It’s Thanksgiving time, so of course that means Paul and Sean will rant about their dislike for the Netflix show, The Crown, while simultaneously and unintentionally proving that a show about miserable people being terrible to each other is the perfect show for our time.
Look, it’s not really that hard to figure out what this episode is about from the title, but listen in and you’ll also find out the secret for why Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion can’t win the Great British Baking Show and suss out the difference between Prodigal Son George W. Bush and Fail Son _______ [insert various and sundry Trumps].
Sean and Paul discuss a little pandemic reading, including Elena Ferrante’s novels about post-WW2 Italy and the work of the recently deceased historian of American Revolution, Bernard Bailyn. That leads into a discussion of whether Bailyn’s liberal legacy will endure new/old challenges from the New York Times’s 1619 Project and other more radical histories. Oh, and the two rhapsodize about how great SimCity is and whether it is the most or least neo-liberal video game ever created.
Paul and Sean discuss Bryan Caplan’s controversial take on college education as being primarily a form of social signaling, then Paul introduces Sean to the wonders of the Painter of Light himself, Thomas Kinkade, and what he symbolizes about the past, present, and future of evangelicalism.
After a brief farewell to Bernard Sanders, Paul and Sean discuss how the economy, labor, tech, and daily life have been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic and which of those changes will persist even after the pandemic is over.
Paul is hopping mad as he and Sean discuss the many failures of the Food and Drug Administration in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The US could have followed the example of South Korea, but instead of encouraging private companies to rapidly develop multiple tests for the virus as they did in Korea, the FDA created a single point of potential failure by giving only the CDC permission to develop a test. And, because we live in the worst timeline, it failed. They were also slow to remove regulations that discouraged manufacturers from switching over to surgical mask production.
After a little coronavirus chat and a discussion of Paul’s Mini-Beef with Max Boot™, Sean and Paul square off on the electability question as it pertains to one Bernard Sanders.
At the request of one of our Patreon donors, Sean and Paul debate the need for intellectual property, coming to an agreement that, at a minimum, reform to copyright length is desperately needed. (Here’s a link to Paul’s blog post referenced in the conversation.) They also discuss Sean’s mixed feelings about the new movie, 1917, and the sorry state of the Democratic primaries.
No, seriously, Sean and Paul spend the better part of half an hour waxing lyrical about the technical marvels and liberatory potential of frozen, TV dinners. But first they discuss the recent brouhaha over the World Socialist Web Site’s interviews with prominent early American and Civil War historians about the New York Times‘s 1619 project. Sean also brings an update from a recent labor conference, “Bargaining for the Common Good,” surprising Paul with yet another area of political overlap.
In which Sean realizes he’s part of the Koch-topus, reviews the movie Angel Has Fallen, and discusses car refueling etiquette. Meanwhile, Paul tries to get Sean as obsessed with the Baumol Effect as he is.
Paul’s interview with Alex Tabarrok about the Baumol Effect.
PDF of Tabarrok’s booklet, Why Are the Prices So Damn High?
Angel Has Fallen trailer.