Plain English with Derek Thompson

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Longtime Atlantic tech, culture and political writer Derek Thompson cuts through all the noise surrounding the big questions and headlines that matter to you in his new podcast Plain English. Hear Derek and guests engage the news with clear viewpoints and memorable takeaways. New episodes drop every Tuesday and Friday, and if you've got a topic you want discussed, shoot us an email at plainenglish@spotify.com

Episode Date
Market Meltdown: Why Tech and Crypto Are Crashing - and What Happens Next
3262
The stock market is absolutely gross right now. Everything is down, except (as loyal listeners know) the CATAN portfolio. Crypto has cratered, growth stocks have been ravaged, and hedge funds are imploding. Why is this happening? Is this Dot-Com Bubble 2.0? And what does it mean for the future of the U.S. economy, investing, and tech? Investor, entrepreneur, and podcaster Jason Calacanis joins the show. He gives us a brief history of the 21st century tech industry, explains why this is like and unlike the summer of 2000, makes some bold predictions about crypto and the economy, and tells us how he's advising young chief executives. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email us at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Jason Calacanis Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 11, 2022
The Future of AI Is Thrilling, Terrifying, Confusing, and Fascinating
4194
This might sound like a hot take but it's not: In 50 years, when historians look back on the crazy 2020s, they might point to advances in artificial intelligence as the most important long-term development of our time. We are building machines that can mimic human language, human creativity, and human thought. What will that mean for the future of work, morality, and economics? The bestselling author Steven Johnson joins the podcast to talk about the most exciting and scary ideas in artificial intelligence and an article he wrote for The New York Times Magazine about the frontier of AI. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Steven Johnson Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 10, 2022
The 300-Year History of Abortion in America—in 30 Minutes
2559
Sometimes, people ask “why study history?” How about this: American history is the weapon being used to strike down Roe Vs Wade. In the leaked draft of the Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe, conservative Justice Samuel Alito writes that Roe invented a right to abortion that cannot be found in early American history. Is he right? And what’s the true history of abortion in America? That’s the subject of today’s episode—a fast, factual guide to how we got to this moment, reviewing the 300-year history of abortion in America in just 30 minutes. Today’s guests are two historians of abortion in American—Mary Ziegler, a visiting prof at Harvard, and Karissa Haugeberg, assistant professor at Tulane University. If you have questions, observations, or ideas for future episodes, email me at PlainEnglish@Spotify.com. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Karissa Haugeberg and Mary Ziegler Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 06, 2022
How Would the End of Roe v. Wade Change America?
2807
The Supreme Court is poised to end the era of Roe. In a leaked draft of a majority opinion, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito struck down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed constitutional protections of abortion rights. What would happen to abortion rights in its absence? Which states would shutter their clinics? Which states might expand protections? How does the growth of nationwide access to abortion pills fit into all of this? And why was the draft leaked in the first place? This podcast answers all of those questions and more, with two guests: Melissa Murray is a professor of law at New York University, and Margot Sanger-Katz is a domestic correspondent for 'The New York Times.' Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Margot Sanger-Katz and Melissa Murray Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 04, 2022
Economic Mystery Hour: How Low Will Stocks Go? Is a Recession Inevitable?
2526
Morgan Housel, author of 'The Psychology of Money' and a partner at Collaborative Fund, joins the show to play stock doctor and diagnose what's killing tech stocks. Then we debate the odds of an imminent recession and talk about how China's bizarre year could weigh on U.S. growth. Finally, we go through all the good reasons and the not-so-good reasons for cancelling student debt. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Morgan Housel Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
May 03, 2022
Why Is It So Hard to Predict the Next Great Quarterback?
2273
This week we have the NFL draft, which is an annual exercise in failure. Every year, some NFL team makes a disastrous quarterback decision but also overlooks a potential star. Why is it so damn hard to predict QB play in football? Are scouts stupid, or is the future just unknowable, or is hiring fundamentally chaotic, or is there something specific about quarterbacking that makes it uniquely difficult to forecast? The economist David Berri joins to share his research on why scouts are terrible at evaluating quarterbacks. His ideas shed light on larger questions like "What is talent, exactly?" and "Does anybody know what they're doing when they're hiring somebody for a new role?" Host: Derek Thompson Guest: David Berri Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 29, 2022
The End of the Golden Age of Streaming
3297
What can save Netflix? Who killed CNN+? What the hell is going on between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis? It's a big media hellscape roundup. Rich Greenfield, general partner at LightShed Ventures, forecasts a rocky future for streaming. Nick Papantonis, a reporter for WFTV in Orlando, explains that Florida's war against Disney might have some surprising collateral damage. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Rich Greenfield and Nick Papantonis Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 26, 2022
Instant Reaction Pod! Elon Musk Buys Twitter. So, What Happens Next?
2572
Charlie Warzel, author of the Galaxy Brain newsletter at The Atlantic, joins to talk about what Elon Musk will do to Twitter and how his acquisition could change media, tech, and politics. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Charlie Warzel Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 26, 2022
Why Are American Teenagers So Sad and Anxious?
3865
The United States is experiencing an extreme teenage mental-health crisis. It is one of the most troubling and fascinating social phenomena in the country today. From 2009 to 2021, the share of American high-school students who say they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent, according to a new CDC study. This is the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded. Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University, joins the podcast to explain why. Haidt is the author of The Righteous Mind, and the coauthor of The Coddling of the American Mind. He and Derek debate the role of social media, the evolution of parenting, and the deep root of anxiety in modern life. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Jonathan Haidt Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 22, 2022
How Joe Biden Lost Millennials
3147
The White House has a big youth problem. Since the day of his inauguration, Joe Biden’s approval has declined by about 7 points among Americans over 50—and by an astonishing 19 points among Americans under 35. The pollster and politics writer Kristen Soltis Anderson joins the show to talk about Biden's eroding approval among young people and what it means for November. Then she and Derek talk about what liberals don't get about conservatives, why Democrats overrate the political power of Donald Trump, and whether masculinity could benefit from a liberal rebrand. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Kristen Soltis Anderson Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 19, 2022
The News About Shanghai’s COVID Lockdown Is Shocking. The Reality Might Be Worse.
2901
What’s happening in China’s largest and richest city right now is quite unbelievable. Shanghai is now several weeks into a government lockdown to stop the spread of COVID variants. In a metro with roughly the population of the state of Texas, residents cannot go outside. They cannot walk to grocery stores or pharmacies to pick up essential medicine. If they test positive for COVID, they are removed from their families and taken to quarantine facilities, where conditions are reportedly hellish. As the U.S. enters a stage of normalcy in the pandemic, China is still pursuing a draconian COVID Zero policy at the risk of starving citizens in its richest city. Why? Dan Wang, a Chinese writer and tech analyst, joins the show to talk about what he’s hearing from Shanghai, what China is trying to accomplish, and whether protests could make a difference to the Chinese Communist Party. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Dan Wang Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 15, 2022
Instant Reaction Pod! Elon Musk Offers to Buy 100 Percent of Twitter.
1912
Well, that escalated quickly. Days after Elon Musk become the single largest individual shareholder of Twitter, he has offered to buy the company and take it private. Wait, what? Derek welcomes Stratechery writer Ben Thompson (no relation) to break down the news. Ben explains why Twitter is one of the most important companies in the world, why it's so undervalued, and what Musk could do with it privately. Then we make some predictions. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Ben Thompson Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 14, 2022
When Will the Ukraine War End? (Plus: 10 Good Minutes on What the Hell Elon Musk Is Doing With Twitter)
3570
On today's show, we start with Ten Good Minutes on the extremely funny and very chaotic saga of Elon Musk vs. Twitter. Last week, Musk bought enough Twitter shares to become the company's largest individual shareholder. Then, Twitter announced that Musk would become a board member. Then, Musk tweeted a bunch of embarrassing things about Twitter, suggesting the platform was "dying" and that its headquarters should be converted into a homeless shelter. Then, Twitter announced that Musk would not be a board member. What is happening?! Casey Newton, the author of the 'Platformer' newsletter, joins the show to share his reporting and speculation. Next, we welcome back Paul Poast, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, to talk about why we should fear Russia even though its military has "stunk" so far, why the next chapter of the war could be even bloodier, and when the war might finally end. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Casey Newton & Paul Poast Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 12, 2022
It's Not Just You: America's Epidemic of Bad Behavior
2636
There is an epidemic of bad behavior sweeping the country. In 2020, homicides increased by a record-high rate. Last year, pedestrian and vehicular deaths went up by a record-high rate. There have been more attacks in hospitals, schools, and stadiums and more unruly airline passengers than any time on record. What on Earth is going on? Today’s guest is Olga Khazan, a staff writer at The Atlantic. She and Derek talk about how America lost its damn mind and review the most obvious and most interesting theories for what's really behind this bad-behavior epidemic. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Olga Khazan Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 08, 2022
Why U.S. Population Growth Crashed to a Record Low
2928
America has never grown at a slower pace than right now. Not only have deaths soared in the pandemic, but immigration is falling and our birth rate is near a record low, as well. Why is this happening? And why is population growth so great, anyway? Today’s guest is Matthew Yglesias, the author of the Slow Boring newsletter and the book 'One Billion Americans.' In this episode, we talk about why politicians won’t prioritize family policy and immigration in D.C.; why population growth is good for Americans today and in the future; why a large U.S. population is good for the world; and whether critics have a case when they say a livable planet can’t take another billion people. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Matt Yglesias Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 05, 2022
Should You Be Afraid of TikTok?
2105
This week, the Washington Post reported that Facebook’s parent company Meta has been paying a Republican consulting firm to slime the reputation of its social media rival TikTok. According to emails shared between Meta and Targeted Victory, Facebook sought to blame TikTok for viral hoaxes that actually started on Facebook and then urged various journalists and politicians to amplify these hoaxes. Today’s guests are the journalists who broke the story: Taylor Lorenz and Drew Harwell. They explain why Facebook is afraid of TikTok; why the campaign to smear TikTok is so hypocritical and creepy; and why there are smarter reasons to be skeptical of an app whose owner has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Taylor Lorenz & Drew Harwell Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Apr 01, 2022
What Is the “Don’t Say Gay” Law Really About? (Plus: The Big Disney vs. DeSantis Showdown in Florida.)
2859
On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation that prohibits much classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity. The law is called “Parental Rights in Education,” but its critics—which include Democrats, Hollywood, and many outspoken employees of the Walt Disney Company—call it “Don’t Say Gay.” What does the law actually say? And how has it created a firestorm at Disney? In this episode, Derek talks to Dana Goldstein, a New York Times reporter, about the details of the law. Then he talks to Matt Belloni, a cofounder of Puck News and the host of the Ringer podcast ‘The Town,’ about what the debate within Disney says about the future of the culture war and corporations. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Dana Goldstein and Matt Belloni Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 29, 2022
How Ukraine Wins
2601
Derek talks to The Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum about Zelensky’s global appeal, the roots of Putin's lust for empire, and Ukraine’s prospects for victory. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Anne Applebaum Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 25, 2022
Could Putin’s War Crash the U.S. Economy?
2698
Economic crises are piling up. U.S. inflation was surging before Russia invaded Ukraine. Since the war began, commodity prices have spiked, with gas screaming toward $5 a gallon. And now China is facing a new COVID wave. What is happening, and how will it end? Jason Furman, chief economic adviser to the Obama administration and professor of economics at Harvard University, is back on the pod to answer our burning economic questions, like, “Are we headed back to the 1970s?” Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Jason Furman Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 22, 2022
Five Reasons Putin’s War Was Doomed From the Start
1436
Russia’s military isn’t just a little bit bigger than Ukraine's—it has three times more armored vehicles; four times more ground forces; five times more tanks; and 10 times more aircraft. But for now, David is holding up against Goliath. How is this happening? And how long can Ukraine hold out? Russia military analyst Rob Lee and diplomacy expert Max Bergmann explain how Ukraine is shocking Russia—and the world. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Rob Lee and Max Bergmann Producer: Troy Farkas Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 14, 2022
Why a No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine Could Be—Literally—the Worst Idea Ever
2223
Three in four Americans say the U.S. and its allies should ban Russian aircraft over Ukraine by establishing a “no-fly zone.” Dozens of foreign policy experts agree. So do many Ukrainians. Is this the policy that could end the war, or is it an idea that could end human civilization as we know it? (Maybe it's both.) The author and foreign policy critic Robert Wright joins the podcast to debate the pros and cons of a no-fly zone. Host: Derek Thompson Producer: Troy Farkas Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 10, 2022
“Every Person Is Ready to Die for Our Country”: Five Ukrainians on Life Inside Putin’s War Zone
1403
Imagine running from your home, from a foreign army, knowing that every decision you make could be the difference between life and death—stay or flee? Turn left or right? Leave at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m.? That is the world in which today’s guests live. Five Ukrainians who live in—or have recently fled from—Kyiv tell Derek what it’s like living in the Ukrainian capital, escaping to Poland, and returning to Kyiv to fight the Russian army. Host: Derek Thompson Producer: Troy Farkas Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 08, 2022
SPECIAL DOUBLE EPISODE: What Putin Will Do Next and the West’s Unprecedented "Financial War" on Russia
3652
There are two wars happening right now. There is a military conflict led by Vladimir Putin in Eastern Europe that we should all hope ends as soon as possible. And there is an economic and cultural war—the world vs. Russia—that we should also hope ends as soon as possible. In today’s episode, two guests discuss each theater of war. Paul Poast, a University of Chicago professor and expert on the economics of war, joins to discuss the latest from the war on the ground. And Robin Wigglesworth, a global finance correspondent with the Financial Times, joins to discuss the global “financial war” against Russia. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Paul Poast and Robin Wigglesworth Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 02, 2022
Russia’s Economic Meltdown, Putin’s Big Mistake, and the West’s Financial War Against Vlad and the Oligarchs
2068
Things are moving very, very fast in Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine—and in the global response to punish Russia. The U.S. and Europe are not engaged in a literal war against Putin, and hopefully nothing like that will come to pass. But this weekend, they announced a series of unprecedented sanctions and economic penalties that could destroy the Russian economy. These policies are designed to get Putin to end the war before he conquers Ukraine. But they could crash the Russian economy and trigger more global crises. To explain the sanctions, discuss their pluses and minuses, and predict their ripple effects, Derek is joined by Noah Smith, author of the newsletter Noahpinion, and Nicolas Véron, a French economist and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the European think tank Bruegel. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Noah Smith and Nicolas Véron Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Mar 01, 2022
How Putin's War Will End
2777
Quagmire. Regime change. Conquest. Empire. World War III. Derek considers five ways that the war in Ukraine could end with Paul Poast, a professor of foreign policy and war at the University of Chicago. This is Part 2 of our two-part Ukraine coverage today. For more on why Putin attacked and how war could change the world, check out the previous episode in this feed. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Paul Poast Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 25, 2022
What Vladimir Putin Wants—and How Russia’s War in Ukraine Could Reshape the World
2018
Derek explains why three years—1989, 2008, and 2014—are the key to understanding why Putin is willing to take a massive risk in invading Ukraine. Then, Derek asks five expert guests to walk him through the most important second-order implications of a long major conflict. What are the most important ricochet effects that nobody is talking about? How could the war transform Europe? How could it destabilize Africa and the Middle East? How will it change U.S. politics, or kick off a 21st Century Cold War? Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Charles Kupchan, Liana Fix, Matthew Klein, Alex Smith, Bonny Lin Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 25, 2022
Four Brilliant Frames for Finding the Next Big Thing, With Venture Capitalist Josh Wolfe. Plus, What's Eating Tech Stocks in 2022?
2973
All-star VC Josh Wolfe of Lux Capital joins the show to talk about picking winners and losers, tech's rough start to the year, and his four favorite mottos for detecting BS and seeing reality clearly. Finally, Derek and Josh play a game of "Overrated or Underrated?" for the metaverse, NFTs, and space travel. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Josh Wolfe Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 22, 2022
The Great Debate: What's the Single Most Amazing Sports Statistic in U.S. History?
3444
Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game. Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak. Jerry Rice's gazillion receiving records. Which of these athletic achievements is the most impressive in American sports history? And are any of them the most impressive ever? The Ringer's Ryen Russillo joins the pod to debate the most impressive achievements in football, basketball, baseball, and individual sports. Then, after making selections that will almost certainly infuriate at least half of all listeners, the guys compare the GOATs across sports to name the single most impressive accomplishment ever. (Hint: Ironically, the award goes to a non-American.) Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Ryen Russillo Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 18, 2022
What American Media Is Getting Wrong About Canada’s Big Protests
1699
What if I told you that the anti-vaccination trucker protests in Canada weren’t principally about vaccines or truckers (or even Canada)? The Atlantic’s David Frum joins to set us straight about what’s going on in Ottawa and the meme-ification of protest politics. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: David Frum Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 15, 2022
The Meaning of Life and the Power of Regret
2914
Derek goes deep with bestselling author Dan Pink on his new book, 'The Power of Regret.' This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at the Sixth & I historic synagogue in Washington, D.C. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Dan Pink  Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 11, 2022
Media Gossip Hour: Spotify's Joe Rogan Problem, Facebook's TikTok Crisis, and Crypto's Anonymity Conundrum
3255
Kevin Roose of The New York Times returns to our pod, which is owned by Spotify, to talk about Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is exclusively licensed by Spotify. (That's transparency, folks.) Then we talk about Mark Zuckerberg’s big stock market wipeout, and Kevin explains the latest NFT controversy to Derek like he’s 5 years old. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Kevin Roose Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 08, 2022
This Guy Predicted the 2021 Economy. I Asked Him What's Next.
3001
Jason Furman is a Harvard professor who served as a top economist for the Obama administration. More than just about anybody Derek spoke to last year, he nailed the rise in inflation. What did he see that others didn't? What's happening to inflation, the Great Resignation, labor shortages, and the Federal Reserve right now? And what will happen in 2022? Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Jason Furman Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 04, 2022
One Big Question For: Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Tesla, and Meta
2682
They’re the six largest tech companies in the world. What’s the most interesting thing about each of them? Shira Ovide, author of the On Tech newsletter from The New York Times, joins Derek to talk about why Norway is a snapshot of Tesla’s future, why Microsoft is so underrated, and why Apple stands alone among the tech giants in more ways than one. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Shira Ovide Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Feb 01, 2022
Should We Cancel Student Debt?
2360
Americans owe $1.7 trillion in student loans, and some Democrats think the time has come to cancel this burden. Derek shares 10 big student-loan facts that shape the debate. Then Jordan Weissmann of Slate joins the podcast to talk about the proposal to cancel student debt, the best arguments for and against it, the modern history of student loans, and their economic and psychological burden. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Jordan Weissmann Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 28, 2022
Crypto Crashing, Pandemic Stocks Plunging: The Story Behind January’s Crazy Stock Market
2811
Morgan Housel, the bestselling author of ‘The Psychology of Money’ and a partner at Collaborative Fund, is back to talk Bitcoin, Peloton, tech stocks, financial media myths, the psychology of stock market corrections, and the long view of investing. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Morgan Housel Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 25, 2022
2022 Is Off to a Terrible Start for Democrats
2616
Legendary journalist James Fallows joins to discuss the filibuster wars, Democrats’ Voting Rights Act, the political outlook for Joe Biden and the Democrats, and the media’s negativity bias (as exemplified, one might argue, in the headline to this very episode). Host: Derek Thompson Guest: James Fallows Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 21, 2022
The Biggest Losers of the Streaming Wars: ESPN, Movie Theaters, Peacock, and More
3083
Do movie theaters have a future? What should Disney do with ESPN? And is anybody watching Peacock? Derek’s favorite entertainment-media analyst Rich Greenfield joins the pod to talk about the future of TV, movies, and live sports. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Rich Greenfield  Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 18, 2022
Everybody Was Wrong About Inflation
2754
Okay, almost everybody. The Biden administration was wrong. Many critics of the Biden administration were also wrong. The Federal Reserve was wrong. Investors were wrong. Banks were wrong. And Bitcoin investors weren't exactly right, either. How did everybody miss the most important economic story of the year? Derek breaks down the highest inflation rate in 40 years and welcomes back his economic roundtable guests, the finance podcasters Michael Batnick and Ben Carlson.  Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Michael Batnick & Ben Carlson  Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 14, 2022
Omicron: Feelings vs. Facts
2306
Derek talks about the rise of the "Vaxxed and Done" movement before reviewing the latest omicron data with John Burn-Murdoch, data superstar at the Financial Times. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: John Burn-Murdoch  Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 11, 2022
The Biggest Inventions of the 2020s: Cancer Vaccines, Flying Cars, Space Travel, and More
3417
Let’s kick off the new year with a bit of techno-optimism! After a miserable start to this decade, we can still have a Roaring Twenties. In this episode, ‘Plain English’ presents a tour of the frontier of science and technology with Derek’s favorite innovation writer, the economist Eli Dourado. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Eli Dourado Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Jan 07, 2022
The Four Ways That America Is Polarizing
2432
David Frum joins Derek to talk about rising and falling polarization by race, gender, education, and place—and what it tells us about America's strange new politics. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: David Frum Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 28, 2021
The Four Biggest Myths of the U.S. Economy. Plus, Omicron in 100 Seconds.
2924
Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund partner and author of the bestseller 'The Psychology of Money,' joins the pod to debate what we're getting wrong about inflation, the Great Resignation, robots, and investing. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Morgan Housel Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 21, 2021
Elon Musk Is the Person of the Year. Who Is the Person of the Century?
4007
New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose is back to talk about the Age of Elon, why tech’s most famous founders are acting so weird, and why I’m wrong about remote work. Plus, a 2022 prediction. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Kevin Roose Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 17, 2021
The Elizabeth Holmes Trial With Rebecca Jarvis of 'The Dropout' Podcast
3022
Derek is obsessed with the trial of disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes—and he hopes you are too. Days away from the trial's end, Derek and Rebecca review the most jaw-dropping evidence in the case, the cringiest text messages, the biggest wins for the prosecution, the best moments for the defense, and the larger meaning of the tech trial of the century. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Rebecca Jarvis Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 14, 2021
Media Report Card! Biden Blues, Omicron Fears, Chris Cuomo, and a Celebrity Profile for the Ages
2765
Bryan Curtis from The Ringer’s ‘The Press Box’ podcast joins Derek to hand out grades to the news media for its coverage of Biden, the pandemic, and more.  Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Bryan Curtis Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 10, 2021
Work in America Is Broken—Can Remote Work Save Us?
2466
Derek talks to Anne Helen Petersen, the coauthor of 'Out of Work: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home,' about Americans' relationship to our jobs, work as an identity, and burnout as a policy choice. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Anne Helen Petersen Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 07, 2021
BONUS POD: The Future of Democracy, the Media, and the Economy With Andrew Yang
3915
In our first weekend special, Andrew interviews Derek about the state of the economy, and Derek interviews Andrew about the various plagues of U.S. politics. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Andrew Yang Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 04, 2021
The Bad Guys Are Winning
3242
Derek talks to The Atlantic's Anne Applebaum on the decline of democracy and the rise of a new form of authoritarianism in Russia, China, Europe, and the U.S. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Anne Applebaum Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Dec 03, 2021
The Omicron Variant: So, How Bad Is It?
2183
Dr. Peter Hotez talks to Derek about what we know about the new COVID-19 variant (a little), what we don't know (a lot), and when we'll know more. Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Dr. Peter Hotez Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 30, 2021
Buy or Sell Pandemic Trends: Peloton, Movie Theaters, Masks, and More!
3014
The Atlantic's Amanda Mull joins the podcast to debate Derek about which COVID-19–related cultural trends will thrive or fade in the 2020s. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Amanda Mull Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 23, 2021
We Have to Talk About Inflation
2940
Our first Economic Roundtable discusses rising prices, the Great Resignation, labor shortages, the supply chain mess, Joe Biden’s puking approval numbers, and what the White House can do to turn things around.  Host: Derek Thompson Guests: Michael Batnick and Ben Carlson  Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 19, 2021
The Future Is Going to Be Weird As Hell
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In our first episode, The New York Times’s Kevin Roose joins the show to walk Derek through the metaverse, crypto, NFTs, and the maybe-BS or maybe-brilliant future of technology. Host: Derek Thompson Guest: Kevin Roose Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 16, 2021
Introducing Plain English with Derek Thompson
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Longtime Atlantic writer Derek Thompson breaks down your weekly headlines in his new podcast, ‘Plain English.’ From tech to politics to culture, Derek and his expert guests cut through the noise surrounding the news and tackle the big questions that matter to you. ‘Plain English’ launches November 16, with new episodes dropping every Tuesday and Friday. Host: Derek Thompson Producer: Devon Manze Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Nov 11, 2021