Herald-Whig

Book on income inequality answers vexing questions

Posted: May. 1, 2019 9:30 am

To The Herald-Whig:

It's hard to do a book report on books one hasn't read, although kids in high school will try, and so will some conservative contrarians who write letters to the local newspapers.

The subject of economic wealth or income inequality has found a prominent place in the discussion of serious people trying to understand how to make the world better. The book by professor of economics Thomas Piketty "Capital in the 21st Century," written in English in 2014, seemed to have ignited this subject so that it is a prominent topic on the Democratic campaign trail. Piketty's book is nearly 700 pages long and is filled with research, but other books about this subject are easier to read.

One good reason to read the book one criticizes is that it contains the answers to most objections that are made or at least gives enough information to ferret out the answer. For example, when correlational research becomes as valid as causal research, or that free-market capitalism is not synonymous with democracy, or that the size of government is irrelevant if it is effective and efficient.

Of course, CliffsNotes for kids and spin notes from the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute for conservatives will always be available to the less industrious and therefore less informed.

Steve Miller

Nauvoo, Ill.