Slate Money
Slate Money
Oct 17, 2020
Comfortable Pants Auction
51 min

Felix Salmon, Emily Peck, and Anna Szymanski talk tax evasion at Vista Investment Group, the issues with company performance reviews and auction theory. 


In the Slate Plus segment: What news is wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night news?


Email: slatemoney@slate.com


Podcast production by Jessamine Molli.


Twitter: @felixsalmon, @Three_Guineas, @EmilyRPeck

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Upzoned
Upzoned
Strong Towns
Will Wyoming Have to Start "Abandoning" Its Small Towns?
A key figure in the mythology of the American West is that of the rugged individualist, the impressively self-reliant person, rarely needing help from anyone, least of all the federal government. The self-reliant ethos is a powerful one, not just at the level of the individual but at the level of the city. Yet the reality is that most towns and cities in the American West are reliant to a remarkable degree on state and federal governments, as well as on a few large (often extractive) global industries: coal, oil, natural gas, etc. What happens when demand for those resources drops? What happens when the state or federal government runs out of money? Wyoming is finding out. In an op-ed last month in the Casper Star-Tribune, Nate Martin, the executive director of Better Wyoming, wrote: “Faced with COVID-19 and the collapse of Wyoming’s coal industry, Republican Gov. Mark Gordon said recently that the state might have to start abandoning small towns because there’s not enough money to maintain their sewers and streets.” Wyoming has no income tax and some of the lowest property and sales taxes in the country. Martin makes the case that, to help cover its projected two-year, $1.5 billion budget shortfall, the state should increase tax revenue — perhaps by instituting an income tax or raising its other taxes. This week on Upzoned, host Abby Kinney, an urban planner in Kansas City, and regular cohost Chuck Marohn, founder and president of Strong Towns, discuss Martin’s op-ed and the situation in Wyoming...and, really, throughout the West. Abby and Chuck talk about why saying Wyoming has a revenue problem doesn’t go deep enough in diagnosing the underlying issues there. They talk about the ways in which the extractive economies of many Western states are mimicked in extractive development patterns. They also discuss how towns and cities in Wyoming can begin to build local economies strong enough to weather the hard times. (Hint: It starts not with minerals in the ground, but with the people.) Then in the Downzone, Chuck recommends the book 1493, by Charles C. Mann, and talks about finally signing up for Netflix. And Abby recommends a show on Netflix that Chuck can now watch, The Queen’s Gambit. Additional Show Notes * “Martin: Wyoming needs to bite the bullet,” by Nate Martin * "Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon Faces Massive Budget Hole As COVID-19 Cases Rise," by Peter O'Dowd * “Just Print the Money” (Podcast) * Abby Kinney (Twitter) * Charles Marohn (Twitter) * Gould Evans Studio for City Design * Theme Music by Kemet the Phantom (Soundcloud) * Additional content from Strong Towns on small towns and rural economies: * “A Plan for Building Strong Rural Communities,” by Charles Marohn * “Small Towns Are Dying. Can They Be Saved?” (Podcast) * “We’re in the Endgame Now for Small Towns,” by Charles Marohn * “What happens when an entire region of rural communities buys into the same bad approach to development?” by John Pattison * “Local Leaders Are Reshaping America One Small Town at a Time,” by Quint Studer
35 min
Columbia Energy Exchange
Columbia Energy Exchange
ColumbiaUEnergy
Climate Policy, Technology and Philanthropy: A Conversation with Jane Flegal
Philanthropy has a unique and critical role to play in tackling the climate crisis, with the potential to increase global ambition, create new climate solutions, innovate new technologies, scale proven mitigation strategies, and drive collaboration between the public and private sector. But there are many different theories of change in the advocacy community. There are different views about the role of technology, how to integrate correcting historical racial and equity injustices into climate action, and how to build political support to drive policy change. In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Jane Flegal to discuss the governance, science and decision-making processes needed to unlock climate action and new innovation. Jane Flegal is a Program Officer in the Environment program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she leads U.S. grantmaking to combat climate change and support a clean energy transition. Jane previously served as a senior program officer for the environment program at The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust in New York. She has been a policy analyst, published academic research, and taught and lectured in universities. Jane holds a doctorate in environmental science, policy, and management from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Mount Holyoke College.
48 min
Future Perfect
Future Perfect
Vox
Rethinking meat
How can we convince people to change their relationship with meat? Melanie Joy has been grappling with this question for a long time. To answer it, she takes us back to other points in history when new technology helped make social change palatable. She digs into how the invention of the washing machine and other household appliances, for example, helped make feminism easier to imagine. Then, she looks to the future, at our latest meat technologies — plant-based meat and lab grown meat — and asks: Could they make it easier for us to move away from meat altogether?  Further listening and reading:  Joy’s books, Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation and Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.  Vox’s Ezra Klein interviewed Joy for an episode of The Ezra Klein Show in 2018. Hear that interview and read her book recommendations here. We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com.  Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. This podcast is made possible thanks to support from Animal Charity Evaluators. They research and promote the most effective ways to help animals. Featuring: Melanie Joy (@DrMelanieJoy) Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  More to explore: Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat. Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Follow Us: Vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22 min
Political Climate
Political Climate
Political Climate
Neil Chatterjee on FERC’s Role in Enabling the Energy Transition
When Neil Chatterjee was appointed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by President Trump in 2017, stakeholders in the climate and clean energy space were concerned about what his agenda would be. Headlines dubbed him “McConnell’s coal guy” and “fossil fuel champion Chatterjee,” referring to his role as a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).  But Chatterjee has proven to be much more than a “coal guy,” despite his sympathies for struggling Kentucky coal communities. The Republican leader recently voted in favor of rules supporting distributed energy resources and carbon pricing, and views these decisions as powerful steps in advancing the energy transition.  His openness to supporting policies that benefit clean energy may have cost him his leadership position at FERC. President Trump demoted Chatterjee from the chairman role last month, although he remains on the commission and will serve alongside two new appointees confirmed by the Senate this week. In this episode, we speak to FERC Commissioner Neil Chatterjee about several of the agency’s recent rulemakings, past controversies and his outlook for the future of U.S. energy policy in today’s shifting political landscape. Recommended reading: * GTM: Why Rick Perry’s Coal-Friendly Market Intervention Was Legally Doomed * GTM: FERC Orders PJM to Restrict State-Backed Renewables in Its Capacity Market * Utility Dive: FERC confirms carbon pricing jurisdiction in wholesale markets, Chatterjee 'encourages' proposals * Utility Dive: Competitive generators move away from FERC's PJM order, toward carbon pricing * GTM: ‘Game-Changer’ FERC Order Opens Up Wholesale Grid Markets to Distributed Energy Resources * Quartz: How one obscure federal agency is clearing the path for a US carbon price * The Hill: Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate!
56 min
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