Frank Capra’s Formula for Taming American Capitalism

It’s a Wonderful Life Prescribed Community and Empathy as the Remedy to a Callous Economic System

From the Gilded Age and until well into the Great Depression, Americans engaged in one of the most consequential debates in the country’s history: how best to address the economic inequities and societal problems stemming from industrialization, and relatedly, wealth maximization in the private sector.

For some, a bureaucratic state was the answer. As was argued first by the Socialist Party of America in the early 20th century, the state could equalize wealth inequalities. Later, with the Depression, a great number of Americans came to believe that such a state …

How Crop Circles Saved the Great Plains

In the 1940s, Farmer Frank Zybach Invented Center Pivot Irrigation and Brought the Dust Bowl Back to Life

If you live in the Great Plains, sooner or later you’ll get a question about those “crop circles” that can be observed from airplane windows during flights over the region. …

Helping the Environment Is Nice. Helping Yourself Is OK, Too.

A UCLA Economist Argues That More People Will Embrace 'Green' Consumption If They Get a Personal Benefit

Homo sapiens are hardwired to consume, a habit that’s taking a heavy—and potentially catastrophic—environmental toll. But pleading with people to stop driving gas-guzzling SUVs or eating red meat may not …

Why Americans Insist on Putting a Price Tag on Life

From Ben Franklin to Slavery to Reaganomics, Our Habit of Measuring Everything in Dollars and Cents

Everything, as they say in America, has its price. It has been found that a lack of sleep costs the American economy $411 billion a year and stress another $300 …

Why Suckering Americans Is a Booming Business

Business Fraud Is Thriving Amid Loose Regulation and Short-Term Gain Fixation

American capitalism has always provided openings for hucksters and outright swindlers.

For centuries, this society has been especially receptive to economic innovation and the strategies of wealth-seeking that so often …