More Critiques of Piketty

Ryan Decker points out that Piketty's "criticisms of mathematical economics (32, 574) are not surprising given that he relies so heavily on assumptions and mechanisms that would be highly vulnerable to criticism if they were forced into the transparency of a formal model." And the following from Garrett Jones is certainly worth reading: Market-oriented economies that learn to …

Credibility Gap

Why, oh why do we make threats that we cannot and will not back up? VLADIMIR PUTIN’S assault on Ukraine has been relentless and increasingly reckless: Forces working with Russian personnel in eastern Ukraine are torturing and murdering opponents and holding international observers hostage. In contrast, President Obama’s response has been slow and excruciatingly measured. …

So, Shall We Call Him “John the Enhanced Interrogator” Now?

Apparently, Sarah Palin was concerned that she was losing her touch when it came to grabbing headlines by making comments that . . . oh, how shall I put this nicely? . . . ought to be held in minimal high regard.1 In order to remedy this doubtless serious problem, John McCain's choice for "heartbeat …

Torture in Iranian Prisons

Needless to say, this is both entirely obscene, and entirely unsurprising, given the nature of the current regime in Tehran: Political prisoners in Tehran's Evin prison have allegedly been subjected to humiliating physical abuse, including being forced to run a gauntlet of guards armed with batons, it has emerged. Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, has been silent …

Paul Krugman Remains as Arrogant and Epistemically Closed as Ever

Don't believe me? Read this, in which he reviews Thomas Piketty's new book and says the following: So what’s a conservative, fearing that this diagnosis might be used to justify higher taxes on the wealthy, to do? He could try to refute Mr. Piketty in a substantive way, but, so far, I’ve seen no sign …

Quote of the Day

Recently, Barack Obama — a Demosthenes determined to elevate our politics from coarseness to elegance; a Pericles sent to ameliorate our rhetorical impoverishment — spoke at the University of Michigan. He came to that very friendly venue — in 2012, he received 67 percent of the vote in Ann Arbor’s county — after visiting a local sandwich …

The Koch Brothers Have a Lot to Learn if They Want to Be Genuine Villains

Maybe Tom Steyer can teach them a thing or two: The psychiatric world defines "projection" as the act of denying unpleasant qualities in yourself, while attributing them to others. Consider liberal billionaire Tom Steyer's riff this week about the libertarian billionaire Koch brothers. Mr. Steyer took exception in a C-SPAN interview to comparisons between his big-dollar …

Let’s All Please Stop Allying with Crazy People

I am going to give the microphone to Jonathan Tobin so that he can preach some righteous truth at all of us: You may have noticed that among the many and varied topics touched upon by COMMENTARY writers in recent weeks, none of us chose to weigh in on the Bundy Ranch controversy that attracted …

Chaos Has Come to American Foreign Policy

We were assured in 2008 and 2012 that if we were wise enough to vote for Barack Obama as our president, we would see vast and significant benefits in the conduct and management of American foreign policy. We the voting populace fulfilled our end of the bargain--well, at least enough of us did to make …