…eh bien, the style of piketty, now in fashion?…

…sacre bleu!…

As if it could not deteriorate further, the NYT features an article on Thomas Piketty, and does so in its Style and Fashion Section. Its Sam Tanenhaus examines how much of a fad that Piketty has become. Most will know of, or those familiar with economics are reading or may have read, Piketty’s, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, where he highlights with analysis and substantial supporting data the rise of inequality in the US, a country whose progressive tax system had once been successful in achieving laudable income equality with economic growth and restraining such an unwholesome trajectory until the late 1970s. So what do we have?

Mr Tanenhaus embarks on a fanciful journey to compare Piketty with a handful of names including celebrities, whom he determines to be icons for their respective decade. Among those he puts in Piketty’s league is a Samantha Power. Yes, Samantha Power. And in this age of media-fabricated celebrity or expert, for those who would ask, ‘Samantha Who’, he confides,

She [Samantha Power] is now, of course, the American [US] ambassador to the United Nations. Thanks to her flowing red mane, she has also become catnip for fashion photographers.

[bold added for emphasis]

Yes, instead of praising Ms Power’s educational achievements, aside truly dubious experience and professionalism, Tanenhaus praises her ‘flowing red mane’. Nous sommes étonnés! Pas vraiment.

So this is the level to which NYT has reduced Thomas Piketty and his Capital in the Twenty-First Century? The vexing issue of unrelenting income inequality in the United States now reduced to a fleeting fad that will soon fade. Will he be next asked to croon, ‘La Vie en Rose’, in blue suede shoes? And who was saying that the NYT could not sink any lower?