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JOHN WIGHT – Venezuela on the Brink

The crisis engulfing Venezuela appears to have reached the point of no return. Inflation is heading for 1000% while shortages of food and other essentials are now widespread. It has prompted many to speculate that it is just a matter of time before President Maduro is forced from office and Chavism is consigned to the dustbin of history. The legacy …

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Crawford Kilian – The End of Capitalism and the End of Our World

Some anonymous wise person once observed that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. But Wolfgang Streeck, a 70-year-old German sociologist and director emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, thinks capitalism’s end is inevitable and fast approaching. He has no idea what, if anything, will replace it. …

FILE - In this June 30, 2014 file photo, French economist Thomas Piketty speaks during his seminar at the Almedalen political week in Visby on the island of Gotland, in Sweden. Novelist Marilynne Robinson, economist Piketty and cartoonist Roz Chast are among the finalists for National Book Critics Circle prizes. The 30 nominees for six competitive categories were announced Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.  (AP Photo/Janerik Henriksson, File) SWEDEN OUT

Why So Few American Economists Are Studying Inequality

Wealth at the top of the income distribution is skyrocketing, leading to growing inequality. This trend is especially pronounced in the United States. But much of the leading research on the topic isn’t coming from American economists. A French economist, Thomas Piketty, wrote the blockbuster 2013 book Capital in the 21st Century about the growth of extreme wealth inequality; Piketty and (French) Berkeley …

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Narayana Kocherlakota – The Rich Are Different, and It Matters

Inequality in the U.S. depends on how you look at it: Some groups of rich households, for example, have fared much differently than others. Such nuances are crucial in understanding the phenomenon — and what policy makers should do about it. Let’s start by focusing on the income of the top 1 percent of Americans, compared to that of the top 10 …

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Jeff Faux – Breaking News: The Rich Discover Inequality

After forty years of rising income and wealth inequality, some of America’s rich seem worried that maybe things have gone too far. In a recent New York Times Op Ed (August 9), for example, Peter Georgescu, CEO emeritus of the multinational public relations firm, Young and Rubicon, wrote that he is “scared” of a backlash that might lead to social …

Austerity Has Failed: An Open Letter From Thomas Piketty to Angela Merkel By Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs, Heiner Flassbeck, Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis

The never-ending austerity that Europe is force-feeding the Greek people is simply not working. Now Greece has loudly said no more. As most of the world knew it would, the financial demands made by Europe have crushed the Greek economy, led to mass unemployment, a collapse of the banking system, made the external debt crisis far worse, with the debt …