Is the U.S. tax code an instrument of torture? At almost 4 million words, it is 14 times as long as the collected novels of, say, Franz Kafka. It has been changed 4,680 times since 2001 -- more than once a day, according to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate. And it takes taxpayers (individuals and businesses) more than 6 billion hours to complete their filings.
Franz Kafka had something in common with Adam Smith , the father of modern economics. They shared a vision of a system running on its own steam, writes Kaushik Basu in his alluring new book, “Beyond the Invisible Hand.”
Sometime before Mary Roach’s new book got the title “Gulp,” I like to think that’s what her editor did in mock, cartoonish panic on hearing that the author planned to dive into the human digestive system.
A cache of as yet unseen Franz Kafka manuscripts will be made available online to scholars after an Israeli court ruled they weren’t given as a gift to the secretary of the author’s executor and friend Max Brod.