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News & Politics

The Uncertain Hour


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In The Uncertain Hour, host Krissy Clark dives into one controversial topic each season to reveal the surprising origin stories of our economy. From the Marketplace Wealth & Poverty Desk, each season goes beyond buzzwords to bust longstanding myths a...Show More
Introducing “This Is Uncomfortable”

03:48 | Jun 15th

We’re hard at work on the next season of “The Uncertain Hour,” but in the meantime, we’re excited to share a new podcast from Marketplace: “This Is Uncomfortable.” It’s a storytelling podcast, all about life and how money messes with it. Every Thursd...Show More
Kicking the habit

49:28 | Apr 18th

Many people in Wise County agree that they can’t jail their way out of a drug epidemic, but there’s a lot less agreement on what to do instead. And we find out what happened to Joey Ballard.

40:36 | Apr 11th

It’s not easy being an undercover cop in a county of just 40,000 people. But drugs were making it hard for Bucky Culbertson to run his business, so he made it his business to get rid of drugs.
Welcome to Wise County

35:55 | Apr 4th

It’s the deadliest drug epidemic our country has ever faced. We go to ground zero, where “nothing changes except for the drug.”

48:12 | Mar 28th

The drug bust and the trial were a “farce,” but the full force of the law still came down on Keith Jackson — and thousands of people like him. That didn’t end the crack epidemic, so what did?
What happened to Keith?

32:38 | Mar 22nd

One day, early in the semester, Keith Jackson didn’t show up to class. He’d been arrested for selling crack, but for his classmates, that wasn’t the surprising part.
George H.W. Bush and his baggie of crack

45:37 | Mar 21st

It was the perfect political prop: drugs seized by government agents right across the street from the White House, just in time for a big presidential address. The reality was more complicated.
Reprise: The sentence that helped set off the opioid crisis

1:05:19 | Feb 2nd

In light of news about Purdue Pharma, we're sharing our episode about how opioids are regulated.
Reprise: “Pregnant? We can help.”

26:30 | Jun 27th, 2018

In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling on crisis pregnancy centers, we wanted to re-share this episode. Federal TANF dollars (also known as federal welfare dollars) goes to funding some crisis pregnancy centers, thanks to the way the 1996 Welfa...Show More
"A mosquito in a nudist colony"

1:19:08 | Mar 7th, 2018

Who writes federal regulations, who unwrites them and who gets written off?
Why aren't falconers allowed in the movies anymore?

0:00 | Mar 1st, 2018

Falconry sits at a unique place in the United States regulatory structure, and you never know where it’s going to show up. Like in the movies. 16 U.S.C. §707 & 50 C.F.R. §21.29(f)(9)(i) make it a federal crime to use a falconer's falcon to make a mov...Show More
Who's regulating whom?

45:34 | Jan 4th, 2018

This week, we're zooming out to trace the unexpected ways regulators and corporations are intertwined.
Your regulations questions, answered

27:28 | Dec 21st, 2017

There are plenty more stories to come, but today we're hitting pause.
The sentence that helped set off the opioid crisis

1:05:19 | Dec 13th, 2017

It's a highly misleading claim. It came with every bottle of Oxycontin for years. The FDA signed off on it, but it’s not clear who wrote it.
S02-4: The sentence that helped set off the opioid crisis

1:05:19 | Dec 13th, 2017

When OxyContin went to market in 1996, sales reps from Purdue Pharma hit one point particularly hard: Compared to other prescription opioids, this new painkiller was believed to be less likely to be addictive or abused.But recently unsealed documents...Show More
The Peanut Butter Verdict

38:31 | Nov 22nd, 2017

One of the most surreal, misunderstood and yet pivotal battle over regulations ends here.
The Peanut Butter Wars

37:37 | Nov 10th, 2017

They were long. They were difficult. They were... pretty much how regulations always get made.
The Peanut Butter Grandma goes to Washington

33:26 | Oct 26th, 2017

In the 1950s, some food companies were ripping off customers and using additives that haven't been tested for safety. A Virginia housewife went to the FDA to expose the truth.
The Uncertain Hour dives into red tape

04:10 | Oct 3rd, 2017

A preview of our new season, about regulations in America.
The Album, “Work Makes the Difference”

14:08 | Aug 17th, 2016

One county welfare office made a whole album of motivational work songs. Listen to the whole thing.
The road not taken

43:05 | Jul 7th, 2016

20 years ago, welfare reformers chose to emphasize work over education
“Pregnant? We can help.”

26:30 | Jun 23rd, 2016

In some states, crisis pregnancy centers get federal welfare dollars.
Everything but the kitchen sink

23:55 | Jun 9th, 2016

How does your state spend federal welfare dollars? It's probably not how you think
White gloves, aluminum cans and plasma

34:01 | May 11th, 2016

Meet the mothers who've relied on welfare through the decades.
The Magic Bureaucrat

41:07 | Apr 28th, 2016

Twenty years ago, welfare changed dramatically. Meet the man behind it.
Introducing 'The Uncertain Hour'

03:20 | Mar 7th, 2016

A preview of the newest podcast from Marketplace's Wealth and Poverty team.