Ugh, Josephine Got the Diamond (AGAIN)

Kelly Conaboy · 11/13/15 11:15AM

Last week, we let you in on a little secret: a diamond was for sale, and it was yours for the taking. Now it looks as though Josephine’s father bought it for her. AGAIN.

The Flaws of Meritocracy

Hamilton Nolan · 04/01/15 01:28PM

When questions of civil rights, or inequality, or discrimination arise, we are often reminded that we are supposed to be striving for an ideal: the ideal of meritocracy, where everyone rises and falls on their own merits. Take a moment to consider the problems with our ideal.

Crush Nepotism Wherever It Lives

Hamilton Nolan · 12/09/13 12:18PM

The New York Times reported yesterday that JPMorgan Chase is under federal investigation for hiring the children of China's elite with the explicit goal of boosting the bank's business prospects. Good. Nepotism on Wall Street is just as gross as nepotism at the media outlets that cover Wall Street.

What the Media Owes to Bradley Manning

Hamilton Nolan · 08/22/13 10:42AM

Yesterday, former U.S. soldier Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified U.S. government documents to Wikileaks. Journalists and news outlets owe Manning more than gratitude. We owe her the truth: in a just world, we'd be in the cell next to her.

Tax Havens Don't Have to Be Considered Respectable

Hamilton Nolan · 05/23/13 01:34PM

Certain nations in this world prosper by becoming "tax havens"— by pulling in money from people and entities seeking to avoid taxes in their home countries. They profit as the treasuries of other nations suffer. Now, even some non-utopians are predicting their end.

The Unfairness and Stupidity of the Payroll Tax

Hamilton Nolan · 02/22/13 01:37PM

A temporary payroll tax cut was allowed to expire recently, meaning that payroll taxes are now removing an extra 2% from everyone's paychecks. Every corporation in the business of selling things to non-rich Americans is freaking out, because they expect their customers to cut back on spending now. The working class has just seen its take-home pay reduced by 2%; working class people will now have 2% less to spend on food, and clothes, and toilet paper, and everything else. It may be true that letting the payroll tax rise was foolish in the short term. It is definitely true that payroll taxes in general are, as constructed, a bad idea.

Nobody Who Knows Anything Trusts the Banks

Hamilton Nolan · 01/15/13 10:25AM

A hedge funder is making noise about bringing down the salaries of executives at Morgan Stanley. Good. The government sure hasn't been successful at holding down corporate executive salaries, so maybe the market should work its magic—let hedge funds squeeze a few extra percentage points of profit in return for holding down the paychecks of the bosses of the banks they invest in. A worthwhile deal for the public. And a vindication of capitalism's mythical self-regulatory powers!

Abolish the Electoral College (And The U.S. Senate)

Hamilton Nolan · 11/06/12 04:55PM

Democracy is not very hard to understand. Its simplicity is a big part of its appeal. One citizen, one vote. Even representative democracy, necessary for unwieldy, far-flung populous nations like ours, is pretty easy: the candidate who gets the most votes wins. Representatives represent the will of the people.

'It Was Like a War Zone': A Former Nanny for Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Speaks Out

John Cook · 07/18/12 12:40PM

A former household staffer and tutor for Rupert Mudoch and Wendi Deng's children is speaking out for the first time about the relentless nightmare that is working for the Murdochs: Screaming tantrums, nannies discarded by the side of the road on a whim, no benefits, unpaid overtime, young girls body-shamed by their mother—and near abandonment for workers injured on the job.

Why We Need Unions

Hamilton Nolan · 06/06/12 01:11PM

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker made his name with a coldblooded campaign to destroy public sector unions. Pro-union Wisconsinites tried to recall Walker; they failed. This has led to some gloating and speculation from the usual suspects (Rich Lowry, nice blazer, hair boy) that the death knell has formally sounded for unions in America.

Go Back to Sleep, It's Just the Rich Getting Richer

Hamilton Nolan · 06/20/11 02:47PM

An important part of being a successful American citizen these days is tempering your expectations. Calmness. Deep breaths. Freedom from all forms of desire. So when you hear, for example, that your economically devastated city won't see a return to pre-recession employment levels for another decade, you'll be able to take that news with poise, rather than with a stroke.

While We're At It, Let's Free All Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Hamilton Nolan · 06/02/11 09:39AM

Attorney general Eric Holder has come out in favor of reduced sentences for thousands of people currently imprisoned on nonviolent crack cocaine convictions. (A recent law corrected the insane sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine; Holder is simply recommending that the new sentencing guidelines be applied to some people already in jail.) That's a great first step. Then can we let out all the other drug war victims, too?

Fixing Tickets Is Just 'Courtesy,' Say Corrupt Cops

Hamilton Nolan · 04/20/11 11:57AM

Stern NYC schoolmarm-in-chief Mike Bloomberg is trying to crack down on the practice of NYPD officers making tickets disappear as a favor to friends. Clearly, this is an outrageous assault on the police. Why does Mike Bloomberg hate courtesy?

What's Fair Compensation for Vomiting in a Cab?

Hamilton Nolan · 10/25/10 09:03AM

Many of you have probably had the colorful urban experience of vomiting in a cab, due to drunkenness, intoxication, or just plain alcohol-induced motion sickness. You disgusting lush. How much should a cab driver be compensated for your mess?

Time Warner Workers Unite For Cafe Fairness!

Hamilton Nolan · 03/31/08 01:54PM

Break out the picket signs, the corporate scabs, and the Woody Guthrie songs, because it's time for all the proletarians in the Time Warner building to unite for a good old-fashioned boycott! Of the exclusive, employee-only Park Cafe! According to a righteously angry email being passed among CNN employees on the 7th floor, "on April 1 (Next Tuesday) prices are going up, frequent diner cards are being eliminated and the place will now close an hour earlier at 2:30p every day. If ever a situation called for a BOYCOTT... THIS IS IT!" By god, I can almost hear Samuel Gompers and Big Bill Haywood clawing their way out of their graves to rush to these employees' assistance! So what are the workers fighting to protect? An inside tipster describes the Park Cafe's democratic atmosphere: