1/26 Delaware: Grifter State; Wall Street Profits & Climate Action w/ Hal Weitzman & Lee Harris

January 26, 2023

Emma hosts Hal Weitzman, executive director for intellectual capital at the University of Chicago Business School, to discuss his recent book What’s The Matter With Delaware?: How the First State Has Favored the Rich, Powerful, and Criminal-and How It Costs Us All. Then, Emma is joined by Lee Harris, reporter at The American Prospect, to discuss her most recent piece “Wall Street’s Big Bet on Rewiring America”. First, Emma runs through updates on Israel’s continuing violence in the West Bank to start 2023, panic setting in around the debt ceiling, the Supreme Court’s first decision of the term, various states’ attempts to ban transition care up to 26 years old, Peru’s potential impeachment, and DT’s return to FB and IG, before Emma parses through Kevin McCarthy’s attempt to remove Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee and the bigotry behind the process. Hal Weitzman then joins as he dives right into the staggering stats around Delaware’s role as host for LLCs and corporations across the world, acting as the base for two-thirds of Fortune 500s, with thousands of new Limited Liability Corporations being created every day, resulting in a state with 1.8 million corporations to a population of around 1 million people. Next, Weitzman walks Emma through the history behind Delaware’s role as a corporate haven, beginning with Woodrow Wilson’s crackdown on New Jersey’s corporate leniency pushing companies to Delaware, the next closest haven to New York, before they shift the conversation to what makes Delaware so the perfect American version of the Cayman Islands, from its small size (both in population and geography) to its location. Expanding on the conversation, Hal and Emma walk through various elements of this industry known as “the Franchise”, from building an entire legal infrastructure for corporate issues to sponsoring the rapid turnover of entire corporations in a Ponzi-scheme-esque manner and allowing for the anonymous creation of LLCs, all serving to bolster the state’s status-quo – as per “the Delaware Way.” Next, Lee Harris walks through Ithaca’s developing Green New Deal, exploring how Venture Capitalists and Goldman Sachs capitalized on the Inflation Reduction Act’s environmental subsidies by investing in this infrastructure overhaul, taking somewhat legitimate environmental programs and putting the control of profits and energy into the hands of the same for-profit model that created these issues. After discussing the role of Bloc Power, the main Start-Up involved, they walk through the various differences between Ithaca’s Green New Deal (and other small-scale versions) and Bernie Sanders’ original bill, before wrapping up the interview by tackling the various routes through which these corporations are ensuring the infrastructure remains under their control.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Matt Binder and Brandon Sutton as they discuss Glenn Beck’s takedown of Velma’s new spin on Scooby-Doo, Margaret from PA discusses skullduggery fatigue, and Ben Shapiro compares guns to embezzlement, forgetting that the solution to both is greater regulation and administrative oversight. Nate from NH expands on the gas stove/baby formula debate by walking through the other various unregulated toxins we ingest, and Mark from Buffalo explores the future of America’s two major parties. The A&W Bear has no pants, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Hal’s book here: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691180007/whats-the-matter-with-delaware

Check out Lee’s piece here: https://prospect.org/environment/2023-01-23-wall-street-rewiring-america-ithaca-green-new-deal/

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