So Much for One Person, One Vote

Photo by whoohoo120 We live in a democratic society where each adult (except for some felons) gets one vote for president. Except for Oprah. She gets one million votes. A new study by Maryland economists Craig Garthwaite and Tim Moore argues that Oprah doesn’t just sell books, she influences votes too. Using geographic variation in […]

What Do Houston Retirees and South African Schoolchildren Have in Common?

The answer is: they both have Cyril Wolf as a patron. Who? You may remember Wolf as the gentlemanly doctor in Houston who shared with me his research on how some drug-store chains charge 1000% more for generic prescriptions than Costco and Sam’s Club. (Yes, 1000% more.) The reason he was so distraught by this […]

Oprah on Black Economic Progress

Oprah Winfrey speaking at Howard University while receiving an honorary degree: “[My grandmother] was a maid and worked for white folks her whole life….She used to say I hope you get some good white folks that are kind to you. I regret that she didn’t live past 1963 to see that I did grow up […]

Oprah Picks a Winner

We ran a little contest here the other day, asking you to guess the next selection of Oprah Winfrey’s book club. The selection, announced yesterday, was a big surprise: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. How surprising was this pick? Here’s how Tirdad Derakhshani summed it up in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer: Remarkable by any standards sacred […]

Can You Guess the Next Oprah Book Pick?

According to this squib in the New York Times (fourth item down), the newest selection in Oprah Winfrey’s book club will be announced on Wednesday, March 28. Here is the book’s page on, which says that the book is published by Vintage Books (one of Random House’s paperback imprints) and is 304 pages long […]