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Luis BARRUETO is a journalist from Guatemala. Studied business and finance journalism at Aarhus University in Denmark and City University London.
The Uncertain Hour is not really an hour-long podcast series. But it does explore in great detail some of the most polarizing issues of our day, issues we may be surprised to hear we know very little about.The series is run by Marketplace's Wealth and Poverty Desk Correspondents Krissy Clark and Caitlin Esch. They explore a contentious topic every season, but taking a commitment to go beyond buzzwords and longstanding myths to uncover the histories of things we are fighting about with surprisingly little context.
What is Welfare Anyways?
Season one starts off in 1996, with then President Bill Clinton signing a bill into law that would transform the country's welfare system, and shape much of the conversation about unemployment benefits – welfare, for short – in the United States. But this kind of cash assistance to poor families is now cut through by notions of a work ethic, and an emphasis on getting a job over the question of which kind of job is it, and what skills workers need to go up the wage ladder.
That did not happen out of the blue. The hosts hear the story of a former director of a suburban county welfare office and how he launched the welfare reform movement. They uncover the stories behind prominent welfare rights activists and why their cause had transformative meaning for their lives. And what some of the effects on families receiving said benefits are.
The podcast is now in season three, but I do recommend starting with this one. If you become hooked, season two dives into red tape in the United States and the third one explores the drug war.