Critical Value show

Critical Value

Summary: Critical Value is a podcast from the Urban Institute that explores issues of significance for research, policy, and people. We talk with experts and highlight the best available data and evidence to elevate the debate on topics that matter.

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  • Artist: The Urban Institute
  • Copyright: 2018 Urban Institute. All rights reserved.


 Your Summertime Reading List! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:53

Hey y’all, as the Fresh Prince once said, it is now: summer, summer, summertime! And what better way to take advantage than a dive into our summer reading list made just for you? On this episode, you’ll hear from various Urban staff about the books that can keep you company during these sunny summer days. Listen to hear what nonfiction and fiction novels are the most compelling reads of the season (according to us).

 Raising the Income Floor for American Workers | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:42

Despite a growing economy, financial instability and economic anxiety have many Americans in a financial rut. Host Justin Milner talks with Chris Hughes of the Economic Security Project and researchers Elaine Maag and Len Burman from the Tax Policy Center about expanding and redesigning the Earned Income Tax Credit to provide a basic level of economic security for all working individuals.

 The Gathering Storm of Student Loans | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:38

It’s no secret that our nation’s total student loan debt has grown exponentially in recent years. Why is overall debt increasing? When is taking on student loan debt a good idea? And what are some emerging proposals to fix our growing debt balance? Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute researcher Matt Chingos about the balance of access to higher education and risk that comes with student loan borrowing.

 Research in the Next 50 Years | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:08

The Urban Institute recently marked its 50th birthday. To celebrate, we hosted an event thinking about the role of research to support changemakers for the next five decades. Host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute president Sarah Rosen Wartell and preeminent leaders from different sectors about key challenges facing our society and the way forward.

 Bold Solutions to Improve Financial Well-Being | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:32

What policies could better lead to financial security for all Americans? Host Justin Milner discusses airhorn-worthy solutions like universal basic income, guaranteed jobs, and revamping social insurance with researchers Caroline Ratcliffe and Caleb Quakenbush.

 Lifelong Learning in a Changing Labor Market | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:56

The class of 2019 is facing an ever-changing job market.  How can we best prepare people with the skills they’ll need to join the workforce of tomorrow? And how do we figure out which skills employers actually want? Urban Institute researcher Shayne Spaulding and host Justin Milner discuss a reimagined postsecondary education and training system that would provide people with what they need throughout their entire working lives.

 What is Philanthropy’s Role in Cities? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:28

What role can philanthropy play in making cities more equitable, so that people have a real say in how dollars flow into their communities? Host Justin Milner discusses philanthropy’s increasingly central role with Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation.

 How Denver Is Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle, Part 2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:21

Denver, Colorado adopted an uncommon approach, called pay for success, to address chronic homelessness. In the second of two episodes, host Justin Milner discusses how this collaborative project is playing out on the ground – and explores the evidence to see if it’s working.

 How Denver Is Breaking the Homelessness-Jail Cycle, Part I | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:54

Denver, Colorado is tackling chronic homelessness in an innovative way. The city is bringing together service providers, city officials, and others to focus on a single goal: getting people who are chronically homeless into housing and off the streets for good. In the first of two episodes, host Justin Milner takes a close look at this unique approach.

 The Green New Deal | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:54

If you have been listening to the news lately, three words may have jumped out at you: Green New Deal. So what’s it all about? In this episode, host Justin Milner talks with Urban Institute experts Carlos Martín and Christin Durham about what we know and don’t know about this proposal and how the evidence can play into the discussion.

 The Wealth Gap (Redux) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:03

The US economy seems to be in good health, but wealth inequality is something we continue to talk a lot about these days. In a return to an episode from last year, host Justin Milner talks to Urban Institute expert Signe-Mary McKernan about the growing gap between rich and poor and the difference between wealth and income.

 The First Step Act | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:49

In late 2018, Congress passed the first major criminal justice reform legislation in nearly a decade. So what is the First Step Act, and how will it impact the federal prison population? Host Justin Milner talks with researchers Nancy La Vigne and Julie Samuels from Urban’s Justice Policy Center and Matthew Charles, who has spent years studying sentencing law and is one of the first people to be released from prison thanks to the First Step Act.

 How Secure Is Employment at Older Ages? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 16:34

People are now working longer and later in life – but new research shows that older workers are increasingly pushed out of longtime jobs. Host Justin Milner sits down with retirement expert Richard Johnson and ProPublica contributing reporter Peter Gosselin to talk about the landscape of the labor market and barriers facing older workers.

 Rethinking Long Prison Terms (Redux) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:56

Over the past few decades, people have been spending more time in prison, and the lengthiest prison terms have been getting even longer. In a return to our first-ever episode, host Justin Milner sits down with researcher Ryan King to discuss the policies behind the problem. This episode features the voices of people who have served long prison terms, through audio excerpts from Urban’s interactive feature “A Matter of Time.”

 Creating A Culture of Giving | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:12

Year-end giving is a big deal to nonprofits around the country -- but the landscape of charitable giving is changing, as technology and social media in particular are making giving easier than ever. Host Justin Milner sits down with Shena Ashley and Brice McKeever of Urban's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy to talk about creating a culture of giving that educates and engages everyone around the issues they're most passionate about. 


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