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A Vital New Series: ‘How the Deck Is Stacked’

PBS NewsHour, Frontline and public radio's Marketplace team up


Now this is worth watching (and listening to and reading online): PBS NewsHour, PBS Frontline and American Public Media’s Marketplace radio program just launched a new TV/radio/web series called How the Deck Is Stacked.

It’s all about what they call “this new American economy, the forces that are shaping it, and the lives of the people living in it.”

Put another way, I’d say the pieces will talk about why so many of us feel so lousy about our finances and our jobs.

The first installment aired on PBS NewsHour and on Marketplace on Monday. Marketplace’s always entertaining and informative host, Kai Ryssdal, talked about the series and, in particular, why Americans remain pessimistic about the economy.

Marketplace and Edison Research surveyed 1,000 Americans and found, among other things:

  • 61 percent are frequently anxious about what’s going on in their lives
  • Anxiety was higher among African-Americans and Hispanics
  • 59 percent of those surveyed said they’d have difficulty handling an unexpected expense of $1,000

Ryssdal told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff that when he interviewed a Ph.D. student in Tuscaloosa, Ala. a few months back and asked her how she felt, her answer was: “I’m scared. I’m scared.” For the How the Deck Is Stacked series, funded by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ryssdal said, the reporters “are going to find the stories that sort of pull that thread through.”

You’ll be able to see them on PBS NewsHour, hear them on Marketplace and read them on the PBS Frontline site and through each organization’s social media platforms. I know I will.

Richard Eisenberg
By Richard Eisenberg
Richard Eisenberg is the Senior Web Editor of the Money & Security and Work & Purpose channels of Next Avenue and Managing Editor for the site. He is the author of How to Avoid a Mid-Life Financial Crisis and has been a personal finance editor at Money, Yahoo, Good Housekeeping, and CBS MoneyWatch.@richeis315

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