The David McWilliams Podcast
The World in 2024. The NATO-Sphere
Today we kick-off a new three part series that looks at the state of the big economic blocs in the world. Part one is the state of the US as it enters an election year. Plus we scan the UK and the EU, briefly. We call this world the NATO-sphere for obvious reasons. Next up in this series, we will deal with the impact of AI and third we will look at China the link between economics & liberalism. Our first conversation is around US economy, the rate of interest, inflation and the miracle of recent US economic performance, which is challenging our understanding of macroeconomics.
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16. 2024:16 The Joy of Maths with Colm O'Regan36:05This week, we delve into the perennial question: Why do so few students depart school with a genuine love for mathematics? Is the way we teach maths the crux of the issue? Joining us is Colm O'Regan, host of his own Mathematics podcast, to show us the story behind the numbers. Maths, essential across various studies including economics, embodies the evolution of human thought, guiding us from guesswork to certainty - yet is widely loathed by students. It begs the question, does our approach to teaching often lack the engaging storytelling found in other subjects like history and English? Could this be what's hindering students' connections with maths? From the Ishango Bone to Pythagoras, the history of the subject is worth telling, so that's exactly what we're doing.
15. 2024:15 The Murder of Navalny - What's Next for Putin and Europe?34:43Next week, the war in Ukraine enters its third year. and last week Putin's regime murdered its only real political opponent, Alexi Navalny. Putin has transitioned from electoral manipulation to murder. This week, we chat with Alexander Kabonovsky, the podcast's resident go-to for all things Russian. Together, we explore the impact of Navalny's murder, Putin's position, and the uncertain path ahead for the ongoing conflict. As the situation in Russia rapidly deteriorates, drawing unsettling parallels to the dark era of Stalinist terror, we assess what this means for Europe and geo-politics in general.
14. 2024:14 A Climate Warning from the Past32:59Amidst the backdrop of the hottest January on record, surpassing pre-industrial averages by 1.6 degrees, join us this week as we embark on a gripping exploration of the economic history and pre-industrial climate change. From the medieval era to the tumultuous 17th century, we delve deep into its profound impacts on society, economy, and religion. We use the poignant saga of the Pont d’Avignon as our starting point. A 13th-century bridge succumbed to the fury of climate-induced mass flooding, while Europe reeled under the devastation of the 17th-century mini-ice age, that claimed over 500,000 lives in Ireland alone. The economy suffered as agricultural yields plummeted and food prices soared, leading to famine. Calamity bred religious fervor, with moralistic prohibitions and the rise of witch-hunts, while war ravaged the continent, targeting religious minorities, driving mass migrations. In the 17th century, climate change wasn't just a matter of inconvenience—it was a catalyst for chaos and conflict. History tells us we ignore climate change at our peril.
13. 2024:13 The Return of the Kennedys with Pippa Malmgren36:48With the election year in full swing, we're shining a spotlight on the resurgence of the Kennedys. Joining us to navigate the intriguing rise of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy is the economic and political aficionado Pippa Malmgren. We ponder the origins of this surprising surge and its underreported nature amidst swirling allegations, anti-pharma sentiments, and vaccine skepticism. We contemplate whether RFK could embody a voice that resonates with the American people and discuss what awaits the land of opportunity on the road to November. With tensions escalating and Kennedy finding himself in some polls, polling similarly to Trump and Biden, the drama and anticipation of the 2024 Election will only intensify, prompting us to explore the allure of the underdog.
12. 2024:12 Unveiling the Drivers of the World Economy with Martin Wolf42:27In this week's episode, we delve deep into the dynamic forces shaping our global economy, from seismic demographic shifts to the transformative rise of artificial intelligence and the ascendance of Asia on the world stage. Once again, we welcome the esteemed Martin Wolf, whose unparalleled insights shed light on the intricate intersections of these pressing global challenges. Together, we attempt to navigate the evolving landscape of demography, examining its implications for societal structures and economic paradigms. Don't miss this episode as we confront the hidden forces driving our world economy.
11. 2024:11 The Bitter Lessons of Brexit with Martin Wolf34:29Almost eight years later, we shine a spotlight on Brexit and how it has come to the forefront of public discourse. We explore the destructive impact of populism on stable democracies, as evidenced by the Brexit saga. The discussion delves into the false premises that underpinned Brexit, examining how it damaged the UK's economic relationship and threatened domestic stability. We are joined by economist and Financial Times columnist, Martin Wolf, who offers us a new perspective on navigating UK politics in the aftermath. Don't miss this insightful episode as we explore the pressing issues that make the UK's post-Brexit journey a critical focal point.
10. 2024:10 The Gen Z Gender Schism39:37For the second installment in our Milei series, we delve into what's causing the political gender divergence within Gen Z. We are joined this week by John Burn-Murdoch, who shares his insights on what has caused the split. Young men are swinging Conservative and you women are moved Liberal. Across the globe, from the US to South Korea, a profound split has emerged, shaping political affiliations, and societal norms, and even influencing electoral outcomes. We discuss the consequences of this divide, examining its impact on issues ranging from gender equality to immigration. Join us as we navigate the complexities of Gen Z's ideological landscape, shedding light on a trend that could have lasting implications for the future.
9. 2024:09 Public Sector Productivity, Who Pays?28:13This week, we explore the intersection between inflation, public sector pay and productivity, or value for money to the taxpayers who pay the public sector salaries. First, we need a good public service, second workers should be well paid, but third, is there any way of linking public sector wage increases to productivity? If not, then let's be honest with society and say so. We look at Baumol's theory of costs, a bit of old-fashioned insider/outsider dynamics, and the role of multinationals in dragging up public sector wage demands, even though there may be a productivity mismatch. Have our services improved at the same rate as overall wages in the public sector? This episode is a national-scale exploration that's sure to leave you thinking.
8. 2024:08 People Before Bonnet33:23Dublin, like many cities, needs to make a decision to reinvent itself for the 21st century. It's a battle between the past and the future. There is no urban planning manual anywhere in the world that argues for more cars in towns and cities. In urban transport, cities future is fewer cars, not more.Dun Laoighaire - my hometown - is a microcosm of every modern town in Western society, and its plans for pedestrianisation could change the town dramatically. Returning the emphasis from the car to the pedestrian is the answer to creating a more vibrant community, but how do we go about it? Can adopting a road pricing mechanism, inspired by innovations like Uber's surge pricing, motivate behavioral shifts and propel Ireland into a forward-thinking future? Cities and towns are sensitive ecosystems, they need to breathe; they can't be choked.