Thursday, March 20, 2014
WHAT HAVE I BEEN READING?
At the suggestion of my son, Patrick, whose reading recommendations have been unfailingly interesting, I purchased from Amazon.com a new book called CAPITAL in the Twenty-First Century by a French economist with the rather un-French name Thomas Piketty. It turns out to be a monster -- 577 pages of text and another 100 pages of notes and indices. I have started reading it [up to page 73] and it is both readable and very interesting. Piketty, Wikipedia tells me, is what the French call a man of the left -- an advisor to the Socialist Party and a columnist for the Socialist newspaper, Liberation. He is only forty-two [Ph D at 22] and his parents took part in the Paris demonstrations of '68, so he comes of good stock. The focus of his elaborate historical and statistical world-analysis is the cause and evolution of economic inequality. Paul Krugman says on his blog that he is working on a long review of Piketty for the New York Review of Books. Although I am a slow reader, and will be interrupting all such activities for my safari on April first, I shall try to finish most of the book before the Krugman review appears. Eventually, I shall attempt my own discussion of it on this blog.