Facts Are Stubborn Things . . . As Thomas Piketty Is Beginning to Find Out

I have bought Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and while I have posted many an item that takes issue with the books claims and conclusions concerning wealth inequality, I do plan on reading Piketty; his book has made quite the intellectual and cultural impact, and although I know what his basic arguments are, …

The French Critique Piketty

So report Tyler Cowen and Veronique de Rugy: . . . some other French economists have taken the lead in challenging Mr. Piketty’s empirical claims. One recent paper by four economists at l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris challenges Mr. Piketty’s view that inequality has increased because the return to capital has been greater than general growth in the …

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 …

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 …

Explaining Paul Krugman

Greg Mankiw is rightly exasperated with Paul Krugman's propensity to write columns that "[take] a policy favored by the right, [attribute] the most vile motives to those who advance the policy, and [ignore] all the reasonable arguments in favor of it." There are two possible reasons why Krugman likes doing this kind of thing: Krugman actually believes …

The “Reality-Based Community” Should Stop Calling Itself “Reality-Based”

Proving anew that there is no bottom to demagoguery, some allegedly "reality-based" Democrats are now calling for an increase in Social Security benefits. I'd like for retired people to be able to get more money, but the demands for increased benefits show a lack of understanding regarding the state of Social Security, and unless the …