The Uncertain Hour

Obscure policies, forgotten histories and why America’s like this. The Uncertain Hour explains our weird, complicated, and often unequal economy – and why some people get ahead and some get left behind. Host Krissy Clark dives into obscure policies and forgotten histories to explain why America is like it is – from welfare reform, to the drug war, to why it’s so much harder to get a “good job” right now. The Uncertain Hour goes deep to tell us how we got here and what it all means.

https://www.marketplace.org/shows/the-uncertain-hour/

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 35m. Bisher sind 45 Folge(n) erschienen. Dieser Podcast erscheint jede zweite Woche.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 1 day 1 hour 35 minutes

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episode 5: To catch a chicken


When chicken catcher Jimmy Nicks’ job was subcontracted, virtually overnight, he started doing the same job for a new boss — only without the pay, protections and benefits he’d come to rely on. This episode looks at the subcontracting system that makes worker pay and safety someone else’s responsibility. For even more of “The Uncertain Hour,” subscribe to our newsletter! Each week we’ll bring you a note from host Krissy Clark and explain some terms that have come up in our reporting...


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   38m
 
 

episode 4: The liquid workforce


Over a quarter of the world’s largest employers don’t just make or sell products — they also rent out workers. Let’s talk about how we got here.

For even more of “The Uncertain Hour,” subscribe to our newsletter! Each week we’ll bring you a note from host Krissy Clark and explain some terms that have come up in our reporting. This week we’re looking at “core competence.”


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   40m
 
 

episode 3: “To suffer or permit to work”


This week we’re finally going to tell you what happened to Jerry Vazquez — and how his story relates to the 1930s case of a hotel chambermaid. Jerry and some of his fellow Jan-Pro franchisees decided to sue the company, saying they’d been misclassified as independent contractors when they should have been employees (and entitled to minimum wage, over time, and other protections). But the argument over what defines an employee has a long and strange legal history...


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   48m
 
 

episode 2: Who’s the boss?


Jerry Vazquez was in the cleaning business now, and his clients liked him. They’d leave him notes, some with smiley faces drawn in. But, he says, he was barely getting by on the rates negotiated by Jan-Pro. He started feeling like had little control over a business that he owned. As Jerry would soon find out, some of Jan-Pro’s other franchisees felt similarly — they were stuck. So Jerry decided it was time to fight back...


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   45m
 
 

episode 1: Congratulations! You’re an entrepreneur now


Jerry Vasquez always dreamed of working for himself. So when he saw a notice in the PennySaver advertising janitorial franchises, he decided to go all in. Pretty soon after, he was in debt to the company and earning less than minimum wage doing a really dirty job. He’d wanted his own business — and on paper, he did — but it felt like something entirely different.


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 2021-02-03  43m
 
 

‘The Uncertain Hour’ is back next week!


Employment as we know it is changing. The kinds of jobs where one person works for one employer for years — with health insurance, sick days, paid vacation and a retirement fund — are getting harder to find. Throughout the economy, companies have pivoted to outsourced, subcontracted, freelance, temporary or gig workers. Many of those jobs don’t have benefits; some of them don’t even pay minimum wage. And while it’s accelerated during recent recessions, the trend has been decades in the making...


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 2021-01-27  4m
 
 

episode 6: Answering your “History of Now” questions


We’ve spent the past five weeks trying to make sense of this moment, where the inequalities of our society have been suddenly set in high relief. In that time, you all have written in with a bunch of questions big and small. Today, we’re going to cap off this pop-up season by answering a few of them...


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 2020-06-17  29m
 
 

episode 5: Without a home in a pandemic


On any given night last year, half a million people in the United States were experiencing homelessness, and more than 60% of them were staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs. Now, those same facilities are hot spots for COVID-19. It’s hard to social distance when you’re cramped, sharing bedrooms and sharing locker-room style communal showers...


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 2020-06-11  43m
 
 

episode 4: There are cracks in the foundation of our housing system


The COVID-19 pandemic arrived at a moment when the gap between rich and poor in this country had hit a record high. One place that inequality is most visible is in the neighborhoods where we live. Generations of discriminatory housing policy, and lending practices that favored white borrowers, have entrenched segregation in American cities...


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 2020-06-03  33m
 
 

episode 3: Unemployment benefits are hard to get. That’s on purpose.


Millions of Americans who are out of work don’t receive unemployment benefits. That’s by design. Today, we’ll look at the history of the United States’ unemployment insurance system, how this country defines “unemployment,”and why the program was never intended to cover everyone who’s not working.


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 2020-05-27  36m