Across the Margin: The Podcast

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Episode 147: The Border Within with Tara Watson & Kalee Thompson

This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Tara Watson, professor of economics at Williams College and a co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources, the leading academic journal in labor economics, as well as Kalee Thompson, a journalist and senior editor at Wirecutter and the author of Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History. Watson and Thompson are co-authors of The Border Within: The Economics of Immigration in an Age of Fear — the focus of this episode — which is a profoundly eye-opening analysis of the costs and effects of immigration and immigration policy, both on American life and on new Americans. For decades, immigration has been one of the most divisive, contentious topics in American politics. And for decades, urgent calls for its policy reform have gone mostly unanswered. As the discord surrounding the modern immigration debate has intensified, border enforcement has tightened. Crossing harsher, less porous borders makes unauthorized entry to the United States a permanent, costly undertaking. And the challenges don’t end on the other side. At once enlightening and devastating, The Border Within examines the costs and ends of America’s interior enforcement — the policies and agencies, including ICE, aimed at removing immigrants already living in the country. Economist Tara Watson and journalist Kalee Thompson pair rigorous analysis with deeply personal stories from immigrants and their families to assess immigration’s effects on every aspect of American life, from the labor force to social welfare programs to tax revenue. What emerges is a critical, utterly complete examination of what non-native Americans bring to the country, including immigration’s tendency to elevate the wages and skills of those who are native-born. In this episode, host Michael Shields, Tara Watson, and Kalee Thompson discuss the crucial focus of the book (interior immigration enforcement) while dispelling a bevy of myths surrounding immigration regarding the economic benefits of immigration, immigrants effect on crime rates, and the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of enforcement by agencies such as ICE. They discuss the concept of “chilling effects” and ponder what an ideal internal enforcement approach would look like. Ultimately this episode celebrates the essential work that is The Border Within, a book with far-reaching implications for immigrants and non-immigrants alike.



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12/14/2022

Episode 152: LIVE from Love Velma with David Goodwillie

This episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast presents an interview with novelist David Goodwillie about his book Kings County. Goodwillie is also the author of the novel American Subversive, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the memoir Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. Goodwillie has written for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Newsweek, and Popular Science, among other publications. He has also been drafted to play professional baseball, worked as a private investigator, and was an expert at Sotheby’s auction house. In this episode host Michael Shields, who describes Kings County as a "love letter to Brooklyn," discusses with Goodwillie his relationship to the borough and to all the musicians and artists featured in the story. They discuss the characters in the book and themes that propel the book revolving around change. They explore how Goodwillie brought to life the big reveal of the book in a deeply-affecting letter, how a minor character ended up having one of the bigger moments in Kings County, the origins behind a gay cat named Richard, and so much more.Learn more about Love Velma: Love Velma is a private 100 capacity jazz venue and nightclub located on the ground floor of The Mod House of Ellenville, a mid-century modern lodge and social club in Ellenville, NY — just ninety minutes north of New York City. A proper speakeasy with incredible sound, Velma’s monthly shows are packed with smartly dressed music and art obsessives. Run by drummer and music industry veteran Nick Gordon, artists are encouraged to come early and soak up The Mod House’s three acres of secluded land. 
12/1/2022

Episode 151: Trees — From Root To Leaf with Paul Smith

This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Dr. Paul Smith, who serves as the secretary-general of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). BGCI leads the Global Tree Assessment and recently published the “State of the World’s Trees Report” showing that one-third of the world’s tree species are threatened with extinction. Prior to joining BGCI, Paul was the head of the Millennium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew. He is editor of The Book of Seeds, published by the University of Chicago Press. His most recent book — Trees: From Root To Leaf — is the focus of this episode. Trees provoke deep affection, spirituality, and creativity. They cover about a third of the world’s land and play a crucial role in our environmental systems — influencing the water, carbon, and nutrient cycles and the global climate. This puts trees at the forefront of research into mitigating our climate emergency. In Paul’s astonishingly comprehensive book, he celebrates all that trees have inspired across nearly every human culture throughout history. Generously illustrated with over 450 images and organized according to a tree's life cycles — from seeds and leaves to wood, flowers, and fruit — his book lauds the great diversity and beauty of the 60,000 tree species that inhabit our planet. In this episode, host Michael Shields and Dr. Paul Smith explore the wonders found within Trees: From Root To Leaf. They discuss the magical ways in which seeds spread themselves throughout the world and the crucial work done at seed banks internationally. They discuss how Climate Change is affecting tree populations and other threats to tree extinction throughout the planet, and much, much more.
11/23/2022

Episode 150: Gratitude — A Conspiracy of Goodness Simulcast with Dr. Lynda Ulrich

This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast finds our host, Michael Shields, in conversation with Dr. Lynda Ulrich, founder of the Goodness Exchange, a website whose aim is to prove that the world is still a beautiful place, full of wonderment, discovery, and compassion. Dr. Ulrich is the author of the book Happiness is an Option: Thriving (Instead of Surviving) In the Era of the Internet, and is also the host of the Conspiracy of Goodness podcast. The Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast is designed to give listeners more joy, less fear, and present evidence that a bright future is possible. In each episode, Dr. Ulrich helps make sense of the world by interviewing those who are tackling some of the world’s most difficult and consequential problems. This episode distinctly combines the powers of Across The Margin : The Podcast and the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast, and acts as a celebration of the diverse and inspiring guests they are both profoundly grateful to feature on their respective podcasts. To give listeners a taste of what both the Conspiracy of Goodness and Across The Margin podcasts have to offer, Michael and Dr. Ulrich take turns in highlighting a few of each other's episodes that resonate deeply with them. Episodes of the Conspiracy of Goodness podcast about the power of positivity, turning pain into a teacher, ways in which to overcome fear, and tips on how to make a good living while also making a difference in the world are celebrated, followed by a look at a bevy of powerful episodes of Across The Margin : The Podcast, such as Episode 125: The Other Dark Matter with Lina Zeldovich, Episode 105: Up From Nothing with John Hope Bryant, and Episode 100: How To Do Nothing with Jenny Odell, to name a few.