An EconTalk Podcast Listening Guide

Jeffrey Sachs on the Crisis, the Recovery, and the Future

Listen to the EconTalk podcast Jeffrey Sachs on the Crisis, the Recovery, and the Future and consider these questions.

1. The interview begins with Sachs’ assertion that there have been significant structural changes in the U.S. economy since the 1980s. What are some of these changes he is referring to, and which ones, as Roberts asks, does Sachs believe would be responsive to policy interventions?

2. Roberts points to a particular intervention of which he disapproves- corn subsidies. Sachs replies that there are two sides to the issue of this commodity issue. What are they, and how pressing do you believe them to be?

3. Sachs suggests there has been a sea change in the American work force which affects the entire middle class. What is the nature of this sea change, and how does Sachs suggest it is affecting middle America? Why does Roberts disagree regarding the scope of the effect? By whom are you more persuaded, and why?

4. What challenges does Sachs suggest have emerged as a result of globalization? Which do you believe to be the most serious, and why?

5. What policy changes does Sachs recommend to deal with changes in the labor market wrought by technology? How effective do you think such changes might be?

6. How has the Federal Reserve been short-sighted in response to the most recent financial crisis, according to Sachs?

7. What does Sachs suggest as means to provide greater educational access to all? Again, how successful do you believe such measures can be?

8. Describe the “crude Keynesianism” Sachs criticizes. What should, and shouldn’t, the government do, in Sachs’ opinion?

9. What characterizes the “voodoo left” and the “voodoo right,” and why does Sachs feel neither are correct?

10. Why does Sachs argue that the CBO’s reports of job creation are so badly misunderstood?