Assorted links


3. The culture that is globalization - 'The restaurant will continue to act as a sort of ambassador for the concept, and van Goor aims to set up shop in London, Berlin, and the U.S. later this year. ”We wanted to entice people to come to the restaurant and at the same time to give them food for thought,” she says. “We wanted to demonstrate that eating in solitude can be a good thing.”'

5. This is the first review/commentary that makes me want to read the book. The fanfare has so far discouraged me from reading it, as much as his ideas about global taxes. The bit about the history of wealth inequality does sound interesting. Here's a David Brooks piece on Piketty today that I like:

Brooks is rather dull most of the time, but he is very good at articulating insights about his peer group. I think he hits the nail on the head as to why the book is so popular with the managerial class. There's a lot to chew on there.

I agree with David Brooks on his peer group but I think he is missing that income based ¨class conflict¨ is also the driving force in the anti government movement on the right. It seems to me that government welfare programs for the bottom 20% are resented most by people whose income less than average and whose standard of living is not much better than those who qualify for means tested aid.

Brooks trades in class libel, pure and simple. He claims his "bobos" are just jealous about their peers out succeeding them and are blinded to the real problem of opportunity at the bottom. What a crock. The same constituency that might hail Piketty are the very same pushing for universal pre-k and wailing over the defanging of affirmative action. You can say these people have bad ideas for promoting opportunity or are misguided in what wealth concentration means for everyone else, but to trade in pseudo-anthropology, pop-psych BS like Brooks does is a farce.

If working class class people aren't rallying alongside Brooks's bobos, it's only because of how ingrained it's been drilled into them that you can't complain against the job creators. You have a problem with management? Too bad, cause there are a thousand towns across the South that would give a nurturing, complaint-free home to this factory. Deep suspicion of the old "money power" is an American popular tradition. It's still part of even red-state consciousness. It's just been beaten down. Brooks is full of hot air.

Read the book for it's solid empirical work, but please don't do it because David Brooks convinces you to hate the moderately affluent and educated.

constituency that might hail Piketty are the very same pushing for universal pre-k and wailing over the defanging of affirmative action

Exactly. 16 years of lavishly funded public education isn't enough!. Affirmative action has done what for the generation and a half that it has been implemented?

Piketty is all about making marxism a possibility again. It didn't work last time, and it won't this time around. The experiment will be poor, nasty, brutish, and short,

If working class class people aren’t rallying alongside Brooks’s bobos, it’s only because of how ingrained it’s been drilled into them that you can’t complain against the job creators.

Yeah, that can be the only possible reason. Seriously, how could it possibly be that that they know something higher class people don't.

Yeah, the thing they know that professionals don't know is a lack of economic autonomy. For what it's worth, I was born and raised in Appalachian coal country. For people like the ones I've grown up with, you learn very quickly that you have two options in life: A) uproot your family and move to somewhere where maybe the grass is greener or B) hope that some job creator will deem your little town to be of contrite enough spirit and demanding of low enough wages to be worthy of a call center/assembly plant or whatever.

I do actually like capitalism, flaws aside. I have no use for people that honestly try and convince themselves that it's only the pesky intellectual class bobos that are making trouble, and if we could just shut their jealous ways up, we'd have total prosperity.

You mean that the folks who cheered the Obamacare subsidy cliff as a way to encourage leisure were mistaken?

By the way, the most enthusiastic Pitekkies are the same.

Not me.

Agreeing with Mankiw on 2 and 3 makes the "interesting" reading of 1 completely irrelevant.

We might as well read a book on the drinking habits of Romans. While that might be interesting and entertaining, there is little point to it after we have rejected the theses that excessive drinking led to the collapse of the empire and will lead to the demise of our society, and also conclude that we cannot and should not ban alcohol consumption (again).

Piketty is getting far too much attention and this discussion is only prolonging his 15 minutes. I don't care how good a writer he is.

The top draw for Chinese families was the "beautiful environment, good weather and living standard", he said.

Beautiful environments and high living standards mean restricting immigration, surely even the most blind ideologue can concede.

Also, there has got to be some psychic impact on Chinese, Indian and other immigrants from having to concede, at least internally, that when they're surrounded by their countrymen they are incapable of creating desirable societies.

Aren't the Chinese who are buying up properties abroad the business elite and the political elite looking to place some of their money somewhere safe AND secure a home/property they can flee to?

In other words, neither business nor pleasure but insurance?

But in addition to restricting immigration, it also means seizing large territories and replacing their inhabitants. Before the New Zealanders, Canadians, etc. could restrict immigration, they had to first seize the territory and replace its inhabitants. So they're not mutually exclusive.

If anything it seems to be the opposite. Immigrants tend to create enclaves and surround themselves with their countrymen after they immigrate. They also tend to regard their own culture and folkways more highly than those of the host country.

This seems to be the pattern not just for contemporary immigrants, but for immigrants throughout history as well.

"This seems to be the pattern not just for contemporary immigrants, but for immigrants throughout history as well"


Look at the largest German community in the USA in the 19th C, in Saint Louis. The Germans rapidly adapted to their adopted country, learned English, built their own housing and formed a local community based civic organisations and friendly societies to fund them.

I never said that immigrants don't assimilate or adapt to their adopted country, so I'm not sure what your point is. Eventually assimilating is not mutually exclusive with creating enclaves after immigrating.

Regarding German immigrants to the US, they also did create enclaves and surround themselves with their countrymen after they immigrated.

“You know New Zealand doesn't count. It's like Canada. But to Australia.”
-- Carly in Year Zero by Rob Reid

The ideas of William Graham Sumner, Henry George, Herbert Spencer and others were once a subject of conversation, nobody remembers them now. Keynesianism has reached its expiration date in the public square as well. It's not exciting or innovative or new anymore even if still survives in the academic collective. Picketty's book has the potential to be a replacement for Keynes in that it validates the age-old prejudices of the left in a new format. Isaac Newton he ain't.

We can thank God that Pikettyism doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as Marxism, Maoism, Stalinism, and Leninism.

According to a New Zealander that I know.


#6. The decades-long truth of flying cars is that in the compromise you get a crappy plane and a crappy car. Wonderful example here.

#5. Here's how to write a book review without resorting to typical political stereotypes and tired cliches:

Thanks for the link. It is a good review.

The review argues that Piketty, right or wrong, is evidence based. So that:

"No longer will one be able to simply assert that rising inequality is a necessary byproduct of prosperity, or that capital deserves protected status because it brings growth. From now on, those who say such things may be expected to provide evidence that they’re actually true."

Such an utopian!

My father's first job as an aeronautical engineer in 1938 was designing a small part for a flying car.

I think that people who are not aeronautical engineers don't understand just how severely airplanes are constrained by weight. The problem with flying cars is that the things that make a good car make a bad airplane and vice versa, so there ends up being a lot of parasitic weight the airplane part has to haul around. But because of the extreme sensitivity of the airplane to weight, this makes the airplane part of the machine very inefficient at best and completely unworkable at worst.

Before looking at the article, I was expecting it to have something to do with the "price tag" attacks by settlers against Palestinians. Grafitti is often left behind, and I was thinking somebody might be offering the grafitti for sale, like Banksy art.

4. Spain, as is well known, was given extra time by the EU Commission – 2 additional years – to bring its fiscal deficit down below the 3% of GDP mark. In fact the country has made enormous efforts to reduce the deficit, but the results of such efforts have often been far less than had been hoped for. After hitting a peak of 11.2% of GDP in 2009, the deficit figure has meandered from 9.7% in 2010 to 9.6% in 2011 to 10.8% in 2012, to finally reach 6.6% in 2013. Not surprisingly this deficit record has produced a rather astonishing surge in the government debt level, from 36% of GDP at the onset of the crisis in 2007 to the current level of nearly 100%.

So all that pain .... for nothing? Instead of an economic turn around, Spain is simply going to hell less quickly in their own special handcart? I am surprised that this is not getting more attention.

The Spanish are not Germans. They will never be Germans. There is no point trying to make them Germans. They are feckless and it seems they always will be. See Puerto Rico.

From 3. dining alone article:

Interest in food culture is peaking, and the act of eating, perhaps with a smartphone on the tablecloth, has become divorced from the pleasures of socializing.

If you want to enjoy any cuisine often eaten family style (e.g., many Asian cuisines), you want more people to eat with you, not fewer. Maybe Dutch food is not eaten family style?

"If you want to enjoy any cuisine often eaten family style (e.g., many Asian cuisines), you want more people to eat with you, not fewer" says anon
Whenever I am too lazy to cook I dine in restaurants here in India. I am single and often I dine alone. I simply cannot understand how Indian cuisine is "family style" . Perhaps the cuisine of other Asian nations is.

East Asians want people to believe Chinese entering New Zealand are just temporary. We know it is permanent. We can all look at East Asians settlement of any place from Malaysia to Tibet to San Francisco and know that it is entirely one way. The quality of life will drop like a stone because East Asians always look at how they can delegitimize and exploit a system be it the SAT or immigration. New Zealanders will now be faced with a highly competitive group that will dramatically increase in numbers and forever change your lifestyle forever for the worse.

6. The country that discovers the graviton. Of course those don't work with the standard model, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

So the Department of Defense, with a few thousand perfectly good helicopters, wants a helicopter that can drive through city streets. Why, exactly?

Yes, yes, what if someone gets hurt in an enemy-held city and they are half a mile from the nearest LZ. We've already got a perfectly good solution for that. We've already got perfectly good solutions to most "flying car" problems, that don't require godawful helicopter/truck or airplane/car hybrids. Mostly, they involve boring combinations of existing, utilitarian vehicles rather than ineffably cool Jetsonian ones, but they get the job done. The jobs that can only be done by flying cars, those mostly either don't exist or are tiny niche markets.

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