What’s Capitalism Got Going for It—and Against It? A New Podcast, Capitalisn’t, Tallies the Score

“Capitalism is the engine of prosperity.” “Capitalism sows the seeds of its own demise.” Could both things be true? Economists Kate Waldock and Luigi Zingales mull the answers in the new Stigler Center/CBR podcast Capitalisn’t.

 

 

A new podcast about economic research? “But that’s boring,” Luigi Zingales shrugs in the trailer for upcoming Stigler Center podcast Capitalisn’t.

 

Not so fast, says his co-host Kate Waldock, a finance professor at Georgetown. Underneath the dry research that is economists’ daily bread are the big questions that shape Americans’ daily lives: Is capitalism the engine of prosperity? Does capitalism sow the seeds of its own demise? At the nexus of both our economy and our politics there’s capitalism, and what Zingales and Waldock want to know is how well it is—or isn’t—working.

 

For Waldock, this question is something to get excited about. “Inequality, restraints on competition, powerful special interests—all of these things make me emotional,” she tells ProMarket. “So emotional that I want to, oh, talk about facts and economic research.”

 

 

Zingales, the director of the Stigler Center at Chicago Booth (and an editor of this blog), decided to do a podcast for rather more functional reasons: “It is incumbent upon us academics to experiment with new media to diffuse knowledge,” he noted in a statement to ProMarket. “The new podcast of the Stigler Center is such an experiment to reach a broader and younger public who is currently faced with huge economic problems, but not always with the knowledge to cope with them.”

 

Pedagogical aims notwithstanding, in the recording studio the buzz of their chatter over capitalism is infectious—“the sort of irreverent banter you’d hear between economists at a bar, if economists were capable of sarcasm and social enough to go out to bars,” as they describe it on the Capitalisn’t website.

 

Covering everything from Italian history to class warfare to the decline in workers’ rights to Facebook to retirement funds, Capitalisn’t shows that economics is so much more than most people think it is. And certainly not boring.

 

Subscribe today and don’t miss an episode of Capitalisn’t, coming to iTunes, Google Play Store, and wherever you get your podcasts from January 4, 2018.

 

 

Disclaimer: The ProMarket blog is dedicated to discussing how competition tends to be subverted by special interests. The posts represent the opinions of their writers, not those of the University of Chicago, the Booth School of Business, or its faculty. For more information, please visit ProMarket Blog Policy.