FROM Matthew O'Brien
The Lure of the Lotto and Its Impact on the Poor States establish lotteries as a means of funding public services, including education, environmental protection and crime control. Best of all, of course, they're voluntary. But it turns out that most of the money they take in every year comes from the poorest Americans. Powerball is shared by 44 states, with drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The chance of winning that "guaranteed jackpot?" One in 175,223,510. It's not great odds -- but just one of the games that add up to $70 billion a year. Thanks to Sarah Sween for production assistance.
Is Income Inequality Here to Stay? "All societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others." So, "why has the US become more so than just about any other rich country in the past 30 years?" That question is raised by The Atlantic's Matthew O'Brien, in the aftermath of new figures released by the same economists who brought attention to the income gap and gave birth to the occupy movement. Those figures show that America's "1%" took more than a fifth of the nation's income last year — and the top 10% got half – something that's never happened in 100 years of data collection. But 99% have failed to see any boost at all from economic recovery. Is it all about Wall Street and the decline of organized labor? What about access to education and the impact of globalization? Steps used in the past to even the playing field aren't popular any more. Will inequality lead to unrest, or are we all just getting used to it?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."