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.

News Commentary
Social Sciences
Abbott and DeSantis: Stunt queens or policy mak...
Could relocating migrants in the US be a policy solution?
44 min
The fastest growing voting bloc in America
What do we know about how Latinos and Hispanics will vote in 2022 and beyond?
54 min
Who decides how we’ll save the future?
The case for – and against – longtermism
60 min
Vitamin X
The wild and unregulated west of dietary supplements.
32 min
It’s a policy team takeover!
Student loans, inflation, and back-to-school (oh my!)
38 min
The rebirth of industrial policy
And a new era of industrialism.
46 min
Could the war on terror be over?
What Zawahiri’s death means for US foreign policy.
59 min
The new politics of abortion
Let’s talk about Kansas.
41 min
Maybe we’re not doomed?
Maintaining climate optimism in a world on fire.
56 min
Weeds Time Machine: The ADA
The landmark civil rights policy, explained.
58 min
What the hell is up with SCOTUS?
The latest Supreme Court term, explained
58 min
The legal limbo of abortion rights
Roe v. Wade is gone, but its demise raises a whole host of new questions.
59 min
Pregnancy in a post-Roe America
Our maternal mortality rate was already bad. What happens now?
43 min
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
How the world became rich
A quick recap of thousands of years of economic history.
57 min
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
The gun control stalemate, explained
There is no panacea for mass shootings.
42 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.
63 min
Immigration, democracy, and the rise of the Wes...
The Weeds live at TruCon 2022
70 min
The scourge of the “time tax”
The miserable sludge of applying for government aid.
48 min
Ukraine and the global food supply crisis
What happens when the global breadbasket is empty?
41 min
What the Alito leak means for Roe — and everyth...
The draft opinion, explained.
54 min
The Most Dangerous Branch: Roe v. Wade
What does the future of abortion rights look like?
68 min
Why do we go to war?
An expert on why wars start and how to prevent them.
44 min
Weeds Time Machine: The Clean Air Act
How the landmark environmental policy changed America.
43 min
Tax time at the culture wars
Why Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan to save America scares Mitch McConnell.
50 min
Taxes! Let’s get right Intuit.
Why filing your taxes is so annoying.
46 min
The Great Expiration
Saying goodbye to the Covid-era social safety net
51 min
The art of the gerrymander
Why a fair electoral map is more complicated than it looks
49 min
The myth of US energy independence
How can America call itself energy independent when it still relies on foreign oil?
49 min
Why it’s so hard to move in America
The cultural cost of high housing prices
40 min
Russia's terrible invasion
And what the US can do about it
64 min
A quick update
A brief message from Dylan about our spring schedule
1 min
Why San Francisco’s school board got booted
What a local election can say about our national political climate.
48 min
Democracy in crisis: The two-party problem
Just how worried should we be about the future of American democracy?
54 min
The curse of the midterms
Yes, Democrats should be worried.
55 min
Beijing, boycotts, and the enduring politics of...
What does a diplomatic boycott actually do?
34 min
Affirmative action could be doomed (again). Wha...
A conservative-leaning Supreme Court could mean the end of affirmative action.
36 min
It’s not about Ukraine. It’s about Putin.
It’s not about Russia, either.
48 min
Think of the children
What two studies about early childhood poverty interventions can tell us about pediatric brain development
41 min
Why unions are stronger yet smaller than ever
52 min
What happens to voting rights now?
The plan to make it easier to vote has been fili-busted.
40 min
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