Thirty years ago, CEOs of America's largest businesses earned an estimated 42 times as much as their average employee. These days, that number has jumped to more than 200 times as much, by many counts. Since the economic crisis of 2008, there has been much more focus on income inequality, not just from economists and social scientists, but also from politicians and from protesters who occupied Wall Street.
Fifty years ago, a young pitcher won his first major league game for the New York Yankees. Jim Bouton went on to become a top-flight player.
But he became famous, or notorious, for Ball Four, a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team, as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use and the pain professional athletes endure.
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty by an international tribunal of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes during the 1990s. This marks the first time since World War II that a current or former head of state was convicted by a tribunal of crimes committed while in office.
Sen. Joseph Cantwell, played by Eric McCormack (left), is an ambitious striver who throws mud at his rival, Secretary William Russell, played by John Larroquette, who debates whether to use some dirt of his own in The Best Man.
Perhaps most recognizable for his role as despicable but lovable lawyer Dan Fielding on Night Court, John Larroquette has recently taken to the stage. He earned a Tony Award for his role in the 2011 production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
In short, pitcher Brandon McCarthy sent out a tweet that suggested the "Kiss Cam" — a feature shown on scoreboards across the country in which a camera focuses on couples in hopes of a kiss — was anti-gay.
Young corn plants grow next to the Guardian Energy ethanol plant in Janesville, Minn. Five years ago, the U.S. government projected that in 2012, ethanol production would use up 30 percent of the nation's corn supply. Last year, it used 40 percent.
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty Images
A 45-cent-per-gallon government subsidy for ethanol producers ended earlier this year, but there's still a mandate that forces refineries to blend ethanol with gasoline. Before the mandate, refineries used about half as much ethanol as they do today.
Five years ago, ethanol was seen as the next big thing to wean the U.S. off foreign oil. Then some studies on the corn-based fuel cast doubt on its environmental benefits, and auto companies turned their attention to hybrids and electric cars. The hype died off, but the ethanol industry is alive and well, driving a big change in America's corn consumption.
Rising up out of the corn fields outside Lake Odessa, Mich., is the ethanol refinery for Carbon Green Bioenergy. The company's CEO, Mitch Miller, says a lot of refineries were popping up when this one was built in 2006.
Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 9:36 am
Michael Kiwanuka combines roots and soul with such old-school, retro-sounding verve, it's hard to believe he's still a rising star — let alone a 24-year-old. Kiwanuka is of Ugandan descent and grew up in Muswell Hill, London.
The House is set to vote Friday on a GOP proposal to keep some student loan interest rates at current levels. Many students have been concerned at news that the current 3.4 percent rate could double if Congress fails to extend the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Host Michel Martin talks with Jason Delisle of the New America Foundation.