Episode

2/7 “How Are We Gonna Pay For It?” And Other Dumb Questions w/ Ryan Cooper

February 7, 2022

Sam and Emma host Ryan Cooper, national correspondent at The Week, to discuss his new book How Are You Going to Pay For That? Smart Answers to the Dumbest Questions in Politics, on how the self-immolating ideas of the free market have locked us into a vision of government that is impotent in the face of any economic stress on the lower classes, and required to act, often violently, when it is impacting the capitalists. Ryan begins by looking at this question of “how to pay for that,” and how it reflects this view of the economy as a pre-political entity, with liberalism’s and libertarianism’s belief that government borrowing on behalf of the economy, alongside most other government regulation, is inherently bad, and that the best government is no government. However, throughout the history of capitalism, all the way back to early industrialization in England, progress has been defined by economic and labor regulations, from child labor to maternity rights, to even simply forty-hour work weeks, and yet all of these developments were pushed back against at the time, as working against natural relations of human society. Moving towards the New Deal era revelations, this brings them to the absolute impossibility of a “self-regulating economy,” as economies are literally products of structures of policy with active management, active redistribution of wealth, and active regulation, and just as those elements had been working to serve and bolster the power and “rights” of the capitalist class they can work to serve the people actually engaging in labor. Ryan, Sam, and Emma then dive into the driving force of property, and the ideology of “properterianism” that has been central to all economic development, viewing property as a sacred object, and foundational to the social order, thus becoming the driving force behind the maintenance of the status quo through violence, and therefore the biggest driver of the state’s monopoly on legitimate force, from the colonial genocides and displacements to contemporary policing. Lastly, they wrap up the interview by touching on correlations between wealth and quantity of work, looking at how the ‘60s saw Europe take their wealth and work towards better privilege for workers, turning it into more free time, with mandatory paid vacation, sick leave, maternity leave, and more, while the US has instead worked to continue to build the wealth more exclusively for the capitalists, meaning more and more hours for less efficient building of wealth. Sam and Emma wrap up with updates on Russia’s building forces on the Ukrainian border, Jim Clyburn’s push for an anti-union Supreme Court Justice, and Mike Pence’s revelation of being a true #2 (this is a Pence-il joke).

And in the Fun Half: Gregory from Oklahoma calls in to explore MR’s impact on his Youtube channel “The Green Corn Rebellion Show,” and the MR crew dive into various responses to Pence’s statement on his role in overturning the election, from Bannon’s rejection of his “stone-cold” cowardice, to Rubio jumping right on Mike’s wagon, using the Sinema excuse of “but what if THEY do it to US.” They also cover the Joe Rogan drama from this weekend, and where he fits into “corporate media,” before Michael from Miami discusses Democrats’ inability to ignore bad faith discussions, the Common Sense Cowboy pitches releasing dogs at the border, and Charlie Kirk forgets his Bitcoin password, plus, your calls and IMs!

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