Bitcoin bubble

What Is a Bubble?

Tulip bulbs. Housing. Bitcoin? In every bubble, the value of something is based more on peoples' esteem of it, rather than intrinsic worth.
Japanese elderly prison

When the Elderly Poor Are Left Behind

In Japan, elderly people are committing crimes just so they can go to jail and feel cared for. A similar situation has played out in India, where the elderly have been left out of traditional social support networks.
Privatization

The Roots of Privatization

The great turn towards privatization is usually thought to have begun in the 1970s, with Chile's dictatorial regime, but its roots go back further than this.
Robert Reich interview

Robert Reich: How to Resurrect the Common Good

Reich talks justice for Wall Street malfeasance, the importance of faith-based communities, the threat of demagoguery, and finding hope in today's youth.
Homelessness in San Francisco

The Partisan Blame Game That Perpetuates Poverty

A sociological explanation for why the Bay's homelessness epidemic is so intractable.
Early food stamps

What the History of Food Stamps Reveals

In the early years of food stamps the goal wasn't necessarily to feed America's poor. The idea was to buttress the price of food after the decline in crop prices had created a crisis in rural America.
Child poverty

Why Equality Matters More Than Income

Looking at children’s wellbeing in rich countries like the U.S. in 2007, scholars found that inequality may matter a lot more for kids’ lives than absolute income level.
Diamond water prices

Why Are Diamonds More Expensive Than Water?

Water is simultaneously one of the few things we absolutely cannot live without, and one of the things we value least. There's an economic rationale behind that.
hospital interior

The Cautionary Tale of India’s Private Hospitals

In 1985, a writer in Economic and Political Weekly saw the beginning of private hospitals in India and warned of the dangers of their mismanagement.
fortune teller's hands

Why Economists Make Terrible Fortunetellers

Even the (presumably rational) economists of the world love to try to predict the future. They often get it wrong, suggesting that all the rational data in the world is rendered useless by the irrationality of human behavior.