Will the Government Get Tough on Big Tech?
Play episode · 19 min

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (which owns Google), and Facebook—known in the tech world as the Big Four—are among the largest and most profitable companies in the world, and they’ve been accustomed to the laxest of oversight from Washington. But the climate may have shifted in a significant way. The Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the House Judiciary Committee are all investigating different aspects of the Big Four; Elizabeth Warren has made breaking up these companies a cornerstone of her Presidential campaign. Sue Halpern, a New Yorker contributor, sounds a cautious note about these developments. Current antitrust law doesn’t well fit the nature of these businesses, and breaking up the companies will not necessarily solve underlying issues, like the lack of privacy law. In a twist, Halpern says, the Big Four and now asking the federal government for more regulation—because, she explains to David Remnick, the companies’ lobbyists can sway Washington more easily than they can influence state governments like California, which just passed a rigorous data-privacy law similar to the European Union’s. “They’re being called to account, they have to do something,” she notes, “but they want to direct the conversation so that, ultimately, they still win.” Plus, we contemplate the dire prospect of Houston without air conditioning. Bryan Washington, a Houston native and a celebrated young fiction writer, introduces non-natives to a cherished local institution: the open-air bar and community space called an ice house.

 

Worldly
Worldly
Vox
American democracy, hacked
Zack, Jenn, and Alex put the upcoming American elections in global context. They explain why long polling lines and gerrymandered districts are very much not the norm among advanced democracies and how other countries avoid them. Then they dissect the latest news about Russian, Iranian, and other foreign interference in the 2020 election — and debate whether it even matters anymore. References: Here’s Alex’s piece for Vox on how other countries do elections better. And Jen Kirby wrote for Vox on what US intelligence leaders said yesterday about Russia’s and Iran’s interference efforts. BBC News explains why it can be hard to vote in America. NBC News reported on how China is adopting interference techniques the Russians have been using. In August, a top US intelligence official said China, Russia, and Iran were interfering in the 2020 election for differing reasons. CyberScoop reported that North Korea, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia also aim to sway the vote. The US Justice Department charged Russians with interfering in the elections this week. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
47 min
The Ezra Klein Show
The Ezra Klein Show
Vox
Sarah Kliff grades Biden and Trump's health care plans
There are few issues on which the stakes in this election are quite as stark as on health care. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden plans to pass (and Democrats largely support) a massive health care expansion that could result in 25 million additional individuals gaining health insurance. The Trump administration, as we speak, is pushing to get the Supreme Court to kill the Affordable Care Act, which would strip at least 20 million Americans of health care coverage.    There's no one I'd rather have on to discuss these issues than Sarah Kliff. Kliff is an investigative reporter for the New York Times focusing on health care policy, and my former colleague at the Washington Post and Vox where we co-hosted The Weeds alongside Matt Yglesias. She's one of the most clear, incisive health care policy analysts in media today and a longtime friend, which made this conversation a pleasure. We discuss:  The legacy of Obamacare 10 years later Why the fiercely fought over “individual mandate” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be  What Biden’s health care plan would actually do — and where it falls short  Whether a Biden administration would be able to pass massive health care reform — and why it might still have a chance even if the filibuster remains intact  The ongoing Supreme Court case to dismantle Obamacare  Whether Donald Trump has a secret health care plan to protect those with preexisting conditions (spoiler: he doesn’t)  The hollow state of Republican health care policy  The academic literature showing that health insurance is literally a matter of life and death  Which social investments would have the largest impact on people’s health (hint: it’s probably not expanding insurance)    And much more References: "If Trump wins, 20 million people could lose health insurance. If Biden wins, 25 million could gain it." by Dylan Scott, Vox “Obamacare Turns 10. Here’s a Look at What Works and Doesn’t.” by Sarah Kliff, et al. New York Times "The I.R.S. Sent a Letter to 3.9 Million People. It Saved Some of Their Lives." by Sarah Kliff, New York Times "Republicans Killed the Obamacare Mandate. New Data Shows It Didn’t Really Matter." by Sarah Kliff, New York Times "Without Ginsburg, Supreme Court Could Rule Three Ways on Obamacare" by Sarah Kliff and Margot Sanger-Katz, New York Times Book recommendations: The Healing of America by TR Reid  And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts  Dreamland by Sam Quinones  I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen Credits: Producer/Audio wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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