Tag: Books

What the Piketty Errors Mean

 

PikettyRemember the Reinhart/Rogoff spreadsheet error? In the event that you do not, here is a summary. Those who follow debates between economists will recall that the spreadsheet error led to all kinds of excoriations of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff on the part of liberal economists, who claimed that they were responsible for austerity policies that killed off economic growth. Even Stephen Colbert got in on the act. Their spreadsheet error was considered to be the worst tragedy that befell the planet since that one time when Oedipus and Jocasta had a super-awesome first date.

Of course, the excoriations were vastly overstated, but that didn’t stop intellectual opponents of Reinhart and Rogoff from engaging in hyperbole on a grand scale. Now that Thomas Piketty has been caught making his own significant errors, comparisons have naturally been made between Piketty on the one hand, and Reinhart and Rogoff on the other.

These comparisons fail. Reinhart and Rogoff may have made a spreadsheet error, but there is a very plausible argument that the error did not affect their conclusions, and there was no serious accusation on anyone’s part — not even the most severe critics — that Reinhart and Rogoff engaged in intellectual or scholarly fraud.

Facts Are Stubborn Things . . . As Thomas Piketty Is Beginning to Find Out

 

I have bought Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and while I have posted many an item that takes issue with the books claims and conclusions concerning wealth inequality, I do plan on reading Piketty; his book has made quite the intellectual and cultural impact, and although I know what his basic arguments are, I want to be sure that I read the whole of the book to be fully aware of his claims.

But even before reading the book, one can conclude certain things about Piketty, as my previous blog posts indicate. And today, we learn that we may well be able to conclude one more thing still about Piketty, his research, and his arguments: They may be completely wrong. And yes, those words were worth emphasizing.

Member Post

 

So I noticed that no one responded to my invite in the Prelude. Rather than assume that the post just escaped notice of anyone on Ricochet, I’m just going to instead assume that y’all were snubbing me mostly because it makes me feel cool and important. I’m noticeable enough to be snubbed. In your face, […]

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Member Post

 

Perhaps A Possible Unofficial Informal Meetup? So far I’ve posted two of these little reviews, and I plan to do more given the response (the first post actually got replies!) The next Local Authors Reading & Book Signing event is coming up, Apr. 26th, 6:00pm at the Three Mugs Brewing Company near Hillsboro (west of Portland), […]

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Member Post

 

In my pleasure reading I’ve been on something of a Near Eastern History binge, having recently finished both of Robert Lacey’s books on Saudi Arabia, Lord Kinross’s history of the Ottoman Empire, Michael Oren’s book on the Six Day War, and Tom Holland’s account of the origins of Islam. (This may sound like a lot, […]

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What Are the Best Books on American Presidents? — Nick Baldock

 

It is a long-term ambition of mine to read a full-length biography of every dead American president, and I confidently assume that the good folk at Ricochet can help me with some recommendations.

I do not want a definitely ‘conservative’ or right-wing selection, please; I want, as far as possible, a decently scholarly and balanced series of historical-biographies. Conservative correction of hagiography – as, I suspect, with JFK – I understand may be necessary.

Member Post

 

Since my last posting about these events was so well-received, I decided I should report on the latest. So far, my lovely wife Amanda and I have not missed a single event, and have enjoyed them thoroughly. Following the success of the last two events, the organizer, Jason Brick, decided to try one on the […]

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