7 Figures: Lotteries in America

At The Atlantic, Derek Thompson provides some depressing numbers related to lotteries in America. Here are seven figures you should know from his article: 1. Americans spend more on lottery tickets than on sports tickets, books, video games, movie tickets, and recorded music sales combined — $70 billion on lotto games in 2014. Continue Reading...

Why is the Episcopal Church Working as a Debt Collector?

For decades The Episcopal Church (ECUSA) has faced declining membership (in 1966, the ECUSA had 3,647,297 members; by 2013, the membership was 1,866,758, a decline of 49 percent.) But even when people are leaving the pews someone still has to pay for those pews, as well as the other overhead costs that come with running a large organization. Continue Reading...

7 Figures: Tax Day Edition

Today is tax day, the day when individual income tax returns are due to the federal government. Here are seven figures you should know about tax day: 1. The average federal tax rate for all households (tax liabilities divided by income, including government transfer payments) before taxes is 18.1 percent. Continue Reading...

Can We End Extreme Poverty by 2030?

Can the world put an end to extreme poverty within the next 15 years? That’s the current goal of the World Bank, and its expected that the United Nations will adopt that same target later this year. Continue Reading...

Explainer: What You Should Know About the Rubio-Lee Tax Plan

What is the Rubio-Lee Plan? The plan—officially titled the “Economic Growth and Family Fairness Tax Plan”—is a white paper in which Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) lay out a tax reform proposal they believes will “resolve these major problems in the tax code.” What’s in the plan? Continue Reading...

Apple Watch: Forbidden Fruit?

Over at Think Christian today I examine some of the moral implications surrounding the announced release of the new Apple Watch. In the background of my thinking was a TEDxPuget Sound talk by Simon Sinek that focuses on identifying the “why” of organizations. Continue Reading...

Why Government Money Alone Can’t Fix Poor Schools

The largest initiative to combat poverty by funding public schools has occurred in Camden, New Jersey, the poorest small city in America. New Jersey spends about 60 percent more on education per pupil than the national average according to 2012 census figures, or about $19,000 in 2013. Continue Reading...