Vox's Emily Stewart talks with Kathryn Judge, professor at Columbia Law School and author of the new book Direct: The Rise of Middleman Economy and the Power of Going to the Source. They discuss how middlemen — which include real estate agents, stock brokers, but also Amazon and Walmart — came to assume such an outsized role in our economy, the pros and cons of middlemen in different market contexts, why Prof. Judge sees a fundamental difference between Etsy and Amazon, and how we consumers can change how we decide what to buy in order to help push the economy in a radically different direction.
Host: Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM), senior correspondent, Vox
- Direct: The Rise of the Middleman Economy and the Power of Going to the Source by Kathryn Judge (Harper Business; 2022)
- "So Much for Cutting Out the Middleman" by Kathryn Judge (The Atlantic; June 9)
- "What Is Web3?" by Thomas Stackpole (Harvard Business Review; May 10)
- "The awful American consumer" by Emily Stewart (Vox; Apr. 7)
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This episode was made by:
- Producer: Erikk Geannikis
- Editor: Amy Drozdowska
- Engineer: Patrick Boyd
- Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall
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