Welcome to Policy for the People, a show that explores the public policies that can lift up all Oregonians. This show is a collaboration between KMUZ radio (kmuz.org) and the Oregon Center for Public Policy (ocpp.org).
Inequality is killing us. Literally.
Perhaps the biggest danger from rising economic inequality is what it’s doing to our bodies, to our health. Economic inequality is killing us. Literally.
In this episode of Policy for the People, we hear from Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, author of the book Inequality Kills Us All. A former emergency room physician, Stephen is currently an Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health.
We also get a quick update on the latest figures on inequality. OCPP Policy Analyst Tyler Mac Innis discussing the key takeaways from a new report on income inequality in Oregon.
What's behind the massive jump in child poverty?
The share of children in the U.S. living in poverty has soared, according to new data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In today’s episode, we talk with Tyler Mac Innis, a policy analyst with the Oregon Center for Public Policy, about what’s behind the surge in child poverty. We also discuss how the federal government measures poverty in a way that significantly understates the number of families having trouble making ends meet.
In the second half of the show, we explore a different, more accurate measure of economic insecurity developed by the United Way. We talk with Jim Cooper, President and CEO of United Way of the Pacific Northwest, about the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Index, and what this measure economic insecurity tells us about the current reality facing Oregon families.
Federal government shutdown: Explained
This special episode examines what is looking increasingly likely: a federal government shutdown. Unless Congress can pass a continuing budget resolution by September 30, the shutdown will begin on Sunday, October 1.
What would a federal government shutdown mean for people in Oregon and across the nation? Who would be most affected? And what are the deeper policy and ideological differences driving the nation toward a federal government shutdown?
To examine these issues, the Oregon Center for Public Policy’s Executive Director, Alejandro Queral, spoke with someone with decades of experience navigating the halls of Congress: Ellen Nissenbaum, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
On strike! Hope and challenges for the labor movement
All of the strike activity we’re seeing right now is a hopeful sign for those who want to see an economy that works for everyone. In this episode, we speak with Margaret Poydock and Jennifer Sherer of the Economic Policy Institute, co-authors of the recent report What to know about this summer’s strike activity. We discuss what’s driving the recent wave of strikes, the challenges workers encounter when seeking to strike, and the policy changes that would strengthen workers’ ability to act collectively.
Tax extreme wealth to save our democracy
Money is power. And the extreme concentration of wealth that we're seeing means that more and more political power is in the hands of billionaires, who use that power to further increase their wealth, according to today’s guest, Bob Lord. Bob is the Senior Advisor on Tax Policy for Patriotic Millionaires, as well as an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.
In this episode of Policy for the People, we talk with Bob Lord about why taxing the rich is essential in order to shrink inequality and save our democracy.
Is it time for a new minimum wage fight in Oregon?
On July 1, workers in one region of Oregon achieved what once seemed an inspired goal. The minimum wage in the Portland metro area — not in the rest of the state — crossed the $15 an hour level. But this milestone arrived more than a decade after workers across the country began demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage.
In this episode, we examine how much actual progress Oregon’s minimum wage workers made since the legislature established a new minimum wage law seven years ago.
We finish with a brief discussion on a big win for Oregon’s most vulnerable children: the legislature’s decision to establish the Oregon Kids' Credit, a new state child tax credit.
Love the format of this podcast and how it easily breaks down big issues in a short amount of time. I’ve always loved the OCPP, and getting to hear them in a podcast is amazing!