How Do We Avoid the Next Great Depression?
Derek Thompson in Conversation with Andrew Keen on
the Keen On Podcast
The coronavirus pandemic is dramatically disrupting not only our daily lives but society itself. This show features conversations with some of the world’s leading thinkers and writers about the deeper economic, political, and technological consequences of the pandemic. It’s our new daily podcast trying to make longterm sense out of the chaos of today’s global crisis.
On today’s episode, Derek Thompson, Atlantic staff writer and author of Hit Makers: How to Succeed in an Age of Distraction, discusses how ten trillion dollars can save our economy.
From the episode:
Andrew Keen: Is ten trillion dollars all we need to spend to avoid the Great Depression? It seems a relatively small bill to avoid this massive catastrophe.
Derek Thompson: I think that’s the right way to think about it. You know, not to begin with existentialism, but there’s really no such thing as a big number. There are just numbers that are big in context. One million sounds like a big number, but if I told you that the GDP of the US fell to one million dollars, you would think that’s a pittance. Should be 22 trillion. I could say, you know, a billion sounds like a big number. But there are way more than a billion particles on earth. So 10 trillion. Is it a big number? Yes, it sounds like a big number, but when you stack it up against what the United States is facing, which is a decade of a Great Depression, if we don’t respond to this economic calamity in a smart and urgent way, it’s a good investment.
Derek Thompson is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, technology, and the media. He is the author of Hit Makers and the host of the podcast Crazy/Genius.