April 18, 2014
More Money Buys More Life: The Awful Consequence of Inequality

The income gap meets the longevity gap.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

More Money Buys More Life: The Awful Consequence of Inequality

The income gap meets the longevity gap.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

April 16, 2014
"

In other words: Political money and hence influence at the top levels is disproportionately white, male, and with almost no social context that includes significant numbers of African Americans and other people of color.

This is why money isn’t speech. Freedom of speech as a functional element in democratic life assumes that such freedom can be meaningfully deployed. But the unleashing of yet more money into politics allows a very limited class of people to drown out the money “speech” of everyone else—but especially those with a deep, overwhelmingly well documented history of being denied voice and presence in American political life.

"

Ta-Nehisi Coates, on John Roberts and the color of money.

March 26, 2014
Why Bitcoin Can No Longer Work as a Virtual Currency

A single bitcoin no longer functions like a $20 bill.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Why Bitcoin Can No Longer Work as a Virtual Currency

A single bitcoin no longer functions like a $20 bill.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

January 31, 2014
Money, Power, and College Sports in 1905 America

A moment in U.S. history as seen in the pages of The Outlook magazine.
Read more. [Image: Project Gutenberg]

Money, Power, and College Sports in 1905 America

A moment in U.S. history as seen in the pages of The Outlook magazine.

Read more. [Image: Project Gutenberg]

January 23, 2014
Money Is a Terrible Way to Measure the Value of a College Major

The cliche about majoring in humanities is that it’s a lovely way to spend four years of college and poor way to land a lucrative job. To some extent, that cliche may be true. On the whole, humanities grads earn less than students who study disciplines like business or engineering. So sayeth the statistics. 
But the Association of American Colleges and Universities would like you to know that getting a degree in English or History, while perhaps not the most financially rewarding choice, doesn’t require an oath of poverty either. Over a lifetime, they note, typical humanities and social science majors earn similarly to graduates who study practical, pre-professional fields such as education or nursing. 
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Money Is a Terrible Way to Measure the Value of a College Major

The cliche about majoring in humanities is that it’s a lovely way to spend four years of college and poor way to land a lucrative job. To some extent, that cliche may be true. On the whole, humanities grads earn less than students who study disciplines like business or engineering. So sayeth the statistics. 

But the Association of American Colleges and Universities would like you to know that getting a degree in English or History, while perhaps not the most financially rewarding choice, doesn’t require an oath of poverty either. Over a lifetime, they note, typical humanities and social science majors earn similarly to graduates who study practical, pre-professional fields such as education or nursing.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

December 13, 2013
How Thinking About Time Can Make You a Better Person

Are you rich? That’s great. But bad news: You’re probably an awful cheater. Science says.
"The increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing,” Paul Piff of the University of California, Berkeley wrote in a widely-cited paper showing that the “upper-class” was more likely to lie, cheat, violate driving laws, and even take candy from children.
It’s not just having money that makes us dishonest. Even thinking about it—lustrous gold coins, money trees, year-end bonuses—makes us us more likely to behave unethically. A new study this week both indicts the immoral intoxication of money and offers a simple solution: When you make people think about time rather than money, they become self-reflective and less likely to do the wrong thing. 
Read more. [Image: Wikipedia Commons]

How Thinking About Time Can Make You a Better Person

Are you rich? That’s great. But bad news: You’re probably an awful cheater. Science says.

"The increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing,” Paul Piff of the University of California, Berkeley wrote in a widely-cited paper showing that the “upper-class” was more likely to lie, cheat, violate driving laws, and even take candy from children.

It’s not just having money that makes us dishonest. Even thinking about it—lustrous gold coins, money trees, year-end bonuses—makes us us more likely to behave unethically. A new study this week both indicts the immoral intoxication of money and offers a simple solution: When you make people think about time rather than money, they become self-reflective and less likely to do the wrong thing.

Read more. [Image: Wikipedia Commons]

3:49pm
  
Filed under: Business Money Wealth Morality Time 
December 3, 2013
This Christian Company Will Win Because It’s Rich

My money’s on Hobby Lobby—not because it’s a corporation, not because it’s Christian, but because its owners are rich. 
The specific issue in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores is whether a for-profit corporation may refuse to comply with mandatory employee insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act, on the grounds that its employees may use their insurance for purposes the company’s owners find distasteful on religious grounds.
Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores, and Mardel, a chain of Christian supply stores, are owned by the Green family of Oklahoma. The Greens are conservative Christians who object to any form of contraception that can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. The Act requires that employee insurance policies cover all forms of FDA-approved contraception.  This requirement, the company argues, is a “substantial burden” on its corporate right to “the free exercise of religion,” and thus violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

This Christian Company Will Win Because It’s Rich

My money’s on Hobby Lobby—not because it’s a corporation, not because it’s Christian, but because its owners are rich. 

The specific issue in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores is whether a for-profit corporation may refuse to comply with mandatory employee insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act, on the grounds that its employees may use their insurance for purposes the company’s owners find distasteful on religious grounds.

Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores, and Mardel, a chain of Christian supply stores, are owned by the Green family of Oklahoma. The Greens are conservative Christians who object to any form of contraception that can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. The Act requires that employee insurance policies cover all forms of FDA-approved contraception.  This requirement, the company argues, is a “substantial burden” on its corporate right to “the free exercise of religion,” and thus violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

September 16, 2013
Where Americans — Rich and Poor — Spent Every Dollar in 2012

Food, clothes, and housing account for more than 60 percent of all spending among the poor.
Read more.

Where Americans — Rich and Poor — Spent Every Dollar in 2012

Food, clothes, and housing account for more than 60 percent of all spending among the poor.

Read more.

September 10, 2013
The Insane Growth of Fantasy Sports — In 1 Graph

The Insane Growth of Fantasy Sports — In 1 Graph

September 10, 2013
Can Your Language Influence Your Spending, Eating, and Smoking Habits?

Yes, I know. That headline. It looks like the most egregious form of causal inference. Americans don’t save money because of … our grammar? How utterly absurd. But bear with me.
In the 1930s, linguists proposed that the way we read, write, and talk helped to determine the way we see the world. Speakers of languages that had the same word for orange and yellow had a harder time actually distinguishing the colors. Speakers of the Kook Thaayorre language, which has no words for left and right, must orient themselves by north, south, east, and west at all time, which enhances their awareness of geographical and astronomical markers.
Last year, economist Keith Chen released a working paper (now published) suggesting speakers of languages without strong future tenses tended to be more responsible about planning for the future. Quick example. In English, we say “I will go to the play tomorrow.” That’s strong future tense. In Mandarin or Finnish, which have weaker future tenses, it might be more appropriate to say, “I go to the play tomorrow.” 
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Can Your Language Influence Your Spending, Eating, and Smoking Habits?

Yes, I know. That headline. It looks like the most egregious form of causal inference. Americans don’t save money because of … our grammar? How utterly absurd. But bear with me.

In the 1930s, linguists proposed that the way we read, write, and talk helped to determine the way we see the world. Speakers of languages that had the same word for orange and yellow had a harder time actually distinguishing the colors. Speakers of the Kook Thaayorre language, which has no words for left and right, must orient themselves by north, south, east, and west at all time, which enhances their awareness of geographical and astronomical markers.

Last year, economist Keith Chen released a working paper (now published) suggesting speakers of languages without strong future tenses tended to be more responsible about planning for the future. Quick example. In English, we say “I will go to the play tomorrow.” That’s strong future tense. In Mandarin or Finnish, which have weaker future tenses, it might be more appropriate to say, “I go to the play tomorrow.”

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

12:55pm
  
Filed under: Money Spending Language Behavior 
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