Brad DeLong knows a thing or two about the US economy. As one of the world’s leading macroeconomists, a former Treasury Department deputy assistant secretary, and author of the new book Slouching Towards Utopia: An Economic History of the Twentieth Century, Brad is an expert on both the history and theory of neoliberalism.
And he’s as surprised as anyone that it came to power so completely, and that it’s lasted this long.
“In my heart of hearts, I still cannot believe that the New Deal order collapsed as rapidly as it did in the 1970s,” Brad says.
In this episode, Brad and hosts Felicia Wong and Michael Tomasky dig into what came next, and Michael comes out of host mode to talk about his book The Middle Out: The Rise of Progressive Economics and a Return to Shared Prosperity—which incidentally released on the same day as Brad’s.
Together, they discuss what neoliberalism is (always a matter of debate), when and how it became the dominant way of thinking about the economy, and why it’s finally on the way out. Maybe.
Brad also talks to Michael and Felicia about the ways in which he says his generation failed, and what the next generation must do to meet the new challenges of the 21st century, from the climate crisis to wealth inequality.
Presented by the Roosevelt Institute, The New Republic, and PRX. Generous funding for this podcast was provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network. Views expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of its funders.
You can find transcripts and related resources for every episode at howtosaveacountry.org.