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The Uncertain Hour

Marketplace

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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

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What happened to Keith?

32:38 | Mar 22nd

In our second episode, we explore the neighborhoods hit hard by crack — and the war on crack.

George H.W. Bush and his baggie of crack

45:37 | Mar 21st

In the first episode of our new season, we'll look at how he got it.

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

S02-8: "A mosquito in a nudist colony"

1:19:08 | Mar 7th, 2018

President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress rolled back a gun regulation last year that would have restricted some people with mental disabilities from buying guns. Now, this story isn’t about gun control, but the law they used to erase that r...Show More

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

S02-7: Law and Odor: a crime story about orchids, pig smell, refineries, and you

1:08:57 | Jan 26th, 2018

There are lots of different ways to commit a crime. Some of them are obscure — it’s a crime to sell Swiss cheese without holes, for example. Some deal with serious safety and environmental issues — it’s a crime for a refinery to release more than a c...Show More

S02-6: Who's regulating whom?

45:34 | Jan 4th, 2018

The U.S. Constitution doesn't mention corporations once. But if you want to talk about federal regulations, you have to talk about private enterprise, too. They're yin and yang, intertwined over centuries, locked in an eternal struggle. This week, we...Show More

S02-5: Your regulations questions, answered

27:28 | Dec 21st, 2017

We’re working on the next batch of episodes for season two, but this week we're taking a quick break over the holidays to bring you a sort of reporter’s notebook, a glimpse behind the scenes.First we’re going to answer some of your questions about th...Show More

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

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

S02-3: The peanut butter verdict

38:31 | Nov 22nd, 2017

For the past two episodes, we've been telling you the birth story of a single regulation, one of the most misunderstood, and yet pivotal, regulations in American history: The number of peanuts that should be in peanut butter. Today, that story comes ...Show More

S02-2: The Peanut Butter Wars

37:37 | Nov 10th, 2017

It's 1959 and Ruth Desmond, the gurney-climbing, cook-from-scratch co-founder of the Federation of Homemakers was prowling the halls of the FDA, about to earn her "peanut butter grandma" namesake. She stumbled upon this unassuming, but ultimately his...Show More

S02-1: The Peanut Butter Grandma goes to Washington

33:26 | Oct 26th, 2017

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 ...Show More

S02-0: The Uncertain Hour dives into red tape

04:10 | Oct 3rd, 2017

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 re...Show More

S01-7: The Album, “Work Makes the Difference”

14:08 | Aug 17th, 2016

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 c...Show More

S01-6: The road not taken

43:05 | Jul 7th, 2016

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 ...Show More

S01-5: “Pregnant? We can help.”

26:30 | Jun 23rd, 2016

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 inters...Show More

S01-4: Everything but the kitchen sink

23:55 | Jun 9th, 2016

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 th...Show More

S01-3: What's love (styles) got to do with it?

34:23 | May 26th, 2016

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 receive...Show More

S01-2: White gloves, aluminum cans and plasma

34:01 | May 11th, 2016

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 Moor...Show More

S01-1: The Magic Bureaucrat

41:07 | Apr 28th, 2016

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...Show More

Introducing 'The Uncertain Hour'

03:20 | Mar 7th, 2016

The Uncertain Hour is an immersive docu-pod that reveals the origin stories of our economy in unexpected and provocative ways. Host Krissy Clark dives deep into one topic each season, unpacking what we see as normal to show it didn't just happen. Bro...Show More