Friday Roundup, March 14th

  • Hank Clark of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism at Clemson provides our feature Books essay this week on George Smith’s The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism.

Might inequality in the United States be less damaging than it is in Europe because the very rich were not born into wealth, but earned their money by creating new products, services and technologies?

Piketty answers:

This is what the winners of the game like to claim. But for the losers this can be the worst of all worlds: They have a diminishing share of income and wealth, and at the same time they are depicted as undeserving.

Henderson notes that Piketty “. . . did not answer what I think was Porter’s implicit point–the large social value of the incentive to innovate–but also Piketty didn’t even answer the narrow question asked: is inequality less damaging because many very rich people earned their money by innovating?”