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U.S. Out of Vermont!

A secession movement has been blossoming in the liberal state of Vermont:

"In Vermont, Bryan says, there is 'a commonality of people opposed to large distant bureaucracies telling them how to live their lives. It’s the decentralist commonality of the libertarian right and what I’d call the communitarian left. The right opposes big government, the left opposes big business. It’s really about governing on a human scale.'

"As Bryan notes, Vermont has radical genes, a history rife with alternative thinking. Ethan Allen fought against the British Crown as fiercely as he would fight the Americans. Vermont under Allen produced, in 1777, the first constitution in English to outlaw slavery and allow citizens without property to vote. Nearly two centuries later, Scott Nearing chose Vermont to escape what he called 'the American Oligarchy, the American Way of Life, the American Century, the American Empire.' When he published Living the Good Life in 1954, it became a touchstone for the first generation of the simple-living movement, the hippies and Luddites who in the 1960s flooded into the state to follow Nearing’s example. Vermont went almost overnight from a right-wing backwater to a leftist mecca that eventually put in office America’s only avowedly socialist senator, Bernie Sanders."
PUBLISHED: March 19, 2013
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5645 words)

Monopoly Is Theft

Monopoly has become "the world's best-selling proprietary board game," but the original game allowed players to cooperate so that everyone could prosper:

"With us in Jarrell’s cottage was Mike Curtis, an Ardenite who twenty years earlier had played a round of Magie’s original 1906 Landlord’s Game (one of his opponents, as it happened, was Patrice McFarland). The Georgist rules by which Curtis had played were known as the Single Tax set, and they went beyond having players simply pay rent into Magie’s 'Public Treasury.' They also aimed to teach the shared ownership of public goods. Under Single Tax rules, when the amount in the treasury reached fifty dollars, the player who owned the lighting utility was forced to sell it, and thereafter the utility cost no money to land on, as it was now publicly owned. This process repeated itself with the Slambang Trolley, then with the railroads, then with the Go to Jail space, which became a public college that, instead of sending players to jail, provided extra wages at the end of the game. After that, each fifty-dollar deposit in the treasury raised players’ wages by ten dollars. A 'win' in Single Tax, which Magie later dubbed Prosperity Game, occurred when the player with the least amount of money had doubled his original capital. 'The Landlord’s Game,' said Magie, 'shows why our national housekeeping has gone wrong and Prosperity Game shows how to start it right and keep it going right.' Curtis admitted that he didn’t think much of the game, pronouncing it 'kind of boring after a while.'"
PUBLISHED: Oct. 19, 2012
LENGTH: 24 minutes (6234 words)

The Reign of the One Percenters

The real hourly median wage in New York between 1990 and 2007 fell by almost 9 percent. Young men and women aged twenty-five to thirty-four with a bachelor’s degree and a year-round job in New York saw their earnings drop 6 percent. Middle-income New Yorkers—defined broadly by the FPI as those drawing incomes between approximately $29,000 and $167,000—experienced a 19 percent decrease in earnings.
PUBLISHED: Sept. 30, 2011
LENGTH: 24 minutes (6191 words)

Meet the Man Who Lives on Zero Dollars

In Utah, a modern-day caveman has lived for the better part of a decade on zero dollars a day. People used to think he was crazy
PUBLISHED: Nov. 2, 2009
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3171 words)