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, Dylan Matthews, 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.

Politics
News Commentary
Social Sciences
1
Pregnancy in a post-Roe America
Our maternal mortality rate was already bad. What happens now?
43 min
2
ConGRADulations, fellow kids
Ten months ago, the faculty of Cramer Hill Elementary set out to get their kids back on track after a year of mostly remote learning.
24 min
3
How the world became rich
A quick recap of thousands of years of economic history.
57 min
4
Does the US need a National Guard of nurses?
The country doesn’t have enough nurses. This could be one way to fix that.
40 min
5
The gun control stalemate, explained
There is no panacea for mass shootings.
42 min
6
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.
63 min
7
Immigration, democracy, and the rise of the Wes...
The Weeds live at TruCon 2022
70 min
8
The scourge of the “time tax”
The miserable sludge of applying for government aid.
48 min
9
Ukraine and the global food supply crisis
What happens when the global breadbasket is empty?
41 min
10
What the Alito leak means for Roe — and everyth...
The draft opinion, explained.
54 min
11
The Most Dangerous Branch: Roe v. Wade
What does the future of abortion rights look like?
68 min
12
Why do we go to war?
An expert on why wars start and how to prevent them.
44 min
13
Weeds Time Machine: The Clean Air Act
How the landmark environmental policy changed America.
43 min
14
Tax time at the culture wars
Why Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan to save America scares Mitch McConnell.
50 min
15
Taxes! Let’s get right Intuit.
Why filing your taxes is so annoying.
46 min
16
The Great Expiration
Saying goodbye to the Covid-era social safety net
51 min
17
The art of the gerrymander
Why a fair electoral map is more complicated than it looks
49 min
18
The myth of US energy independence
How can America call itself energy independent when it still relies on foreign oil?
49 min
19
Why it’s so hard to move in America
The cultural cost of high housing prices
40 min
20
Russia's terrible invasion
And what the US can do about it
64 min
21
A quick update
A brief message from Dylan about our spring schedule
1 min
22
Why San Francisco’s school board got booted
What a local election can say about our national political climate.
48 min
23
Democracy in crisis: The two-party problem
Just how worried should we be about the future of American democracy?
54 min
24
The curse of the midterms
Yes, Democrats should be worried.
55 min
25
Beijing, boycotts, and the enduring politics of...
What does a diplomatic boycott actually do?
34 min
26
Affirmative action could be doomed (again). Wha...
A conservative-leaning Supreme Court could mean the end of affirmative action.
36 min
27
It’s not about Ukraine. It’s about Putin.
It’s not about Russia, either.
48 min
28
Think of the children
What two studies about early childhood poverty interventions can tell us about pediatric brain development
41 min
29
Unions!
Why unions are stronger yet smaller than ever
52 min
30
What happens to voting rights now?
The plan to make it easier to vote has been fili-busted.
40 min
31
Are corporations winning at inflation?
If they are profiting from inflation, can we do anything about it?
40 min
32
What BBB means for climate policy
Can the White House and Congress see eye-to-eye on climate?
65 min
33
How the 1918 flu pandemic ended
What the deadliest pandemic in history can tell us about Covid-19
33 min
34
The case for more babies
We need to talk about the slowing population growth.
49 min
35
The building blocks of radicalization
What happens when political extremism goes mainstream
52 min
36
Why hasn’t student debt been canceled?
A look at the policy merits and political implications of canceling student loan debt.
50 min
37
Best Of: The coming climate exodus
A look back at The Weeds from earlier this year.
55 min
38
America’s Public Health Experiment: Federal fai...
Did the government fail in its public health response for the American people?
52 min
39
America's Public Health Experiment: More checks...
How automatic stabilizers could help prevent future economic disaster.
49 min
40
Can school be normal again?
55 min
41
America’s Public Health Experiment: The agencie...
When the government fails its customers.
64 min
42
Learning to love rent control
Does rent control actually control rent?
53 min
43
America’s Public Health Experiment: The testing...
How the US got it wrong from the very beginning.
39 min
44
Defund the police?
German, Jerusalem, and Dylan walk through the pros and cons of defunding the police as a policy proposal.
58 min
45
Biden’s $3.40 a gallon problem
How do you make gas cheaper while fighting global warming?
45 min
46
Taxing Back Better
The wonkiest Biden tax episode you can imagine.
43 min
47
How does the pandemic end?
Dylan, German and Jerusalem discuss possible exit strategies for the Covid-19 pandemic.
54 min
48
Reshaping America’s cities
Surprise! The future of work is actually about housing.
53 min
49
Pass the SALT?
Dylan, Jerusalem, and Dara discuss congressional Democrats’ efforts to uncap the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.
59 min
50
The Most Dangerous Branch: Covid-19 v. The Cons...
Do Covid-era public health policies stand up in court?
50 min
51
Is Facebook really that bad?
Are there any legitimate policy solutions that could fix Facebook?
47 min
52
Housing policy, but make it British
Don’t worry, we’re not the only ones to have screwed up our housing market
37 min
53
The case for and against open borders
Our open borders episode is here.
54 min
54
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
55
Is inflation out of control?
It's probably time to talk about inflation.
52 min
56
The home care fight in Congress
What elderly and disabled activists want from Biden.
40 min
57
The coming climate exodus
What happens when the climate forces you to move?
55 min
58
The Most Dangerous Branch: Roe v. Wade
What the new Supreme Court term means for the future of Roe v. Wade.
66 min
59
Yes, vaccine mandates work
Get the shot, whether you want it or not.
52 min
60
How genes impact your life
What role do genes play in social inequalities?
59 min
61
The debt ceiling’s threat to America
The current debt ceiling crisis, what the debt ceiling is, and how to address it.
51 min
62
AMA time with Dylan, German, and Jerusalem
Your Weedsy questions, answered.
67 min
63
Means testing our patience
Should work requirements still exist for federal tax credits and benefits?
52 min
64
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
65
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
66
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
67
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
68
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
69
Galaxy Brain Recession
Matt, Dara, and German use this week’s episode to explore the infrastructure bill before Congress
52 min
70
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
71
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
72
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
73
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
74
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
75
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
76
Dare to speak freely
Matt is joined by author and CEO Suzanne Nossel to explore her defense of free speech
52 min
77
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
78
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
79
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
80
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
81
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
82
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
83
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
84
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
85
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
86
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
87
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
88
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
89
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
90
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
91
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
92
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
93
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
94
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
95
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
96
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
97
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
98
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
99
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
100
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