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ourVoices is a new podcast from openDemocracy which explores the ongoing crisis of our economic system – and promotes intelligent debate about what should replace it. We bring together some of the most exciting thinkers from around the world, and give a voice to those who are putting new economic ideas into practice from the ground up.
 
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The violent scenes in Washington, DC this week risk overshadowing Georgia's historic election result. The Democrats' victory in this Deep South state holds vitally important lessons for the future of US democracy. Biden's party may now have a slim majority in the US Congress, but the country remains bitterly divided and – as this week demonstrated …
 
Andra Gillespie is a political science professor at Emory University in Atlanta. openDemocracy’s editor in chief Mary Fitzgerald spoke with Andra for the recent ourVoices documentary episode on the Georgia Senate runoff races. Their extended conversation dives into the political history of Georgia and why it is suddenly competitive after Biden beca…
 
On 5 January, a special Senate run-off election in the ‘Deep South’ state of Georgia will determine the future of Biden’s presidency. Will the new president be able to pass badly needed COVID relief; take action on climate change, racial justice and much more? The voters of Georgia will decide the crucial power balance in the US Senate – and right …
 
In this ourVoices special, openDemocracy’s Editor in Chief Mary Fitzgerald travels 1,400 miles across the midwestern United States with North America editor, Aaron White. Their journey starts on the eve of the US election in the city of Louisville, Kentucky – where Mary’s family has lived for generations – and ends on the east coast in Philadelphia…
 
Jecorey Arthur is the soon to be youngest member ever elected to the City Council of Louisville in the state of Kentucky. He’s also a professor and a musician. openDemocracy’s editor in chief Mary Fitzgerald spoke with Jecorey for the recent ourVoices documentary episode on the US election. Here is their extended conversation.…
 
From race to a broken political system, the story of Louisville is in many ways the story of America. In this ourVoices special, openDemocracy’s Editor in Chief Mary Fitzgerald travels back to Louisville, Kentucky: the city where her father’s family has lived for generations. For months, the city centre has been occupied by Black Lives Matter activ…
 
With over 8.5 million cases, and nearly 225,000 deaths, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the cruel dysfunctionality of the US healthcare system. Even before the coronavirus, 87 million US citizens were either underinsured, or had no health insurance whatsoever. 30,000 Americans lost their lives every year because they lacked access to a doctor.…
 
Aaron White and Freddie Stuart are joined by David Adler, the policy director of the Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25) and General Coordinator of the newly launched Progressive International – a global initiative with a mission to unite, organize and mobilize progressive forces around the world. The conversation dives into the current state of …
 
This week’s guest is the academic philosopher, and political theorist, Charles W. Mills. Mills is a professor at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and the author of multiple books – most famously The Racial Contract published in 1997. This conversation, between Charles Mills, and ourEconomy’s Europe Editor, Laura Basu, delves into t…
 
The United States is facing a severe housing crisis. As millions are laid off around the country, there is not a single US state where the number of affordable homes to let matches the number of low-income people looking to rent. Where people can find shelter, three quarters of all extremely low-income families pay more than half their income in re…
 
This episode is a conversation between ourEconomy’s Europe Editor, Laura Basu, and academic and author Gargi Bhattacharyya. Bhattacharyya is a professor of sociology at the University of East London, and author of the book Rethinking Racial Capitalism: Questions of Reproduction and Survival. She has written widely on racism, sexuality, global cultu…
 
Jen Perelman is challenging former head of the Democratic National Committee and current Florida 23rd congressional district representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz in a primary election on August 18th. Wasserman Shultz has held the Florida congressional seat since 2004 and infamously was the head of the Democratic National Committee, when she resig…
 
In the US today, the number of households who are renting is near postwar highs. Since the 2008 recession, home ownership has dropped by 6%. While 17% of households pay over half their income in rent, another fifth pay over a third. This housing crisis has been further exposed during the current coronavirus pandemic. With record rates of unemployme…
 
This week’s guest on ourVoices is the billionaire philanthropist, environmental activist, and former presidential candidate, Tom Steyer. Since leaving the corporate sector, Steyer has pursued an active political career. In 2013 he launched the nonprofit organization NextGen America, which mobilizes young people to vote for Democratic candidates who…
 
Michael Brooks was a renowned journalist, intellectual, and political satirist. Best known for his work with the Majority Report and for hosting The Michael Brooks Show, Brooks was an outspoken activist for social justice and human rights across the world. Back in February, Brooks welcomed us into his home in Brooklyn where we recorded this intervi…
 
Vijay Prashad is a journalist, commentator and executive-director of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research. He is also the Chief Editor at LeftWord Books. This conversation between Prashad and ourEconomy’s Europe editor, Laura Basu, centres around the fundamental question “is capitalism racist?”, the subject of an upcoming documentary po…
 
Kshama Sawant is a socialist member of the Seattle City Council. Elected in 2013, Sawant has championed increasing the minimum wage and higher taxes on multinational corporations. In 2018, Sawant was one of only two dissenting voices on the city council voting in favour of a Seattle head tax, which would have seen Amazon pay the city $11 million an…
 
We are connected on a planetary scale. The same process that has allowed the coronavirus pandemic to spread so far so quickly – globalisation – also means that all our resources, our infrastructure, our food, energy, clothing, our electronic devices, almost everything human-made that we see around us, contains some component that someone from somew…
 
Lawrence Hamm is the chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress – an independent, community based association of citizens working for racial, social and economic justice, which he founded in 1983. A graduate of Princeton University, Hamm has been a community activist in New Jersey for the last 35 years. He was the state co-chair of the Jess…
 
This interview with Bhaskar Sunkara is the latest in our series exploring the policies and trends influencing the US election. Bhaskar is the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin magazine. He is also the former vice-chair of Democratic Socialists of America and author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extrem…
 
Lauren Ashcraft is running for the US House to represent New York’s 12th congressional district. The district encompasses the wealthiest zip code in the United States – the Upper East Side – as well as parts of lower Manhattan and western Queens. She is primarying Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who is serving her 14th term in Congress and is the current cha…
 
Alex Morse is the current Mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, and a progressive candidate running to be the Democratic nominee in Massachusetts’ 1st congressional district. At the age of 22, Alex Morse was elected the youngest mayor of Holyoke and is currently serving his fourth term as mayor. Morse is seeking to oust long serving Democratic incumbent…
 
Samelys López is running to represent New York’s 15th congressional district. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the South Bronx, Lopez is looking to replace Congressman José Serrano who is retiring due to Parkinson's disease. Endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic Socialists of America, the Working Families Party, Sunrise and other progre…
 
Shahid Buttar is running to represent California's 12th congressional district. He is challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has not faced a Democratic opponent in 30 years. In March, Buttar came in second in California’s nonpartisan blanket primary, winning himself a place on the ballot in November. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Buttar b…
 
In the second part of our series on the US election, we had the pleasure of speaking with Raj Patel: the award winning author, film-maker and academic, who is currently a research professor at the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Austin, Texas. Raj Patel has written several books including The Value of Nothing which wa…
 
The US economy is currently facing its greatest crisis in a generation. Due to the coronavirus, the Federal Reserve has warned that unemployment could reach 30% and the economy could experience a downturn on a scale which has not been seen since the Great Depression. In Washington, a program of large scale public investment is being considered on b…
 
Aaron White and Freddie Stuart speak with Wilfred Chan, a writer and organizer living in New York. He previously worked as a journalist in Hong Kong. Chan has been featured in The Nation, Dissent Magazine, The Intercept and is a contributor at Lausan – a collective of writers, researchers, activists and artists sharing decolonial left perspectives …
 
The US government spends nearly $1 trillion on defense annually, more than the next eight countries combined. This spending fuels a military industrial complex with a network of nearly 800 bases around the globe, while employing millions of workers domestically. In this first episode of ourVoice’s special series on the US election, Aaron White and …
 
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