The Ezra Klein Show

The Ezra Klein Show

*** Named a best podcast of 2021 by Time, Vulture, Esquire and The Atlantic. *** Each Tuesday and Friday, Ezra Klein invites you into a conversation on something that matters. How do we address climate change if the political system fails to act? Has the logic of markets infiltrated too many aspects of our lives? What is the future of the Republican Party? What do psychedelics teach us about consciousness? What does sci-fi understand about our present that we miss? Can our food system be just to humans and animals alike? Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at


May 30, 2023 32 mins

Today we’re bringing you an episode from the latest New York Times Opinion podcast, “Matter of Opinion.” It’s a chat show, hosted by my colleagues Michelle Cottle, Ross Douthat, Carlos Lozada and Lydia Polgreen. Each week, they discuss an issue in the news, the culture or their own work and try to make sense of what is a weird and fascinating time to be alive.

In this episode, the hosts take a tour of the 2024 Republican primary fie...

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Here’s a little experiment. Take a second to think about how you would fill in the blank in this sentence: “I am _____.”

If you’re anything like me, the first descriptors that come to mind are personal attributes (like “curious” or “kind”) or identities (like “a journalist” or “a runner”). And if you answered that way, then I have some news for you: You are weird.

I mean that in a very specific way. In social science, WEIRD is an acr...

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The data is clear: Levels of anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide have spiked for American teenagers over the last decade. Last Friday’s episode with the psychologist Jean Twenge sifted through that data to uncover both the scale of the crisis and its possible causes. Today’s episode focuses on the experiences behind that data: the individuals who are struggling, and what we can do as friends, parents and a broader society to...

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We’re in the midst of a serious teen mental health crisis. The number of teenagers and young adults with clinical depression more than doubled between 2011 and 2021. The suicide rate for teenagers nearly doubled from 2007 to 2019, and tripled for 10- to 14-year- olds in particular. According to the C.D.C., nearly 25 percent of teenage girls made a suicide plan in 2021. What’s going on in the lives of teenagers that has produced suc...

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On Jan. 19, the United States officially hit its debt limit. In response, the Treasury Department began using accounting maneuvers known as “extraordinary measures” to continue paying the government’s obligations temporarily. But according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, that money could run out as soon as June 1. If the United States hasn’t raised or suspended its borrowing cap, known as the debt ceiling, by then, America will...

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Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the great living science fiction writers and one of the most astute observers of how planets look, feel and work. His Mars Trilogy imagined what it might be like for humans to settle on the red planet. His best-selling novel “The Ministry for the Future” is a masterful effort at envisioning what might happen to Earth in a future of unchecked climate change. Robinson has a rare command of both science ...

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Here’s a sobering thought: The older we get, the harder it is for us to learn, to question, to reimagine. This isn’t just habit hardening into dogma. It’s encoded into the way our brains change as we age. And it’s worsened by an intellectual and economic culture that prizes efficiency and dismisses play.

Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where she runs the Cognitive ...

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On Monday, First Republic Bank folded before being sold by regulators to JPMorgan Chase. At the time, it was the 14th largest bank in the U.S. and it is the second-largest American bank by assets to ever collapse. 

The story of First Republic’s fall is similar to that of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature before it – the value of the bank’s assets began to plummet as the Fed raised interest rates to fight inflation, causing a crisis ...

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In recent months, we’ve witnessed the rise of chatbots that can pass law and business school exams, artificial companions who’ve become best friends and lovers and music generators that produce remarkably humanlike songs. It’s hard to know how to process it all. But if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s this: The future — shaped by technologies like artificial intelligence — is going to be profoundly weird. It’s going to look, ...

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California is a land of contrasts. The state is home to staggering wealth, world-remaking tech companies, and some of the world’s boldest climate policy. It also has immense income inequality, arguably the worst housing crisis in the country, and the highest poverty rate in the nation when you factor in housing costs.

The dysfunction of our national politics is often attributed to division and gridlock. But in California, Democrats ...

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On Monday, Fox News abruptly announced that the network and its star primetime host, Tucker Carlson, “have agreed to part ways” after more than a decade. The announcement came less than a week after Fox agreed to pay $787.5 million in a defamation lawsuit that prominently featured Carlson’s show and its role in spreading misinformation about the 2020 election. 

The news is just the latest instantiation of a broader story: In recent ...

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According to the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, 14.3 percent of Americans — nearly 50 million people — were living in poverty in December. The scale of poverty in the U.S. dwarfs that of most of our peer countries. And it raises the question: Why does so much poverty persist in one of the richest countries in the world?

For the Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond, the answer is simple: Poverty is a pol...

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It’s impossible to deny that the U.S. has a serious loneliness problem. One 2018 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 22 percent of all adults — almost 60 million Americans — said they often or always felt lonely or socially isolated. That was a full two years before the Covid pandemic. And Americans appear to be getting lonelier over time: From 1990 to 2021, there was a 25 percentage point decrease in the number of Am...

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America today faces a crisis of governance. In the face of numerous challenges — from climate change, to housing shortages, to pandemics — our institutions struggle to act quickly and decisively. Democratic processes often get captured by special interests or paralyzed by polarization. And, in response, public faith in government has reached a new low.

For the political philosopher Danielle Allen, this crisis requires a complete tra...

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In October, the White House released a 70-plus-page document called the “Blueprint for an A.I. Bill of Rights.” The document’s ambition was sweeping. It called for the right for individuals to “opt out” from automated systems in favor of human ones, the right to a clear explanation as to why a given A.I. system made the decision it did, and the right for the public to give input on how A.I. systems are developed and deployed.

For th...

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Typically when we put out a call for audience questions, there’s no single topic that dominates. This time was different. The questions we received were overwhelmingly focused on artificial intelligence: Do A.I. systems pose an existential threat to humanity? Will robots take our jobs? How could these machines potentially make our lives — and the lives of our children — better?

So I asked the show’s senior editor, Roge Karma, to joi...

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“We rarely think about chips, yet they’ve created the modern world,” writes the historian Chris Miller.

He’s not exaggerating. Semiconductors don’t just power our phones and computers; they also enable our cars, planes and home appliances to function. They are essential to everything from developing advanced military equipment to training artificial intelligence systems. Chips are the foundation of modern economic prosperity, milita...

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In last November's midterm elections, voters placed the Republican Party in charge of the House of Representatives. In 2024, it’s very possible that Republicans will take over the Senate as well and voters will elect Donald Trump — or someone like him — as president. 

But the United States isn’t alone in this regard. Over the course of 2022, Italy elected a far-right prime minister from a party with Fascist roots; a party founded by...

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Donald Trump’s legal troubles are mounting. A Manhattan grand jury investigation into the hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels could soon make Trump the first former American president ever to be criminally indicted.

But the Manhattan case isn’t the only source of legal risk for Trump. In Georgia, the Fulton County district attorney is considering criminal charges for Trump’s efforts to influence the 2020 election, and the Departmen...

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March 24, 2023 62 mins

It’s been two weeks since the Silicon Valley Bank run, and we’re still feeling the ripple effects — not just at banks like Signature, First Republic and Credit Suisse, which are definitely taking a beating. Across the industry, too, banks are on edge, and regulators are rushing to keep the system together.

Every financial crisis is different. And every financial crisis is the same. Assets that a lot of people thought were safe — mor...

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