Still More About Piketty

March 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

I apologize for this follow-up post.  A short time after I posted a link to the New Yorker article I discovered that another blogger, Brad DeLong, the proprietor of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and far better informed concerning the critical reaction to Thomas Piketty’s book, had posted on his blog a list of eleven reviews.  My friend Milton Lower is responsible for guiding me in these matters.   He recommends Brad DeLong’s blog and, after looking at it, I agree.

Here is a link to that blog post:  http://equitablegrowth.org/2014/03/25/2366/dialogue-ten-so-far-worthwhile-reviews-of-and-reflections-on-thomas-pikettys-capital-in-the-twenty-first-century-wednesday-focus-march-26-2014

If you want to find out what the word “heiristocracy” means, be sure to check out Kathleen Geier’s review in Washington Monthly.  It’s one of the eleven listed reviews.

I now recognize that keeping up with all of the reviews of Piketty’s book may exceed my capacity for research.  I don’t promise not to post more about this subject.  I am so enthusiastic about it because Piketty did something that precludes his ideas from being iegnored:  He did a prodigious amount of work, compiled a database of facts based on arithmetic, not opinion, and then based his conclusions directly and precisely on those facts.  That faces those who disagree with his conclusions with a problem:  They either have to prove that his data is not accurate ;  they must contend that the trend toward inequality will reverse itself without the measures he proposes; or they must shrug and say, “So what!”

I think they will find each of those alternatives difficult to defend.  In any case, I believe the debate will be useful because it begins with an admission that economic inequality is a reality.

Bob

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