Destroyers and aircraft carrier

Examining Trump’s Military Budget

The United States' calling card is its strong military. What role does military spending play in the federal budget? And is more always better?
corn harvest

Why Do We Have “Free Trade” For Televisions, But Not For Corn?

While the U.S. opens industries to market competition at home and abroad, we give our agricultural producers a lot of protection, including big subsidies.
President Ronald Reagan at his desk in the Oval Office.

Why Ronald Reagan Became the Great Deregulator

How did deregulation, and related ideas about how to run the economy, become so central to American politics? Look to Reagan for the answer.
WPA mural

Why Do We Take Pride in Working for a Paycheck?

In the modern imagination, work is a source of pride, but early labor unions regarded hourly toil in industry as "wage slavery."
Vagrant

The Hidden Subtext of Vagrancy

n recent years, activists in cities across the country have repeatedly clashed with municipal officials over anti-vagrancy laws.
currency

How Political Events Change Currency Value

What causes shifts in currency after a political event is, essentially, human expectations.
Christ healing the paralytic, by Anthony van Dyck (c. 1619)

Will We Always Have the Poor Among Us?

To end poverty, public policy must provide much more than economic resources
toy train

Why We Give Children Toys for Christmas

Giving children toys for Christmas first became a thing in early nineteenth century England.
Hazelton PA postcard

Could Immigration Save Middle America?

This election season has drawn enormous attention to the anxiety that many Americans in economically-distressed rural places seem ...
Clinton welfare reform

Why Welfare Reform Didn’t End Welfare Stigma

20 years after welfare reform, stigma surrounding cash benefits remains.