I have finally knuckled down and read some of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and I have to admit I like it, Sam-I-Am. (Previous scepticism here and here.)
How could one not warm to the intellectual arrogance of someone who dismisses Karl Marx thus?
He no doubt lacked the statistical data needed to refine his [...]
Further to my post about Thomas Piketty yesterday, which mentioned that Prof James Galbraith was a doubter, he has been in touch to draw my attention to a new paper by a colleague of his, Wenjie Zhang, which suggests that income inequality in China peaked in 2008, as Simon Kuznets would predict (and Piketty would [...]
I have written about Chuka Umunna, Labour’s shadow Business Secretary, in The Independent on Sunday today, noting that he did well last week in making life awkward for the Government over the Pfizer bid for AstraZeneca.
He did this without once mentioning – or being asked about – Labour’s policy at the 2010 election, which was still something [...]
I haven’t commented much on Tony Blair’s speech last week, “Why the Middle East Matters“, partly because I don’t understand his argument about Egypt – that the international community should give “Egypt and its new president as much assistance as we can”. I didn’t agree with him last year, and I am doubtful now. I know [...]
If Thomas Piketty’s thesis is that rich countries are moving inevitably and imminently to Victorian levels of inequality, it is not supported by the evidence he adduces for the UK.
I haven’t read much of the book yet, but I am suspicious of it, because it seems to be telling wide-eyed anti-capitalists what they want to [...]
Some eye-catchingly aspirational quotations from Chuka Umunna in a forthcoming interview for The House magazine:
I don’t have a problem with people making a lot of money, so long as they pay their taxes and it’s good for our economy. Two-thirds of private sector jobs come from small and medium sized businesses and it’s tough out [...]
Sajid Javid has just answered his first Questions in the House of Commons as Secretary of State for Culture. It was successfully dull, apart from Keith Vaz, who welcomed him to his post by saying: “This is the first time in the history of this country that a majority of Ministers in a Department are [...]
In my interview with Stella Creasy for Ethos Journal, which was mostly about her campaign against payday lenders and her views on empowering in consumers in other parts of the private sector and in public services (longer version here), I also asked her about being a woman in politics.
What about Laura Sandys, I said, referring [...]
One or two comrades have yet to catch up with my Four-Square Rule, which is that the Conservatives need to be four points ahead in percentage share of the vote to be the largest party in the election next year. As I said on Sunday, that, rather than the point at which the Tories simply [...]
A thing that is not well enough known:
In another book I learn that ten percent of all the world’s species are parasitic insects. It is hard to believe. What if you were an inventor, and you made ten percent of your inventions in such a way that they could only work by harassing, disfiguring, or [...]
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