The $80 Million Acre (from “How We Survive”)
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
7M ago
This week, we’re dropping into your feeds to tell you about another podcast we make here at Marketplace that we think Uncertain Hour listeners will like. It’s called “How We Survive.” And it’s about how people are navigating solutions to a changing climate. We’re excited to bring you the first episode of the new season. Buckeye, Arizona is a small city with dreams of becoming “the next Phoenix.” It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country. In the past few decades, its population has ballooned more than 20-fold and the city plans to add more than 100,000 new homes in coming years. The ..read more
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Chapter 6: The Welfare to Temp Work Pipeline
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
1y ago
Since the 1990s, most cash welfare recipients have been required to get a job or do mandated “work activities” to receive their monthly check. These requirements are intended to help parents who are struggling financially into jobs that will help keep them out of poverty and off government benefits. But is the work requirement system meeting either of those goals? According to our analysis of data from Wisconsin, an average of nearly 70% of employed welfare participants worked at temp companies. These companies put people to work in other companies, trying to fill temporary jobs where the work ..read more
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Chapter 5: Profits and Perverse Incentives
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
1y ago
Antoine Dukes is a natural born salesman. And when he started working for a for-profit welfare company, he figured it was a good way to put his skills to work helping needy Americans find jobs that would get them back on their feet. But when he tried to avoid sending people to minimum wage jobs, something happened that made him realize that these welfare companies are rewarded with taxpayer dollars for getting welfare recipients into just about any job, even if the job would not support their family and would leave them still needing government help to make ends meet.  In this episode, ho ..read more
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Chapter 4: The Battle of Newburgh
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
1y ago
In 1961, city officials in Newburgh, New York, declared war on their poorest residents by proclaiming, without evidence, that the city was overrun by welfare cheats. It was a moment in history when the belief that certain people need to be forced to work gained influence in our country’s system to help poor people. Officials led by City Manager Joseph Mitchell launched a campaign of harsh crackdowns on welfare recipients that included surprise police interrogations, rigid eligibility restrictions and forcing able-bodied men to work to receive a welfare check. But were these new rules designed ..read more
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Chapter 3: Race and rumor
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
1y ago
In the 1950s, a rumor that people were moving to Newburgh, NY to live off welfare riled up the city. When city leaders essentially declare war on welfare — and the people who get it — things tumble out of control. Plus, how national suspicions grew about people getting welfare right as more black people started gaining more access to welfare benefits. Host Krissy Clark and producer Peter Balonon-Rosen go back in history to tell a surprising origin story of part of our welfare system — and take a magnifying glass to how our country determines who deserves help and who doesn’t. Give today to hel ..read more
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Chapter 2: The compliance machine
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
1y ago
A single mother of two in Chicago was working and taking classes to become an addiction counselor when her life fell apart. The father of her youngest child assaulted her so badly it put her in the hospital. Worried for her safety and the safety of her children, she fled to Milwaukee and signed up for welfare, hoping it would live up to the promise of providing employment and self-sufficiency. Instead, she ended up in a Kafkaesque maze of “work activities” that didn’t lead to a real job or independence. When her life hits another crisis, things really start to fall apart. Host Krissy Clark exa ..read more
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Chapter 1: The dream
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
1y ago
When a struggling mother of two in Milwaukee hits hard times, she turns to a local welfare office for help — a welfare office outsourced to a private, for-profit company. Inside, staff preach the power of work, place people into unpaid “work experience” and enforce work requirements for welfare recipients, all in the name of teaching self-sufficiency. But who’s set to benefit most? That struggling mother or the for-profit company she turned to? Host Krissy Clark takes listeners into the world of for-profit welfare companies to examine America’s welfare-to-work system, work requirements and the ..read more
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Season 6: The Welfare-to-Work Industrial Complex
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
1y ago
There is a growing chorus of politicians who argue that there’s a simple solution to help all kinds of problems, including poverty, labor shortages and government deficits: putting more work requirements into government welfare programs. Some are calling it Welfare Reform 2.0. But as politicians push these programs in the name of ending “welfare dependency,” behind the scenes there’s something else going on. A group of multimillion-dollar corporations have built their businesses on these welfare-to-work policies. And critics say they have cultivated their own cycle of dependency on the federal ..read more
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25 years after welfare reform, let’s revisit “the magic bureaucrat”
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
3y ago
It’s been 25 years since our country upended its welfare system – and so we’re looking back at our very first episode. We spent that first season of “The Uncertain Hour” reflecting deeply on what welfare had become. Each of those episodes can still help us understand what’s happened to one of our nation’s oldest safety net programs, on this anniversary of its so-called “reform.” In this reprise episode, we tell the story of the “Magic Bureaucrat” — the former director of a suburban county welfare office who helped launched the welfare reform movement 25 years ago, with the aid of a self-produc ..read more
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My boss is an app
The Uncertain Hour
by Marketplace / Krissy Clark
3y ago
The gig-app workforce has arrived at our doorstep. But Silicon Valley’s innovations in hiring are only the latest round of this long-running battle over what employment means in the American economy.  This concludes our fifth season of “The Uncertain Hour.” To be the first to hear about our next season, subscribe to our mailing list.  ..read more
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