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May 16th, 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 Globalization: An Introduction.

3.
2020
The Democratic 2020 Presidential primaries are around the corner and there are now more candidates than we can count on both hands. This week we get to know Senator Cory Booker and his thoughts on Gun Control, Big Tech, and Creativity.
 
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.  To learn how to download into your preferred podcast app follow the tutorial on our Instagram story.
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 the Trump administration's approach to foreign policy as tensions ratchet up with Iran, the unlikely figure calling for the break up of tech giants like Facebook, and a different idea for measuring a country's economic success.

AMERICA ON THE PATH TO WAR?

The Department of Defense claims it has new intelligence showing that Iran poses a heightened threat to American security. Led by Trump’s National Security adviser, John Bolton, known for his hawkish foreign policy stance, military plans have subsequently been drawn up for sending more than 100,000 troops to the Middle East, should tensions increase. This is the latest show of America’s toughening stance on Iran, against whom it has waged a yearlong sanctions campaign while squeezing the economy by driving down oil exports. Critics question whether the U.S. is trying to draw Iran into armed conflict. But is America really on the brink of another war in the Middle East?
In this episode, Slate discusses the dramatic divergence of world views within the Trump administration, and what it means for foreign policy in Iran, North Korea and Venezuela.


00:25:25

BREAKING UP THE BEHEMOTH

Presidential hopeful, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has led the way in calling for the break up of big tech companies like Facebook. They have, she argues, accrued “too much power — over our economy, our society and our democracy”. Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes, agrees with her.
In this episode, Hughes sets out his case for breaking up the social media behemoth he helped build, as he warns against the “dangers of Facebook’s monopoly” and Zuckerberg’s "unprecedented and un-American" personal power.


00:30:39

YOU ARE WHAT YOU MEASURE

Denmark is consistently ranked at the top, or near the top, of the Annual Happiness poll conducted by the United Nations. True, Denmark has a different history, culture, and economy than the US, but is there something we can learn from it? Some economists believe that governments should be more focused on improving their people’s well being, not just on growing GDP.  As our 2020 candidates for President propose policies to address concerns of inequality through enhancing social safety nets, will these ideas catch voters' attention as they seek a ‘happier’ life?
In this episode of Freakonomics, we discover a different approach to measuring success.


00:37:41

THE VENN DEEP DIVE

We live in an increasingly globalized world. But what does this mean? An introduction to Globalization.
 

GLOBALIZATION: NO PLACE TO HIDE

Globalization is the transfer of goods, people, capital, and information across borders. Over time new technologies have expedited this movement, raising the competition from emerging economies like China, and disrupting traditional industries like auto and steel. It is often blamed for many ills of the modern world: from inequality, job losses and the depression of wages, to social polarization and the recent surge in populism around the world. 
But is the growing backlash against globalization justified? 
In this episode, Professor Pankaj Ghemawat debunks the many myths and misconceptions surrounding globalization and lays out the case for why the costs are less and the gains are more than many may think.


00:26:29

THE FUTURE AS SEEN THROUGH A VIDEO GAME

What will the world of trade look like in 15 years time? Given the pace of technological change and its impact on globalization, it’s pretty hard to tell. But, for an indication of the direction in which we are headed, a good place to look to is the digitalization of the global economy. And what better example of this new frontier of globalization than Fortnite - the video game played by nearly 250 million players around the world. The digital transactions these players make, together with other data flows, don’t always show up in the balance of trade figures, but they represent trillions of dollars of cross border value. 
In this podcast, Stephonomics discusses what videos games like Fortnite can tell us about trade, jobs, and the world economy in the digital age. 


00:28:14

WINNERS AND LOSERS

How much is trade responsible for rising income inequality in the U.S., compared to other factors?
This is a question that has of late been keeping many economists busy as they’ve sought to figure out the social, as well as economic, impact of global trade. What it comes down to is this: the U.S. has a competitive advantage over other countries in higher skilled industries, such as software and engineering, but tends to import goods in industries demanding lower skilled labor - think shoes and textiles. This means that expanding global trade increases the divergence between these two types of workers and, in so doing, increases income inequality. But, it’s not that simple, since trade also helps to provide consumers with lower-priced, imported goods (hence the prolific ‘Made in China’ tag). As such, it can be seen to mitigate other inequalities. 
Still confused? We were too until we listened to this episode by The Indicator. 


00:08:59


This rounds up our sixth deep dive, but stay tuned as we will return to the topic of Globalization in a future newsletter. 
 

2020

The field for the 2020 Presidential nomination is now 25 candidates strong. With the Democrat primary debates scheduled for the end of June, we have a lot of candidates (23 to be precise) to get to know, fast. This week we turn to Senator Cory Booker.

WHO IS SENATOR CORY BOOKER?

“America is at a crossroads”. According to Former Mayor of Newark and current U.S. Senator, Cory Booker, we face a descent into tribalism that is couched in fear and an us-versus-them, zero-sum style of politics. He thinks he is the person to fix this and re-inspire the “moral imagination” of the country. 
In this interview with NPR, Senator Booker sets out his 2020 vision for restoring ‘civic grace’ to the country and explains the policy proposals he hopes will win him the White House. Chief among them: his new and comprehensive plan for expanding gun-control. Based on his direct experience of neighborhood shootings, he articulates the personal urgency driving this key policy proposal.   


00:28:28

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