Today’s episode is a bonus weekend edition and the story of this episode begins about four years ago.
I was living in New York City and a friend invited me to talk about my work at Soho house, which is a sort of fancy restaurant Hotel Club thing where everybody is dressed with Annoying, Perfection and alarmingly perfect hair and I’m feeling a little bit out of place and just before my talk.
I meet some of the other speakers who are there and one of them is this jubilant, broad smiling guy who says he’s read some of my articles about the future of work and oh by the Away, he’s running for president and I think good luck man.
There are a lot of interesting ways to blow up three years of your life.
But that is probably the most interesting option of all of them.
And his name is Andrew.
I will say this for Andrew, he is definitely had a more interesting for years since than I have, he has become a political celebrity.
He’s run for president.
He’s run for mayor of New York and now he started a third political party.
So a few weeks ago, Andrew reached out to me and he said, Derek.
Do you want to come one of my podcast to talk about the economy and I responded rudely.
No, do you want to come on my podcast and talk about politics?
So both of us answered.
Yes, compromise, and we had this great hour-long conversation that you’re about to.
Here, Andrew and I agree about a lot, but we do not see the world in exactly the same way.
I think he is more certain than I am that robots are taking our jobs, and I think he’s more optimistic than I am.
That a third party is the most efficient vehicle for rescuing American democracy.
But what I like about Andrew, what I really really like about Andrew is that he cares about reality and it might seem like a kind of absurd complement of a person but when it comes to Modern politics and my Be the highest compliment.
You can pay the dude really cares about reality.
He cares about seeing the world as it is.
So as you’re about to hear the interview breaks, more or less into two parts in the first half and you interviews me about my Outlook on the economy, remote work, social media.
And in the second half, I interview Andrew about the state of politics and the prospects for a third party in America and finally what it’s actually like to run for president as always.
Thank you for listening.
If you like this podcast, please follow rate review.
And here is Andrew.
I am so pumped to be on plain English with Derek Thompson because this podcast is going to explain the world to a lot of people.
Thanks for having me, Derek.
I reference your work all the time when I’m trying to figure out what’s going on in the economy, you know, you and I have known each other for a while.
You’ve written several books about different aspects of the hit maker economy.
So I don’t want to lead off with a question on everyone’s mind, which I’m sure people ask you a cocktail parties and the rest of it, much to your Chagrin.
What the hell is going on with this economy?
Like what is it?
Like, where are we right now?
It’s so funny.
So I we just recorded a podcast about this and my one-sentence summary of where things stand is.
All the good news has an asterisk and on the bad news has a silver lining so you pick some piece of good news, like look unemployment is lower now than it was in any month of 2016.
That’s an extraordinary achievement after the pandemic at the same time.
One of the reasons why unemployment is so low is because we’re missing 67 million people from the labor force.
There is a large number of people who retired early because they’re afraid of the pandemic.
There are people who are waiting out the pandemic on the sidelines because they don’t feel comfortable working or they really hate a job.
They just quit or maybe they have a financial cushion and that’s Obviously good.
We don’t want to force people to work starvation, jobs, but there’s piece of good news that has a little bit of an asterisk.
Then all the bad news has a silver lining like look, inflation is real and it’s Highest that it’s been in a long time, maybe more than 30 years.
It’s higher when it when you look at the gasoline prices.
The year of year inflation rate is one of the highest prints on record.
At the same time.
The high inflation rate is partly an Evidence of some good things that are happening.
A demand is so much higher than we thought it would be maybe a year ago.
People are spending a lot.
Retail numbers are up.
Restaurants are roaring back the supply chain.
Can’t yet meet all of this demand and as a result, it’s cashing out.
Out as high inflation.
So the way that I think about this economy is that you know, the 1970s we invented this portmanteau of a stag flashin economy stagnation plus inflation.
Jimmy Carter stagflation.
That’s like the the great fear.
This is not sex lesion.
This is Kaboom flashin.
This is a booming economy.
That is also seeing inflation.
And I think it’s really important to distinguish the the the bad growth that we saw in the 1970s from the accelerating growth that we’re seeing right now, coming out of the pen down.
A lot of good stuff is happening.
But it all has an asterisk grow Felician.
We need a term.
You know, I guess if you’re the Biden Administration, you just want to avoid this term stagflation and Jimmy Carter redox, which I think is the vibe.
Unfortunately, what we return to that a little bit later on.
I’m not sure if Kaboom flexion is going to catch though.
I got to be honest.
So if it’s so visible, so we need, we need something else while both leash and I like, I don’t know.
Work on it by the end of this conversation.
Let’s try and coined this term.
ERM you got it.
Yeah, we got, we have boom PlayStation.
We got both latian kapow inflation.
Well, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of Dash relations that we can throw out there, and I’ll sort of have it on.
I’ll have that program running on background as we speak.
Please do I know you’re capable of multiple Cycles.
So let’s dig into each of the pieces, you just described.
So you said headline unemployment reads as being quite low, but people have dropped out of the workforce and one of the facts that I just saw.
Reported that you retweeted actually, it was out of been Castleman which is that we’re still missing 4.2 million jobs since before the pandemic, a lot of that in hospitality and Leisure.
So so the first question is, what is going on with these six million or so people that have left the workforce and how should we think about the labor market healthy unhealthy?
I think previously very unhealthy and getting healthier.
I mean, we basically put the economy into a forced coma in April 2020.
So we are coming from a flash freeze recession in the spring and early summer of last year and we’re coming out of it.
We added more than 500,000 jobs last month.
I mean, in any normal time, that would be an absolutely enormous number of jobs.
Yeah, which was less than what a lot of people were hoping are projecting from way before.
So an absolute terms is good, but it was it fair to say that people were hoping for better X months ago.
Is that right?
I think if you look at the 3-month running, average getting a little bit technical here, but if you look at the 3-month running average, right?
Like the general trend is a little bit slower than people were hoping, but last month’s number was really, really strong.
And I think we can continue to build on it as hopefully, fingers crossed knocking.
What is available covid, fears continue to decline, vaccines, continue to move through boosters continue to improve the general level of antibodies, and we don’t see the same spike in deaths.
This winter that we saw last winter and there’s a lot of reasons to believe.
That this winter, especially in the early spring.
We’re going to have a really healthy labor market.
Lots of job growth, and not just job growth and do.
This is something I know that you’re interested in.
If you look at wage growth and where wage growth is the strongest, it’s not at the top.
It’s not the middle.
It’s at the bottom wages are growing fast as for the low income.
And they’re growing fastest because as Leisure and Hospitality comes back online, restaurants and retailers are having to raise wages to People working there because otherwise, what are they doing?
The most Americans on record just quit their jobs, last month and the period, or the sector with the most job.
Quits was accommodation food services.
So hotels, and restaurants and bars.
You put all this together and my brief summary is things were really bad last year.
They are getting better for sure.
They are getting better a little bit slower than we were hoping and they’re getting better with this other asterisk, which is inflation.
Is higher than we expected that it would be in part because Supply chains are too constricted to provide for all the demand that’s coming from the US economy.
So to the extent that there is still pain or lag in the economy, and we’re going to try to unpack this great resignation, which is on everyone’s Minds any time you go out to eat or to shop, you see help on the times everywhere, you know, people are like hey, you know, jobs available.
And I believe that’s one of the reasons why we’re seeing wages go up at the low end is people are like well people aren’t applying to jobs.
It’s just like, you know, guess we’re gonna have to raise our wages.
Someone said in an article employers think that 15 bucks an hour is a lot of money until they find out, that’s what McDonald’s is offering and so there is this Baseline that’s coming up.
So the folks that have left those jobs and are kind of waiting to Be enticed back in.
How are they able to make ends meet?
Do we have a sense?
Is it because they received enhanced unemployment benefits before?
And haven’t, most of those programs at this point stopped applying to the same level.
I think it’s a really good question.
It’s a little bit of a mystery to me.
Why we see such a large labor force, drop out like six to seven million jobs or people looking for jobs.
That is a lot.
That’s basically the labor force of Pennsylvania that were missing from the economy.
No, overall GDP is basically higher than it was before the pandemic started.
Like that is definitely a mystery that I don’t want to pretend.
I have 100% of the answer to, but if you’re going to piece together, an answer, it’s pretty clear to me where the piece is start.
They start with savings that people have from last year because they weren’t going on trips.
They weren’t doing special stuff, because the economy was shut down, it comes from the stimulus checks, obviously, as you said, it comes from enhance the unemployment benefits, as you said, you piece it all together and I can sort of begin to see why Why you how you have this sort of financial cushion, but then you move away from find from Financial cushions.
And you also have covid, right?
People might still be afraid of catching this in a restaurant or in a hotel.
So they’re not applying to those jobs.
You might also have the fact that because schools are still a little bit messed up, you have moms and dads who don’t want to leave the house.
They want to stay home and be there in case their kid has to be forced out of school.
In case, you know, school is shut down for a week because there’s a covid case for to so there.
A bunch of different health, and economic and psychological reasons why people are sort of holding out from the economy.
And I think if you piece it all together, you have the basis of an explanation for the this, this labor shortage mystery.
I think a lot of it is burnout.
I think a lot of it is mental fatigue leads to the like, some of the folks.
I talked to just like screw this and went home and then have just been figuring it out.
And I see this in a variety of fields.
I just saw a piece about how healthcare workers are burning out.
We all understand but it’s not just in that industry.
It seems like it’s all over.
There’s been a lot of rethinking.
I almost feel like we had this very strict conditioning that then got broken during covid.
And now when you say to folks, hey, you know do what you’ve always done.
A lot of people are very very hesitant and trying to figure out A New Path.
A lot of people moved, you know, I’ve seen the relocation rates been significantly higher than normal which we can talk a little bit about when we talk about whether remote work is here to stay.
What the heck that means.
But so, so your characterization of the labor market is like, hey, it’s been really really sick when it’s getting better and we’re not sure about some of the the adjustments because, you know, like the the the fact is that there are a few different pieces to it.
I mean, I think you, you mentioned two things.
I think are really important to talk about little bit more.
One, is the fact that people are reassessing exactly what the role of work should be in their life.
They’re, they’re burning out of their jobs.
They’re taking some time to rethink their career or rethink.
You know what they’re going to do for a living and I do, and that’s entirely a bad thing in large part.
I think the great resignation is, for workers great.
It’s wonderful that people can have an opportunity to make that calculation.
I mean, in an economy, let’s imagine some some sort of Earth to American economy, which isn’t so different maybe than Earth.
One were a lot of Americans feel like they don’t have the opportunity to quit if they’re burned out.
They don’t have the opportunity to quit.
If They feel like they just don’t want to do their job anymore.
They have to work or they’re going to starve in the family will starve.
That’s not a world that I want.
It’s not a world that I know.
It’s not a word that you want, especially with your interest in Ubi, but fortunately with it with this, with these checks and the savings and unemployment and extend unemployment benefits.
I think people do have this freedom to have, you know, a great reset.
And then in addition to the great reset, you also have this great reshuffling, you have people moving more than they used to.
We had declining migration in the u.s.
Declining sort of Intercity and Interstate migration of the you Yes, I think since the 1970s it was a pretty long period of declining Mojo in this country and in the last two years people are moving more than moving to the suburbs of Metro’s.
They live in the moving between cities.
I think that’s a good thing too.
I think that you know, I once an economy where people don’t feel so precarious and so desperate to work that they can’t experiment a little bit in their life.
They can’t move to a city to check it out.
Try on a job and quit.
If they don’t like it and explore the That work best for them and then figure out which one is their favorite and jump all into a career there.
I want people to feel that sense of exploration and you need a little bit.
I think of economic safety net laying in order for people to experiment.
We’ve laid a lot of net in the last in the last year and a half.
And as a result, I think you’re seeing a healthy amount of experimentation.
And do we think that remote work is here to stay?
And then what does that mean?
Like are we happy about that?
I’m sure a lot of people listening to, this are happy about that.
I think it’s absolutely here to stay.
I think it’s important to be clear about who it’s here to stay for.
So white collar workers are already a minority of the workforce and those that can or already working.
Remotely are also a minority of that Minority.
So it’s not a, it’s not a huge number of people relative to the overall economy that are working remotely, but it’s still millions and millions of people.
And my whole thing under moat work, when I’m having conversations about it.
I’ve been doing a lot of writing and About it is.
The theme Here, is small changes can have big effects.
Small changes can have big effects.
Let’s just assume that only say 10 to 20 percent of white collar, workers, knowledge, workers, right, media, marketing stuff you can do with the computer.
Let’s assume is only 10 to 20 percent of them continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future on the one hand.
That means 80% of them are going back to the office for the most part.
So some people are going to say, oh look remote work, it failed, but the ten to twenty percent difference is huge.
If let’s say you live in New York.
If New York Subway ticket sales decline by let’s say, you know, seven to twelve percent that is potentially devastating for the City of New York.
If you have offices that are 20, always 20% at least empty on any given day.
And by the, by the way, your kind of, you know, like you’re being very, very conservative these estimates.
I mean, because right now, it’s actually reversed where the offices are twenty percent occupied in 80% of the occupied, but you’re exactly right time.
Trey, I’m starting with the conservative take and trying to prove just how dramatic even the conservative take is exactly what you said.
So let’s say the offices are 20, 30 40 % empty for the foreseeable future, that’s massive for Consumer, rents for commercial wrench, that’s a massive deal for businesses in downtown urban areas that benefit from all of the work lunches that are sold when the offices are filled, or all the window shopping, the people do when they are walking between offices on their way to work.
So, my big thing here again.
N is small changes can have big effects.
The spillover effects of a 10% remote work.
Revolution, could be absolutely massive.
So Derek Thompson work from home is here to stay.
That’s something that he’s thinking deeply about and so what does that mean for the organization?
So you’re saying look, second-tier cities are probably going to have some new people, which I agree with.
You’re going to see a bit less centralization.
Of talent and human capital and organizational energy.
I do get the sense that a lot of the big orgs are shrugging and saying, all right, you want to live there?
We’ll work with that.
They’re losing that particular tug-of-war.
How do you feel about the continuation of remote work?
Are you positive negative neutral?
I talk to a lot of people who are negative on.
It does to share that where people who run organizations, unhappy people, obviously people who for example, run, Restaurants and Retail establishments in some of these areas on Happy.
Like, how do you feel about it?
I think that it depends on who you talk to and there’s a bunch of different sort of Spectra that you can look at.
So one of them is a psychological Spectrum introverts versus extroverts.
The introverts that I know.
Wow, you’re getting deep here.
I’m sitting here.
I’m starting here.
So like the introverts that I know are so so happy with remote work, like they go to the office and what are they?
Since the office people are constantly trying to talk to them.
They’re constantly trying to blabber about the Mustang was yelling at them and bullying, you know, just being like freaking introvert and then like taking their their Trapper Keepers and throwing them on the grounds of this going down of this.
Yes, and so, they’re thinking like, it is so much more calm and happy when I’m at home.
Like my mental health has never been better.
So they’re obviously happy to stay home and not commute into an office where they can be, you know, assaulted with impromptu conversation at the same time the extroverts I know.
Especially this salted, with impromptu friendliness.
I’ve definitely talking to him sugar right now.
I would consider myself somewhere in the middle.
I look up and I should also say like for the Briggs Meyer doubters out there.
I think, universally you’ve written books, that you’re probably an introvert.
That’s like, a general thing, ruler.
Like if someone had the patience to sit there and write a book, they’re probably introverted.
But because you’ve written, you’ve written twice as many books as I have sir.
So, I don’t know if you would consider yourself an introvert, I am I’m an introvert.
Anyone who saw me as a kid with.
No, I’ll just be sitting under a tree reading some Dragon lands now.
Well, you know, exactly.
So yeah, the experts, I know my life are like, get me back to the office.
Like, I get, I get confidence and power and feel good about myself when I’m talking to people.
So that’s, that’s one way you can know one to Lord it over their house.
They just started yelling at their dog being like, listen to me.
I have thought, but speaking of lording thoughts over your dog.
I also think that another Spectrum that’s important is like like lower level employees, mid-level employees, and managers, right?
So I think managers want to get back into the office.
It for the most part, in my experience.
Like they, they enjoy managing people in like a live setting people that are kind of advance in their career but not managers they’re happy to perform anywhere.
Like they’re really really happy to have that freedom to not have the commute younger workers.
I think feel often like they’re missing out on culture if culture to them as just a group slack.
If Just like if the office just becomes a group text, that’s not an office.
That’s a group text.
And so I think that for some like younger employees, they aren’t getting necessarily the cultural experience that they want.
So I think it cuts a lot of different ways and you know, remote work is one of these things that I sometimes compare to like like food, like it’s ridiculous to say that food is good or bad.
Some food is good for some people, some of the time.
And that’s what we’re going to see with remote.
Work that it’s going to be this unevenly distributed thing that works for some people and not for others, and it’s going to be particularly difficult.
I think for CEOs who are managing large companies that have a wide spectrum of psychological profiles, and subversion and extroverts.
A wide spectrum of workers young middle-aged and old.
That’s where the were the the, you know, what’s really going to hit the fan?
Because I think it’s just going to be really difficult to to find a solution that works everybody.
Well, I’m really with you Derek and that People that I feel bad for our, the young workers are coming up.
Because if you just came out of school, and you were trying to figure out how to prove yourself in an organization.
It’s, I think it’s just harder or to get a sense as to how to manage people, also, probably harder.
Because you do, you aspire to try and become that manager.
At some point.
I’m going to share something.
There is a 20, something year old in my life, you know, like family member who’s been working from home and I think is getting I’m depressed as a result.
Now, if you were to ask this person.
Hey, would you prefer remote work or going into the office?
They would say, remote work.
Now, do I think that the remote work is getting them pumped up on a day-to-day basis, or even developing them professionally, not really.
But if you ask them their Preference, they still would say, well I prefer working in my sweatpants to having to commute like get dressed.
Go the office like do this thing interact with those horrible other people.
Face to face, whatever it is likely, you know, if you leave it up to them, but I’m not sure that their preference actually matches up to what would help their career over the medium term or even their day-to-day happiness out like, and I’m, you know, it’s like I’m somewhere in that zone to wear.
If you’re an advanced professional, you can work from anywhere and you have a family like I do then, you know, it’s like, it becomes very, very appealing to say.
Yeah, let me just be Min, but I do feel for That next Generation, what you’re pointing to is something that the psychologist, Dan Gilbert has called Miss wanting.
It’s the idea that we tell ourselves that we want something and then we get that thing.
And it turns out that that is not the ticket to happiness at all.
It can be anything.
It could be a mansion.
It could be a 10-hour Netflix binge.
It could be a fancy watch, we want these things.
We get them, we pass through that gate and on the other side of the gate is the exact same feeling of wanting the exact same illusion that, oh, maybe something else.
Will be the ticket to permanent happiness.
And of course nothing is.
And I think our phones and social media, you know, just to extend from the remote work, conversation are such a huge driver of Miss wanting in the world and work in life and success it in so many ways.
Removes the friction of having to actually move our bodies out of our house to see other people.
When maybe the thing that’s most fundamental to happiness is moving our bodies out of familiar places in order to see people that mean something to us, like, I don’t want to be a fuddy-duddy about this.
I’m protecting my tech positive guy, but I think we all know in our bones.
We must know that these tools are frictionless nests have down sides.
We see at the statistics to your you, and I are aligned on that point for sure.
You recently Amplified and idea that scare the shit out of me and I want to share it with everyone.
It’s not your idea.
Or maybe it is, well, the sheriff.
So there was a recent consumer confidence survey that said, that 87 percent of Democrats think, the economy is good or other positive sentiment while only 37 percent of Republicans did and you noted that this was the largest golf.
In terms of perception of the economic trajectory between parties, that you would ever seen 50%.
But then even more troubling is that, this wasn’t only on one side or the other.
That back in 2019, the golf actually cut the other direction where Republicans thought the economy was great and Democrats thought it sucked by a margin of 47%.
And so this is Something that scared the shit out of me because what it showed was that?
Hey, it turns out there is no objective reality, to the way we experience the economy and it’s just that if my party is in power.
I’m going to be more likely to think good things.
Then if the other parties in power, I think that’s the point you were making.
Bye between years thing out of my head thread, all of that for those who can’t see the video.
I absolutely agree that.
That is the clear take away just to do.
Step back to set it up because I think that the the historical change is really important.
So the University of Michigan has been doing this consumer survey for like 60, 70 years.
They basically asked a bunch of people.
How do you think the economy is going?
And since the 1980s?
They’ve been breaking, it down, Democrat, Republican independent, right between 1980 and 2017.
There had never been more than a 30 point gap between the way Democrats and Republicans saw.
The economy, right?
Democrats Republicans more or less were Co occupants of reality, right?
They were experiencing something that we could that they could agree on was a shared reality times.
We were in the same place, the same economy since 2017.
It’s just gone, completely berserk that if Republican is is the president just about other Republicans say the economy is great.
And a lot of the Democrats say the economy is bad and then when a democratic All the Democrats say that the economy is good and all the Republicans say the economy is bad.
That’s only a, slight exaggeration.
But that’s basically what we started to see and it basically means exactly what you said that we used to partially decide whether or not we thought our party was doing a good job by first, looking to the economy, but now we decide.
If the economy is good by first, looking to the party, that’s Empower ideology is the pair of glasses that everybody is wearing.
Being and as a result, you might not as well.
Even ask people how good the economy is you might as well.
Just tell them.
Hey, do you like buying or not?
Because once once they hear the answer to that question, everything else that I ask you about reality will simply flow Downstream of that comment and it just goes to this point which again you write about in your book.
And I have a couple questions about your book that I, which I thought was really, really interesting, which is that polarization has just eaten up American democracy.
Am I allowed to Is this is this horrifyingly embarrassing for me if I read to you from your own body?
Very much allowed.
All right, so page 202, 49.
I think this is a really really profound point you write in the book open versus closed, political science book, a bunch of clinical psychologists asked responders to talk about to respond to various various opinions.
They found that disengage citizens had less of a fixed political identity based.
Based upon their psychological profile.
They were more pragmatic and practical when presented with a question.
They reacted to a policy by trying to answer.
What will this policy do for me?
Meanwhile, those who were more politically attentive.
We’re more likely to try to answer, what will supporting this policy say about me.
They were joining a group.
What’s so interesting about this observation is that you would think that people who were engaged with politics?
Might be thinking economically, but they’re not at all.
The people disengage with politics are thinking economically and the people engaged with politics, are thinking culturally and is more of America becomes more politically engaged.
This might be another scare the shit out of you moment.
Andrea, as more of America becomes politically engaged.
This research suggests that the future politics is a culture War.
Not a, what will this policy do for me?
Not Say what will Biden do for the Broken Road and the broken bridge and the bad Broadband in my ZIP code?
But rather, what does it mean to my Facebook group to my neighborhood?
Bible study group?
If I support this presidents, bill, that is terrifying.
That the future of politics is so post material and so cultural that storytelling essentially subsumes actual policy details.
Politics has become content Derek.
I’m very very scared of it too.
And when you characterize as a Vibes war is not the aside.
It’s actually the center.
It’s actually hey, let’s like engage in a Vibes warlike see who can convince 50.1 percent of the population that you know, we’re on track.
I also was very moved by that research and I referenced Jonathan haidt fairly heavily.
I Reference as recline fairly heavily like some of their insights were, what led me to head this direction, and start the forward party because I looked up and was like, okay, if it really is just going to come down to tribalism and not whether I can demonstrate that.
My policies are going to help you.
Then where does that lead?
And it leads to, by the way, Civil War 2.0.
And then what is the path out and the path out to me is one to start a unifying positive political tribe, but also to try and break.
Up to two tribes, so that there are like five six or seven tribes and then in that landscape then if you have these relatively ideological Communications Lanes, at least you’re not going to get fifty percent of people, you know, like I can inflame a certain segment which by the way, would also lead to something that I imagine your for which is a much more diverse media landscape where it’s not that you have an apparatus.
That’s just augmenting.
The Republican point of You and talking points and then they’re like, even the Democrat.
But there’s some other universe and I would say that you’re one of actually, the leaders of this universe, which is you try and find objective reality.
So it’s like the people in this way be like reality-based journalism, which, you know, a lot of journalists right now.
Imagine that they’re practicing, but but I’m not sure they are that that’s you are.
I’m going to say this and that’s a high compliment coming from me.
I really appreciate that.
I really do, I sincerely appreciate that.
I really do try to tell the truth and it sounds ridiculous.
And cliche to say that I want to tell the truth, but I really really do.
And a part of I think really wanting to tell the truth as an occupation means just downshifting rather dramatically.
What tribe, or what, corner of the political Spectrum.
The truth seems to be coming from.
So right now, for example, We’ve got inflation inflation’s, inflation’s here.
It’s really high in energy.
It’s pretty high in meat and poultry and it’s pretty high in car prices.
There are a lot of Republicans that are saying completely wrong things about inflation.
Like we’re why my Republic like inflation is 20% like we’re about to spiral into, you know, a jury recommendation Venezuela.
That’s complete bullshit.
The same time.
I really do see a lot of liberals and I’m not I’m not I’m not Did you both sides here?
I’m just saying, it’s unfortunate the degree to which lots of people in the media.
Now, Sunni putting ideology over evidence.
I see lots of liberals sort of pooh-poohing, the idea that anyone would care about inflation that it’s basically just Republican psyop.
It’s like it’s not just Republican side up the like the the Bureau of Labor Statistics is telling you in its own words.
This is the highest inflation rate in 30 years.
Let’s believe them.
These are these are non partisan.
Samus believe reality and I have found it.
I do think that the fact that media has become so ideological is unfortunately Downstream of the fact that media has become so abundant.
We are like, you know, we’re like plants in the jungle.
We’re like plants in a rainforest.
We are diversifying and and becoming specific and different because we need to do so to survive and you’re seeing everyone.
Like they have to have an antagonistic relationship with the rest of media.
Like how often do you hear?
Like people in the media?
Say the media is broken.
Well, of course they are because their job is to win an audience with in the media consuming public that thinks that they are the only voices telling the truth like to a certain extent.
So many could have accused me of doing this, the beginning of this answer, right?
Like right is wrong.
That’s his wrong only.
I’m telling the truth.
I don’t want to say that, but at the same time this is just what I’m saying.
Is the the character of the media that you are.
Observing is Downstream of the media economy, which is so abundant that there are there’s so many people clamoring for attention that we all have to tell we all have to have some version of the same message.
Everyone else is lying except for me.
Come to me for the truth.
How many for the truth Connie for the truth and you will live and and that does make it, I think very difficult to to be non-ideological.
And I honestly don’t have a.
I wish I had a quick solution to that problem.
I frankly, don’t, I don’t know if you see this the same way that I do.
I say it exactly the same and I’m working on a solution, believe it or not, in true Yang, in fashion.
Tell me a solution.
So it’s shocking that your solution, my solution, and they’ll be more to come on.
This is to try to augment and properly resource independent voices that have developed a trusted.
Based upon some degree of loyalty and adherence to the truth people like you, frankly, you know, and I can throw out some other names.
I’m just going to throw out a couple of names.
Just so so people have a sense of where I’m going with this.
But like, crystal ball and Sagar and Jetty where they developed a following as independent trustworthy voices.
I want to help make these voices that new network, the new mainstream.
And so, I’m working on trying to make that happen.
We’ll see you.
If I can be successful.
I want to be a part of trying to give us a chance to come back and have a sense of reality and have a sense of accountability to the truth.
And I don’t see a way to do that without making it so that the resources and incentives are flowing in the right direction.
Yeah, I think from a political perspective.
I wonder how you see the challenge of winning the storytelling battle.
You have this, you made this observation that you print in the book.
You said the Democratic party, which way, I think you’re you’re often politically.
But I do see the why you’re interested in forming a third party.
You see the Democratic party is taken on this role of the urban Coastal leads, who are more concerned about policing, various cultural issues than improving the working classes.
Way of life.
That’s been declining.
See a little bit more about about that argument.
And what, what you disagree with the Democratic party’s approach to talking about cultural issues.
Well, that quotes from us CNN clip, that was pretty widely recirculated, but it was born in my experience, talking to A waitress at a diner in Iowa where I said, hey running for president and she said, oh, what party, and I said Democrat.
And then it’s like, I sprouted horns or a tail or turn purple or something.
So, like that, the Democratic party has really been coated in a certain way for a lot of people, and if you were generous, you would say, oh, it’s because of, you know, Fox and conservative talk radio, and I’m sure there’s some truth to that, but it does seem to a lot of working-class Americans that are met that the Democratic party does not care about whether they’re Eggs are good or bad and that’s a losing place to be.
If you’re the Democratic party, which theoretically is supposed to be, I thought for the working class, a little guy, a little gal.
And so then the question is, well, what do these people think?
The Democratic party is about?
And they think it’s about the language.
They think it’s about culture.
They think it’s about things that educated people in cities care about more than folks who are in Iowa or Indiana or New Hampshire, so, So that was the critique I had and still do have and to me, the goal should be to try and get policies across the finish line and it doesn’t matter what I call it.
I mean, it’s one reason why we called Universal basic income to Freedom dividend because it tested better and it tested better frankly with conservatives.
Like, I used to tell the story Derek where everything tested about the same with people who were on the left.
You called it Universal basic income, Prosperity dividend social security, for all it was all about.
The Same, by the way back, then it wasn’t that high to really, I mean, it started out at 27 percent approval.
It’s a 65, but we called it, the freedom dividend because it worked more with more people and you have to ask yourself.
It’s like why is it the Democrats aren’t able to make this the same adjustment which is so obvious.
It’s like hey, if you talk about something in a certain way, they hate it.
So it’s like maybe talk about it another way and the Democratic Governors should just seems to be like know if they aren’t liking this then then In their ears are wrong.
Their minds are wrong.
Are not receptive enough to like the language I’m using.
And by the way, they exacerbate that because they like change the language all the time.
But you know, they’re really excited.
It’s like, you know, pretty hipped and Sammy to the stuff.
It’s like, you know, I have trouble keeping track of what, you know, like what the vocabulary is.
It was like trying to reach people where they are.
So anyway, that that was what my my point was.
No said that, that the vocabulary they use can be alienating.
I can I Actually, I have collapsed.
You see that to what extent do you think Universal basic income right now and popularity of UBI has been affected by the pandemic stimulus checks.
Well, you see the appeal of universal basic income rising and I got two main objections when I was on the trail.
Number one is where we’re going to get the money.
And number two is people aren’t going to use it.
Well, and now people realize we actually always had the money and of the literally Lee 160 million Americans who’ve gotten some form of casually for this last number of months.
They know how they spent it, which was on food and fuel and car repairs and school supplies, The rest of it, or the folks who were continuously getting the child tax credit right now.
So, because the lived experience a lot of people like, oh, like we really can do this.
And so it doesn’t turn everyone into a different human being.
So so I feel like this Time period has only accelerated the eventual adoption of Ubi and I think it’s just going to continue to be become the policy solution as dozens of Mayors around the country.
Including in some really big cities are now launching various versions and pilots who was an early objection to Universal basic income.
That said, it’s going to change the way that people spend their money and spend their time.
They’re going to become lazy.
They’re not going to work and instead everything that I’ve read.
Seems to point in the opposite direction.
That in fact, what you have in the developing world.
The sort of ascending developing world is you have a lot of poverty traps, people, quote, unquote, act, poor, not because of biology, psychology culture because of money, they are in poverty traps, they need money.
And if they had money, they could be unbelievably productive and happy.
And and I love the idea of leading of leading with you.
I would extend do you?
It’s still the centerpiece of the forward party.
Is it is, it’s just a core.
Is that the entree or is it other other other things that have joined the plate?
Well, it’s very much there front and center.
When you go to Ford party.com.
You see there are a number of core principles and Universal.
Basic income is right there.
You know, I’m frankly.
So which are very proud of you know, it’s like having someone say to me on the street like, yang.
Literally, I guess, thanks for people’s Castle, leave checks.
I mean, that’s a pretty wonderful feeling so it’s right there.
Derek is, I ran for president thinking.
The problem was that people didn’t know about you, bi and so I needed to spread the idea.
And now, I think the problem is that our government isn’t responsive to the will of the average person.
And so that’s what the Democracy reform elements of the forward part of your about around, open primaries and ranked Choice voting.
So if Universal basic income is, for example, Solution or a vision.
Now, the forward parties about trying to make it a reality and you could in my opinion, swap out any of a number of big things for Universal basic income and it would fit in similarly, climate change, you know, and try to address it.
Like I think that’s something that a lot of Americans are frustrated by our relative in action.
Like our system right now is built for polarization this function stagnation frustration eventually, you know, it’s like you can put in just about At any big public policy goal - ation.
Yeah, you can.
It’s like what?
Francis fukuyama called the autocracy.
It’s like I can I can’t do anything, right?
Keep you from doing anything, which in a time of Rapid change, is terrible, you know, and then it’s related to the gerund talk or see which I talked about a little bit and, you know, some people aren’t into the fact that I characterize it as such, but would really is, I mean, you know, we’re probably careening towards a Biden.
Trump rematch in 2024.
And their combined age will be 158, you know, like feeling like up, be like, oh my gosh, like we’re doing this again.
It’s, it’s not going to be fantastic.
So let me let me assume that I am.
And this is not a huge unrealistic assumption assume that I am exactly the demographic that you’re trying to reach.
I am mad at the gerund talker.
See and think that America’s leaders are way too old.
I’m mad at the Vita crasy Francis.
Fukuyama’s Vita, accuracy and think it’s way too difficult.
To build anything or do anything.
The moon shots are over and we don’t have any ambitious plans for government-funded technology anymore.
Unless we’re in a pandemic.
I want a government that is Protec and pro-science but also Pro egalitarianism.
I want us to care about people and the Udi, I think is a wonderful way to express that care all of this.
I’m on your team at the same time.
I remember Ross Perot.
I remember Ralph Nader.
I know the history of third parties in America.
Rekha, and they can often cannibalize from the party.
The party that you are most like this, this has to be something that you’ve been asking some of you thought about a lot.
How do you worry about that?
Oh, yeah, of course.
Well, I appreciate all of the affinities you just Express Derek.
It’s super exciting.
So there are a number of things I would say is that number one?
We have to figure out how we’re going to transition from this broken-down duopoly to something better and more effective in the path there in my My opinion is just trying to make it so that independent points of you can come up regardless of what those points of view are.
So to me, the Ford party is going to enable a multi-party system by trying to make this system.
Frankly, not shut out.
Anyone who’s not an r or D.
If you want to get in to brass tacks about some of the examples, you even cited, Ross, Perot led to Clinton winning, you know, I mean, he got 19.3% Prospero still.
Okay, with me publicans.
Yeah, go ahead though.
Yeah, I know.
So it and you could look at Andrew Young and say, oh, like, you know, this this guy or like this party is naturally like more Demi, there are some facts that actually cut the other way where 42% of my supporters.
When I was running as a democrat in the Democratic presidential nomination said, they weren’t sure they were, they’re going to support the Democratic nominee if it weren’t me.
And so that’s almost half at a time.
When frankly, I had a big D next.
My name everywhere.
I went like that.
There were a lot of people I encountered on the trail.
We’re like, hey Yang, you know, totally support him if you weren’t a Democrat.
And if you look at the appetite for a third party right now, it’s actually significantly higher among both Independents and Republicans and it is among Democrats.
So it’s an empirical open question, where the energy would come from.
The other thing is that people that attend to fast forward to just the presidential race. 20:24 question.
And there are a lot of things we can do with the locals level of the state level.
Like, we did in Alaska around night.
I mean, I didn’t do it like, Alaska did around switching to open primaries and ranked Choice voting, which is good for democracy.
It’s good for a sanity and reasonableness to just have better incentives.
So there are all of these things.
I would push people towards and say look even if you’re concerned about let’s say the 24 election, let’s table that do as much as we can in the here.
And now, let’s call it 22.
And then, if we are heading in a direction where you’re like, oh I’m concerned about empirically tipping, the election in the direction.
I don’t like, then we can examine it then, but we’re nowhere near that point right now just for my podcast.
I could you explain what rank Choice?
Voting and open primaries are and how they would directly connect to Breaking this?
I believe between Republicans and Democrats as you’ve described it, of course, I’m very happy to share.
So Senator, Lisa murkowski of Alaska, has been in the news a lot lately because she’s the only Republican senator who voted to impeach, Donald Trump, who’s also up for re-election in 2022.
So her approval rating now.
Among Alaskan Republican stands at six percent which is very, very low and so you’d think, oh, this is politically suicidal and she’s going to lose her seat.
But last year, Alaska shifted from party primaries, which were all used to, to a combination of open primaries and ranked Choice voting.
So, what does that shift mean in real life?
It means that anyone can run from any party in the court primary, and then any voter can support whomever they want and the top five candidates in that case in Alaska, go through to the general.
Now, if you have five candidates and let’s say there are two, Republicans, and one Democrat and one independent.
And when libertarian, then the, the two Democrats would cannibalize from each other.
And that’s like the spoiler fact that everyone’s concerned about.
So the way you fix that is through a process called ranked Choice voting which enables all voters to rank up to five candidates that they like to support in order.
So, if you were a Democrat, you could rank the Democrats one and two and then stop there.
So then the candidates don’t cannibalize each other.
You could also ranked the independent one.
The Democrat to and then not be concerned that you’re voting for The Debt, that independent was somehow going to help the other side.
It gets rid of the spoiler effect.
It gets rid of the wasting of votes argument.
It expresses people’s true preference.
It will words more moderate candidates who can build a broader Coalition, because you have to have a majority of ballots in order to win.
Whereas, if you had a plurality voting system as with the Bill Clinton example, I think he won the presidency was I’m like, 40, I don’t know, two percent of the vote.
So rank Choice, voting gets rid of all of these issues.
And here’s one of the things during that people should understand is that all the things that you get beaten over the head with, it’s like, oh, you’re going to spoil it?
Or or your, oh, you’re gonna mess it up for one team like, oh, you’re going to waste your vote.
All that stuff is just a product of our current plurality voting system.
That is archaic and needs to be updated.
If you change, the rank Choice voting, then all of a sudden people can vote for whomever they want.
The winner has to be on a majority of ballots.
You can have new parties emerge.
It gets rid of the spoiler effect, the entire Ralph Nader. 2024 argument could disappear if we have ranked Choice voting on the presidential level.
So if someone’s scared of these issues, just say, hey look, we switch to rank Choice.
Voting problem solved.
I’m sympathetic to the argument.
I think that we see internationally that countries that have first past the post electoral democracies do To become two-party systems.
And that’s exactly what we have.
And it’s been a very, very difficult for third parties in the u.s.
To get started.
I would I would love a proliferation of parties.
I think it would help.
So many surprising second-order things like, for example, political polarization, if everyone can just sort themselves by saying, I’m against her.
I’m for Joe Biden.
And I’m going to describe the economy that way, and I’m going to see reality.
It’s too easy.
It’s too easy, I think.
Think to have that sort of, you know, head-to-head Deathmatch, but when partisanship is scrambled a little bit, when there are five parties six-party, seven parties, then there’s more of a competition to not just be against something, but before the right thing, because everyone’s against everything, but maybe your, maybe your, you, you specialize me, come for something for really, really, particularly persuasive argument.
So I love the idea right now.
Derek, you can see The animating Force for both parties is hating the other party.
Look, I think I think the book is really really interesting and I wanted the last question.
I want to ask you that was related to the book is you know, you I have no idea what it’s like to run for president.
You make this really funny comment that a lot of people think that only narcissus run for president and it may be true that most people that run for president are somewhat narcissistic, but the actual experience, Of running for president is just one Humble Pie after another.
It’s just this ego smashing exercise, where one media beats up at you.
Someone insults you.
It’s it just seemed really, really difficult.
I wonder from that experience.
Like, on the other end of the media equation, what you see as the political media’s biggest flaws in this country.
I think the political media is biggest flaw, is that they feel themselves to be the Arbiter of Narrative gets included in what does not and I use in the book, The example of Joe sestak, who was an admiral in the Navy and was eminently qualified to talk about, certainly foreign policy and defense related issues, and the media wouldn’t give him the time of day because he wasn’t quote-unquote serious.
I heard from any number of people.
I had an interview with Barry Weiss the other day.
And she said that New York Times journalist would regularly exclude me from coverage of a debate or the campaign.
And when I was, hey, why not have Yang on there?
They would say, like Yang is not serious.
And then, and then I, when, I talked to Barry about it, I was like, hey, how does a reporter know whether I’m serious.
And then the answer is other reporters.
It’s like a circularity going on.
And so, I wish that political media would just show up and be like, treat themselves, like an alien being like, okay, what’s going on?
The problem is that right.
Now a lot of journalists have pre-existing connections with folks who are already in office or who been in politics for a long time.
And so they’ll be this continuous treatment of certain people as more legitimate or worthy of consideration than others.
And on my campaign.
We talked all the time about how the media was trying to make a particular person that thing.
You can almost see like the media got a Turn towards it.
I don’t think I you know, it’s like I think that we had like a very strange set of experiences when the media is concerned, but I wish that folks would would in some ways take themselves less.
Seriously, you know what?
Like like not like oh if I somehow exposed my readers or viewers to this then like it’s my signing off on them.
It’s like look just bring people on and let voters decide that there’s some asymmetry in this to Derek.
Where I think that, yeah, I think that one side is better than other than the other at trying to get out of the way.
So that would be my thought on it.
But I’m glad you’ve read and took an interest in that part of the book running for president, certainly was a bizarre set of experiences.
I don’t think most people understand what it’s like and so I tried to break it down in a way that most people could relate to, and hopefully find enjoyable.
I thought it was so interesting.
How the combination of what must be utterly exhilarating moments and utterly boring moments that you must that you must go between that speaking in front of a crowd being on Primetime TV on a stage to audition to be the most powerful person in the world.
Like that, just must be an extraordinary thrill and at the same time because you are on the trail all the time, just to try the travel, the mind-numbing hours of just going between I’m sure.
Wonderful city is but like I’m exhausted.
When I fly across the country once like to have that be your life for a year and a half just must be totally enervating.
And so I just found that that it opened my eyes to the fact that you must have the best to be really high highs followed by Lowe’s, followed by highs and it was just really sort of churn your insides and be a really sort of psychologically discombobulating experience.
Well, there are you just hope there are some really high as man.
I mean like that the thing I did I compare my experience to is Like traveling comedian where you show up to a town and then there’s like a small group and then you give them your message or your stuff and then you hope that they like it and then you literally come back to that town a number of months later and be like, you hope that the crowd is bigger.
So, so when you talk about like the high highs, none of the highs were guaranteed.
The Yang campaign, you know what I mean?
You know, there’s no guarantee.
I’d be on that debate stage.
There’s no Artie, there’d be a crowd waiting for me.
It was, it was all.
And there were crowds waiting for me tear Point early on, like I show up and there’d be nobody there.
And, you know, the people that were there would not take you seriously because you’d be like, hey, I’m running for president and they’d be like really, you know, like I managed to run the gamut of experiences where the one thing that is Pops to mind.
I attended the Iowa, State Fair in 2018.
I’d already declared.
And it was really, really punishing in a certain level because no one cared, no one believed.
Like I had a young idealistic staffer with me who, like, urged me to just like, run up to people and like introduce myself and was like, look, I’m really not going to just like mess with other people’s, like, trip to the fair just to like, stick my face in there and be like, yeah, I was like like like let’s just get some lemonade and turkey leg and try and like act like human beings here.
And then I came back.
Back to that same Fair the following year and there was this Phalanx of camera people around me and a video camera, the rest of it.
And people had heard of me because, you know, I’d been on a debate stage or whatnot and so like the experience was different but there was no guarantee.
We’d ever get to the second version of it.
You know what I mean?
Like, so when you talk about like the highest height, it’s like it was just a grind for a long time and even in the heavier days of the campaign.
To your point you wake up in a Best Western and get up early and then do a local radio interview and then get back in a rental vehicle and just try and, you know, put your best foot forward.
It must be.
It must be exhausting.
It is exactly the thing about.
I have one more question just about running for president and it is a weird question.
And if you’ve been asked this before, anything you do for a long time, you get better at like, you don’t do Go, full 10,000 hours Theory, Malcolm Gladwell to believe that.
As you do something for more hours.
Tend to get a little bit better at it.
What is this skill that you think you improved on the most running for president?
Like the skill set of running for president to me is totally but we’ll during but like you’ve done it.
What what are you better at now than you were four years ago?
I am better at performing Derek and I think I reference this in the book, but you do get reps.
I hated these and news appearances.
So much when you’re staring at this Red Dot and you’re pretending to have a compelling conversation with someone.
I even I thought to myself afterwards.
I was like, it’s not like I’d watch one of those cable news hits.
I’d be like, that guy should be president my team.
I’d be like, hey do I even have to do these?
They’re so awful and months later when CNN actually signed me up as a contributor and I was on air, I’d be like I hated these.
I suck at these.
Now, apparently, like I must not be that terrible because, you know, News Network decided that they’d like more of it.
So you guys like what I got better at?
I got better at performing in different types of environments.
I got better at staring at a news camera.
I got better at talking to 10 people. 100 people a thousand people.
I got better at trying to hold an arena, you know, and if you look online like there were speeches, I gave Of two Arenas of sometimes, you know, like not Yang Yang and be like random Democratic voters and so you get these reps and now my wife drugs to it’s like if I have a speaking gig now, like they’ll throw me out and in the spectrum of my performance, you know, experience.
It’s like okay this groups like 500 people or whatever.
It’s like, you know 500 people is not that big a deal whereas People.
That’d be incredible.
That’s that’s fascinating.
This has been so interesting.
Thank you so much for having me on the podcast.