On Hillbilly Elegy, Part 3

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. – Peter Drucker (supposedly)

read more »

On Hillbilly Elegy, Part 2

You can take the boy out of Kentucky, but you can’t take Kentucky out of the boy. – Mamaw Vance

read more »

On Hillbilly Elegy

I just completed a series of posts on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a book that experienced an astonishing publications history – despite being 700 pages long and a hard slog – because it caught the exact tenor of the times. A very different and more accessible book that enjoyed similar popularity, and for the same reason, is J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy.

read more »

On r > g, Part 5

Last week we discussed Fundamental Law of Private Capital #1 – that private capital is the secret weapon that allows some economies to out-compete others. This week we’ll turn to Fundamental Laws #2 and #3.

read more »

On r > g, Part 4

A few years after Capital in the Twenty-First Century exploded on the scene, the University of Chicago surveyed 36 well-known economists, asking if they agreed with Piketty. The results? One yes and 35 no’s.

read more »

On r > g, Part 3

We are talking about Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, including its extraordinary publishing history and its subsequent fade from grace. I reviewed the various problems with Pikkety’s theses as they have been noted in the economics literature, and I also proposed my own view of the book’s central problem: that its author is a naïf.

read more »

On r > g, Part 2

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century exploded on the scene in mid-2013, but it’s impact faded quickly. I reviewed last week the widely discussed reasons why Piketty’s book fell from grace, but I also proposed a reason of my own: that Piketty is a naïf

read more »

On r > g

In the summer of 2013 a remarkable event occurred in the publishing industry. A challenging, 685-page economic text written by an obscure French economist and published by an academic press became an overnight best seller.

read more »

The Talk, Part 7

Even small children love to hear simple stories about their ancestors, and as children grow into teenagers and then young adults the stories can become more complex and serious.

read more »

The Talk, Part 6

In the last few posts I’ve spent a lot of time talking about kids who grow up in wealthy families and the issues they face, as well as a bit of time talking about how virtually all American kids are raised these days. I’ve devoted so much time to these subjects because I want to emphasize the many minefields that surround the subject of money, even though they don’t always seem to be directly related to money.

read more »