Sunday, April 27, 2014

Economicspalooza


I watched much of this but I will admit I skipped over the economist I am not familiar with (Steven Durlauf) and even skipped over some of the Piketty and Stiglitz to get to Krugman.

Stiglitz provided the best summation I've seen yet of the problem of the Roberts Supreme Court decisions concerning corporations:
                   STIGLITZ
...we have some Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and the more recent court decisions that basically say corporations are people in terms of ability to spend money on politics but not in terms of accountability for their misdeeds. There's an asymmetry that they have certain rights but without responsibilities. 
They all professed their admiration for Thomas Piketty, of course. His name is pronounced toe-MAH pi-keh-TEE.

And bonus - you don't even have to by his book to peruse his charts:
http://piketty.pse.ens.fr/capital21c - here is the English language version.

You know this is an important book, for as Krugman pointed out in his column on Friday:

Mr. Piketty’s contribution is serious, discourse-changing scholarship in a way most best sellers aren’t. And conservatives are terrified. Thus James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute warns in National Review that Mr. Piketty’s work must be refuted, because otherwise it “will spread among the clerisy and reshape the political economic landscape on which all future policy battles will be waged.”
 
Well, good luck with that. The really striking thing about the debate so far is that the right seems unable to mount any kind of substantive counterattack to Mr. Piketty’s thesis.
And right on cue, Mr. McBobo and Ross Douthat publish columns to prove Krugman's point.

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