Picking on Piketty

French economist Thomas Piketty’s recent book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” has been more discussed than any work in economics since those of John Kenneth Galbraith and Milton Friedman. Piketty argues that under normal capitalist conditions, the distribution of wealth is highly unequal and grows more unequal. It’s pretty simple… Continued

Uniform Monday Holiday Act undermines meaning of holidays

It was recently the anniversary of our nation’s Declaration of Independence, a date that has historically been an occasion for rousing speeches and patriotic pomp and circumstance. In 1852, former slave Frederick Douglass took the opportunity to bring up a pressing national issue, the wretched practice of slavery. Following that… Continued

The new colonialism

Have you ever wanted to own your own country? When I was 12, it was my goal to eventually build an enclosed ecosystem inside of a dome in Antarctica and build a model society. Why Antarctica? The isolated, inhospitable and legally ill-defined territory made it the perfect site for someone… Continued

Health care and monopsony

I should begin by saying that I am not opposed to public provision of health care — quite the contrary. My wife and I had an experience with socialized medicine when we were in Wales. An injury cut our vacation short, but the medical care was first-rate, cheap and much… Continued

In appreciation of Mark Greenberg

As students, we often feel as if there are miles between us and the administrators that run our school. It’s hard to understand the job descriptions of some of the highest ranking officials at Drexel, but it’s easy, in retrospect, to appreciate all that they’ve accomplished for our school. President… Continued

Iraq: ‘the garden of forking paths’

On June 29, the first day of Ramadan, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria declared that it had established a caliphate and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, its erstwhile leader, would from now on be known as Caliph Ibrahim and serve as Emir al-Mu’minin, or the commander of the faithful. Al-Baghdadi… Continued

Back to Baghdad: the ISIS crisis

So, let’s see. We are asking our declared enemy in the Middle East to help prop up the puppet government we created for its benefit to push back an army we also brought into being, and which is now financed by our chief Arab ally. The moral of the story:… Continued

Israeli boycott still missing point

The boycott, divest and sanctions movement against Israel continues to make weary rounds through academic associations and religious denominations. As I wrote a few months ago, the American Studies Association voted narrowly last December to endorse a boycott of Israeli academics. More recently, the much larger American Literature Association rejected… Continued