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 >>
Surprise, surprise, the labor force participation rate in April for young adults between the ages of 25-29 hit a record low. Liberals continue to tout that young people are doing just fine under the Obama economy, but alas the data shows otherwise.
Young people have been the hardest hit by Obama and his leftist policies. Young Americans are the ones expected to pick up the tab for the reckless spending coming from Washington while facing an increasingly tough job market.
Each year Young America's Foundation releases its Youth Misery Index (YMI), which adds together youth unemployment, average graduating student debt, and national debt per capita. According to the YMI at no point in recent history has life been harder for America's young people. more >>
President Barack Obama and his feminist friends have been trotting out their tiresome slogan that women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Every reputable scholar who has commented has proved that this is a notorious falsehood that anyone should be embarrassed to use.
U.S. law calls for equal pay for equal work, but the feminist slogan is not based on equal work. Women work fewer hours per day, per week, per year. They spend fewer years as full-time workers outside the home, avoid jobs that require overtime, and choose jobs with flexibility to take time off for personal reasons. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men are twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week.
Women place a much higher value on pleasant working conditions: a clean, comfortable, air-conditioned office with congenial co-workers. Men, on the other hand, are more willing to endure unpleasant working conditions to earn higher pay, doing dirty, dangerous outside work. In 2012, men suffered 92 percent of work-related deaths. more >>
A large number of seminary graduates are dealing with overwhelming debt upon graduation, according to a new study by a research organization connected to Auburn Theological Seminary.
Many of these graduates are forced to moonlight at other jobs to make ends meet, found the Center for the Study of Theological Education.
In January, the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) released its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reform (CAFR) for the 2013 fiscal year. The report was received with little fanfare. During an election year, no politician wants to run afoul of the RSA and the billions it invests in Alabama.
Unfortunately, this head-in-the-sand approach to public pension accountability is not working, and it will have painful consequences for Alabama's future. While state politicians have made needed adjustments to the state retirement system over the last several years, they have left the defined benefit structure of the RSA intact.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 68 percent of U.S. workers have any access to retirement benefits and only 28 percent have access to a defined benefit pension plan like those provided through the RSA. more >>