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The Uncertain Hour

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Followers
195
Plays
The Uncertain Hour

The Uncertain Hour

Marketplace

256
Followers
195
Plays
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About Us

In “The Uncertain Hour” podcast, host Krissy Clark dives into one controversial topic each season to reveal the surprising origin stories of our economy.  Because the things we fight the most about are the things we know the least about.

Latest Episodes

Introducing ‘The Uncertain Hour’

3 MIN2016 MAR 8
Comments
Introducing ‘The Uncertain Hour’

The Magic Bureaucrat

In the summer of 1996, on the lawn of the White House Rose Garden, President Clinton signed a bill that would dramatically transform the country’s welfare system. Twenty years later, what the heck is welfare anyway? And we should make it clear — we’re talking about cash assistance to poor families, not food stamps or medicaid. Welcome to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark. In the first episode, we’ll introduce you to the “Magic Bureaucrat” — the former director of a suburban county welfare office. You’ll hear about his foray into synthpop music production and how he launched the welfare reform movement. Because the things we argue most about are often the things we know the least about.

41 MIN2016 APR 29
Comments
The Magic Bureaucrat

White gloves, aluminum cans and plasma

Perhaps more than any other group, women on welfare have been stigmatized.In this episode, we introduce you to two women who’ve relied on welfare through the years: Ruby Duncan, an 83-year-old welfare rights activist in Las Vegas, and Josephine Moore, a 59-year-old mother of six in Kermit, West Virginia. Duncan grew up picking cotton in rural Louisiana. As a young woman, she moved to Las Vegas where she worked as a maid in hotels and a cook in casinos. After an accident left her with severe spine damage, Duncan sometimes relied on welfare to support her seven children. The racial discrimination she experienced in the 1960s and ’70s led her to become a prominent welfare rights activist. We first met Josephine Moore almost 20 years ago when Marketplace followed her transition from welfare to work. That was right after the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (aka welfare reform) passed in 1996. So two decades later, we drop in on Moore where she lives, in ...

34 MIN2016 MAY 12
Comments
White gloves, aluminum cans and plasma

What’s love (styles) got to do with it?

What do you think of when you think of welfare? Probably something along the lines of help or money given to families living in poverty. Or, work requirements to receive assistance. But actually, in 2014 only 23 out of every 100 poor families received basic cash assistance. That’s partly because states have a lot of discretion in deciding how to spend federal welfare block grants, known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF. States spend welfare money on the obvious things, like childcare and work-related activities. They also spend a significant chunk on some very surprising things, which you can see using this online tool from Marketplace. We took a trip to Oklahoma to hang out in a marriage class for middle-income couples, funded by — you guessed it — your taxpayer dollars. Welcome back to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.

34 MIN2016 MAY 27
Comments
What’s love (styles) got to do with it?

Everything but the kitchen sink

What do college scholarships, marriage counseling classes and crisis pregnancy centers have in common? In some states, they’re funded by federal welfare dollars. We are continuing our cross-country tour where we drop in on states to investigate how they spend welfare money, known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or TANF. This week: Michigan. The state spends about $100 million a year in TANF dollars on college scholarships—and many recipients are from families that earn more than $100,000 year. Meanwhile, just 18 out of every 100 families living in poverty receives basic cash assistance. If you’re curious about how your state spends federal welfare dollars, check outthisonline toolfrom Marketplace. Welcome back to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.

23 MIN2016 JUN 10
Comments
Everything but the kitchen sink

“Pregnant? We can help.”

When Brandi David discovered she was pregnant, she knew she wanted an abortion. Brandi was a graduate student at the time and didn’t feel ready to be a mother. She wasn’t sure where to go for help. But then she remembered a billboard at a busy intersection in South Bend, Indiana that she had driven by many times. It said:“Pregnant? We can help.” So she called the number. What happened to Brandi next… well, that’s what brings us to Indiana–the last stop on our cross-country tripwhere we investigate how states spend federal welfare dollars. If you’re curious about howyourstate spends federal welfare dollars, check outthisonline toolfrom Marketplace. Welcome back to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.

26 MIN2016 JUN 24
Comments
“Pregnant? We can help.”

The road not taken

What’s the best path out of poverty — work or education? Twenty years ago, welfare reformers came to this fork in the road and had to ask the question: Is it better to encourage welfare recipients to get a job, any job? Or is it better to support them while they get training and education that will eventually help them get better-paying jobs? In the end, welfare reformers adopted a “work-first” strategy that required most folks to work in order to receive cash welfare. In this episode, the what if…. We meet two women. One dropped out of college so she could work and continue to receive cash welfare. The other was part of a program that allowed to finish her degree. Welcome back to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.

43 MIN2016 JUL 8
Comments
The road not taken

The Album, “Work Makes the Difference”

Loyal listeners of The Uncertain Hour podcast may have had motivational work songs stuck in their heads (our apologies!). As you know, this season we dug deep into the story of what the heck welfare is today.Episode one featured music produced by a county welfare department in Riverside, California. We also annotated the lyrics to the first track. The album, “Work Makes the Difference,” was created to play in waiting rooms, over PA systems and as the hold music for incoming calls. After that episode, we received many requests for the entire welfare-to-work, synth-pop CD. And now, finally, after many emails with the Riverside Department of Public Social Services, we are releasing what we hope will be your summersoundtrack. Enjoy.

14 MIN2016 AUG 18
Comments
The Album, “Work Makes the Difference”

The Uncertain Hour dives into red tape

Join us this season as we go down the strange rabbit holes of history to find the origins of one of the most important but least understood battles in our economy today. We’ll bring you tales of peanut butter, “unelected bureaucrats,” the federal register, and a youth jazz orchestra. It’s all to make sense of that unassuming buzzword that shapes every moment of our lives: federal regulations.

4 MIN2017 OCT 4
Comments
The Uncertain Hour dives into red tape

The Peanut Butter Grandma goes to Washington

Donald Trump, the business man president, isn’t the first politician to rail on government regulations. In 1979 Jimmy Carter, the Democrat peanut farmer president, told a crowd: “It should not have taken 12 years and a hearing record of over 100,000 pages for the FDA to decide what percentage of peanuts there ought to be in peanut butter.” That really happened.It’s one of the most ridiculed, infuriating and misunderstood moments in American history, and it caught the attention of one Virginia housewife. Ruth Desmond, or the “Peanut Butter Grandma,” as she came to be known, first traveled to Washington, D.C., to learn about the risks of food additives. She ended up taking on corporations, and tipping the U.S. into a regulatory state. This is her story. Welcome back to The Uncertain Hour. Where the things we fight the most about are the things we know the least about. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

33 MIN2017 OCT 26
Comments
The Peanut Butter Grandma goes to Washington

Latest Episodes

Introducing ‘The Uncertain Hour’

3 MIN2016 MAR 8
Comments
Introducing ‘The Uncertain Hour’

The Magic Bureaucrat

In the summer of 1996, on the lawn of the White House Rose Garden, President Clinton signed a bill that would dramatically transform the country’s welfare system. Twenty years later, what the heck is welfare anyway? And we should make it clear — we’re talking about cash assistance to poor families, not food stamps or medicaid. Welcome to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark. In the first episode, we’ll introduce you to the “Magic Bureaucrat” — the former director of a suburban county welfare office. You’ll hear about his foray into synthpop music production and how he launched the welfare reform movement. Because the things we argue most about are often the things we know the least about.

41 MIN2016 APR 29
Comments
The Magic Bureaucrat

White gloves, aluminum cans and plasma

Perhaps more than any other group, women on welfare have been stigmatized.In this episode, we introduce you to two women who’ve relied on welfare through the years: Ruby Duncan, an 83-year-old welfare rights activist in Las Vegas, and Josephine Moore, a 59-year-old mother of six in Kermit, West Virginia. Duncan grew up picking cotton in rural Louisiana. As a young woman, she moved to Las Vegas where she worked as a maid in hotels and a cook in casinos. After an accident left her with severe spine damage, Duncan sometimes relied on welfare to support her seven children. The racial discrimination she experienced in the 1960s and ’70s led her to become a prominent welfare rights activist. We first met Josephine Moore almost 20 years ago when Marketplace followed her transition from welfare to work. That was right after the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (aka welfare reform) passed in 1996. So two decades later, we drop in on Moore where she lives, in ...

34 MIN2016 MAY 12
Comments
White gloves, aluminum cans and plasma

What’s love (styles) got to do with it?

What do you think of when you think of welfare? Probably something along the lines of help or money given to families living in poverty. Or, work requirements to receive assistance. But actually, in 2014 only 23 out of every 100 poor families received basic cash assistance. That’s partly because states have a lot of discretion in deciding how to spend federal welfare block grants, known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF. States spend welfare money on the obvious things, like childcare and work-related activities. They also spend a significant chunk on some very surprising things, which you can see using this online tool from Marketplace. We took a trip to Oklahoma to hang out in a marriage class for middle-income couples, funded by — you guessed it — your taxpayer dollars. Welcome back to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.

34 MIN2016 MAY 27
Comments
What’s love (styles) got to do with it?

Everything but the kitchen sink

What do college scholarships, marriage counseling classes and crisis pregnancy centers have in common? In some states, they’re funded by federal welfare dollars. We are continuing our cross-country tour where we drop in on states to investigate how they spend welfare money, known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or TANF. This week: Michigan. The state spends about $100 million a year in TANF dollars on college scholarships—and many recipients are from families that earn more than $100,000 year. Meanwhile, just 18 out of every 100 families living in poverty receives basic cash assistance. If you’re curious about how your state spends federal welfare dollars, check outthisonline toolfrom Marketplace. Welcome back to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.

23 MIN2016 JUN 10
Comments
Everything but the kitchen sink

“Pregnant? We can help.”

When Brandi David discovered she was pregnant, she knew she wanted an abortion. Brandi was a graduate student at the time and didn’t feel ready to be a mother. She wasn’t sure where to go for help. But then she remembered a billboard at a busy intersection in South Bend, Indiana that she had driven by many times. It said:“Pregnant? We can help.” So she called the number. What happened to Brandi next… well, that’s what brings us to Indiana–the last stop on our cross-country tripwhere we investigate how states spend federal welfare dollars. If you’re curious about howyourstate spends federal welfare dollars, check outthisonline toolfrom Marketplace. Welcome back to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.

26 MIN2016 JUN 24
Comments
“Pregnant? We can help.”

The road not taken

What’s the best path out of poverty — work or education? Twenty years ago, welfare reformers came to this fork in the road and had to ask the question: Is it better to encourage welfare recipients to get a job, any job? Or is it better to support them while they get training and education that will eventually help them get better-paying jobs? In the end, welfare reformers adopted a “work-first” strategy that required most folks to work in order to receive cash welfare. In this episode, the what if…. We meet two women. One dropped out of college so she could work and continue to receive cash welfare. The other was part of a program that allowed to finish her degree. Welcome back to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark.

43 MIN2016 JUL 8
Comments
The road not taken

The Album, “Work Makes the Difference”

Loyal listeners of The Uncertain Hour podcast may have had motivational work songs stuck in their heads (our apologies!). As you know, this season we dug deep into the story of what the heck welfare is today.Episode one featured music produced by a county welfare department in Riverside, California. We also annotated the lyrics to the first track. The album, “Work Makes the Difference,” was created to play in waiting rooms, over PA systems and as the hold music for incoming calls. After that episode, we received many requests for the entire welfare-to-work, synth-pop CD. And now, finally, after many emails with the Riverside Department of Public Social Services, we are releasing what we hope will be your summersoundtrack. Enjoy.

14 MIN2016 AUG 18
Comments
The Album, “Work Makes the Difference”

The Uncertain Hour dives into red tape

Join us this season as we go down the strange rabbit holes of history to find the origins of one of the most important but least understood battles in our economy today. We’ll bring you tales of peanut butter, “unelected bureaucrats,” the federal register, and a youth jazz orchestra. It’s all to make sense of that unassuming buzzword that shapes every moment of our lives: federal regulations.

4 MIN2017 OCT 4
Comments
The Uncertain Hour dives into red tape

The Peanut Butter Grandma goes to Washington

Donald Trump, the business man president, isn’t the first politician to rail on government regulations. In 1979 Jimmy Carter, the Democrat peanut farmer president, told a crowd: “It should not have taken 12 years and a hearing record of over 100,000 pages for the FDA to decide what percentage of peanuts there ought to be in peanut butter.” That really happened.It’s one of the most ridiculed, infuriating and misunderstood moments in American history, and it caught the attention of one Virginia housewife. Ruth Desmond, or the “Peanut Butter Grandma,” as she came to be known, first traveled to Washington, D.C., to learn about the risks of food additives. She ended up taking on corporations, and tipping the U.S. into a regulatory state. This is her story. Welcome back to The Uncertain Hour. Where the things we fight the most about are the things we know the least about. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

33 MIN2017 OCT 26
Comments
The Peanut Butter Grandma goes to Washington
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