A chat with Yoram Bauman, stand-up economist

Stand-up economist Yoram Bauman performing at Comedy Underground. Photo: Jon Stahl

For today’s Humanosphere podcast we will be talking to a Stand-Up Economist. Yoram Bauman is, in fact, an economist. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Washington, is actively promoting a carbon-tax initiative here in Washington state and has done his fair share of serious-minded teaching and research in the dismal science.

Yoram BookThat’s what somebody once dubbed economics – the dismal science (and Bauman can explain why). Some folks may want to take issue with it being called a science, but many do seem to think of economics as dismal. Yoram Bauman, as the world’s first and only stand-up economist, seeks to “spread joy to the world through economics comedy” and change the way we look at economics. He’s also an author of several cartoon primers on economics.

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Here at Humanosphere, we often talk to economists because our focus is on the global fight against poverty and inequity. And I think it’s fair to say there are about as many economic theories of poverty and how to deal with it as there are economists. Maybe Bauman can spread a little joy by exploring with us some of the basic terms the experts toss about.

But first, before we get into the comedic side to economics, editor Tom Paulson discusses some news highlights with KPLU’s Gabe Spitzer starting with the ‘explosion’ of Zika virus and the concern it may be behind a rise in birth defects in some parts of South and Central America.

We also discuss two new reports, from Freedom House and Human Rights Watch, that Tom Murphy notes represent a decline in freedom and respect for human rights across the world. Finally, Gabe and Tom note two stories in Humanosphere about the use of GPS, cell phones, IT and mapping technologies to better identify and monitor communities’ needs – one about a project in Kenya by our correspondent Katie G. Nelson and another story by Lisa Nikalou about a global effort called the Missing Maps project.

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About Author

Imana Gunawan

Imana Gunawan is Humanosphere's social media manager and podcast producer. A University of Washington graduate in journalism and dance, Imana's interests include underrepresented communities, the intersection between politics and culture, global-local issues and the arts. She can be reached at @imanafg on Twitter or imana@humanosphere.org