Piketty v. Marx
June 07, 2014
The two economists have a lot in common, but their differences matter too.
Thomas Piketty Is Pulling Your Leg
May 06, 2014
It's clear from his book. But that doesn't make him a Marxist
Has Silvio Berlusconi Ruined Italy Forever?
December 11, 2012
History repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce.
Hayek, Friedman, and the Illusions of Conservative Economics
November 16, 2012
Good Hayek vs. Bad Hayek.
Was This the Most Dangerous Film in American History?
July 30, 2012
One of the puzzles facing the film historian (amateur or professional) occurs when a child climbs upon the parental knee and asks, “Well, Dad, what was the black list?” The parent struggles to explain that, once upon a nervous time, the Hollywood movie was said to be rife with un-American suggestions and the energetic insinuation of socialist alternatives. The child blinks, and says, “Father, isn’t that preposterous?
February 08, 2012
Every significant political movement creates, or inherits, a compelling image of the people it vows to liberate and serve. The contemporary American right, for instance, idealizes the self-reliant, nuclear family in its modest home, with Bible verses on the wall and a flagpole in the yard. But what image comes to mind when progressives think about the Americans who would benefit from a more egalitarian society? None of the images or phrases currently in vogue are all that inspiring. “Middle class” merely describes a bland, imprecise economic status.
The Mobility Myth
February 08, 2012
When Americans express indifference about the problem of unequal incomes, it’s usually because they see the United States as a land of boundless opportunity. Sure, you’ll hear it said, our country has pretty big income disparities compared with Western Europe. And sure, those disparities have been widening in recent decades. But stark economic inequality is the price we pay for living in a dynamic economy with avenues to advancement that the class-bound Old World can only dream about.
We live in a world in which the contagion of anti-Semitism is spreading once again. Indeed, the profusion of hostility to Israel is the proof that hatred of Jews is now quite alright, thank you. But, whatever individual and isolated wrongs Israel commits, there are comparisons to be drawn. And the comparisons are to the Arab states and to Palestinian Arab society, in which oppression has flourished since the early years of the last century.
Coffee Is For Epistemic Closers
June 20, 2011
Christopher Hitchens deftly skewers David Mamet, the playwright who has converted to the Republican Party with the fervency of, well a convert: This is an extraordinarily irritating book, written by one of those people who smugly believe that, having lost their faith, they must ipso facto have found their reason. In order to be persuaded by it, you would have to be open to propositions like this: “Part of the left’s savage animus against Sarah Palin is attributable to her status not as a woman, neither as a Conservative, but as a Worker.” Or this: “America is a Christian country.
Why Tunisia Isn’t a Tipping Point for the Arab World
January 18, 2011
How to explain the Tunisian revolution? By consulting Samuel Huntington—not the Huntington of Clash of Civilizations fame, but the author of The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, published in 1991. His model is too complex to be laid out here in all of its subtleties.