The Weeds

In politics, you’re often told not to get lost in the weeds. But we love the weeds! That’s where politics becomes policy – the stuff that shapes our lives. Every Tuesday and Friday, Dylan Matthews, Jerusalem Demsas, Dara Lind, and other voices dig into the weeds on important national issues, including healthcare immigration, and housing.

Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

News Commentary
Social Sciences
Are corporations winning at inflation?
If they are profiting from inflation, can we do anything about it?
40 min
What BBB means for climate policy
Can the White House and Congress see eye-to-eye on climate?
65 min
How the 1918 flu pandemic ended
What the deadliest pandemic in history can tell us about Covid-19
33 min
The case for more babies
We need to talk about the slowing population growth.
49 min
The building blocks of radicalization
What happens when political extremism goes mainstream
52 min
Why hasn’t student debt been canceled?
A look at the policy merits and political implications of canceling student loan debt.
50 min
Best Of: The coming climate exodus
A look back at The Weeds from earlier this year.
55 min
America’s Public Health Experiment: Federal fai...
Did the government fail in its public health response for the American people?
52 min
America's Public Health Experiment: More checks...
How automatic stabilizers could help prevent future economic disaster.
49 min
Can school be normal again?
55 min
America’s Public Health Experiment: The agencie...
When the government fails its customers.
64 min
Learning to love rent control
Does rent control actually control rent?
53 min
America’s Public Health Experiment: The testing...
How the US got it wrong from the very beginning.
39 min
Defund the police?
German, Jerusalem, and Dylan walk through the pros and cons of defunding the police as a policy proposal.
58 min
Biden’s $3.40 a gallon problem
How do you make gas cheaper while fighting global warming?
45 min
Taxing Back Better
The wonkiest Biden tax episode you can imagine.
43 min
How does the pandemic end?
Dylan, German and Jerusalem discuss possible exit strategies for the Covid-19 pandemic.
54 min
Reshaping America’s cities
Surprise! The future of work is actually about housing.
53 min
Pass the SALT?
Dylan, Jerusalem, and Dara discuss congressional Democrats’ efforts to uncap the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.
59 min
The Most Dangerous Branch: Covid-19 v. The Cons...
Do Covid-era public health policies stand up in court?
50 min
Is Facebook really that bad?
Are there any legitimate policy solutions that could fix Facebook?
47 min
Housing policy, but make it British
Don’t worry, we’re not the only ones to have screwed up our housing market
37 min
The case for and against open borders
Our open borders episode is here.
54 min
The Most Dangerous Branch: A well-regulated mil...
With six conservative judges on the bench this term, the Supreme Court could rule in favor of the most sweeping gun rights laws yet.
60 min
Is inflation out of control?
It's probably time to talk about inflation.
52 min
The home care fight in Congress
What elderly and disabled activists want from Biden.
40 min
The coming climate exodus
What happens when the climate forces you to move?
55 min
The Most Dangerous Branch: Roe v. Wade
What the new Supreme Court term means for the future of Roe v. Wade.
66 min
Yes, vaccine mandates work
Get the shot, whether you want it or not.
52 min
How genes impact your life
What role do genes play in social inequalities?
59 min
The debt ceiling’s threat to America
The current debt ceiling crisis, what the debt ceiling is, and how to address it.
51 min
AMA time with Dylan, German, and Jerusalem
Your Weedsy questions, answered.
67 min
Means testing our patience
Should work requirements still exist for federal tax credits and benefits?
52 min
Ezra, Matt, and Sarah Try (Again) to Podcast
For Matt’s last episode of The Weeds, Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff return for a discussion about how subsidies lead to rising health care costs
68 min
The Weeds Will Live Forever
Matt, Dara, Jerusalem, and German use Matt’s last Tuesday episode to discuss life expectancy in the US
59 min
The Federal Reserve's regulatory issues
​​Matt is joined by Mike Konczal to discuss Jerome Powell’s tenure as Fed Chair and the relationship between interest rates and unemployment numbers
58 min
The Federal Reserve: Climate Change edition
Vox's Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Jerusalem to talk about whether the Federal Reserve can use monetary policy to fight climate change
57 min
Who's afraid of a big bad poll?
​​Matt is joined by David Shor, Head of Data Science at OpenLabs R&D to discuss the causes and implications of polling errors in recent election cycles
65 min
Galaxy Brain Recession
Matt, Dara, and German use this week’s episode to explore the infrastructure bill before Congress
52 min
Afghan refugees face an uncertain future
Matt is joined by Vox’s Nicole Narea for a discussion on the complex situation facing Afghan refugees
44 min
Boosters: Worth it or not, here they come
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's German Lopez to discuss the scientific, political, and moral reasons behind the Biden administrations plan to offer third doses of the vaccine to Americans
58 min
Baby making vibes
Matt is joined by The Atlantic’s Elizabeth Bruenig for a conversation about the policies and political vibes that affect birth rates in America
48 min
Back to School: Masters mishaps
Matt is joined by Vox's Libby Nelson and Jerusalem Demsas for a conversation about the rising cost of master’s programs, their usefulness in today’s economy, and their role as federally subsidized job training
59 min
Reign of Terror
Spencer Ackerman joins Matt to discuss the War on Terror, tying its roots to the Oklahoma City bombing and its legacy to Trump’s presidency
57 min
Back to School: Learning loss
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's German Lopez for a conversation about student learning loss during the pandemic
64 min
Dare to speak freely
Matt is joined by author and CEO Suzanne Nossel to explore her defense of free speech
52 min
Back to School: All for pre-K, and pre-K for all
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to discuss how pre-K programs could lead to societal changes on a state and national level
48 min
Getting power to the people
Matt is joined by Liza Reed of the Niskanen Center to talk about energy policy, electricity transmission, and America's complex power delivery system
39 min
Time Machine: Buchanan v. Warley (1917)
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara on a time machine trip back to a WW1-era Supreme Court decision that shaped land use policy, zoning, and racial discrimination in housing
47 min
Prices on the rise
Matt is joined by economist Julia Coronado to talk about inflation, markets, and employment in the pandemic recovery economy
42 min
Time Machine: Immigration and Nationality Act o...
Vox's Li Zhou joins Dara and Matt for another spin in the time machine, to talk about the policy that shaped how immigration largely still works in America
50 min
The critical race theory debate
Matt is joined by education reporter Andrew Ujifusa to weigh in on what's really at stake in the debate over teaching critical race theory in schools
51 min
Time Machine: Volcker Shock
Matt, Dara, and Vox's Dylan Matthews step back in time to an era of gas rationing, inflation, and a lightning rod Federal Reserve chairman determined to stem the tide
64 min
Cruelty: the point
Adam Serwer joins Matt to talk about his new book, the racial politics of Trump and the GOP, and the Reconstruction-era problems we face anew today
56 min
Time Machine: No Child Left Behind
Libby Nelson joins Matt and Dara to step into the Weeds time machine, and revisit that controversial George W. Bush-era relic of bipartisan education reform.
58 min
Coming attractions
Film critic Alissa Wilkinson joins Matt and Dara to talk about Hollywood's post-pandemic present, studio-era past, and its up-in-the-air future
58 min
Who started Covid?
Matt is joined by David Wallace-Wells to discuss the Lab-Leak hypothesis, some missing Chinese data, and what we know and don't know about the origins of Covid
49 min
So, for the next pandemic....
Vox's German Lopez joins Matt and Dara to talk about the lessons we've yet to learn from Covid-19, and the pandemic playbook we'll be following next time
60 min
What's the deal with that new Alzheimer's drug?
Vox's Dylan Scott joins Matt and Dara to explain — as well as pronounce — the controversial and recently-FDA-approved drug for treating Alzheimer's disease
60 min
Zoning our way through it
Matt is joined by researcher Emily Hamilton to talk about the topic you can't get enough of: land use policy and local zoning ordinances
44 min
Hot jobs summer
Matt, Dara, and Emily Stewart talk about some of the idiosyncrasies of the late-pandemic/early-recovery economy, and look to what comes next
54 min
The pipeline to prison
Matt is joined by John Pfaff, author and criminal justice researcher, to talk about violent crime, sentencing, and mass incarceration in America
62 min
The lab-leak hypothesis
Vox's Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Dara to talk about possible origins of the novel coronavirus, and whether we should continue to support research on deadly viruses
60 min
Stephen Breyer should retire
Maya Sen joins Matt to talk about the problems facing the American judiciary, the hegemony of the "legal elite," and why we can't seem to learn from the past
62 min
Give more money to cranks!
Vox's Dylan Matthews joins Matt and Dara to discuss how the Covid vaccine development could change the way we fund scientific research in the future
53 min
Research the police
Matt is joined by economist and researcher Morgan Williams, Jr. to talk about the consequences of crime, firearm, and incarceration policy
54 min
Masks off! Party time?
The Atlantic's Derek Thompson joins Matt and Vox's Libby Nelson to talk about the confusing public health and policy messages of the pandemic
67 min
The plan for more free school
Matt is joined by New York Times education reporter Dana Goldstein to discuss Biden's plan to vastly expand public education in America
53 min
Homelessness and the rising tide
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to talk about why even progressives have failed to appropriately confront the problem of homelessness
60 min
The app store war
The Verge's Makena Kelly talks with Matt about Apple's legal battles, Facebook's oversight board, and the prospect of overhauling antitrust legislation
41 min
The "hundred days" myth
Vox's Andrew Prokop joins Matt and Dara to talk about whether or not we should care about a president's "first hundred days"
66 min
There's lead in your turmeric
Matt is joined by researcher Rachel Silverman, who tells how the world's lead contamination problem goes way beyond just pipes
46 min
A Manchin for all seasons
Vox's Andrew Prokop joins Matt and Dara to talk about the emerging politics of Manchinism, and what Joe from WV wants to do with his power in a 50-50 Senate
61 min
Why transit projects fail
Matt is joined by researcher Eric Goldwyn to talk about why transit projects in the U.S. fail — and how they might succeed in the future
58 min
The pandemic playbook
Vox's Dylan Scott joins Matt and Dara to talk about South Korea's response to Covid-19
62 min
Think like a scout
Matt is joined by Julia Galef, who wants us to stop acting — and thinking — like soldiers
62 min
White paper-palooza
Matt, Dara, and Vox's Umair Irfan take on a trio of white papers on the cutting edge of climate change research
53 min
It's time for class warfare
Matt is joined by Faiz Shakir, former campaign manager and current adviser to Bernie Sanders, to talk about how the movement continues
63 min
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Dylan Scott to examine the portion of Biden's infrastructure plan designated for the "caretaking economy"
62 min
The politics of cultural criticism
Matt is joined by cultural critic Alyssa Rosenberg to talk about the political dimensions of contemporary TV and film criticism
62 min
All circuits matter
Matt and Dara talk with Vox judicial reporter Ian Millhiser about Biden's court appointments, and look ahead to the future of the judiciary
57 min
The optimistic leftist
Matt is joined by political scientist and author Ruy Teixeira to talk about how Democratic messaging has gone wrong, and how to get it right
58 min
Is gun violence fixable?
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Jerusalem Demsas to talk about why we can't, won't, or don't fix gun violence with policy
77 min
All about inflation
Skanda Amarnath joins Matt to talk through what inflation is, how it's tracked, and why the conventional wisdom on it might just be wrong
55 min
Asylum policy for the here and now
Matt, Dara, and Vox's Ian Millhiser discuss the current situation at the southern border, and delve into what Biden has and hasn't done on immigration policy
67 min
Introducing Unexplainable
A new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know.
28 min
An A.I. wrote this title
Vox's Kelsey Piper joins Matt to discuss the future of artificial intelligence research
51 min
The right to vote, constrained
Matt and Dara are joined by Vox's Ian Millhiser to talk about the threats to voting rights in America, and the potential of H.R. 1
66 min
Facebook's shadow court
Kate Klonick joins Matt to talk about her investigation into Facebook's new content moderation board
45 min
How to destroy the suburbs
Vox's Jerusalem Demsas joins Matt and Dara to talk about the fight against exclusionary zoning
54 min
All organizing is local
Professor Lara Putnam talks about the local dynamics of grassroots progressive organizing
54 min
Vox's Emily Stewart sits down with Matt and Dara to unpack some of the lesser-analyzed aspects of the Covid relief bill
53 min
The problem of child care
Matt is joined by expert Melissa Boteach to break down the multi-dimensional economics of child care in America
43 min
The Antipope in Mar-a-Lago
Vox's Emily Stewart joins Matt and Dara to wonder about whether and how Trump will rear his head again
53 min
Rethinking immigration
Matt is joined by Ali Noorani, who says Americans need to change the way they think — and talk — about immigration
49 min
What's happening with the stimulus?
Vox's Ella Nilsen joins Matt and Dara to talk about the state of the Covid relief bill
54 min
The future of remote work
Economist Adam Ozimek joins Matt to discuss the post-pandemic future of remote work
53 min
Where are the vaccines?
Vox's German Lopez joins Matt and Dara to discuss what went — and is still going — wrong with vaccine distribution.
62 min
Matt is joined by Brookings' Molly Reynolds to get into the weeds on Senate filibuster and budget reconciliation procedure
64 min
Biden's immigration shuffle
Matt and Dara are joined by German Lopez to discuss the Biden administration's early immigration moves and policy signals
56 min