Spencer Woodman studies economics at Sarah Lawrence College.
Painstakingly researched and sensitively composed, David Graebers latest book, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, attempts a retelling of world history in which credit systems underpin the riseand potential declineof human civilization.
About a year ago, people began sending me a David Letterman clip in which Steve Martin, who also plays banjo, performs a bluegrass tune alongside world-famous Béla Fleck and a guitarist named Michael Daves, who I had never heard of. Daves looked odd next to his sleekly dressed stage partners.
What was once an unquestioned right is fast becoming a privilege: the United States now has a laboring classor, to use a more appropriate term that we all wish obsolete, a castethat is institutionally deprived of civil and political rights in order to raise the profitability of U.S. firms.