Entries Tagged 'Economics and Investing' ↓

What’s Really Wrong with Piketty’s Capital?

Are you wondering whether to read Thomas Piketty’s 700-page book or give it to a loved one this holiday season?

I was too.

So I picked it up in Barnes & Noble while having coffee with my partner. As is my habit with new books, I checked the index first.

The book flunked my first test. Its index was only 15 pages, a mere two percent of the total book pages.

Given that Capital in the Twenty-First Century looks like a groundbreaking economics text, one that’s already creating discussion, the index should have been at at least 50 pages (or seven percent of the book).

Then I looked at the 35-page Introduction. The first paragraph left me cold. I stopped reading right then and there. As intensely as I care about the distribution of wealth and income inequality, I wasn’t interested in proving Karl Marx wrong or Simon Kuznets right. Continue reading →

What’s Really Wrong with Speculation?

The word “speculator” has often been conflated with “entrepreneur,” and both of them tarred with the brush of “con men”.

However, there is a good connotation for entrepreneurs. They are viewed as risk-takes who create new products and businesses. Speculators are seen as risk-takers solely out to make money. But is speculation really a bad thing?

How do economists view speculators? Here’s how one economist sees them. Continue reading →

The Day the Job Market Stood Still

When I was in junior high school, our usual assembly program was a short film shown in a darkened auditorium.

One celluloid image I recall vividly was from a driver safety clip of an accident where the one of the pipes in a truck driver’s load had gone through his body.

A much less horrifying picture is of a Frankenstein movie where one of the peasants threw a giant boulder at the terrified fleeing monster and the huge “rock” bounced high up in the air over his head.

Then, one day there was a noticeable buzz of excitement in the school auditorium. A real live person had showed up to talk to us – a representative from the General Electric Company (GE). He was a young guy wearing a suit and tie and beaming like a little kid with a new toy on the brightly-lit spotlighted stage. Continue reading →