Mark & Carrie – LIVE!

[MUSIC PLAYING] Good afternoon. Welcome to our live
podcast of the– I’m just going to
call this one– this is not a play on Mark’s
name– the Fanboy Podcast. And our questions–
you have lots of fans out there, Blake, and they
all have questions for you. Well, let’s just ask the lot. No, let’s ask them all. No. Well, that’s nice, nice. Hello, everyone, and
thank you for writing. And I guess I’m both speechless
and a little embarrassed. I mean, next time
at Heathrow you may get mobbed by the Daily
Mail, the local paparazzi, autographs. Absolutely. Yes. If every other celebrity
opportunity in the world dies between now and then,
that might come to pass. You could sell
some sort of liquor in some far-flung
country somewhere. Oh, that’s a good one. I could do Nespresso
or something like that. Yes. Yes, exactly. Those who know, Nespresso. So I just noticed,
looking at the box office returns, that Avengers– Infinity War is the
top-grossing movie. And thinking about that with
the Black Panther movie, how we can’t get enough– we
have an insatiable appetite for superhero movies. We do indeed. It’s almost like we
want to move away from what we see
every day on the news to this alternative
reality that’s going on. Yes, we’re basic–
yeah, no, I mean, it is kind of interesting. So not giving any spoilers away
because I haven’t seen the film yet, but you know, you can
imagine the typical thing– big sort of evil person comes
down and does bad stuff, righteous people
with wonderful powers who never seem to get it on the
wrong side of stuff sort things out, and the world ends up
kind of being a better place or at least on a cliffhanger
on its way to being a better place. Whereas we actually have to
deal with the real world. Yes, and with no sequels. With no sequels, no. It’s just one long-running– It’s just one long episode. Yes. Exactly. So maybe picking up on
that point about one long-running
episode, North Korea. I feel like that’s dominated
the news since our last podcast. Of course, South Korea’s
president and North Korea’s president, if that’s his– I think is a more
official title– met and hugged at the DMZ. There was much embracement. Yes, I mean, this is a big deal. I mean, this is in
preparation for the meeting we don’t know where yet
between Trump and Kim Jong-un. It was interesting to
see the progress of this. There didn’t seem to be
a lot of substance that came out of the meeting. A lot of pomp and circumstance. But they talk about
maybe denuclearization. Yeah, I mean, the
scuttlebutt seems to be, if you guys promise
to never invade us, which we weren’t
going to anyway, then we will promise to get
rid of all of our nukes. But I have a slightly
different twist on this one. So just think about it this way. A friend of mine wrote this
one down on the weekend, and I thought it
was fascinating. Not the conclusion,
just the observation. There’s been 10
American presidents since North Korea
became North Korea. There’s been 11 South
Korean presidents. There’s been three
members of the Kim family. They’ve always behaved badly. They’ve always basically
done really horrible things. And suddenly, out of nowhere– and we could say it’s
because of sanctions, and hopefully that’s the story– this guy changes, and
he’s all warm and fuzzy. It’s an embrace. You’re going to meet with Trump. What if he kidnaps Trump? [LAUGHS] Right? Is that a real scenario? Imagine that. Imagine if that one happens. Imagine that basically it’s like
this mad James Bond escapade and then he kidnaps Trump
and holds him for ransom. I mean, there is the
history of North Koreans capturing Japanese and
taking them back to– Lots of people. Yes. Absolutely. Kidnapping. That is true. I guess I was also– seeing this from my perspective
as an American politics person from looking at
it abroad, I also was kind of struck
with, I mean, China has cut off their support
of North Korea, correct? So in some ways, I also see
North Korea being on the ropes and having to reach out
to whoever they can. That includes South Korea
and the US in order just to stay alive and keep
their population alive. To run the serious one on this–
forget sort of the James Bond thing for a minute. So when the defector came over
who was shot on the border about six or eight months ago– and this is front-line troops. The guy was starving
to death, he had tape worms, all
this sort of stuff. So the country’s in
terrible shape economically. And maybe they’ve
actually just got to the point where
it’s like, OK, noise, and bluster, and
threatening to nuke people isn’t really going to solve any
of these problems long term. Maybe we can survive and
do a little bit better, so let’s hope that’s the
way that this plays out. Your point about the family,
it also shows, in some regard, that diplomacy doesn’t
mean very much. You can say lots of crazy
stuff, and the world is still going to try to placate
you or at least talk with you in some way or another. So I feel like,
in a lot of ways, Kim Jong-un fits the mold
of the type of leaders that we’re seeing
elected around the world right now too in terms of
the say-crazy-stuff tactics. Well, yeah. But they also do crazy
stuff tactics and murder hundreds of thousands
of people crazy tactics. That’s true. Yes. So it’s more than words. Right. And sic rabid dogs
on family members. Yeah, my favorite
one was apparently using an anti-aircraft
gun to execute your uncle. Oh, my god. Gees. I mean, that’s just
really going for it. That’s some serious– Serious. Serious artillery. That’s a Thanksgiving
dinner gone awry. Absolutely. Yeah. I don’t know if you saw him,
because he was everywhere– and that’s Jim Comey. I mean, he was everywhere. Oh, yes. I was in Scotland. He wasn’t there. Did you see him there? No, he was not there. No. But he must have been on
the BBC at some point. He was on the BBC. Absolutely. At some point. I have read just
excerpts of the book, so I thought it was OK written. I think he maybe could have
picked a different ghostwriter, but maybe that’s
neither here nor there. But really, just the point
of a former FBI director writing a book about
a sitting president. I mean, that’s sort of– that
was sort of stunning to me. And to see the inside– to hear his perspective on
sitting inside those rooms when the president asks
you for your allegiance. But again, it goes
back to something that we’ve spoken
about before, which is kind of the sheer oddity
of Trump and the White House. So we’ve said before, of any
other sitting president, had accusations by
multiple porn stars, right, they’d already be
impeached and out of office. And Comey’s criticisms
in the same light are a kind of, eh, who cares? Yeah. Right? So remember the book that we
weren’t talking about that we were talking about in January? Yes. All the this– what
was it even called? Fire and Fury. Yes. The Fire and Fury. Right. So that’s one, like, furiously
fired itself out to nothing. Yes. And now we’ve got
this round of outrage. I always liked the line that
some Republican senators said during the Iraq war when all
the Abu Ghraib photographs came out, which was, I’m
outraged, but I’m outraged about the outrage. Yes, yes. And I think we’re at the
point that everyone’s kind of outraged to the
outrage to the point that we’re just
giving up on outrage. Well, I think I’ve made
this point now 150 times, but if you look at the
bestseller list, it’s all– I mean, if any of us
could just write a book in the next day about
some anti-Trump rant, it would shoot to the top. Yeah, exactly. You’re definitely
playing to the base. Yes. Over the weekend, there’s
a number of asylum seekers who are now at the border
between Mexico and the US. And there’s a lot of
confusion about the processing of their paperwork and sort
of where they’re going to go. I guess the line from
the border officials was that there was
no room in the end and that they were at capacity. This just is such
a chaotic mess. And it’s hard to
see what exactly is going to be the outcome
other than to send people back? Yup. Yeah. Well, you think about El
Salvador and classic sort of failed state story. I mean, ultimately, you have
rapacious criminal gangs preying off the middle classes. People sending their kids
solo to try and get them into third-party countries just
to get them out of the way. Breaking up of families, sending
back remittances, remittances getting stolen, people
getting kidnapped. It’s horrid. So of course people want to
get out of there, but you know, the bigger case– Venezuela. Yes. So the Venezuela people
streaming through the border under Brazil to
this one city that’s in that area, which is totally
over-strapped for trying to handle this. So we have this phenomena of
these countries which really should be doing better than
they are, all things considered, which have become kind
of governance nightmares. And people want out. And it’s quite reasonable
for people to want out. But if people in other
countries aren’t really, yes, let’s receive
everyone, then that politics is going to happen. So actually, on
this point, Blake, there’s a question from one
of our listeners, [INAUDIBLE] Eberhardt. And boiling down, he has
a really great question. But I’m just boiling this down. What does it look like for
Brazil in the medium future? Or sorry, Venezuela. Is there any hope? Is there any bright
spot on the horizon? Anyone whose main sort of
economic strategy is we’re still 100% dependent on oil,
we haven’t done investment in planting equipment for
years, nobody trusts us, and I’m going to launch
a cryptocurrency– I’ll say that again. I’m going to launch
a cryptocurrency? That’s all the
information you need. This is not looking good. I was just– I’m
pausing, thinking about this very not looking good. This is a rough transition,
guys, so forgive me. The Democratic Party had this– That’s– OK, Venezuela,
cryptocurrency, Democratic Party. [INAUDIBLE] is the
Democratic Party. So they’re suing the Trump
administration, WikiLeaks, and Russia over
the 2016 election. I mean, could this
be the worst lawsuit and the most pointless lawsuit
in the history of lawsuits? Well, if you want to basically
make Trump’s point for him, it’s an excellent
way of doing it, because it’s not clear
who you’re actually suing. Number one, WikiLeaks has
no domestic jurisdiction in the United States. I’m not sure you can– you
could probably sue them. Can you sue a sovereign state? That’s a bit tricky. If you try and
sue Russia, I just don’t see them going, yeah, OK,
you got us, we’re fine, right? So even strategically, Trump
spends his time saying, look, this whole thing is a
giant conspiracy brought on by Democrats who just
can’t deal with the fact that they lost the election. Yeah. And now the Democrats
are suing for the result? Yeah. Now, they say it’s an
assault on our democracy and we know there’s
enough evidence to say that Russia was
involved, et cetera, et cetera. Well, as I like
to remind people, we have a thing called
the National Endowment for Democracy that’s
been interfering in elections all over the
world for the past 30 years. Please. Yes. Yes. So shame on us. And it continues to do this. And continues to do this. So long as we’re doing it
as democracy promotion, the minute anybody else
does it, it’s interference. Yeah. I just think that– I mean, I think
the point that you made were the literature
drops over Eastern Europe. I mean, this is just
the height of hypocrisy when we sit, stand, or whatever
on our high horse and preach about this. And yet– But you know, even if you’re
on the side of the Democrats on this one, and want to
displace Trump, and derail his agenda, essentially going
out and trying to sue everyone, it just strategically
signals that really you’re just whining about the result. Yeah. And yeah, you
can’t move forward. And you can’t move forward. Yeah. But speaking of moving forward,
they have been moving forward, haven’t they? Yes, they have. What have they
been doing, Carrie? Or what have they
been suggesting? Thank you for that setup. That was an easier segue. Did you notice that one? [INAUDIBLE] I went round you. It was very good in that segue. It was very smooth. Yeah, so we had a question
from a listener, Charles [? Draton, ?] about the
Jobs Guarantee Bill. So there’s a Cory
Booker version– this is in the Senate– and
a Bernie Sanders version. And this question is really
about, is this a model, or is it not ready
for prime time? And I think this was– I really liked this question,
because, well, first of all, it puts a lot of
responsibility on the shoulders of the city and the state. But just from a
political point of view– part of the question is, is
it not ready for prime time, is you have two people
that are probably going to run for president
and also part of this bill is a guaranteed
$15 minimum wage. The Democratic base,
big D Democratic base, will love this sort of thing. But it seemed to me
to be political– I mean, part of the
political rhetoric, part of the political
gamesmanship that is going on in terms of who’s
going to run for president and really capture
the progressive base. Yeah, I think that’s fair. I mean, ultimately,
can the United States afford a $15 wage? Yeah, of course it can. Will there be displacement
in low-wage sectors? Yes, of course there will be. There’ll be
automation, et cetera. So there’ll be gains
as well as losses. But there’s nothing too
controversial in doing that. It’s the notion of a jobs
guarantee in that sense. And for me, the weird
thing about this is most of the time when
you’re not in moments of ah-ah, right, which is
most of the time, the United States runs
pretty tight labor markets. So in a sense, is it a solution
looking for a problem to solve? Because if you’re
really concerned with just the level of
wages, then do something about the level of wages. And you can work on
the minimum wage side or you could, God forbid,
actually tax corporations rather than handing
them even more money when they’ve never made more
money than they’re making now. But that might be a
little bit too radical, so what we have to do
is a $15 jobs guarantee. But which no Republican
will sign on to. No, they’ll never sign on to it. Symbolically, I guess
it does something. There was an
interesting one, though. Senator Warren and a
couple of other people actually put forward legislation
for what the Europeans call co-determination,
which, in other words, is putting workers in
the companies involved, on the board of directors, so
that their voices are heard. Now, you can take that to the
point that they’re voting, they’re nonvoting, it’s
advisory, whatever. But they want them in there. And I actually think this
is potentially much more interesting, because even
corporate leaders will tell you now they’re caught in this
terrible spiral whereby they don’t hit quarterly targets,
which are constantly going up and up. Then what happens is
they get voted out from the shareholders, they
lose their jobs, et cetera, et cetera. So what do you have to do? You have to constantly
boost the share price. How do you do this? You do constant share buybacks. So you’re constantly
buying back your shares, you’re boosting it
up, everybody wins, but what’s happening
to investment? You’re just doing
financial engineering. You’re not investing
in skills, you’re not investing in jobs,
plant, equipment, things that actually matter. Now, the people on the
boards don’t like this, so maybe getting sort
of the representatives of normal people into the
board as well to change that conversation
might actually be more useful than a
guaranteed job thing. That’s interesting. There are all
these op-eds that– Have you noticed
that Megan looks like she’s horrified at some
of the things we are saying? [LAUGHS] It’s amazing. Megan’s sitting– just in
case you can’t see this, Megan’s sitting there, and she
had this look of abject terror, like someone was emailing
her, they will all die, they will all die! And it was like,
what’s going on? Anyway. Maybe she doesn’t like the
universal wage guarantee. I know. I just started
talking about that, and she just looks
like I’ve said something terribly offensive. There’s this op-ed
around Hillary Clinton and her campaign people. So again, not
letting go of 2016. Her campaign people
said, the middle class doesn’t like to be called
the middle class anymore, so they struggle to
find the right word. And “everyday Americans”
they settled on. And so the tag line that was
kind of used tongue in cheek around the campaign
was “everybodys.” And so I was just thinking about
when you brought up– like, let’s put the
everybodys on a board. But I mean, there’s
real substance there in terms of maybe
there wouldn’t be a replication of the same issues
if we actually had [INAUDIBLE].. There’s a brilliant
book by a sociologist called Stephanie Mudge. I don’t think I’ve
spoken about this before. It’s coming out of Harvard or
it’s just about to come out. And she looks at the secular
decline of center-left parties in the United States, United
Kingdom, France, Sweden, and one other country. I forget what it is. And her basic story is this. Around the 1990s, parties
stopped growing constituents. They no longer cared
about having a war, having a social club,
providing any kind of benefits or whatever, people getting
together to talk politics. Instead they were
like mushrooms. They were to be fed bullshit,
and kept in the dark, and then harvested
at election time. So you hired the consultants,
because they told you how to do stuff. And you hired what she calls
finance-friendly economists, because they told you
what the market likes. And then you have
your strategists, and your consultants, and your
finance-friendly economists. And then you end
up with this world in which parties are trying
to identify these things. Like, what do we call them? The everybodys. How do we get to the everybodys? As opposed to
actually remembering what politics is,
which is going out and engaging with people
about their needs and desires, and thinking about how,
collectively, as a project, we can get there. Yes. And that’s what’s happened. From Sweden to
the United States, the left fell for this nonsense
and it’s now on its last legs. The German SPD that’s
been around for 100 years has just signed this new
coalition agreement, right? They’ve got a new
finance minister who makes Schauble, the guy who
was Merkel’s finance minister, look like me with a Visa card
after a bottle of tequila. Right? And just they’re
self-immolating. Wait, is that good or bad? It would be fun in the short
term, painful long-term. All right, got it. OK. But no, he’s more
fiscally conservative than the fiscal
conservatives, right? So if the whole
point of the left is to basically do the
right’s work for them over and over again,
what’s the point? And that’s what that’s just
emblematic of– the everybodys. Good god. I know. And that we’re so
politically– that, at least in the US and
perhaps around the world too, that the candidates
are so insulated that they have to be told this
and they can’t just, like, just go talk to people. Yeah, just go talk to people. And say stuff that might
make sense to somebody. Yeah. And the contrast with
Trump is remarkable. I mean, what did he do? He walked out in front of
people and said the first thing that came into his head. And if it resonated,
he went for it. Yeah. That’s called politics. Yes. Yeah. And that’s called authentic too. And people like this. Italian 10-year bonds seem to
be doing fine, triple question mark? Is that one of the questions? That’s one of the questions
from one of our listeners. Yes, because people like
to sleepwalk before they fall off a cliff. I mean, seriously. I mean, I could
check it right now, but it’s probably true
that the Italian 10-year is below the United
States 10-year. So let’s think about
what that actually means. You honestly think that the
United States is a bigger credit risk than Italy? If that’s the case,
please send me your email, because I have an
account in Nigeria, and I’d like to transfer
$40 million to you. Megan laughed at that one. That was good. She stopped looking terrified. We have a question from
Isaiah [? Gooley, ?] and his question was around Chinese
investment in infrastructure and general
investment in Africa. As I was thinking about
your question, Isaiah, I thought, so in 2000, China
invested 210 million US dollars in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, it was $3.17 billion. So this is a huge
amount of money. I think the Chinese
infrastructure bank has a budget of like $11
trillion-billion or something like that. That very precise number. And the question was– It’s big. –around, is this
a net positive? From my perspective,
this is about a place to send their labor
around extraction of natural resources,
places to sell their goods. I mean, is there anywhere left? And the bonus is you get
roads, you get hospitals, you get schools, and
we don’t try and change your form of government. Right. So on that point of view,
then yeah, it’s good. There’s almost two things
about these free gifts, though. Number one, they’re not
free, they’re loans. You’ve got to pay them back
at some point, presumably. And the second thing is the
quality of the infrastructure. So if you’re coming there
and building really, really good stuff, then
that’s net-positive, long-term investment. If you’re actually just
throwing up a bunch of nonsense, and you don’t have the
capacity to maintain it, and it’s all cracking
up and falling apart within a couple of
years, then in a sense, what’s the point? And what China seem to be doing
is the whole One Belt, One Road initiative, of which
this is one part, really. Well, it’s a side project of it. Is China, we won’t let
China buy the stuff that they want to with all the
dollars they’ve got, because we have a thing called the
Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007
or something like that. But anyway, we won’t let
them buy guns, pharma, or anything that matters. So basically, they’re going
to go out and make their own. And Africa’s part
of that project. Yeah. That’s a great point about
the quality of stuff. So you get roads and bridges,
but if they fall apart within 10 years, [INAUDIBLE]? Exactly. What’s the point? So there’s a story that the
Chinese built a big hotel complex in Kenya, in
Nairobi, and it’s already falling about everyone’s ears. And therefore, no one thinks
they’re so wonderful anymore now that it’s falling down. When it’s going up, it’s great. When it’s coming
down, eh, not so good. Right, 10 seconds later. Right. Princess Kate had a baby boy. Yes, she did. Would you send him well wishes
and hopes of [INAUDIBLE]?? What I thought was amazing
about it was that, apparently, she’s this 1% of women who
get this really, really hard, constant prenatal sickness. And just imagine being
nauseous for nine months. Yes. Oh, that sounds awful. Now, this has happened in all
of her pregnancies, right? So she’s nauseous
for nine months, and she’s done this three times. She’s way tougher than me. I would have quit at one. I would have been on the
adoption train after that one. Definitely. I wonder if the queen
made her, though. Well, that could be. Could be. You never know. We don’t know. Anyway, yes, and what
Britain really needs now is another royal personage
in the 21st century, because of course,
royalism is the solution to so many of the problems
that we’re facing. But maybe that’s the
next click for us. After all the authoritarians,
then they just– we could be
[INAUDIBLE] families. No, no, we could just
go the full thing. I mean, we’ve got– is it
Aristotle or Plato’s cycle of political regimes? I think it’s Aristotle. So we’re at democracy,
which undermines itself, which becomes oligarchy. Hopefully we can skip
through totalitarianism and just go straight
to monarchy. Jeff Bezos could be our king. He owns all of us as it is. Exactly. He could buy all of us. We could all entirely
become serfs. And then deliver ourselves
to ourselves to our trunk. Which we could then
turn into a religion, which deliver
thyself unto Amazon. (LAUGHING) Yes, exactly. Did you see that Amazon
is now delivering to your trunk of your car for
those living in dense cities like New York and you can’t
have packages delivered to your office or at your house
because it might get stolen? They’ll deliver it to your car. How do they do that? I guess it’s like they find your
pin on the map and all the– How do they get in the trunk? That was a question I didn’t
have, because I’m at work and I have a car in New York. OK. But yeah, who’s laying
them into the trunk? Yeah. And who the hell drives
to work in New York? These are all
questions that I had. No, I’m not buying that. I think this is another
part of his master plan to take over the world. And the last– just my end
stuff that I had to say was that it’s a sad day,
because South Korea did say in their talks with North
Korea they would silence the K-pop that they
had blasting at the DMZ to really annoy
the North Koreans. So maybe– Are they going to change
it for something else? No, they just said, no
music, no more music. No music? See, it’d be great if they
varied the menu, right? Just stop K-pop. Suddenly what you get is a
little bit of Taylor Swift. Maybe. Yes. Yeah. Right? And then maybe one of her exes. So we could get Calvin
Harris in there. That’d be good. We could get some
country/western. Imagine, actually,
playing Calvin Harris’ Getting “Ready For The
Weekend” over and over and over and over
again in North Korea. I think that would be kind
of brilliant on some level. That’d be awesome. Shout-out for Calvin Harris. Yeah. Did you have any end stuff? No. No. I’m ended. Thank you all for
watching and listening. We will be back. We hope. Yes. Famous last words. Bye.

6 thoughts on “Mark & Carrie – LIVE!”

  1. Carrie, makes me want to be a better man.

    That is one put together lady. Wonder what she is like on the nights she wants to shake her booty. ?


  3. Jim Rogers, the noted American investor, recently said that Kim Jung Un has been trying to do a deal with the US for three years but was repeatedly rebuffed by Obama and the US security services as well most likely. If there was no North Korea the US would have to invent one.

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