Picking Some More at Piketty

One of the interesting aspects of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the way in which the tome makes use of literary allusions from Jane Austen and Honoré de Balzac to make Piketty's points about income and social mobility. I am fine with using literary allusions when they fit, but while Piketty may …

What Is the Difference Between Harry Reid and Most Other Public Servants?

Well, for starters, most other public servants are not nearly as rich as Harry Reid is. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being wealthy, but the way in which Reid has acquired his wealth ought to raise more than a few eyebrows, as I have written before: Last month, as the Senate was busy …

Picking at Piketty

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century has basically been declared the Greatest Book in the History of Ever by those on the port side of the political divide. The book declares income inequality to be a serious problem, and it prescribes massive confiscatory taxes in order to solve that problem. (I believe income immobility …

Quote of the Day

The notion that conservatives not only oppose liberal health care reforms but are vigorously working to deny Americans access is a popular one on the left. If you don't support Obamacare, you are basically endorsing murder. A recent contemptible piece in The New Republic, which argues that Democrats should—without any evidence, if necessary—blame the unfortunate …

Why Did Anyone Ever Believe that Power Politics Went Away?

Be sure to read this piece by Raphael Cohen and Gabriel Scheinmann, which serves to remind us that even though it is not the 19th century, nation-states still play the Great Game. There is nothing particularly earth-shattering in this revelation, but the revelation has to be emphasized nonetheless, because the Obama administration--through the comments of …

Better Diplomats, Please

As I keep reminding readers, I believe that the realist theory of international relations best explains the behavior of nation-states, and as a consequence, I look askance at claims that the management and execution of foreign policy depends in significant part on individual personalities. But that doesn't mean that individual personalities don't play some role …

Iran Is Not a Theocracy. It Is a Theocratic Mafiocracy.

To wit: The 82-year-old Iranian woman keeps the documents that upended her life in an old suitcase near her bed. She removes them carefully and peers at the tiny Persian script. There's the court order authorizing the takeover of her children's three Tehran apartments in a multi-story building the family had owned for years. There's …