Depending on whom you ask, the economy is either in very good shape or very bad shape. On the one hand, the United States' unemployment rate sits now at 4.1 percent, a 16-year low. On the other, wages continue to stagnate for most Americans. There are lot of variables that go into judging a nation's economy, and it requires quite a bit of digging around to get a fuller picture.
Rather than parsing the studies and charts yourself, read our best economic coverage of 2017. There's information here about anti-poverty programs, strange animal insurance, and, yes, the very real black market for human remains.
- "Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Two Generations at a Time," by Dwyer Gunn
New anti-poverty programs, focused on helping children and parents both, are succeeding where others have failed.
- "The Fallacy of Endless Economic Growth," by Christopher Ketcham
What economists around the world get wrong about the future.
- "What Google Bros Have in Common With Medieval Beer Bros," by David M. Perry
The exclusion of women from coding fits perfectly into centuries of labor history.
- "The Strange Business of Subsidized Yak Insurance," by Will Ford
In central China's Gansu Province, nomads can buy insurance policies for their sheep and yaks.
- "There's a Strategy That Helps Prevent Injuries at Work. Why Isn't The Federal Government Using It?" by Francie Diep
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has altered its strategies dramatically since Donald Trump became president. What does that mean for America's workers?
- "The 'Internet of Restaurants' Is Coming for Your Info," by David M. Perry
At the National Restaurant Association, many of the hot technology companies are selling surveillance, not supper.
- "Arms Dealers," by Peter Andrey Smith
When eight heads arrived at a shipping warehouse in Detroit, the feds uncovered some unsavory details about the little-known trade in human remains.
- "Does America's Housing Policy Need a Reset?" by Dwyer Gunn
Politicians and researchers are wondering if current federal spending on housing is being properly targeted.
- "The Theft of the Gods," by Kathleen Sharp
On the trail of looters and crooks who traffic in Hopi ceremonial objects.
- "Underwear of Uncertain Origin," by Andy Kroll
On the strange afterlife of the goods we return to the store.