Will a Bachelor Tax Create More Babies?

At first I thought it was Onion style satire. Japanese bachelors should pay a handsome man tax to encourage them to marry. Japanese men are losing interest in matrimony, often because of the enormous financial demands of marriage and family. But fewer births could mean Japan’s population will be a fifth smaller by mid-century. TheContinue reading “Will a Bachelor Tax Create More Babies?”

When Did Americans Lose Their English Accents?

American and British speech are so different that even professional actors struggle with sounding authentic. So when did Americans lose their English accent? Maybe Americans never had an English accent. At least not a modern British accent. English is constantly changing. In the late Middle Ages Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales: Whan that Aprille with hisContinue reading “When Did Americans Lose Their English Accents?”

The Demographic Times They Are A-Changin’

I’ve heard it said that by mid-century whites will be a minority in the United States. But strictly speaking this isn’t true. The Center for American Progress, in collaboration with the liberal Brookings Institution and the conservative American Enterprise Institute, released a report about America’s future. States of Change: The Demographic Evolution of the American Electorate, 1974–2060 looks at where we’veContinue reading “The Demographic Times They Are A-Changin’”

US History from a Latino Perspective

European colonization of what is now the United States starts with the English landing in Virginia and Massachusetts. Well, not so fast, says Felipe Fernández-Armesto. In his book, Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States, Fernández-Armesto points out that in 1508 Puerto Rico became the first permanent European settlement in what is now US territory. St.Continue reading “US History from a Latino Perspective”