Tag: Demagoguery

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Day of the Demagogues

 

la-na-trump-sanders-20150814As the results of New Hampshire’s primary were coming in Tuesday night, some commentators on Twitter were jubilant about the “disruption” the victories of an inane socialist demagogue and a foul-mouthed nationalist demagogue represented to the “establishment.” Yes, mobs are disruptive. Madame DeFarge enjoyed a good shakeup herself.

Senator Bernie Sanders believes that eight years of the most leftist president in American history have left the plutocrats in total control. Channeling the late Hugo Chavez, he promises to lift the minimum wage to $15 per hour, provide free college educations for all, and deliver universal health care (with only a small tax on the middle class). How will he pay for it? “With a tax on Wall Street speculation.”

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. 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.

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