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Episodes with Smash Notes

The gang is back. The ep starts with some talk of our wedding anniversary and then we move on to riffing on various internet insanities, including an incredible update in the WaPo blackface saga.

Liz here with a solo episode finally on the Bubonic Plague and what it meant for the world.


Matt and Liz on It's Just Banter by Elizabeth and Matt Bruenig

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Matt is here with a special midweek bonus episode, talking to returning guest Marshall Steinbaum about the advanced tax rebate in the Coronavirus emergency legislation and the interesting ways in which that rebate was handled in the discourse. Ultimately we learn the EITC is bad, once again.



The gang is back. The first 30 minutes are spent discussing the bailout, mostly just explaining what it is and taking on some common questions and misconceptions. The rest of the episode is answering listener queries of all sorts.

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The gang is back with a sprawling episode about the Coronavirus crisis and the social transformation it has currently caused and will possibly cause well into the future.

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The full gang is back (liz and matt) with some fresh content. The first half is Matt melting down over fact checking about Joe Biden's Social Security record. The second half is a discussion of the Warren saga, mostly led by Liz (as Matt discussed his take earlier).

The gang talks about the new star war movie. Matt has not seen it.

The gang is back to celebrate Liz's 30 For 30 success and discussion hot topics like emotional labor, the Democratic primary, and Finnish labor developments.

Matt Stoller, author of the book Goliath, hater of monopolies, sits in for the entire hour to talk about his new book with Matt Bruenig.

The first 20 minutes are so is a summary of the book provided by Stoller, the rest is a back and forth about whether this anti-monopoly stuff is really that important.

The gang discuss Glenn Kessler's recent M4A shenanigans, the American Affairs wacky family benefit scheme, and the WSJ alarmed about gender imbalance among college educated.

Tomi Lahren's audience doesn't like Chrisitan writers

The gang talks about 9/11 and whether they and everyone else has forgotten, Biden's continued sundowning at the recent Democratic debate, and give a long-awaited update on Undercover Billionaire.

The gang is back with an incredible amount of content.

The gang is back after a one-week parental leave (go with it). They talk about Liz's breakout piece In God's Country, which is about evangelical feelings on Trump after seeing him in office for a few years. They also talk about the new show Undercover Billionaire in which a billionaire proves that he can create a million-dollar business in the depressed town of Erie, PA, thereby owning the lazy locals.

They finish off the episode with 5 Myths About Christianity, 5 myths being their summer content series.

The gang is back, this time with a discussion of the birth of their second child, which thankfully coincided with copious amount of CNN viewing in the hospital, keeping the gang up to date on the latest and greatest in American politics, which is also discussed, including Bidencare and Symone Sanders's CNN meltdown.

The gang is back. They talk about:

1. The Last Czars on Netflix

2. The Democratic Establishment's new war against the AOC quartet and Saikat Chakrabarti in particular

3. The last half of the episode is an interview with Ryan Grim about his new book "We've Got People" available here:

Matt is here with a solo episode where he tackles a philosophical tension that runs through much socialist thinking and posting: how can socialism be both individually liberating while also relying on collective control and ownership?

This winding (don't call it rambling) episode covers many topics including Distributism, Jeffersonians, Rawls's property-owning democracy, and various socialist tendencies. And most importantly, it offers a real solution to the conundrum.

Does the Earned Income Tax Credit suck. Or is it actually good? And if it does suck, precisely why does it suck? These are the questions the expert panel get into.

Special Guest Donté Stallworth by Elizabeth and Matt Bruenig

The Bruenigs Interview the Gravel Teens by Elizabeth and Matt Bruenig

So many questions, including why Matt was kicked off his college debate team market socialism v. planning, dealing with isolation, relationship conflict, and so on and so on.

The gang talk about Lil Nas X's unjust ejection from the country charts, the hilarious Mueller report, and Pete's gayness.

Articles referenced

The wacky twosome answer your relationship-related questions in this valentine's special. They also talk hot topics, including Ilhan Omar, and close with a flourish about the late great Lyndon LaRouche (may he RIP).

Matt is here with a solo ep (dual ep releasing soon) about one of his great wonk irritations: policies that seem to have a big impact only because they take advantage of quirks in the way we measure certain things like poverty and wealth inequality. These policies achieve great "success" defined as getting a certain statistic to move a lot but actually do not meaningfully address the bigger evil -- the reduction of material deprivation in the case of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the wealth difference between the black and white community in the case of baby bonds.

The dynamic duo discuss the interesting philosophical and policy questions that flow from the fact that some people (disproportionately women) prefer to be stay-at-home parents. Is this a preference that should be respected and with benefit systems built around it or is it a preference that should be discarded as patriarchal? If you do build a benefit system around it, how should you do so?

These become important questions when talking about paid leave and child care policy and were both questions Matt had to confront when writing his Family Fun Pack paper.

The gang (mostly Matt, apologies in advance) talk about Elizabeth Warren's book The Two-Income Trap. As with most things, the book errs in not recognizing the superiority of the welfare state in solving the problems identified.

The crew commemorate the anniversary of Josh TPM's porn tweet, talk about liberal paranoia ramping up around the election, and Sawhill's modest proposal to reduce poverty by giving poor woman IUDs, which the NYT gave new life this month.

In this rare solo episode, Matt outlines his whole vision of what's the chief problem with capitalism and how best to tackle it. He starts with a discussion of capital's share and wealth ownership and then turns towards his neo-Hilferdingist vision of exploiting finance capital to socialize the means of production.

It's truly wonderful listening.

Liz and Matt are joined by Antti and Joona of Parecon Finland.

Liz and Matt have a wide-ranging discussion with citizen advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader. We ask him about his views on recent trends in the Democratic party and play a game: Nader 2000 Platform Item or Fresh New Democratic Idea.

Nader has a new humor book out called How The Rats Reformed Congress here:

The crew sits down with Tom Frank (Listen Liberal, What's the Matter with Kansas?) and have a sprawling conversation primarily about fascism, the subject of Frank's next book.

Apologies for the slight audio issues on this one. They are fixed going forward.


The gang discuss Matt's cancellation over his blog post about student debt forgiveness in the first half of the episode.

Will Butler of Arcade Fire comes on in the second half of the program to discuss the suburban gothic, Betomania including The Beto Tweet, and his experiences with Canada Medicare system and welfare state.

In their thanksgiving special, Liz and Matt eschew hot topics in favor of a full episode on the pitfalls of consumer markets. The jumping off point for the discussion is the recent writing about the Decline of Sex, but your wacky hosts think these articles miss the fact that the Decline of Sex is not a sui generis phenomenon, but is instead an outgrowth of consumer capitalist encroachment that we see in many areas of life.

Theme song was created by Tom Weyman (@tomweyman on Twitter).

The wacky crew is at it again. Come for the theme song. Stay for the top notch discussion of politics and culture.

Liz and Matt discuss hot topics, Lauren Greenfield's Generation Wealth, and the underrated policy instrument of self-regulation via nationalization threats.
Along with the bonus episode, The Bruenigs produced a record 1 hour and 20 min of content this week. This extra productivity does not get recorded in the national accounts however.

Generation Wealth Trailer:

Kids + Money on Vimeo:

Liz and Matt discuss Halloween happenings, the DC elections (poorly), the strange socialist posturing in climate policy, a philosophical tension in competition, among other things.

The gas company (aka the Russians) interrupt the podcast midway through by jackhammering the street outside our dwelling. But Matt powers through to finish the episode.

Liz and Matt discuss a recent poll showing Democrats have more confidence in Amazon than any major US institution, the opening shots in the pundit effort to distinguish Bernie from Warren, geoengineering, some the Catholic sex scandal, and the CEA's socialism report.

Bernie v. Warren pieces

1. Dayen:
2. Sunkara:
3. Pollitt:

We discuss the hot topic of the Warren DNA debacle, our 5 year old run in with Gavin McInnes, the Kamala Harris LIFT credit, the superiority of the child allowance over other welfare state programs, Matt's political platform he calls the Family Fun Pack, and then finally Christmas decorations and our struggling plants.

Liz and Matt go through the usual hot topics, discuss an inane survey about "political correctness," and talk about how Liz got in trouble with the internet for saying alcohol consumption contributes to a lot of social problems.

After joking about it for a dozen or more episodes, Liz and Matt now does have a Patreon for the podcast. Episodes will now release on Patreon first and then after a delay to the public. Please support us on Patreon to get the episodes when they are released, to get bonus tidbits, and to support our work.

Liz and Matt discuss the silly discourse around the Kavanaugh confirmation process (Liz wrote a WaPo piece on it), what Amazon's $15 min wage teaches us (Matt's wrote a WaPo piece on it), and some disappointments in a new paper on "accountable capitalism."

Liz discusses her blockbuster story about a rape at our high school:

We also talk about the high school generally, including some of the antics Matt got up to, including both times he was disqualified from running for student body president for "offensive campaigning materials" (really a pretense to keep him out of power).

Matt discusses his trip to Finland. Liz gives her hot sports opinions on Batman and his impending marriage. And both discuss Sportradio 1310 the Ticket, which has influenced them greatly.

Matt and Liz discuss the basics of market socialism and make the pitch that decommodifiers and dealienaters have a weak case. They discuss the Catholic Church's newest rape problems and end with a story about a time Matt almost got into a fight at a Taylor Swift concert.

Matt and Liz tell the story of the Mercatus M4A study and all of the ridiculous fact-checking that has followed it. And, after covering the mind of Liz last episode, they turn to the mind of Matt, which is to say autism.

We discuss hot topics, including the newest Jacobin socialism piece lighting up the internet. Then, upon listener request, we turn towards some of the key books we have read.

We discuss Russia exhaustion, the Job Guarantee, and just have freewheeling conversations.

Liz and Matt talk about the greatest show in 21st century television: Undercover Boss.

We discuss great tweets of the week, Nordic state ownership being a real thing despite what nearly everyone in media says, and amusing miscellany at the end.

Liz and Matt discuss Dr. Phil, daytime TV generally, The Last Kingdom, and, as our main topic, the pitfalls of so-called "social mobility."

Liz and Matt discuss how civility is bad again and the Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME, which threatens to kill public sector labor unions.

Sound issues fixed, zombies and property, and how does retirement really work?

Elizabeth and Matt discuss the way in which public reason forces everyone to make up fake procedural arguments about why people should be fired or not.

Incel by Elizabeth and Matt Bruenig

Slacker and the Job Guarantee by Elizabeth and Matt Bruenig

Matt discusses Batman en route to discussing monopoly, socialism, and 7-11.

Matt has never read or seen Harry Potter. Here, he tries to reconstruct what the story is about based on political journalism written using Harry Potter analogies.