Zachary Karabell on ‘Capitalism and the Jews’
It’s hard to imagine a more provocative title than “Capitalism and the Jews.” In fact, as I was reading the book, it was striking how many people glanced at the title and gave an ever-so-slight but discernible double take. But Jerry Z. Muller’s recent book is neither a polemic nor a setup for a bad lounge joke but is instead a compelling, sober essay about an elephant that has been sitting in the middle of Western history for the past two centuries at least: Jews have been inextricably woven into the history and evolution of capitalism.
Madness to the Method
At 8:30 a.m. on Friday, June 4, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its much anticipated monthly jobs report. Expectations were running high that the U.S. job market was finally rebounding. And at first glance, the numbers released looked decent, with 431,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate dropping modestly, to 9.7%. On closer inspection, the report didn't seem as good: more than 400,000 of those new jobs were due to the government's hiring Census workers rather than companies' ramping up for growth. The jobless rate decreased only because hundreds of thousands of people became so discouraged, they dropped out of the workforce.