99 EpisodesProduced by Xander Snyder and Erik FoggWebsite

Politics without perspectives. We challenge you to reconsider your views by providing context. But we don't do the thinking for you.

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US-China Competition with Prof. Chris Balding

September 9th, 2019


Prof. Chris Balding, Professor at Fullbright University Vietnam, joins us to help us break into the factors driving US-China competition, and helps …

Why Do Nations Go to War? with Mike Mzzarr

August 26th, 2019


Repeat-guest Michael Mazarr of RAND, has recently published a bunch of very intriguing work that challenges how Xander and Erik think about foreign …

Finding BS and Other Semantics Analysis in the 2020 Election, with Danielle Deibler

August 12th, 2019


In Wedged, we talk about BS and bias in media coverage of elections. We've always wondered: Can we measure it?

Turns out, someone can. Danielle …

Race and Poverty and the House Ownership Gap: An Interview with Alanna McCargo

July 29th, 2019


We had the pleasure of hosting Alanna McCargo, VP of Housing and Finance Policy at the Urban Institute to help us answer a listener question about …

The Possible Meanings of Peace Talks in America's Longest War

July 19th, 2019


18 years have passed, and Kabul and its US allies have failed to destroy the Taliban. Finally, it seems like serious peace talks are beginning, but …

Is Trump Taking Orders From Moscow?

July 8th, 2019


It's often taken as given that Trump is acting on Moscow's behalf in his foreign policy. In this episode we ask: what foreign policy would be in …

Free Stuff!

June 20th, 2019


With the Democratic 2020 Primary heating up (already), serious proposals about more free stuff in America have come to the front of the national …

Announcements! Intelligent Speech Conference + Flick

June 9th, 2019


Come join us! Saturday June 29th, 11 am – 7 pm The Centre for Social Innovation, New York

Talk to us on Flick!

For information …

Why The Heck is the US Election Cycle So Long?

May 20th, 2019


There are, as usual, structural reasons why the election cycle is so long. This year's is bigger and earlier than ever. Has it always been this way? If not, what happened?

For information regarding your data privacy, …


May 8th, 2019


In which Erik gets sucked into Game of Thrones theory clickbait, and then realizes that this has an excellent analogy to political media.

For …

Long-Term Consequences of US Drug Wars

April 10th, 2019


What have been the long term consequences of US and allied drug policy? In this episode we look at both domestic demand and foreign supply efforts, …

Recent Revelation: Healthcare Monopsony Buying Power

March 25th, 2019


Many single-payer (nationally funded) healthcare systems pay a lot less for drugs, services, and equipment than US insurers do. They have a monopsony and therefore a lot of buying power--makes sense, right? Erik …

[Listener Question]: Long-Term Geopolitical Consequences of the Iraq War

March 17th, 2019


One of our beloved Patrons asked us: "what are the long-term consequences of the Iraq War?" Great question--we couldn't resist taking a crack at it.

How to Dismantle Entrenched Bias, with David Campt

March 3rd, 2019


David Campt, "The Dialogue Guy," founder of the Ally Conversation Toolkit, who you may know from The Daily Show, joins ReConsider to help us learn …

Flash Update: The Indian Airstrike in Pakistan

February 27th, 2019


India has just launched a military operation into Pakistan—an airstrike—for the first time in decades. And they’re both nuclear powers. We rarely get to stay on top of very current events, but this is such a significant …

It Pays to Polarize

February 9th, 2019


In response to a listener question about who is and isn’t part of the “tribes” in American politics, Erik does an episode himself on political …

Bias and Tribalism with Chris Martin of Heterodox Academy

January 22nd, 2019


Today we link up with the venerable Chris Martin of Heterodox Academy, and host of Half Hour of Heterodoxy. We spend 45 minutes discussing heterodoxy, because we are long-winded.

We ask tough questions such as:

-Is it …

Tribal Flippage on Trade and Immigration

January 11th, 2019


You might feel pretty strongly about trade and immigration policy--either very happy or very cranky with the way things are currently being done. But …

A Very Late Halloween Special: WE DO THE THINKING FOR YOU

December 28th, 2018


Xander and Erik are crazy-busy, and we're very sorry about that. In lieu of this fortnight's episode, here is our Halloween Special from Agoraphobia 2018: "WE DO THE THINKING FOR YOU." Yes it's silly, but it's of course …

Breaking Down Government Spending

December 9th, 2018


“Congressman Erik: just say no.”

Erik’s on the warpath over that darned image we got for the listener Q&A, so Xander and Erik are going to talk about how the US government actually spends its money. Prepare to be …

Emergency Thanksgiving Dinner Guide

November 22nd, 2018


So hey Thanksgiving is coming up; time for an emergency prep episode! If your Thanksgiving turns into fighting, and you don’t want it to, we can …

Listener Q&A!

November 9th, 2018


In this episode we do a big listener Q&A! We’ve gathered a few questions over the past few months and we decided to run with the juiciest ones. …

The 2018 Global Economic Outlook: Pt II

October 22nd, 2018


Post technical difficulties, we’re back! More Jake, more great questions about the global economic market.

For information regarding your data …

The 2018 Global Economic Look - Part 1

October 14th, 2018


So much has gone down over the last year that we needed some proper professional econ help to sort it out. So we called Jake Meyer to come back to join us--luckily for us, he did!

For information regarding your data …

Toolbox Talk: Midterms Mania

October 7th, 2018


Don’t wait until a week before midterms to start your research! Get a leg up on where to get accurate information on your (many) voting choices with ReConsider’s guide to the election this year.

For information …

ReConsidering China IV: The History of China

September 30th, 2018


China's history is long. Like, really long. Its memory is, too. Want to understand how China sees the world today? You need to understand how it sees its place over the last 3600 years.

We're lucky enough to welcome …

Introducing: American Scandal

September 27th, 2018


Since the founding of the United States, in every generation, in every field of business, politics, sports and society, we’ve watched in shock as …

ReConsidering China Part 3: THE TRADE WAR

September 17th, 2018


Trade war’s on, baby. Why is it happening? What’s at stake? How does free trade even work?

Are tariffs against China The Art of the Deal, or the tantrums of a madman? Is China a trade cheater or is Trump just pandering …

ReConsidering China Pt 2: The Chinese Economy

September 6th, 2018


Is the Chinese economy a powerhouse, or a house of cards ready to fall down? Is it going to overtake the US, or crash terribly and burn?

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Preview: American Innovations

September 2nd, 2018


Like geopolitics and economics, technology shapes our world and our choices--as individuals and as nations. American Innovations by Wondery dives …

The Iran Nuclear Deal is Done: Time for WWIII?

August 13th, 2018


Trump just reimposed the sanctions on Iran that had been previously lifted by the nuclear deal--the deal is dead. Trump wants a new deal. Rouhani is under pressure and claiming he wants a fight. Is scrapping the deal a …

ReConsidering China, Pt I

August 2nd, 2018


We're having a trade war! How exciting. So China is... our friend? Enemy? FRENEMY? They... want to take over Asia? Taiwan? The US? THE WORLD? Are they a fair trading partner or a cheater? A reasonable place or a …

The Balkans and the Duality of Nationalism

July 16th, 2018


Nationalism gets a pretty bad rap these days. And not for bad reason. But it’s a complicated topic and has a lot of history… some of it very good. ReConsidering how we understand nationalism will help us grapple with …

2018 World Tour (part 1)

July 2nd, 2018


Since we've been talking about economics for 6 months, a lot has happened throughout the world! And people have wanted to know about it. So today we're covering interesting events in South Africa, North Korea, Iran, and …

How Bad's the National Debt?

June 18th, 2018


In this episode we answer some listener questions about the national debt! Namely:

-How big is it?

-How much does China/etc own and what does that mean?

-But seriously guys are we in trouble here?

Learn all of this and more …

A Retort to the Austrians

June 4th, 2018


Last time we interviewed Carlos Lara and Prof. Robert Murphy to give us the Austrian perspective on the boom & bust cycle. Today we’re going to see the another side of the debate, with the help of Jake Meyer, a …

How Dead Philosophers Influence Us Today

May 21st, 2018


Today we're joined by Emmet and Karl of to discuss why a bunch of dead thinkers are still hyper-relevant today. We talk about …

The Austrian take on the Boom & Bust Cycle

May 8th, 2018


In the past few episodes we've talked about a number of different economic theories about the trade cycle and the Fed's role in it. Today the …

Breaking Down the GOP Tax Bill, with Jon Schwabish of the Urban Institute

April 23rd, 2018


The GOP Tax Bill was marketed to supercharge growth, help the middle class, and boost worker pay. It’s sold both as a “tax cut” and as “tax reform.” …

Is the US on the Same Path as Ancient Rome or Athens?

April 9th, 2018


In this episode we welcome Lantern Jack of Ancient Greece Declassified to help us with the burning question we keep getting: how much is the United States today like the ancient Roman Republic or, perhaps, like ancient …

Around the World in 80 Minutes (AKA Mercator Projections Suck)

March 23rd, 2018


Erik and Xander podcast together for the 3rd time ever in Boston! We grab a map and go: no agenda, no plan. It's a ton of fun. You'll find out all there is to know about the world as of precisely March 22nd, 2018.

For …

Fundamentals of Monetary Policy with Dr. Marron

March 14th, 2018


In this episode, Dr. Donald Marron of the Urban Institute joins us to help bring a big chunk of economic expertise to the discussion we've been …

Introducing: This Is War

March 14th, 2018


A raw look at the combat and homecoming experience from American veterans who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This Is War” chronicles the trials of combat vets both abroad and at home.

Listen today on 

The End of the Gold Standard (AKA, Dude, Where's My Bullion?)

February 19th, 2018


Last episode we heard a lot of arguments in the favor of the gold standard as opposed to having a fiat currency. In this episode we'll understand the …

Ethics, Humanity, and Meaning--Exploring Themes of Bladerunner

January 31st, 2018


Go check out Beyond the Big Screen and hear Xander and Erik uncover how Blade Runner discusses these questions, and gets viewers to ReConsider what it means to be human.

For …

Money From Nothing (And Your Chits for Free)

January 29th, 2018


Now that ain't workin'--that's the way you do it!

What the heck is fiat currency? Why are we on it? Can the US print money to pay its debts? Why do …

Rising Separatism in Europe Pt II: The Threat to the Nation-State

January 9th, 2018


Do separatist movements in Catalonia, Basque, Lombardy & Venecia, and other places, constitute a larger threat to the nation-state? What drives people to move towards fixing a nation versus leaving it when they're …

Christmas Special: What Happens When the Arctic Melts?

December 25th, 2017


Santa's workshop is underwater, and new shipping lanes emerge in an area once thought of as an insignificant edge on the global map. What happens when the Arctic starts getting wet in the summer? How does climate change …

Rising Separatism in Europe, Pt 1: Catalonia Kickoff

December 11th, 2017


Catalonia declared independence. It didn't go well. But why did they? Why now? And what are the implications for the rest of Europe?

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Why Does the US Have a Two-Party System?

November 25th, 2017


Ever wonder why the United States has a system with two parties and not more? Find out why the US system is the way it is, and why other countries are different.

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Refugees and Rise of Anti-Immigrantism in Europe

November 14th, 2017


"Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies and therefore remains a ‘life lie,’ [or ‘sham’]... “ -- Angela Merkel, 2015

Just after enacting the …

After Vegas: Solving Gun Violence in America

October 21st, 2017


After the largest mass civilian shooting in history, can we come together as a nation to reduce violence? Yes, but it requires good problem solving …

Why Fracking is Changing Everything About Geopolitics

October 6th, 2017


You've heard of the Fracking Revolution. You may also know that your fuel bill is a little lower than it was in the 2000s.

But man oh man, the picture …

Realism in History: Case Studies

September 12th, 2017


Zack Twamley of "When Diplomacy Fails" joins us to put realism to the test throughout history. The exciting thing for you? He's not a realist.

Join us as we pick a war out of a hat and chat about how--and …

Toolbox Talk: Understanding International Affairs with Realism

August 31st, 2017


Why do certain countries go to war, where others don't? How do the domestic policies and the personalities of leaders get involved?

In this episode …

Crises in Venezuela and North Korea

August 11th, 2017


Is Venezuela's government going to fall? Is North Korea going to fire nukes? Is the US going to fire nukes? Are Maduro and Kim just madmen? Is Trump?

Two dictatorial regimes, both of which hate the US, both entering …

Trump's Domestic Policy vs. Checks and Balances

July 28th, 2017


President Trump has had a lot of trouble getting a legislative win, and he's pressing Congress harder than ever to deliver one. The GOP has both the House and the Senate--what are the forces keeping them from getting …

Toolbox Talk: The Modern Stoic

July 14th, 2017


Politics gets emotional. However the emotional part of our brain was designed not for rational thought, but for knee-jerk survival mechanisms. How …

A Little Historical Perspective - Trump, the US, Europe, NATO in the Big Picture

July 1st, 2017


HEY! The sound quality on this is junk. Really sorry. Technical issue that we didn't realize was there until we were done. We've figured out how to keep it from happening again.

The US and the world seem like they're in …

ReConsidering Russia Pt 4: The Putin Trump Relationship

June 7th, 2017


AKA, "The Bromance of the Bad Hombres"

In this episode we interview Prof. Stephen Sestanovich, a Colombia professor, think tank big wig, and prolific …

Comey, and Speculating on Trump

May 18th, 2017


AKA: My Homie, Comey

Welp. Trump fired Comey. If things weren't crazy enough in the White House right now.

There's a pretty incredible amount of …

ReConsidering Russia Pt III: Russia's Interest & What to Expect Going Forward

May 8th, 2017


What is Russia's current interest on its borders, and what considerations will shape its behavior over the next 20 years?

Prof. Mitchell Orenstein is …

The Airstrike on Syria in Context

April 12th, 2017


Much hubbub over the Syrian airstrike--everything from patriotic fervor to seemingly-genuine terror about World War 3. What happens when we take a …

ReConsidering Russia Pt II: Russia's Complex History

March 27th, 2017


We're joined by Mark Schauss to give us a whirlwind tour of Russian history. Mark is the host of the Russian Rulers History Podcast:

ReConsidering Russia Part 1: Russia Today

March 8th, 2017


(Not the news source.)

Joining us is Sean Guillory of Sean's Russia Blog and Podcast, at He has a PhD in Russian History from UCLA.

Sean helps us dive into the nitty gritty about what's actually going …

ReConsidering Russia Part 0: Intro

March 1st, 2017


Russia is a scary place--and very misunderstood. We decided it deserves 4 whole episodes unto itself. We'll be teaming up with 4 big-wigs that know …

The Effectiveness of Political Violence in History

February 10th, 2017


Or, "How'd punching Nazis work out last time?"

People in the United States are starting to talk about using political violence in response to …

Podemos, Trump, and the Populist's Path to Power

January 23rd, 2017


If we want to learn a little bit more about Trump's path to the Presidency, we can look to recent history. It's not actually totally unprecedented.

Immigration & Xenophobia in History II: Shakespeare's Sir Thomas More

January 13th, 2017


There's a play called Sir Thomas More that is _not_ Shakespeare... but scholars have agreed that its most awe-inspiring monologue was indeed written …

Immigration and Xenophobia in History

January 5th, 2017


People of another religion are showing up, and not all of them are friendly--some are even kinda terrorists. The economic situation is pretty tough For information regarding your data privacy, visit

The Electoral College: WHY!?

December 15th, 2016


But seriously, why on earth do we have the Electoral College? Something about having to travel in carriages?

It's a question a lot of people are …

The Trump-olution

December 2nd, 2016


"I'm gonna drain the swamp."

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump's rise and agenda are a political revolution.

But revolutions are hard, even after you …

Shakespeare's Propaganda

November 21st, 2016


English King Richard III was a bad bad dude, right? If you're a fan of Shakespeare, you know this is true.

But what if there's more to the story? We subbed in for the English Renaissance History podcast a ways back and …

President Donald J Trump

November 9th, 2016


It happened. It's a shocker, but it happened.

There's a lot of pain and frustration across the country--and no matter what, half of it was going to …

One Minute to Armageddon (Halloween Special!)

October 28th, 2016


Originally broadcast on the Agora Podcast Network's "Agoraphobia" series, Erik and Xander recount the true story from 1983 of how the world was a single crazy decision away from nuclear annihilation. For information …

Toolbox Talk: Electing Judges

October 24th, 2016


If you're in the US, odds are good you'll be voting for a judge or six this November. It's hard, and _really_ different from electing a representative or executive.

So how the heck do you do it? How do you judge your …

Polling and Direct Democracy, WTF

October 19th, 2016


Why are referendums ending up so different from how polls suggest?

From Brexit to the FARC peace deal, there have been some shockers in referendums: …

The Very Big Deal FARC Peace Deal

September 28th, 2016


A 55-year-old civil war may be about to come to an end. The government of Colombia and FARC have hammered out a big, complicated, icky peace deal, …

The Stephanie Experiment

September 19th, 2016


What if you decided to immerse yourself in the opposite political narrative to what you know?

That's just what Stephanie did. She lives surrounded by …

Go Home 2016, You're Drunk!

September 6th, 2016


Everything's falling apart! The breakdown of multilateral institutions! Anti-establishment candidates are popping up everywhere! Russia is …

After the Conventions: Do The Parties Know How to Party?

August 22nd, 2016


The Party Conventions have come and gone. Each of the two major parties has made their case to America that their candidate is fit to lead. What's the takeaway for the country? What are the underlying strategies of each …

The Big South China Sea Ruling

August 8th, 2016


UNCLOS has ruled on China's claim to the South China Sea and China is totally on board with it. Just kidding! Now the fun begins.

The Philippines …

Some Good News on the ISIS Front

July 25th, 2016


Anti-ISIS forces have scored a string of victories recently, and lots of people haven't heard about them. Why do we hear about the defeats, but not …

Education in America, Pt II

July 18th, 2016


After busting some myths about US education performance and its causes, we interview renowned SF Teacher of the Year Lana Corda to understand some of …

Education in America, Pt I

July 12th, 2016

How's the US education system performing relative to other countries? How can we improve our own performance?

There are many opinions and narratives about what to do, and in this episode, Xander and Erik dive into the …

Brexit II: Judgment Day

June 25th, 2016


Welp: it happened! Britain had its referendum, and they're leaving the European Union. What the heck happens next? What are the short- and long-term consequences, and what is the UK going to do?

For information …

Free Speech in America

June 6th, 2016


Free speech protests have popped up in campuses across the United States over the past few years, and everyone is getting their word about it in, even President Obama. You may or may not yet feel strongly about this. No …

Toolbox Talk: Power!

May 22nd, 2016


"Speak softly and carry a big stick." Or, "speak loudly and carry an even bigger stick!" There are different kinds of power and different ways to wield them... and it's not always clear what's our best kind of power to …


May 6th, 2016


David Cameron doesn't want the UK to leave the EU, but he set up the referendum for Brits to vote on it. Why the heck would he do that? How likely is …

Tiny Little Rocks, Big Deal Pt II

April 11th, 2016


Now that we have a decent idea of the history of Chinese, East Asian, and US diplomacy and foreign policy, it's time to throw all of this into the …

Tiny Rocks, Big Deal Pt I

March 30th, 2016


There are tiny little rocks in the South China sea that have become a pretty big deal. China has claimed them as its own, putting air bases, missile batteries, and harbors on the islands to stake its claim. It's become …

Delegate Math in the 2016 US Primary

March 13th, 2016


Hoo boy, we've got an exciting presidential nomination this year. More and more we're hearing rumblings that the GOP might go to a brokered convention. But... how the heck does that work? What'll happen if it gets …

Apple vs. FBI

March 10th, 2016


The FBI wants Apple to write some code to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino shooter, and Apple has filed an appeal to make sure they're not compelled to do so. Is it a ravenous attack on privacy? Is it not a big …

Oil Prices

February 23rd, 2016


It's hard to get a good sense of why the price of oil can vary between $150 and $30 per barrel. There are a lot of factors behind the price, but in the end it all comes down to supply and demand. In this episode we …

Iran, Nukes, and Middle East Policy

February 9th, 2016


We've made a nuclear deal with Iran, and everyone that hasn't read the darn thing has a very strong opinion on it. In addition to understanding the deal in detail, we need to understand the history of Iran and the …

Demagogues in History... and Today

January 20th, 2016


You might be worried that in the US and Western Europe, there are some pretty scary folks that are getting pretty popular. Those folks--who appeal to …

Western ISIS Policy

January 6th, 2016


In our first "meaty" episode, Xander and Erik tackle ISIS, with such awesome questions as:

1. What considerations should govern how we try to take …

Introduction and Background

January 6th, 2016


ReConsider will help you become a better democratic citizen in 10 minutes a day or less, (or your money back!) which is probably more than you spend on your abs, but not by much. 

We help provide new context and insight …

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