Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Midweek Market Monetarist Links and Summaries - 10/29/14

"The notion that exchange-rate depreciation to avoid deflation is a beggar thy neighbor policy or a warlike act could not be more wrong." (David Glasner)
The letter viewed inflation as the problem, at the moment when inflation could be the solution:

Marcus Nunes responds to a post from Brad Delong:
Inflation just doesn't tell the story:
And this story has a sad ending...
Both Cato and Brookings are taking action:
...only they didn't wonder why demand was weak!
Some thoughts from a local resident:
Marcus highlights a good Forbes article and illustrates with divisia M3 charts:

Use the model that is "less wrong" (Nick Rowe)
An appearance on Boom Bust:

"It's not coherent" (Scott Sumner) Did QE worsen inequality? That's not even a question.
Good news? Hmm...Layoffs reach the lowest level EVER
What are recessions "good" for? Turning up inflation a bit. The problem with procyclical inflation
South Dakota? Wow. I can't even imagine a state with no income tax or personal property tax. What's the matter with Kansas? (big government)

Econlog posts from Scott Sumner:

Monetary economics is not like everyday morality.
The great sin, the even greater sin, and the enlightened path
The Fed got lucky. My naivete about government officials
I like this closing line: "You may not care about monetary policy, but monetary policy most certainly cares about you." The ECB has an inflation target. How do the Germans propose they hit it?

(Britmouse) New data for low level breakdown of GDP

Musings on inflation (Bonnie Carr)
NGDP and the "little trees" at the forest floor in need of sunlight:

Does QE "steal" brain cells? (Benjamin Cole)
Unemployment does not correlate well with inflation:

Also of interest:

Arnold Kling provides a good list for staying true to one's principles:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Compensated Time Use is a Leap of Faith

Why so? It's not something that a society necessarily has to do, by any means. Only the best...please! Even discussion about compensation is generally an exercise in limited context: i.e. tending to abject poverty, etc. Which makes the idea of general income for everyone seem all the more odd, except perhaps in the context of robots taking over employment in general. What if time use might actually be a valued product in its own right? One way to gain time value perspective is this question: What don't robots provide...that we want? Are a lot of answers quite different? That is really good.

All too often, the fact that compensated time use could go beyond alleviating poverty may not be considered. How to think about different applications for wage subsidies, for instance? Either a subsidized wage or basic income could still impose the limits of a fixed income, because of other limitations in one's environment. While this may not be problematic for the older worker who has already learned how to make do with less (and has plenty of previous experiences to lend to present circumstance), it could definitely pose problems for the younger worker. Here is a Wikipedia explanation regarding basic income:
A basic income is typically intended to be only enough for a person to survive on, so as to encourage people to engage in economic activity.
Yes...but is there already local economic activity to be had? One reason why recipients need this is the fact economic activity exists elsewhere. The local setting is a vital part of any compensated time use consideration. For instance, the fact some versions would be offered to all is impractical, in the sense of growing an entire equilibrium to benefit an ill defined margin. If there is to be agreement on some form of compensation, it needs to be considered as more than a corner solution. This is why I suggested working within "tiny" (replicated) equilibrium in yesterday's post, so that additional compensation need not stretch the whole.

Social security in the U.S. has worked somewhat like a basic income. The fact that Social Security might not offer the same advantages for seniors in the years ahead, points to problems with basic income for similar reasons. In some zip codes, local tax requirements are already approaching existing levels of government compensated Social Security. While this may not problematic for those with additional retirement preparation, many are not in this category. Therefore compensated time use is not just an issue for individual needs, but also the ability of municipalities to plan for their own futures.

This is why local means of production and services need new frameworks, so that consumption needs can once again be an aspect of local resource capacity. The limited compensation of time use would go much further under more inclusively designed regulatory environments, even without substantial personal investment for retirement. Coordinated settings for new consumption/production potential would provide greater flexibility for basic time use compensation (in this instance, time use arbitrage) than would otherwise exist.

Just as important, locals who are investing for (human capital) time use gains, would be investing in the technology of their environment at the same time. The real leap of faith is taking advantage of what technology has already provided for freed time, and what it could still offer if given the chance.

Should individuals regain confidence in time use as product in its own right, technology would no longer be perceived as something which holds back human potential or economic access. Such good fortune would be nothing short of a revolution, as to how many non tradable goods would eventually be defined. If people are able to regain trust in the abilities of others in their own midst, such a revolution is possible.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Needed: Conscious Echoes of a Larger Whole

How to envision economic growth, in a time when many are opposed to further expansion because of potential effects on what they already hold? In part, the knowledge that is still needed, represents an inward journey which GDP can also account for through time aggregate measure. The expansionist or commodity based growth which could accompany this, would be in better balance because it would occur at a more basic level.

Think of economic relationships as relatively unconscious patterns which - for long periods of time - are capable of working reasonably well. It is only when those existing patterns reach certain stages of maturity, that a rising price level for a widely diverse whole may appear detrimental to additional inclusion. And yet, further growth is always needed in order for systems to maintain their inherent dynamism.

If growth cannot take place through the primary equilibrium, the whole may need to generate miniature, somewhat conscious replications. Tiny and relatively complete wholes in terms of assets/production/services formation, can generate new growth. They can also provide ample evidence that a nominal level target matters in more than one dimension.

This economic expansion can take place in small "growth burst" environments, which can rise as they develop and slow as they mature. In the meantime local density potential is filled and further complexity is generated. At a certain point, the internal growth of knowledge use would become more important than locally needed production. Tiny local equilibrium (with its tiny monetary transmission) can grow without engendering traumatic shock on the part of tight money advocates. It would be growth which does not make the general equilibrium margin appear as though needing to encompass monetary policy "infinity". Many replications would stay relatively small, particularly the communities with walkable centers.

The unconscious element of a marketplace - i.e. primary equilibrium, is desirable in many respects. After all in the right circumstance it offers great flexibility, which contributes to countless collaborations and interactions among individuals. The fact that large systems work best with minimal conscious coordination, provides strength - as evidenced by the failed planned economies of the twentieth century.

What can be done, then, when primary equilibrium either needs to change or continue growing? Small local templates can be generated, which allow freedom of both individual and group action. Free markets also mean determining how to engender the participation of as many as possible. Perspective as to earlier circumstance is also important, to determine how varying approaches were once able to work well together. In primary equilibrium (i.e. international monetary flows for services), earlier approaches still work, but in a less dynamic state.

Most recently, production and manufacture were able to (widely) contribute to reliable services systems growth for more than a century. They were able to do so, providing multiple private interests had ample room for further growth in their own right. This long lasting production and manufacture trajectory also created the growth trajectory for GDP and output, which the U.S relied on until the Great Recession.

Only now has that earlier growth mechanism been cast into doubt. As a result, services systems now need to be able to generate further wealth through their own steam. Because services such as healthcare and education are so closely linked to government activity, it is difficult for them to make the transition in a broad based setting. The transmission mechanism of the monetary system still has considerable bearing on this relationship as well.

By no means is this the first time that the need for economic evolution has only been partially met, particularly given political realities. Yet the potential for combining past lessons with future possibilities, is often missed. Why? When push comes to shove and hard times call for structural reform, often the interests of those in power overcome rational suggestions. As a result, inclusive measures capable of honoring the economic intent of the individual, get pushed aside.

Indeed, maintaining economic complexity and vitality, seems to suggest creating conscious echoes of the larger whole. The best part? One need not know how much time to utilize, how many resources to add, or how much money to contribute to the economic picture. Rather, a well defined path for the ongoing "dance" of time and resource use, is primary. In this sense, a (miniature) nominal level target is not so much a hard rule, as it reflects the current environment of economic possibility - perhaps a monetary "season". Given the chance, money stands at the ready, for what people actually want to do. From "The Lost Writings of Wu Hsin" (HT Farnam Street):
There is a natural rhythm to the workings of the world. Some are discernible while others cannot be discerned. It is the dance between the two that creates action.
How to consider a nominal target in this context? First, the inclusion of all participants makes the natural intersection of resource and time use easier to balance, which in turn provides a reliable measure. Locally recognized (and recorded) price levels are generated in time use and asset structures, which develop and mature over time. Meanwhile, the more "porous" or "open to the world" component of the local price level follows tradable goods, as they are integrated into the local assets to services equilibrium. The rise and fall of local growth trajectories would provide clues as to how various elements interact and affect growth, for the primary equilibrium.

System wide recognition of equilibrium "spin-off" makes it possible to approach a number of problems which are difficult to tackle on their own. Local equilibrium would make taxation more effective for needed services. Just one example: the underemployed and the poor face considerable taxation on both income and consumption. And yet their tax contribution is subsumed into a mega structure which can neither effectively utilize the "small" contribution (so large for the poor) or provide real value to those who are expected to pay it.

Yet populations remain caught up in asking why disadvantaged groups cannot adapt to the existing equilibrium. The question becomes unnecessary, when equilibrium is in greater need of "adaptation" than those who cannot readily enter. No one yet knows what the important services and knowledge work of the 21st century may consist of. No one can be certain yet, what the still missing marketplace actually wants and needs. But at least monetary compensation efforts can begin, as new participants stumble their way towards a more inclusive services and production environment.

Why should anyone go to the trouble to generate a more conscious form of economic circumstance? No one has to, by any stretch of the imagination. Still, doing so would allow our economic reality to move beyond the apparent stage of decline which some now insist is inevitable. To be sure, there is inevitable decline in many things and many aspects of life. But the idea of economic decline is not only premature (no asteroid on the way that I know of). It also ignores the hopeful realities of millions of individuals who by no means are ready for decline to be imposed on them by others. Indeed it is wrong to do so, for all too many in this world are at a stage of growth which has scarcely begun.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

International Monetary Flows, Assets, Local Investment Patterns

This post serves in part as a continuation of thoughts from my last post, regarding services and aggregate spending capacity. How do international wealth flows generate such dramatic differences in monetary valuation for non tradable goods? After all, this is not an issue which nations face for tradable goods - hence the more understandable contribution of tradable goods to GDP by comparison.

Differences in pricing structures particularly show up in asset groupings which are directly exposed to global investment wealth. Fortunately, asset pricing can readily adjust to changing equilibrium valuation. Whereas primary services on prime real estate, can generate valuations which are difficult to reconcile across geographic boundaries. The fact governments run into problems with one size fits all services pricing, is just one of the resulting problems. One ends up with a wide funnel with a very narrow opening, which also distorts time sequencing for GDP measure.

In a sense, successful regions also comprise a completely different real estate marketplace. Prime workplace access is but a partial consideration for price levels, in that value resides first in scarce geographic factors. Unique regional combinations for knowledge use affect GDP more erratically, than if basic economic services were more widely dispersed. Hence international investment contributes to the already complex role, which fiat money plays in the economy.

One thing to consider about the primary equilibrium of production and services as influenced by international flows: In the U.S., the most important knowledge use which has been possible (of late), mostly corresponds (value wise) with the total amount of production and manufacture which is internationally held. Even school taxation dynamics mirror global wealth holdings, in that real estate values also reflect whether residents can access global wealth flows.

Meanwhile, primary investment equilibrium is out of balance, until local economies can establish knowledge and production patterns which make them more self reliant. Policymakers are trying to determine how to add more people to the numbers already in the city, even as cities protest suggested changes in transportation accommodations and density requirements. What's more, nimby reactions reflect existing circumstance which need to be considered. How have residents of already thriving regions gained entry, and to what degree is further integration possible? There will be times when already existing densities need to be maintained, and new communities will need to start from scratch.

How to think about present day knowledge use capacity, in aggregate wealth terms? Today, knowledge use as applicable to the larger society, has become mostly driven by institutions which have collectively limited growth. That in turn limits knowledge use at the moment it is most needed. Even governments now tell their populations to scale back on the dreams of the twentieth century.

Knowledge use did not always have to wait for someone else's approval, nor should it have to, now. Especially given the fact that knowledge is always capable of acting as a wealth starter in its own right. Knowledge use at many points in history has percolated through society, based on individual time freedom. That freedom in turn was often the result of personally held investments. Today, primary wealth exists in housing. But present day housing requirements do not leave many resources within one's reach. Hence, a single home investment is often not capable of freeing one's time use for desired ends.

As twentieth century institutions took on the roles of hiring and monetary compensation, it became more difficult to engage in primary economic activities involving knowledge use on one's own. Circles of local investment, production and knowledge use need to be restored, so that individuals can begin from a young age to reserve time use freedom. Even though local time arbitrage can provide monetary compensation and economic access, local investment options sometimes mean pursuing the work that matters most. Some will always be happier working with resources through their own means.

Local investment holdings would make it possible to pursue personal challenges which cannot always be compensated by others - especially during formative stages of development. Generating locally held diverse investment, would allow even small investors to free up needed time. This in turn would spur new economic endeavor which has been subjected to gridlock in recent years.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Services and Aggregate Spending Capacity

While I might not go so far as to call these concepts covariate relationships, services factors affect aggregate spending capacity to a considerable degree. Since I am convinced that a nominal level target can provide the most reliable measure of monetary activity, I also try to "connect the dots" between institutional gridlock and the havoc it can play with monetary stability.

There is a simplicity to the nature of the NGDP level target which can be difficult to decipher, especially for anyone who has thought differently for decades. Even so, the efficacy of the measure has been questioned, as income potential turns into a moving target. What concerns me is that some central bankers may be tempted to change a fiat monetary regime back into a no growth commodity standard. In the latter, income aggregates might not hold the central position that they need, for optimal resource utilization.

In part, some policy makers appear to have grown weary of the "shenanigans" of a consumer driven economy which - among other problems - allocated for service needs too randomly in the twentieth century. As growth trajectories have "downshifted", a considerable amount of money remains parked to protect the asset structures already generated and claimed in earlier debt formations. Some onlookers remain confused, in that a vast degree of money was created which nevertheless didn't spread through the economy. What appears as though loose monetary policy remains deceptively tight, even in the U.S.

If this were not enough, services growth has been difficult to track or measure in relation to more familiar economic indicators. Unfortunately, since these inadequate dynamics are proving so difficult to change (or understand), central bankers appear as though backing out of earlier wealth formation in slow motion. Yet they do so with no "plan B" to move forward again, which only leaves them trying to restart the same mechanisms which broke down the first time. Not being able to see beyond the failed plan A, leaves central bankers in "stealth mode". This "stealth mode" - refusing to allow a return to the earlier growth trajectory or explaining what happened - has still not gotten the attention it deserves.

Inflation targeting can also downplay the earlier centrality of individual participation, in a time of growing automation.The sticky nature of institutional gridlock in the marketplace certainly isn't helping matters in this regard. Hypocrites of all political stripes nonetheless try to maintain a services marketplace for themselves, even as they insist on no more growth or services for anyone else.

Why is aggregate spending capacity - which relies on targeting the intersection between economic participants and resource use - so important? Fiat money also represents a relationship where income sets up recognizable geographic patterns between asset formation and broad services flows. This pattern is more complex than a commodity standard, where "formal" economic flows (from production and commodities) don't have the same middle class assets to services capacity. Also the pattern is only partially complete, in that many services formations still rely on international wealth flows for their monetary valuation.

Earlier commodity standards often relied on a less developed marketplace - consequently with less need for knowledge use and skills capacity, other than what was demanded by production and manufacture. Even though today's production requires high skills, it does not require a large labor force.

Working the land was still a viable survival option, before economies grew more complex. Importantly, earlier agricultural ties are inadequate for populations which appear as though "not needed" in the workplace. This is why it would benefit both developed and developing nations to seek means to open the service marketplace to broad citizen participation. In the process, monetary flows could be stabilized, as informal markets become integrated into the broader economy. Broad based knowledge use in the marketplace is important not just for a civil society, but for human aspiration as well.

I am quite skeptical, as to whether developed nations would remain monetarily stable by opting to return to commodity standards. Why then, might that even be a possibility? Earlier income expectations are slowly whittling away with inflation targeting, along with gradual removal of monetary flows as debt structures are decreased. Nations also react to disinflation by paring back services. But instead of "giving up" on full scale service formations, services need to be reconstructed on monetary terms so as to become a central component of the marketplace. This would prevent the loss of countless hours of investment in human capital.

Until structural change is possible, services formations in some instances will continue to decline relative to population. Just one unsettling example of this discrepancy: I live in a state where mothers can now leave newborn infants at any number of public places if they don't have the means to take care of them. That law was intended to keep as many infants alive as possible, to make the best of a bad situation. Even though the law is helpful in some respects, it is incredibly sad that populations have resorted to such measures - all the while pretending that services are not really a necessary part of the marketplace. The fact that Obamacare cannot be expected to work, only means that people need the right to heal, once again.

Solutions are not "found" for government budgets or anything else for that matter, by pretending that missing marketplaces do not matter. Pretending only generates political nonsense and unnecessary personal hardship. Only consider how today's low labor force participation was once not so problematic, in that direct possibilities for resource use were often possible until the early twentieth century. It would be quite difficult today, for the U.S. population to return to informal economic circumstance.

How, then, to revive formal labor force participation? This needs to happen, if developed nations are to maintain a robust fiat monetary standard into the future. The good news is that time use aggregates and knowledge use potential are nowhere near utilization capacity in the present. Both represent an abundance of wealth which can be tapped for new community formation. Time arbitrage can maintain assets to services equilibrium, albeit in revised income/consumption versions from that of the twentieth century. Local economies can provide complete investment, production and services functions which also augment the existing international equilibrium.

Service formations need the accountability of production norms much as any other manufacture, if knowledge use is to remain a widespread component of wealth formation. Matched time use would allow that to happen. Knowledge use systems as newly generated growth could protect fiat money structures, by making certain that services remain a vital component of economic activity at all levels of income.

Services need to become directly created wealth, so that they are not limited to the largess of government or private industry. The additional income potential of services would also allow aggregate spending capacity to maintain monetary stability. Let's hope that the role of income as central to nominal targeting remains intact, in the years to come.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Notes on Economic Platform Potential

Since Jean Tirole took the recent Nobel prize for economics, I've been musing over unexplored possibilities for platform concepts. As Vox noted (Yglesias), one of the more important papers for Tirole is in regard to the two sided marketplace of platform competition. Much of today's platforms exist for digital and far flung markets. But what about sparse economic activity in general, at too many local levels? One way to think about platform potential, is in terms of knowledge use systems and time use aggregates. To what degree could multi-use platforms improve - and transform - local government, citizen and marketplace functions?

Done right, platforms could increase production and competition along a wider scale They would allow more precise frameworks for resource capacities, which would also increase the velocity of transactions that occur among populations. One could also think of this as microeconomic attention to aggregates which further leads to macroeconomic gains - a link which could be encouraged by monetary policy. One reason local knowledge use platforms are needed to assist governments and central banks: all too often, it is difficult for either monetary or fiscal policy to adequately reach economic conditions in underdeveloped areas*.

Multi use platforms (which include both production and services) could provide greater labor force participation, particularly in regions where complexity in economic environments is lacking. Domestic summits would provide means for exploring underutilized resources which would benefit from new adaptations. Local economic platforms are also needed to break up some of the polarities which are increasing between urban and rural populations: polarities which only serve to make political conditions more problematic than they already are.

Not every present day platform is helpful or "complete" in the sense of transaction potential. When do platforms limit economic participation? To a degree this is true of the Amazon platform for books, which because of the marketplace it serves, generates scale factors which can sometimes discourage authors and economic activity (particularly dispersed bookstores) at the margins. This may not be so much Amazon's fault, as it is a paucity of local platforms for diverse low risk competition.

While transaction limitations re Amazon may seem counterintuitive in that one can order books from wherever they are, one problem is a lack of sufficient incentive. That is particularly the case in areas which already have limited economic activity. Many books - particularly those with high value - serve highly specific purposes. Yet one may not be inspired to buy books that would personally matter, unless friends speak of them, or they are discovered on bookstore shelves.

Some centrally designed platforms do not always come into contact with the ongoing patterns of our lives. As such, they may tend to capture already existing markets, rather than expand market growth. There are many competing interests for one's time (and purposes), which don't link up well to other time commitments. Still, the obligations one already has are not always optimal. Only consider the platform of LinkedIn, which has more social than economic value. A good economic platform is one in which - because of the correlated resource paths it delineates, makes it worthwhile to commit to time use which adds further depth.

In fairness I want to note that bookstore loss (or author market share in general) isn't just problematic in the sense of present day Amazon dominance. Knowledge use environments had begun to centralize, long before their platform came along. As to the "helpfulness" of good non fiction, individuals had knowledge use limitations in local settings, unless they were employed in high skill occupations.

What's more, even gainful employment could still mean "bare bones" knowledge use applicability. It is in the context of (hopeful) wider knowledge use at local levels that I hope for a resurgence of the bookstores which once dotted the landscape. Despite a present day lack of belief in books, they were the best representation of full scale entrepreneurial knowledge product the world has even known. Most schools are but a bare whisper of this wealth. Only consider that a resurgence in bookstores would assist real transaction gains in time use - i.e. the growing "manufacture" of human capital.

One aspect of platforms is the degree to which they are able to connect disparate elements to central infrastructure components. A good example involves decision making processes on the part of domestic summits for walkable communities. The walkable transportation component would be central. Hence other resource options would factor for it, in terms of time use coordination aggregates and density considerations.

Preexisting economies of scale need to be considered. Are economic platforms set up to enable a region or area to generate more transaction potential? If so, the proposed infrastructure seeks to make it easier for local competition which would like to remain in competition with one another. What's more, this is a kind of competition which provides tremendous benefit for consumers and locals. This is not the negative "bicycle with training wheels" interpretation of entrepreneurship that some imagine. After all, this form of business longevity comes not by government's bequest ("beneficial" regulation that excludes others) but instead exists on everyone's behalf - i.e. beneficial regulation patterns that include others.

The distinction matters, in that many larger platform formats end up as monopoly defaults by which all players are then expected to comply with. The monotony of monopoly! Whereas some participants wish to compete on terms in which creative destruction is not just about knocking down competition levels. While this involves settings of - say - either business people or teachers who appear to desire low risk environments, that doesn't mean these individuals don't want to explore or take chances. They just don't want to fail every time they try to do so. Fortunately, entrepreneurs are not the only ones who create platforms, by any means. And sometimes, platforms need to be built for entrepreneurs to generate economic growth.

After years in both employed and self employed settings, a few words about the desire for risk. Much of this comes down to factors which include the desire for challenge in one's workplace, whether that challenge is already being met, and the degree to which one might be compelled to shift from an inadequate setting. How those factors interact has considerable bearing on the risk any individual may take over the course of a lifetime. Some of us still desire to take on risk when life suggests we slow down, just the same! Suffice to say that thinking about platforms is interesting.

*Regarding underdeveloped areas of the U.S., I don't mean in the sense of rural areas not being "rural" anymore. Rather, they could further evolve greater (lifelong) economic depth which would embrace local knowledge use and services. That would provide balance for local tax burdens and obligations - particularly in today's local school environments. Graduation often means being cut off from daily routines and local activities, with little else meaningful to take their place. Even as school cultures dominate many of these small town environments (education monopoly), too many of the resources they demand never effectively benefit the student's life, afterward. That can be a long term problem not just for individuals but also the sustainability of communities in general.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Midweek Market Monetarist Links and Summaries - 10/22/14

For the BOC, the promise extends from the past period to the present, but not the future (Nick Rowe)
No Operation Twist allowed in this set up:
It's very easy to get the signs confused:
Expectations about "counterfactual conditionals" are just airy fairy!

How well does John Cochrane understand the New Keynesian model? (Josh Hendrickson)
Nick Rowe's interpretation:

Still scraping bottom with a flawed monetary regime (Scott Sumner) The real problem with Fed policy
When loose lips sink ships...The Fed finally says "enough"
And, Quick update on NGDP futures
Scott highlights recent posts from Ben Southwood and Sam Bowman at Adam Smith Institute

At Econlog, Scott makes some market predictions: It's the economy, stupid
Because of housing, Texas has less poverty:
NGDP is a monetary concept:
Did the Bush tax rebates actually work?

No time for "policy normalization" (Marcus Nunes)
Some never realized that long term growth fell away from its long term trend:
Bullard sent the stock market on a wild ride this week:
Oil prices? This time, deflation is involved:
Has the implicit nominal target been abandoned?
Escape (from ZLB) as attributable to...WWII?

Unfortunately the UK is no longer "boring"! (Britmouse)

Lars Christensen puts together some adaptations:

If only Tyrone had written this post instead of Tyler (Cowen), but alas that was probably not the case. Scott Sumner replies here, David Glasner here, and my response is here.

Labor?? Who needs it...(Benjamin Cole)
Confusing logic:

Tim Worstall defends market monetarism in a Forbes article:

Also of Piketty interest:

Bill Gates provides reasonable framing:

"Picking" on Piketty!