The Uncertain Hour - Investigative Podcast

Hosted by Krissy Clark

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.

Season six is an up close look at the welfare-to-work industrial complex and some of the multimillion-dollar for-profit companies that run many welfare offices around the country today. By weaving together eye-opening moments in history with immersive field reporting, the series brings us a hidden-in-plain-sight story about the strange way our cash welfare system has evolved and where it might be headed. Today, anyone who signs up for cash welfare must quickly find a job or navigate a maze of work requirements in order to qualify for a government check, to prove they’re not freeloading off the government. But where did this idea that you should have to work to benefit from the social safety net come from? Does the policy actually help people climb out of poverty? And how are for-profit welfare centers cashing in? 

As politicians call for more work requirements in safety-net programs, this series tells story about what work requirements feel like up close, and the industry that has been built around these policies that coerce labor out of low-income people — sometimes for what amounts to less than minimum wage.  

Krissy Clark is the award-winning host and senior correspondent of "The Uncertain Hour," where she tries to make sense of the wonky policies that shape wealth, poverty and economic mobility in America. Her reporting has been featured by outlets including "99% Invisible," The Center for Investigative Reporting and "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver."  

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