The Ezra Klein Show

Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.



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      Ai-jen Poo: the future of work isn’t robots. It’s caring humans.

      When we talk about the future of work, we usually focus on artificial intelligence, robotics, driverless cars. The future of work, we’re told, is a future where humans cease to be necessary.

      Ai-jen Poo wants to refocus that conversation. When we think about the future of work, she says, we need to think about care workers. Home care work — caring for the elderly and for children — is the fastest-growing occupation in the entire workforce, expanding at five times the rate of any other...



      Evan Osnos on the North Korea crisis, Trump’s mental health, and China's rise

      Evan Osnos is the author of the National Book Award-winning The Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, as well as a staff writer at the New Yorker. And he’s recently back from a trip to North Korea, where he learned how Trump’s threats are playing in one of the strangest and most sealed-off regimes on earth.

      “To go between Washington and Pyongyang at this nuclear moment is to be struck, most of all, by how little the two understand each other,” he wrote....



      Why politics needs more conflict, not less

      Here’s a counterintuitive thought: maybe Congress in particular, and politics in general, has too little conflict, not too much.

      That’s James Wallner’s argument, and it’s more persuasive than you might think. Wallner is a political scientist who became a top Republican Senate aide, working as legislative director for Senators Jeff Sessions and Pat Toomey, as well as executive director of the Senate Steering Committee under Toomey and Lee. He’s now a senior fellow at the R Street Inst...



      Why the Weinstein scandal gives Tig Notaro hope about Hollywood

      Tig Notaro dropped out of high school. She drifted between odd jobs for a long time and eventually found her way to Colorado, where she discovered open mic nights and a talent for stand-up comedy. 

      Stand-up brought discipline to her life. But fame eluded her until 2012, when she released "Live," the comedy album of the stand-up set she performed just four days after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and soon after her mother suddenly passed away. 

      Now, Notaro has...



      Introducing: The Impact, with the curious case of the $629 Band-Aid

      This is a bonus episode that I'm really excited about. It's Vox's new show, The Impact, hosted by Sarah Kliff. 

      So often in Washington, the story stops when Congress passes a law. Reporters move on to the next legislative or political battle.

      But on The Impact, that is where the stories begin.

      The Impact looks at what happens when laws and policies wind their way out into the real world where all of us live. This season, the show focuses on healthcare, and the first...



      What happens when human beings take control of their own evolution?

      Over the past decade, scientists have developed what was once just the subject of dystopian fiction: gene editing technology.

      It's known as CRISPR. Jennifer Doudna, a professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at the University of California Berkeley, was a key member of the research group that developed the technology. She's also the co-author of the recent book A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution.

      A straightforward...



      Ta-Nehisi Coates is not here to comfort you

      “It’s important to remember the inconsequence of one’s talent and hard work and the incredible and unmatched sway of luck and fate,” writes Ta-Nehisi Coates in his new book, We Were Eight Years in Power.

      Coates’s view of his career flows from his view of human events: contingent, unguided, and devoid of higher morality or cosmic justice. He is not here to comfort you. He is not here to comfort himself. "Nothing in the record of human history argues for a divine morality, and a g...



      How the Republican Party created Donald Trump

      Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have studied American politics for more than three decades. They are the town’s go-to experts on the workings of Congress. In 2012, they rocked Washington when they published It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, a book that marshaled their considerable authority to argue that the dysfunction poisoning American government was the result of “asymmetric polarization,” notably a Republican Party that “has become an insurgent outlier in American politics — ideological...



      Reihan Salam wants to remake the Republican Party -- again

      In 2008, Reihan Salam co-wrote Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream with his frequent collaborator Ross Douthat. 

      After nearly eight years of President Bush, Salam wanted to remake the Republican Party to appeal to the working-class voters it needed. The vision was idea-driven: tax policy that helped the middle class, healthcare ideas that would mean more insurance for more people, and a generalized effort to...



      David Remnick on journalism in the Trump era and why he hires obsessives

      For the past 19 years, David Remnick has been the editor of the New Yorker, perhaps the greatest magazine in the English language. Under his leadership, the New Yorker has received 149 nominations for National Magazine Awards and won 37. It’s also, perhaps more impressively, been consistently profitable in an era where many august journalism organizations have seen their business models collapse.

      And Remnick keeps writing. He’s the author of six books, including Lenin’s Tomb, which w...