"The depth of our financial ignorance is startling. In recent years, Annamaria Lusardi, an economist at Dartmouth and the head of the Financial Literacy Center, has conducted extensive studies of what Americans know about finance. It's depressing work. Almost half of those surveyed couldn't answer two questions about inflation and interest rates correctly, and slightly more sophis
John Cassidy picks up on an AP report stating that 47% of Americans will not pay federal income tax for 2009, and he says that's a good thing. "How should we react to these figures? As somebody who believes that wealth is ultimately socially created and that the marginal utility of income declines rapidly with income-a finding confirmed by countless surveys-I believe they are almo
Evan Osnos reports firsthand about what it's like to live without Google. The short answer: it's not much different. "Under the old Google, searches brought up only a limited view of reality: a list of Tiananmen Square-related tour options, say, but no mention of the 1989 military crackdown there. Under the new system, a search for political landmines-the three T's, as they'
James Surowieki examines the reasons why retailers targeting the top of the market, like Apple and those targeting the bottom, such as Ikea, are doing well. "These two strategies may look completely different, but they have one crucial thing in common: they don't target the amorphous blob of consumers who make up the middle of the market. Paradoxically, ignoring these people has t