The David McWilliams Podcast

The David McWilliams Podcast

The aim of this weekly podcast is to make economics easy, uncomplicated and accessible. With the world at a political, technological and financial tipping point, economics has never been so important to all of us and yet, it’s made inaccessible and complicated by so many. I’ve always thought what is complicated is rarely important and what is important is rarely complicated. That will be our motto. Every week we are going to tease out some big economic or political issue facing us, not just here in Ireland but in Europe and further afield. Globalisation has brought us all together. We all face similar challenges whether you live in Dublin, London, Minnesota or Milan. If you would like to enjoy all of our content ad-free and have early access to episodes, subscribe to DMCW+ on Apple Podcast. If you would like to support the show, please consider becoming a patron at www.patreon.com/DavidMcWilliams. Join the gang! https://plus.acast.com/s/the-david-mcwilliams-podcast. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episodes

April 10, 2024 28 mins
In this week's episode, we plunge headfirst into the contentious issue of Nimbyism – should property ownership grant individuals the power to stop developments? We don't think so! Particularly not when contrasted with the backdrop of the housing crises gripping the English-speaking world. Bound by the chains of common law but bereft of common sense, our societies find themselves stuck in a self-inflicted housing crisis. Join u...

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Are we truly living in a Plutocracy', where we are governed by the wealthy elites instead of those we voted for? As election season heats up around the globe, we tackle the age-old question: should we tax the rich more? While the wealthy typically oppose such measures, there's one dissenting, wealthy voice: Nick Hanauer, podcaster, venture capitalist, and rich lad himself who thinks that we either force the rich to pay more in taxe...

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Palestine is one of the most, if not the most, tragic national stories of the 21st century. Divided, humiliated, abused, and abandoned by both West and East, the Palestinian nature has been strangled by Israeli occupation, asphyxiated by international indifference, and its children scattered all over the world. Bassem Youssef trained cardiologist turned comedian, talks to us about how the global conversation often reverts back to t...

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Crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison for fraud on hundreds of thousands of customers that unraveled with the collapse of FTX, once one of the world's most popular platforms for exchanging digital currency. We chatted to Michael Lewis recently, who spent over a year with SBF, immersing himself in the universe of crypto-bros, and recently published his book 'Going Infinite' which tracks b...

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March 28, 2024 29 mins
 Inheritance is a tricky one. We all want to leave something to our kids if possible, yet inheritance for society makes inequality permanent, favouring the children of the rich. Millennials are about to become the wealthiest generation, which begs the question - should inheritors of wealth play a role in driving social change? What should they give back? A recent Bank of Italy paper reveals the rich stay rich. Tax records...

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 How best to run an economy and a country, bottom up or top down? A trip to Switzerland got me thinking should we invert power, making the local more consequential than the nation, should we devolve government, introduce fiscal federalism and instead of our "spectator democracy" should we opt for "direct democracy" . Unlike Ireland, where accountability seems elusive, Switzerland's governance is marked by subsidiarity and acti...

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March 21, 2024 28 mins
The US House of Representatives has just approved a bill with the potential to ban Tiktok from America. But this story is about much more than corporate America's jealousy over its Chinese rival's more profitable and addictive business? Its about the direction of social media and an increasingly docile, addicted citizen, out-foxed and out-thought by an algorithm. What we are witnessing is an internal power-play within the tech cart...

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The primary driver of economic growth is the innovative human mind. In this episode, we sit down with Ed Guiney, the visionary co-founder of Element Pictures, the powerhouse behind Oscar winners like 'Brooklyn', "Room" and 'Poor Things', and TV dramas such as 'Normal People'. We delve into the fascinating tale of Ireland's cinematic resurgence, driven by strategic tax incentives and our rich storytelling tradition. Join us as ...

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No one trusts them, the Irish government or Katie M's doctored photos. For them its part of the national theatre, for us its a national threat. How did the government misread the public and why does the public not believe them? Is Ireland progressive or reactionary? Despite a track record of successful progressive referenda, from gay marriage to abortion rights, there is now a palpable uncertainty regarding Ireland's liberal democr...

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March 12, 2024 30 mins
Bitcoin is being touted as a revolutionary asset, but in reality, it's often the wealthy transferring wealth to unsuspecting individuals, marketed as a stroke of financial liberation. This asset is not money - it lacks many characteristics traditionally associated with money. It functions scarcely as a medium of exchange, lacks stability in value, and operates without regulation. Instead, it predominantly serves as a speculative as...

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March 6, 2024 33 mins
For International Women's Day, we're thrilled to welcome Alice Evans, who is currently immersed in writing a book on gender equality across different cultures. This week, we travel to southeast Asia with Alice, whose storytelling transports us to China - where we explain the rise of China through their love of money, their increasing emphasis on wealth and their Lunar New Year's celebration's focus on monetary gain. Join us as...

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March 4, 2024 34 mins
In this episode, we delve into the concept of black swan events and explore how they resonate with contemporary art & culture. A black swan event, a term popularized by Nassim Taleb, describes an unpredictable event with severe consequences beyond normal expectations. Is the tiktokisation of culture that we are experiencing its own black swan event? Is social media to blame for the shift from authentic creation to derivative works ...

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February 28, 2024 32 mins
This week, we return to the theme of acceleration and confront a stark reality: much of Ireland is stuck in 1984. Despite boasting an economy that has expanded between 20 to 30 times since the mid 80s —earning us the title of one of the world's fastest-growing economies — our public infrastructure remains trapped in the past. We explore the paradox of aggregation becomes apparent: while the aggregate wealth has surged, the ben...

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Forty years since its inception, the DART and the lack of substantial progress in transport infrastructure reflects a systemic failure in Ireland's approach to development and progress. Instead of marking a milestone of achievement, the Dart's anniversary serves as a stark reminder of the political inertia and lack of commitment to meaningful change. Despite the economy expanding exponentially, with a growth of 20 to 30 times its s...

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February 21, 2024 36 mins
This week, we delve into the perennial question: Why do so few students depart school with a genuine love for mathematics? Is the way we teach maths the crux of the issue? Joining us is Colm O'Regan, host of his own Mathematics podcast, to show us the story behind the numbers. Maths, essential across various studies including economics, embodies the evolution of human thought, guiding us from guesswork to certainty - yet is widely ...

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Next week, the war in Ukraine enters its third year. and last week Putin's regime murdered its only real political opponent, Alexi Navalny. Putin has transitioned from electoral manipulation to murder. This week, we chat with Alexander Kabonovsky, the podcast's resident go-to for all things Russian. Together, we explore the impact of Navalny's murder, Putin's position, and the uncertain path ahead for the ongoing conflict. As the s...

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February 14, 2024 32 mins
Amidst the backdrop of the hottest January on record, surpassing pre-industrial averages by 1.6 degrees, join us this week as we embark on a gripping exploration of the economic history and pre-industrial climate change. From the medieval era to the tumultuous 17th century, we delve deep into its profound impacts on society, economy, and religion. We use the poignant saga of the Pont d’Avignon as our starting point. A 13th-century ...

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With the election year in full swing, we're shining a spotlight on the resurgence of the Kennedys. Joining us to navigate the intriguing rise of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy is the economic and political aficionado Pippa Malmgren. We ponder the origins of this surprising surge and its underreported nature amidst swirling allegations, anti-pharma sentiments, and vaccine skepticism. We contemplate whether RFK could embody ...

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In this week's episode, we delve deep into the dynamic forces shaping our global economy, from seismic demographic shifts to the transformative rise of artificial intelligence and the ascendance of Asia on the world stage. Once again, we welcome the esteemed Martin Wolf, whose unparalleled insights shed light on the intricate intersections of these pressing global challenges. Together, we attempt to navigate the evolving landscape ...

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Almost eight years later, we shine a spotlight on Brexit and how it has come to the forefront of public discourse. We explore the destructive impact of populism on stable democracies, as evidenced by the Brexit saga. The discussion delves into the false premises that underpinned Brexit, examining how it damaged the UK's economic relationship and threatened domestic stability. We are joined by economist and Financial Times colu...

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