Friday, April 25, 2014

The Picketty Panic. Paul Krugman Describes An Epochal Book On Modern Capitalism

"The Tax Man Cometh... Uh-oh. He's French!"


KRUGMAN: The Piketty panic. "'Capital in the Twenty-First Century,' the new book by the French economist Thomas Piketty, is a bona fide phenomenon. Other books on economics have been best sellers, but Mr. Piketty's contribution is serious, discourse-changing scholarship in a way most best sellers aren't. And conservatives are terrified. Thus James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute warns in National Review that Mr. Piketty's work must be refuted, because otherwise it 'will spread among the clerisy and reshape the political economic landscape on which all future policy battles will be waged.' Well, good luck with that."Paul Krugman in The New York Times.

 Imagining the impact of Piketty's global tax on wealth. "But put political considerations aside for a moment. How might such a proposal work? Would it really help reduce inequality? And would it do so without causing more harm?...A wealth tax could affect the economy in many ways, but it's hard to be certain about how....Could governments use the revenue wisely? Could they even collect it? Many will find those propositions hard to believe. But Piketty himself admits the proposal is 'utopian.' The point is to emphasize the need for bold, dramatic efforts to combat inequality. And that's something that shouldn't be beyond the political imagination." Danny Vinik in The New Republic.

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