1.12.17: The Great Smog, Part Time is the New Normal, & 10-Minute Writer's Workshop
Weather events and disasters can be ferocious - but in December of 1952, London, England was struck by a much quieter calamity - a heavy blanket of smog so thick, that thousands died. Today, stories from The Great Smog of 1952.
And, eight years after the financial crisis, unemployment is down to pre-recession levels. Another indicator has not faired as well: underemployment. Is part-time work the new normal?
Listen to the full show.
The Great Smog
Weather events and disasters can be ferocious - tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis - these sudden forces strike quickly and leave destruction in their wake. In December of 1952, London, England was struck by a much quieter calamity - a heavy blanket of smog so thick, that thousands died. In a city known for "pea-soupers" - the event came to be known as "The Great Smog" - recently remembered on the Netflix series, The Crown.
During the great smog of 1952, London saw a crime wave – perhaps not surprising for a city that had one hundred years earlier, publicly tempted criminals to pick the perfect lock. This story, about a concept called "Perfect Security" comes to us from Roman Mars and the podcast 99% Invisible.
You can listen to this story again at PRX.org.
Part Time is the New Normal
When President Obama took office eight years ago, the country was in a financial with unemployment rate shooting upward. By December of 2016, unemployment was back to pre-recession levels. But there's another indicator we don't hear much about: the under-employment rate.
Lonnie Golden is a professor of economics at Penn State University, Abington College and the author of a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, a think-tank that focuses on low and middle-income workers. The study argues that part-time work has become "the new normal,” It also details how the part-time economy has played out during the recession, and offers some policy tips on how to curb the issue.
10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Jonathan Lethem
You can listen to this full episode again here: 10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Jonathan Lethem