Good Reads

This category contains 26 posts

A New Field Guide to America’s Plutocracy

An up-close look at the early Obama administration — and the prodigious capacity of concentrated wealth to distort our political process. A review of A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama’s Promise, Wall Street’s Power, and the Struggle to Control Our Economic Future, by Robert Kuttner

A Home Run of a Smash Against CEO Excess

A spirited demolition of the rationales for paying our executives king-sized compensation. A review of Pay Check: Are Top Earners Really Worth It?.

Rush Limbaugh, Listen to Your Brain

Deep down in our lobes, says new research from an international scientific team, sits a basic tilt toward fairness. A review of Elizabeth Tricomi, Antonio Rangel, Colin Camerer, and John O’Doherty, Neural evidence for inequality-averse social preferences, in the February 25, 2010 issue of the British scientific journal Nature.

Did the Founders Want Government Small?

The new conservative ‘Mount Vernon Statement’ unveiled last week claims that right-wingers are upholding what the Generation of 1776 held dear. But those right-wingers, history shows, are conveniently overlooking what the Founders truly feared. A review of Securing the Fruits of Labor: The American Concept of Wealth Distribution 1765-1900 by James Huston.

Does Good Fortune Explain Big Fortunes?

If the wealthy owe their wealth to luck, how should society respond? Philosophy’s ‘luck egalitarians’ are battling to get that question considered. A review of Health, Luck, and Justice by Shlomi Segall.

Must the Rich Rock On Forever?

Economists tend to add more to the aggravations of everyday life than explain them. Not this economist. A review of Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science that Makes Life Dismal by Moshe Adler.

A Thermodynamic Take on Executive Pay

What would constitute “fair pay” for corporate executives? A chemical engineer from Purdue looks for an answer in “the concepts and mathematics used to solve problems in statistical thermodynamics and information theory.”

Linking Work and Reward: A New Calculation

People who do vitally necessary work, throughout our economy, often take home far less than people whose jobs add trivial value to our lives. Do we have an alternative? Britain’s New Economics Foundation thinks so — and explains why in this fascinating new report.

Understanding Our Acquisitive Society

Acquisitive SocietyBack in the 1930s, a University of Chicago project set out to list western civilization’s greatest books. Only one book by a living author, this one, made the cut.

How Our Inequality Limits Our Lives

This American Library Association “outstanding title” of the year explores the price we pay for massive inequality. Now available for reading online.