By Rachel Pomerantz
Rachel Pomerantz is a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ben Franklin famously said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” While the existence of taxes is certainly a certainty, how much you will pay is anything but. Taxes are but one of the many areas that the issue of inflation impacts at both a federal and state level.
The federal government and some state governments adjust monetary amounts to compensate for inflation. As defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation is “a process of continuously rising prices or equivalently falling value of money.”  For example, if the annual inflation rate is 5%, then $100 in one year is worth the same amount as $105 the next year. Since most countries formulate public policy to combat positive inflation, policymakers are thus concerned with combatting the decreasing value of money it causes.
By Thomas Cribbins
Thomas Cribbins is a junior at the University of Michigan studying political science.
Public corruption stories are fascinating. With TV shows, movies and a general pop culture fixation right now, public corruption is popular. I dedicate a lot of time to studying and investigating corruption. By public corruption I generally refer to using public office for personal gain at the expense of the public welfare. In my research, I have come across countless statistics about how states compare in some facet of corruption, whether the ranking of their prevention of malfeasance or actual convictions of those caught. In poring over these reports, one state stood out: Oregon.
In the most recent report from the Center for Public Integrity in 2015, Oregon grades out with a score of 59 out of 100, good for 42nd among the 50 states. The only section of its report that offers a respectable grade is state budget processes, which scored an 84, good enough for a B and a rank of 13 out of 50.  But that is in no way consistent with public corruption crime statistics. From 2001-2010, Oregon had only 37 public corruption convictions, which is 1 for every 100,000 people in Oregon. That’s solidly in the lowest tier of corruption convictions. In fact, that’s the lowest conviction rate per capita and the 41st in total convictions.  That’s remarkable if it is truly representative of how much corruption there is in Oregon, because according to some statistics, it seems like corruption should be rampant in Oregon. According to others, corruption is barely noticeable. Recent attention turned to Oregon when its governor asked for his fiancee and himself to be investigated by the state ethics commission. However, there is still almost no criminal corruption activity. What is going on? It certainly can’t be both.