Friday, June 27, 2014

Before they were carrying pictures of Chairman Mao

Jonah Goldberg's Piketty analysis for Commentary Magazine --

The postwar history of the West actually makes a hash of Piketty’s sweeping presumption. He argues that the years 1950 to 1970 were a “golden age” of economic equality. If so, why did the greatest period of social unrest in Europe and the United States in the 20th century come at the height of this golden age in the 1960s?

If you go in thinking of the 1960s as Europe's greatest period of social unrest, you're missing a lot about 20th century European history. And to the extent that Goldberg has a point, the answer is surely that rising living standards cast light on areas where the state was complacent about inequality, like college students outside the administrative elite in France, and blacks in the US.