Class Warfare

I spoke recently at a conference where I was followed to the podium by Fox’s Tucker Carlson, who, among other things, railed against the instigation by the left of “class warfare”, pointing out that doing so is little more than singling out an unpopular minority group, (i.e., the rich), for higher taxation. (Though the minority […]

Foxconn and China’s Capitalist Revolution

The promises of reform at Foxconn are the latest of many as China painfully adjusts to the inevitable social realignment that comes with a capitalist economy. What is occurring in China now happened in Europe during the transition from feudal to industrial society. That transition is more germane than it might appear at first blush […]

Adam Smith and Joseph Schumpeter on the Issues of the Day

On the issue of the bifurcation of society, the widening income gap and the related resentment, there is  useful commentary that comes from a surprising quarter, or perhaps not surprising in itself, but in the view taken on the subject: Both Adam Smith and Joseph Schumpeter, defenders of capitalism as the source of “universal opulence”, […]

The Twilight of the Leisure Class

Conspicuous leisure, conspicuous waste, conspicuous consumption. Veblen coins these terms in Theory of the Leisure Class to describe the strategies the noble and priestly classes employ to assert their status. Veblen observes that a life of leisure is the readiest evidence of the superior class, while anything having to do with the work-a-day world of […]

The Bifurcated Society

Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends. – Oscar Wilde An article in the New York Times last week made note of the […]

The Volatility Paradox

Volatility tends to drop when market risk is building up and leverage is rising, luring investors into complacency. Indeed, the lower volatility justifies investors taking on more leverage; if volatility has dropped by a third, why not take one and a half times the leverage? This pro-cyclical dynamic arising from lower volatility in times of […]

Managing the 99 Percent

“And that,” put in the Director sententiously, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue—liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their un-escapable social destiny.” – Huxley, Brave New World From: The McCourtny Consulting Group To: The Endowment for the Preservation of the One Percent Subject: Managing the […]

Class Warfare and Revolution (Circa 1850)

In a recent post I discuss six policies that spurred the Industrial Revolution in England – opening up immigration, weakening the guilds, investing in infrastructure, privatizing agricultural land, forcing a move to new energy sources, and policies for bringing capital to the new, capital-intensive technologies – and suggest that these policies have their analogues today […]

What Can We Learn From the Policies That Spurred the Industrial Revolution?

Some of the dominant policy issues of today – immigration, energy, the emergence of China – have their analogues in the great Industrial Revolution. The key government policies that laid the foundation for the Industrial Revolution in England include supporting the immigration of skilled workers, allowing for private ownership of farm land, weakening the unions […]

1 2 3 4