I recommend the series to my readers without reservation, and note that Mr. North’s sections on the United State’s education system, immigration, and the long decline of American labor unions are of particular worth. His section on executive compensation and the financial sector is befouled by an err common to liberal pundits: North places much of the blame for the finance industry’s skewed incentive structure on the industry’s deregulation, a culprit not half so villainous as the Federal government’s many interventions to reduce risk and assume losses (the Mexican bail-outs, Greenspan’s artificially low interests rates, the nationalization of AIG, etc.) on the behalf of major industry players. The failure to take this American proclivity for “privatizing gains and socializing losses” into account is by far the greatest weakness of Mr. North’s arguments.
This month Slate has published an unusually thoughtful series on America’s rising income inequality. The series comes in ten segments, all penned by Slate columnist Timothy North.
Despite this oversight, it is a series well worth the reading.