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Economics

Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality

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Woman Stealing Clothes From Store

Discovery Fellow Christopher Rufo with Tucker Carlson on the West Coast Shoplifting Boom

There is a "shoplifting boom" that's hitting the major West Coast cities. Five years ago, California passed Proposition 47, which decriminalized drug possession and thefts under $950, which has led to a surge in property crime throughout the state. Policies like this hurt working families, create disorder on downtown streets, and drive California further into "Third World levels of inequality." Last night, I sat down with Tucker Carlson to discuss the "shoplifting boom." I was born and raised in California, so it's very difficult to see what's happened to my home state—but there's no end in sight to the rising chaos and disorder. Read More ›
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Still from America Lost by Christopher Rufo (CC-BY-ND)

Discovery Institute Fellow Chrisopher Rufo Set to Release New Documentary Next Year on American Poverty

Discovery Institute research fellow Christopher F. Rufo is set to release his latest feature-length documentary, America Lost, which tells the story of life in three “forgotten American cities” — Youngstown, Ohio, Memphis, Tennessee, and Stockton, California.  America Lost reveals the dramatic decline of the American interior through a combination of emotional personal stories and thoughtful conservative commentary. Filmmaker Christopher F. Rufo spent Read More ›

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The “Supermarket Sweep”

When I was a kid, a television show called Supermarket Sweep featured teams of middle Americans bolting through grocery store aisles and filling their carts with food, household products, and pet supplies. The show’s premise was that, for two minutes, the rule of law—in this case, the law against shoplifting—would be suspended. The team with the largest haul could take home their bounty of groceries, win prizes, and compete for the championship. Today, in some West Coast cities, the Supermarket Sweep isn’t a game show—it’s a dark reality, fueled by addiction, crime, and bad public policy. From Seattle to Los Angeles, a “shoplifting boom” is hitting major retailers, which deal with thousands of thefts, drug overdoses, and assaults each year. Since 2010, thefts increased by 22 percent in Portland, 50 percent in San Francisco, and 61 percent in Los Angeles. In total, California, Oregon, and Washington reported 864,326 thefts to the FBI last year. The real figure is likely much higher, as many retailers have stopped reporting most shoplifting incidents to police. Read More ›
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Jaffa Harbor, Israel
Jaffa Harbor, Israel
Photo by Shai Pal at Unsplash

Isolating the Biggest Problems in Israel

We all are beginning to understand what is right about Israel. It is at the pinnacle of human accomplishment in technology, innovation, culture and wealth. Amid a global slump, it is still growing at an annual rate near 5%. In startups, IPOs, and venture capital, it leads the world by any per-capita standard and in some ways by absolute metrics. Read More ›

New York Skyline

‘New Left Urbanists’ Want to Remake Your City

America’s big cities are almost all dominated by the Democratic Party, but the politics of urban development are far from monolithic. In the past few years, a new faction has emerged across the country. Call them the new left urbanists. These activists have big dreams. They want local governments to rebuild the urban environment—housing, transit, roads and tolls—to achieve social justice, racial justice and net-zero carbon emissions. They rally around slogans such as “ban all cars,” “raze the suburbs” and “single-family housing is white supremacy”—though they’re generally white and affluent themselves, often employed in public or semipublic roles in urban planning, housing development and social advocacy. They treat public housing, mass transit and bike lanes as a holy trinity, and they want to impose their religion on you. Read More ›
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Pushback

The political ground may be starting to shift in America’s bluest cities. While San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver remain reliable Democratic strongholds, a divide is opening between the cities’ activist political elite and a liberal, but more pragmatic, majority of voters. Read More ›
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Fake Dictionary, definition of the word Addiction.

Madness and Society

At six o’clock each morning, the alcoholics, addicts, and mentally ill residents of San Donato Val di Comino, Italy, emerge from their homes and congregate—sometimes together, but mostly alone—in the cafés around the town’s main square. Some of the hardened alcoholics order an espresso with a shot of liquor, then climb into work trucks and head out to farms and construction sites. The mentally ill—who suffer predominantly from depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia—order cups of coffee or sit at the patio tables emptyhanded, an indication that they have run out of cash for the month. Read More ›
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COSM

The COSM Conference is a premier national summit on the converging future of technology. Held in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, COSM highlights the interplay between global innovations and the pullulating Seattle scene of some of the world’s leading tech companies confronting the fastest moving opportunities. Focusing on the “systems of the world” competing to shape our economy and society, the mission of the conference …

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The facade of the Federal Reserve Bank.

Three Steps to Save America from Collapse

Our monetary system is broken. It’s given us low growth, a shrinking job force, inequality beyond what a healthy economy would produce, inefficiency, and the unnatural growth of finance as a portion of the economy. Our aging Federal Reserve System starves both small businesses and Silicon Valley of the capital needed to grow jobs and wages. Fed policy translates into Read More ›