The parking lot at Hilltop Mall sits empty on March 17, 2020 in Richmond, California.

The Commercial Real-Estate Market’s Impending Crash

Shopping malls are in trouble, as are the commercial mortgage-backed securities built around them. Can another 2008 be averted?
Men prepare bacon at a meat packing plant in Chicago, circa 1955

Why Does Meatpacking Have Such Bad Working Conditions?

In the long time between The Jungle and today, meatpacking has changed—first for the better, due to strong unions, then for the worse.
A couple sitting on the floor attempting to understand paperwork

Why Being Laid Off Can Hurt So Much

If an occupation becomes part of your identity, losing work can feel like a personal failing, even if it's clearly not your fault.
A live window display to celebrate UK Plus Size Fashion Week on September 3, 2015 in London, England.

How Body Positivity Coexists with Fat Shaming

Retail workers at a plus-size clothing store had to promote the contradictory messages that every body is beautiful and that being fat is bad.
Graffiti that says "The Only Sustainable Growth is Degrowth"

What If a Shrinking Economy Wasn’t a Disaster?

The degrowth movement is building a vision of a society where economies would get smaller by design—and people would be better off for it.
A calculator

Why Are Tax Forms So Complicated?

When it comes to the U.S. tax system, benefits are often indirect, which makes them more politically palatable to many.
Students of an engineering course in training in Japan, 1915

When Scientific Management Came to Japan

Japanese workers, many of them women, worked up to 17 hours a day in the early 20th century. Yet experts still wondered why they “wasted” time.
A vintage ad for Crest toothpaste

How Toothpaste Got Scientific Cred

Would you brush with a toothpaste for the sweet taste alone or because of its touted health benefits? The answer wasn't always so obvious.
An advertisement for Schlitz Beer, 1967

Selling Hedonism in Postwar America

The hedonism of American consumer culture is the result of deliberate efforts by mid-twentieth century marketing experts.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Why There Is No “Countervailing Power” Against Monopolies

The New Deal revolutions in law and policy were so successful that the economist John Kenneth Galbraith took their accomplishment for granted.