Life At The End Of American Empire
The 2008 crisis and the government’s response made obvious the extent of economic and political inequality in the United States, and the absolute decline in wealth and well-being for a growing fraction of Americans. Evidence of decline is manifest to those of us living in America in the first decades of the 21st century.
The Man At The Center Of Brussels Spy Probe
A flamboyant former EU ambassador with a fondness for plaid bow ties and a taste for the finer things in life, Gerhard Sabathil is the man German authorities suspect was at the center of a clandestine Chinese operation aimed at delivering European secrets to Beijing.
How Our Definition Of Middle Class Has–And Hasn’t–Changed In 100 Years
Some of the cultural markers associated with the middle class–like education–have shifted. But its aspirations? Not so much.
Scraping By In The Gig Economy As A Guy Without A Bank Account
In 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) found that 8.4 million households in the U.S. were without bank accounts. Nearly 53 percent of these households listed “not having enough money” to put into an account as the reason why, while another 30 percent cited not trusting banks.
The Threat To Freedom Of Expression In Japan
The closure of part of the 2019 Aichi Triennale reflects a broader climate of aggression, censorship and nationalist revisionism. Art is the frontline in debates around free speech precisely because it creates space for questioning values and challenging historical assumptions in public.
Welcome To The Monkey House
Between the end of the Korean War and the early 1990s, more than one million Korean women were caught up in a state-controlled prostitution industry that was blessed at the highest levels by the U.S. military. They worked in special zones surrounding U.S. bases—areas licensed by the South Korean government.
Operation Encore And The Saudi Connection: A Secret History Of The 9/11 Investigation
Behind the scenes, a small team of FBI agents spent years trying to solve a stubborn mystery — whether officials from Saudi Arabia, one of Washington’s closest allies, were involved in the worst terror attack in U.S. history. This is their story.
The Road That Links China And Pakistan, A Journey Across India & Pakistan
Adnan Sarwar drives along the Karakoram Highway, one of the highest paved roads on Earth to Attabad Lake. Babita’s journey takes her into the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a region which is still being fought over by India and Pakistan, who both claimed it at Partition.
Saudi Arabia: What Happens When The Oil Stops
Mohammed bin Salman is about to find out what happens when the world does not need his oil. In the past, the standard response to that hypothesis was condescending looks. Not any more. The prospect of Saudi becoming a debtor nation is real.
Why Green Energy Finally Makes Economic Sense
Renewable energy is now comparable with the cost of building new coal and nuclear capacity. Existing, older power plants already have the capital investment sunk, so they are cheaper — but, in the case of South Africa at least, many of these plants are reaching retirement ages.
The Ticking Time Bomb In America’s Downtowns
The sad state of office buildings could cause something called the “doom loop.” $1.5 trillion in commercial real estate debt, is owed to banks, pension funds, and insurance companies before the end of 2025, and secured by properties that may not be worth what they were five or 10 years ago when those loans got made.
Mathematicians Have Solved Traffic Jams, And They’re Begging Cities To Listen
Traffic modeling is a complex branch of applied mathematics, partially because it assumes that drivers are selfish and pursuing their own goals, rather than any predictable or shared efforts.
Why The Coming Foreclosure Crisis Will Look Nothing Like The Last One
A prominent housing analyst expects hundreds of thousands of defaults next year as mortgage forbearance periods end. At first glance, those projections look bad. On closer inspection, however, this round of foreclosures should be mild in comparison to the financial carnage of 2008 to 2010.
How McKinsey Destroyed The Middle Class
Consultants seek to legitimate both the job cuts and the explosion of elite pay. Rather than simply improving management, to make American corporations lean and fit, they fostered hierarchy, making management, in David Gordon’s memorable phrase, “fat and mean.”
How Texas Instruments Monopolized Math Class
Some major textbooks feature illustrations of Texas Instruments–series calculators alongside the text, so students can use their Texas Instruments calculator with the lesson plan, emphasizing how deeply interwoven Texas Instruments remains with the educational hegemony.
Inside The West’s Plans For Arctic War Against Russia
Moscow is growing belligerent in its quest to pry open the icy route to the Atlantic. The U.S. and Britain are racing to catch up, but is it too late?
Millennials Don’t Stand A Chance
Millennials entered the workforce during the worst downturn since the Great Depression. They are now entering their peak earning years in the midst of an economic cataclysm more severe than the Great Recession. They will be the first generation in modern American history to end up poorer than their parents.
The Great Vape Debate: Are E-cigarettes Saving Smokers Or Creating New Addicts?
Behind the outright ban on sales of e-cigarettes in San Francisco is a panic about teenagers vaping. More than one in four American teens have tried vaping. In the UK, meanwhile, the medical establishment is endorsing vaping as an aid to giving up smoking. Where does the truth lie?
Who Owns Antartica?
Ever since Roald Amundsen planted his flag on the South Pole, the issue of Antarctica’s ownership has been a thorny one. But in 1959, a pioneering deal was reached to preserve and help save the environment. This is the story and impact of the Antarctic Treaty and the pressures the continent still faces.
America’s Cocaine Habit Fueled Its Migrant Crisis
During the 90s, traffickers started shipping their drugs through Central America and over land to Mexico. That created a violent and competitive turf war between gangs and organizations in Guatemala and Honduras, and after the governments cracked down, violence only increased, forcing people to flee, often to the US.
We Are Living In A Failed State
When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and it exploited them ruthlessly. Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years. We had learned to live, uncomfortably, with the symptoms.