The Impact

The Impact

In Washington, DC, the story often ends when Congress passes a law. For us, that’s where the story begins. We examine the consequences of what happens when powerful people act — or fail to act. This season, Jillian Weinberger explores the big ideas from the 2020 presidential candidates: how their ideas worked, or didn’t work, in other places or at other times. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.... Show More

Episodes

February 19, 2020 32 min
Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, are known as “Ambos Nogales” — “both Nogaleses.” The city straddles the border of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. For a long time, a hole-riddled chain-link fence ran along that border. Residents could cross back and forth with ease. But in 1995, the federal government replaced the chain-link fence with a wall. Over time, that wall has been fortified with surveillance towers, more Customs and Bord...
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February 12, 2020 26 min
Free college tuition seems like a solution to so many problems. After all, the price of tuition is the No. 1 reason students give for leaving school. And when students don’t finish, they can’t access the many benefits of a college degree. That’s why several presidential candidates have proposed some version of a free college program. But in Kalamazoo, Michigan, free college isn’t a proposal, it’s a reality — and it has been for alm...
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February 5, 2020 20 min
Natasha Razouk wants to give her 7-year-old the best possible life. She buys big boxes of fresh tomatoes at Costco, and she gets her daughter warm boots, a good coat, and school supplies each year.  But all that is expensive. Natasha’s daughter grows out of clothes quickly, and she needs books and health care and day care. That’s why the Canadian government gives every parent, including Natasha, a little money each month — a few hu...
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January 31, 2020 29 min
Janet Feldman has been paying for private insurance for years. She does so even though Australia has a robust public insurance option. But when she was diagnosed with a serious illness, her doctor told her not to use the private insurance she was paying for. She stuck to public insurance — and she’s very glad she did, because using the private system in Australia can have some serious disadvantages.  In fact, so many Australians pr...
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January 29, 2020 31 min
In the early 1990s, the government of Taiwan decided to try an experiment. In just nine months, they completely revolutionized their health care system, covering every Taiwanese citizen through a single-payer program. It’s a system that looks very similar to the Medicare-for-all proposals from presidential candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.  Vox health care reporter Dylan Scott went to Taiwan to investigate ...
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January 22, 2020 24 min
Two decades ago, Hans-Josef Fell quietly started a revolution in his home country, with a law that looks a lot like part of the Green New Deal endorsed by many Democratic candidates. That law transformed Germany, and that has the potential to change the world.   Fell found a way to make renewable energy technology — like solar panels and wind turbines — cheap. His law allowed Germans to sell the renewable energy they create to the ...
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January 15, 2020 29 min
President Gerald Ford took office during one of the most difficult times in the country’s history. In August 1974, the US had just lived through Watergate, President Richard Nixon’s resignation, and more than a decade of divisive fighting over its involvement in Vietnam. While millions of Americans fought in Southeast Asia, many others protested the war at home — or dodged the draft. Ford wanted to find a way to bring the country t...
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January 8, 2020 31 min
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is running for president with a plan to fight the opioid epidemic. Her legislation would dramatically expand access to addiction treatment and overdose prevention, and it would cost $100 billion over 10 years. Addiction experts agree that this is the kind of money the United States needs to fight the opioid crisis. But it’s a really expensive idea, to help a deeply stigmatized population. How would a President...
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January 6, 2020 3 min
In this season preview, Vox’s Jillian Weinberger calls a fellow native Ohioan to discuss the perils of Swing State pride during presidential elections, and their frustration with the way election coverage casts their home state. Facing yet another presidential election, The Impact is taking a different tack. We're not running around Ohio, asking patrons in diners to name their preferred candidate. We're exploring what all t...
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December 16, 2019 3 min
Sarah Kliff returns for a farewell and a handoff to The Impact's new host, Jillian Weinberger, who has a preview of what's to come in our next season.  If you're not already, subscribe to The Impact on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. Featuring: Sarah Kliff, @sarahkliff Host: Jillian Weinberger, @jbweinz About Vox: Vox is a ne...
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December 14, 2018 35 min
Denmark gives new parents nearly a year off work after they have a baby. Most of that time can be taken by either parent — but dads take barely any time at all.  That has consequences for Danish men and women at work and at home. For the final episode of season two, the Impact travels to Denmark to find out why Danish dads are thumbing their nose at paid leave. We also discover a solution in another country, where more dads are enj...
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December 7, 2018 32 min
For decades, Memphis grew by bringing its suburbs into the city limits. City officials thought this suburb-gobbling policy would be an economic boon-- that it would bring in tax revenue. Instead, the policy was an economic disaster, especially for the majority black neighborhoods in the city's core. In this episode, we’ll tell you about the consequences of Memphis’ sprawl, and the city’s plan to fix its past mistakes. We always...
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November 30, 2018 45 min
Baltimore is running a unique housing experiment that gives longtime residents vouchers to leave the city’s poorest, most violent neighborhoods for new homes in more affluent suburbs nearby. In this episode, we follow a mom named Alethea through this policy experiment. You’ll hear how Baltimore’s segregationist history planted the problems this program is trying to solve, why some participants are really frustrated with the initiat...
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All across the country, it seems like a given: places with more expensive houses have nicer schools because they can pay higher taxes. That’s just how education seems to work. Except in Vermont. Two decades ago, the state passed a radical law to equalize education funding. On this episode of the Impact.... we’ll tell you how that law came about. It’s the story of one woman, Carol Brigham, her young daughter, Amanda, and their fight...
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November 16, 2018 34 min
22% of New Yorkers are obese. In Chicago it is more than a quarter of the city. Obesity puts people at risk of diabetes, heart disease, even certain kinds of cancer. A couple of years ago, both cities decided to do something about it. But the policies they implemented were incredibly different. New York made healthy food more accessible. Chicago made sugary beverages more expensive. On this episode of the Impact: Which approach wor...
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November 9, 2018 32 min
While the federal government is trying to deport as many immigrants as possible, Oakland, California, is running a policy experiment to help immigrants stay in their communities. The city is giving as many immigrants as possible attorneys in court, free of charge. In this episode, find out how Oakland pulls this off when the federal government is against them — and how immigrants’ lives change when they get representation. * For mo...
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A decade ago, South Carolina was one of the most dangerous places in America for a baby to be born. But now, it’s taking an unconventional approach to fixing it: having pregnant women sit in circles with other pregnant women and...talk. The early evidence from this experiment suggests that these group sessions might be leading to better birth outcomes, and giving South Carolina babies a healthier start to life. In this episode, we’...
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Seattle is running the country’s most radical experiment to fix campaign finance. Last year, the city sent every resident $100 that they could donate to the local campaign of their choice. Seattle flooded its election with small donations to try to drown out the influence of big money in politics. In the first episode of our second season, we set out to discover if Seattle’s experiment made a difference for who decides to run for o...
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The Impact’s second season focuses on states and cities as laboratories of democracy. Unlike our gridlocked Congress, local governments are constantly implementing exciting new policy. This season, the team crisscrossed the country to find the most interesting policy experiments and see how they are changing lives. Season two starts Friday, November 2. In the meantime, be sure to check out the first season, and email us with though...
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January 8, 2018 1 min
We're making season 2, and we need your help! We want to know about local policy experiments from around the country. These can be at the state, county, or city level, and can cover any kind of policy—environmental or housing or criminal justice.  Send us your suggestions at bit.ly/voximpact  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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