May Day and Historical Obliviousness

Yesterday was May Day, the day when people around the world who benefit from the effects of capitalism in ways too numerous to mention, spend one day denouncing capitalism and arguing for policies that will lead to the immiseration of billions if implemented. When I write about "historical obliviousness" in the title of this post, …

Marxist Economist Begins to Realize that Marxist Economics Does Not Work

You'd think that the lesson would have taken earlier: Venezuela's economic failings are turning it into the "laughing-stock" of Latin America, according to late president Hugo Chavez's top economic planner. Former Finance and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani, who was sacked in mid-2014 by Chavez's successor, Nicolas Maduro, said in an interview this week that reforms …

Quote of the Day

Few of today’s intellectuals would risk a sentence like this one: “The links between Jugend and culture, or more specifically between it and die Moderne, are too obvious to require comment.” They would fear being inaccessible, if not outrageously elitist. Yet it’s clear [Eric] Hobsbawm believes there is a body of knowledge that is the …

Still More on the Piketty Wars

Responding to Piketty's response (linked here) to the charges raised by the Financial Times, Chris Giles notes that there remain concerns with Piketty's presentation: There are a few things on which we agree. First, the source data on wealth inequality is poor. I have written that it is “sketchy” and Prof Piketty says it is “much …

Understanding Paul Krugman on Thomas Piketty

Gentle readers, whenever Paul Krugman issues a defense of Thomas Piketty regarding the charges against the latter, by all means, be sure to read that defense. Be sure to consider its merits seriously. Be sure to closely and carefully examine the data Krugman might present in defense of his point and if Krugman actually makes a …

The Tragedy of Thomas Piketty

The latest Pikettian response to Giles's and Giugliano's assertions regarding the quality of Piketty's data and research is to accuse Giles and Giugliano of being "dishonest." (Hat tip in comments here.) I suppose this means that Piketty's is employing a classic I-am-rubber-and-you-are-glue-whatever-you-say-bounces-off-me-and-sticks-back-to-you defense, but there is little substance to the accusation; at best, Piketty can assert (without …

What the Piketty Errors Mean

Remember the Reinhart/Rogoff spreadsheet error? In the event that you do not, here is a summary. Those who follow debates between economists will recall that the spreadsheet error led to all kinds of excorations of Reinhart and Rogoff on the part of liberal economists, who claimed that Reinhart and Rogoff were responsible for austerity policies …

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, …