The Gray Area with Sean Illing

The Gray Area with host Sean Illing is a philosophical take on culture, politics, and everything in between. We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we do offer a space for real dialogue. Resist certainty, embrace ambiguity, and get some cool takes on a very hot world. Formerly the Vox Conversations podcast. New episodes drop every Monday and Thursday.


The parent trap

Sean Illing talks with Nate Hilger, economist, data scientist, and author of the new book The Parent Trap: How to Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis. The book explores what is expected of parents, and how a larger public investment in families and children beyond K-12 education could address inequality in America. Sean and Nate discuss parenting, the difference between caring and skill building, the pressure on parents to do it all, and the economic consequences that arise when they can’t. 

Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), Interviews Writer, Vox

Guest: Nate Hilger (@nate_g_hilger), economist and author


  • The Parent Trap: How To Stop Overloading Parents and Fix Our Inequality Crisis by Nate Hilger (MIT Press; 2022)

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This episode was made by: 

  • Producer: Erikk Geannikis
  • Editor: Amy Drozdowska
  • Engineer: Patrick Boyd
  • Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall

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 2022-09-19  1h1m