Should We Isolate Russia?

Intelligence Squared U.S. invites some of the world’s brightest thinkers to debate issues. The organization was founded in New York in 2006 to promote intellectual diversity by fostering respect for differing opinions. The debates are organized in the traditional Oxford style. The side that convinces more audience members to embrace its arguments wins. The excerpts … Continued

Uncertain Political Futures

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission withdrew its longstanding no-action letter for political prediction market platform PredictIt. Luckbox asked its co-founder what that means for the future of political forecasting. A lot has happened since the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) granted no-action relief to Victoria University of Wellington to operate a political event contracts market in … Continued

A Textbook Case Study of Oligopolies

Spending on course materials is declining, but that doesn’t mean textbook prices are going down. Students just aren’t buying them. Trudi Radtke’s first day of community college—like most students’—included a trip to the campus bookstore. For a first-generation college student, it was an exciting rite of passage. But rather than leave with any books, Radtke … Continued

Student Debt Bets

Wagering on policy markets can seem challenging, but public opinion polling and political context can provide valuable clues  Luckbox readers have a lot to say about student debt forgiveness. “Students shouldn’t be saddled with crushing debt while starting off in life,” wrote one reader. “You take out a loan, it’s your responsibility to pay it … Continued

In the Still of the Night

Moonshine has always played a role in American spirits-making, but the 21st century saw the advent of legal ’shine sold on store shelves. Luckbox put some to the test. Centuries before Prohibition, American moonshiners were hard at work illegally concocting high-proof spirits and dodging federal whiskey taxes. Moonshine earned its name because, to avoid detection … Continued

Making Rain

Prediction markets will pay
you to get the weather forecast
right—something made easier
if you know what to look for

Replay: Pinball’s Flipping Back

Vibrant colors, flashing lights and staccato bursts of sound: A piece of Americana is regaining popularity Few industries have endured as many close calls with extinction as pinball. Yet, despite formidable challenges from politicians, arcade video games and home game consoles, the ball-and-flipper-based pastime has not only survived but is arguably entering a new golden … Continued

Political Fortunes

Serious money can be made and lost when prediction markets flip—and in some cases flip back again. Here are a few of the most memorable market comebacks from recent elections. Weak End With Bernie More than 140 million shares traded hands in PredictIt’s “Who will win the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination?” market, and it’s no … Continued

Electric Avenue

Route 66 played a major role in U.S. automotive history, but can drivers still trace its path in their electric vehicles? Americans have been getting their kicks on Route 66 for nearly 100 years. When it was established in 1926, Ford’s Model T was just 18 years old, Gene Austin’s Bye Bye, Blackbird was the … Continued

Big Sip Energy

Coffee, tea and energy drinks provide vigor and pep, but too much caffeine comes at a cost. Luckbox tested low-caffeine and caffeine-free alternatives. When Aristotle said “the energy of the mind is the essence of life,” he likely wasn’t talking about caffeine—regardless of how fitting the proverb looks on a coffee mug. Nevertheless, many would … Continued