Lefty Economic Policy Podcasts - Get more smarter!

Kristen B
DSA Member


Chapo Trap House is fun but we need a lefty equivalent to Vox’s In The Weeds on specifically economic issues. What podcasts discuss contemporary manifestations of class struggle and economic justice, and then explore lefty policy solutions or activist strategies? We posed this question to various MDC DSA Slack Channels and coughed up a few contenders, which are alphabetically listed below. Did we overlook any? Let us know.

The Bruenigs
Official Description: Elizabeth Bruenig (New York Times) and Matt Bruenig (People’s Policy Project) record a periodic pdocast about the news, online happenings, and their lives.
MDC DSA member description: Often does deep dives on healthcare and welfare policy, but it doesn’t come out super frequently.
Recent Episode: Guest Marshall Steinbaum On Recent Developments in Tax Credit Discourse

Capitalisn’t
Official Description: The show tagline is ‘Capitalism is the engine of prosperity. Capitalism sows the seeds of its own demise. Could both be right?’ Luigi Zingales (University of Chicago) and Kate Waldock (Georgetown) share the sort of irreverent banter you’d hear between economists at a bar, if economists were capable of sarcasm and social enough to go out to bars.
MDC DSA member description: A nice option for a lefty Hill staffer looking for timely policy solutions.
Recent Episode: Coronavirus: How a we going to pay for it?

Citations Needed
Official Description: A podcast about the media, power, PR, and the history of bullshit.
MDC DSA member description: Focus mainly on the media but also covers economic topics such as Modern Monetary Theory or how the media overhype concerns about the deficit.
Recent Episode: The Sanitization of Sanctions

Current Affairs
Official Description: Based on the namesake bimonthly magazine of culture, politics, and the absurd. Cited as “The Wall Street Journal of surrealistic left-wing policy journals.” Every other week our editorial team brings you a mixture of discussion, analysis, and whimsy. Our podcast is a refreshing alternative to the stale and tedious audio products to which you have grudgingly become accustomed. We’re cutting through the nonsense, bursting open ideological piñatas, and presenting a friendly, relaxed, and upbeat guide to the world of politics.
MDC DSA member description: Focuses exclusively on policy, but occasionally will have more economic & policy themed episodes.
Recent Episode: Lev Menand on the Federal Reserve and a public banking option.

The Dig
Official Description: From Jacobin magazine, the podcast tagline is Discussing the Politics of American Class Warfare. It goes deep into politics everywhere, from labor struggles and political-economy to imperialism and immigration. Every week, Daniel Denvir interviews smart left-wing intellectuals and activists about racism, feminism, electoral politics, criminal justice and any issue relevant for a new socialist movement that must understand the world in order to change it.
MDC DSA member description: Some great economic-focused episodes and a great democratic socialist podcast to have in your feed.
Recent Episode: “Fear City,” on New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics

Economic Update
Official Description: A weekly nationally syndicated program explores complex economic issues and empowers listeners with information to analyze not only their own financial situation but the economy at large. Beyond focusing a critical eye on the economic dimensions of everyday life - wages, jobs, taxes, debts, interest rates, prices, and profits - the program also explores systemic solutions to our economy’s problems including alternative ways to organize production and distribution of the goods and services we all depend on.
MDC DSA member description: Host Richard Wolff is a serious economist who really does a great job in not only providing a left-analysis of the economy, but grounding it in classical Marxist theory in a way that is really accessible. I can’t say his content is the most entertaining - but it is probably among the best for covering a socialist approach to macro-economics.
Recent Episode: Virus Triggers Capitalist Crash

Left Anchor
Official Description: Philosophy, politics, and the left.
MDC DSA member description: Often gets in the weeds on policy. A recent episode covered Rohan Grey, a proponent of Modern Monetary Theory who helped develop Rashida Tlaib’s trillion dollar coin plan
Recent Episode: UBI vs. Job Guarantee w/Jeff Spross

Majority Report
Official Description: A 5x award-winning, daily program brings you the best progressive news commentary and longform conversations available today. The main show, which is available to everyone live and via podcast, is 40 minutes packed full of news, insightful commentary and intelligent interviews with some of the most respected minds in politics and world affairs.
MDC DSA Member Description: The show leans toward the ‘social democracy’ framework, but occasionally has legal scholars as well as policy wonks from more progressive shops like EPI and Roosevelt Institute.
Recent Episode: How We Go from the Sanders Campaign to Democratic Socialism

The Red Nation Podcast
Official Description: Dedicated to the liberation of Indigenous peoples from colonialism. We do this through centering Indigenous agendas and struggles in direct action, advocacy, mobilization, and education.
MDC DSA member description: an explicitly socialist podcast hosted by socialist Native Americans. They focus on indigenous issues, both in the US and internationally, and have a good variety of guests.
Recent Episode: COVID-19 in Indian Country

Revolutionary Left Radio Official Description: Communist Philosophy, Proletarian History, Critical Theory, & Revolutionary Politics. This podcast is affiliated with: The Nebraska Left Coalition, Omaha Tenants United, FORGE, Socialist Rifle Association (SRA), Feed The People - Omaha, and the Marxist Center.
MDC DSA member description: It has more of a philosophical bent. Touches on myriad topics like community organizing, race and capitalism, big business, labor, electoralism, so much more.
Recent Episode: Organizing in a Pandemic: Rebel Steps and Rent Strikes!

The Zero Hour
Official Description: Humanity is at a turning point. This is a critical moment on many important fronts. From economic crises to the future of evolution, from spiritual upheavals to scientific breakthroughs, from the fate of democracy to the survivability of the planet itself—this is The Zero Hour.
MDC DSA member description: Solid interviews
Recent Episode: An interview with Maria Svart, the National Director of Democratic Socialists of America

Additional recommendations:

The Benjamin Dixon Show
Official Description: Progressivism, Racial Justice, Equality– bringing up the Left flank.
MDC DSA member description: The host is a Bernie-supporting pastor and journalist. His analysis often focuses on economic justice, black liberation, and activism.
Recent Episode: Interview with Sen Nina Turner | What’s Next for the Movement?

Latino Rebels
Official Description: Humor, commentary and analysis of the US Latino world. Engaging traviesos. A 2019 iHeart Radio Podcast Awards nominee for Best Multicultural Podcast.
MDC DSA member description: The progressive, and often lefty, podcast that appeals to a wide audience. Can be a bit chatty but the convo centers on relevant issues.
Recent Episode: Farmworkers and COVID-19

New Dawn
Official Description: This podcast engages the intersection of race and capitalism by talking to experts and activists in the field, hosted by Professor Michael C. Dawson from the University of Chicago.
MDC DSA member description: They haven’t posted new episodes in a while, but the discussion topics are evergreen and foundational. An important project about race and capitalism in the U.S. and globally.
Recent Episode: Expropriation, Exploitation, and the Neoliberal Racial Order

The Trillbilly Worker’s Party
Official Description: A podcast drawing national attention to Central Appalachian leftist organizing efforts.
MDC DSA member description: A crucial voice in the conversation among socialists in the U.S. Recorded in Kentucky. Often free-flowing and funny banter spoken with delicious accents.
Recent Episode: Survival Mode to Beast Mode

See other articles in the May 2020 Edition