The Uncertain Hour
Millions of listeners love Marketplace for its smart and surprising look at how the economy intersects with our lives. But sometimes we want to dig even deeper and unpack the things we take for granted as inevitable in our economy. That’s where The Uncertain Hour lives. Think of this podcast—from Marketplace’s Wealth & Poverty Desk—as a docu-pod. It’s an immersive and provocative exploration of the timely tensions and questions intrinsic to the modern American economy. Because sometimes the things we fight the most about are the things we know the least about. The Uncertain Hour explores one topic in depth each season, with an eye on the origin story. What we see as ‘normal’ in the day-to-day didn’t just ‘happen’: It had a beginning. It’s an intimate portrait of life and those moments—the real, personal, and sometimes funny encounters we have with the economy. And we’re pretty certain that The Uncertain Hour will have listeners thinking about their experiences in whole new ways. In the first season, we explored welfare as we don’t know it. Now, for season two, we are ready to unravel a whole new economic story. Introducing Season 2: Red Tape – Regulation in AmericaPerhaps the nastiest four-letter word in the eyes of the Trump administration, from the president on down, is actually a ten-letter word: R-E-G-U-L-A-T-I-O-N. As wonkish as the subject sounds, there’s been a long yet fascinating fight over regulation brewing in this country for decades. But what do we really know about the red tape that shapes our democracy? For some Americans, regulations have become synonymous with an over-reaching federal government, designed to hurt the nation’s economy and businesses. For other Americans, the problem with regulations is that they are essentially controlled by those very businesses, at the expense of public interest. And for nearly everyone else, the process of developing and implementing federal regulations is so ornate the average citizen can’t really navigate it. Why untangle the ins and outs of red tape now? After years of this fight quietly playing out in the administrative legal courts, regulations are getting public attention. One of President Trump’s first executive orders was the elimination of two regulations for every new one. This season on The Uncertain Hour, we will dive deep into how we became a regulatory state, the unelected bureaucrats who shape our everyday activities, and some timely regulatory issues—like the opioid epidemic—to uncover what’s behind one of the most decisive issues in this country.
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