Clive Crook looks again at Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century and is even less impressed than he was earlier . Here’s Crook’s concluding paragraph:
Above all, admirers and critics alike pay tribute to “Capital” for drawing attention to inequality. I hadn’t noticed that it was lacking attention to begin with. The American left pays attention to little else. It was really the reverse: The obsession with inequality demanded, so to speak, an academic testament, and that’s what “Capital” provided. Piketty’s economics leaves a lot to be desired, but his timing was fantastic.
Here’s yet more evidence against the proposition that we humans are destined to suffer grievously if the earth’s climate warms a bit more- and, hence, yet more evidence against the proposition that the benefits of giving government yet more power to curb emissions of greenhouse gasses exceed the costs of doing so .
Speaking of the benefits of modernity (and of its accompanying prosperity), Tyler Cowen points us to an essay by Emma Griffin on how the industrial revolution changed sexual norms . Here’s her conclusion:
Before the mid-18th century poverty had controlled young people’s sexual behaviour and steered them away from sexual intercourse until they were ready in the eyes of their neighbours to marry, set up house and raise a family. The young men and women of the factory districts did not show this kind of deference to social norms. They made decisions about when to start a family that tied in with their own wishes, rather than obeying what their community dictated. Seen in this light it becomes possible to understand the true complexity and significance of the Industrial Revolution. As well as ushering in new working patterns, industrialisation raised the incomes of the poor just enough to permit them to make meaningful decisions about their own life. As such, it was a vital step towards the sexual revolution of more recent times.