The Pay Check

The Pay Check

The pandemic created a global economic crisis that economists and experts expected would lead to greater wealth inequality than ever before. Host Rebecca Greenfield along with a team of Bloomberg News reporters heads to seven countries around the world to find out what this world changing event has wrought. What they found was surprising.

Episodes

June 22, 2022 23 min

Singapore's carefully controlled housing market has been a key factor in its economic success over the last 60 years. But when the pandemic ushered in the city's worst-ever recession, property prices continued to rise, leading a younger generation to worry if it can match the social mobility enjoyed by their parents. In this episode of The Pay Check, we examine the grand housing experiment that helped Singapore to reach one...

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Mexico’s handling of the pandemic has been largely driven by its president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and his desire to keep the economy open. That’s meant few restrictions and a “return to normal” even before vaccines. The approach hasn’t come without costs, particularly to the country’s health care system. During the first year of the pandemic, maternal mortality rates spiked 60%. In this episode of The Pay Check, Equality rep...

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One of the defining trends of the pandemic has been the creation of extreme wealth at the very top. This week on The Pay Check we take a look at the booming fortunes of the world’s growing billionaire class through one man: Larry Ellison. (Net worth, give or take $90 billion.) Ellison co-founded the tech company Oracle but he may be better known for how he spends his money: yachts, mansions, a tennis tournament. In 2012, he bought ...

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Even before the pandemic, the proportion of women in India's workforce was falling. Covid made it so much worse. This episode of The Pay Check looks at where India's working women went during the pandemic, why they haven't come back to the workforce, and why that's a blow to the country's broader economic ambitions. Archana Chaudhary and Ronojoy Mazumdar travel to a girls school on the Ganges with one primary mi...

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May 26, 2022 21 min

An increase in teen pregnancies in Kenya is part of a shadow pandemic that ripped through developing nations during Covid, setting women’s progress back generations. In this episode of The Pay Check, journalist Jill Filipovic visits a dance school in Nairobi, Kenya that’s fighting to help girls manage their lives and re-enroll in school.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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When the Covid-19 pandemic started, many people expected inequality to get worse in the U.S. But at least for the bottom 50% of Americans, something surprising happened: Many of the least advantaged boosted their wealth. To start to understand why, we look to cash payments. No-strings-attached money went to people in need in the form of federal stimulus, the child tax credit — and local guaranteed income programs. As pandemic rescu...

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May 12, 2022 35 min

This season on the Pay Check, we're going to seven different countries to see how a global pandemic shifted the balance between the richest and the poorest people -- and affected everyone in between. In this first episode, Host Rebecca Greenfield and reporter Ben Steverman discuss how the effects of the pandemic on our health, wealth, safety and livelihood varied widely based on where in the world we were. Then Brazil-based rep...

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The pandemic created a global economic crisis that economists and experts expected would lead to greater wealth inequality than ever before. Host Rebecca Greenfield along with a team of Bloomberg News reporters heads to seven countries around the world to find out what this world changing event has wrought. What they found was surprising.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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December 1, 2021 25 min

This special episode of The Pay Check features "What Could Have Been", the latest episode of White Picket Fence from Wonder Media Network.

How did the U.S. become a society that treats caregiving as a private family responsibility rather than a public good? In this episode, Julie explores the longstanding and continued role racism has played in preventing investments in public goods that would benefit everyone, including car...

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October 7, 2021 2 min

On Breakthrough, a new series from the Prognosis podcast, we explore how the pandemic is changing our understanding of healthcare and medicine. We start with an examination of long Covid, a mysterious new illness that has stumped doctors attempting to treat symptoms that last for months and potentially years. It has changed the way hospitals work and forced healthcare officials to prepare for the next pandemic. Covid has also opene...

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June 3, 2021 24 min

With the season behind us, Rebecca Greenfield and Jackie Simmons sat down during the Bloomberg Businessweek conference to go inside the making of The Pay Check. They talked about how the series came together, high points, challenges and reactions -- and even teased what might be coming from the Pay Check team in the future.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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April 29, 2021 31 min

For our final episode of season 3, we take a look at how reckoning with our history, collectively, and personally, can help us move forward. Closing the racial wealth gap might not be possible anytime soon. But if the U.S. wants to seriously tackle these injustices, it might need to start with the truth. A few years ago, Bloomberg colleague, Claire Suddath explored her own family’s connection to slavery and a plantation in Mississi...

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April 22, 2021 25 min

Reparations for slavery in the U.S. aren't happening any time soon. But there are other countries that have compensated populations for persecution. This week, the Pay Check heads to the U.K., which is in the midst of what it calls a "compensation scheme" to pay back Black residents known as The Windrush Generation. Olivia Konotey-Ahulu and Brentin Mock dig into why it's less of a model and more of a cautionary tale...

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April 15, 2021 33 min

This week on the Pay Check, we look at the long fight for reparations for slavery in the U.S. Economists have calculated that each Black American is owed around $300,000, which would just about close the racial wealth gap. While momentum for reparations has grown, it's not likely to happen any time soon -- at least at the federal level. Meanwhile, cities and the state of California are looking into local reparations. Susan Berf...

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April 8, 2021 27 min

For the last few weeks, we've talked about the origins of the racial wealth gap. This week, we're turning our attention to one of the first major efforts to create more economic opportunity for Black Americans: Affirmative action in education. Kelsey Butler takes us to California, a place that for decades had strong, successful affirmative action measures, until one day, it didn't. She explains what getting rid of the p...

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April 1, 2021 33 min

Homeownership has been a main source of intergenerational wealth in the U.S. But it’s one that is out of reach for many Black Americans. Decades after fair housing reforms, the dramatic disparity between Black and White homeownership isn’t getting any better. In this episode, we look at why this gap persists, with many Black homes overtaxed, undervalued and unjustly foreclosed on. 

The focus of our story is one problem that's a ...

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March 29, 2021 52 sec

The Pay Check team has a request for our listeners. Experts estimate closing the racial wealth gap would cost around $13 trillion. That amounts to around $300,000 for every Black American. We want to know: What would you do with that money? Call and leave us a voicemail at 646-324-3490 or record a voice memo on your phone and email it to rgreenfield@bloomberg.net. We may use your voice on the show.


Thanks!

See omnystudio.com/list...

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March 25, 2021 32 min

The top five White landowners in the U.S. own more land than all the Black landowners combined. And over the last century, Black farmers have lost nearly all of the land they once owned. But in the 1990s, tens of thousands of Black farmers sued the Department of Agriculture for discrimination, and won. In this episode, Elizabeth Rembert looks at the role of farmland in the racial wealth gap, and how one farmer's fight with his ...

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March 18, 2021 25 min

This week, we look at the 400 years of U.S. history that help explain today's racial wealth gap. Bloomberg economics reporter Catarina Saraiva takes co-hosts Jackie Simmons and Rebecca Greenfield from slavery to the modern era to show big economic losses to Black people in addition to moments that led to big wealth gains for White people.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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March 15, 2021 2 min

A few decades ago, nobody really questioned vaccines. They were viewed as a standard part of staying healthy and safe. Today, the number of people questioning vaccines risks prolonging a pandemic that has already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. How we got to this moment didn’t start with the rollout of vaccines or in March 2020, or even with the election of Donald Trump. Our confidence in vaccines, often isn't even a...

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