Income Inequality: Starbucks

During June, 2012, 8 pounds of Guatemalan coffee were sold at auction for $4004.00  ($500.50 a pound). Called Finca El Injerto, the bean is unusually small, originally from Yemen and grown at an elite Guatemalan plantation. At my Florham Park,…

Making Presidential History

President Obama has been having dinner with historians. Described by the NY Times as a “largely left tilting group,” the names I consistently discovered that attended the dinners were: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michael Beschloss, Robert Caro, Robert Dallek, Douglas Brinkley, H.…

Trees and Money

In one NPR report on trees and income inequality, a senior online NOVA editor showed his sky shots (below) of Piedmont CA and nearby West Oakland. Piedmont, which he described as a “wealthy enclave” was quite green while West Oakland…

Why Are Most of Us Middle Class?

“What then is the American, this new man?…He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the…

Who Really Won the Olympics?

Sometimes it is tough to decide who really is #1. Ask me who won the Olympics and I, as a former history teacher, might say the Mongol Empire. If you were to outline the Mongol Empire (1280AD) on a map,…

Do You Agree With French Taxes?

Talking about taxes, economists like to quote Louis XIV’s finance minister: “The art of taxation consists of so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.” We have been hearing…

A Neighborhood Education

By Mira Korber, guest blogger. You probably know that where you live says quite a lot about the public education you receive. However, living in a geographical zone that touts quality schooling may cost more than you realize. A new…

Middle Class Questions

If you have questions about Verizon and middle class income growth,  your conclusions might depend on the questions that you ask. My story begins with a disastrous call to Verizon Wireless. One agent left and never returned, three said they…

Not so Nosy Neighbors

By Mira Korber, guest blogger. You are like your neighbors, but not for the reasons you might think. Here are some general assumptions about neighborhoods (all quoted from this Atlantic article): “(1) Neighborhoods are important centers of American life. (2) The residents of American neighborhoods…