Recorded on April 15, 2020
Douglas Irwin is the John French Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College. He is the author of a number of books, including the definitive history of American trade policy, Clashing over Commerce. In this sheltering at home edition of Uncommon Knowledge, we delve deep into the issues around the Trump administration’s imposition of huge tariffs on goods from China and elsewhere, and the impact of a health crisis that has businesses across the country re-examining their investments abroad. Also, what’s the right way to think about international trade? Is free trade still the best policy? We get deep into the weeds of the issues around imports and exports with Professor Irwin.
Recorded on April 17, 2020
A month ago, we interviewed Dr. Jay Bhattacharya just as the COVID-19 crisis was shuttering the economy and governments were ordering citizens to shelter at home. In that interview, Dr. Bhattacharya mentioned that he himself would soon be conducting tests for COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, California, one of the most active hotspots in the country. Today Dr. Bhattacharya returns to discuss the results of that study and one currently under way in partnership with Major League Baseball. We also discuss some signs of hope, and specifics about how the economy can be restarted safely and efficiently. Dr. Bhattacharya also gives some (unsolicited) advice to Dr. Anthony Fauci, California governor Gavin Newsom, and president Donald Trump.
Recorded on April 9, 2020
As a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a commentator for Fox News, Kim Strassel is a card-carrying member of the mainstream media. But Strassel is appalled by the media’s treatment of Donald Trump, and not just by journalists from the left. She describes the “resistance” in detail in her recent book, Resistance (at All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America. She and Peter Robinson discuss the Trump administration's handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the way the media has covered it and disseminated the information to the public. They also discuss the upcoming presidential election (yes, we are still having one) and the politics of the $2 trillion stimulus bill, with more spending on the way, and the realities of restarting the economy in a post- or partial-post-COVID-19 world. Finally, they discuss the pluses and minuses of Donald Trump’s temperament, and the possibility of something good coming from this current crisis.
Recorded on April 1, 2020
Stephen A. Kotkin is a professor of history at Princeton and a fellow at the Hoover Institution. Kotkin is one of the nation’s most compelling observers of foreign affairs, past and present, and is now working on the third and final volume of his definitive biography of Josef Stalin. From that perspective, Peter Robinson and Kotkin discuss Trump’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, Kotkin’s thoughts on the Chinese leadership class and the advantages they may seek to exploit, and which country—China or the United States—will come to represent the more successful or compelling model to other nations.