If you live in England and share a last name with a Norman conqueror listed in the Domesday book of 1086—think Sinclair, Percy, Beauchamp—you have a 25 percent higher chance of matriculating at Oxford or Cambridge.
What You Can Learn from the New Science of Smarter Spending. By Cass R. Sunstein. Illustration by Samantha Mash.
What can be done to combat the influence of big business on politics?
"Every four or five years, it seems, progressives and the media discover ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, anew. I’m old enough that the latest “OMG!” reaction to the existence of the conservative legislative network, following the revelation of its role in promoting voter ID laws and the “Stand Your Ground” gun laws that briefly shielded George Zimmerman, is probably the third “discovery” of ALEC I’ve witnessed. (ALEC played a significant role the PowerPoint presentation called “The Conservative Message Machine Money Matrix,” created by Rob Stein in 2004 and that led liberal donors to organize The Democracy Alliance.)"
- Photo courtesy of ThinkProgress
Exactly how progressive is our tax code?
"The general idea of raising taxes on the poor is that if people at the bottom of the income distribution get too used to thinking of government as something that gives them benefits and never, ever requires that they pay taxes, then they’ll think that government comes free and they will demand more and more of it. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page long ago branded these lower-income big-government hogs “lucky duckies.”“
- Timothy Noah, Lucky Duckies Revisited
Image courtesy of KathleenKirkPoetry