Quote of the Day

Thomas Piketty on the cynicism implicit in neoliberal dismissal of the capabilities of the state:

“We are told constantly that states can’t do anything, that it’s impossible to regulate the Cayman islands and the other tax havens because they are too powerful, and all of a sudden we send a million soldiers 10,000km from home to allow the emir of Kuwait to keep his oil.”

Financial Times, 27/28 June, 2015.

Quote of the Day

Uber, Lyft, Instacart and other ‘sharing economy’ startups aren’t just remarkably efficient marketplaces, they’re remarkably efficient machines for producing near minimum-wage jobs.

Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2015.

Quote of the day

“Sir, I’m just calling you to say that we’re going to need you to come to your door and open it for us, or we’re going to have to kick it in.”

Concierge at the Baur au Lac hotel during the arrest of FIFA officials.

Source: Today’s New York Times.

Quote of the Day

“The greatest threat to freedom is an inert people”.

Louis Brandeis, one of America’s greatest Supreme Court judges.

Quote of the Day

” Facebook is interested in “digital inclusion” in much the same manner as loan sharks are interested in “financial inclusion”: it is in it for the money.”

Evgeny Morozov, writing in the Observer, April 26, 2015.

Quote of the Day

Reading Wilhelm II on every conceivable subject for more than 1200 pages (3000 if you read the three volumes in sequence) is like listening for days on end to a dog barking inside a locked car.

Christopher Clark, reviewing the final volume of a massive three-volume biography of Kaiser Bill in the London Review of Books,

Quote of the Day

(Prompted by the nauseating posturing of British politicians on the campaign trail.)

“How small, of all that human hearts endure, that part which laws or kings can cause or cure.”

Samuel Johnson

What the election ought to be about

“The political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty. The first needs criticism, precaution and technical knowledge; the second, an unselfish and enthusiastic spirit, which loves the ordinary man; the third, tolerance, breadth, appreciation of the excellencies of variety and independence, which offers above everything, to give unhindered opportunity to the exceptional and the aspiring.”

John Maynard Keynes, Collected Works, Vol IX, p. 311.