for prisoners, the practical advantages of a college education are impossible to deny. Only 2 percent of BPI graduates return to jail, as opposed to about half of released prisoners nationwide. Even more importantly, BPI alumni make vital and often unexpected contributions to their communities upon their return. In their prison classes, they talk about working as youth advocates, counselors, and teachers. And once they are home, that’s mostly what they do.

Currently, the most promising initiative to replace the Electoral College is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Beginning in 2006, a sequence of states have made a pledge to award their electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote on condition that the states within the compact command at least 270 electoral votes—the minimum needed to elect a president. This condition creates a coordinating mechanism—states would move to the new system together, not unilaterally.

in the past few decades, the price of hiring a lawyer to handle an everyday dispute has risen at a rate much greater than the average increase in income or wages. Thus, between 1985 and 2012 the average billing rate for law firm partners in the US increased from $112 per hour to $536 per hour, and for associate lawyers from $79 per hour to $370 per hour. These billing rates increased at more than three times the rate of inflation during the same period.

The Brennan Center for Justice identifies fifteen states that have new voting restrictions in place for the first time for the 2016 presidential election, and five more that have had restrictions in place since the 2012 election. These include several states considered “battlegrounds” in the upcoming presidential election, or that have competitive elections for Senate seats, including Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia, Illinois, and Arizona.

By the end of 1959 about $200 million was on deposit abroad. By 1961 the total had hit $3 billion, by which time offshore financial engineering “was spreading to Zurich, the Caribbean, and beyond” as jurisdiction after jurisdiction got in on the game. Today, the economist Gabriel Zucman estimates that there is $7.6 trillion of household wealth in tax havens globally—around 8 percent of the world’s wealth.

The North Korean regime, therefore, is neither “Stalinist” nor “Confucianist,” as it is often described. It adheres to an ideology called Kimilsungism, centered on the notion of juche (“self-reliance”). This ideology was once described by Kim Jong-il as “an original idea that cannot be explained within the framework of Marxism-Leninism…an idea newly discovered in the history of human thought.” Centered around the idea that...man, not nature, holds the position of Master in the material world

Not since the late 1800s...has such a large chunk of the elephant population disappeared ... The regions of Africa that have suffered most from poaching are those steeped in conflict ... A few years ago, Janjaweed militiamen from Sudan tromped more than a thousand miles to slaughter hundreds of elephants in Cameroon in the span of a few days. In the Central African Republic, torn by religious conflict, some of the local elephant populations may soon go extinct.

The major inventions that revolutionized American living standards were seldom captured in the standard indexes. Examples include running water, toilets, telephones, air travel, phonographs, television, air conditioning, central heating, antibiotics, automobiles, financial instruments, and better working conditions. These tectonic shifts in technology and living standards would generally go unrecorded in “real GDP” growth and in the growth of “real wages.”

In retrospect, Western sympathizers were right about the need to curb population growth in China—and blind to the brutality of China’s policy... China covered up the abuses and pretended that the policy was essentially voluntary, backed by fines but not by force... This deception was possible because the worst abuses unfolded in the countryside, and intellectuals in the cities with whom Westerners mixed had less inclination to violate the policy and were less likely to be dragged off if they did

since the late 1990s, the share of automobiles driven by people in their twenties in America has fallen from 20.8 percent to 13.7 percent. The number of nineteen-year-olds opting out of driver’s licenses has tripled since the 1970s from 8 to 23 percent ... People are moving downtown for jobs, but also for the pleasures and benefits of cultural exchange, walkable streets, parks, and public squares. Squares have defined urban living since the dawn of democracy, from which they are inseparable.