Unintended Consequences Prussian Minister Otto von Bismarck once said that laws are like sausages: it’s better not to see them being made. Frankly, that comparison is unfair to sausage makers. When was the last time a kitchen full of lawmakers cooked up something as tasty as a delicate Bavarian weisswürst, or as satisfying as a… Read More

Americans love holidays — so much that if we see a blank spot on the calendar, someone is ready to fill it. Usually, it’s someone with something to sell: would it shock you to learn that something called the National Retail Federation was behind Cyber Monday? (No Virginia, there is no Cyber Santa.) Friday, April… Read More

Penny for Your Thoughts In 2017, country singer Luke Bryan scored a #1 hit with “Most People Are Good.” Certainly, most people consider themselves good. Of course, “illusory superiority bias” (also known as the “better than average” effect) means most of us think we’re better than we really are at most everything. One survey showed… Read More

In 1787, the founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia to fix the weak Articles of Confederation, and wound up adopting the first written national constitution on earth. (“A republic, if you can keep it,” Ben Franklin said. The jury’s still out.) The framers sought to achieve a perfect balance of power between federal and state governments.… Read More

March 2 marks the birthday of America’s favorite self-help author, Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel. Seuss died in 1991 with an estimated net worth of $75 million, so he knew a thing or two about paying tax. But archivists recently discovered a file of unpublished manuscripts revealing just how much he resented it. His first effort,… Read More

  Back in 1788, George Washington turned down his chance to become King of the new United States of America. Maybe that’s why the closest thing we have to a royal family right now — at least, as far as supermarket tabloids are concerned — is the Kardashians. While the family redefines the concept of… Read More

  2020 was a tough year all around. Coronavirus cast a pall over every aspect of life. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and the stock market dropped 26% in just four days. Murder hornets showed up, and the Tiger King shot to national celebrity. Is it any wonder most of us looked forward to… Read More

Monkey Business Walk into any suburban supermarket, and you’ll find entire aisles of food you wouldn’t have seen when you were a kid. What the heck is quinoa, anyway? Who invented kombucha? And if mom had served kale, you might have appreciated broccoli more. But there’s one whole category that delights millions, and that’s the… Read More

It’s Taxes All Fun and Games . . . Last week, hell broke loose on Wall Street as an online flash mob of mostly-rookie traders took on the hedge fund elite — and won. Their target: GameStop (GME), a struggling retailer selling used video games, often out of shabby strip centers surrounded by check-cashing joints… Read More

  Punch Drunk on Taxes Odds are good that if you hear the words “Mike Tyson” and “money,” you think of the huge purses ($685 million!) that Iron Mike won, then squandered, in his colorful career. Tyson, who surely could have benefited from reading a Dave Ramsey book, was legendary for his excess. Who else… Read More