The Pursuit of Happiness

The Declaration of Independence states that our inalienable rights include “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Life and liberty are easy to understand, but that last phrase is less intuitive. How can people have a right to strive for happiness?
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Uniting to Fight Poverty: A TED Talk

How do we solve problems like poverty with so much political polarization?

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Welcome to the Pursuit

To pursue our happiness, to achieve our liberty, and indeed to find fulfillment in our lives, we must start with a moral consensus, a fundamental truth around which we all revolve. Think of an atom. The outer field of electrons is full of chaotic activity. Electrons are rapidly orbiting and moving in a constant buzz. What contains that chaos and gives it structure? The fact that the whole chaotic cloud orbits one central nucleus.

 

How Work Requirement in Food Stamp Program Helped Reduce Poverty in Maine

How Work Requirement in Food Stamp Program Helped Reduce Poverty in Maine

TPOH has long advocated maintaining a safety net for those truly in need, but also supporting work as a means to build value in one’s lives and in the lives of others. Work provides meaning and purpose, despite those who wish to argue otherwise.

So it’s refreshing to read a strong rebuttal to a shocking claim that suggests proposed changes to the food stamp program will force people to hunt squirrels for food. Turns out such hyperbole doesn’t stand up to the evidence.

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Reagan’s Legacy? ‘Privatization’ Is a Dirty Word

Reagan’s Legacy? ‘Privatization’ Is a Dirty Word

Ronald Reagan was big on running the federal government more like a business, and proposed broad ideas to get the private sector to take over some of the jobs government was doing. These public-private partnerships helped pump the economy, and it seemed to make more sense for these jobs to be done by companies whose business it was to do this kind of work. But now, in the era of billionaire President Donald Trump, any discussion of privatization turns nasty, and it’s Ronald Reagan’s legacy that is getting beat up in the process.

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Which Pays Better Wages? Government or Private Sector

Which Pays Better Wages? Government or Private Sector

The Congressional Budget Office, the federal government’s numbers cruncher, recently completed an analysis comparing salaries and benefits received by employees of federal and large private-sector employers, and concluded that all things being equal, the federal government pays better wages than the private sector.

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Student Loan Defaults Are Huge, Do We Know Who’s Not Repaying Their Debt?

Student Loan Defaults Are Huge, Do We Know Who’s Not Repaying Their Debt?

The nation’s student loan industry is nearly as large as the federal government’s largest mortgage program through the Federal Housing Administration. Nearly $100 billion in loans are offered to students every year. Outstanding debt from student loan stands at $1.3 trillion. That’s a big number and it isn’t going down because the number of student loan defaults is massive. What to do about it? Well, deciding a plan of action has hit a bit of a speed bump.

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Rebuilding America: An Investment in Social Capital

Rebuilding America: An Investment in Social Capital

No longer is this country based on loving they neighbor, but perhaps neighborliness is a lost art in need of a renaissance. That’s the gist of a new report just released by the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill. “What We Do Together: The State of Associational Life in America.”

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Everybody Lies: Except in a Google Search

Everybody Lies: Except in a Google Search

Don’t bother answering questions by the next pollster who calls to do a survey. You’re probably going to lie to him. Pretty much everybody lies. And there’s no point in taking a survey if you’re going to lie. Besides, Google already got you on the truth meter.

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The Always Entertaining State GDP Map Is Back

The Always Entertaining State GDP Map Is Back

University of Michigan-Flint Economics Professor Mark Perry annually produces a very helpful visual tool: a state GDP map that compares how each U.S. state’s economy matches up to a corresponding country of equal output.

It’s a great way to see how enormous the United States’ GDP is compared to the rest of the world.

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FCC Website Crash Doesn’t Free the Internet

FCC Website Crash Doesn’t Free the Internet

Apparently, the guy with the HBO comedy show doesn’t think innovation is a good thing. So John Oliver, host of “Last Week Tonight” decided that it’d be a good idea to encourage his fans to a website that would take users to a page to file comments to the Federal Communication Commission about its plans to roll back Obama-era rules on so-called “net neutrality.”

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Beyond the Military: Veterans in Public Office

Beyond the Military: Veterans in Public Office

General George Washington set the standard for Americans’ comfort with veterans serving in public office, but that post-military public service is on the decline. Despite the barriers, military veterans offer a unique contribution to the Legislature from having served in the Armed Forces.

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What US News & World Report’s High School Rankings Missed

What US News & World Report’s High School Rankings Missed

The U.S. News & World Report does a decent job with the tools it has to measure the performance of more than 20,000 U.S. public high schools. The problem, however, is that it only uses one tool, over and over again, which doesn’t accurately measure how far schools go in educating students.

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What's New on The Pursuit of Happiness?

The Role of Parents in K-12 Education

Two classmates grow up together from kindergarten. They sit next to each other in homeroom, have all the same classes with all the same teachers, and take the same state-required tests. One does well and one not so much. What accounts for the difference? The answer depends on who is … Read More

Using the Burger King Mentality to Destroy a Four-Year Investment

Can you hear the tune playing? "Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce. Special orders don't upset us. All we ask is that you let us serve it your way. ... Have it your way at Burger King." It's an enduring commercial with a memorable tune. Forty-three years since its release, people still recall … Read More

Why Wouldn’t the White House Promote Apprentices?

It seems obvious that the role of the apprentice is something President Trump appreciates so it's a wonder why the question needs to be asked: why wouldn't apprenticeships be a top priority in Washington? Well, they were this week. In the midst of several news cycles that shed lots of light … Read More

The Success Sequence: Why Education, a Job, Marriage, Then Kids Is the Working Order

Ah, millennials. In some ways, they're very traditional, suggesting that women should stay at home to raise their kids. In other ways, they are very Bohemian, doing as they please when the mood hits. But it turns out, the old-fashioned "success sequence" — a (high school or higher) degree, job, … Read More

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