Why was the first Gilded Age a time of sometimes violent resistance, while ours is an age of acquiescence? Steve Fraser's answer is twofold: capitalism has changed, and so has the social imaginary that enfolds it.
Income disparity is likely to keep getting worse, eventually undermining the viability of democratic capitalism. This stark message has made Thomas Piketty's book the object of much scrutiny.
As a kid I loved to play Monopoly. Loved it. Friends and I would have marathon games, fighting over close readings of the rules, bargaining for half an hour while the dice and younger siblings sat idle, the whole deal. My sisters still talk about the time I prematurely ended a game I was losing by flipping the board over and scattering the pieces everywhere.
Two similar pieces are getting a lot of play this week: James Whittaker’s blog post about why he left Google and Greg Smith’s op-ed about why he left Goldman Sachs. Both talk of their high level of company loyalty and enthusiasm in the past. Both bemoan the changes in their respective corporate cultures that led them to leave. Neither seems all that hopeful about his company’s future. What neither of them does, however, is demonstrate that the problem is that Google/Goldman Sachs used to care about more than just making money but doesn’t anymore.
Since the years of Reagan and Thatcher, we have heard a steady drumbeat about the limitations of government. But what about the limitations of the free market?
Which view of economic inequality has greater merit, Adam Smith's or the Bible's? It's a trick question: the two are broadly the same.
"There is a middle ground between fanaticism and relativism."