Lady Duff Gordon

World War I Austerity Couldn’t Stop the Fashion Show

To the designer Lucile, luxury consumerism was a virtue as wartime economies struggled.
A slot machine featuring the faces of Donald Trump and Joe Biden

How Accurate Are Prediction Markets?

Will I get COVID-19? Will I have a job in three months’ time? Will the shops have what I need? Research indicates that markets might not know best.
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.
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.
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.
Oil refinery

What Comes After Oil Culture?

Almost everything about our culture today is built on oil. Can we imagine a world built on a different energy infrastructure?
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_Destruction_1836.jpg

A Nation in Decline, as Always

What does it really mean for a nation to be “in decline?” And why does it make for such appealing political rhetoric?