with the benefit of hindsight. What would you have done differently to deal with an obstructionist congress, particularly Senator McConnell? But we can leave him out of it. If you don't want to name name. I won't go there. But. I will say as I've been honestly reflecting on this and writing about it. That the big factor. The big challenge that we faced was the filibuster. And it's a weird thing because it's not something that the average American spends a lot of time thinking about it. Interestingly enough doesn't get talked about are examined much even by the pundits. It's a given that this extra constitutional thing. That says you have to have sixty votes to get anything passed. That arose sort of as an accident. Aaron Burr who at the time was presiding over the Senate. Apparently had bad judgment on a range of things. Sort of decided that of. You could get rid of the motion to proceed and various Robert rules of ordered a close debate. And what involved then is now a supermajority requirement essentially to get anything passed. It requires sixty votes would the exception of of the changes that were made finally with confirmations as a consequence of some of the obstruction that took place. We should think you agree that we should eliminate the filibuster. That's where I was going. But thank you, David. I guess I wasn't getting there fast enough. The same the point is that when you look at what happened in two thousand nine two thousand ten we had. Fifty eight votes than Al Franken comes in. And we get fifty nine votes and then four four months, we had sixty votes and. Arlen Specter because well, and then there was a temporary, right? Right. The temporary Kennedy. So for four months of my entire presidency. I had sixty votes. The rest of the time. We could not get anything passed unless we got at least one Republican vote. And if you had a situation in which the other party buttressed by. Everything from the right wing media to the coke brothers and various other groups that were actively mobilized very quickly early on to to ensure that any Republican who crossed party lines was punished and challenged in that environment. It is. It is. I think a reasonable argument to make that that we should have added discussion at least about whether this Bill of BUSTER process should continue. Now, keep in mind that a lot of senators light the filibuster because it's what gives individual senders power gives them additional leverage. They would not have they would not have given up easily. But yeah, the original design of the constitution. Of. Ensured sufficient checks and balances in part by having a bicameral legislature. And by having. The senate. Not originally not directly elected by popular vote. But even now a Wyoming has two boats and sodas, California. So it's the already have a range of of counter majoritarian. Structures embedded in the constitution, adding the filibuster. I think has made it almost impossible for us to affectively govern at a time. When you don't have. When you have at least one party that is not willing to compromise on issues. We I was there when the mid-term happened in two thousand and ten well, let me ask you one thing before I get there garland. Thinking back is there anything you could have done recess appointment or otherwise to to install Justice garland, judge garland has Justice garland. No, we we looked at the possibility of recess appointment, the they're already rulings on the books that would indicate that we could not do that. And have it upheld. And part of the challenge that we never completely solved it, and I'm the first to confess I was not able to get this message effectively. Filibusters obstruction process spouse violation of norms, not calling supreme court Justice. It's just not the stuff that move people to vote. And the other side didn't get punished for whether also this assumption that Hillary was gonna win and she probably fill that seat. If if you didn't. Well, there was that assumption. But it wasn't a it wasn't a wrong. It wasn't the reason that we didn't try to get that we couldn't we couldn't focus enough attention on. On the fact that the basic norms of governance that took place. Four prior presidents. Suddenly didn't hold for us. The only time it got attention was when it was so outrageous like when a guy stands up and says you lie in the middle of a joint session of congress where people go, well, that's different. Yeah. It was. But it didn't result in. The opposition party, the Republican party losing seats you. So you went through this change of party control in two thousand eleven what what do you? What does President Trump not know about what he's about to face that? He should I I let's re frame that what did I experience because I don't know what he's going to deal with. It's a different environment into different time. I think that we tend to overestimate. The power of the presidency too. Move major legislation. In the current environment. That's been true for a while. And there's a there's a historical reason for it. The Democratic Party and the Republican party were not polarized in the fifties. Sixties seventies even into the eighties. In part because. Ideologically, though, each party was a mess. You had Dixiecrats. Southern Democrats who were very conservative not just on racial issues. But on a whole range of issues you had Bronco fellow Republicans who were buried liberal there wasn't yet. What had taken place what we call the great sorting where people suddenly figured out that there's a national alignment, and if I feel this way, then I must be a democrat versus Republican everything was much more regional, and and so as a consequence you could have. A lot of cross party movement. Moderate Republicans got wiped out by twenty two thousand six even before we came in office. There were barely any. What would have been considered moderate Republicans? And there were very few conservative Democrats. So matter Republicans, but they they they were monitoring. Exactly, right. When I say moderate their ability to vote for you know, after they came out office. They'd be like oh, Brock. I know. This is really unreasonable. I'm sorry. It didn't do me much good or the country much. And I think that's still to some degree the case. But but what that means? Then is that? The legislative process. More or less shuts down. You then have to look at. Your administrative. And executive powers as a way of moving the needle on a whole range of issues that was controversial to some folks. Why is he signing executive actions as opposed to passing legislation? It wasn't my preference. But the alternative was complete gridlock in and the inability to solve real problems that we're out there at the time. Now, this is a general problem that we're going to have with our democracy until we get Congress working because what is absolutely true is congress punts so much now and has for the last thirty years. This wasn't just true under my ministrations. The ability to move big legislation through has become so challenging and the window for any administration to do. It is so narrow. That what you end up having is a situation in which agencies and essentially whoever controls the White House is filling in all kinds of gaps because there's no clear direction about. What exactly does the Clean Air Act me as the science evolves around climate change? So you've got the courts and the agencies interacting, and congress is sort of a bystander the whole process. I don't think that's healthy. I don't think that's optimal. But I also think that when you are in that presidential seat what you are constantly figuring out is within the bounds of the law. And I I want to make clear that distinction. Within the boundaries that have been set by your office of legal counsel. And. The courts. Can you exercise enough executive authority to be able to get some things done otherwise stuff just shuts? My big thing. You did get was the Affordable Care Act. We got that passed. Yes. And in those goods. And by the way, my understand. We're an open enrollment right now. So I want to give a little plug. Anybody who's listening? If you if you don't have health insurance, go on healthcare dot gov. And send me down to the hill or others did ram and others when they were grumpy about the Affordable Care Act to tell them why this was going to in the long run be a political winner. It wasn't in two thousand ten how gratifying was it to you to see all of these candidates all over the country. Democrat candidates campaigning on the Affordable Care Act and candidates saying. Yeah, we're for that too. For pre existing conditions felt gratifying. I wish it would come a little bit earlier. But that's. It would have been helpful on on in in two thousand fourteen but the look. You will recall that. Healthcare was always hard and tricky and during the campaign you and the pollsters and would warn me that this is a big headache. Because despite the fact that the United States has. Is unique among advanced economies around the world in not providing universal healthcare in having as many uninsured as we do and pay more paying more much more forward. Despite all that eighty five percent people have healthcare in the country. They did back then we got it up to ninety. But. And people tended to believe the worst about any changes in the healthcare system. If you already had health insurance, you figured any changes might make things worse for me. And so the politics of covering that last fifteen percent and making people's existing insurance. More secure was never easy. Never good, which is why nobody had gone done. Now, they've experienced it. And they don't want to give it up. Well, and my basic theory was if we could get the equivalent of a starter home. If we could change the terms of the debate. So that. It was a given that everybody should have health insurance. That is affordable. And that was the default that was the baseline which which people don't remember of before. The Affordable Care Act that wasn't a given. So we changed the terms of debate. By by insisting everybody's got to have a baseline. We got this little starter home going. We knew that it wasn't everything we would want. But that it would at least. Begin the process of getting more and more people accustomed to the idea that they should have insurance. And by the way, that the people who do have insurance should have insurance that actually is worse. Are you confident that the future will bring more and more reform and improvement. Yes. Because that's been the trend of the expansion of the social welfare system in this country social security started as a very modest program for widows and orphans and it excluded. Because of southern Democrats who didn't want African Americans to benefit at excluded domestic workers excluded agriculture workers. And over time it involved into. What we have today, Medicare, Medicaid, all these things have started off more modestly. And then over time people realize there should be improvements to it. I think the same thing will happen with Affordable Care Act. What's what what we've seen is in this election? And again, I'm the first to confess it took longer than I expected. Yeah. Is that this basic principle that people have that? Yeah. Everybody should have healthcare. And if you've got a pre existing condition, I shouldn't be foreclosed from getting healthcare. I think that now has been asked and answered asked an answer. And I and I would be surprised if you once again have. Republicans going after this thing as hard as they have. Although they are continued to undermine it in various places just out of spite in ways that I've never fully understood. The the one thing that has gotten. Me fired up on occasion is the idea for example, Republican governors whose constituents would directly benefit. And would and the the states would not be paying initially was entirely free. And then afterwards a modest match their unwillingness to provide coverage to residents of their states and places like Texas where you've got millions of people who liked basic coverage, I found three states with Republican governors, Utah Nebraskan Idaho voted to expand Medicaid in this past election where the market is on this. Eventually, we'll get there. Think about how many people didn't get a checkup didn't catch an illness early enough that the suffering and the pain that has been unnecessary as a consequence of an ideological or political agenda. Is. Is not our finest moment. Yeah. And this was one of those issues you mentioned earlier where you we're very clear that you were willing to lose for it. It wouldn't have passed from my vantage point without the help of Nancy Pelosi who is speaker of the house. She's in the news now. What is your sense of that in in whether the Democrats in the congress need her in these next two years like Churchill got dispatched after World War Two, but he led the country through the war. Look, and they know who Churchill they do. I will just offer my opinion about Nancy Pelosi. I'm not gonna wait into. And. House Democratic caucus politics. I think Nancy Pelosi when the history is written. We'll go down as one of the most effective legislative leaders that we this country's ever seen. And. You know, Nancy is not always the best on cable show or with the quick sound bite or what have you? But her skill. Tenacity toughness vision. Is remarkable. Her stamina. Her ability to see around corners. Her ability to stand her ground and do hard things. And to. Suffer unpopularity to get the right thing done. I think stands up against any. Person that I've observed or work directly with in Washington during my lifetime. And I think that. We have a tendency in our politics in this country to put a premium on performance, art. And it oak can they give a fancy speech, and are they? Quick and cool on some YouTube video or how are they house their banter on the late night talk shows? Yeah, you've ruined it for everybody. Well, but but I tell you. A lot of this job or a lot of the work. Of government is not flashy. It is it is nuts and bolts, and it is a grind, and it is hard. And it's a matter of competence, and knowing your stuff and being willing to just do the blocking and tackling involved in. Actually getting things across the finish line. And my experience has been that Nancy Pelosi knows how to do that. And she was an extraordinary partner for me. Throughout my presidency. Well, I can understand, you know, wanting to Wade into house politics. So I just wanted to give my. No. I have to ask you this question from from quasi Frank from Brooklyn who has based on the current state of the nation. Do you have any regrets about something you did or did not do during your presidency? And would you change any decisions you made? Well, one of my biggest regrets. Is one I've talked about a lot and is in the news today. Some of you've heard that just a couple of miles from here. There was another shooting mercy hospital. Where what appears to and not all the details are in. But it appears a disgruntled expiation say decides to come in and shoot his former fiancee, and then shoot ever leathers police who others three others, including a police officer. And. The I this. I've also said the hardest day of my presidency was was the day of the Newtown shootings. Sandy hook and having to be having to comfort parents who six year olds had been slaughtered. Just two days before and the the angriest I was ever during my presidency was seeing congress not do anything about it completely unresponsive. Dan and erupted for Wednesday and say Leah Sofer another student asked what was the most challenging part of the presidency on a personal level. This would be yes. And the fact that I. I buy my second term. It was literally every two or three months where I was having to travel and. Hug sobbing parents or spouses or children. Because of mass shootings, and it had become routine, and we had this. Kabuki dance of what we're offering our thoughts and prayers and. People would start talking about we need to do something about this and the other side would immediately and and. Of the entirety just about of the Republican party. And some Democrats where the politics was tough in their communities would would just shut off any discussion of dealing with this public health crisis. Does not exist anywhere else. This is unique. To the United States relative to our peer countries. It just it's not even close. We. We have significantly brought down traffic fatalities during. You're in my lifetime. Maybe the fact is that it is much safer now to drive. And the reason for that is people said. We should take a look at this and say, why are all these people dying in cars, it didn't mean we took away. All cars it meant. We did try to figure out how to make this more sensible and more safe and that included everything from airbags and seat belts to anti-drunk driving campaigns to how do we engineer roads? And how do we analyze when accidents take place same thing with airplanes same thing with just about every other aspect of our lives? And you have this one. Area that is treated as. Completely off limits. But you know, you know, why Mr President because they they would argue the opponents that this is the one that is enshrined in the well, actually, it turns out, for example of free speech the first amendment last I checked is enshrined in the constitution. And yet, we we hope it sliced we, but we say you can't yell fire in the middle of a theater we we consistently make decisions around. How do you balance? The health and safety of people with. The requirements of freedom. And look you and I have had conversations about this. I Representative annoyed downstate Illinois full of hunters. And and Michelle, and I used to when we were when we were campaigning out in Iowa, and we'd be in rural areas and you'd see some farm. House. Miles from a big town. And you'd say I can see why I'd want a firearm here because somebody just pulled into my driveway. The sheriff's not responding for quite some time. I might need some protection. I so the issue. It's so frustrating that we can't even have this conversation without knowing where it ends because it is self apparent. That we can create a system in which people could still have. Hunting license and an ability to ask a firearm in the home for their own protection. But there were significant limits and restrictions on their ability to shoot up, hospitals and schools and synagogues in fact, that we can't have that discussion in part has is driven not simply organically. This didn't just get. Emerge on its own this this was in part, manufactured by gun manufacturers and economic interests, and it was exploited for political purposes and mind, your own design, and they mind cultural divide so that guns became a symbol in part of that divide, and it took on an outsized importance separate and apart from the actual policy that was at issue and. Did you see any hope of changing it any? Well, I see hope and changing it if people vote, and I see hope and changing if people. Of goodwill. Examine. Of our willingness to try to come up with some improvements. I don't see hope in us, suddenly. Eliminating. The the high levels of gun violence that we have in our society right away. But I see us being able to improve things, and this is something that I've said consistently I said on the campaign trail, and as you say in the White House, I am not somebody who believes that. Something's not worth doing unless you get all of it done. I'm a big believer in the half a loaf. I'm a big believer in better is good and on issues like this. I would gladly take better where I'm saving maybe one hundred people year, and then becomes two hundred maybe then thousand kids aren't getting shot. I would take that in a minute. Even though I would still mourn and weep for the thousands of others who we haven't saved yet. I have to ask you. Two things before I want to talk about what you're doing. Now. One is your reaction midterm elections. You jumped in there. I remember you telling me the bushes had taught you a lesson in how to be a former president, and that was basically to give room in space for but you felt the need to jump in there and campaign. Yes. And how do you feel about the results? The president said it was nearly total complete victory for his side. But. I I think we did very well. And the reason I'm was particularly happy was to see the significant increase in vote totals the percentage of people who voted the percentage of young people who voted. Yes, was heartening to me. There was a about a ten percent jump in the voting rates of I want to report to you that we ran drive here on this campus in university of Chicago led the nation. I like that. Yes. So that's what I would expect. So. My general theory of politics is if you have out you went, and if you don't you lose, and if you wanna move your agenda forward, then you have to have more votes than the other guy. It's not all that sophisticated. It's math. It's math. Oh, you want congress? That's more responsive to the issues vote. More of your. Party in the congress, and then hold them accountable. And that's how that's how this stuff works for the most part. So you are you're I was pleased with the result. I have to ask you this question because I bet you there people here who would be interested in it as you look to two thousand and twenty what are your impressions of Beddoe mania, and what sort of role in the Democratic Party? You see him taking in the future. Impressive young man. Who who ran a terrific race in Texas and? What I what I liked most about his race was that it didn't feel constantly poll. Tested. It felt as if. He didn't poll in fact, it it felt as if he. Based his statements and his positions on what he believed and. That you'd like to. Thank normally how things work. Sadly, it's not. I think you, and I would both agree that in two thousand eight and hopefully pretty consistently all the way through that. The reason I was able to make a connection with a sizeable portion of the country was people had a sense that I said what I meant. And that's a quality that as I look at what I'm sure we'll be a strong field of candidates in in twenty twenty many of whom are friends of mine and people I deeply respect. What I oftentimes am looking for first and foremost is. Do you seem to mean it? Are you in this thing because you have a strong set of convictions that you are willing to risk? Things for and. He struck you as a guy who. Yes. And I think there are others. I don't think he's. We got a number of people who are thinking about the race. Oh, I think fall in that same category. And being able to sustain that maintain that. In the heat of battle when the spotlight's on. And there are significant risks. And you taking that position may lead you to lose this race that you've invested so much. That's that's the test. I want to see somebody pass. And by the way, I I can't even say that is necessarily always a winning formula. Yeah. I. I don't want to leave people with the impression that the good guys always win that the folks who are the most honest, always succeed in politics. I know I think that there's a lot of times where the outcomes may be different. And disappointing. But what I will say this. The people who move the needle forward, the people who moved the country in a way that goes back to that earlier comment. We our discussion we had about this theory of this the United States the folks who. Make it more likely that our children live in place that is fair and free and provides equal opportunity to all people. The moments where we've moved forward has to do at some point with somebody's. Being being willing to risk everything for for larger principal, and that's true. Sometimes even for folks who weren't particularly principled in the past. You look at Lyndon Johnson. At the moment, he signs Civil Rights Act, and he fights to get the Civil Rights Act test. This is not somebody who had been in the past of particularly principle. But. Grace lit upon him in at a certain moment. He said now we shall overcome. And he. Used his mastery of the Senate to get that thing. You know, my, you know, how I think about politics, it seems to me that what we saw in this election, and what you may see in two thousand and twenty s people are going to be hungering for that. And someone I and I'm not pushing bell Rourke over other candidates, but one of the things that made him appealing was he went everywhere treated with respect. And I think that's a lesson that whoever runs needs needs to learn I think the countries Hungary to be knitted back together and to see. A sense of mutual regard. I'm a big believer, as you know, in show up everywhere, and you talked to everybody, and you don't write people off. And you don't assume. Oh, well that person's not woke. And you know, what I'm gonna tell you. If how are they going to wake up if you're not having a conversation with them and listening to them and getting a sense of what they? I you may need to be awakened to how they're feeling and what they're going through. I I never understood this idea that you have to choose between your base. Sort of expanding reaching beyond your base. You talked to everybody. The those of us who consider ourselves. Progressives one of the principles we have fought against is. Somebody reducing us to. Our color or gender or sexual orientation and suggesting that there are things we can and can't do they're things that we can or can't believe because of those attributes those those those immutable characteristics. What we have been turned around and say. Yeah. That white man. In Arkansas, I'm not going to reach him, or you know that. Evangelical. I'm sure they're not going to be interested in hearing about a my environmental issue. You don't know that you have to engage and pay attention of. And when that happens. You're not gonna immediately bridge all those divides. There are very real differences. These are hard issues a lot of times when people genuinely disagree, but. At minimum. You will. Establish you you will be. Contributing to the. The the goodwill and the habits of the heart that are required for our democracy to continue to function, and and that is no small thing. Not oh that's more essential now than ever. So I've run over way over I know, I know we know, but you know, what we knew that was going to happen. But it's it's it's my podcast. So I'm going to run over. But I can't leave without pointing out that there are Obama scholars who are studying at the Harris school here. And it speaks to the work you're doing now through your foundation. And what you're what what you're doing? And what your hopes are for it. While we just completed a of a. Young leader summit here in Chicago that included some are scholars. Were doing great work at the there. They are they're all cheering and. These are. Marketable young leaders from around the world who are studying here at the Harris school, the university of Chicago also. Collaborating learning from each other working with us too. Find ways in which we can support their efforts back home. And. What I am. Constantly amazed by is how much talent there is everywhere. Young people who are smart and driven and innovative and idealistic and are absolutely intent on change in the world for the better. What they are concerned about. I think is that the old institutions aren't always working the way they're supposed to and there's sometimes cynical about those existing structures. So part of what our job is through the the presidential center programming is to give them a platform where they can start creating and remaking and revitalizing union with each. These these institutions it's Touche's that can provide workers with representation so that they can make a decent living and have decent jobs in. This new economy of innovations that help us deal with the environmental consequences of climate change and start getting on top of that innovations to ensure that the governments are transparent and and Representative. And the creativity and the. The passion that they've already displayed makes me Optima stick, and we had young people even younger than these folks. Some of them just out of high school had already started their own projects and Arizona and South Carolina as well as here in Chicago. So I am very excited about the programming. And obviously, I'm excited about us building a presidential center that in partnership with the university of Chicago, I think can help tell the story of of not simply my presidency, but. As I think the best museums do and libraries do. Tell a story about America's journey to. To create a more perfect union. Well, as you know, this institute of politics is working the same side of the street here. We're going to be great partners is all yeah. Well, I appreciate our long friendship and collaboration. You know, we share a vision, and it was such. It's been such a joy to be along on this journey with you and thank you so much for being here today. It was great to be here. And congratulations to all the. Participants of you guys are doing great look forward to seeing you do great. Thanks. Thank you. Thank you. You're listening to the X files part of the CNN podcast network for more episodes of the files. Visit X-Files podcasts dot com and subscribe on apple podcasts, Stitcher or your favorite podcast app from our programming from the university of Chicago institute of politics is politics dot EU, Chicago dot EDU. Thanks for listening to my conversation with President Obama. And if you enjoyed this conversation, I'm sure you'll enjoy listening to audio books, and let me tell you. There's no better place to listen to audible because audible has the largest selection of audio books on the planet and remember now, audible members can get even more exclusive audio fitness programs audiobooks in audible originals with custom made content. And now I'm excited that becoming the must-listen memoir from Michelle Obama is part of the audible library start a thirty day free trial and your first audio book is free. So go to audible dot com slash act or text axe to five hundred five hundred.

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The Future of Voting And The 2020 Election, with Anthony Fowler

Big Brains

24:42 min | 2 months ago

The Future of Voting And The 2020 Election, with Anthony Fowler

"You may have heard there's an election coming up and as the pandemic looms state, you're scrambling to scale up mail in voting mainland voting is not new in the United States what is new is the possibility that most states will offer it in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, president trump claims that increasing mail in voting will create widespread fraud that fraud. Would invalidate the election results. That is if he loses the only way, we're GONNA lose. This election is if the election is rigged, remember that the only way we're GONNA lose a selection that's not to say that voting by mail will be a smooth process. There really are legitimate questions about how quickly will county election offices be able to process all of the mail ballots that they're getting especially if they're not used to getting a lot of male belts before this is University of Chicago Political Science Scholar Anthony Fowler he's also host of another University of Chicago podcast. Not Another Politics Podcast I. knew you're podcasting pro at this point so what are we talking about that? But? It does feel a little better on this and I didn't have to prepare as much because You know I'm I'm I hope talking about things that I know about what he knows the most about is voting and voter behavior. In fact, Fowler spent the better part of his career studying how this fundamental part of our democracy works or sometimes doesn't work. Well, it certainly is true that the people who vote are systematically unrepresentative of the people who are eligible to vote older richer wider people are much more likely to vote the rest of the population. With the twenty twenty election just around the corner we sat down with Fowler to get an expert's view mail in voting the possibility of mobile voting and his unusual suggestions on how to change the whole system. Our proposal is that there should be illegal expectation that you vote if you're eligible and that if you don't vote, you should you should be mined from the University of Chicago. This is big brains a podcast about the pioneering research and pivotal breakthroughs that are reshaping our world on this episode voting and Twenty Twenty and beyond I'm your host Paul Rand. Eighty million that's the number of mail in ballots that Americans are expected to cast this year it's more than any other time in US history and it's happening during of course and unprecedented pandemic universal man voting is going to be catastrophic. It's going to make our country laughingstock all over the world I asked Fowler to give us a fact check on the president's unfounded claims of possible fraud for voting by mail. There are some risks associated with mail in voting that are not present with our more traditional my voting in polling clarifications that were more comfortable with but those risks are most likely pretty minimal there have been. Some researchers who have tried to track him how much fraud there has been a male elections and yes, there have been some rare cases where you know in Japan for example, a candidate running for legislature had fifty five people all registered at their small home and they were all voting for that candidate so on. So these kinds of things do happen but the biscuits are I think on the whole pretty minimal while the groundwork as we hear, our president talk at least is being made that voting has been compromised they could be sending out eighty million ballots ended stomach rats they're gonNA they're trying to rig this election. How do you feel that that argument will stack up assuming he loses that the voting was compromised is going to be something that's going to get paid a lot of attention to well I mean anything the president decides to devote attention to gets you know gets attention from everyone else because what the president says it does matters a lot. It matters it matters whether or not the American public believes our elections trustworthy or not that being said, I don't have any reason now. To think that we're gonNA find any hard evidence that that are voting was compromised in any serious way. But the simple fact that the president wants to make that argument is itself something that's troubling for democracy because one of the most important things in a democracy is that is that everyone eight everyone in the society respects the results of the outcome and we have peaceful transition of power. So just the fact that the president and other other leaders they comments like that is. Is Troubling in and of itself? So fraud really isn't an issue here but what effect does voting by mail have on election results a lot of people assume that voting by mail might benefit Democrats. But is that true on his not another politics podcast Fowler and his team looked at a major study from Stanford that wholesome answers Some. States have gradually expanded what you might call all male elections where every registered voter automatically it's a, it's a ballot in the mail and voting by mail is kind of the default option. So they've conducted essentially differences, differences analysis where they can see as some counties are expanding all-male actions. What happens in those counties relative to other counties that haven't expanded at yet one of the findings is that vote by mail seems to have fairly modest effects precipitation it does increase participation, but maybe only by one or two percentage points, they also find that it does. Not seem to systematically benefit one party or the other IT increases turn out by Democrats and Republicans by that similarly modest one to percent finding. Perhaps contrary to a lot of concerns maybe concerns that president trump himself has there's not any clear evidence that vote by meals, systematically benefits side or the the part of that that really does surprise me maybe it surprises you to is that it doesn't lead to a notably stronger increase in voting. Why do you think that is I think there's probably a few reasons for that It's not obvious that all-male election. No. Increase participation because when states implement all-male elections, they also remove in-person polling location. So if there are people who are really attached, they like going and voting person and that's what they've always done and we know that voting does have habitual component to it. You could imagine some people who are actually de mobilized by that change to all action. So it's not obvious which way it would go although it does seem to increase turnout slightly. So the the turnout voting at least in the last presidential election was about what sixty percent of eligible Bogor's in sixteen is that right? That's about right and it's roughly the sixty percent of eligible voters in presidential races is pretty typical and if you looked at that and I don't know you could have said that the last election you could make a case it was really historical and critical. You could absolutely make the case this time. Do. You think that number's going to go up and if so why and if not why not? So I don't have any strong predictions about whether turnout is going to be higher. If anything I might say turnout should be lower than normal because because of the concerns about the pandemic because people may not feel comfortable going out voting in person because they're going to be efforts to make it difficult for some people to vote by mail etc there's not going to be. The same level of ground campaigning that we've seen before though is going to be knocking on your door reminding you to vote. So if anything my prediction would be that turnout might be a little bit lower than what we've seen in recent presidential elections. But this doesn't have to be all bad news fowler says there are some side effects to mail in voting the good actually improve our system but I a bit of a confession. So he here's a confessional moment of guilt. For voting for you and I don't know if this is going to be a alone thing. But there are plenty of times. Will I go into vote and I will spend time on a certain number of the contests, and then I'm GonNa turn around and there is a list of judges, sanitation engineers and others that I have not paid a lick of attention to how to most people handle voting when when you have such voluminous types of voting. And you're very likely to your point not going to be studying all these. What what trends do you see in that type of voting circumstances? Yes. Absolutely. That is an interesting benefit of voting by mail is that when you get that mail ballot, you can actually take the time sitting at your kitchen table and decide who you're gonNA vote for. So that's something that hasn't been talked about much a recently in this discussion about what women but that's. A nice benefit of voting by mail I I voted by mail just this year I thought it was really nice. I got the ballot and I said I have never heard of these judges seminole go look them up whereas you might show up to the polling location and say shoot I didn't even know this is on the ballot I guess I'm right right And there is some. Political Science evidence suggesting that voting by mail does actually improve electoral accountability and government accountability as a result of having more for people who take the time to figure out is the city council member actually doing a good job or not the biggest advantage of voting by mail though is that it's convenient. You don't have to stand in line. You don't have to take off work. You don't have to find child care, but you do have to go through the trouble of requesting the ballot, filling it out correctly, and of course, sending it back on time, and this leads to the obvious question isn't there in easier way. Why can't we just vote on our phones in two thousand eighteen there was one st, the try it West Virginia Age. First of its kind mobile APP is being tested in West Virginia it is being touted as secure high tech tool for absentee voting for servicemen and women, and their families overseas and Fowler did a study on how that affected voter participation. Some registered voters were allowed to. Vote via mobile device, they could actually download an APP on their phone or their tablet, and they could cast their vote just from their phone that does actually appear to increase participation It also raises a bunch of security concerns that may be interesting to talk about as well. So I certainly wouldn't necessarily recommend that we adopt widespread mobile voting until we do sort of the security concerns but. There are people who are trying some pretty creative things syndicate easier for people to vote. Okay. Well, since you've opened that door, let's go into what what's when you talk about security concerns. What are the biggest ones that we should be most concerned about an and what's being done to address those things so so if you talk to you know I'm not a cybersecurity expert. But. If you talk to cybersecurity experts about elections, they will tell you that their preferred voting technology is the very old school. He's a paper and a pen, and there's a paper trail you go in person you fill it out. There's a stack of paper. If anything goes wrong, you can always go back and count the ballots by him. You're not giving any bad actors some. Manipulate the votes through computer. For example, the kinds of security concerns you would have with mobile voting are what if there really was a bad actor out there who wanted to mess things up and they managed to hack into this particular APP so they could actually change people's votes maybe they change which of the ballots actually get processed directly or not. Maybe they change who's APP is working correctly you. Can. Imagine all kinds of ways that a bad actor could potentially manipulate the outcomes of elections if everybody was casting their votes through a phone or mobile device, there's no evidence of that did happen in West Virginia twenty eighteen. But you can imagine that if everyone of the country is voting on a mobile device, the the incentives would be pretty high for for a bad actor try to figure out. How to hack into those systems and? It turns out paper is the best voting technology we have. Coming up why it matters who folks and what Fowler wants to change about our election system. Krona viruses changing life as we know it on a daily basis but how the pandemic permanently reshaped our lives in the future What will a world look like five years from now Cobra Twenty twenty-five our world in the next five years is a new video series featuring leading scholars at the University of Chicago. They'll discuss corona virus will change healthcare international relations, education, and many other aspects of our lives. The series from the same team that brings to this podcast can be found on youtube with new episodes released regularly and. Ah Pew Research Center Survey shows that a record number of voters say it quote unquote really matters who wins the White House. But who were the people casting the ballots? A big part of Anthony fires research is on voter participation, and so a big interest of mine is in who votes who doesn't vote what implications have for our election results in public policies and the people who vote are systematically unrepresentative of the people who are eligible to vote older richer wider people are much more likely to vote than the rest of the population and so that does mean that. The kind of voluntary voting that we have in American society does on average seemed to benefit the Republican party versus the Democratic Party. So if somehow, we could get everyone voting that probably would have partisan implications and knowing about those patterns and knowing you know having a sense of that is probably why a lot of Republicans tend to oppose any effort to expand the electric or make voting. Easier from pershing millions of voters from the roles to implementing strict voter ID laws to attempting to limit early voting to a history of voter intimidation to redrawing districts to benefit their party. Republicans do not have a track record of making voting easier. In fact, it's quite the opposite according to Alor. Especially when it comes to black and Latino voters, there is a lot of good evidence suggesting. That yes. Those inequalities in participation do have very important implications. It does it does matter who votes in who doesn't vote and things would be different if everybody voted and if everybody voted most likely, I think we have a lot of good research suggesting that that would in the short run benefit the Democratic Party again, presidential elections turn out only about sixty percent of the voting age population. And that's not a very easy problem to fix. You're not to get everybody voting just by sending everybody a mail ballot just by having early voting or weekend voting or a holiday or something like that. Those problems are much harder to solve the other part of it is that even when voting is very, very low cost, even we make it really easy. There are still plenty of people who. Don't find it worthwhile to it because what are the odds that my one vote is going to be pivotal in some large scale elections? The question is, what's pivotal means case? Pivotal. Would mean it's it's a little bit tricky to think about it but pivotal would literally mean in this case, I'm if I show up and vote for my preferred candidate might prefer candid it winds, and if I did show up and vote than the other candidate would win that would be a rationale for voting. That would be a very clear instrumental reason for voting in the chances. Of. That being the case of course, you never know whether that would be your vote would be pivotal but ex ante the chances of that we're going to be the cases some extremely low number. Okay and so I think I'm hearing you right but I will go back and just state it because having the voting expert kind of say is Kinda, clear that your vote doesn't matter which. I think is kind of where you're going on this is that accurate and if that's the case, then why does anybody votes? Yes, I mean it's true that at the individual level, your vote is not likely to matter that doesn't mean that either in the aggregate everyone's voting behavior matters a time right so there is this collective action problem where you know we as a group of. Like minded people who have shared interests would all be better off if everybody voted if we could all make sure we commit ourselves devoting. So how do we solve this problem? This year Fowler was part of a working group convened by the Brookings Institution and Harvard he and nearly thirty other researchers published a report recommending something that might seem a bit unusual making it illegal not to vote. We rotor port. That essentially advocates for compulsory voting United States we we argue that voting should be thought of as a civic duty should be an expectation of citizenship just like paying your taxes just like disposing of your trash properly, and one of the motivations for that is that the people who vote in our elections are so unrepresentative of the eligible population and we haven't found any good ways of correcting that problem other than something like a strong financial incentives and so our proposal is there should be an expert illegal expectation that you vote if you're eligible. And that if you don't vote should you should be fine I. We don't think that fine should be so costly that it's putting people into poverty but we think we think a small fine on the order of twenty dollars would be would be very good for both improving representation improving participation without overburdening citizens and other places otherwise it and other global democracies where you're seeing that happen with some degree of success there are there are there are. Plenty of other countries that have some kind of compulsory voting policy. One of the countries that does it well, Australia where they achieve more than ninety percent participation in virtually every federal and state election and they do it through a find just like I described a fine roughly on the order of twenty dollars and they've been doing it for a long time and I've done some research Australia and showing that when the influence I implemented this Alsi. Dramatically increase participations you'd expect and it did change electoral and policy outcomes you had working class voters who were previously underrepresented who now all of a sudden show up to vote they change they changed which kinds of candidates get elected in the change risk policies get it in total. There are twenty four countries around the world with some form of compulsory voting and while the laws aren't always strictly enforced research does show that they can dramatically impact turn out we've tried a lot of ways to. Improve access to elections improve participation, make things run better and I think compulsory voting would be one of the best things we could do to create that strong incentive. You know we we often don't have the resources to to make voting easy. Some peop-. Some people do have to wait two hours in line to vote and if voting was compulsory if you were going to be fine for not voting, then all of a sudden those. Two hours in line not only are they mad because they're not voting they're mad because they could get find as well. So I think you just get more public pressure. You get more widespread understanding that voting is a civic duty. It's not it's not a privilege or benefit I'm offering you at something that is a you know something that everyone should do we have to we have to make it as easy as possible just like you know the irs can't make it really difficult for you to file your taxes otherwise, you would have money in the streets I think compulsory voting would be one way of actually improving the way elections. Well the ease of filing taxes is debatable but that's an argument for another episode I asked to Fowler had other ideas to change the way elections run. I would also want to make it as easy for people to vote as possible. so that would include automatically registering people who are eligible to vote there, and then you know, and then we can talk about. All kinds of interesting ways in which we could change our our voting system to make potentially fairer more equitable better outcomes know the electoral college is something that obviously is debated a lot. There's obviously I can't think of any good reason to have the electoral college and we could talk about you know is that actually a feasible thing? Could you actually change the? Electoral College that we pretty hard. Yeah. What what makes it so art well there. There are a few ways you could think about changing the electoral college getting rid of Electoral College the main way that people would think of would be a constitutional amendment and that's not going to happen because you would need three or four states actually sign on and me. States benefit from the Electoral College. If you're a swing state or if you're a smaller state, then you probably like the electoral college because swing states get more attention presidential candidates they're effective influence is greater and then small states their votes essentially count more than than big states each voter Wyoming. Roughly it's three times the weight as voter in California A. Wyoming. In California doesn't. So you're not going to get three or four states sexually sign on and get rid of thing that has benefiting a lot of them. There's also some reason to think that at least in recent years, the electoral college benefits, the Republican Party more so than the Democratic Party. Partly, because smaller states tend to lean Republican now, that could certainly change. That's that hasn't always been the case in that could certainly change in the future. But at the moment, the way the electoral college shakes out it looks like it gives a little bit of a benefit to the Republican Party and so a lot of strong. Republican. States and a lot of Republican leaders are not gonNA WANNA get rid of electoral college either. So I think a constitutional amendment is essentially off the table but there are some other clever indirect ways you could imagine getting rid of the. Electoral College and one of them is actually making its way through the state legislatures right now, there's this national vote project where essentially essentially every state could allocate the however they want. So Illinois has the right to allocate their electors in whatever way Bay deem appropriate and Illinois could just decide. We're going to give all of our electors instead of giving them to whoever wins Illinois. We could give all of our electors to whoever wins the national popular vote, and you can imagine that if enough states pass that policy if the states the past that policy have enough electoral. Votes all between them to guarantee that whoever wins the national popular vote wins the election. Then effectively, we've gotten rid of the electoral college indirectly by some big states doing it doing away with the electoral college would mean relying on the national vote but Fowler has one last idea for you to consider the other thing that you could certainly change about our political system. There are a lot of undesirable features of first past the post plurality rule system the first past the post plurality system you might be asking yourself what that is. Well, it's essentially how our election works. Right now, each voter is allowed to vote for only one candidate and that candidate who pulls the most wins simple enough right. But what if you wanted to vote for a third party? Well, think back to the presidential election twenty years ago is a lot of people argue this essentially, what happened in two thousand where Bush was actually not preferred by the electorate over Gore and yet one anyway because a lot of people voted for need the theory that the people who voted for Nader likely preferred Gore, over Bush, but because they voted third party Bush benefited from their votes. Fowler says this leads to a lot of strategic voting rather than voting for whom they want to win people end up voting based on who has the best chances of beating the candidate they like least, and so we ended up with a two party system. So that's a problem that's a very hard problem to solve but there are certainly creative ways you can try to solve that problem. One of the creative solutions I've seen was developed by Eric Maschen he essentially. He essentially propose we would rank all the candidates. So you show up to vote and give your full ranking of candidates, and then the way we would determine the winner is that we would look at the head to head matchup between every pair of candidates. So we'd say okay as between Nader Indoor, which one do people prefer what about between Gore and Bush? What about between? Bush. And native we do all of those head to head matchups and then if any. Candidate beats all the other candidates in at matchup that'll be the win a system like that would ensure that even if you want to vote for a third party, you don't have to worry about your vote going to the candidate you like the least if they lost your vote would go to the candidate you like next best you could also have more than three parties so voters would have more opportunities to vote for candidates they actually like and yet the problem. With that system is that it's not guaranteed to produce a winner, there could actually be a cycle where Gore Beats Bush, Bush Needs Nader and Beats Beats Gordon practically be pretty unlikely but it is possible. So there's no perfect voting system by any means of this you know this goes back to something we call Eros Law there's there's no voting system that's going to do everything you wanted to do but that doesn't mean that the system we have is the best what. A. Big brains is a production of the Chicago podcast network. If you like what you heard, please give us a review and a rating show hosted by Paul Rand and produced by me Mad Madoda with assistance from Melissa leads. Thanks for listening.

Anthony Fowler president United States fraud University of Chicago Paul Rand West Virginia Republican party Democratic Party Twenty Twenty Bush University of Chicago Politica Chicago trump Japan
Roger Ibbotson Discusses the History of Finance (Podcast)

Masters in Business

1:24:48 hr | 1 year ago

Roger Ibbotson Discusses the History of Finance (Podcast)

"The. This is masters in business with Barry ritholtz on Bloomberg radio. This week in on the podcasts. Wow. What a what a delightful conversation. I had with Roger Ibbotson. If you don't know who he is. Well, you need to become a little more familiar with financial histories. He is one of the founding fathers about modern thoughts on on asset allocation portfolio management valuation factor. Go down the list of a million things he really was instrumental in the development and expansion of crisp which is the giant stock database originally out of the university of Chicago Ibbotson associates, he's on the board of visors at dimensional funds. His curriculum vitae is pages and pages long. He was extremely generous with his time and shared all sorts of fascinating things with us. If you are at all a stock market walk. If you're at all interested in why? Why some stocks go up and others, don't then you're gonna find this conversation to be absolutely fascinating. So with no further ado, Mike conversation with Yale university's Roger Ibbotson. This week. I have an extra special guest his name is Roger Ibbotson. He is a professor at the Yale school of management where he is professor of practice Merida's of finance. He is also the founder and chairman of Ibbotson associates, which was sold not too long ago to MorningStar he is on the board of directors of dimensional fund advisors. He is the chairman and CEO of zebra, capital management, an equity investment and hedge fund manager. He has also taught for many years and served as executive director for the center for research in security prices, better known as crisp he's the author of numerous books, including investment markets gaining the performance advantage and global investing the professional's guide to the world of capital markets, Roger Ibbotson. Welcome to Bloomberg. Great to be here. I've been looking forward to having this conversation with you for. A long long time. I've certainly been familiar with Ibbotson associates uh since she founded them back in nineteen seventy seven, but let's go back to your days when you got your PHD from Chicago. What was the state of the world in finance like when when you first entered the markets while you know, was really thinks we're happening at the university of Chicago and automatically many of the people there got Nobel prizes. What went on at? So. But if you just take take back a few years before that finance really hadn't developed as a as an economic subject of his security analysts are how to pick a stock or something like that. And then and then receive really developing a whole theory of how finance works, and I gotta say I had I had great people to work with their. I chairman on my committee when I wrote my dissertation was Eugene Fama. He went on Nove prize. I had I my committee Merton Miller he went to Nobel prize. Myron Scholes wanna know about prize Fisher black. He you know, you have to be alive to win a Nobel prize. Fortunately, he died before that, but he certainly would have. So it was really a tremendous group of people to work with. That's a nineteen twenty six Yankees murderers row of Nobel laureates. Yes. So yeah, it was it was a wonderful time going on. So I actually all the somebody different discoveries take taking place, you mentioned that the study of finance really hadn't developed academically as as much as it has since tell us about the center for research in security prices for crisp how did that come about? And what was your involvement? So the center for research in security prices, we caught crisp CRISP. Well, Chris by has was really set up by James Laurie and Larry Fisher, and they were collecting data on on the stock return. And their data started nineteen twenty six. And now you see a lot of things start and nineteen twenty six so they're collecting this data. And that's what started the center, and I gotta say they want they publish the state. The never kept it quite up to date. But once they published it was people are so interested because they had no idea what actually will happen in the stock market. They didn't actually have any sense for what how stock market returns were like and fact, the kind of remembered the thirties, and how terrible it wise and so forth, and they knew things were better lately. But but they still didn't realize the high returns and actually happened in the stock market. That's quite fascinating. So when you save this was not much of an academic study. Are you really referring to the fact that previous to the creation of crisp? There wasn't a whole lot of data that could be analyzed. At least not consistent data in anything approach. Ching a well-structured way. Yeah. Chris barely put the data on the map. And then when I got my PC there, but actually stayed on as professor, and and when I say on I became the executive director of Chris. So I wasn't I guess helping to put the data together. And it was really not only university of Chicago that was using that day too. But all the other universities where really using that data. So this suddenly suddenly finance became an empirical subject that people people could study that's the word owes hunting for had no empiricism previous. This was what years did you begin with a crisp? Well, I got there as a student in nineteen sixty eight and became a faculty member in nineteen seventy four, and I guess I became executive director. I don't remember few years after that of the center, but I was always involved with Chris from the start because I was always interested in data and. In fact. I got I got a job while I was getting my PHD in the investment office of the university. Dowman right. I I was a consultant to the office. And and one of the things they asked me as a consultant was what do we do with his bond portfolio? And I said, well, I can manage that. And so they actually has a eastern there's actually managing the university of Chicago bond portfolio in how large was that at the time. Well, these numbers were not large today's time to a couple of hundred million. You know, it's still a PHD student is like, okay, congratulations. You're running a few hundred million dollars. That's not nothing especially in the late sixties. Yeah. It was it was a great thing to do. And and it gets back to what you're talking about. When people once I was running the bond portfolio. People would ask me when are Fisher and Lawrie going to update their study because I the first day to came out from nineteen twenty six to nineteen sixty. And then it was the nineteen nineteen twenty six to nineteen sixty five and then nineteen sixty eight but this was seventy. To seventy three and people are asking one when I say the updated data, and I would ask I would ask Larry Fisher when it's going to get baited. Larry give me a day date would go by and it wouldn't get done. And and so this is what I really took the ball by our and I worked with wrec zinc field who is a mine at the time, and we decided to put this put data that literally all the we use the center for research prices, but we put up some quicker data together to get a sense of what something up today, actually. And we brought it up to date actually through nineteen seventy six at the time. So that brings us to nineteen seventy seven which not coincidentally when you launch Ibbotson associates. Tell us about what motivated you to go out and hang your own shingle. West dock sponsor bills and inflation. I was an assistant professor and just we're just published stocks bonds bills inflation I as a couple of journal articles and one which is on the past and one extra predicted the future long-term, but then also as a monograph from the CFA institute. And EV everybody was so interested that I was I I was getting dated with letters coming in CEO's asking me for information. And and response of this this question that question, and and I was at a I barely had a secretary. I had a part of secretary. And I and I didn't know what to do with all these letters from the CIO's CEO's and CIO's and and so forth. So I I I started hiring a couple of people to help me out with this. That's what that's what it caused me actually started. But associates had. Plenty of business at the start because somebody people were actually requesting things from me you sold associates and advisors to morning star back in two thousand and six pretty good timing before the tide went out in. Oh, eight oh nine what was that process? Like, they're pretty big shot. Morningstar? How did that transaction go? Well in two thousand six by that time, I was at Yale yell school of management is a professor in practice there. But in two thousand six the we had a hundred and fifty people and Evison associates offices in Chicago, New York and Tokyo, actually, but still we were very small compared to MorningStar giant also in Chicago. Right. Aren't they? They were very far they were just like to firms that were somewhat similar that were only a couple of blocks away from each other that that's a pretty natural fit that the. Large morning store will acquire the smaller Ibbotson in the same hometown. At actually, I gotta say the we we were out. I because I remember when Joe wait. Oh, and then I eighties but came to a few of our holiday parties and things like that. And but he, but I gotta say you have to give Joe Macedo credit mornings. I really took off and grew we were growing fast too. But nothing like they were you focused on data about markets. Generally, they focus specifically on mutual funds and that became a giant growth area for them. As specially with the Orissa laws and 4._0._1._K coming up in in the early seventies. Well, everybody was in Orissa was more. Yeah. For won't cave. Really started developing in that really nineteen as I was those defined benefit defined benefit pension plans, the db plans, and we worked with them to some extent. And but MorningStar actually picked the retail end of it with a faraway market and the mutual funds. Yes. And so, but we were very fast growing firms that were alongside each other for a couple of decades Takagi before they actually bought us out quite intriguing. Let's talk a little bit about crisp. And we mentioned earlier you worked on the nineteen twenty six to present database of of stock market returns. But not too long ago, a new historical database was added for the new York Stock Exchange going back to eighteen fifteen straight up to the original nineteen twenty six date. What did you learn from that database about equity returns and about volatility while you know, I? We we had a collect hang collect all that data back to what do you mean? Hand collects well newspaper. It was in the binaghi library where you had a look at microfiche and owed newspapers really of the New York shipping and commercial chronicle, and it was mostly about ships are coming in to the harbor, but they also listed the New York stock market prices. So so how do you era check that to make sure that nobody makes a transcription error? That sounds like, you know, a century of data. It's real easy to make a mistake with that. Well, it is Matt saying there's no possible mistakes in there because it had to be hand collected. But there aren't that many companies in the early days either. So it's we're not talking about the the three thousand stocks that we may be talking about today. We're talking about, you know, less than a hundred stocks over most of this period. Well, quite quite fascinating. So what did you learn about equity returns and volatility? Well, you know that data in the nineteen eighteen nineties eighteen hundreds was kind of unusual because stocks tend to be issued a around a hundred right? It almost looked like you're looking at Bonn data. Because everything is trading par or a little above or Lao. Yeah. They were trained they may trade in the range of fifty to two hundred or something, but kind of looked like bonds, and we had to keep on investigating further and further to find out where are these these? These are stocks aren't they you know, and they were quite stocks. But they, but they looked like they weren't that volatile. Of course, the trading wasn't anything like the trading volume and trade by appointment only. Or did they actually? That was on the there was the the course of button hood, but would agreement you know, they were traded on on the curb, and then I then eventually inside. But so they were continuously traded. But not an even the value wasn't even recorded at that time, you know, you, but we did get the last prices that's quite fascinating. So you know, crisp is very often associated with factor based investing and equity risk premium. What can you tell us about that? What what do we know today about the equity restraining him that we didn't know in the pre crisp days? Back in the the theory was developing in the nineteen sixties, especially with the and the nineteen fifties and sixties we we had the Harry Markowitz came out with portfolio theory in in nineteen fifty two it was at the university of Chicago, actually. And I gotta say it was kind of interesting because. At the I I didn't even Milton Friedman was reluctant to give Harry Markowitz a PHD for this. Because he wasn't sure this was economics. Okay. So you just lowered my Milton Freeman a notch. How do you not? Well, my hindsight bias is Harry Markowitz. Of course, you give them a PHD. But I guess that's just hindsight. Bias, isn't it? Yeah. Well, of course, of course, Harry Nobel prize to. So so then we had the capitalist pricing models coming along and and in the nineteen sixty five with who Bill sharp, and and John Linder, by the way, Harry Markowitz until they're still around today. We can talk to them. And so sure sharp is out in northern California. And where's Mark? What's these days? He's in Southern Cal southern California. So at the university of Chicago when you get an office as a faculty member, do they give you like a key to the office in a Nobel prize? How does that work everybody in the faculty has? That's a lot of jewelry in that in that faculty department. Well, actually, Bill wasn't ever at the Chicago. So not every Nobel prize went to the university of Chicago people you've named seven or eight of not counting Bill you've gone through a whole bunch of them. What was it like working with that crew? That is some amazing list of advisors. Well, we did know we did recognize things going on that. This was this was a special place. We we could see that. I mean, it wasn't like we were surprised afterwards or something. I guess we're surprised about the Nobel prizes bear absent. We weren't surprised that we were the center of thought leadership at at that time. And and what are the things we were theoretically understanding is risk premiums. So not not only in the stock mar- where there's an equity repairman, but also in the bond market where. There's interest rates are rising risk premium long bonds have higher yields than short bonds. Also the time, and and then there's a default premium back that that if you buy lower grade bonds tend to have higher certainly higher yields, but even higher returns than higher grade bonds, so you had all these different different risk premiums. And that's what caused me to put this stocks bonds bills inflation together the state because it was really the purpose of seeing what are what were the historical payoffs of stocks versus bonds, stocks versus treasury bills bonds versus treasury bills treasury bills versus inflation bonds that could default versus treasury bonds. All these things were crisper Mems and the purpose originally was to measure, these risk-free memes and see how they had done historically because we had the theory. We it works. Yes. And it did that. Of course, they had great payoffs. And and that's part of the reason why became so well known so fast because everybody could now see the numbers of the kinds of things that we kind of newer there. But we hadn't seen the numbers you could quantify risk and apply. It to future expected returns. That's the other thing these were historical. But we are the paper we had this with Ebbets and sank failed. The other paper we had back in nineteen seventy five ninety nineteen seventy six was a projection of what would happen. And how how you could go out the next twenty five years using the last fifty years to extrapolate out into the next twenty five years, and we're not literally just extrapolating just the pure numbers, but we're extrapolating the risk premiums. And those restrooms were extrapolated out to come up with these forecasts which actually turned out to be almost on the money forecasting. What would happen? And by the year, two thousand so of those four stocks bonds bills and inflation, which do you find is the easiest to forecast in which is the hardest easy. Well, the hardest forecast is always the stock market because there's so much follow Tilleke this much noise. It's a scary place to be that's why it has that equity respraying is. And and would which is the easiest to forecast. I actually it would be the I would say. In a driven of form. It would be the real kind of the real interest rate the difference between inflation and treasury bills. Of course, treasury bills pressure. Bills are mostly moving yields are and bond yields in general are mostly higher or lower because of the expected inflation. So when you're in high inflation, I periods you have high bond yields, and when you're in low inflationary periods, you have low bond yields like we have very low bond yields today, but we have very low inflation. So a very large part of a bond yield is the expected inflation. And so if you we know it at every point in time what the flation is. And that's usually a pretty good indication of what the expected inflation is going to be as you go further out. You can you can't forecast it quite as well. But at least in the near term have a pretty good idea of what expected inflation will be an and therefore. You have a pretty good deal. What what what these yields? I'm gonna be. So you're the perfect person to ask a question about that. We've been debating internally in the office isn't back and forth as to should stocks have a higher valuation these days for variety reasons, but I'm gonna ask it differently. It costs nothing to trade today. It's practically free you could buy mutual funds or ETF's for practically nothing when you look at the historical returns, and let's call equity eight to ten percent with dividends reinvested, you're paying a lot more for put folio you paying more for transactions. This was go back before discount brokerage. It was not cheap to buy or sell something. How does that figure into historical returns or on in a large enough portfolio? Even those higher prices aren't all that relevant. Well, it may mean that the valuations should be higher because because. The trading costs are not as high anything. That's and I've certainly studied liquidity risk is one when big consideration. But the query is probably the second most important considered. Yes. The more liquid something is the more valuable. It is the less liquid the less valuable is. And but but the Carter this, of course, is that that something that's less liquid might have a lower valuation. But a higher expected return, very very, very interesting. So you're currently a professor at Yale. You spent time at the university of Chicago. Let's talk a little bit about academia and the real world, and you've moved pretty comfortably back and forth between the two what is the difference between? How ideas get applied in the business world? I probably shouldn't call it the real world, but the business world versus the scholarly application of ideas at a place. Chicago or yell. Well, you know, they used to be a big gap time. I I remember like studying as an example derision on bonds where devoid duration was developed around nineteen forty and and I and I was managing a bond portfolio for the university of Chicago at the time I and and I was using duration and I could figure out with duration you could figure out easily in your head. How much if you'll change how much the price of a bond with change. And but nobody knew that in the nineteen seventies. Really? Yes. And I gave a talk on that. I remember, and it drew a large crowd. But it wasn't new new material. It was merely stating something that was known, I guess academically, but not known in the business world of the real world and so- giant arbitrage opportunity. Isn't it what talk about thirty four? Thirty years of delay before something kinda caught on. And even those are very simple concept. So I think that that time though has to Matt shrunk. Now, there is a connection all my life. I guess I've been trying to break that connection down. In fact, the title I have you've read these long titles that I have at at Yale University as a professor in in the practice of finance. That is a that is a title that actually is is a professor rank, but not not tenured, but allows me to have business activities on the site. And so or nearly your constraint is profess-. You can't do a lot of business activities on the side. But with this title, I can and I guess I in the end I'd not tenured. So I don't go to the committee meetings, and as many as many as the committee leaning sending a lot of. A lot of your identifying that effectively that bonds or miss priced relative to changes in interest rates. Was there an investment opportunity to to arbitrage those prices relative to where they're supposed to be? This was the question that I can seventies. So that not today. I don't think you find these kind of possibilities, but you did find distortions in the in the nineteen seventies. And so it was one of the things I did. Of course, the bond market is dramatically changed much more efficient than it was back, then and all the markets have become much more efficient since they were back then because when something is discovered it it gets the financial literature is not something that just academics rate. It's something that that the business world reeds. And so now there things are almost immediately and implemented. There's I I don't know what the leg would be between wouldn't even be five years between west. Coverage was actually goes into practice at Ed THORP wrote about the the arbitrage opportunity between equities and warrants, and nobody was tracking them. There was a joint gap. And that also took a good couple years before everybody else going on and for while it was easy money. And then that arbitrage went away, particularly when away with the black shows options model, which could price everything very accurately from wants to options to any derivative relative to the underlying. Yes. And and I you know, I wasn't in at the university of Chicago with Fisher black and Myron shows there right after they developed it, and and before they published it I said to them. Why are we trade on this? I suggested that. And actually, I had a I had actually bought a seat on the CBO e. The super we see Billy. And I I didn't go down there myself the trailer sent a traitor on there. But, but I I wanted it was trading at so I was trading on that for a while using their model using their model after his publish it didn't matter that it was published because at first the black Scholes model with all this, log normal distributions, and continuous time was complicated enough that you could handed out on a piece of paper to people to and nobody would get right. But what did happen not long after? I started trading. These was days out. Well, more than that blackened. So's Fisher plaque put it up in the members lounge of the computer system in the CV. We so my game was over. Let's talk a little bit about your game and in the real world as opposed to or in the asset management world as opposed to the theoretical academic world. Maybe that's a better way to describe it, your chairman and chief investment, officer of zebra capital management. What do you do at zebra? What sort of strategies do you invest in? And and how do you take the academic theory that you work on and apply it to actual management of assets? And capital, we have a new monograph. I have a new monograph with the CF ASC toot at it's called popularity a bridge between classical and babe Eurofinance. And this this monograph is a co-authored with Tom Zork and Paul Kaplan and Chaim, Sean, they're all three authors from MorningStar and myself, but it's on popularity and really. Popularity is the main concept the principle that we manage the money. It's Uber capital popularity. It comes down to something you can easily understand. And of course, you can get a copy of the monograph it's not expensive. You can buy it on Amazon for twenty two dollars. I think and you can get downloaded for free. I think the ICF, hey institute. So see if they institute dot org. Here it is perhaps you have to be a member I have to be a a CF a member in some form to to to get the access to it. But it's free for the members membership anyway. So so when you talk about popularity what does that mean in actual terms of of investment, how do you apply popularity to deploying capital? So a anything that is popular tends to have a higher price. Anything that is unpopular tend to have a lower price. So think of to to assets that have the same cashflows. But one of them is popular that'll be more expensive than when. That's unfamiliar. That's right. So are you long the unpopular short the popular or how do you? How do you do that trade? You're ready. You're ready to go here. Okay. Yeah. Makes sense. So it's a hedge position and your even if they both go up the theory is that sheep one will go up more than the expensive one or vice versa. If they both go down the cheaper one will go down less than the expensive one. And you do this across how many different asset classes just equities. Not no bonds. No bills at Zimmer capital. We just do with equities. But the Catholic applies to anything, and and and it really getting to think differently about capital markets because for example in the capital asset pricing model. It's systematic risk. Beta risk. That's that's on popular. And therefore any any stock that has high systematic risk high beta risk is supposed to have a higher expected return or the capitalism pricing model, but I sent you disagree with that. I don't necessarily disagree with that. But that's only one aspect of popularity risk is unpopular. Later. But there are a lot of other things that are popular popular and one of them. We've already talked about I talked about earlier episode here. We I talked about the clarity. Yes. So. Liquidity is popular you do you pay a premium for more liquid stocks than illiquid stocks differently? Do you get a discount for illiquid stocks? Yes. And of course, it's also obviously true and other markets, and you can see it more directly in the bond market, for example, or at the most extreme case think of the treasury yield. There's an on the run treasury yield where you buy the most liquid liquid security with a certain maturity, and then there's an off the run, and there's a there's a spread between those ten or twenty basis points between the end the Ron and they off the run yells. So it's just a matter of one being more liquid than the other. And we're not talking about much difference here. The on the run things may be trading. Every minute have you seconds, even whereas the off the run might be trading every few minutes, and our, but even small amounts of clarity. Might might make differences in how you get into differences of expected return. So is that one element of the thinking that goes into the portfolio, or do you similarly create paired trades with a liquid versus an illiquid stock. You're buying something at a discount and shorting something at a premium. And I want to ask you to give away all your secrets, but I'm trying to get a handle on. How you use these different aspects of popularity whether or not pair because we're just a whole bundle of stocks on alongside that are that are last popular and a ho bundle of another socks. I have stocks that are more popular. But there are many different dimensions to be popular. I have we've already mentioned too. And that's the cap surprise him out of really focus on that. First one risk Ryan, and the whole financial literature has so much focused on risk too, much focus, well, perhaps because there are other aspects of things that are popular and unpopular. So we mentioned valuation we mentioned capable we mentioned liquidity what other elements do you consider when when looking at your popular versus unpopular? Let's not pairs, but pools of longs and shorts. So the monograph that we're talking about says popularity a bridge between classical and babe Eurofinance. So some of the behavioral factors come up. Also, how do they apply? So let me give you one more though, classical short. I guess if I had a name three major the three big classical considerations one of miss risk, and it might be systematic, but it can have different dimension. Different types of risk, right? Another one is liquidity. Another one is taxation. Some securities are taxed differently than others so different tax treatments between different types of pass through holdings. What's is the third one tax treatment at the most extreme you can see it with a with you want to see directly would be compare municipal bond to say corporate bond the same default maturity characteristics. The municipal bond is going to have a lower yield. Right. I, but it's going to have that's because it's popular it has better tax treatment MLP's are treated differently than regular equities. According to the taxman, and that changes how you perceive them in the overall portfolio similar immunity bonds which are also treated differently. A lower yields effectively net of taxes turns out to be comparible to a non municipal bond. So. That are unpopular like M LP's gonna be price more attractively, quite quite fascinating. So that's just on the on the classical side. But then you have the behavioral side and on the bay real side, you have things like one of the things we tested in this monograph where brands brand value the companies, and there there's a different ranking systems of how valuable different brands are. But the companies that have the highest brand value. You might imagine those companies you would like in your portfolio, right? No. It would be the opposite. I know what you're going. I'm cheating because I know you going, but perfect example in twenty eight teen in the beginning of the year. Apple was one of the it was either one or two in the brand ranking down thirty percent since then, and I don't know how far down the list of unpopular brands you go. But I would imagine there's a line that in the sand where you say on a list of five hundred below this. Number these unpopular brand start to become attractive. So first question on that is where is that line? How unpopular something have to get before it becomes attractive? It's always relative. I mean, you when you went short, the most popular names, the most popular brands, and and really the unpopular brands, you don't have to go after the brands that are in some sort of scandal or anything, but we mean Li mostly brands you've never heard of you know, they're not they're not well known brands, so not GE that's run into hard times. But some entity that just seems to a fallen out of favor. Yes, are just are just overlooked things. That are overlooked the stocks that are overlooked or unpopular stocks that are in the news all the time. Are the popular sacks? Sure now, and the value effect is related to this because socks, you know, valued over the long term outperforms growth, the, but the value companies when you look at those things. Those are not great companies, whereas the growth companies are the companies that are really much more exciting much better companies. But there's a difference between buying a great company and buying a great stock. The great stocks are not the great companies. Great socks. In fact, it's easier to fix a company that something wrong with it than to improve a company. That's everything's going. Great. But just isn't popular within a great there too popular problem. So give us one more behavioral measure to consider with popularity. Well, another one we measured was reputation value. I'll give you another little more different his tail risk. Okay. Any stock that has actually gone through a? A tale event negative event has its history recent history last five ten years, and let's talk about BP and the Gulf of Mexico where Boeing and the seven thirty seven max, those are kinda Televentures. What does that tell you about how you would expect the stock to do going forward? Are they is it stock like Boeing posts seven thirty seven issue become attractive because the tail event it can not necessarily the next month or so, but people are gonna remember that tail for a long time they're going to remember that bad event. And and it's going to be the reputation is somewhat permanently damaged, but I've actually studied this with one of my co authors name, Sean here where we looked at tail risk. And it turns out that future tail risk is not so related to. Pass tail events. That's interesting is something really went wrong say Boeing, though, venture fix it. Right and get back on track with a lower reputation, but they're not necessarily prone to have another tale event. Quite fascinating. We were talking earlier about the difference between academia and real world application of ideas into actual investments, and trades. How often you come across an idea that looks great on paper. But just doesn't work just can't be implemented in a real portfolio. The the problem with real portfolios is as they have a lot of trade. They may have training costs. A lot of the very best ideas. Have I trading costs. And and most of us are not in a position to actually implement these get rid rid of those trading costs. There's another another problem though in that is that the. Kinds of things that have worked in the past. You look at you do some back testing, and you discover things of the past those sorts of things once they're discovered a known tend to be heavily invested in get popular actually. And they had popular they get priced out out of the out of contention, and they don't have the same sort of payoffs. So it's no longer as easy to translate all these ideas that come out of academics. And actually make a lot of money from them quite interesting, one of the big topics. These days is index funds and the move away from active towards passive where do you find yourself? In terms of some people seem to think the flow into index funds is distorting the market, or at least hurting price discovery. What are we fifteen twenty percent indexed in the US? What's the impact of that? The I I don't actually think it's. Hurting markets. Actually, the index is coming somebody different forms. You can buy a whole index on say the Russell three thousand or the S and P five hundred but you can also buy indexes in different forms ETF. And and if a mutual funds on bias specific industry, or by value stocks or by small-cap stocks or by a particular type of stock. So it's a if it's really taking actually taking a battle. You actually buy that of sock. If you if you thought, for example, that that oil energy was going to do poorly in the future in the old days, you'd have to how do I translate under Woodstock's to avoid and so forth are much easier to express trade today. Yes. And that makes markets more efficient because if we can target our opinions into a trade directly rather than trying to mix it in with some stocks. That are really noisy. Not so related to that trait. I it's it makes it very hard to accomplish. So one of the things I keep hearing from you is it was much easier back, then it's more efficient today is is this part of the reason why so many active managers seem to be unable to keep up with their benchmark have the markets become that efficient. By definition, though. The market is a zero sum game before costs in the sense that if if you're going to beat the Margaret I have to do worse than the market or we have to sum up to the market collectively. And that's before costs and after class we're going to on average to a little bit worse than the market. So this isn't really efficient capital markets. This is just a mathematical identity at Scott zero sum game. And in this case is zero relative some game because it's relative to the market. So we never could all collectively on average beat the market. We always had have most of us actually do a little bit worse than the market average. So it's not likely won't be gone were all the children above average doesn't work that way. Well, that's that's a good analogy. Because that's what keeps the market going. We all think we're about beverage. And if we off this is behavioral course, sure where if we all think we're above average than than of course, we can we're all willing to play the game. Even though some of us are clearly not above average, and by definition all of skin. Might my favorite question anytime, I'm at a conference in presenting somewhere. I always ask them room full of people. How many of you are above average drivers just about every hand in the room goes up? And my response is always I've been on the road with you, folks. Some of you are wrong because clearly we can all be above average. So let's talk a little bit about what what was discussed in forward thinker, which was something you wrote for wealth manager back in December eight you talked about the financial system being restructured following the financial crisis. Have we sufficiently restructured the system to avoid the next crisis? Or did we simply restructure it enough to avoid a repeat of the last crisis? It would be mostly a repeat of the last crisis as restructuring primarily in vows having less leverage. And and and actually. We're also worried about counterparty risk. And of course, some of that counterparty risk has been been fixed. We're getting more leverage back into the system. Probably. Surely, it's creeping back in. Yes. So I don't I don't see these were has any permanent fixes. And of course, anytime you regulate markets. You also had a lot of encumbrances highway to the way the markets works. So both good and bad here that it's. I don't see a financial crisis coming soon. Most recessions, by the way, most drops in the market or not really financial crisis crisis. But the one in two thousand eight was like what like the tech public crash in in two thousand two thousand two not a financial crisis. Do finance. It was just technology. Right, right. Speaking of behavior excess sentiment had gotten so enthusiastic people decided valuation as a matter you could pay any price for these things. Nifty fifty like, the low workout except when eventually doesn't. So clearly, not a a financial crisis eighty seven. How do you describe that not a financial crisis really a plumbing and structural issue? Well, it was a financial crisis that just that it only lasted about a week. So that's not much of a crisis. And I think back to seventy three seventy four so just a deep recession. Not if I. Crisis the fifties predate me, but when you read the history books those late fifties early sixties recessions, they don't seem like cry. You have to go all the way back to what nineteen twenty nine for previous financial nineteen twenty nine in the nineteen thirties or financial crisis. So we had the big one, then we have the smaller one in eighty seven and are the limited one in eighty seven, and we had a potentially severe financial crisis in eight and we got through it which was. Very fortunate, but it wasn't potential financial real breakdown of financial markets. So that leads to the next question. People have been some people, especially people on the bond side of the universe. Have been very critical about how the fed intervened in the markets, and they've continued to be critical about low rates being as low of they've been causing risk assets. The rise what are your thoughts on the job the fed did during the financial crisis? And how do you think the fed has done since then I think are in the financial crisis? The fed really had to do some special things that they hadn't done had built a balance sheet, which they had really never done before used to be the fed was just raising lowering the the the interest rate, and that was not that didn't do anything after you got down to zero interest rates. So they then had built up their balance sheets. I think fad. Did a great job my opinion in in helping to avoid that another great depression, a real catastrophe. Definitely you'd think you could have been I think people have forgotten. It's been a decade. And they've already forgotten were we on the precipice of another depression similar to the twenty nine in the nineteen thirties. We were on the percent precipice of a financial breakdown. I don't know that it would cause a depression. But it would cause a lot of chaos, and certainly I I'm not clear what it would cause, you know, but we were definitely on the precipice of that financial breakdown which could have been very severe. I as far as what the feds done since then. Well, I think they could have we're now ten years later, and we haven't went out of interest rates less than that window, the fed window the really only charging less than three percent. At this point. What are the one of the levers the fed has to protect against recessions is the lower the rate. We can't lower the rate if we never rose it. And so I think they could have done much more. They're very elected to raise rates over this long recovery, which has been now a very long tenure recovery. And so we still don't have normalized interest rates, and the fed is are they behind the curve or have they just not gotten us to a place that resembles neutral yet. The rates are still low, and and how they're finally reducing the balance sheet of the fat. It's still a big balance sheet. So they don't have the same firepower going into any new activity happens that we had back in eight quite interesting. So let's look a little bit about annuities which are somewhat controversial to some people. I don't know if that's really the right to script or of it. You wrote not too long ago. Investors should consider indexed annuities as Bonn substitutes. Explain what those are. And how would that operate in a in a portfolio? Well, let me first explain why we might need a bond substitute. If you bonds today treasury yields are below three percent the ten year. I looked I looked recently the ten year was definitely below three percent. And and. A return on bond is the yield plus or minus a capital gain or loss. If yields rise, you have a capital on bonds, and I mentioned duration at an earlier time the essentially if he heals rise one percent and the duration as ten on a bond. You're you lose ten ten percent on that bond. So there's a potential actually buys the negative returns in the future. If you look at the history of all these yields, we from the forties on we had very low yields that rose in eighty one they were double digits, and but since then they've been straight down thirty three years of falling interest rates and that meant really good returns. Because not only to get those high yields that you started with. But then you've got these capital gains. That's probably not going to happen going forward here. We're going to have a low yield potential capital loss. So I wanted to see what else. So you could you could we could have that would be an alternative to that. Sure. So short of going back to nineteen eighty two and building a bond portfolio. How how so how would an indexed annuity work? What is what's in? What's in because an annuity is just a wrapper? Right. And for the most part tax deferred how to indexed annuities work and index. I'd always their insurance products. And. And I have to say that zebra capital has indexes actor co branded index with the new York Stock Exchange and that index is actually used by an insurance company to uh in creating a accumulation annuity. I'll mention here. So so I I have some incentive here to actually. So you're talking you book, but you're the expert in the space. So we we know that you take your academic theory and apply the practicum, and the is a perfect example of it. So what is that annuity holds? And aren't we kind of doing a little bit of magic taking something and creating a? Yield that doesn't have the same parameters of a bond. What is that metamorphosis there? So the what what's happening is. We take the index actually the insurance company takes index and it at insurance the the downside, essentially, so who does actually buying buying options and so forth. So what it what it means? Is that a an actual person then can buy a new itty and index new itty that they get a participation in our is an equity index at has bonds in it, and it's risk control to have a five percent volatility, but they can buy that index with that with that five percent volatility the insurance company insurance that so that you get equity participation, but you don't lose any money. So this isn't we're not taking lead and turning it into gold. This is a centrally a hedge. Equity product that behaves like a bond is that a fair way to describe it. It has roughly the same returns as a bond on average. But it doesn't have any losses. That losses are insured, and and essentially your equity participation on the upside, not full equity participation. It's not a substitute for stocks. It's a substitute for bonds that doesn't ever lose money. So it's a dividend yield, plus whatever capital precession, you get minus the cost of of hedging against the downside. You get the capital appreciation and and participation in the equity market, and of course, no losses on the downside of that's what by having less than one hundred percent participation in the equity market and by getting the capital appreciation. You are be able the insurance companies able to use that to have ensure the downside. So that there are no losses. So. So you end up with a distribution of returns that is is maybe roughly comparable in terms of returns to bond market, but has upside, but not downside. Quite fascinating. Your Chicago guy you worked with gene Fhimah. There are a number of factors that just keep getting discovered last count. It was excess a four hundred maybe even more than that. What do you think about all these different factors in textbooks? And how does that work in the real world while these say four hundred factors there a lot of mcchord laid with each other. So there's not really four hundred. But but this still many of them, you know, and. Way to evaluate. It has to do with our monograph again popularity because in order for a a factor to really pay off and forward over the long term in any way, it has to be unpopular in some sense unpopular. Yes. So the popular ones are valuation quality momentum. Those are probably the four most popular ones. I can think of you wanna go further down the list, find ones that are either overlooked or or unpopular. Well, for example, liquidity shore is something that's inherently popular, and Leslie query is inherently less popular. So if you have a factor based on the query that's likely to pay off if you have a factor based on risk, they're often likely to pay off because risk is always going to be on popular and less risk is more popular if you have factors based on. Equip equality could be any of these sort of could be value value-based, essentially, if value companies are distressed companies that we don't like them. The value premium might be unpopular. I guess so that's that's the rationale why you might have a value premium because if people they're the type of companies that we don't like than than they're going to be relatively less demand for them to going to be unpopular. But that means that less demand means gonna have higher expected returns. So so here we are in twenty nineteen value has gotten its butt kicked over the past decade by growth, I'm gonna take that I'm going to interpret what you're saying as implying valuate value as a factor is less popular, but value should expect better returns going forward or value should have a higher expect to return going forward versus the more popular growth. Yes. I think it does 'specially now that we've had this period because once once after value does so well, everybody gets excited set saying why I should be buying value. Stocks. Instead of gross stocks. I so the question you're always have to ask yourself this question. That's what this monograph is all about I can't help but point out that a number of famous and infamous hedge fund managers over the past decade, all of whom kind of came to the public's attention eight ten twelve years ago, the more popular they got and the more capital. They got the worst their performance seems to be is this the same sort of issue where suddenly popularity just exceeds their ability to manage that capital. Or is there something about hey, that's way late in the cycle by the time. It gets popular. It's just too late. Well, it's probably both that that certainly when they get a lot of money that their particular idea, they put a lot of money behind it. They're putting too much money behind it. And then and then they're moving the price themselves. And then that makes it overvalued and. To popular and our words, so too could be overvalued to popular could be just classical types of things like risk of Quincy. Popular, but popularity is the thing that ties everything together. That's why I guess I'm so excited about our new I knew monograph here because it's not only ties all these premiums together that people are talking about say the four hundred premiums, and which ones might work and and also ties in the link because we were evolving into behavioral finance and classical finance is being different fields to some extent this ties in back together again. So I'm really I'm really excited about. The the whole approach here, and I'll I'll clue to link to that white paper on the right of about this. So people can find it. We have been speaking with Roger Ibbotson, professor of finance at the l school of management and chairman of Ibbotson associates as well as chairman and CEO of zebra capital management. If you enjoy this conversation will be sure and check out the podcast extras where we keep the tape rolling and continue discussing all things factor and popularity related. You can find that at items overcast, Stitcher, Bloomberg dot com. Wherever finer podcasts are found. We love your comments feedback and suggestions write to us at M I B podcast at Bloomberg dot net. Check out my daily column on Bloomberg dot com slash opinion. Follow me on Twitter at writ- halts. I'm Barry ritholtz. You're listening to masters in business. On Bloomberg radio. Wonder if you should get tested for colorectal cancer. Well, it's the second leading cancer killer in the US. So if you're fifty or older, it's time screening helps find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed remove the polyp prevent the cancer. Did you know there's more than one screening test talk to your doctor to find the one. That's right for you. No more excuses because colorectal cancer screening, really does. Save lives. A message from HHS CD screen for life campaign. Welcome to the podcast. Roger, thank you so much. I don't know. What's coli professor at in? Roger at. What's your preferred? Well, with the person like you, very out call you bury us you call me. Roger I feel like I'm I'm definitely punching above my weight in this conversation. But this has been just really fantastic stuff. I know I've been following your career and your research and writings for my whole career in finance, and I've been very much looking forward to this conversation. So let's jump to our favorite questions. I asked these of all our guests and some of some of these are especially resonant for for different listeners. Let's start with used to ask this question. Just as a soundcheck for the audio engineer and the answers were so fascinating that I've started asking all the guests this question. So what was the first car you ever owned year making model? Well, it was a nineteen sixty one Plymouth valiant light blue. And I was a junior. I guess a just a starting senior in college at Purdue, and I really loved that car. I gotta say look kind of sporty looking car. And so it was a four door. It was a it was a four door car. But it was still very soon very sporty looking car, and it was great fun. Although I, unfortunately, I didn't get to keep it that long. I can remember the valiant I'm trying to remember if that was like a dodge dart similar shape sort of a big long hood and a big long. No, it's actually a little bit smaller than that. Very smart sporty looking. I wasn't like that back in the day when Plymouth made some pretty substantial sports cars. Yeah. They didn't make this worth cars. But unfortunately, that car my first job after I got my MBA. I had that car for three years senior. And then to. As an MBA student. But I I worked on a cattle ranch actually my first job in Nevada. Uh-huh. So I was going to ask my next question is what is the most important thing. We don't know about Roger but sin, but before I get to that. How do you go from the university of Chicago and an MBA in finance to a cattle ranch while I thought I I had an offer. So I took it that I thought like a good opportunity to do something. Really great. And but but I was out of my element. I I was fired at the end of the summer. So you weren't trading cattle futures you actually on a horse with Iran's well as more like trucks and playing, but you're let me tell you a car does not last on a cattle ranch very long because they're all dirt roads. And the car was just covered with thick with dasta every and every bump and so forth. The transmission went out all the. Things. So that was the my card had that kind of ending life there. And and I didn't work out either. At the cattle ranch, I I actually ended that and put it on my resume as a summer job. But that's pretty that's pretty hilarious. So I given that I'm reluctant to ask the next question. But what's the most important thing? People don't know that Roger sent. I would actually say they'll take it all the way to the present. Sure. Then I'm out. I I've, of course, been working in finance all these years, but I'm actually very interested in long term data and time over time and so forth, and I'm getting very interested in and I might be writing. I am researching whether to write on the subject of of long history going forward and forward and back, essentially. I see perhaps even starting with the big bang, and and really, and then really for more predictive purposes, though and long-term kind of predictions, and what's going to happen to to humanity and so forth. So that's that's one of the things you have to interview me a couple years later. Absolutely, welcome back. We love to talk about that. So tell us about and I I'm afraid to even ask this question. But I have to because I know who's coming up in the answer who were your early mentors. I it is the it is the university of Chicago people with. The pharma Merton Markowitz who else is on that run. Well, as Myron shows and Fischer black, and and Burton Miller and Jane Fonda, there are they all my early mentors. Yes. That that that's an incredible lineup. What about investors? What investors influence the way you think about taking theory and applying it in the real world. It I they they work literally in investors because I have to say that kidding grounded in efficient capital market theory. Gives you a whole approach to investing. And and instead of starting out with imagining that every stock you imagined is is unrelated to the price in some way. If you start out with the fact that you're with, you know, nothing about a company or or a security, it's the prices the kind of the best guess of what has value is. And so that's such a dramatic approach even for looking for inefficient with the market at such a changes, your whole way of approaching everything and thinking about everything because you instead of for example, as a portfolio manager you could do nothing, and you might do fine. You know, you don't have to literally trade every day to make things work. It's a matter of of Yoni wanna trade when you really do have the edge that you're actually gonna add. Add value. So I I one of the things I always think about I've managed companies, and I've been stocks, and I think stocks in some way manage themselves people if you start out from the belief that the price is a fair estimate of the value that should really take care of itself. That's right. That's that's the key. I mean, once you sorta know that your stocks are measuring themselves, but then you try to improve on that right? But man, people don't manage themselves. That's right. So it's much harder to manage people than it is the manage stocks. Once you understand this principle. If you don't understand that principle, though, matching stock markets. You've got hundreds of thousands of stocks. You've got hundreds hundreds or thousands of whatever you got all these socks. You kind of think is this one overvalued or undervalued or if you have to attack it that way, you can quickly get overwhelmed at the situation. So it it just the principle that so much simplifies the process starting with the assumption that hey, most stocks are going to be more or less priced relative to the value. Good starting place. All right. Let's get to everybody's favorite question. I get emails about this all the time. Tell us some of your favorite books. Well, by the way, I will include your books when we when this goes live. I will include a list of all your published books. So tell us some of the favorite books that you've read of other authors. I wanna say, of course, I'm not going to promote my own books. I always love I own books. I. Who who doesn't what? But because I've been looking at the long-term things I've been I know you're gonna go go ahead. Let's see I for example. There's you've oh Harari the writing and sapiens, then the right of the the future on that. I am really that. Like, I've been reading Steven pinker are think it's gone. Our better angels. That are angels of our nature. Yup. Yes, about how how how we're changing over time and so forth and how we're less violent and so forth. I d- David Christian is author. He's Australian why it's not really Australia, and he's been all over the world. But he's I think his teaching in Australia at this point. But he he's he's written a book and a lot of of course, electron of courses on on big history, which is looking at history from the start all the way out into the future. Is that the name? Of the book big history while he has a book that's his most thorough book is maps in time. Okay. Quoting about ten ten fifteen years ago. You have any other books. You wanna mention because I'm going to circle back to something you said earlier. Well, I could name many this subject. Give us give when I'm just just finished was. Johan Norberg out of Sweden wrote a book on progress in how how we're getting better off and lots of different dimensions and so forth. So these are all subjects that are eventually to me. I don't think it's all good news, though, of course, because I at Yale, for example, the recent Nobel prize winner Bill north house really worked on pollution, and so forth and high global warming. It's so lots of other things going on. I'm not saying, it's all good news. I'm I'm interested the overall effect though in trying to understand this. So I'm I am interested in long-term history. And I'm always interested in long term forecasting on. I'm fascinated by the to Harare books 'cause sapiens is so interesting, and while some of it's got a little bit of a negative cast, generally speaking, it's the history of progress. Even though along the way he kind of annotated with all these. Yeah. Well, farms and cities are where diseases began, and but it's not a completely bleak picture the homo day. Book is a little more negative looking forward than Sapien sort of had this wide eyed wonder to it, and which did not come across in home day, some curious as to your your take on the two books. Well, I accept what you're saying. And and. My say humans have been remarkable species. And I'm always just amazed at the fact that that we we actually can understand the start of the universe, and we can understand. We maybe we do. We're not sure we do. We know a lot about it. Some amazing a lot about it. And we also know I mean, that's how they got the Higgs both infants you're and all that kind of thing they could predict these sort of things, and we also know something about the scale of the universe, which is Donna Shinn. And and this is all happened in the last three or four hundred years, you know, since since the kapernick s and Kepler and Galileo and so forth. These things. We went from nowhere thinking earth was the center of everything to actually I understanding everything that's at the macro level. But the micro level. We also understand how of course, atoms and electrons, and and forks work and DNA, and and so forth. So. Our our species has just. A mate has amazing accomplishments. And and and, but I don't know where so you have to wonder then giving all this huge exceleron of knowledge, and and actually collection of knowledge is just building that's out where does that go, right, especially especially the past fifty years. We're in a golden age of physics. I mean, the past fifty years, and then the past decade, quite quite astonishing, the sort of progress we've made all that said, the big bang theory is still a very preliminary theory. We don't understand the whole inflationary expansion that took place. We still don't understand if we're measuring the universe, right? How much dark matter is out there? What are we missing when we're not say why are galaxies accelerating away from each other? No matter what direction you look I'm fascinated by that. I like, you are I share. Just a genuine astonishment about that. I'm also there was a book that came out about a decade ago that you might appreciate if you're if you're working away forward from the big bang called the rare earth thesis, which basically says well life is probably common in the galaxy because in the universe because every galaxy has all the build fundamental building blocks hydrogen carbon oxygen nitrogen cetera, but intelligent life is really really rare. And it's a whole series of incredibly unused unusual events that lead to a planet. Like this that stable enough for for billions of years for long enough for intelligent technologically advanced life to develop an I'm just intrigued by that sort of circling back to the original pre enlightenment. Oh, no, no. It's just Uman's. The rest of the universe. Doesn't doesn't matter? Universe was just created by God for us. And maybe there's actually some for completely different reasons. Fear radical basis for that thesis from a physics approach, but but I digress. Far off. It's not the best written book. But it's a fascinating concept. If you if you're enjoying all the modern astro-physics work, and I'm sure you've you've come across Brian Greene and history theory, work and other stuff. I'm endlessly fascinated by that I'm just intrigued by that stuff. So one of the great things about being a professor as is you got to study, whatever you want, and you're you share this fascination with me with this. And now, I really can kind of work on this. Now, you see? So you have a pick up the phone at Yale and say, oh, so and so's in the Astro physics department. Let me get him on the phone, and you have access to all these folks who can who can steer you in certain directions. I'm. Wanting to do that. I I hadn't been doing that. Because I've been pretty focused over the as you say, I have a broad breath breath of activities hair. But but they hadn't gotten into this sort of thing. Now, I'm getting into the arms of the university. And I I find it really exciting to to not see a really I'm applying kind of things I've always done because I always was interested in history data, right and to the next level and always into making projections, and and so forth. And now, I'm just trying to broaden this out. So so this is a this a great at this point out say, it's a hobby. But but but it trying to make it into. I don't think I'll make money from this. Well, I it's tough to do that. So so it makes me want to ask you the question universal entropy, and we eventually just going to dissipate or the big crunch in all starts over. Again. You really do what the big question. You know? I I I come prepared. While the of course, enter p eventually dispaced everything. But but one of the things that the universe is built on is complexity, and even though you have this overall enter enter going on which spreading everything out and dissipating you have gravity's been one of the big things pulling things pulling parts of things together. So at the same time everything's dissipating. Obviously we are. We are getting more and more complex in that. Certainly, humans example that the world is getting more complex not less complex despite this despite the second law thermodynamics, so I'm fascinated by the concept, and I wish I could remember where I read it that and this'll be the last astrophysics part of our conversation. The idea that nothingness is inherently unstable and the big bang comes around that. You can't have nothing this forever. Nothing. This eventually just explodes into something else because of its inherent instability. And that's a little mind blowing to me us, humans can barely conceptualize it. But it's a fascinating concept where how does the universe come out of nothing this and the answer is well, maybe nothing this just as so unstable that it has no choice, but to create a universe. I'm fascinated by that. So. Mike as I'm gonna limit this a little more. Keep it limited to just the universe. Well, I mean, I may look at the next hundred years or the next thousand or something like that. So the instead of are maybe mainly our planet, you know, the whole universe and so forth. So, but but they're all related. I mean, it certainly having some understanding of the big picture helps you how to understand still the very big picture, quite interesting. So let me move forward away from the universe and ask you this. Tell us about a time you failed, and what you learn from the experience, you know, I failed quite a bit in my early days. And my my father was in the heating and air conditioning business and had I been more mechanically inclined. You would have gone into that field. Yes. I that's, sir. Thank goodness. You weren't because we need you here in finance. You're doing. And and then even even when I. So my when I went to college by father, take engineering because the corporate presidents are mostly engineers. That's true after World War Two. It's not true today. Right. The so I took engineer, but I really couldn't handle all the hands on stuff of even engineering. And and so I got into math and physics is my major. But then I, but even so I need to be something more strict. But when I got to math it got to strike for me. I couldn't even handle that. And and so I had to find the niche and finance finance is actually the perfect. It's it's kind of abstract, but it's not as extract as as obstruct. It's I I actually try to make something like abstract things, practical that's been my key. I guess that that that piece in between the fully abstract and the practical and blend them together. That's your sweet spot right in the middle between the between the two of them. So what do you do for fun when you're not contemplating the universe? What what what is Roger it's in due to keep himself entertains? Well, I I mean, I I have a family, and so two sons here in Brooklyn, and I great to get together with that. Of course, I exercise and all that and and like hiking and all that. But but to me, the most fun and a connects my family, and everything is the world of ideas. I mean, that's what's so great about being a professor, I essentially are told do what you want. You have to come out with something once in a while. But do whatever you want and once in a while. Educate the kids if you can. But also I actually do love teaching too. So the teaching is really exciting to me and stimulating. So it's it's a it's a great combination. So so I thought that I'm a workaholic his I'm really not a workaholic. But it's about the most fun you could have. And even when I talked to my son's, for example. And it's all we're talking about economics all the time. And I it's an exciting area. And I don't just they cannot mix about but about the universe or whatever, you know, talking about all these ideas, the world of ideas is really fun, quite quite quite charming. So you mentioned teaching if a millennial or recent college grad came to you and ask for career advice about the world to finance what sort of advice, would you give them? Well, it starts with follow your passion. Follow your interest. Of course. Don't just try to maximize money here. The and if they're going to be likely successful they are following their passion. So so that that's definitely what I would do. Fortunately, finances, a pretty well paid profession. So most people end up doing reasonably well. And that that's I'm glad that happens because I guess it all worked out great for me. So. And and and our final question. What is it that, you know, about the world of investing today that you wish you knew forty years ago when you were coming out of your MBA program and just getting started. And that question I'm not going to really answer the way you asked it because if I didn't no. And the the whole idea of coming out of understanding what equilibrium is and how prices are formed and how version and how starting with market officiency and so forth. That really changed my life and how I approach everything and made everything easier. So you were fortunate to figure out at the beginning of your career. What a lot of people don't figure out until towards the end of their career. Yes. So it's not like, I don't I don't know what to tell you about what I did know as I actually did know these important, and they actually had wonderful a watch wonderful impact on me. Well, that's quite fascinating. Roger ibbotson. Thank you so much for being so generous with your time, we have been speaking with Roger Ibbotson, he is a professor in the practice. Marriages of finance at Yale school of management as well as founder and chairman of Sinn, associates and chairman and chief investment, officer of zebra capital management. We love your comments feedback and suggestions, be sure and write to us at M I B podcast at Bloomberg dot net. Check out some of the other two hundred forty eight. Such previous conversations that we've had if you look up an intra down an shown apple I tunes, Stitcher, overcast blue mode dot com wherever finer podcast or sold. You can see the rest of all of our previous conversations. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack staff that helps put this podcast together each week. Medina parwana is my producer slash audio engineer Taylor. Rigs is our Booker a teacup Val Braun is our project manager Michael bat. Nick is our head of research. I have to thank Charlie Pellett this week for giving us his desk and his recording studio because of my snafu with daylight savings time, and and the UK I'm Barry ritholtz. You've been listening to masters in business on Bloomberg radio. Hi vicky. How's your knee doing it? Feels better. Doctor those painkillers worked great. I was hoping to get some more. We're being very careful with prescription painkillers. Let's continue with therapy and off the shelf anti-inflammatories for now prescription painkillers are America's newest democ causing abuse and addiction for millions the smaller the dose prescribed and taken the better. A message from the American Academy of orthopedic surgeons and the orthopedic trauma association. Visit Ortho info dot org slash prescription safety.

university of Chicago Chicago professor Nobel prize Larry Fisher chairman and CEO MorningStar founder and chairman Yale university Ibbotson associates Chris fed Roger Ibbotson executive director chairman
A Crisis Management Experts Advice on Handling Coronavirus

Big Brains

27:13 min | 6 months ago

A Crisis Management Experts Advice on Handling Coronavirus

"It's always been crucial for our leaders to effectively manage crises with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging society. It's more important than ever to think about. What effective leadership should look like right now? Covid nineteen is probably the biggest challenge we have faced at a global scale since the Second World War. This is a new situation for most leaders and the challenges that they're facing now. It's not anything even remotely what they have seen previously Daniel. Dear Meyer is the former provost of the University of Chicago and the recently appointed Chancellor of Vanderbilt University but he's also a world renowned management scholar at this moment. His expertise is essential the ability for leader to on the one hand be realistic about what the challenges are to have your feet on the ground on that but then at the same time to inspire confidence that we can get through this and we can get through. This encountered stronger is absolutely essential from the University of Chicago. This big brains. A podcast about pioneering research and pivotal breakthroughs. That are reshaping our world. This is our special series focused on how the krona virus is affecting our society in what the top minds and researchers are focusing during this pandemic. I'm your host Paul Rand before anything else. Dear Myer says the most important factor business and political leaders should be thinking about when it comes to managing crises is trust so let me preface that Trespass One. Ford one of the things that make covid nineteen so difficult is the sense of profound persistent uncertainty and changing our a changing understanding off the pandemic. So what this does. It challenges us when we usually make decisions. You want to get the data. We want to get You know we want him have at fact-based the want to think about and then we want to make the decision and you can't do this right now. It's not possible. You have to operate in an environment of tremendous uncertainty and lack of information therefore maintaining trust is essential and what we know for the literature on trust at their various factors that increase trust. And you've actually developed something you call the trust radar and it breaks these factors into four categories. Can you start by just giving some background on one of these categories so the first one of them is transparency? Transparency is not the same thing as full disclosure transparency is really reached by understanding. What's in the mind of your audience? What are the questions that they have? What are the concerns that they have and then then tried to address them as much as you can't specifically what you WANNA do? Is You want to tell them what you know. You WanNa tell them what you don't know you also want to tell them if there are things that you cannot share with them but give a reason for them that they understand for example. Privacy concerns usually fall into the third bucket. Gotcha so the important thing is to start with what they had. What are the questions and tried to address them to their satisfaction as much as possible? That's transparency okay. You also referenced. Transparency is the ability to be fully understood and I wonder you know for our leaders political or otherwise business. Is that often a problem for leaders to be fully understood yes. I think that he is Houston typical mistake. That happens rather certain comforts on that we have because we diogo certain operational issues that can be quite complex and complicated on a day to day basis and just assume naturally that everybody can follow that but if you not understood you can't be trusted. So what's natural to you is to say isn't that obvious isn't obvious to anybody else. And as a consequence of that not being understood. If you're not being understood people think you're hiding behind expertise in Mumbo jumbo and then trust so that applies of course in in the business sector. I'm assuming equally as well everywhere. It's everywhere I think. Businesses are particularly at endanger their leaders because they operate in more specialized environments and talking to the general public is not something they have to do. Every day compared to political leaders. Gotcha all right. Well the next part of your trust radar is expertise and that seems like it ought to be a pretty basic term but I think in in a crisis or pandemic expertise has a whole new level of meaning. Doesn't it yes? So the first thing to recognize with expertise in the United States companies are believed to have high level of expertise. People believe that companies are competent. That sounds like a good thing but they as a flip side to that. If things go wrong now people sometimes attributed this to bed motives rather than to a lack of capabilities. It's like the company didn't invest enough now indicates of covid nineteen. The expectations are lower. So people do not expect that. Let's say a bank or any other service provider. A restaurant has a detailed response strategy off the shelf that Kim just be deployed. That's not the case that would be the case. In contrast for example but cyber security threats with the expectations are very high so people people have lowered expectations of companies on that however what they do expect is a basic crisis management capability so the ability to make decisions quickly to communicate them. Clearly and companies will not get a pass. If they don't have that I should say one thing. Nonprofits tool nonprofits usually do not have to face the same levels of high expectations on expertise except in the areas that are their core competencies. If target has a data breach people get met. Because say why didn't you invest more? If the same way to happen at the Red Cross people are more forgiving but if the Red Cross had a problem with contaminated blood supply. There would not be forgiven. Because that's the core area of expertise to core area of expertise that the Red Cross a stance on okay. There's another a word in this. Mix which is empathy. And we've talked quite a bit on this show big brains about empathy but I wonder in the context of pandemic what what does that mean. Empathy means that when you communicate you have to communicate with the pain and suffering that people are facing in this context includes the uncertainty the economic impact that there may be facing or if they have somebody in their family is ill or God forbid if lost a loved one so for leaders. It's very important to understand that when they communicate with their own people or with a broader environment that the express a sense of empathy. That what they're asking people to do will be tough. We'll be painful and sympathized with that. Got It now. Seems really obvious. But you often comment and say that. Actually that's one of the most important factors but also the easiest for many leaders to miss. Why is that? The reason for that is that our tendency is to go to area of expertise because that's a comfort zone. And so we focus on when be communicating things on a lot of operational and technical detail and forget that we need to connect with people as people and the empathy side is a very important part of that. Okay whether in this current situation pandemic or another cases business cases can you give an example or two of a case where you saw empathy coming through and all the right ways so a great example of that? There was a train crash in Britain. The effect that virgin that the the train part of their business roads and railroad and rich sir. Richard Branson immediately flew to the crash. Site expressed his his empathy with the victims and praised the train driver who had avoided that even big catastrophe so he was there on the spot and he was he connected with people as a person. There's a fourth fact of this which is commitment at which is basically people demonstrating that they will find a solution make people whole showing up person is an important part and so that is your fourth pillar is commitment. I saw yes. Let's let's take into that a little bit deeper and I and I to ask you just to again give me a definition in this context of what does commitment actually mean what commitment is about is following in a crisis context. You of your often. Don't know what the problem is. Or what the solution is but people want to be reassured that once you know that you will find a solution and you will take care of them. So the way was signalled that to commitment and commitment usually has comes in two forms the first one is by defining a process and communicating that to the relevant audience a task force and ADHOC committee and then to give updates on that the second one is to make it personal when you face a crisis. People want to hear from the leader in charge not the spokesperson. And that's the CEO or the equivalent in a nonprofit context. The person that is in charge the more person you can make it the better videos a better than emails. Colin halts are better than videos in person is better than everything off that but of course we can't do that now now. I know you've talked about the fact that some leaders may actually consider this a waste of time and they've got some really hard challenges and issues to tackle but you push for making time to be as important as any other things they've got going. The it is time consuming. It is difficult and it requires extra effort. But you have to remember that if you lose the trust of your stakeholders in this environment everything will be harder. So our business and political leaders following these crucial factors today and what other factors besides trust? Does Jeremiah believe our leaders need to focus on? That's after the break covid. Nineteen pandemic is a global crisis on trusted into scale. Listen to the new podcast pandemic economics from stitcher. And the Becker Friedman Institute for to help you navigate. This moment hosted by test Vegan and former host of marketplace and New York Times supporter Eduardo Porter featuring insights from top economists from the University of Chicago with data driven research on topics ranging from the impact on global financial markets to how this will change the nature of work new episodes. Every Thursday subscribe now to pandemic economics. Big Brains is supported by the Harris School of public policy at the University of Chicago looking to accelerate your social impact. Learn how to use evidence based decision making to lead measurable change in any sector work alongside top. You Chicago Faculty to put policy into action using your data science and analytical toolkit full-time and part-time programs available June first deadline for a full twenty twenty start visit Harris Dot EU Chicago Dot. Edu Slash admissions. What one of the things that that Certainly has undermined this entire pandemic. And assess when you see you know that the number of people getting sick in the number of people dying is fear and I wonder if you could talk a little bit about how does fear during a pandemic like this or any crisis drive people in the level of response that's needed yes so fears in very important component of many crisis especially those that involve safety personal safety. The the thing to recognize. Is that the subjective assessment of risk. The objective risk are not the same. There are significantly different at this has been studied extensively in the area of risk perception and risk communication and we now have a very good understanding for what are the fact that wife up risk perception or driving down things that drive up risk. Perception are if something is novel if something has dreadful consequences such severe injuries or death identifiable victims not numbers of into viable victims if there is a high degree of media coverage that makes the issue salient and for example if people have a sense of powerlessness or lack of control. No covert has all five of them. It sure does so as a consequence of that people are very fearful and arguably more fearful than warranted by the of risk to themselves to their safety. So what you can do in this particular case is you can think about how you communicate and how you act as a leader to help them deal with that risk and with that you. That's not much you can do about the dreadful consequences or the media coverage novelty will wear off over time. Once people become familiar to that to the to the situation. They are they kind of get used to it. And then fieldstone can do something in the aspect of powerlessness. So what I would recommend this case to empower people to participate in. Make a difference whether that's to volunteering or by giving a whole organization a sense that if we pull together we can get through this so that people feel they can make a positive contribution to dealing with the crisis once they can make a positive contribution the level of fieldstone. Okay this all leads up to this. And this this area that I'm going to ask you about is particularly relevant right now and baffling to me in many ways. Because you talk about how important it is for leaders to fuse people with a sense of duty and a sense of community but when we look out and we see people in many cases ignoring the recommendations not social distancing not taking the warning seriously is that a failure that sense of community and duty has been not imbued. It needs to be I think it is. I think it is a problem now. Of course you know when you think about about compliance with like a stay at home mortis for example. You know there is a debate on whether these things are the right approach or not right so for example Sweden has taken a very different approach. And so there's their policy debates on that bike. How you handle this and of course there's an overlay of that. The political polarization in our country has entered the question of what to do and win to believe his lockdowns on top. And then the third thing of course there are people here that are losing their livelihoods so so all of that makes this a much more complicated and complex decision environment than than to say. We know there's one right answer and now we all have to. You know we just have to do it and then if you don't do this you're not doing your duty. I think that's there's a complexity that makes us more challenging on the community side. This is an important insight. So it's particularly important inside for businesses because that's not where they're typically operate the distinction that people have used there as between exchange orientation and the community orientation and exchange argumentation is typical business interaction. For example we go to restaurant with friends. We have a great dinner. We have a great time. We ASK FOR THE CHECK. We leave a tip. That's a business transaction okay. The same type of people have a dinner at a friend's house. Same conversation same foods. Same wine at the end of the guests. Ask for the check and wants to leave some money on the table as a tip appreciation. Great the evening was that people gasped be a total disaster. Now why is that? Because having dinner in a restaurant is not December in a friend's house in a friend's house it's a it's a it's a ritual of enforcing community so people don't pay did bring a bottle of wine or some flowers or the people back so the rules of engagement. What's acceptable what's not acceptable. Is Very different in an exchange orientation than it is in a community. Orientation why is this relevant because natural disasters or pandemics trigger a community orientation come together as a group? Ravelli around flag. It's all about responding to needs and things like pricing or selling. Things are very problematic so the put it differently if starbucks wants to sell up all of water for three dollars during a regular business. Environment that's unproblematic but after nine eleven when first responders run in there and try to to get waters for themselves some for the victims you cannot charge him not even a discount is enough. You have to give it for free so that that's a different environment that businesses have to deal with and it's not easy and so. Where does this idea being a community member versus being a business? Where does it start? And where does it stop and how to how to organizations know when they're crossing the line? I think you have to realize that once you are in a pandemic on natural disaster talented join the community orientation. That's that DAB attention so ever that you need to navigate. You can't get out of business. You have to be able to do what you do. Being able to operate in a way that maintains the sustainable the sustainability of your business to give you two examples of companies staff. Trust Damn this. The first one is the car. Companies shifting production from building cars to building ventilators. That's a community orientation. Okay you've mentioned car. Companies producing ventilators. Are there other examples of companies? Where you're seeing them just doing such a smart job and you say boy that is really well done. There's a famous example. That goes back to Hurricane Katrina and this was Walmart had very controversial business practices at the time but in the context of the hurricane there really stepped up and really help them to kind of deal with some of these challenges. So what they did in. This case is day utilize logistics capability to bring products water food shelter to the affected communities in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. And they're what set up mobile staging areas. Basically prepacked prepacked trucks that then could be readjusted depending on the path of the hurricane and be deployed India affected areas and they were able to outperform fema the federal agencies in charge of disaster management. I by dates done very intentionally Stephen by the CEO Scott also told US people this extraordinary times and we're expecting extraordinary things from you and we have the confidence that you can make those decisions right. So they empowered their line managers for example store managers to just do whatever they thought was right. There are famous examples of store. Managers breaking into the pharmacy to provide diabetes patients. It's much needed medication there. Examples of of truck drivers you know bringing in supplies one truck driver said this was like if I had scored a touchdown and a football game night. Imagine what this does to these people. I mean if your truck driver and this is your experience where what you do. And you're literally saving the lives of people in the community. You will never forget that. Absol- empowering people along those lines was not only important for the community for but for the for people inside the organization as well okay. What are the other terms? I've seen you write about is something you call the Good Samaritan principle which is combining caring and competence. And I wonder if you can expand about that a little bit more so in a community orientation we have certain paradigm 's of what a good community member consists and this can be summarized in this concept of the Good Samaritan reference to the famous story in the New Testament and the person there is competent. And he's carrying and that's the key so business to be competent. And they need to be carrying. You WanNA utilize you capabilities to have the maximum impact on the community. That is not always possible. If you're a skin moisturizer company. You don't WanNA handled skin moisturizer right now. What you WANNA do instead. You want to volunteer or provide help and assistance in a different way. However if you have capabilities that are useful manufacturing capabilities or evening of testing or pharmaceutical companies by all means companies. Should you this in this context? The caring part is very important because making it personal having the CEO and people involved pressing. He again helps to reinforce the sense that this is something where the company steps up as a community member. Okay so I want to go back and think through. And we're by no means out of the woods on this yet and maybe even just getting into the woods. But I wonder how this perceptions that we've all been dealing with is is GonNa Change People's perceptions of dealing with companies or what. They're looking for out of their elected officials organizations. What's change are changing for us so I agree with you? We're not out of the woods. I think there's a tremendous sense of uncertainty and lack of information and that will go on for weeks and months. I mean even fundamental statistics about death rates and expected that are changing literally on a day to day by day. Basis models being adjusted. All sorts of things are not clear. That's number one. I think what we what you have in these crisis is they are. They are moments when people really pay attention. And how you conduct yourself in a crisis like that can be career. Defining can actually be legacy building. Okay we saw very clearly for example in the Second World War churches famous speeches. When Britain stood alone he built a legacy there so there are many examples where political leaders governors mayors will. We'll build their careers based on that it can be in both directions that can be a total disaster or it can be a career. Defining the level of attention is very high and when people pay attention We will remember and we will remember what was good and Blah spat and that can that can go on for decades. I think I think for if you're an elected official. No this is your moment to shine. Let's talk about this is we mentioned were were. We've got a ways to go on all of this and if some organizations and leaders are listening to this podcast I think. Gosh I haven't done X. Y. OR Z. Is it too late for them? No it's not and this is. This is a characteristic of this crisis is look if you have an airline crash you have to or even even even tornado. You know that that's done within a few days and so if you unable to handle that during these times you can't recover because what's difficult to recover because attention has moved on doing a crisis. People pay attention once the crisis over. You're watching football again. Will Not now but in general and and so it's very hard then to recover from that because fundamentally people not paying attention now people paying attention all the time so you can have missteps but then when you step up you can recover from that as you're thinking of people think about the responsibilities We're not we're not through this not by any stretch and so even if people stumbled at the beginning if they embraced their their responsibilities to realize what the specific challenges are and then there's successfully step up to the plate. You can it to recover from that. Okay the challenge. It seems with with being something as long standing as this seems to be is Wendy. You go from dealing with all KKOB at nineteen all the time to getting back to the basics of your business and communicating and talking about that. And how do you know it's the right time to do so? Well I think you have to keep two things in mind at the same time. I was on a panel with the CEO of Ed Liddy who expressed this as follows when he was managing amd through the financial crisis. You know you like one card in his left pocket. Which was the ten things I need to do? So that the business stood around tomorrow and in the right pocket. He had a card where there were things. How do we? What do we do in order to come out of the store and I think you have to have both sides going on at the same time? It's not that you've done with one and then you can shift over but while you're dealing with the day to day you WanNa think about. What are we learning? What's new what's changing? How do we conceptualize us? And what does this mean for the decisions? We have to do right now. Okay as you have examples from the last The last big crisis weather is a recession or Katrina or otherwise. There's no doubt we're GONNA end up having a number of examples coming out of this so we'll keep an eye on this and see The winners and the losers that come out of this from a crisis management perception point of view. But you've shared some some amazing things here is. Is there anything Daniel that we haven't tapped on that you think would really help help the story get across any better one of the best examples? I think of how to how think about this as a leader is in the movie Apollo Thirteen and there's a pivotal scene in the movie. Where the head of NASA walks into ground control and he's clearly in a sense of distress and says this is the worst crisis in the history of the agency and the here off the movie which is played by the actor Ed Harris. He's the head of Gronk Control and he into movie. He West is white vest which she kind of pulls on. Whenever it's a critical moment he turns over with all due respect sir. This would be a proudest moment. So I think the ability for a leader to on the one hand be realistic about what the challenges are to have to have your feet on the ground on that but then at the same time to inspire confidence that we can get through this and we can get through. This encountered stronger is absolutely essential and lead us can combine the two other ones that will be successful than environment. You don't WanNa make predictions to turn out to be wrong. You don't want to sugar coat things but you also need to give people a sense of hope and a sense of a direction. So that when we're done with this Not only will be a right but we will come out stronger and this will be proudest moment. Big brains is a production of the Chicago. Podcast network. If you like what you heard please give us a review and a rating shows hosted by Paul Rand and produced by me mad hoed up with assistance from Melissa EADS. Thanks for listening.

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How Politics And Archaeology Intersect In Iraq With Christopher Woods

Big Brains

25:18 min | 1 year ago

How Politics And Archaeology Intersect In Iraq With Christopher Woods

"It was one of the defining moments of the second Iraq war art historians call it the desecration of civilization station for three days in April two thousand three looters rampaged in the store rooms and galleries of Iraq's National Museum making off with some fifteen eighteen thousand priceless objects American troops had no order to intervene and stood by as Iraq's heritage was plundered. One Iraqi official called all the looting quote the crime of the century because it affects the heritage of all mankind one memorable moment that week was when Secretary of Defense Against Donald Rumsfeld dismissed the looting in Baghdad as unimportant freedom's untidy and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things things. Christopher Woods a leading University of Chicago scholar of Sumerian language and writing says a moment like the looting of the Baghdad Museum has lasting effects on the relationship between Iraq and the US. These cultures are very old and they're very proud. It's I think hard for American sort of wrap their minds around the great great integrity of these civilizations in the pride they have in that integrity imagine for instance highway would feel if the national archives or looted if the constitution was burned and would says when archaeology and politics intersect archaeological investment becomes a kind of statecraft. It's interesting and I don't think many people have an appreciation appreciation for this is the director of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago is one of the world's foremost research centers on the civilizations of the ancient Near East for years that had maintained archaeological digs in Iraq until the Gulf War push them out of the country but now as the OI- Marxist hundredth anniversary of its founding woods wants to go back it was one of my goals when I became director to resume excavations in southern Iraq serology all just so naturally this is something I'd WanNa do. Sumer is in in southern Iraq and the political climate seems to be evolving in a way. That's allowing us to resume room our there if the looting of the Baghdad Museum is on one end of the archaeology estate crafts spectrum the plan to resume excavations in southern. Iraq is on the other so the the people that we encounter in these countries. They're enormously grateful for our interest in their culture. They appreciate what we're doing. They appreciate that. We're making it known to the world. They appreciate that. We're protecting their civilizations. The ancient heritage that we have an investment we have a personal and professional investment mint in their heritage from the University of Chicago. This is big brains a podcast about the stories behind the pivotal research and pioneering breakthroughs throughs that are reshaping our world on this episode Christopher Woods and archaeology statecraft. I'm your host Paul Rand and although the Oriental Institute is responsible for some of the most important archaeological finds in the world many people haven't unheard of the Ui but they certainly have heard of one of its most famous academics someone you've been on this podcast before. Oh Marian always knew someday you come walking Sir my Dr. That's right yeah well. This is a big part of away. Lure something that the oh I we're very proud of Indiana Jones character of Indiana Jones was inspired hired by likely to professors one James Henry breasted probably Robert Braid would you studied under Professor Raven would at the University of Chicago. Yes the Ravens. Would maybe a play on redwood but the idea of swashbuckling archaeologists is traveling throughout the Middle East encountering all sorts of adventures really goes back to breasted of course James Henry Breast Ed's legacy goes far beyond inspiring famous movie characters. He's also responsible for pioneering modern archaeological studies and founding the Oriental Institute in one thousand nine hundred nine breasted really had a radical idea at the time and that was not a civilization didn't begin in Greece and Rome as many people assume but really that it began in the Middle East in an area yeah that he vividly called the Fertile Crescent and what did he mean when he talked about so he's speaking of the Ark of settlement early settlement that extends from Egypt to mess potato basically so Mesopotamia is essentially ancient Iraq the term Mesopotamia basically is a Greek term term that means between the rivers and that refers to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers which are the life veins of misbehaving civilization so I wonder would we think about our own story and story of civilization. How does understanding what what's going on with the Fertile Crescent Trace back act change our thinking enhance our thinking you know I would start off by saying that people have a fascination with what's beyond the here and now whether it's space deep space or the beginnings of the the cosmos or the Jurassic Period and with that people people have a fascination with their own origins just consider the the craze Indiana and what we have in the ancient Middle East. It's part of our origin story. This is the place where humans created the first villages where the domestication of plants and animals I took place where the first cities ladies arose with the first empires arose. You also have these landmarks in technology. that really formed the basis of today's world for instance writing was was invented in the ancient. Middle East right is many people identify rightly or wrongly. It's debatable. Civilization with writing writing is a cornerstone of civilization. We'll writing was invented for the first time in the Middle East. You know in some cases what was created a mess. Batavia directly influenced our world so if you look at your watch and you see that the minute is divided into sixty seconds the hour into sixty minutes circles at three hundred and sixty degrees well this this all goes back more than five thousand years to Sumer and where they use the Sumerians used sex decimal or base sixty counting system system well we have. Ms Potatoes you could look at as the first data point right and it's so well-documented because of writings so we have this very early data point for civilization and and we have copious documentation in terms of the archaeological record but also writing if you look at Mesopotamia for instance where they wrote with cuneiform on clay tablets and you can dig up clay tablet today and read it as well as you could've four thousand years ago so you have all of this all of this data with these civilizations were lost they really were only discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century so no one really knew what was under the sands of Iraq in Syria in Iran up until basically the nineteenth century and the first of systematic. They're are more sort of like treasure. Hunting expeditions really fairly systematic excavations began in the eighteen eighteen fifties eighteen sixties. He's but when World War One ended and the Ottoman Empire collapsed it opened up the entire Middle East to Western scholarship in a way that it hadn't been before four and there was this notion that breast at had almost sort of part of the of the war effort in fact that it was America's responsibility ready now to to occupy this intellectual space that had been the purview of Western Europe which had been decimated by the war and just in the same way way that Americans sort of bailed out Europeans in the war they should now really stake the American flag in the Middle East and carry on the tradition of Middle Middle Eastern scholarship that the British and the French had established in the nineteenth century so we've excavated dozens of sites from Tunisia to Iran. Many of these sites have really become sort of the standard bearers for their for their fields. They create this the Stratego Higer for the history of these settlements because they were excavated in such incredible detail you look at places like McGill which is known in by its Greek name. It'll be familiar millions some armageddon which exposed five thousand years of civilization their nipples for another site where the Oi- excavated for for nearly fifty the forty eight to nineteen ninety nipple is very important because it was the religious capital of early mess Batavia India the head of the Sumerian Pantheon God named end Lil. He called Sapporo his his house. He called it his city and his main temple was there he had ATAS Ziggurat which is a mess pertain stepped pyramid. It's still still they're not in great shape after four thousand years but it's still there so Babylonian abalone in Kings Assyrian Gigs of the first millennium they all would pay homage to newport they would lavish gifts on Nipponia. They'll create massive building projects support you could think of Mecca or Rome and and the success of cities like that and also because it was a religious capital is also spared some of the ravages of war that undid many other MEDSPA tamen cities so it's a very special place wherever you have religion in Mesopotamia and temples apple's you have great scrabble activities and nipple is also famous for its textual record. This is the main source we have for Sumerian literature or some thirty to forty thousand texts have been excavated from from Newport. We owe a great deal of our knowledge of the world's earliest literature Sumerian literature to what was found at NYP Warwick was copied out by by scribes in the time period between roughly two thousand eighteen hundred BC AC and we're actually returning to our returning to Iraq to excavate newport. It can't be overstated. How historic this return to excavation in Iraq it really is the Fertile Crescent runs right through southern Iraq and many archaeologists haven't been there in decades for people like me. When I entered the fields we're ready in the midst of the first Gulf War. guys over. Baghdad have been illuminated chess two hours ago allied airforces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait these attacks continue as I speak if there was has any hope of returning to the dig sites in Iraq after the Gulf War they were crushed in two thousand and three my fellow citizens at this hour American and coalition Polish forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger north of Baghdad dad near the Kurdish town of Frey massive pre dawn explosions lit up the sky. The constant heavy bombing by US led forces continued into the morning and the second war in Iraq has meant that archaeologists have only been able to study Mesopotamia from afar which when you're dealing with physical artifacts can be quite difficult for my generation and even the generation that's come after me. Studying Ancient Mesopotamia was almost most like studying extra solar planet. You did it in a library. You did it with museum collections. You didn't actually go there and only now in the last few years ago can and we go there and blows your mind if you've studied something like this for twenty years in you've never been there. It's incredible to go to Iraq to go to Newport four to walk up the Ziggurat of enloe something that you had studied for twenty years to read inscriptions onsite that you've only read in photographs and copies to go to work which is the world's first city to see. This first. Hand is an absolutely incredible experience. we went last year to the marshes this these are in southern. Iraq near the quake the Kuwaiti border and there in the marshes. There's a lifestyle that's existed with minor minor change for the last five thousand years the houses that we see in the artwork the read houses called Rhodesia houses that you see in the art work from the time of cities yet jeff from thirty two hundred three thousand B C those same houses that same structure reach structures they still bill that way and to go there and see this. I had is really is really incredible. You read in Sumerian literature all the time how birds and bird songs I play very important role in Ms Pechiney literature and when you go to the marshes you can understand when you hear just being out in the marshes and experiencing the marshes and having this union with antiquity is really is is really incredible and the ability to go back is is really wonderful and would says the all-wise return to Iraq is about more than just new historical discovery he he has a phrase archaeology statecraft will explore what that means after the break if you're listening to big brains there's a good chance you consider yourself a lifelong learner however you may not know about the University of Chicago's Graham School and let's focus on continuing liberal and professional studies for more than a century. Graham has been a destination for lifelong learners. The offer courses online in the classroom bringing bring in transformative education. You Chicago is known for students of all ages to learn more about the courses certificates and degrees visit Graham dot EU Chicago Dot E. D. I've seen you talk about archaeology estate craft and especially when you are going to a part of the world old that is filled with a lot of tension. What do you mean when you think about it. It's not just excavating in the history. But what do you mean when you talk about the importance of relations statecraft craft. Yeah it's interesting. I don't think many people have an appreciation for this but really what archaeologist and philologist that work in this part of the world philology philologists somebody like me who studies texts somebody who works with words and studies the language so when you work in these in these countries. I really is I think a unique example of of cultural diplomacy or a really exercise in soft in soft power you you think of other examples of cultural diplomacy think of you know the Ping Pong diplomacy before. Nixon went to China you think of the Great Great Jazz ambassadors Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War and the purpose all of these endeavors is to have have a positive cultural contact with an unknown or potentially hostile foreign entity and to have this bring out to draw some humanity common humanity between between you and then this idea of winning hearts and minds when archaeologist and physiologists work in these countries. We're really exposed to a a really broad cross section of these of these cultures so when we work in NIP war we're working with villagers in local shakes were employing workmen. Worry we need cooks. Were have we have a lot of transactions with these people. They protect the sites. They protect us. When we're there on a very local level you deal with the local antiquities movies authorities sort of the bureaucrats administrators at work on a regional scale but also you deal with the cultural ministers in the capitals and the highest level level highest level people in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism who actually will approve your permit and allow you to work so really you're. You're seeing everyone right. You're seeing this cross section action from you know diplomats and high level government officials all the way down to workman and villagers and this isn't a one off contact contact. These excavations can go on for years for decades and you really have you gain this really intimate knowledge of of the culture and its positive if you're working together. There's trust their bonds that you establish with these people you enable their lifestyles by imploring them and they protect you they allow you to there's. There's an appreciation for your seriousness of higher taking the that's. That's exactly it These cultures are very old and they're very proud. It's I think hard for Americans to sort of wrap their minds around the great antiquity of these civilizations in the pride they have in that antiquity. They know that this was the cradle of civilization. They're enormously proud of it if you if you drive through Baghdad it's not uncommon to see cuneiform or muck cuneiform written on walls or depictions ends of Nebuchadnezzar Robbie. They derive great pride in in their history that this is where civilization began and the fact that they've fallen on some very the difficult times I think they rely on that pride even more so here recently in the news you know make Iran great again right yeah. This is as an idea for an Iranian very difficult concept to to relate to in a civilization that goes back over two thousand years so the the people that we encounter in these countries. They're enormously grateful for our interest in their culture. They appreciate what we're doing. They appreciate that we're making it known known to the world. They appreciate that. We're protecting their civilizations. The ancient heritage that we have an investment we have a personal and professional investment in their heritage rich and this is something that they they're they're always very grateful for. They want us to be there. In many cases they want us to excavate their. They want us to make the splendors of their heritage known to the world. So it really is a very important partnership. We partner with local scholars conservatives. We engage in cross cultural exchanges. These cultural exchanges are investments vestments that can pay massive dividends in the future when Iraqi study in our country they often returned home to important positions of power and we'll hopefully remember over connections in America whenever we have the opportunity because it's good for the fields we want to engage in exchanges with the people in our in the countries in which we work. We want to train conservatives. We want to train museum professionals. We want to train archaeologists because these fields will only succeed if they're they're protected in their own countries. We can protect them. They need to live on. They need to have vibrant futures in the countries in which was to this work takes place. The University Chicago GEICO has been very good about this and other universities have as well about ten years ago we were engaged in one of these exchanges and we had a group of Iraqis. Come here a to to the University of Chicago. We gave them some conservation training. We met them. We showed them around. We gave them some advice on. How you run a museum how conservation registration things of this kind I met a gentleman then no one of importance at that time his name is Abdul Amir uh-huh Donnie and now he's cultural minister of the entire country and he's the person who's responsible for giving our permits for protecting us for allowing us to working working keeping US safe and he remembers that trip ten years ago. That's when I met him so this is really a great example of how you know. One good turn can do another and you really. We need to play this this long game and it was some of these people will go on. Maybe they won't work in the in the cultural ministry but they may work in the oil ministry and having this or or they may work in some other aspect of the equivalent of the State Department in these in Iraq or in another country but having this very positive exchange having this positive experience with Americans with Westerners goes along a goes a long way. It's a type of type of cultural diplomacy another instance in which the is putting this idea of archeological and cultural studies estate craff into practice revolves around a controversial item from Iran so we had a very complicated issue with what we call the persepolis fortification tablets persepolis was the great acclimated capital a ceremonial capital of the commended empires who think of zirk cities and Darius and the excavated this site in the nineteen thirties a very important group of tablets were found there written in well many languages by primarily alight and they really speak to the inner workings of the Empire of the committed empire and it's really the best source for understanding the empire that is indigenous these he's tablets came to the United States for study came to the ever Chicago to the UAE in the Thirty S and we've been studying them sense then they were the topic topic of a lawsuit against the Iranian government where they wanted to attach Iranian assets in the United States. There aren't any array they're very few Iranian assets in the United States since late seventies but there were these tablets and this lawsuit rose to the Supreme Court we won that lawsuit last year the Supreme Court that protected these tablets and prevented them from being sold on the market and now we want to fulfil our obligation to bring these tablets back to Iran but in the current climate it's it's fraught and quite difficult to do so a you need a license from the Treasury Department to bring them back their conditions of bringing back. You need visas. It's very complicated but we're looking hopefully if the political situation holds to return the first batch of these tablets they will go to on the National Museum of Iran. Okay Tehran they need to go back in batches so we were looking to return the first group roughly eighteen hundred tablets back to Iran this fall in our work. You think that Gila these projects they they go on for such long periods of time they deal with antiquity. You think that you know stayed endeavor but really our fields. They move very very very quickly because you're constantly adjusting to geopolitical so for decades for instance. We worked in southern Iraq. That became impossible. People move to Syria Syria is not possible. Turkey is becoming increasingly difficult place to do work but now southern Iraq is opening up again so we can work there again and so you're constantly adjusting to what the geopolitical situation is. If there is a conflict with Iran. It's terrible for our work in Iraq. WHO's as the parts of Iraq that we work in. There's a strong Iranian presence so yeah of course. We'd like to see things done differently. We left to see greater exchange and really the these types of cultural context type of soft power this cultural diplomacy that archaeologists engage in we'd love to see more of that to really to really highlight this type of mutual understanding James Henry breasted so the ancient Middle East was the first data point for the human story story another way to say that is it's the first chapter in our shared narrative with all the conflict over the centuries. It's important to remember there. Were all part part of the same story. It's also worth reflecting on the words that breastfed wrote after World War One. The World War has now demonstrated the appalling hauling possibilities of man's mechanical power of destruction. The only force that can successfully oppose it is the human conscience the big brains is a production of the U. Chicago podcast outcasts network. If you like what you heard please give us a review and a rating our show is hosted by Paul Rand and produced by me Matto. Thanks for listening.

Iraq University of Chicago Middle East Iran US Mesopotamia Baghdad Museum Oriental Institute Paul Rand Christopher Woods Baghdad Newport Chicago Syria America Donald Rumsfeld James Henry Baghdad
How the Loss of Community Threatens Society With Raghuram Rajan

Big Brains

24:02 min | 1 year ago

How the Loss of Community Threatens Society With Raghuram Rajan

"For most people. The two thousand financial collapse was a complete shock. The Dow tumbled more than five hundred points after two pillars of the street tumbled over the weekend. Leman brothers or one hundred and fifty eight year Old Firm filed for bankruptcy anyone really expected a Bank as big as we went to be in a position. It's now but there were a handful of people who saw it coming the twenty fifteen biopic. The big short tells the story of a group of wall streeters and economists who predicted the two thousand eight financial collapse years before it, actually happened. Wall Street took a good idea turned it into an atomic bomb of fraud and stupidity that's on its way to decimating the world economy. But that critically acclaimed film leaves out, one other person who was warning about the collapse all the way back in two thousand five economist rug rum, Rajon. Well, you know, before the financial crisis, I had given a talk trying to outline the kinds of problems emerging in the financial industry countries to some. Extended outline what could happen and in fact, some of it happened. Rajon warning was met with ridicule and laughter. Three years later, he was proven right now, he sounding alarm bells all over again over another problem. He says threatens global stability, the collapse of our communities. I think at some level this notion of community rings, a bell makes people think. Oh, yes, that is something that's missing what happens to us when we lose our community. What happens to our neighborhoods, when they feel powerless to the face of global forces who do we become Rajon, his arguing that the disempowerment of our communities is responsible for a whole host of problems in equality, the opioid crisis and perhaps most troubling the rise of populist nationalism. So there are the people who have in cosmopolitan cities, who got divorced from community. My concern is that view Bush forward implies a life of loneliness, of course, Leach. We are seeing. He is becoming a deep social problem in societies from the university of Chicago. This is big brains a podcast about the stories behind the pivotal research, and pioneering breakthroughs that are reshaping our world on this episode Rog. Aram Rajon, and the loss of our communities. I'm your host Paul rand. As one of the world's leading communists, Rog ram Rajon, his always focused on finding real world solutions to the problems that hold our societies back. He says this drive was instilled in him at an early age growing up in India, as a young lad growing up in a poor country. You always ask the question. Why are we so poor come off after a number of years in Europe when my father was a diplomat at comeback to India? So one of the obvious conclusions is look the people around here are pretty similar to the people around there. And so, why is it that we're so doing so awfully and so part of my early life's questions was how, how do we actually get better? What's the kind of system that we should we should take up? And of course, AG remember, having that thought for, you know thirteen fourteen fifteen. In in school and you're looking around, and you're sort of saying, what do I wanna become an somebody told me about this fantastic field economics, and because I was mathematically inclined talked about econometrics, and I thought all the answers would be there. And of course you start off initially in any kind of profession. You wanna be a dreamer and four dreamers. I think having these, these superstars in a profession is they useful. Absolutely everybody sees them. I wanna be like Mike, right? Well, for me was, I want to be like canes. I'll join may not came was was the obviously some of his friends called him Mike. I heard. Absolutely. And you know reading about him, I, I didn't know anything about his work, but it seemed like you know, being an economist might be a fun thing. But also, if you can help solve some of these problems. So, so that's how I got into economics just like his childhood dream Rajon, his become a superstar economist. He was professor of finance at the university of Chicago until two thousand three when he was appointed chief economist at the International Monetary Fund why the downside risks have increased global growth is to robustly above trend, then a two thousand thirteen he became the governor of the Reserve Bank of India juggle, John Govinda Rajin has taken over as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India at fifteen sturgeon of it'd be among the youngest to occupy the high office administrator in Mumbai fifty takes over from diesel, but oh, and of course, he became most famous for warning about the financial collapse years before it happened. Now Rajon his return to his professorship here at the university of Chicago. And he's written a new book. It's called the third pillar and it warns of another global crisis. But before we can get to that we need to understand the answer to one basic question. What are the three pillars? Two of the pillars of the ones we've talked about throughout the twentieth century the markets. Right. And the St.. Someone I can ask you, when you say the state, what do you mean by the state, but a state, I mean, the usual sort of elements of the state, the judiciary legislature, the executive? But typically, I mean, the central government of the entity that is running the country in a sense, and all its arms by the markets. I mean, the usual goods markets labor markets stock markets. So one is political one is and the last one, you'll call societal, or, or that you'll use this community and finally, by the community, I imply the neighborhood now because they're different notions of community, you can have your professional community, you can have your religious community. But I think even today, what is most important in the lives of most people on is the neighborhood the village, they grow up in the music Batty, the ward in most seventy percent of people in the United Kingdom identify with that as source of identity and. And so, when you think I think you're getting to this point, but when you think about community, why is that so important to, to, to people, and what do they look for out of that community? And what do they feel when it starts breaking down? Well as an economist, you think of the community as basically, the place where people get capabilities, remember, you not born into the market economy, you enter many of these markets near a fully formed a duck. So something is helping you grow into it. For example, your early schooling and your early schooling and your success at that is determined by a number of things, you know, what kinds of food, you got as a child. What tens of values you acquired as a child, what kind of discipline? What kind of determination? So the people around you and your only child matters tremendously in how will your life chances devil? Rajon didn't call his book the three pillars. He specifically named it the third pillar. That's because he's really concerned with the community or the lack of community. He argues that in order to have stability in our world, the state the markets and the community need to maintain a careful equilibrium barrage on says that over the years we've taken more power away from our cities counties, and neighborhoods, creating a dangerous imbalance amongst the pillars that's responsible for many of the issues in our world overtime. The Steed has also grown with the monk it's and taken away bar from the community. And this is something people don't recognize as much that is as markets expand and integrate across nation plays in the Marcus to corporations won't common rules over time. What happens is the central government gets more and more par to regulate to determine what happens here. What happens there often the call to step in win? There are nationwide calamities with things like social security measures that protect individual work. Workplace regulation in an attempt to get uniformity across the country. We tend to draw everything into the center, and now because corporations were across the word. It's not just national government, but some kind of a meta into national government, which is essentially taking over all this, and what has been happening as a result of the technological revolution is, we've got really powerful markets, now spanning the whole globe. But at the same time that means we have a lot more competition. We have also got a process of automation, which eliminates booed competition automation together, eliminate the routine jobs in manufacturing and services leaving either Velu skill jobs. For example, the guy at Amazon in the warehouse with that voice, and his you're telling him. What to pick up next to put together in the package that he sends you that's one or you have very high-skill jobs, for example, that McKinsey consultant who now spends the globe because, you know, there's demand for McKinsey services anywhere in the world. But there's a world of difference between these two which is skills in education. If you have that super MBA, maybe even a PHD you get into McKinsey, if you have a high school degree, and you've just been laid off by that manufacturing firm, which used to employ and there's no other employer in town while you, hope and pray, the Amazon sets up house, Neal, nearby that's going to that's going to create the jobs, perhaps lower quality than you, you, you hope for. But the problem is the people who have those low jobs still aspire to get back into where they were into good job serves heresy, they wanna climb back up the social poll, but that requires the bird the barrier is higher now. Because it requires more skills. More education. We'll capabilities and often the places which are head the large employers left left town. Now, you have with no jobs. You have social disintegration sitting in the community. Exactly the candidates does breaking now in a community. That's breaking down the community institutions also break down, the schools are less good often because the best people leave with their kids, I can move. And I don't be held back by this community, which is breaking down. I'm going to look for jobs elsewhere. The best people leave with taking the kids with them, which leaves a lower quality community in some since behind, and this is the problem that across the industrial world you see the community itself is disintegrating, new you to go back to seeing it as an equilibrium, and see what are the things we can push to regain that equilibrium. And it seems to me the strong dealers today are both. The government the central government as well as the markets. And what needs to be strengthened is local area, the community. What happens to us, and our world when the pillars are imbalanced. That's coming up after the break. Capitalism is the engine of prosperity actually sows the seeds of its own demise could both be right? I'm Kate Waldoch from Georgetown University. And I'm loses in Ghana's from the university of Chicago where the hosts of capitalism, it's a podcast about what's working in capitalism today and most importantly, what isn't we're gonna share the sort of irreverent banter, you'd hear between economists set a bar that is if the communists went to go to bar subscribe to capitalism, you can find us wherever you get your podcasts any expert in global affairs will tell you that one of the major concerns in a world today is the rise of populist nationalism. Indeed since more than two decades. Right wing populist parties are on the rise, and the European Union, the British people have voted to leave the European Union and the will must be respected around the world. There are some latest who seeing the -tunities for political gain by embracing. Popular stances learn it sort of became old fashion. It's a nationalist, and I say, we're not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I'm nationalist. Rajon believes that the rise of populist, nationalism poses a massive danger to global stability. So what role does the third pillar the community play in all of this, this great question? I mean to some extent you asked me, what does the community do on the economic side? It does what we just talked about Bill capabilities and it's feeling there. But on the social side, it builds a sense of identity of solidarity. I'm part of something I'm part of something, and that's also feeling I don't wanna be bark of this really declining community. I know pride from saying, I'm from this hell hole, and therefore, I'm looking for something else to associate myself with I'm looking for greater identity, and that's where, you know, certain other kinds of creeds, which offer a more theoretical identity. I'm part of the larger most of the proletarian in the social. Treat or I'm part of the nation in the nationalist creed. Those become substitutes for the humanity local community. Okay. And because they are so much more disengaged amorphous identities. I believe they also ankle you lessen the common decency of everyday life. That's what leads to great calamity when you get overly, anchored in this imagine community, it can lead to great positive action, but it can also lead to great disaster. Now, the problem with this community doesn't have any necessary anchors holding it together. So the other thing you need to do is point to sort of others who are outside the community and say you're part of us because you're not them. And so, when you think about populist, nationalism, it has essentially a couple of features one it points to the evil. Elite who have created the conditions for. You to be served down under it is because the biased against you with the policies that in fact, you help behind, so that's one problem. The elite are self interested in corrupt. You're not part of them. That's why you're declining and nothing to do with technology. Now I have one enemy. Yep. Yep. But I have a second enemy, which are the people, the elite favor. So the immigrants the minorities, that's a problem. I, I would also say they'll that is important in democracy to understand that anger. I think there is value to populism because in a democracy, the cry for help comes long before and if the cry for help is addressed you can Steve off some of the worst consequences if it's ignored. So how do we rebalance the three pillars in order to stave off those consequences, that's coming up after the break? If you're listening to big brains disag-, good chance, you consider yourself a lifelong learner, however, you may not know about the university of Chicago's Graham school, and it's focused on continuing liberal, and professional studies. For more than a century Graham has been a destination for lifelong learners. They offer courses online in the classroom, bringing transformative education, you should cog was known for students of all ages. To learn more about the courses certificates and degrees. Visit Graham dot EU Chicago dot EDU. Rajon his spent his career looking for solutions to society's problems. His latest concern is that the three pillars the state markets and community have become imbalanced, specifically the community has become significantly weaker, but how do we reimburse for the community? And what does that actually look like? Well, I broadly people are seeing the need for some change. Right. But my worry is still the automatic onset. Seems to be some grand new government program. I I'm not reacting against that the need for something to be done. But it seems to me that grand government program doesn't recognize the differentiation across areas that it is not something that would be dreamt up in Washington. Yes. There are some things Washington could do, but a lot of it is about Lou calories figuring out what is appropriate and being supported in doing that. And that trick wise something that Washington is not prone to do, which is give up some power right? You know, bar to the St. Catherine and from the state capital to the regions of the communities. That's something that we need to think about. We had a version of that in the markets that that to some extent we go to reduce state control of the Marcus to liberate the markets. Now we need to reduce state control over the state in a sense, we've got too much, centralization, and decentralization appropriately governed. And that's, that's an important appropriate will actually help people figure it out. But that figuring out itself is, is a kind of, of Frimley to this illness, because it gives a sense of engagement against the sense of empowerment to the local community. It gives a sense that I have something to do, which will protect me against these forces, or at least I have active part in defending myself. Which then takes you away from pointing the finger at somebody else, and say, I'm basically in this mess because of them, right? And the danger of goes is if we focus too much on the latter. I'm in this mess because of them or because of the system, then we want revolution and who only who knows what revolution brings. So I would start with people, we need to make sure that people stay good people. Stay in their communities are go back to the community. So how do you create a body of people in that community who can take charge who can show leadership other programs, who could create whereby people who leave to go to college? Essentially, get the college debt waved it spent ten years back in their community. Okay. Same way as, as we do it for, for government workers. So the, the point I think, to make is there is virtue for broadening equality knacks. Okay. And that will help keep good people in the community and people as people as one policy seconds, power e to have more pas decentralized, the community today. I mean, there's less hope that community and do something, because what is there for the community to do, what can it do to make it self more attractive, what kinds of funding, does it have to create for example infrastructure be does want? Create infrastructure. Does it have to go right up to the state on the national level, to get a proven for those plans? Or does it involve the private sector how much how much can do on its own how much can energetic, mayor change in terms of school curricula, how much control does he or she have over that similarly? What kinds of structures can be what sometimes, for example, if you wanna bring bring broadband in, you can't create your own structure to bring it in? You have to rely. In fact, a number of corporations are suing to say you have to use us you can't do separately. So I mean we need to reexamine the bars of the community and, and strengthen the bars of the community vis-a-vis the state on the national capital. And of course, we have been the international Rajon calls this focus on and an empowering of the community inclusive localism, but, of course, not all communities are created equal. If we give power and control back to the localities. What's to stop repressive or intolerant community? From giving in to their own worst impulses, the Wadi about localism. However, is it is or berry in the US, you know, state's rights have often stood for some form of segregation some form of apartheid, and the what he is that if we allow for this kind of local empowerment, because the center has always been more liberal than local, we will return to segregated communities and that kind of segregation creates that unlevel playing field which becomes deeply problematic. So in my view by all means decentralized, bars as much as you can to the community could don't desert centralize, the par to segregate by all means, you know, let people choose, they want to live with. But I am saying prevent discrimination based on all the things that we, we have laws against because you want open communities open to. The flow of people, it may still be that all the Indians live together, and all the polls live together and all the whatever different religions live together, but over time the fact that you're not Sigrid gated behi- wars means that you will, you would cross those boundaries, and you will become more mixed overtime. That's the history of certainly the United States. The melting pots rice week it didn't start out as a melting party starts out as different neighborhoods, and eventually, those neighborhoods, Malcolm, more exact. As you remember, Rajon last prediction about the financial crisis was met with ridicule people thought he couldn't possibly be right. So our his new ideas being received but you get two kinds of reactions. One is of those who think that can't possibly be true in the future that we go back to the community. I used to fat we're too far past that. I, I used to live in a community. But now what's my community? It's it's people who write in the journal of political economy, and those are the people, I know and k generally hang out with them. Most most often I don't hang out with anybody, right? But, but I think that we will need to rediscover community not just because it is dissociating, Israel become economically necessary. Think about when, you know, robots to all the hard work of production. But also a I does. Fair amount of thinking work that some of us to what's left ultimately. It is human empathy. Brains is a production of the you Chicago podcast network. If you like what you heard. Please give us a review and a rating, our show is hosted by Paul rand and produced by me. Matt Hoda, thanks for listening.

Aram Rajon university of Chicago Paul rand Chicago United States McKinsey fraud Europe Leman Washington Bush Reserve Bank of India Rajon United Kingdom Mike Old Firm European Union