FROMTHEEDITOR

Much Ado About Something

Field Notes

People are pretty impressed with Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century—if we leave aside right-wing pundits and congressmen who have denounced him for Marxism (in fact, his book has nothing in common with the one by Marx except the first word of its title).

EDUCATION REFORM Beneath the Surface
Part II: Marketizing School Reform

Field Notes

I ended the first article in this series by discussing the Department of Education’s focus on closing old and opening new schools. I’ll begin this second article by discussing the complementary focus on the marketization of school selection.

BITCOIN
A Digital Alternative?

Field Notes

I first paid little attention to Bitcoin, thinking that there are probably more Elvis Presley impersonators than there are people in the world who have traded or owned it. But seeing that central banks have issued policy statements on Bitcoin, that the F.B.I. has seized Bitcoin assets used by drug dealers, and that tax authorities have given guidance on capital gains liabilities, while financiers are planning to offer exchange traded funds denominated in Bitcoin, I decided to take a second look. This article gives my assessment of this digital, alternative currency.

BOXING COMBINATIONS
Rocky on Broadway

Field Notes

Rocky: Das Musical opened in Hamburg in 2012 after German producers were the only backers willing to take a risk on a musicalized adaption of Sylvester Stallone’s 1976 film. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hamburg has gradually become a global boxing hub as the sport’s epicenter shifted to Eastern Europe, and over the past 10 years world heavyweight champions are now much more likely to be Ukrainian or Russian than American.

NOTES FROM TEXAS
This is What Oligarchy Looks Like

Field Notes

Oligarchy is a term we’ve been hearing more frequently to describe the future of the United States—whether it’s the patrimonial capitalism predicted by Thomas Piketty, based on his comparative historical income statistics which support an interpretation that the huge wealth of the top 0.1 percent creates a dynamic of heritable privilege for a tiny and powerful set of our fellow citizens, or whether it’s the feared consequences of the Supreme Court’s several decisions to gut the laws governing campaign finance and voting.

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JUNE 2014

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