Forces Of Divergence

Capital In The Twenty-First Century, a “sweeping account of rising inequality” by French economist Thomas Piketty, is the most talked-about economics book in years. An early reviewer calls it “one of the watershed books in economic thinking”. Picketty argues that “modern capitalism has an internal law of motion” that leads, most of the time, to the rich getting richer, and the rest trailing ever further behind (4,215 words)

White House NSA Report: A Mixed Bag

Discussion and explainer of the report into NSA surveillance commissioned by President Obama after the Snowden leaks. The recommendations are good but limited. “The panel says outright that it is time to roll back some aspects of the surveillance state. But how, exactly, is this to be done? Rather than dismantling the current system, the report advocates chiselling away at it here and there, and beefing up oversight” (2,560 words)

Why Is Europe So Messed Up?

We pretty much understand the broad outlines of the financial crisis in Europe. Banks over-borrowed and over-lent. States bailed them out. Which left governments grappling with rocketing debt ratios. The puzzle is why leaders think public spending cuts are the right response, when all they have done is to make things worse. “It’s all quite mad, but that doesn’t mean it will end anytime soon”. Short of a revolution (1,926 words)

What If The Tsarnaevs Had Been The “Boston Shooters”?

With assault rifles, they’d have killed a lot more people than with homemade bombs. But they wouldn’t have been charged with using weapons of mass destruction. They would, on the other hand, have pretty much ensured the passage of post-Newtown gun-control bills which, instead, perished in Congress a couple of days later. Use a bomb, and you are public enemy number one; use a gun and you’re a nutcase with no policy implications (1,283 words)

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