1. Discussion of Michael Sandel's new book. I've read most of his book "Justice", but not this one. Given the reviews and time constraints, I highly doubt I'll add it to my reading queue. You absolutely should read Deirdre McCloskey's review. (Really, you should read anything McCloskey writes.)
Here are two of my favorite quotes from McCloskey's review:
"Because they do, most of them accept for example that going down and joining the union made workers better off, by giving them better bargaining power against the bosses, even though the historical evidence is crushing that unionization did not make workers better off (rising productivity did)."
"The poor have benefited the most from capitalism. The sheer, first-act, unanalyzed equality that Sandel advocates would have killed the modern world and kept us in the appalling poverty of the human condition down to 1800. In fact in some countries it did, such as India after 1947, under Gandhi-plus-London-School-of-Economics egalitarianism, the "License Raj" and "the Hindu rate of growth," as the Indians themselves bitterly described their communitarian economy. When I talk to friends who think like Sandel I worry that their dispositions will kill, quite unintentionally, the only chance for the world's poor to achieve the scope for a full human life."