Glenn and Tim talk about the problem of increasing inequality in the US, which is the subject of Tim’s new book, The Great Divergence. Tim and Glenn debate international comparisons of inequality between the US and other countries. Tim explains why some common explanations of American inequality—race, gender, and immigration—don’t hold water. He argues that education, skill-based technological change, and globalization play a much stronger role. Glenn asks about the role of unions—good for equality but, perhaps, not so good for productivity. Tim recommends a less antagonistic culture of labor-management relations as a possible antidote to rising inequality.
On Washington Squares, Michael talks to Daniel about politics and baseball. They begin by analyzing Obama’s varieties of coolness, and discussing whether Romney is underrated by the media. Daniel reviews Marco Rubio’s recent foreign policy speech and what it means for the veepstakes. Will Rubio be the Sarah Palin of 2012? Michael and Daniel next turn to the political writers’ pastime, baseball. They conclude by examining whether sports can elevate culture.
On Foreign Entanglements, Rob speaks with Charli, who critiques Foreign Policy‘s recent “Sex” issue. Rob wonders why they decided to publish an issue just on sex. They then discuss how Game of Thrones subverts the foreign policy theory known as realism and offers a chilling portrayal of torture. Is Cersei Lannister the least likeable character in the series? And how are George R.R. Martin’s racial depictions better than Tolkien’s? Finally, Charli and Rob consider how pop culture can affect the study of foreign relations.