First video: Where Does Poverty Come From?

Here’s the first video in my summer project to experiment with this format. If it seems a little strange, check out the paper I wrote during my fellowship at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. Or check out this video by the influential right wing YouTuber I wrote about. (Please subscribe to our channel here.)

This format, which might be called “mansplaining with pictures” is powerful on YouTube. There are hundreds of right wing channels on YouTube with more than ten million views that use something like this format.

There are some mainstream educational channels with millions of views that deal with economic and political issues. But very few progressive ones. My hunch is that the progressive explanation of economic problems is not as coherent or comprehensive as the right wing and mainstream version. They both have a very clear core story about how the economy works at its foundation. Following on top of those, they each diverse into different explanations for the problems that we experience in the economy. But those are also clearer and sharper — and in the case of the right, more controversial — than their progressive counterparts.

So in these economics videos, I’m going to try to provide something different than the usual progressive fare on economic issues: A comprehensive and coherent explanation of where prosperity comes from, and an explanation that makes sense and is hopefully exciting about how the world economy is failing billions of people.

As the world economy stagnates and parties of hate continue to rise almost everywhere, suddenly it matters to have real answers to question around how economies can turn themselves around on purpose, and what it would take to make our economies fully sustainable while getting everyone out of poverty. This video is an initial installment. It attempts to introduce a couple concepts that are totally absent from the current discussion. 

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