We The Podcast

We The Podcast

When talking about our economy, nightly newscasts only seem to report on the stock market and the unemployment rate. But that doesn’t tell us much about how millions of Americans are getting by. From prison phone rates to the high cost of diapers, Congressman Keith Ellison looks at how the people outside of the billionaire and millionaire class (you know, most of us) engage the economy.

Episodes

July 30, 2018 22 min

Matt Bruenig, founder of the People's Policy Project, joins We The Podcast to discuss wealth inequality and a potential solution: a social wealth fund. With similar concepts already implemented in Alaska and Norway, is a social wealth fund the answer to our inequality crisis?
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Social Security Works' Nancy Altman joins Rep. Keith Ellison remotely to discuss why Medicare for All is more efficient than the privatized health insurance status quo, and the idea's deep roots in America's own history.
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We need a DREAM Act to protect 800,000 Dreamers whose lives were thrown into turmoil by Donald Trump. Dreamer activist Erika Andiola put her body on the line for this movement and joins us to discuss next steps.
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On this We The Podcast, we sit down with Lina Khan (Open Markets Institute) and Stacy Mitchell (Institute for Local Self-Reliance) on the monopolistic rise of the Amazon corporation and what it means for workers, small business and local power.
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October 27, 2017 12 min

This week, Keith revisits the topic of franchising, with former guest Megan Edwards, who joined with other franchisees to successfully sue Curves Gym for unfair treatment of franchisees.
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Keri Leigh Merritt is the author of Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South. Keith and Keri Leigh Merritt discuss the link between economic hardship and the spread of racism throughout American history.
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Barry Lynn is the head of the Open Markets Institute, a think tank that examines the problem of corporate consolidation, market concentration, and monopoly power. These issues make it hard for workers to find jobs, take power away from working people, and make it hard for small businesses to break into the market. This week, Keith and Barry explore monopoly power, and why it matters to you - yes, you!
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September 4, 2017 43 min

On this special Labor Day episode of We The Podcast, Keith interviews Lee Saunders, President of AFSCME, about the history and future of labor rights in America.
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George Lakoff is a professor of cognitive linguistics and philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. Now, you might be asking yourself, “what does cognitive science, linguistic science, and phenomenology have to do with working families and the economy?” Well, as it turns out, quite a bit. Professor Lakoff studies the way that human beings think about ideas, including politics, and the way that the things we hear and...
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July 20, 2017 25 min

The Republican Party talks about "voter fraud" all the time. President Trump even claims he lost the popular vote because more than 3 million people voted illegally. Sounds like a big deal. But how common is voter fraud? And what might Republicans be aiming for if not a genuine interest in "election integrity?" This week on We The Podcast I talk about voting rights with The Nation correspondent, Ari Berman. Music by...
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July 16, 2017 40 min

For years, millions of Americans were frightened of two words: pre-existing conditions. Before the Affordable Care Act, private insurance could deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. That's what Republicans want to return to. To learn more about about pre-existing conditions and what could happen if the Republican proposal becomes law, I talked with Andy Slavitt, the former Administrator of Centers for Medicare...
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July 6, 2017 26 min

A few weeks ago, we learned that Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13 billion. When big firms merge, it drives up market concentration. But how does that affect working people or local businesses? I talked with my friend Rep. Ro Khanna about market concentration and how it hurts working families. Music by: Podington Bear
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June 27, 2017 44 min

Six bucks. That’s all someone working full-time at the federal minimum wage would have left over after paying the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the United States of America. It’s time to give America a raise. It’s time to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. And how about a union? This is the story of the Fight for $15 and a Union. Music by: Podington Bear
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June 14, 2017 22 min

Women experience the economy different than men. They pay more for everything from clothes and hygiene products, to dry cleaning and vehicle repairs. This is called "the pink tax". Terry O'Neill is the President of the National Organization for Women, one of our oldest and best feminist organizations in this country. She stopped by my office to talk on a number of issues and how we can get women the equality they dese...
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The transgender community is more visible than ever. But this increased visibility hasn’t improved the lives of all transgender people. Nationwide, violence against trans people – and trans women in particular – is at an all-time high. This sort of violence has far-reaching repercussions – high unemployment, difficulty accessing lifesaving healthcare, housing instability, and educational barriers. And we need to stop thinking of th...
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April 29, 2017 17 min

Unions raise wages and worker protections for everybody – even if you’re not in a union! These jobs aren’t so simple either. It takes a lot of training to do what these men and women do every day. But as our education system becomes more and more out of reach, it’s getting harder and harder for men and women who want to work with their hands to get the training they need. Enter the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades ...
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March 30, 2017 30 min

There are millions of women around the country fighting for equal pay, for better working conditions, for an end to sexual harassment. But in an age of extreme right wing politics – the age of President Trump – what can we do to make our society better? I talked to some of the women who are leading that fight. Music by: Podington Bear and Keith Ellison
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December 19, 2016 16 min

Millions of Americans lack credit scores or have scores that are too low to gain access to affordable credit. The problem affects young people, African-Americans, Latinos and immigrants, many of whom can't establish a credit score without taking on debt. We can solve that problem by expanding what is on a person's credit report. Music by: Keith Ellison and Podington Bear
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Two years ago, we started We the Podcast so we could tell stories about how people engage with the economy. Twenty-three episodes and 75,000 downloads later, we’ve covered everything from union organizing to payday loans to tax havens. With Election Day right around the corner, I decided to take a look back at past episodes and some of the issues that are at stake on Tuesday. Music by: Keith Ellison and Podington Bear
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October 24, 2016 34 min

Just last month, we found out that Wells Fargo Bank committed a years-long scam that stole from their customers, inflated their stock price, and lined the pockets of their top level executives. Then, those same executives pinned the whole thing on their low-level employees, thousands of whom were fired from their jobs. I sat down with Ruth Landaverde. She worked at Wells Fargo and Bank of America and saw first hand what a high-pr...
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