It seems that every day a new review of Thomas Pikkety's book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, appears on the scene. I've certainly gained new insights about political economics from reading these essays, both pro and con. Thankfully, as a result, I feel safe in using the time I would have needed to read the 700-page tome for more productive activities.
But I do want to share an insight gathered from reading those commentaries. For those readers who have not been following the Pikkety phenomenon, his book is about wealth inequality, whether it is inevitably going to get worse, which presumably is bad for society if it does, and therefore Pikkety has a global wealth tax idea to save civilization from the grip of too few wealthy people, leaving even fewer of them surviving. Predictably, those on the left are enamored of the book, while those on the right are at best skeptical.
The main insight I gathered was a strong suspicion that the real reason for lusting after a wealth tax was simply a case of covetousness and envy. I was not the only person to be struck by the envy of the left; several other commentators also remarked on the unseemliness of the apparently envious motives (not necessarily on the part of Pikkety, but from some of the commentators enthralled with the idea of trashing the currently wealthy). more >>
Summer is officially upon us, and millions of American families will soon be embarking on their annual trips to the beach, the mountains, the lake, grandma's house, or any other of the fantastic destinations our country has to offer.
The beginning of "summer driving season" is also a time when many Americans turn even greater attention to the price of gasoline. After all, traveling several hundred or more miles in a loaded up minivan can rack up an awfully large fuel bill.
But what about this year? Everyone knows that domestic oil production has been surging, and that this has created tens of thousands of jobs and improved our balance of trade. Doesn't the Great American Oil Boom also mean that families won't have to spend as much on the Great American Road Trip? One might be inclined to think that, but summer fuel prices tell us otherwise. more >>
Pope Francis recently called for a "legitimate redistribution" of wealth when meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying governments should work to end the "economy of exclusion" that plagues the poor and the middle class from rising up the economic ladder.
The pope made his comments while meeting with Ban Ki-moon and other United Nations agency heads meeting in Rome this week. He encouraged the United Nations to help the poor around the world by mobilizing a culture of generosity.
"I do not hesitate to state, as did my predecessors, that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level," Francis said. more >>
Today America faces a large and growing Opportunity Deficit. Up and down our once-flourishing economy, a new and unnatural sclerosis is taking hold. For millions of working families of or aspiring to the middle class, the American Dream is slipping out of reach.
This Opportunity Deficit presents itself in three principal ways: immobility among the poor, trapped in poverty; insecurity in the middle class, where families just can't seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top.
On the first two fronts there is some good news. A new generation of conservative leaders is emerging to meet these growing challenges. These reformers understand that it's not enough to just cut big government. To restore equal opportunity to all Americans, we also have to fix broken government. more >>
WASHINGTON — A panel of experts on economics and theology who have recently come together to author a book on poverty believe that anti-poverty efforts need a biblical answer, but the Bible does not teach socialism.
Various experts brought together by the American Enterprise Institute presented their views on combatting poverty Tuesday afternoon at an event titled "For the least of these: A biblical answer to poverty."
The panel, which was cosponsored by the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, was comprised of some of the authors involved in a book of the same name released by WestBow Press last February. more >>
A sign of the grim economic realities many people are grappling with in the sluggish economy is that a growing number of Californians between the ages of 50 to 64 have been painfully moving back home to live with their parents due to economic hardship.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development revealed that the number of Californians in that age group who live in their parents' home increased by 67.6 percent to 194,000 for seven years through 2012, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"The numbers are pretty amazing," said Steven P. Wallace, a UCLA professor of public health who presented the data. "It's an age group that you normally think of as pretty financially stable. They're mid-career. They may be thinking ahead toward retirement. They've got a nest egg going. And then all of a sudden you see this huge push back into their parents' homes." more >>