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Off-Kilter is a podcast about poverty and inequality—and everything they intersect with. Each week, host Rebecca Vallas is joined by experts, advocates, activists, and other smart people to break down the issues of the day—and how we fight back. Powered by The Century Foundation. We want to hear from you! Send ideas, pitches, and feedback to offkiltershow@tcf.org.
 
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show series
 
The Federal Reserve, better known as “the Fed,” has been in the spotlight quite a bit in recent weeks, following an apparent insider trading scandal embroiling several high-level officials at America’s central bank. And in the latest shoe to drop, disclosure documents made public in recent weeks reveal that the scandal of stock trading during the p…
 
Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau put out its annual snapshot of income, poverty, and health insurance in the United States—which serves as something of an annual report card on the economic well-being of America’s families. One of the most significant takeaways was the effectiveness of government relief at keeping people above the federal poverty…
 
As the debate over President Biden’s sweeping “build back better” agenda continues in Washington, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin hasn’t been shy about laying out his demands, as Democratic leadership in the House and Senate and the White House bend over backwards to garner his and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s votes for reconciliation bill th…
 
This week in Washington has featured no shortage of drama, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saddling Democrats with the threat of both a government shutdown and default on the nation’s debts by withholding Republican votes for keeping the government funded or raising the debt ceiling. Meanwhile, despite months of forward momentum in Cong…
 
For all the talk about what’s in “Build Back Better” recovery legislation that Democrats are trying to move through Congress, one thing that’s not currently in the bill, in what many workers’ advocates say is a glaring omission, is anything to do with Unemployment Insurance—which was badly in need of a refresh long before the COVID-19 pandemic, to …
 
This week, millions of families across the United States are receiving their third monthly child allowance payment as implementation of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act earlier this year continues. Meanwhile, as “Build Back Better” legislation continues to come together in Congress, with key House commi…
 
Thirty-one years ago, the fabric of America's legal and policy landscape changed dramatically for people with disabilities in the United States when the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, on July 26, 1990. But, as far we've come these past thirty-plus years, we still have incredibly far to g…
 
This week, Off-Kilter’s bringing you a conversation Rebecca moderated at The Century Foundation earlier this week, on the historic opportunity to make long overdue improvements to Supplemental Security Income as part of #BuildBackBetter—featuring Sen Sherrod Brown, Rep. Raul Grijalva, and Rep. Jamaal Bowman, as well as a panel of disability and sen…
 
Nearly 40 million people in the U.S. live below the official poverty line—which in 2021 is just $26,000 for a family of four. But while poverty is all too often portrayed as a personal failure, it’s actually the result of bad public policy choices. Public policy has purposefully erected barriers that deny access to basic needs, creating a society w…
 
The April jobs data released by the Department of Labor last week spurred an avalanche of hysteria and conservative hand-wringing about supposedly widespread labor shortages, with many on the right pointing to pandemic jobless benefits as the bogeyman. In a particularly troubling move, on Wednesday of this week, 12 Republican governors announced th…
 
As leaders at all levels of government work to “build back better”—and to address the nation’s legacy of racial injustice and persistent racial inequality—removing barriers to employment for workers with records is more urgently needed than ever amid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and downturn, to ensure not only a full but an equitable re…
 
“The War on Drugs has disproportionately harmed communities of color. People have lost jobs, education, housing, their liberty, their families, and their lives to this War. Now they deserve equity, justice, and repair: ownership of cannabis businesses, full and automatic expungement, and community reinvestment of tax revenue and corporate philanthr…
 
Off-Kilter continues our Second Chance Month series with two of the directly impacted leaders driving transformational change on second chance policies and rights restoration in the states, who also happen to be a powerhouse husband-wife team: Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, best known for the visionar…
 
In recognition that a criminal record shouldn’t be a life sentence to poverty, there’s been a whirlwind of momentum in the states in recent years to expand eligibility for criminal record-clearing—with over half the states expanding laws for expungement, sealing, and other tools for enabling people to wipe their records clean so they can have a fai…
 
Poverty researchers estimate that the income-boosting provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act, which President Biden signed into law last month, will cut child poverty in half, and that overall poverty in the U.S. will fall by one-third over the next year. But should we expect those promised reductions in poverty to transfer from spreadsheets to…
 
Amid a global pandemic that has killed people of color at dramatically higher rates, and forced so-called 'essential workers'--again, disproportionately people of color--to risk illness and death to keep the a struggling economy churning... the outlook for predominantly white corporate monopolists has never been brighter. According to a new report …
 
Results are in from the first year of a universal basic income experiment in Stockton, California, which gave randomly selected residents $500 per month with no strings attached—and they’re striking. The income boost improved recipients’ employment prospects, economic stability, physical and mental health, overall well-being, and more, according to…
 
With President Joe Biden’s signature, the American Rescue Plan Act became law on Thursday of this week. This wide-ranging package of relief measures—which despite garnering widespread bipartisan support among voters, passed both chambers of Congress without a single Republican vote—authorizes a set of landmark expansions of existing income security…
 
For this week's pod, we're bringing you a conversation Rebecca moderated at this week's National Academy of Social Insurance conference on "Pathways to Economic Security" about how America's social insurance and public assistance system is falling short for disabled people and care workers who provide home and community based care services; the hum…
 
Earlier this week, in a hearing on the state of America's economic recovery, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before the Senate Banking Committee that the employment rate for low-wage workers—those hit hardest by the pandemic—is “probably above 20 percent.” With President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on the move in Congre…
 
Rebecca joined Greg Duncan and Sam Hammond for a panel discussion about the prospects for a U.S. child allowance -- and why it's needed now more than ever -- hosted by the American Constitution Society's New York Chapter. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes. show notes: https://offkiltershow.medium.com/the-case-for-a-u-s-child-allowance-1bb04067c3d3…
 
Rebecca talks to Brookings Fellow Lauren Bauer about the steps the Biden administration is taking to increase too-low federal food assistance benefits, starting with updating an archaic policy called the "Thrifty Food Plan" -- and the larger agenda to expand SNAP. Show notes: https://offkiltershow.medium.com/how-biden-is-expanding-snap-c9c64b8013ce…
 
Rebecca sits down with Be A Hero’s Matthew Cortland for a look at the challenges with the vaccine rollout so far, and what it would take to get to the vaccination rates we need in the U.S. and globally to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end. Show notes: https://offkiltershow.medium.com/when-will-the-pandemic-end-45d6d69250c2…
 
Rebecca sits down with the Economic Policy Institute's David Cooper for a deep dive into Democrats' Raise the Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025. show notes: https://offkiltershow.medium.com/inside-the-raise-the-wage-act-with-epis-david-cooper-2d6ee58ab1f6
 
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