Nickel and Dimed
On (not) getting by in America.
On (not) getting by in America.
The evolution of currency as “a complete abstraction.”
How Wall Street thoroughly dominated Obama’s economic policy.
A look at Apple stores, where jobs are high stress, with low pay and little opportunity for advancement.
How technological progress slowed from its 20th-century peak, why we’ve shifted from changing reality to simply simulating reality, and whether capitalism is the true culprit.
A profile of life in Owsley County, one of the poorest in the country.
With flash, hip-hop echoes rock’s golden age.
When rock was at its peak in 1972, Americans earning the equivalent of $1m a year took just over 1 per cent of national income. In 2010, this group’s share of national income had grown to almost 10 per cent. At the same time, the average tax paid by these top earners almost halved. The rise of Jay-Z’s “new black elite” reflects the growth in numbers of the super-wealthy. But the opulence that he and West flaunt also reflects the growing estrangement of those at the top from the rest.
In the early ’90s, American Airlines began selling lifetime passes for unlimited first-class travel. It hasn’t worked out well for the airline.
Romney’s former Bain partner makes a case for inequality.
The infuriating tale of Muncie, Indiana: When public institutions fail.
On competing in the High School Fed Challenge Championship as “Ed Gramlich”:
A team of five students prepares and presents a 15-minute analysis of the US economy, recommends a course of action with respect to interest rates, and then withstands a 10-minute question-and-answer period from a panel of Federal Reserve economists. To prepare for the competition, students look at the same economic indicators and the same forces influencing the economy that our nation's economic leaders examine. And to lend extra verisimilitude to the whole proceeding, competitors are also advised, as we were, to act out the parts of real members of the Federal Open Market Committee.
Matt Taibbi on Thomas Friedman.
A fiction writer buys and loses a house in Oakland.
On a press junket in Ecuador, the author investigates the ethics of shopping.
A profile of the Bronx immigrant family on the other end of your Chinese takeout menu.
People know Krugman these days as a feisty political polemicist, but back when he was less politically engaged he was absolutely one of the very finest popularizers of economic ideas ever. This piece is a wonderful, brief introduction to the fundamental economic forces driving the world and a lot of my current thinking is preoccupied with the questions it raises. Reading it again, I realized that a point I like to make about the elevator being a great mass transit technology is almost certainly something I subconsciously picked up here.
Last Fall, America’s favorite focus drug suddenly went into short supply.
How an industry that couldn’t miss did just that.
How the U.S. lost out on iPhone work.
The story of Standard Motor Products, a 92-year-old family-run auto parts manufacturer, and the transformation of the U.S. manufacturing industry.
Lessons learned about white-collar crime from an economist turned bagel salesman whose business relied entirely on the honor system.
On switching to the gold standard and a trip to the Yukon to witness the modern gold rush.
After decades of failed revitalization strategies, a town of 10,000 tries another.
How the Mosley Motel, off U.S. 19 in Florida, became the temporary home to at least 27 families turned away from full shelters.
A pub’s-eye view of Ireland’s recent run of leaders.