Episode

3/25 “Limitarianism”: The Case Against Extreme Wealth w/ Ingrid Robeyns

March 25, 2024

Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with Ingrid Robeyns, humanities professor at the Utrech University in The Netherlands, to discuss her recent book Limitarianism: The Case Against Extreme Wealth. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on the passage of a UNSC ceasefire resolution, Congress averting a government shutdown, the terror attack in Moscow, Mike Johnson’s speakership, Congress’ killing of an important internet subsidy, Donald Trump’s legal woes, Mifepristone, New Jersey’s senate race, and Ronna McDaniel’s NBC gig, before parsing through the details of the first UNSC ceasefire resolution not vetoed by the US. Professor Ingrid Robeyns then joins, diving right into the concept of “limitarianism” as a political belief that emphasizes the central importance of limiting wealth inequality and concentration in a functioning society, with the extreme stratification seen in the West (and particularly in the US) pushing severe social and political ills with little to no moral grounding. Expanding on the former, Professor Robeyns dives into the problems that arise in the relationship between money and politics under extreme inequality, with various factors, from campaign finance to political lobbying, giving a very wealthy few immense political power, before she, Sam, and Emma explore how extreme wealth concentration can give these same individuals the freedom to dictate social programs and overtake the public sphere to the detriment of everyone else, and the environment. After briefly touching on the particular role capitalism’s ills play within these issues, Ingrid walks Sam and Emma through the moral philosophical grounding of “limitarianism” as a refutation of modern society’s supposed meritocracy, bringing into question the role of the individual in coming out the victor of countless natural and social lotteries. Next, Professor Robeyns tackles the role of wealth inequality in creating an inequality division between capital and labor, allowing the former to dictate the rules of the latter, and parses through what solutions are needed – particularly in terms of welfare, social and housing programs, and unionization – to rebalance that dichotomy, before wrapping up the interview looking at the importance of taking fiscal action against tax havens and unregulated free trade, and why changing the public perception on wealth is so necessary in this battle.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma discuss Bibi’s response to the US not vetoing the UNSC ceasefire resolution, the state of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza, AOC’s direct callout of Israel’s genocide, and Chuck Todd’s direct callout of his NBC employers over their hiring of Ronna McDaniel. Fox News gears up against MTG and Matt Gaetz as another speakership coup attempt takes root against Mike Johnson, and Mike Lindell comes forward with evidence of – get this – voter fraud in 2020, plus, your IMs!

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