« The Weeds

Free College, Email Extravaganza, and the China Shock

2016-07-08

Matt, Ezra, and Sarah talk about proposals to eliminate college tuition, the real issues behind Hillary's email server, and a new paper on a small policy change with huge consequences. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This we support, is also sponsored by Nature box, good nature, Baxter COM, slash weeds for fifty percent off your first order. The following podcast contains explicit language. Trade is often is no its devastating working class inside I have got a low welcome to another, upsetting the weeds boxes, policy package, mechanically network, a matter glaziers with his usual. My colleagues here cliff reply- I am here So here it's it's it's hot outside, and the policy discussion in here is even notice. It have you been outside. It is so hot out. Since we are some hot topic, it doesn't matter how hydroelectric got hot hot takes. Yes, heartaches high takes so
We won't have to offer some cool takes just to call myself down here so uncomfortable, I know we can talk about higher higher education first, which may be becoming free some day soon words, well, so that, rather than e mail, management e mail server management is the hot button political issue of its quota. Lima call taken, I want a workshop out a little bit. Hillary Clinton may have been a criminal gmail user of some kind. No it she was in a criminal gmail use. Will get what I am going to explain is that this lies hiding something important. Yes, yes, there, and I'm going to talk about a research paper that actually changed my mind about something about about trade and China and a boring law there passed in the year two thousand that turns out to have
state in America manufacturing. Ok, I first we're gonna start with higher education as so we are going the big positives of this week. I would argue, as Hillary Clinton ends higher education plan, where she very much borrowed an idea from the Sanderson pain and proposed to believe it was on Monday of this week, making college free for families earning less than a hundred and twenty five thousand dollars a year. This is kind of like sand. Light, I would say in his Anderson's calling for making college free at public universities for all students, regardless of incomes than you have Clinton coming in indefinite moving to laughter where she's been where the Democratic Party has been on higher education, but not moving quite too, where soon
it was- and I think there is- we want to talk about it, because it's just a really interesting policy area that starting to get a lot more attention and a kind of racism discussions about how we think about higher education, fitting into the sweet of services that we offer american students. I think we're pretty used to looking Kay through twelve and sing, obviously that something we're going to provide for free to everyone. But then you can to higher education and its much more of a debate where much more used to paying for to wish and much more used to that being something some people get and other people don't in unity. Question is kind of in question by the increase in costs of college. The increasing importance of having a college degree were ending up in a situation where college degrees are much more necessary but they're much harder to get that they become quite expensive,
as has states made a lot of cuts to their budgets during the recession they're the ones who typically fund these universities and they are making those cuts. They didn't really come back after their accession, so the situation, where it's quite important of a college degree also much us affordable and I'm on thirteen May No, I'm gonna come an hour. I make out at our economic clarifying point. This would not make college free the language we use around. This set of policy ideas, sort of annoys me because I think it's actually in ways that are not useful, obscure as what these ideas are. This would make for the families who were affected two wishing you go down to zero at state colleges, but a lot of people when they go to college. You spend a lot more on books on room and board on all sorts associated costs that are really important and end up being a real, significant barrier to go and call, and it would not make those free if you want to leave home
and attend Ohio State University, the it doesnt become free in the way that I think people think of Free elementary school education being free. I was eight important, as it as an add on to that point, that I had not fully fully understood until I delved into this more recently, is that you know for most students these days, you already could go to community college for very little. Molly are not necessarily a hundred percent free, but quite quite cheap and a big portion of the student debt sort of burden that's outstanding and the people who sort of you no real pointy headed like want types, are most concerned about our people who are going to need
tradition, all schools, you know they're doing for profit schools there doing online education, they're doing different kinds of like trade schools can oh for fur, cosmetology classes things like that, and these proposals, neither the click nor the cinders proposal would touch that large segment of the population there not going to like tradition all four year State University and for have a reason doesn't want to go to local community college, that's where these I got a disconnect between the sort of political interests in like to wish in at a state university, which is something Bernie Sanders talked a lot about, and now Hillary Clinton is stealing some pages for from his book on and kind of the like quantitatively like neediest students out there are people who are often not come
leading their degrees in overcoming way with like one or two years worth of student loans, and that's like the thing that higher ed policy nerve, a really sit around and worry about is like all these people who have you know not just like big debts. That sort make them sad when they're in their mid twenty years, but that eventually wonder being okay, but people who amass dad's, taking college courses that have very little value to them. Don't have the income to to repay them, and these kind of ideas which really move towards like subsidizing traditional State university systems, don't tackle that problem one way or the other here when you look at there is massive trove of AM education, data that the Obama administration made available living as last year on student debt, and we look at these schools that have the leading amount of debt. I mean it's like one car metalogy school after another. It's it's mistake. It subjects
pattern that I didn't really understand until we saw that that like, if you want to know where the student that is like go to the beauty squaws, at the same time. You know, I think, you're not giving it enough credit that this would be very. I think it would be pretty significantly different from the higher education had particularly unity that looking at the idea, not necessarily is the way that Clinton his room. That may be looking at the Sanders approach that, with their deafening other costs in other other expenses associated with going to school, but free twitching would be quite different from the situation. We have right now that still a significant experience that folks are folks who deal ray. I just think I just think it to its important type thing. It's important for listeners at home to understand why There is such a discotheque that what happens is that will actively affluent set of people
has the academic credentials to like get into Ohio State University. Go there graduate come out burdened by student debt and then be interested in political initiatives that would relieve them of that cost and like that is a group of people. It's a real generational change right. Those people are in much worse state than than their parents were. That kind of thing, but those are not the worst off people in the American higher education system, we're talking about plans that are aimed at targeting the sort of middle rank of people rather than the bottom right, and that's why alot of the people in the policy community are frustrated that the discussion has like drifted off in this will. This is, I think,
It helps explain actually the context what we're talking about it, as you guys mentioned at the outset, to the segment. Hillary Clinton is changing the plan she already had to be more like Bernie Sanders this plan, but not yet as generous as Bernie Sanders explained and the reason she wasn't there is that Hillary Clinton and higher education once she had around her believe that making state college tuition free is not a progressive idea. They don't think it's a good idea. They ve they bought they bought. This argument took one of em. Beginning has had a policy proposal that is compared to Sanders as much or focused on questions of graduation rates and some these other issues that are of more interesting than the hired walk community. She is moving in centres direction at the top line here and grafting it onto a plan that that has some these other these other parts to it. But I do think this is an interesting way
in which, on the one hand, this is a real problem, like I very much agree with Sarah. On that and the real problem, they got partook exacerbated by the great recession, the thing that feel so felt so deeply unfair to people cause it was deeply unfair. Is people did everything right when you know took out all this money took on these big loans went to college came out than couldn't jobs were unable to repay the ones. I mean, there's a lot going wrong the system and wall an effort to fix it universe away is going to end up subsidizing alot of people who are not objectively that needy it will also subsidy lots of people who one hour needy or too are struggling, so dont want to use the average to totally wipe away all the impact there. But you know I think this is something that the Democratic Party in part killer is going to be struggling with in the coming years in something the Clinton campaign really struggled with during the primary, which is that a lot of the energy in this
conversations as in a lot of conversations and a lot of thee should have really good headlines. Get people excited, don't actually address the problem. Of the media stall that well on. This was also fight between content and Sanders. On single pair there, a number of announced The suggested Sanders, a single pair pinewood in some ways, be worse for the people who are worst off folks under Medicaid, etc, but being a health care. Free healthcare for all was a much better banner them much more targeted arguments. You could come up with an The same is true here, and this is actually separate from a question of what is the best policy. I think there's a bite being reopened in the Democratic Party about the degree to which policy should focus on the x green, poor or the very needy, or the non working versus the working poor in the middle class, and I think one of the aims think things as a current, is that its bill Clinton said Miss
nation in many ways that I think is associated with wrenching alot of democratic parties focus towards the working class towards the working poor, and away from some folks who were objectively in what circumstances, but were not as politically sympathetic and now. Hillary Clinton is actually often found us off on the wrong side of that fight. I would frame it up a little bit differently. I think that the disagree, no, my flemings great, is a little bit about whether it's more important keep. the headline price, low rate, in which case you have to make sure your resources are scarce. She have to make sure there well targeted or whither better to make a sort of more politically sustainable programme, even if that programme becomes very, very expensive. So, like that the case, I would make ultimately for the Sanders approach to college against. Even the new Clinton approach would still has this, like funky hundred twenty five thousand dollar phase
It is like hell he's gonna say that, like. Why are we raising taxes in order subsidized college tuition for people from families making six figure incomes like that's a waste of money right. I e clearly is in some sense right, but I would say well by the same token you, say what we're going to charge. Seventy five dollars a semester intuition for like high schools of people who make a hundred twenty five thousand. And the reason you don't do that is it it's like it's a nickel and dime bullshit right, as opposed to them as opposed to the basic clarity of saying, like we think it is important for children to go to school, so we're going to build and operate school and the schools will be free, and if we need to get rich people to contribute disproportionately to the uptake of the school, that's why we have a tax code, you fight and you you live or die on the hill of like we should have a school,
stone- or maybe we shouldn't rather than on? Oh no- the school systems really kind of cheap. As we capture you know, twenty three percent of it through user fees and and and blah blah blah and something I sort of warned from watching that the centres can banks as user debate. I had heard like an academic terms for for many years, but that it was really true that if you outline a program that can be comprehended by like a normal person in a normal amount of time, we're going to raise a bunch of money and we're gonna go. Do this thing that at least not everybody likes that idea, but some people do like that idea. They embracing it means something to them and they and they go fight for it, and I, I think, there's something you know correct about that. I mean I have like a lot of questions about the overall american approach to higher education, but I think that
if you do think that the federal government should spend a lot of money on subsidizing people's attendance at the state for year. Universities that, like Ernie is theory that you oughta just like see what it costs to make that free and then go get that money. That makes a lot of sense and if it's not spending the money on that. You know that's like. Maybe you need to have a bigger rethink about like what is this all four? I disagree. I feel like this kind of speaks to you, don't away to fix the difference between in that kind of where they are in the politics, but also speaks how they think about governing like this feels so familiar to the health care fight where you know there is, when you say you know, that's do a thing that we want to do and to find the money for it like that really feels like went drove the Sanders campaign, you knew for single payer and thing. There is definitely not a fights about how much it costs, but there is a very clear commitment on the part of standards campaign, the universe off guard.
what we want and that are going to go after. I think one of the things you see and Hillary's plan you know, along with being let's at its less expensive, and it also speaks to a different type of governing Gaeta thinking about what is the type of plan. You know that I I could passive. Were elected into office and I think, in that case, Sea empress tags do become very important and people are obsessed with the score is obsessed with you. Are they going to be able to make this revenue neutral? Just because this kind of liver die thing on the hell, and in that way I think a very much speaks to the type of plans. Hillary Clinton, gravitates too, forces one Sanders does where things have really jumped out at me in the Hilary plan I dont. Maybe this wasn't Sanders plan, but I missed it was, was there's a work requirement that if you are going to get free tuition, you're also going to have to work ten hours a week which struck me as like a kind of odd thing.
throw in. There is like the starting bargaining pointed it seems like something Republicans would bargain for in the back and forth, over a bell like this? But can you know if I think about it in this context of how would a politician, like Hillary Clinton, approach, a debate around higher education? This seems to be the place where she would start thinking about, I'm going to take to the hell that actually is space to move for which we had known about this work. I knew our land when we talked about welfare raise a couple weeks ago, because I think it really does go to show how much like the mainstream democratic believe in the politics of work requirements, because in this case I don't think you can remote, we make up policy. Do ITALY has nothing to do with anything right, but just the view is look if we're going to spend a bunch of money and giving people something that's new and free, like they have to work for in this case. In this case
actually argued. Leaving, counterproductive right we're going to spend a bunch of money getting people at college education. We are going to make sure they have to spend at least ten hours, focusing on something great, isn't gonna get worried requirement in your job training. That's what we're if you're anything like me, you know sometimes you wanna snack end. If, what's a wound snack on his junk food, you gonna eat junk food and
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Choose what you want. They deliver read your door, it's easy, but nature wax you'll, never get bored is new stuff there, each month, it's inspired by real customer feedback and for some reason something comes you don't like it. They will replace it for free, that's a good opportunity to try something new, I'm so right, now, you're, safe, even more because nature boxes offering offence fifty percent off your first order. If you got a nature box, dot com, slash reads: she got a nature box tat come such weeds that we get credit. You get. Fifty percent of the first order, Nature box, dot, com, slash! We are focusing here very much on how is going to school, financed in matters you talked about over the beginning. There is also the question of how much had actually costs now. There's something That, I think, is a very interesting analogy to help her debate. Healthcare and education are often grouped together as very big parts of the economy. The governed plays a tremendously large role, subsidizing financing and regulating them and costs in both her out of control. Now some people look at this and say that,
cause of the government's role, the costs would not be out of control of the girl right here like pumping money into the system. I am sceptical that I think, with these two things share, is that they are so deeply embedded in american life and in our culture. You need to be able to go see the doctor. You need to get a college education that they are things at families can't saint, no two, and so there's a lot of pressure on the government to make it possible for families to say yes, families will mortgage their home to send a child to college or to get an operation for other daughter, and so I think that's what ends up bringing the government in, but but here's. What, I think is a really important.
France in the way. These two things go see talked a compliment. To go, Sir, about Santa single pair plan. One debate about send us a single pair plan was how much it would cost, but another equally important is how much it would safe and there is a view. Partook among liberals of how passing single pair doesn't just financed people's access to the healthcare system, but it makes healthcare itself much much. Cheaper ran it does at the monotony bargaining it does that they bring down administrative costs. Him in those are real theory of cost control embedded in universal single pair programmes. Higher education doesn't have that quality right now on the network side. There are ideas, and I think if I ever read this blank, rightly a sort of incentive systems in order to participate in this field. States have to come up with experiments and so forth, but there is not a theory exactly
of how bringing in a lot more government financing is going to really make colleges cheaper and there are lots of people worry, they walk. She get more expensive met. You ve heard about this at times in the past year, so there's some there definitely of movements towards a theory here, and you can tell that people try to grow ports one, but for anything like this to work, if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders could pass their plan tomorrow, a very big question: in its long term, success ass- would be the degree to which were actually able to change the underlying cause of higher education, particularly for Bernie. This is actually a real difference spent between his to signature initiatives. It's worth paying attention to that did Bernie is higher. Education programme actually requires states to reduce their use of adjunct junk professor and rely more unlike full time. Tenure track professors
which is to say basically Bernie saying I will throw in federal money if you throw in state money to eliminate to wish in but to qualify, you have to increase your cost structure. Writing Bernie. I think you know you can ask alive questions, but the details of burmese Healthcare programme, but the general spirit of it was it burns hinders, was taking on the financial interests of the big incumbent players in the healthcare industry that the government is going to step in and provide the financing, but the total amount of financing was going to be lower and like pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, people like that we're gonna, take it on the chin. Bernice higher aid plan is not like that. It's a big gift to you, no state universities and to professors at them and grad student sent, and things like that and in part speaks to the emergence of academic workers.
Democratic Party interest group and in constituency. There's a alternative, mostly conservative, viewpoint, that we should try to like tear this edifice down right, never ends gonna like watch Youtube, video, hair down this climate walls men's. Maybe you know I was There- was an enormous amount of hype and enthusiasm two or three years ago about about Mewks massive open. Whatever it was, you know so there is, there is a sense of threat normal see, age in the sort of academic community that you know More and more people are upset about the loans and there's more and more moving from Republicans till I get the federal government to do less subsidization and Bernie. You know really does want to like show up with a couple like fistful of dollars and- and make the problem go away. Hilary is walking the line.
She's trying to say to students can, on the one hand like hears monetary assistance to help you out, but, on the other hand, say two schools like cures like all these structural reforms, and so that's very close to the Obama CARE template which, like both put more money into the health care system and also asks more from it Bernice plan, even though Hilary has moved Hearst superficially copy it on the free tuition point in is quite different in spirit and in one of the weird parallels I think about what the hell care is like there's almost seems like what standards or you know, similar payer advocates. Would rail against in the healthcare systems like one of the big frustrations you here, like. I hear this all the time for people who, even though we have a single pair, is it you're, giving all money to these actors that are keeping some of it and their building fancy offices. Are, you know their building an edge in fancy climbing was and wire
empowering these actors to be in charge when you could do a better when you could you know, one of the weird things here is that some of these actors are government on doctors. Is our state universities that we're talking about one thing: this is in Somalia. interaction, bananas, dumping, mats, written about and thought on, is the actual structure of this plan of how it works out. But the states which either think estate, pretty similar in both adoration and is another, is something else that physical, weird twisted as to the way that this works- and this was very similar to how some of the parts of a bomb care motivated, is that you have a matching programme, the federal government there was in some you as the states, a thorough and SAM. This makes it out Moreover, the federal government and require some kind of buying from states and the programme basically relies on both side saying. Yes, we want to spend money on this, and it's a much smaller matched than the Obamacare medicate expansion? I think of you looked at the.
Obama medicated ninety percent in racism. Questions about you know how you think about this going forward, and would this end up with like what you see on Obama? Are you a divide between member states and non member states or liberal streets of this access to things and inner pup states? The problem governors generally opt outs then say no thanks, gimme the medicate grannies so generous that I think you really have to quest it was a hundred percent. The first three years wasn't: ninety percent leg. You literally gaps that no money to I wish it was a hundred percent for three years. It's ninety percent of that in you losing compensatory funds fur on the opposite care right. So you really have to question. I think the basic good sense of republican politicians who are turning their data minutes find to oppose the programme in principle but the, but that state level republicans. You dont want to accept that the medical experts
are, being I guessed to their credit. They are sticking to their stay. Are they are standing on a point of ideological principle over a sort of common sense? Make the state budget work These higher it matches are significantly less generous. It's like two thirds and they come a lot of regulatory strings attached, which currently don't exist. Where's medicate is already there was strings attached and there's no equivalent to the taking away of the incompetent care money, so I think we really have to ask yourself like who is going to say yes to this offer, certainly not a republican governor, probably not any kind of republican state. Legislature? Yet you know you, you need like total democratic control, and I think it doesn't go without saying that even Democrats would want to do it. I mean one reason that stuff cut higher education funding, so savagely during the great recession. Is they had to cut something right,
and when you going like through the budget, where you see you, have your costs related to pensions and play, you know, there's stuff: that's in union contracts, you can cut the Red there's like your Medicaid programme, where you would be giving up lots of matching funds and also you turn meant death. the poor people's health care. Then you have your college and it's like. Well. Can I ask middle class people to go more deeply and dad if they want to go to college and are more later and it turns out, you know, care right? I mean you, don't need to you, don't need to love that outcome, but like it works right, we saw that people choose to keep attending state university, even if it means substantial debts like people, people think College
like, as is good and worthwhile. If this state is really really flush, then of course you know you can you can get this federal matching money and and sort of go to town with it? But you know you can ask yourself universe if you're the governor of Rhode Island right, which is facing some budgetary woes, but its democrats and cycle. So what am I gonna cut in order to put my one third of the chips it to go here? gonna making to cut elementary schools so that I can do no increase in subsidies for for college students, you know, maybe well, may be wound, but it it strikes me as something people would have. You know difficult internal debates about speaking different difficult internal debates, a sense of emails since and emails, so this was the week that a very troublesome issue for the clinic
pain, more, more, less, less put to bed. The FBI director came out in a very unusual press conferences that they would not be bringing any criminal charges against Hillary Clinton related to her emails heard. The Whereat, the State Department used a private email address on a private server that ultimately both against the rules and ultimately ended up. Sending a fair amount of classified email, client in by all accounts did not have any intention to like screw. This hump ended out had not like wanted to create a large security risk for the United States of America, and as such, there is no criminal case to bring against her. The efta director did say: she'd been extremely careless. He gave Republicans good talking. Point Republicans ended up not being able to stop there and are now trying to investigate the FBI director
is backfiring on them in an interesting way. Actually, don't want to talk about all that. I want to talk about a reality of this particular situation, which has been frustrating me since this issue came up. Anyone who reports with public officials in Washington people whose communications are covered under these kinds of transparency statutes knows some that I think is largely been omitted from the coverage of this scandal, and that is this. When a senior public official would like to tell you something that they would not like to see printed on the front page of the Washington Post or something at some other point was something we do not want to see turnover bay,
move the conversation, their private email address, you'll, be move. You be gone back and forth. Somebody on their public email, address of dot, Gov email. All of a sudden. You will get the next email from their gmail account, which is always interesting, or they will call you, because neither of those things are tracked, and so it is the case that we have these transparency laws and then went ever public officials feel like what their discussing is sensitive in a way that they don't want. It seem later they just move, they say: hey can we meet for coffee, they give you a call, they moved to their private email. And what Clinton did and now. I don't pretend to know why contented what she did. I dont know she was trying to be secretive if she was just thought this is convenient? I know a lot of people different jobs who I actually take up possibilities and a lot of people and for jobs who end up evading security measures cuz they find using their corporate or in some cases, government systems through a pain in the ass, but she went all the way so she took those
Calabria, which everybody else in Washington uses, which is completely effective at making sure public doesn't know, You dont want them to know, and then she went too far and got herself in a lot of trouble, but an inferno she should have got in trouble that she deserves the brickbats being thrown at her. But the thing that I think that we need to do some thinking about is one whether this policy, equal Abram, we have is actually a good one, because if we just created a system where officials are at besotted opting out of it, while we get the illusion of real transparency, that is actually not a good system to the classification stuff. I think really spoke to us a very serious and pre existing issue of overpasses occasion, retroactive, pacification, etc. In the? U S, government
and I worry that, instead of drawing some real lessons from the Clinton thing that could be useful, it's just getting subsumed is total partisan warfare in which no one is interested in making anything better. But there's a lot of interest in seeing what kinds of political points can be scorn on both sides yeah. I would add to that that I think people should actually take more seriously in some ways. Hilary slicks dated view of this, which is that she will, wanted to get her email on her blackberry and so She engage in a massive somewhat- I guess not illegal, but against the rules thing any it sounds. I know this sounds silly to people read cause it's like. Why would you do that? I know lots people. Many many many dozens of people who are
currently violating government security guidelines for exactly the reason, and if you think about it it makes perfect sense. If you had a job and the job said, you cannot get your email on the smartphone that you to use to get your email, but it would be really really easy to just break the rule. Like everybody would do. I broke this worldwide I was going to say otherwise impose. We were not allowed to use Gmail. Yes, the secret underground. So all of us have book and then one day got shut down. They figured out, everyone was doing we're all Lotus notes and he's a fucking, crazy saying so and so, and so we all use Gmail than they shut it down and then from that point I just told people like you know. My vote should oppose the appeal. I will not. Even the heck services even become a gmo. Selo Azure was the Hillary Clinton
was a filling. The thing is that when you do it at your normal job, you're like violating some dough, my tea department, when you do it at the government, you are also violating a dumb. I T Department war, but it's like the government idea apartment so, and we should say when you are the recent hillock can, I think, really does deserve criticism here is when you are secretary of state. You are like what you are talking about, and the value of breaking into your email is incredibly high, but but but this is but people are here. We really forget this people human they take short cuts there like set in their ways and a breeze, and I think this is a problem, though, is that when Hillary Clinton came in as Secretary of state and was told she couldn't use that
She wanted to you and then she saw that Barack Obama had some kind of custom Ipad that the USA had worked on, and then she asked if she could get that and was told like no. She couldn't like which she should have done honestly, is like talk to the president and said like: can we make federal eyeteeth? we'll see better. There are tens of thousands of people who work for the federal government right. This is a huge pain in everyone's ass. I bet tons of people are breaking the rules. I bet the aid guys, aren't totally crazy and there actually is a security risk in people breaking the rules. We should fix this because what important high level politicians are supplied, still do is sound like make public policy better and Hilary. She she does that oftentimes, but like what was done here was, like Obama, got himself a special but spoke The president, more pillory was like. I don't know how some guy in Westchester set me up with an email server and then Ezra, not you
we're talking about this tons of people run around in the government, do carrying two. cell phones or doing weird emailing, how like they're supposed to run the government proper and you wanted- are you know this? Something I thought was a very interesting wrinkle. This remember that everybody who received an email, Miller Clinton during this time in the government, which is a lot of people, every email from her was coming from at Hillary Clinton, Dotcom Clinton, whatever the whatever it was an if everybody else in government was only mailing people off of their doc of accounts. That would have looked super weird, but because they are not the fact they are always getting. These be spoke, Clinton, emails didn't look I mean they should have noted at. Somebody should stop this, but this was a secret. It was on every emo sign off she had and because everybody is breaking this kind of rule all the time like nobody flag. This as like a devastating issue and shut it down, and I think we had speaks to kind of a mismatch between the laws we have in the technologies that we use
Ever so, I turned to think through, like ok ability like I'm starting scratch and making a new. You know open government law to require what why would I do drafting that Dr Record, like the text message, cumbersome friends do. I guess you know, would push back saying that I think the laws are a little bit more effective than you do, you're, giving them credit for that. There's a lot of good reporting and journalism that comes out of fire eating or economic, freedom of information request for Emil's, where you find, I think not where people are Emily. Journalists where'd you, these press, Abbe people who work in a no like hey, should pick up the phone at this point, but you have allowed people in government towards us not thinking about our rapporteur ever reading their email and then there's a voyage. Then it's on the front page of the Washington Post. I think I'd like the Healthcare Gov story, and there was so much that was put an email that, like I'm sure people toward they were gradually. I think there is some teeth to this, that it that's not fully being away.
If I'm crazy, you ve thought about how we will avoid at border poached, I I dont know, and I agree with you- I mean I do on a lot of this transparency and certainly as a journalist, I want the did you go through these emails. I want the ability to write these stories. I also want people to continue Munich hating? It's a very interesting one, interesting thing here? Is it one of the ideas of Wikileaks was that if they can make big institutions very afraid that their internal communications would be leaked, that the breakdown in communication would begin to destroy the institutions like that? There is a very early interesting and I think, my correct. Actually it illogical theory about the ways in which arose in the security of peoples and hurled the privacy of pupils. Internal communications makes very hard for these things to operates within this cost or an opportunity there, depending on how you look at it,
here, I don't really have a good answer to this, but I think it's a question that I I noticed like a bit of idiotic. I think it's a question. We need to ask one: what are we actually trying to get right? What what? What are we trying? What kinds of communications or what kinds of ends are we trying to achieve here and then to what would be the best ways to do it? There are things that might be more complex or Morbus spoke than just sort of hoovering up communications that that might be actually useful. But you know again, I don't really know what they are. Isn't something I'm an expert on its more that I think there is a question of our we are we really upset about this happening? Are we really upset about the idea that in Washington, shows at very high levels are managing to evade our email, transparency laws. If we are upset about it, then the problem is not just Hillary Clinton, private mail server, the promise happening all the time and what everyone
else has done is find a better way to hide it than Hillary Clinton did like she did. It and wave is very obvious, or maybe we're not that up about it and be no. We just go on like this and we say it's fine. You know we just want to get a flavor these discussions, but when things get weirder like we're happy to see taken offline I'd, I dont know the answer, but I this is a reality. People should understand. I think the push for transparency laws, the big mistake. If you talk to historians They say that the quality of the historical record actually deteriorates after the passage of of these kinds of laws in part, because people move more more sensitive communications to these impermanent thing when they wasn't like what
wired, recording and mandated disclosure. Just a large enough share of important public officials wanted to leave a public record of their involvement in major issues of the day that like they would save copies of the memos that they wrote and their letters to various people, and they would like keep it hidden in private. But then it's point near retirement, you know they would give it to whatever university and it will be. The den rest and House gave letters at at whatever and there's no like shortage of random documents depicting you know that the events of the new deal error, or something like that, even though, obviously their particular conversations, we don't know what happened, and we still have the problem that when people really dont want something accorded
they dont recorded, but we ve created these dislike layers and layers and layers of weird compliance, and it just doesn't change the fact that, like people leave a record of what they want there to be a record of and not of what they dont want there to be. A record of, I think its head, like really significant secondary cause in terms of people. Not being but use like the mean technologies that they do that, don't you say there shouldn't be by government disclosure of anything you know of like official activities, but May I think the idea that convert nations between people who work in the government which is like, but we're talking about random in urine assistance. Secretary of state, and you need to have some back and forth with an under secretary of defence about some issue, with like some diplomats and an army
somewhere and it's like. Why does that all need to be on the public record? Why does everyone need to be thinking all the time when their communicating about this oh god, rather than saying what I want this guy to know right now, I need to think what I'm comfortable having in a newspaper a year from now like its debts. There's a reason: no private organizations operate on that because, Thank you. I think you're, both thinking of like a very small subset of people who work for the government would do the ones we interact with the most people press officers, the people here in Washington DC that people who you know, wake up and read the washing imposed ever every morning, but most government employees are not those people. So I would make the case her can have more recording of as males and would say like. I want as many emails as possible because you a lot of people who aren't really thinking about the trends. And see lies in the way that they make decisions. You knew that could end up mattering you, as our train, understand why policies
That's the way they are needed thing enter and think about it. We have this. Conversation is there's a story. I rode earlier this year about this now in Seattle. She caused a fatal error to it, and in a few months later, she committed suicide and the. Where reported that story was very reliant on email sent between different officials in Washington, state and like these are people who I dont think fought by Kieva. Second thought to this before your laws in Washington, and you know they're just scrambling to be. How should we investigate this nurse? How should we figure this out? You know, there's probably stuff stuff that I never got to see because it happened, intervene, conversation and earn happened in some way. Those offline. there was so much those valuable for me to understand you do how public officials did their job in this very sensitive situation. So thank you when I think of the broader universe of people who are subject to these. I am
happy that these conversations are monitored, even understanding, that there is a trade off of some of those conversations. You do not happening because of this. This is an argument against him, ass. The and definitely this equilibrium is very good for the press. It's right for us. Its foot, like your story, was amazing, but I am way more uncomfortable with it down that down the ladder like I'm pretty comfortable, saying that, for Hillary Clinton cost of being one of the leading national figures of her age is that her communications are going to be pretty public and she's. Gonna have to really think super hard about what she says and what she doesn't say and who can hear it and when they can hit. You know all that I think, having it policy environment in which we are really doing is grabbing communications from people who didn't understand and their communications could ever become public. That asking a lot of ordinary public servants
I think it's a real if they decide to take a real disincentive to being in public service egg. It's another waits shit here to work the government than to work in the private sector. It's gonna trap. People who does were not writing for public consumption. It is so amazing how much pretty innocuous private communication feel can can really be terrible when pulled into a context in which it was an originally there. That's a place of transparency that I agree is is kind good for us, but that makes me a comfortable. I dont know that thee If it's too public understanding are worth the harm we will visit on people who just did not know what they are getting into, because they were like working in some random job.
Strongly to, I think, maybe we'll move onto our research paper of the weak. Everything should be secret. You guys are so people, don't ok, research wayward week. This is a paper by adjusting Pierce and Peter shot just imposes with the Federal Reserve Board. Peter shouted with with yell school of management, and it has a conclusion that I think to some people will sound super banal, but they say that around turn of the millennium. The United States changes trade policy and that led China,
imports devastate the american manufacturing sector, and this is roughly what people think it's true. So, but it's not what a lot of the smart policy people in Washington think is true, because people will point out. It's been pointed out to me that the United States did not lower tariffs on chinese imports at any time is in the recent past that the big change in? U S trade policy towards China came a nineteen eighty when, as part of the long term consequences of Richard next
means opening to China. They were granted was called normal trade relations status. So they get. You know tariff set out a low rate, not as we don't have a free trade deal with, but China. The way we do with Mexico and now with Chile and and South Korea as some other things, and so this has been something that's been been told to me by a number of of smart people in that they persuaded me of which is that, like people are really freaked out about competition, chinese imports- and they want to blame american trade policy for this. But there was no american trade policy change and so it's hard to address this concern at so what their research shows is that that's not true that in two thousand we switched from giving China normal.
Trade relations status and then we're doing it every year for twenty years and we gave them permanent nor trade relations status, and that sounds like a really really really small change, but they show that it made a big difference and they show it because they look at industry by industry, the gap between the normal trade relation tariff rate and the I dunno, what you call it abnormal tariff rate, and they show that it's actually varies enormously from industry to industry, and they show that the impact of chinese imports impact on american manufacturing, employment is way way bigger in the industries with a gap between normal and Anon Normal is really law cannot, well do get I'm gonna fuck. I fully understand this sun indication strategy. Indeed, tell me a little bit more
what the abnormal and normal like giving examples, abnormal normal rights- ok sure you know so you could have something where at the anti are re. You know the tariff is like five. But what is the anti? Are that's the normal trade relations, so you have to sort of tariff schedules, and stage. One is called the normal trade relations schedule and one is the. I don't know what you call it, but it's the non normal direct relation schedule city the non normal tariffs are higher, but how much higher they are varies incredibly from product to product right, so that the average gap is about twelve percentage points. But it goes as high as thirty five for some items and as low as zero for some other items. So we went to Anti are with China in nineteen eighty and then was renewed and eighty one, eighty two eighty three every year so on and then
thousand Congress stop doing the annual renewables and they just said its anti. Our rates forever and what they show is that in the seven years following making permanent, there was a huge, huge surge in chinese imports, specifically industries, where the difference between the anti are and the non into our rate, is really big even the entire rates had been apply it for the whole passed twenty years. It turns out that people involved in those industries had been very nervous about the threat of exploration and they hadn't really invested in supply chains that were built around. So so me just ask like let me sort of example, the south for a minute, and thou musing till I have it that it will get us here, but tee shirts are less say, have a very big out between the normal in the normal tariff schedule and
even though I say that the normal tariff, his ten percent and anonymous harvests, thirty and even though the teachers have actually been attained, send every single year since one thousand nine hundred and eighty there was fear in the t- shirt retail community teacher production community that there would be some of your soon when they would like Snapback. Two hundred and thirty, you know in a bunch of like t, shirt supply chain stuff could become super on about four years from now, when some politician who didn't like China, came in and mean everything changed when you especially see this not in an industry like t shirts by something like car parts, right waits Ike, maybe you could save six dollars per car by outsourcing some particular spark plug to China right, but the courage
Self is like really valuable, really really important, so you don't want to jeopardize your entire production chain by making reliant on a company that might be forced out of business by congressional action next year. When you make it permanent, you can say: ok, we're save the six dollars. We're gonna go with with the China, so there's something else it in this paper. To that help me understand it, as I was reading through multiple times before this trainers data. But can you talk through the comparison they made to Europe because I thought that was you know how actually like getting there can clear through. This is another just sort of big picture thing is they they say will look if this was a change that nothing to do with american trade policy. We should see exact same like China Shock hit Europe right, but they show that it did tried that it that in Europe there is no. There is an increase in chinese imports, but it's not as big and it's not concentrated in these same industries and that's because Europe went to
when it normal trade relations with China Way way way earlier? So you see, the impact is specifically in the United States, it specifically in the industries where exploration, anti are would have been a big deal, even though it never happened, and so we a munificent seems pretty convincing that this thing Congress did in two thousand. that here there was some debate over, but it was not. It does your old enough to remember that the NAFTA debate was like a big deal politically was like on tv constantly out. Where was debating Ross Perot? You know he was. It was a huge fight, where's this. This China bill in two thousand was really a kind of an afterthought and not treated as like a huge deal, but it turns out to have had a really stand, shall impact on on the american economy and then also makes sense of some of the political fall out
were. I think a lot of people have seven noted that, in an economics textbook rate a big increase in foreign imports, Will create winners and losers? The winner should outnumber the losers, but you can have some kind of compensation scheme but oh in reality you know we forgot to compensate the losers and one reason you might forget to compensate the losers. If people didn't actually understand that the policy, and you were making boys very important and interesting it wouldn't be, like an initiative to say, What we need to bargain around this time, I didn't even understand, like necessarily where the impacts were going to be felt because you might say: oh, this isn't going to really alter the gasket industry that have been low since one thousand nine hundred and eighty. This isn't a big deal for you right, but it turned out. It is a big deal because of this like stupid,
of the supply chain thing. So different political actors, don't necessarily know who is threatened by this. Who should be asking for some kind of side payments? What's it reasonable to to offer, I dont want to make it we completely unintentional. Obviously, the purpose of this was in some sense to facilitate trade with China. but he was not regarded, at least in my recollection as a huge deal and as I say, even in retrospect, I've heard policymakers simply say nothing. Nothing important really happened, so I think when things this highlights, that emu, we didn't understand as well before this paper came out, is that like a clear trade off that was happening. The known really knew about at the time like you said they get. I do not remember,
this is clearly when it was happening in what was it? Two thousand are sound when I was fifteen our great memory of it, but for everything you said I ve heard about it that there wasn't like this thought about. Like will you know what are going to be the pros and cons, and how are we going to manage that? So I think now it seems to raise a question. This is in a more general than train of a basically how we think about trade liberalization and like In that case, those things that were in an economics textbook generally proved to be true, that there are can you be losers and like do we think that the benefits of trade liberalization and the cheaper goods that we're getting are going to be worth the kind of trade off that we're making and kind of understanding like in retrospect that you'd, whenever you're altering trade, even if it were in ways that you may not think, are big alteration- that there is the possibility of some very significant changes to very specific parts of the workforce. Even I think, if you looked at the American AIR American Workforce Writ large, you might not be able.
fine, this connection between employment in this China change. But then you focus on the specific areas and then you start seeing those sort of changes, and it raises a question of policy priorities like what are our priorities with trade and like how do we think about the people who are going to be losers in that I think this is one reason that I am very sceptical of winners losers frameworks when taking part about things like trade, but about a lot of things that I don't think we are good at predicting with any kind of granularity, thee, winners and losers of complex policy changes. I mean the sunrise, you can say: look. We are giving a tax cut to people make us and fifty thousand dollars like. Ok, the people make less than fifty thousand hours will probably be winners, except for the fact that maybe you're gonna pay for it later on down the road by cutting a key social partners who even something as straightforward as that can be very complex, but
equally in trade. I dont think that there is a stable, equal debris em with a lot of trade in it. That does not include one a fair amount of economic growth and to a pretty high level of redistribution. and so, when I kind of here I mean are mounting trade adjustments stuff doesn't help. It really helps a little bit on the margin by. This is some are aware. You know, I think that we would be better off taking a pretty wholesale look at policy, and I mean I think it's worth things College or single, better health care or a Medicare based public option in Obamacare thinks it would help a lot of people who might need help really end up mattering, because not sure like. If you, if you like, come in with the humility to say we were not going to know everybody who is, we're here. Is it well? Ok, one of the characteristics of people who are going to believe is going to be weak, actually target those characteristics. I mean there might be a bunch of people in a town who are characteristic of the people who would be,
for this, but some of them actually might find a better job vacancy. I met some others drop underneath a hundred per cent of the poverty line, and then you have policies that are really help, like if you were to bring this paper to like a tv, p debate and say: ok, we know that now I from the kind of thing like who are the groups we need, you know, do job retraining wound if you like, a big shrugging like Alec. It see as you know, in retrospect, like this is a totally plausible theory thing like. Oh, it's of course it's going to be the gasket makers and the teacher makers, because they had the pay gap and like we can trace it back from twenty six ten what what it? How do you use any degree we met? You have thought in this, but how do you use the things were earning here. To think about this. Other trade liberalization we're thinking about, unlike what what we would do to make it a smooth transition for, for some people will be effect. Why
it makes the slightly paranoid attitude that their efficacy, I oh and and other sort of TB opponents have seem a little more justified to me that, like when I talked to BP opponents, they would often have a lot of, I would say, reasonable fish, like concerns about aspects of the text but a real difficulty, outlining to me like in some specific terms like what it was they thought was going to happen. That was bad and I found that very frustrating, and now I am just like more sympathetic to that idea that you might just say I'm going to approach this with annoying sense of fear and anxiety eighty that the process did not seem to me to be one in which my interests were being represented and like something bad may happen, because I do think that
ultimately the moral of this. This China story that, like the the arrangement, was architect it by big business elite, tie and it worked out, ok for them, and there was just a sort of an inattention to the to the consequences. Red Delong has a book out a few months ago, with the weird title, concrete economics and he has in it so interesting idea, which is that ass, he makers when they are making changes, should think harder about what are they hoping will happen as a result of this, and I think you can understand the problems with it with his China. trade? In those terms, why waded ABC let go what was the big aspiration? It's like ok, cheaper, good spelling. What's its? What's, it look like what are people going to do in the future? That's going to be different,
and from the Chinese. They had. A very clear story was like we ve got all these people working on farms, very low productivity, very low levels of land per capita. We would like them to move to cities and work in factories, and the factories will sell things to foreigners. Living standards will be higher in the factory towns and also in world China. People will have like moorland per capita and that that is going to be economic growth, we're going to import knowledge get better factories. Unlike up and up, we go up in the United States. I don't think we had a great like well once we don't need all these guys in factories in word, island making jewelry instead we're gonna do axe and then there's a lot of things that could fill out the x. It could be we're going to deepen the late the state of around two, because they have an industrial cluster around jewelry, manufacturing and
low value added industry and, like we don't care about it anymore, so they're gone or we could say, ok, Boston is overcrowded and we're gonna make Providence the new hub for health care throughout New England and we're gonna do that or we could say we have a job training initiative and they're gonna start making solar panels and in a way it could be anything. But we had come to nothing. The idea was, there's gotta be more imports from China. Some it will be cheaper, that'll, be good. Some people will lose their jobs and were pretty sure something will turn up and what we ve seen from a lot of recent front from David, ah torrent and other people is that in the communities that were hit hardest by this, like what turned up was disability insurance, and I think, if you had said that explicit I feel like this is your plan if we was going to lose their jobs and then they're going to have back pain and then we're going to give them like a modest check and possibly a raging the spiral. be it addiction like that one,
have sounded like a really good idea, because, like that's a terrible, I hear you I mean you will be and you could have come up with something better than I am confident I hate that another episode of real weeds vocs, our common panoply pike, us, where we hope someone will come up with something better than that producer theme. Shapiro and we will see.
Transcript generated on 2021-09-14.