Reflections on the intersection of economics, history, politics, psychology and science

Mark Olbert

21: Greenbacks

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Benjamin Franklin

This podcast is the first in a two-part series on taxes. This episode is meant to be an overview of why we have taxes, the landscape of both taxing agencies a

20: Hops and Dreams

For the tenth episode, your favorite pond dwellers decided to take a break from the normal, big-picture, topic-based discussions and instead shared their personal pet peeves, including both important as well as some silly issues.

This twentieth episode

19: Toad to the White House

This episode is a deep dive into the foundational requirement of a democracy – having elections and voting. Despite the founding (and often touted) principles of American democracy, it is shockingly inconsistent how we implement it. All U.S. citizens do n

18: Waste, Frog and Abuse

It’s a fairly common trope – and often an overused campaign line – that government is “wasteful.” But what does it mean to be “wasteful” (or “efficient” for that matter), and is it true that governments aren’t good stewards of our money? As you can imagin

17: Leap of Faith

The intersection of religion and politics, particularly in the U.S., has presented a series of issues and challenges. Starting with a very brief overview of the origin and history of religion, and how it has impacted human societies, we then dive into how

16: Frogs and Prayers

In our current political climate, it seems like both policymakers and ordinary citizens are prone to use a label for something that sounds intelligent or interesting on the surface, but often masks a lack of substance or critical thinking. This matters mo

15: A Frog by Any Other Name

It seems like every public facility – whether it be a building, bridge, airport, school, or park – is named after someone. Naming public things is so common, so accepted as a practice, that we don’t even think about why we do it, let alone debate whether