Berkeley Talks: Ezra Klein on building the things we need for the future we want
The New York Times columnist and host of the podcast The Ezra Klein Show discusses the difficulties Democratic governments encounter when working to build real things in the real world.
In Berkeley Talks episode 182, Ezra Klein, a New York Times columnist and host of the podcast The Ezra Klein Show, discusses the difficulties Democratic governments encounter when working to build real things in the real world.
Klein, who wrote the 2020 book Why We're Polarized, joined in conversation with Amy Lerman, a UC Berkeley political scientist and director of the Possibility Lab, on Oct. 5 in UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall.
"To have the future we want, we need to build and invent more of the things that we need," began Klein. "It's so stupidly simple, so obvious, that it seems weird there could be any need to write articles or podcasts or truly, God forbid, a book about it.
"And yet, the story of America in the 21st century, more than that, the story of liberalism, and particularly California liberalism, is a story of chosen scarcity. Why did we choose to build so few homes in the places people most need to live, including here? Why do we choose to build so little clean energy, and make it so hard to build clean energy, that red states are getting far more of the money in the Inflation Reduction Act than blue states?"
"There is this fight within liberalism," he continued, "and actually also within the right, but I'm going to focus here on liberalism. There's this division, this troubling of the liberal soul, about what kind of power government should have, how much it should be checked by courts, by regulation, above all, by process. That's become the liberal way of restraining government. Give it the money to act, give it big ambitions, but make it possible for anybody to sue. And if anybody sues for any reason, then a long process of analysis and negotiation and hearings commence."
Listen to the full conversation in Berkeley Talks episode 182, "Ezra Klein on building the things we need for the future we want."