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Movin' On Up? That May Depend On Your Last Name

Economic historian Gregory Clark's study of social mobility traced surnames and found that a person's success in life may be largely determined by the status of ancestors hundreds of years ago. That means improving opportunities across generations might be a lot harder than anyone imagined.

6 Things Surnames Can Say About Social Mobility

Here, some takeaways from new research that finds that families rise and fall across generations at a much slower rate than anyone thought. For example, the research finds that French-Canadian immigrants are a disadvantaged minority in the U.S.

Should We Ration End-Of-Life Care?

In a debate of ethics and policy, a panel of experts examine the cost of end-of-life care and whether it should be controlled. This emotionally difficult issue is the center of the latest installment of Intelligence Squared U.S.

Farmer Tackling Monsanto's Seed Policy Gets A Day In Supreme Court

Whether food giant Monsanto's practice of patenting crop seeds is legal when farmers have little opportunity to find alternatives may finally get a review from the Supreme Court this year. It has agreed to hear a case in which a farmer planting Monsanto seeds without paying.

In The Second Debate, It's All About The Counterpunch

During tonight's presidential debate, President Obama will want to cast Mitt Romney as an unacceptable, unreliable choice. But Republicans think their man can come close to sealing the deal simply by doing what he in the first debate. Both candidates will need to fire up supporters without coming off as nakedly partisan.


Can College Students Handle Their Own Finances?

America's student loan debt is more than one trillion dollars, according to government agencies. Now, a former professor says high schools and colleges need to do more to help students manage their debt load. Host Michel Martin speaks with writer Laura McKenna about her online op-ed for The Atlantic.

The Tea Party: Cooled Down, Or As Strong As Ever?

The Tea Party may have took the 2010 midterm elections by storm, but many analysts are now asking if the party's influence has cooled off. Host Michel Martin looks at the Tea Party's prospects for this election with NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Shelby Blakely, journalist coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.

5 Questions 'Real' People Might Ask At The Debate

With the election just three weeks away, many voters are still scratching their heads, wondering what exactly the candidates would do to improve the economy. Audience members at Tuesday night's presidential debate could focus on economic topics such as home prices, gasoline, wages, exports and jobs.

Armstrong Doping Scandal: Some Cyclists 'Made The Right Choice' Not To Cheat

Despite common perceptions, all pro cyclists did not use performance-enhancing drugs when Lance Armstrong was racing, says Joe Lindsey, a contributor to Bicycling magazine. "There were riders who made the right choice, and there were riders who made the wrong choice," he says.

Poll: Romney Has Large Lead In Rural Swing Counties

As Mitt Romney and President Obama get ready for their second debate, a new bipartisan survey shows a surge for Romney in a key voter group following their first debate Oct. 3. The poll of 600 likely rural voters in nine battleground states shows Romney's support stands at 59 percent, while Obama's is down to 37 percent.