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Is France Due for Riots?

Photo: cicilief In my last post, I offered several reasons why the urban riot has gone out of style in the U.S. However, France will not be spared the sword. I predict that the world will watch French cities light up in youth unrest in 2009, 2010 at the latest … 2011 for sure. I […] Read More »



Whither the Riot?

Photo: Mika Hiironniemi I have been struck by the absence of collective protest over the actions of those in the financial industry. Free market advocates have been rendered impotent; why aren’t they up in arms that their belief system has been forever invalidated? Leftists watch as our elected leaders hand over the oversight function to […] Read More »



Michael, Meet Curtis: Philanthropy Gets Personal

This past weekend I had the opportunity to bring two ends of the American income spectrum together. I introduced Michael, the blue-blood New Yorker who plans to start a family foundation (see earlier posts), to Curtis, a squatter in Chicago who moves from one abandoned apartment to another. Michael, a multi-millionaire with a team of […] Read More »



The Price of Advice: Chronicles of a Young Philanthropist, Part III

Readers of this blog might recall my earlier posts about Michael, a young man who is expecting to donate about $70 million over the coming decade. In the last six months, Michael has committed himself to understanding both the responsibilities and challenges of philanthropy. There was some interest in his progress among Freakonomics readers, so […] Read More »



How Cops Really Want to Police

Photo: Rhett Redelings After writing my last Freakonomics post, I received a phone call from a police officer who began his career in Chicago. Carl, the 54-year-old cop, started working in Chicago’s inner cities at the height of the crack epidemic. He transferred to the suburbs of Seattle for a lifestyle change — “I was […] Read More »



Do It Without Your Gun

I recently published a paper on urban gun markets with Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, and Anthony A. Braga. I was sort of the odd man out. The three researchers have been studying gun use in the United States for many years. I had access to gun sellers, prospective customers, ammunition dealers, and gun brokers […] Read More »



Michael and the $70 Million Problem (Redux)

Michael and I looked over the 500 plus comments and suggestions that were generously offered regarding his upcoming dilemma: How should I give away $70 million? We were joined by his sister, Cathy, who also has a “small sum of money” (her words) that she needs to donate in the coming decade. Apparently, she will […] Read More »



What Would You Do With $70 Million?

This is the dilemma faced by Michael, a 31-year-old who will soon inherit a large sum of money. For reasons that the truly wealthy will immediately understand, Michael has been advised to set up a foundation. “I have to donate about $70 million over the next decade,” he laughs. “Or maybe it’s $50 million. I […] Read More »