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2nd May, 2019
In this week's playlist you'll find:

1.
The Venn Weekly
A selection of top political podcasts we recommend for enhancing your understanding of the week's news 

2.
The Venn Deep Dive
Three great episodes from the podcast archives exploring our political topic of the week. This week we're focusing on Inequality: Universal Basic Income

3.
2020
An interview with former tech entrepreneur and Presidential hopeful, Andrew Yang, on his plans to tackle what he thinks is a significant threat facing America: automation taking your job
 
LISTEN TO THE FULL PLAYLIST HERE

How to access the podcasts:

Option 1: Click the yellow link above for the full easy-to-use playlist

Option 2: Click on any of the pictures below to go to the individual episode on the podcast host's website
 


THE VENN WEEKLY

This week we take a look at how Attorney General William Barr defended his handling of the Mueller investigation during yesterday's Senate Judiciary hearing; the turmoil unfolding within the National Rifle Association; and the crisis facing Venezuela as anti-Maduro protests intensify across the country.

ATTORNEY GENERAL TAKES THE STAND

William Barr testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Court this week to defend his handling of the Mueller investigation. But before the hearing had started, the Department of Justice released a letter Mueller had written to Barr expressing misgivings about his 4-page summary of the investigation. The summary, Mueller wrote, "did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office's work and conclusions."
In this episode, the NPR politics team makes sense of this latest development in the fallout from the Mueller investigation.


00:17:19

NRA IN THE CROSSHAIRS 

The NRA finds itself in an increasingly complicated and public drama. Over the weekend now-former President, Oliver North, was forced to resign after he reportedly tried to extort and blackmail long-standing CEO, Wayne LaPierre. This was the culmination of an escalating power struggle at the top of the organization and occurred against a backdrop of mounting allegations of financial impropriety and mismanagement, diminishing revenues, and a recent lawsuit against its highly paid contractor ad-firm, Ackerman McQueen. To make matters worse for the organization, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Saturday that she was launching an investigation into the group's financial dealings, potentially putting its tax-exempt status at risk.
So what to make of the NRA’s mounting turmoil? Vox Explained investigates.


00:21:33

“THIS WASN’T A NORMAL PROTEST, SOMETHING UNUSUAL WAS GOING ON”

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans poured onto the streets this week calling for the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, who they blame for the country’s political and economic chaos. While Maduro said in a speech on Tuesday that he had successfully seen off the attempt to topple him thanks to the “loyal and obedient” Venezuelan armed forces, opposition leader Juan Guaidó insisted Maduro was "already defeated" and encouraged protestors to remain strong.
In this episode, The Economist discusses why this latest round of protests feels different and asks: what can history teach us about coups?


00:22:08

THE VENN DEEP DIVE

The issue of inequality will loom large in the 2020 Presidential election. The notion that the 'system is rigged' will drive the debate on people's 'right' to healthcare, a college education, a basic income, and other entitlement proposals. This week we explore the impact of inequality and a policy idea some think could help tackle it: Universal Basic Income.

 

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Income inequality has been rising steadily in the U.S. since the end of the second world war. While the top 1 percent of earners have amassed over half of U.S. income growth over the past decade, recent research showed that for over one-third of Americans an unexpected expense, such as a medical bill, would sink them into debt.
And this widening wealth gap isn’t just a problem for those at the bottom. Increasingly extreme levels of inequality have a detrimental impact on society as a whole, denting overall economic growth, harming health and well-being, decreasing disposable income and inhibiting educational opportunities for poorer children. 
So, how could we do better? 
In this episode, Freakonomics radio discusses what a more 'perfect' economy could look like and what it might take to get us there.


00:40:54

YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT

How does inequality affect our lives? 
In this episode, Hidden Brain takes a look at our psychological predisposition towards upward comparisons and the negative effect this is having on us as income inequality in the U.S. rises.


00:32:29

MONEY FOR NOTHING

“Do humans need to know they won’t survive in order to work?” This is the question that sits at the heart of discussions around a Universal Basic Income (UBI) - the policy idea that proposes creating an economic baseline that would combat financial insecurity by giving everyone an unconditional, regular cash payment. 
Perhaps the idea of ‘free money’ seems too good to be true. But it is an idea that has long held bipartisan appeal, with proponents ranging from Thomas Paine to Martin Luther King to Milton Friedman. With growing levels of inequality being exacerbated by automation and the ongoing erosion of lower-paying jobs, UBI is gaining traction in the political mainstream. In this episode, Business Daily examines whether this policy could help address the problems associated with inequality in our technology-driven era. 


00:18:22


This rounds up our second deep dive, but stay tuned as we will return to the topic of inequality in a few week's time.

2020

There are now 21 Democrats and 2 Republican candidates battling for their party's Presidential nomination. With the primary debates looming, we want to get to know the candidates.

INTERVIEW: ANDREW YANG

Automation will continue to decimate the labor market, argues Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang. And as it does, the financial insecurity facing so many Americans will only get worse. So where lies the answer to this technology-driven dystopia? Yang proposes a radically different kind of economy starting with a ‘Freedom Dividend’, his rebranded version of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). 
By putting $1000 per month in every adult’s hand, Yang believes he can not only create millions of new jobs and grow the consumer economy, he can also combat the income volatility holding back the many Americans he thinks remain trapped in a ‘mindset of scarcity’. 
Yang is the first presidential candidate to build a campaign around UBI. He likely won’t be the last.


00:42:58

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