The Uncertain Hour
We take a fair portion of the economy's inner workings as given, naturally assuming that people cleverer and more powerful than us have figured this stuff out. But the clever and powerful can be wrong (never mind that the powerful aren't always clever), and they - and we - don't know what they don't know. These unknowns, and our assumptions, are the subject of a fascinating and worthy new program from Marketplace, hosted by Krissy Clark. The Uncertain Hour aims to examine the origin stories of the US economy - how it came to the work the way it does, and why - and reveal the forgotten histories of its functions. This, its first six-part season, is focused on welfare; we hear, for example, about the story behind the dramatic revision of American welfare 20 years ago (it involves an album of surreal musical numbers, a rather smug bureaucrat, and miraculous data that turned out not to be) and the evolving struggles of women on welfare, across race and place and generations. Compelling human narratives animate the subject matter, which is of crucial, urgent importance.
Gateway episodes: Episode 1: The magic bureaucrat (28 Apr 2016) / Episode 4: Everything but the kitchen sink (9 Jun 2016)