The bottom of the barrel, let me scrape it for you

by Kieran Healy on July 29, 2010

I thought that I’d never been asked to join JournoList because, unlike some people around here, I am not a member of the elite liberal-media vanguard. As it turns out, though, I was not asked to join because, truth be told, I am quite a handsome man. I take no pride in this fact, believe me, but was reminded of it when Twitter threw up this piece of genius, which argues that the liberal JouroListers were all pig-ugly losers who had been on “the business end of a fugly stick beat-down”. It brought a tear to my eye, reminiscent as it was of the good old days of blogging, when such arguments were very much to the fore. The real reason I bring this up, though, was to show you a screenshot of the piece:

Who among us has not marveled at DaVinci’s David while strolling through the streets of Venice? It’s one of the many gifts of Western Civilization that a solid conservative education teaches us about.

“Andrea Brandolini”:

bq. What I really find conspicuous in the comparison of top income shares across rich nations is the similarity of the patterns observed in English-speaking countries as opposed to those found in continental European countries. It is striking that, after a prolonged period of moderate decline, the income share of the richest 1 percent suddenly began to rise in the mid-1980s in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand as well as in the United States, while it exhibited no upward trend in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.

bq. The difference between these two groups of countries confirms that market and technological forces cannot be the whole story, but the similarity of trajectories, including the time of the turning point, in the English-speaking countries defies an explanation based only on the national characteristics of the U.S. political process. Hacker and Pierson recognize the potential problem, but play it down by positing that the close interdependence of the markets for top executives can largely account for the common trends in English-speaking economies. Perhaps, but why should interdependence be so much stronger between London and New York than between London and Frankfurt in today’s highly integrated financial markets? Can common language be the only critical factor, or are there more fundamental reasons?