Horse racing was so popular and influential between 1930 and 1960 that nearly 150 racing themed films were released, including A Day at the Races, Thoroughbreds Don't Cry, and National Velvet. This fast-paced, gossipy history explores the relationship between the Hollywood film industry, the horse racing industry, and the extraordinary participation of producers, directors, and actors in the Sport of Kings. Alan Shuback details how all three of Southern California's major racetracks were founded by Hollywood luminaries: Hal Roach was cofounder of Santa Anita Park, Bing Crosby founded Del Mar with help from Pat O'Brien, and Jack and Harry Warner founded Hollywood Park with help from dozens of people in the film community. The races also provided a social and sporting outlet for the film community -- studios encouraged film stars to spend a day at the races, especially when a new film was being released. The stars' presence at the track generated a bevy of attention from eager photographers and movie columnists, as well as free publicity for their new films. Moreover, Louis B. Mayer, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Betty Grable, and Don Ameche were all major Thoroughbred owners, while Mickey Rooney, Chico Marx, and John Huston were notorious for their unsuccessful forays to the betting windows.
Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. By Eric Posner and E. Glen Weyl. Princeton University Press; 368 pages
Do the rich world’s problems stem from an overdose of liberal principles, or their insufficiently bold application? Glen Weyl and Eric Posner argue that the ideals of thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Henry George can still inspire radical change. Such luminaries were unafraid of challenging the status quo. Following suit, the pair suggest expanding and refining markets, putting them to work for society as a whole. Property may not be theft, for example, but it is monopoly. Every individual should put a value on each item she owns, down to the last pencil, and be taxed on her total declared wealth. The twist: she must stand ready to sell any item at its declared value, should a buyer emerge. Such policies are so radical that they are unlikely ever to be adopted. But they may help jolt liberals out of their hand-wringing.
This is certainly an intriguing way of doing taxes. Reminiscent of the way that claiming races are done in horse racing.