NYT op-ed describes forthcoming book by economist Thomas Piketty, which suggets that inequality is a feature of capitalism, not a bug, and that capitalism ultimately destroys democracy unless we impose "confiscatory tax rates" on our wealthiest members. The assertion that Mr. Piketty's book "defies left and right orthodoxy" doesn't convince me at all -- the main problem the two quoted left-of-center economists seem to have with Mr. Piketty is his pessimism. I also suspect Mr. Piketty's book would only represent "watershed" thinking among decadent elites, not normal folks like us.
Chris Kromm at the Institute for Southern Studies writes about how Pete Seeger's experiences in the South shaped his career. Mr. Seeger passed away last week at the age of 94, as you no doubt know. We go from the moment Mr. Seeger first saw Samantha Bumgarner play the banjo in North Carolina to Mr. Seeger's work assisting Texan folklorist Alan Lomax to his association with Arkansan (and later co-Weaver) Lee Hayes -- and this only takes us up to 1940.
Citizens for Tax Justice laments the sheer number of tax cut proposals emanating from 14 states and the District of Columbia, mostly from Republican-dominated states but n.b. that Democrat Andrew Cuomo of New York gets the biggest paragraph. The good news? A lot of these proposals meet solid resistance, even in states like Oklahoma -- and you remember how badly Louisiana Gov. Jindal's regressive proposals crashed and burned in illiberal Louisiana last year.
Paul Waldman proposes that right-wingers' irrational hatred of Hillary Clinton could aid her in a 2016 Presidential bid. Unless, of course, Republicans just pretend it never happened, which they're very good at, and which the "liberal" media is very good at enabling -- and which whitewashing will be made easier, not harder, by the fact that you'll have people voting in 2016 who were mere infants when the House impeached Bill Clinton.
Damon Linker asks if a defamation lawsuit by a leading climate scientist will "doom" the National Review. I'm not exclaiming we can only hope! only because defamation is, and should be, a difficult charge to prove, albeit one Mark Steyn is making easier by running his mouth. But William F. Buckley, Jr.'s commitment to "excommunicating" the "cranks" has always been overrated -- the man was once a white supremacist himself! -- and the magazine certainly doesn't perform that task for the conservative movement now.
Finally, George Zimmerman, lately acquitted of wrongdoing for his shooting of Trayvon Martin, plans to take part in a celebrity boxing match for charity. At least one rapper has stepped up and said he'd like to join the match, but I suspect the number of people who'd like to throw a punch at Mr. Zimmerman is much, much longer than that. (At least one commenter warns, half-jokingly or less, of the possibility Mr. Zimmerman might hide a handgun in his spit bucket.)