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Checks and Balance

The Economist

The global view on democracy in America from The Economist. Every Friday Economist correspondents John Prideaux, Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman explore one theme shaping American politics in a momentous election year. Joined by colleagues reporting from across the US and the rest of the world, they dig deep into history, culture, and, of course, economics. Together they provide a unique perspective on the 2020 elections and the road to power in America. And answer questions you didn’t know you had, like: What connects an Oval Office portrait to the assassination of Iran’s top general? How did the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan shape Iowa’s rural/urban divide? Who was the last Socialist to run for president?

The global view on democracy in America from The Economist. Every Friday Economist correspondents John Prideaux, Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman explore one theme shaping American politics in a momentous election year. Joined by colleagues reporting from across the US and the rest of the world, they dig deep into history, culture, and, of course, economics. Together they provide a unique perspective on the 2020 elections and the road to power in America. And answer questions you didn’t know you had, like: What connects an Oval Office portrait to the assassination of Iran’s top general? How did the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan shape Iowa’s rural/urban divide? Who was the last Socialist to run for president?

Location:

United States

Networks:

The Economist

Description:

The global view on democracy in America from The Economist. Every Friday Economist correspondents John Prideaux, Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman explore one theme shaping American politics in a momentous election year. Joined by colleagues reporting from across the US and the rest of the world, they dig deep into history, culture, and, of course, economics. Together they provide a unique perspective on the 2020 elections and the road to power in America. And answer questions you didn’t know you had, like: What connects an Oval Office portrait to the assassination of Iran’s top general? How did the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan shape Iowa’s rural/urban divide? Who was the last Socialist to run for president?

Language:

English


Episodes

Checks and balance: Fair cops

6/5/2020
America is engulfed in its most widespread, sustained unrest since the late 1960s. It was sparked by an act of police brutality caught on camera. In the days since, Americans have seen police forces look more like an invading army than public servants sworn to protect their fellow citizens. Who will the politics of police versus protestors favour in 2020? We speak to Janeé Harteau, a former Minneapolis police chief, historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad, and Mitch Colvin, Mayor of Fayetteville,...

Duration:00:42:02

Checks and Balance: The American way

5/29/2020
America has passed a grim milestone: 100,000 deaths from covid-19. Many Americans think the country has been hit uniquely hard and that the president’s bungled response is to blame. That view is not borne out by international comparisons. But, as all 50 states reopen with the virus still prevalent, Americans are right to be nervous. How will America’s efforts to recover impact the presidential race? John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau...

Duration:00:36:23

Checks and Balance: Fab phwoar

5/22/2020
Taiwanese firm TSMC plans to build a new fab, or computer chip factory, in Arizona. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the $12bn investment a boost for American “economic independence” amid China’s creeping dominance in tech. A geopolitical tug-of-war is being fought over nanoscopic wafers of silicon. What do microchips tell us about what’s happening to globalisation? And, as the coronavirus stokes anti-China sentiment, will trade barriers remain no matter who wins November’s...

Duration:00:37:55

Checks and Balance: Law law land

5/15/2020
A row over the president’s tax returns has arrived in the Supreme Court. Donald Trump is challenging subpoenas that seek to disclose his finances. The court’s power over the presidency is being tested while the justices face the frustrations of remote working. How might the Supreme Court affect the election? John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, hosts with Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman. Steven Mazie, the Economist’s Supreme Court...

Duration:00:38:49

Checks and Balance: University challenge

5/8/2020
Amid the lockdown some American students have filed lawsuits to get refunds on their tuition fees. Shifting classes online has rekindled concerns about the high cost of college education. Last year an FBI investigation exposed wealthy parents paying to cheat elite university admissions. The perception that university is no longer a driver of social mobility - but the opposite - fuels the political divide. How true is that? In this episode US policy correspondent Idrees Kahloon reports on a...

Duration:00:37:49

Checks and Balance: Apocalypse Now

5/1/2020
The pandemic has been grim for admirers of America's preeminence. The country that rallied allies to defend democracy and lead the world in scientific endeavour has been hit hardest by the coronavirus. China has sent medical supplies to American states, while the president brainstorms unlikely cures on live TV. Is America ceding global leadership? Maybe. One certainty is that fretting over the demise of the Republic is a longstanding American tradition. In this episode we trace the origins...

Duration:00:36:35

Checks and Balance: Corona corralled?

4/24/2020
"We can corral the coronavirus," Gov. Greg Abbott said, announcing his plan to reopen the Texas economy. Floridians have returned to the beaches and other Southern states are starting to relax restrictions on restaurants, gyms and hair salons. But public support for maintaining the lockdown remains strong. Can America reopen while keeping covid-19 at bay? In this episode we hear how Wisconsinites view the lockdown and a Bronx medic tells us what it’s like on the frontline. We also find out...

Duration:00:35:38

Checks and Balance: Oil be back

4/17/2020
President Trump scored a big diplomatic win by pushing the main oil producing countries to agree to cut output. A price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, combined with the slump in demand caused by the coronavirus, had halved oil prices. Trump said the deal would save thousands of American energy jobs. But pushing for higher oil prices in an election year is a ploy more common in Caracas or Moscow than Washington DC. Has Donald Trump made America an energy superpower? How reliable is his...

Duration:00:32:55

Checks and Balance: The covid campaign

4/10/2020
How do you hold a vote in the middle of a pandemic? Statewide elections in Wisconsin this week showed how hard it is to manage the logistics of democracy during a lockdown. A partisan fight over changes to the way votes are cast went all the way to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile the most expensive campaigns in history have had to rip up their plans and start again online. In this episode we talk to election officials in Wisconsin, hear how electoral campaigns unfolded during the 1918 flu, and...

Duration:00:36:39

Checks and Balance: How long?

4/3/2020
President Trump changed tone and course this week, extending federal guidelines on social distancing to the end of April. New York is now the epicentre of the global pandemic. Yet large parts of the US remain relatively unaffected by covid-19. Public opinion supports tough measures to contain the virus for now. But how sustainable are strict curbs on personal freedom in a country founded on individual liberty? The Economist’s healthcare correspondent Slavea Chankova explains the...

Duration:00:33:13

Checks and Balance: Counting the cost

3/27/2020
President Trump worries a sustained lockdown may do more damage than the covid-19 pandemic itself. More Americans have been laid off in the past week than ever before. He wants the country back open for business by Easter. Meanwhile Congress has approved nearly two trillion dollars to avert a prolonged slump. But is it enough? Chicago restaurant workers tell us what happens when an entire sector shuts down. Idrees Kahloon, US policy correspondent, assesses the rescue package. Economics...

Duration:00:37:50

Checks and Balance: The invisible enemy

3/20/2020
Californians have been ordered to stay home. The border with Canada is closed to non-essential traffic. Donald Trump says he now considers himself a “wartime president”. But, for now, the enemy remains invisible. Only 4% of Americans report knowing someone who has tested positive for covid-19. Is the US healthcare system prepared for the coming offensive? John Prideaux, our US editor, talks to Alok Jha, The Economist’s science correspondent, former CDC head Dr Tom Frieden, and Charlotte...

Duration:00:37:17

Checks and Balance: Getting a grip

3/13/2020
The United States is bracing itself for the spread of covid-19. Sports leagues, universities, and, in some states, schools have shut down. Donald Trump announced a ban on flights from Europe, but investors remain unconvinced he has a grip on the situation. China meanwhile appears to have got over the worst of the outbreak after imposing strict quarantine measures. Will America manage to limit the spread of the coronavirus? How much will the delayed response damage Donald Trump? Charlotte...

Duration:00:36:50

Checks and Balance: Joementum

3/6/2020
"They don't call it Super Tuesday for nothing." Those were Joe Biden’s words after his astonishing comeback this week. Votes in 14 states catapulted him into the lead in the delegate count that decides the Democratic Party nomination. The former Vice President’s resurrection poses new questions about a campaign that had been all but written off. Does he have the character and organisation to beat Bernie Sanders, then President Trump? The Economist’s US editor John Prideaux looks into Joe...

Duration:00:39:32

Checks and Balance: Crashing the party

2/28/2020
The centrists of the Democratic Party establishment have only a few days to figure out how to stop Bernie Sanders running away with the nomination. Something similar happened to the Republicans in 2016 when Donald Trump memed his way to the presidency to the horror of party grandees. Mainstream parties in European democracies have also faced challenges from the fringes. Is the era of the party machine over? Or are moderates simply losing the battle of ideas? Subscribe to The Economist for...

Duration:00:36:26

Checks and Balance: Mike drop

2/21/2020
Michael Bloomberg is trying to transform the Democrat presidential field through the sheer weight of his cash. But does politics in America really work that way? John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, Jon Fasman, and Charlotte Howard assess whether Bloomberg’s advertising campaign matches his mayoral record, why a legal case from the Watergate era has been crucial to the billionaire’s campaign, and how South Carolina’s minority voters are reassessing the moderate field. Listen to The...

Duration:00:34:46

Checks and Balance: The Trump pay bump

2/14/2020
Amid the drama of impeachment and the Democrats' first primaries, President Trump expanded the list of mostly Muslim nationalities restricted from travel to the US. A hard line on immigration will be a big part of his reelection pitch. He’ll make the link between stronger borders and a booming economy. It turns orthodox economics on its head, but recent data on rising wages will help the president make his case. Might the wall be good economics after all? Callum Williams, senior economics...

Duration:00:32:47

Checks and Balance: Left Bern

2/7/2020
Might America choose a socialist president? Ahead in the polls for the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders’ grip on the left of the Democratic Party is strengthening. The Senator from Vermont is the American left’s best chance in decades to defy political gravity. John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, looks at the history of socialism in America and James Astill, Lexington columnist, assesses Senator Sanders’ chances. Checks and Balance regulars Charlotte Howard and Jon Fasman also...

Duration:00:35:27

Checks and Balance: Des Moines craft

1/31/2020
It’s 1,000 miles from the White House. But for decades, Iowa has played an outsized role in America’s presidential race. Voters give their verdict on the 2020 candidates for the first time in the Iowa caucuses next week — an important test for the Democrats hoping to be elected President in November. How much does Iowa really matter? The Economist’s US editor, John Prideaux, heads to the Midwest to find out. Correspondents Adam Roberts and Jon Fasman have also been in Iowa this week....

Duration:00:34:26

Checks and Balance: Disruptor-in-chief

1/24/2020
How far has President Donald Trump delivered on his promise to remake American power in the world? With so much attention focused on the impeachment drama originating in Ukraine, John Prideaux, The Economist’s US editor, identifies the places more likely to determine the fate of Trump’s presidency. And has America’s global standing been damaged as Trump’s critics allege? Co-hosts Charlotte Howard, New York bureau chief, and Washington correspondent Jon Fasman debate President Trump’s foreign...

Duration:00:39:31