September 2, 2018

Anand Giridharadas on "A Tale of Two Americas" TED Talk

I think I've mentioned before that I'm an inveterate podcast listener. As I go about my day: taking my kid to school, shopping, running errands, walking the dog, working out, or doing housework, I generally am listening to podcasts. The only time I don't do it is while writing or editing. So I listen to hours and hours of podcasts every week.

But there are few podcasts I listen to that really give me a little nugget to gnaw on and force me to do some really deep thinking. Anand Giridharadas did that this week. Promoting his new book, "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World," Giridharadas spoke with Ezra Klein and The New York Times Book Review. His central thesis? That the elites we look to (and that feel entitled to) fix societal ills are the reason for many of these ills and their solutions generally make them feel good, but do little to change the status quo. Joseph Stiglitz:

Like the dieter who would rather do anything to lose weight than actually eat less, this business elite would save the world through social impact investing, entrepreneurship, sustainable capitalism, philanthro-capitalism, artificial intelligence, market-driven solutions. They would fund a million of these buzzwordy programs rather than fundamentally question the rules of the game — or even alter their own behavior to reduce the harm of the existing distorted, inefficient and unfair rules. Doing the right thing — and moving away from their win-win mentality — would involve real sacrifice; instead, it’s easier to focus on their pet projects and initiatives. As Giridharadas puts it, people wanted to do “virtuous side projects instead of doing their day jobs more honorably.”

I highly recommend checking out either (or both) of the podcasts. I'm still processing how I feel this will impact my thinking of where we need to move to progress. But do keep in mind, as the bookers of these Sunday shows go back again and again to the same elites and the same influencers how much of what they say is simply to protect their own status quo.

ABC's "This Week" — Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a candidate for the U.S. Senate; former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Panel on Trump and White House: former Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.; ABC’s Cecilia Vega; and Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs. Political Panel: ABC’s Matthew Dowd, Rick Klein and Cokie Roberts; Vice News' Shawna Thomas.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska; Andrew Gillum, Democratic nominee for governor in Florida. Panel: The Boston Herald's Kimberly Atkins; Matthew Continetti, editor-in-chief, Washington Free Beacon; Mark Leibovich of The New York Times Magazine; and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio; former Secretary of State John Kerry; Jonathan Turley, constitutional law professor, George Washington University. Panel: Kelsey Snell of National Public Radio; Margaret Talev of Bloomberg; Edward Wong of The New York Times; and Salena Zito of Washington Examiner and the New York Post.

CNN's "State of the Union" — Gillum; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. Panel: Congressman Tim Ryan, D-Ohio; former Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Ariz.; S.E. Cupp, host of CNN’s “SE Cupp Unfiltered”; and former Congressman Bakari Sellers.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" — Steven Brill, author of “Tailspin”; Deborah Fallows, author of “Our Towns”; James Fallows of The Atlantic, former speechwriter to President Jimmy Carter and author of “Our Towns”; Dambisa Moyo, global economist and author of “Edge of Chaos”; Carlo Rovelli, physicist and author of “The Order of Time.”

CNN's "Reliable Sources" — April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks and author of “Under Fire: Reporting From the Front Lines of the Trump White House”; Noah Shachtman, editor in chief, The Daily Beast; Errol Louis, CNN political commentator and political anchor for Spectrum News; Hadas Gold and Oliver Darcy of CNN; Matt Rivitz, founder of Sleeping Giants; Mike Daly of The Daily Beast.

"Fox News Sunday" — Graham; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Panel: Marc Lotter, Vice President Pence’s former press secretary; former Congresswoman Donna Edwards, D-Md.; Marc Thiessen, columnist for The Washington Post; and Charles Lane, editorial writer for The Washington Post.

So, what's catching your eye (or ear) this morning?

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