The Price of McDonald’s in Every Country

Fifteen cents. That was the price of Dick and Maurice McDonald’s centerpiece hamburger when they opened a stand selling just nine menu items, back in 1948.  The McDonald’s affordable hunger-buster brought the customers in. And by focusing on a limited menu, the brothers ensured the hamburger and its sides tasted exactly the same every time. […]

4 min read

The 2021 US Pizza Index

America’s love story with pizza is 75 years old – and Americans started flirting with pizza pie well over a century ago. Lombardi’s, in New York City, is most commonly cited as America’s first pizzeria – this Little Italy joint opened in 1905. Pizza-chomping Italians had entered the States before the turn of the 20th […]

4 min read

Why are Lumber Prices So High?

If you’ve tried to do any home improvements in the last few months, you’ve already learned about the increase in lumber prices the hard way. It’s making the prices of homes skyrocket. But what exactly is going on with lumber? Why are prices so high? Is there really a lumber shortage, or is something else […]

5 min read

Wiener and Zuboff on Surveillance Capitalism

Review of Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism In setting the stage for this review of Shoshana Zuboff’s remarkable book, a brief selective history of the field of artificial intelligence will be helpful, especially in recalling the pioneering work of Norbert Wiener. “Artificial intelligence” (AI) is in common usage today, but the term is […]

11 min read

History and Background of the Social Security Act of 1935

Economic security is important to everyone, but for centuries, people who were economically disadvantaged had little to protect them from serious problems like hunger and homelessness. Often, some of the poorest citizens in a society were the elderly, who could no longer work to support themselves. This problem was always worse in difficult economic times, […]

3 min read

The 25 Most Influential Economics Programs and the 25 Most Influential Economists

The well-known Harvard economist Greg Mankiw recently blogged about a new website called AcademicInfluence.com. This site features some fascinating machine-learning tools for determining the most influential schools by discipline as well as the most influential faculty in those disciplines. You can even toggle the time-frame in which to gauge influence. If you do this for […]

4 min read