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It seems safe to say that Capital in the Twenty First Century, the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the yearand maybe of the decade Piketty, arguably the worlds leading expert on income and wealth inequality, doesthan document the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite He also makes a powerful case that were on the way back to patrimonial capitalism, in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth mattersthan effort and talent Paul Krugman New York TimesA sweeping account of rising inequality Eventually, Piketty says, we could see the reemergence of a world familiar to nineteenth century Europeans he cites the novels of Austen and Balzac In this patrimonial society, a small group of wealthy rentiers lives lavishly on the fruits of its inherited wealth, and the rest struggle to keep up The proper role of public intellectuals is to question accepted dogmas, conceive of new methods of analysis, and expand the terms of public debate Capital in the Twenty first Century does all these things Piketty has written a book that nobody interested in a defining issue of our era can afford to ignore John Cassidy New YorkerAn extraordinary sweep of history backed by remarkably detailed data and analysis Pikettys economic analysis and historical proofs are breathtaking Robert B Reich The GuardianPikettys treatment of inequality is perfectly matched to its moment Like Paul Kennedy a generation ago, Piketty has emerged as a rock star of the policy intellectual world But make no mistake, his work richly deserves all the attention it is receiving Piketty, in collaboration with others, has spentthan a decade mining huge quantities of data spanning centuries and many countries to document, absolutely conclusively, that the share of income and wealth going to those at the very topthe toppercent, percent, and percent of the populationhas risen sharply over the last generation, marking a return to a pattern that prevailed before World War I Even if none of Pikettys theories stands up, the establishment of this fact has transformed political discourse and is a Nobel Prizeworthy contribution Piketty provides an elegant framework for making sense of a complex reality His theorizing is bold and simple and hugely important if correct In every area of thought, progress comes from simple abstract paradigms that guide later thinking, such as Darwins idea of evolution, Ricardos notion of comparative advantage, or Keyness conception of aggregate demand Whether or not his idea ultimately proves out, Piketty makes a major contribution by putting forth a theory of natural economic evolution under capitalism Piketty writes in the epic philosophical mode of Keynes, Marx, or Adam Smith By focusing attention on what has happened to a fortunate few among us, and by opening up for debate issues around the long run functioning of our market system, Capital in the Twenty First Century has made a profoundly important contribution Lawrence H Summers DemocracyIt is easy to overlook the achievement of Thomas Pikettys new bestseller, Capital in the Twenty First Century, as a work of economic history Debates about the book have largely focused on inequality But on any given page, there is data about the total level of private capital and the percentage of income paid out to labor in England from the s onward, something that would have been impossible for early researchers Capital reflects decades of work in collecting national income data across centuries, countries, and class, done in partnership with academics across the globe But beyond its remarkably rich and instructive history, the books deep and novel understanding of inequality in the economy has drawn well deserved attention Pikettys engagement with the rest of the social sciences also distinguishes him from most economists The book is filled with brilliant moments The book is an attempt to ground the debate over inequality in strong empirical data, put the question of distribution back into economics, and open the debate not just to the entirety of the social sciences but to people themselves Mike Konczal Boston ReviewWhat makes Thomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century such a triumph is that it seems to have been written specifically to demolish the great economic shibboleths of our time Pikettys magnum opus Thomas Frank SalonApage punch in the plutocracys pampered gut Its been half a century since a book of economic history broke out of its academic silo with such fireworks Giles Whittell The TimesThomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics has done the definitive comparative historical research on income inequality in his Capital in the Twenty First Century Paul Starr New York Review of BooksBracing Piketty provides a fresh and sweeping analysis of the worlds economic history that puts into question many of our core beliefs about the organization of market economies His most startling news is that the belief that inequality will eventually stabilize and subside on its own, a long held tenet of free market capitalism, is wrong Rather, the economic forces concentratingandwealth into the hands of the fortunate few are almost sure to prevail for a very long time Eduardo Porter New York TimesThomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century is a monumental book that will influence economic analysis and perhaps policymaking in the years to come In the way it is written and the importance of the questions it asks, it is a book the classic authors of economics could have written if they lived today and had access to the vast empirical material Piketty and his colleagues collected In a short review, it is impossible to do even partial justice to the wealth of information, data, analysis, and discussion contained in this book of almostpages Piketty has returned economics to the classical roots where it seeks to understand the laws of motion of capitalism He has re emphasized the distinction between unearned and earned income that had been tucked away for so long under misleading terminologies of human capital, economic agents, and factors of production Labor and capitalthose who have to work for a living and those who live from propertypeople in fleshare squarely back in economics via this great book Branko Milanovic American ProspectMonumental Piketty documents a sharp increase in such inequality over the lastyears, not only in the United States, but also in Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa, with people with the highest incomes far outstripping the rest of society The book is impressive in its wealth of information Robert J Shiller New York TimesInstantly influential Its euphoric reception is richly merited Pikettys chief intellectual accomplishment is to show how the basic forces of capitalism tend inevitably toward an ever greater accumulation of wealth at the tip of the pyramid Over the past couple decades, we have started to realize that capitalism is no longer delivering for the vast majority of people in most Western democracies The middle class is being hollowed out, even as fortunes continue to grow at the very top Piketty has now delivered the most empirically grounded, intellectually coherent explanation of what is going on His masterwork Thats why the most successful societies of the st century will be the ones whose plutocrats read Piketty and help come up with the political answers to the economic forces he so powerfully describes Piketty shows that the economics of the postwar erawhen the West enjoyed strong, widely shared growthwas a historical exception For our Western democracies, it was also a political necessity Capitalism is facing an existential challenge smart plutocrats will be part of the solution Chrystia Freeland PoliticoThomas Pikettys Capital in the st Century is the most important economics book of the year, if not the decade Capital in the st Century essentially takes the existing debate on income inequality and supercharges it It does so by asserting that in the long run the economic inequality that matters wont be the gap between people who earn high salaries and those who earn low ones, it will be the gap between people who inherit large sums of money and those who dont Matthew Yglesias VoxA magnificent, sweeping meditation on inequality The big idea of Capital in the Twenty First Century is that we havent just gone back to nineteenth century levels of income inequality, were also on a path back to patrimonial capitalism, in which the commanding heights of the economy are controlled not by talented individuals but by family dynasties Piketty has written a truly superb book Its a work that melds grand historical sweepwhen was the last time you heard an economist invoke Jane Austen and Balzac with painstaking data analysis A tour de force of economic modeling, an approach that integrates the analysis of economic growth with that of the distribution of income and wealth This is a book that will change both the way we think about society and the way we do economics Capital in the Twenty First Century is, as I hope Ive made clear, an awesome work At a time when the concentration of wealth and income in the hands of a few has resurfaced as a central political issue, Piketty doesnt just offer invaluable documentation of what is happening, with unmatched historical depth He also offers what amounts to a unified field theory of inequality, one that integrates economic growth, the distribution of income between capital and labor, and the distribution of wealth and income among individuals into a single frame Capital in the Twenty First Century makes it clear that public policy can make an enormous difference, that even if the underlying economic conditions point toward extreme inequality, what Piketty calls a drift toward oligarchy can be halted and even reversed if the body politic so chooses His masterwork Sometimes it seems as if a substantial part of our political class is actively working to restore Pikettys patrimonial capitalism And if you look at the sources of political donations, many of which come from wealthy families, this possibility is a lot less outlandish than it might seem A masterly diagnosis of where we are and where were heading Capital in the Twenty First Century is an extremely important book on all fronts Piketty has transformed our economic discourse well never talk about wealth and inequality the same way we used to Paul Krugman New York Review of BooksGroundbreakingThe usefulness of economics is determined by the quality of data at our disposal Pikettys new volume offers a fresh perspective and a wealth of newly compiled data that will go a long way in helping us understand how capitalism actually works Christopher Matthews FortuneFrench economist Thomas Piketty has written an extraordinarily important book Open minded readers will surely find themselves unable to ignore the evidence and arguments he has brought to bear In its scale and sweep it brings us back to the founders of political economy The result is a work of vast historical scope, grounded in exhaustive fact based research, and suffused with literary references It is both normative and political Piketty rejects theorizing ungrounded in data The book is built on ayear program of empirical research conducted in conjunction with other scholars Its result is a transformation of what we know about the evolution of income and wealth which he calls capital over the past three centuries in leading high income countries That makes it an enthralling economic, social and political history Martin Wolf Financial TimesAbout as close to a blockbuster as there is in the world of economic literatureeasily the most discussed book of its genre in years The central premise is provocative and profoundly bleak Piketty challenges one of the underpinnings of modern democraciesnamely, that growth and productivity make each generation better off than the previous one Barrie McKenna Globe and MailPiketty has unearthed the history of income distribution for at least the past hundred years in every major capitalist nation It makes for fascinating, grim and alarming reading Pikettys book provides a valuable explanatory context for Americas economic woes Piketty gives us the most important work of economics since John Maynard Keyness General Theory Harold Meyerson Washington PostStands a fair chance of becoming the most influential work of economics yet published in our young century It is the most important study of inequality in over fifty years Although the contours of Pikettys history confirm what economic historians already know, his anatomizing of thepercents fortunes over centuries is a revelation When joined to his magisterial command of the source material and his gift for synthesis, they disclose a history not of steady economic expansion but of stops and starts, with room for sudden departures from seemingly unbreakable patterns In turn, he links this history to economic theory, demonstrating that there is no inherent drive in markets toward income equality Its quite the opposite, in fact Timothy Shenk The NationMagnificentEven though it is a workconcerned with the pastyears, its no coincidence that the full title of Pikettys book is Capital in the Twenty First Century Its ambition is to shape debates about the next two centuries, not the past two And in that it may succeed Christopher Croke The AustralianPiketty is just about to emerge as the most important thinker of his generationHe makes his case in a clear and rigorous manner that debunks everything that capitalists believe about the ethical status of making moneyHe demonstrates that there is no reason to believe that capitalism can ever solve the problem of inequality, which he insists is getting worse rather than better From the banking crisis ofto the Occupy movement of , this much has been intuited by ordinary people The singular significance of his book is that it proves scientifically that this intuition is correct This is why his book has crossed over into the mainstream it says what many people have already been thinkingUnlike many economists he insists that economic thinking cannot be separated from history or politicsAs poverty increases across the globe, everyone is being forced to listen to Piketty with great attention But although his diagnosis is accurate and compelling, it is hard, almost impossible, to imagine that the cure he proposes tax andtax will ever be implemented in a world where, from Beijing to Moscow to Washington, money, and those who haveof it than anyone else, still calls the shots Andrew Hussey The ObserverPiketty has won interest and enthusiasm on the left of the political spectrumfor this ambitious work It is not, however, a politically sectarian argument perhaps that explains why it has become a surprise bestseller The strength of his thesis is that it is founded on evidence rather than ideology Piketty has researched data overthan a century in order to derive his understanding of the dynamics of modern capitalism He is able to point convincingly to a recent reversal of historical trends, so that the share of national income taken by the owners of capital has expanded over the past generationWhat Piketty has done is provide a strong factual understanding for how modern capitalist economies diverge from the image of risk taking and productive commercial activity At the very least, the book effectively debunks the notion that there is an economic imperative for low tax rates and a smaller state Oliver Kamm The TimesMagisterialPikettys Capital feels very much like a Categoryhurricane that hasnt yet made landfallPiketty draws on a vast store of historical data to argue that the broad dissemination of wealth that occurred during the decades following World War I was not, as economists then mistakenly believed, a natural state of capitalist equilibrium, but rather a halcyon interval between Belle poque inequality and the rising inequality of our own eraPikettys most provocative argument is that the discrepancy between the high returns to capital and muchmodest overall economic growth briefly annulled during the mid century ensures that the gulf between the rich who profit from capital investments and the middle class who depend chiefly on income from labor will only continue to growThe best reason to raise tax rates is not to punish the rich, of course, but to raise the revenue which the United States needs to invest in infrastructure and research, not to mention to pay for Social Security and health care That investment gap poses a clear and present danger to American global economic leadership Rising inequality exacerbates the problem by sapping the collective political will needed to address the problem James Traub Foreign Policy onlineDefies left and right orthodoxy by arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism It suggests that traditional liberal government policies on spending, taxation and regulation will fail to diminish inequalityWithout what Piketty acknowledges is a politically unrealistic global wealth tax, he sees the United States and the developed world on a path toward a degree of inequality that will reach levels likely to cause severe social disruption Final judgment on Pikettys work will come with time a problem in and of itself, because if he is right, inequality will worsen, making it all thedifficult to take preemptive action Thomas B Edsall New York TimesThis is a serious bookPikettys main point, and his new and powerful contribution to an old topic as long as the rate of return exceeds the rate of growth, the income and wealth of the rich will grow faster than the typical income from work There seems to be no offsetting tendency for the aggregate share of capital to shrink the tendency may be slightly in the opposite direction This interpretation of the observed trend toward increasing inequality, and especially the phenomenon of thepercent, is not rooted in any failure of economic institutions it rests primarily on the ability of the economy to absorb increasing amounts of capital without a substantial fall in the rate of return This may be good news for the economy as a whole, but it is not good news for equity within the economyThere is yet another, also rather dark, implication of this account of underlying trends If already existing agglomerations of wealth tend to grow faster than incomes from work, it is likely that the role of inherited wealth in society will increase relative to that of recently earned and thereforemerit based fortunesThe arithmetic suggests that the concentration of wealth and its ability to grow will favor an increasing weight of inheritance as compared with talentIf the ownership of wealth in fact becomes evenconcentrated during the rest of the twenty first century, the outlook is pretty bleak unless you have a taste for oligarchyWouldnt it be interesting if the United States were to become the land of the free, the home of the brave, and the last refuge of increasing inequality at the top and perhaps also at the bottom Would that work for you Robert Solow New RepublicThe blockbuster economics book of the season, Thomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century, argues that the great equalizing decades following World War II, which brought on the rise of the middle class in the United States, were but a historical anomaly Armed with centuries of data, Piketty says the rich are going to continue to gobble up a greater share of income, and our current system will do nothing to reverse that trend Shaila Dewan New York Times MagazineAnyone remotely interested in economics needs to read Thomas Pikettys Capital in the st Century Matthew Yglesias SlateIn its magisterial sweep and ambition, Pikettys latest work, Capital in the Twenty First Century, is clearly modeled after Marxs Das Kapital But where Marxs research was spotty, Pikettys is prodigious And where Marx foresaw capitalisms collapse leading to a utopian proletariat paradise, Piketty sees a future of slow growth and Gilded Age disparities in which the wealthy owners of capital capture a steadily larger share of global wealth and incomePikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century is an intellectual tour de force, a triumph of economic history over the theoretical, mathematical modeling that has come to dominate the economics profession in recent years Piketty offers a timely and well reasoned reminder that there is nothing inevitable about the dominance of human capital over financial capital, and that there is inherent in the dynamics of capitalism a natural and destabilizing tendency toward inequality of income, wealth and opportunity Steven Pearlstein Washington PostThough an heir to Tocquevilles tradition of analytic history, Thomas Piketty has a message that could not bedifferent Unless we act, inequality will grow much worse, eventually making a mockery of our democratic institutions With wealthandconcentrated, countries racing to cut taxes on capital, and inheritance coming to rival entrepreneurship as a source of riches, a new patrimonial elite may prove as inevitable as Tocqueville once believed democratic equality was This forecast is based not on speculation but on facts assembled through prodigious researchPrivate wealth has reached new highs relative to national income and is approaching levels of concentration not seen since before Piketty is rightly pessimistic about an immediate response The influence of the wealthy on democratic politics and on how we think about merit and reward presents formidable obstaclesPerhaps with this magisterial book, the troubling realities Piketty unearths will becomevisible and the rationalizations of the privileged that sustain them less dominant Like Tocqueville, Piketty has given us a new image of ourselves This time, its one we should resist, not welcome Jacob S Hacker and Paul Pierson American ProspectThe book aims to revolutionize the way people think about the economic history of the past two centuries It may well manage the featIt is, first and foremost, a very detailed look atyears worth of data on the distribution of income and wealth across the rich world with some figures for large emerging markets also included This mountain of data allows Piketty to tell a simple and compelling storyThe database on which the book is built is formidable, and it is difficult to dispute his call for a new perspective on the modern economic era, whether or not one agrees with his policy recommendations We are all used to sneering at communism because of its manifest failure to deliver the sustained rates of growth managed by market economies But Marxs original critique of capitalism was not that it made for lousy growth rates It was that a rising concentration of wealth couldnt be sustained politically Ultimately, those of us who would like to preserve the market system need to grapple with that sort of dynamic, in the context of the worrying numbers on inequality that Piketty presents The EconomistPikettys book is revolutionary It rewrites the mission of economics, discarding claims that the discipline is a super science of human behavior or public policy Piketty wants to return his field to what the th century called political economy a discipline about power, justice, and also, but not first wealth Piketty spoils the longstanding conventional wisdom, supported by economics Nobel winners like Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, plus lots of less controversial characters, that capitalism is democracys best friendIt shows a world getting radicallyunequal, the return of hereditary wealth, and at least in the US an economy so distorted that much of what happens at the very top can be fairly described as class based looting And he gives some fairly strong reasons to suspect that this, not the relatively open and egalitarian economies of the mid th century, is what capitalism looks like Reading it is like talking to a smart person who knows youre smart and knows, too, that youre not an economistWeve been spun a story mainstream economics for the lastodd years has succored a complacent folk tale, albeit with lots of mathematical sophistication tacked on Except for some discernible market failures, it told us that all was for the best in this best of worlds What you earn must be what you are contributing otherwise, the market would step in to restore efficiencyPiketty reveals that these just so stories have veiled urgent and inflammatory problems capitalism produces self accelerating inequality that corrupts both politics and culture and splits society into privileged rent collectors and everyone else, who must choose either to get halfway rich ministering to capital or to stay on the low end of the pole doing the humanly necessary work of teaching, nursing, keeping the utility wires humming, and so forth Pikettys multi century portrait of wealth and income obliterates economists complacent narrativesYet the period of shared growth in the mid th century was not just the aftermath of war and depression It was also the apex of organized labors power in Europe and North America, the fruit of many decades of organizing, not a little of it bloody, not a little under the flag of democratic socialism Various crises cleared the ground, but the demands of labor, and an organized leftgenerally, were integral to building the comparatively egalitarian, high wage world that came after the wars, with its strong public sector, self assertive workers, and halfway tamed capital Theres a lesson we can learn here about what we might do to combat inequality, and howPiketty shows that capitalisms attractive moral claims that it can make everyone better off while respecting their freedom deserve much less respect under our increasingly pure markets than in the mixed economies that dominated the North Atlantic countries in the mid th centuryWe are still seeking an economy that is both vibrant and humane, where mutual advantage is real and mutual aid possible The one we have isnt it Jedediah Purdy Los Angeles Review of BooksThe most remarkable work of economics in recent years, if not decades It has caused an intellectual sensation on both sides of the AtlanticHis range is immense And his open, fluent style will guarantee him a wide readership In contrast to much of what passes for orthodox economics, he is engaged with the problems of the real worldThe discipline of economics, Piketty argues, remains trapped in a juvenile passion for mathematics, divorced from history and its sister social sciences His work aims to change that Nick Pearce New StatesmanA landmark bookwhich brings a ton of data to bear in reaching the commonsensical conclusion that inequality has to do withthan just blind market forces at work George Packer New Yorker blogPiketty is now the most talked about economist on the planet Capital is rooted not in theoretical abstractions so much as archaeology The book analyzes hundreds of years of tax records from France, the UK the US Germany and Japan to prove a simple idea The rich really are getting richer And their wealth doesnt trickle down It trickles upThe stark historical consequences of unchecked inequality are at the heart of Capital Rana Foroohar TimeMagisterialPiketty provides a sweeping, data driven narrative about inequality trends in the United States and other Western economies over the past century or , identifies a worrisome increase in income and wealth concentration in a small percentage of the population since , and warns that this trend wont likely correct itselfPiketty is not optimistic that the forces of greater income and wealth inequality will abate on their own, but he is not an economic determinist The problem, however, is that countering those forces requires public policies and institutionslike those of the era of shared prosperity than those of today Chad Stone US News s new book is an important contribution to understanding what we need to do to producegrowth, wider economic opportunity and greater social stability David Cay Johnston Al Jazeera AmericaThe book has made everyone with a stake in capitalism sit up and take notice Pikettys analysis should challenge Americans to rethink our notions of wealth and poverty and whether any semblance of equal opportunity actually existsPiketty has made an important contribution His book prompts the discerning person to evaluate anew the human and social costs of capitalism The creative thinking of citizens is now required to combat the ills he has diagnosed AmericaCapital in the Twenty First Century is written in the tradition of great economic texts Piketty and his colleagues have spent recent years putting together a World Top Incomes Database, their detailed investigation into income in countries around the globe, spanning several decadesInformed by this historical, cross country data, Piketty evaluates and rejects a number of generally accepted conclusions in economic thought, while being careful to note the limitations of inevitably imperfect and incomplete sources The main finding of his investigation is that capital still mattersThis book is significant for its findings, as well as for how Piketty arrives at them Its easy and fun to argue about ideas It is muchdifficult to argue about facts Facts are what Piketty gives us, while pressing the reader to engage in the journey of sorting through their implications Heather Boushey American ProspectHow does a rigorous, seven hundred page economic history become a lionized hit Through the canny voice of professor Thomas Piketty, and his demystification of inherited wealth, Karl Marxs true legacy, and what we mean when we talk about monetary growth and inequality Barnes and Noble ReviewWhen it comes to economicsyou need to get yourself a hold of Capital in the Twenty First Century by Thomas PikettyPikettys study will have readers plotting capitals downfall because what it shows is that the growing inequalities we are seeing between the haves and have nots are endemic to the system Piketty has been hailed by many on the right as well as the left, for writing a highly significant book Its strength rests on the fact that he has worked the sources in a way few economists have, analyzing actual data on earnings over decades to come up with some startling conclusions We are entering a new age of capital, he argues a time, similar to the early th century, when many will live off their money Without the need for work Meanwhile, those without capital will always struggle to keep ahead of debts Thomas Quinn Big IssuePiketty, whose previous work we are indebted to for providing statistical verification that the toppercent of the population possesses a outsize percentage of wealth, has written a magisterial book about the ever increasing inequality A comprehensive overview of Capitals abundance of historical and analytical data would be impossible here Heres a microreview of Piketty Read it Pikettys genius lies in proving that inequality is growing and potentially threatens widespread political instabilityPiketty has written a trenchant critique of our current economic system Michael Washburn Boston GlobePiketty s magnum opusBut unlike many other authors of tracts from the dismal science, this distinguished French economist has rendered an eminently readable account of the history and dynamics of capitalism and inequalityA lucid tale of why inequality in the world is increasing, and what we should be doing about it The right leaning crowd may be dismayed with his prescriptions of stiff global wealth taxes, but neither leftists nor rightists can dispute the data that he presentsAccording to Piketty, the only real corrective to capitals concentration is a global capital tax because it is freely globally mobile , and a stiff inheritance tax This is controversial, but what is not disputed is that inequality in income and wealth within each country has gotten much worse in the past three decades The question is what do we do about it For starters, we should read this excellent book Ajit Ranade Business TodayIntellectually heftyPiketty has already engendered vigorous argument Capital is an arduous climb, but the subject is equally weighty, and it demands our best analyses, proposals and dialogues Capital is an essential volume in the conversation Earl Pike Cleveland Plain DealerAn important bookwhich paints a compelling, and scary, picture of the deep forces driving toward ever greater inequality in the modern world Pikettys historical focus adds power to his analysis of the trend toward greater financial inequality today Charles R Morris CommonwealPiketty has looked at centuries of tax archives to formulate a theory of capitalism that is evidence based and rigorously researched, but also attempts to answer the most basic questions in economic theory His paradigm shifting thesis is, at its most basic, that late stage capitalist economies foster inequality and create an ever widening gap between rich and poor These ideas feel intuitive and elegant, and Pikettys emphasis on data based analysis lend even his most ambitious claims great credibilityCapital in the Twenty First Century is already being hailed as a seminal work of economic thought, and with very good reason Thomas Flynn Daily BeastThis important and fascinating book surely ranks among the most influential economic analysis of recent decades Much of the debate over inequality in recent years is the result of the work of Thomas Piketty and his fellow researchersThis book contains important lessons for economists It is a perhaps unwelcome reminder that what they measure reflects political choices It cautions them to be wary of viewing recent decades as some sort of steady state the evolution of post World War II incomes and wealth reflect the unwinding of earlier events, and the point isgeneral And it reminds them of the rhetorical and explanatory power of simple comparisons of facts, once collected and arranged, relative to complex statistics and models Andrew Berg Finance Piketty expands upon his empirical work of the lastyears, while also setting forth a political theory of inequality This last element of the book gives special attention to tax policy and makes some provocative suggestions new and higher taxes on the very rich Joseph Thorndike ForbesThe most eagerly anticipated book on economics in many years Toby Sanger Globe and MailMany of the bookspages are spent marshaling the evidence that st century capitalism is on a one way journey towards inequality unless we do something If Piketty is right, there are big political implications, and the beauty of the book is that he never refrains from drawing themThe books terms and explanations are utterly simple with a myriad of historical data, Piketty reduces the story of capitalism to a clear narrative arc To challenge his argument you have to reject the premises of it, not the working outIs Piketty the new Karl Marx Anybody who has read the latter will know he is notPiketty has,accurately, placed an unexploded bomb within mainstream, classical economicsThe power of Pikettys work is that it also challenges the narrative of the center left under globalization, which believed upskilling the workforce, combined with mild redistribution, would promote social justice This, Piketty demonstrates, is mistaken All that social democracy and liberalism can produce, with their current policies, is the oligarchs yacht co existing with the food bank forever Pikettys Capital, unlike Marxs Capital, contains solutions possible on the terrain of capitalism itself Paul Mason The GuardianPiketty solidifies and gives an intellectual edge to the view that something is wrong here, and something new and bold and radical has got to be done People like me, and others, are certainly excited by the prospect of where Piketty might take us Len McCluskey The GuardianThe big questions that concerned Mill, Marx and Smith are now rearing their heads afreshThomas Piketty who spent long years, during which the mainstream neglected inequality, mapping the distribution of income is making waves with Capital in the Twenty First Century Nodding at Marx, that title helps explain the attention, but his decidedly classical emphasis on historical dynamics in determining who gets what resonates in a world where an increasing proportion of citizens are feeling fleeced by the elite The GuardianCapital in the Twenty First Century has jolted the right, who are scrabbling around for an answer to its main message rising inequality is killing capitalismIt is a big book in every sense of the word, using empirical evidence fromcountries to describe how capitalism has evolved over the pastyears and is now reverting to what Piketty calls the Downton Abbey world of a century ago Where much modern writing about economics is cloaked in impenetrable jargon, Piketty is not afraid to draw on literature and popular culture to make his pointsPikettys book seems to explain the brutal world of the Great Recession and its aftermath rather better than trickle down economicsIt is rare for economics books to fly off the shelves Once in every generation, usually when the world has started to recover after a serious recession, there is a search for answers Will Huttons The State Were In was the must buy book two decades ago just as Pikettys is today The Guardian blogPiketty sets out to tell a high level history of the global economy and to outline a fresh theory of where we are heading Its the sort of grand intellectual enterprise that was common in the th century, but has become a rarity in our era ofspecialized scholarshipPiketty says he wants the book to be widely read and his ideas debated He has succeeded Questions of economic theory have now reached an uncommonly large audience One could, of course, fill a book twice the size with the reviews and the commentary Capital has prompted But there is a better way into the debate than consuming the Piketty media phenomenon spend a little valuable capital and read the original yourself Ben Chu The IndependentPikettys ground breaking work on the historical evolution of income distribution is impressive, but he covers many other areas, including the erosion of meritocracy by inherited wealth, public debt, education, health and taxation He also proposes challenging ideas for funding the social state in the st century Capital in the Twenty First Century will be embraced by progressives and rejected by conservatives wary of change But, if those conservatives who support a meritocracy are convinced, it could be a catalyst for reform This book is challenging, but one of the best economic books in decades Paul Sweeney Irish TimesIn the th century, tsarist censors banned John Stuart Mills On Liberty while letting through Karl Marxs Das Kapital Mills message was so lucidly expressed that it posed an obvious and immediate threat to the regime Marxs prose was clotted and convoluted and his economics littered with leftovers from his youthful enthusiasm for Hegel Thomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century shares its title with Marxs work but its argumentative verve with Mills, and it has been a runaway bestseller in the United States In spite of the efforts of conservative American economists to persuade their readers that anyone who raises questions about inequalities of income and wealth must be a Marxist, Piketty has no time whatsoever for Marx Pikettys economics is data driven, while Marx was short of useful data, did not make good use of what data he had and generalized wildly from a few exceptional cases of capital intensive industriesThe book is a terrific achievement Alan Ryan Literary ReviewOne of the strengths of Pikettys book is the depth and rigor of his historical analysis Yet it is changes taking place now that make his concerns especially urgentPikettys is a potentially apocalyptic view of the future On that at least, wed better hope hes wrong Andrew Neather London Evening StandardThe enthusiastic reception in the United States of Pikettys rigorous Capital in the Twenty First Century, which answers the empirical spirit of the age with a welcome rush of statistics, may be a promising sign of renewal in the otherwise sedate intellectual pastures of the continent To have made the word redistribution utterable again by mainstream economists is already a considerable achievement Having offered an unignorable account of the history of inequality in capitalist democracies, Piketty believes he has identified a Band Aid of sufficient swath a European tax on wealth and a parliamentary chamber charged with regulating finance in the euro zone to cover Europes wounds Thomas Meaney and Yascha Mounk The NationNot since John Rawlss A Theory of Justice inhas a work of political theory been as rapturously received on the left as Thomas Pikettys Capital in the st CenturyIn this supposedly superficial and anti intellectual age, hispage treatise on inequality, rich in empirical research, has resonated because it speaks to one of the central anxieties of our time that society is becoming everfragmented as the very rich pull away from the rest As Piketty elegantly demonstrates, as long as the rate of return on what he calls capital continues to exceed the growth rate of the economy as it has done since the s , inequality will widen to levels unknown since the Victorian era New StatesmanPiketty, a prominent economist, explains the tendency in mature societies for wealth to concentrate in a few hands Amy Merrick New YorkerPikettys thesis is simple The growing concentration of capital in fewer hands has enabled its owners to keep it relatively scarce and thus valuableContinuing high inequality is socially and economically destabilizing, though it need not lead to Marxs apocalypse So what we need is another bout of social democracy especially in the form of progressive taxation You many think that it doesnt requirepages to get this message across This would be wrong The strength of Pikettys book is his close attention to the different sources of inequality, the massive documentation underpinning his history and conclusions, and his impressive culls from sociology and literature, which exhibit the richness of political economy compared to its thin mathematical successor that has attained such prominencePikettys book is a timely intervention in the current debate about inequality and its causes Robert Skidelsky ProspectThomas Pikettyhas written apage book on inequality which has achieved something few would have thought possible He has rocked the neo liberal economic establishment to its foundations To read the tidal wave of reviews by economics professors and others across the world is to get a sense of the impact that Pikettys conclusions are having that inequality is evenextreme than most experts thought, is worse than at any time since the th century and is set to reach nightmare proportions in the years ahead Even some of the most ideologically blinkered of free market economists, having read this book, now openly admit that Professor Piketty has laid down a challenge which they dare not ignore and which could change the political environment John Palmer Red PepperDrawing on hundreds of years of economic data some of which has only recently become available to researchers Piketty reaches a simple but disturbing conclusion In the long run, the return on capital tends to be greater than the growth rate of the economies in which that capital is located What this means is that in a modern market economy the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the already rich is as natural as water flowing downhill, and can only be ameliorated by powerful political intervention, in the form of wealth redistribution via taxes, and to a lesser extent laws that systematically protect labor from capitalReaders can already guess the dire conclusion that flows from combining Pikettys theory with the plausible assumption that unregulated wealth leads to plutocracy If the only way to avoid plutocracy would be to employ political processes that the plutocrats themselves will eventually buy lock, stock and barrel, then the only way to avoid being ruled by the Lords of Capital is to become one of them Paul Campos SalonPiketty has been perhaps the most important thinker on inequality of the past decade or so With his book, hes handed liberals a coherent framework that justifies the discomfort that they probably already felt about the wealth gap Capital will change the political conversation in asubtle way as well, by focusing it on wealth, not income Whether or not Pikettys grand unified theory is exactly correct, hes moving the popular conversation in the right direction Jordan Weissmann SlateThere are books that you read and there are books that hit the nail on the head so hard that you want to get your teeth into them Thomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Centuryclearly belongs to the second category Perry Lam South China Morning PostImpressive, provocative The richness, scope and detail of Pikettys analysis means that it is impossible to summarize it without losing much of the vibrancy which makes it such an exceptionally gripping read The special conditions for growth created by the two world wars have now evaporated The forces of convergence are in large measure spent, and the forces of divergence are in the ascendant Capitalism is reverting to type The first three parts of Pikettys book are devoted to describing and analyzing this transition They represent a brilliant, mesmerizing re statement of technical matters for a non specialist readership Here Pikettys achievement is superb There is a huge amount to admire and welcome in this book Like the radicals of the s, who toasted Edmund Burke in gratitude for the fundamental debate his writings on the French Revolution had provoked, even those who find Pikettys remedies unpalatable and in some ways worse than the disease he is trying to cure should nevertheless applaud his industry, his acuity, and his humane commitment to the ideal of rational, temperate and informed public debate David Womersley StandpointPiketty has demolished the Western myth that all who work hard can expect success Mary Riddell The TelegraphIt proves, irrefutably and clearly, what weve all suspected for some time nowthe rich ARE getting richer compared to everyone else, and their wealth isnt trickling down In fact, its trickling up And as Pikettys book makes so uncomfortably clear, its likely to get worse before it gets better Its going to be remembered as the economic tome of our era Basically, Piketty has finally put to death, with data, the fallacies of trickle down economics and the Laffer curve, as well as the increasingly fantastical notion that we can all just bootstrap our way to the Forbeslist We can only hope that the politicians crafting todays economic programs will take this book to heart Rana Foroohar Time onlineMagisterial Bursting with ideas This book is economics at its best Philip Roscoe Times Higher EducationIn Capital in the Twenty first Century, Piketty sums up his research, tracing the history and pattern of economic inequality across a number of countries from the eighteenth century to the present, analyzing its causes, and evaluating some policy fixes Spanning nearlydensely packed pages, its a big book inthan one sense of the word Clearly written, ambitious in scope, rooted in economics but drawing on insights from related fields like history and sociology, Pikettys Capital resembles nothing so much as an old fashioned work of political economy by the likes of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, or John Maynard Keynes But what is particularly exciting about this book is that, due to advances in technology, Piketty is able to draw on data that not only spans a substantially longer historical time frame, but is also necessarilycomplete and consistent than the records earlier theorists were forced to rely on As a result, his analysis is significantlycomprehensive than those of his predecessors and easily as persuasive Capital is a consistently engrossing read, encompassing topics including the stunning comeback that inherited wealth has made in todays advanced economies, the dubiousness of the economic theory that a workers wage is equal to his or her marginal productivity, the moral insidiousness of meritocratic justifications of inequality, andBut the books major strength lies in Pikettys ability to see the big picture His original and rigorously well documented insights into the deep structures of capitalism show us how the dynamics of capital accumulation have played out historically over the past three centuries, and how theyre likely to develop in the century to come Americas twenty first century inequality crisis is, if anything, evendaunting and complex than the one we experienced a century ago But as Piketty reminds us, the solutions to this problem are political, and they lie within our grasp Should Americans choose to deploy those solutions, not only would we be doing the right thing, wed be living up to our deepest traditions and most cherished ideals Kathleen Geier Washington MonthlyAfter receiving widespread attention in his native France, Thomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century has received even greater attention on this side of the Atlantic, and deservedly so It offers a stark and depressing picture for those who believe that some combination of democratic politics and economic growth can protect us from rampant inequality Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage Washington Post blogThomas Pikettys new book, Capital in the st Century, painstakingly details the dynamics of wealth and income inequality throughout the last two centuries, and offers a somewhat grim picture of the future of economic inequality Along the way, Piketty also offers his theory of the cause of exploding executive pay and how we can successfully combat this destructive trend Matt Bruenig The WeekIts a brilliant, surprisingly readable work that synthesizes a staggering amount of careful research to make the case that income inequality is no accident Indeed, Piketty argues that it is a feature of capitalism itselfunless governments take action to rein in capitalisms excesses But the value of Pikettys work is that it shows that capitalisms postwar heydayin which incomes at the bottom and the top actually convergedwas a historical anomaly Pikettys analysis of the last two centuries makes the case that capital in its natural state does not tend to spread out or trickle down, but to concentrate in the hands of a few He has starkly and convincingly outlined the stakes for future generations Either well have a new birth of reformed capitalismor well have wealth concentration on such a colossal scale that it will threaten the democratic order Ryan Cooper The WeekIt is a great work, a fearsome beast of analysis stuffed with an awesome amount of empirical data, and will surely be a landmark study in economics The WeekRarely does a book come alongthat completely alters the paradigm through which we frame our worldview Thomas Pikettys magisterial study of the structure of capitalism since the th century, Capital in the st Century, is such a book As leaders from Pope Francis to Barack Obama have proclaimed, growing inequality is the defining issue of our time Much indeterminate discussion has swirled around its key causes, from job displacing technologies to wage deflating outsourcing of jobs Capital in the st Century clears up all the confused thinking and presents us with the most compelling analysis to date of the key dynamic that drives ever increasing inequality This book isthan a must read It is a manual for action that provides a fresh framework for the new politics of the st century Nathan Gardels The WorldPostAn enormously important book Doug Henwood BookforumEssential reading for citizens of the here and now Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all time highand is only bound to grow worse Kirkus ReviewsAn explosive argument Liberation A seminal book on the economic and social evolution of the planet A masterpiece Emmanuel Todd Marianne Outstanding A political and theoretical bulldozer Mediapart The book of the season Telerama In this magisterial work, Thomas Piketty has performed a great service to the academy and to the public He has written a pioneering book that is at once thoughtful, measured, and provocative The force of his case rests not on a diatribe or a political agenda, but on carefully collected and analyzed data and reasoned thought The book should have a major impact on our discussions of contemporary inequality and its meaning for our democratic institutions and ideals I can only marvel at Pikettys discipline and rigor in researching and writing it Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business School This book is not only the definitive account of the historical evolution of inequality in advanced economies, it is also a magisterial treatise on capitalisms inherent dynamics Piketty ends his book with a ringing call for the global taxation of capital Whether or not you agree with him on the solution, this book presents a stark challenge for those who would like to save capitalism from itself Dani Rodrik, Institute for Advanced Study Piketty has shown that we are living in a Second Gilded AgeIt is too early to expect actual public policies to emerge from his insights But the significance of his contribution is already apparent in the breadth of his vision Nestled under the books mass of data, elegant mathematical formulae, and literary references is an insistence that the turmoil of capitalism is a human turmoil, within the control of human beings Pikettys book is a call to citizenship, not as a series of fatalistic poses, but as a political responsibility That spirit of engagement isradical, at this moment in history, than any other proposal Stephen Marche Los Angeles Review of BooksReading Thomas Pikettys famous book, Capital in the Twenty First Century, after all the fuss about it, is a bit of a shock Its both muchradical and much less radical than its reputationI was anticipating a left wing rant, but Pikettys tone is modest and polite not at all what you expect from a rock star French intellectualPiketty and his book remind me of my favorite economist, the th century American Henry George, and his best selling book, Progress and PovertyBoth mens books offer a comprehensive explanation of the world, in particular the problem of poverty Both men acknowledge the importance of market incentives and entrepreneurship and the evils of protectionism and all of that good conservative stuff, even as they rail against the plutocrats Both think we can end or reduce inequality without giving up the benefits of capitalism And both see the answer in a new tax on capitalThis is beginning to sound sort of reasonable, both in its demands on people at the top and its generosity to those on the bottom Michael Kinsley Vanity FairPikettys book bespeaks the palpable upset that American society, indeed, the worlds societies, seems increasingly rigged that inequality is worsening and darkening the future Capital in the Twenty First Century might beaptly titled Inequality in the Twenty First CenturyPiketty is relentless in his indictment of inequalityPiketty assembles a mountain of numbers and tables to demonstrate that economic inequality is intensifying that the wealthier are wealthier and that the rich own Piketty hits bullseye after bullseye about the exacerbating inequalities that disfigure society especially American societyFor those who suffer from the relentless blather about why the minimum wage cannot be raised why job creators cannot be taxed and why American society remains the most open in the world, Piketty is what the doctor ordered Russell Jacoby New RepublicThis is a truly path breaking book offering a hard hitting and well founded critique of capitalism in the twenty first century Piketty is concerned with the dynamics of income and wealth since the eighteenth century to draw lessons for the century ahead The book has an admirably wide scope, offering systematic comparisons not only across advanced and emerging economies, but also across modern historyIt is an exceptionally well researched book His sources are well documented Pikettys overall analysis and conclusions cannot be waved away by those who feel threatened by the books analysis and policy recommendationsIn addition to uncovering some fundamental contradictions of capitalism and documenting the ensuing inequality in great detail, Pikettys book contains a large number of less central, but nevertheless very arresting insights and findingsVery importantly, Piketty goes beyond uncovering the dynamics of capitalism and the ensuing inequalities and goes on to suggest policy measures to arrest reverse them These are not merely an afterthought but form a significant and well reasoned part of the bookPiketty shows himself to be not only a supereconomist but also a skilled politician No wonder his thoughts have resonated even at the highest political levels One can only hope that his work will actually influence adoption of his policy recommendations Christel Lane LSE Review of BooksAs befits a book of such size, Capital is broad ranging, both historically and geographicallyThis impressive book contains the odd equation and chart that might not appeal to the general reader, but I hope this work will not go the way of A Brief History of Time a booktalked about than read William Keegan The TabletRiveting Piketty embodies a model of engaged and sophisticated public debate, the sort of which politicians can only dreamOne of Pikettys main messages is that the structures of inequality societies choose to live with are the results of political choices, not natural or immutable economic tendencies, and that to pretend otherwise is an ideological fictionCapital inequality has dispossessed us of our democratic sovereignty, and thats something we should all really worry about His book is as much a story about the limits of modern democratic politics as it is about the structures of inequalityWhen Pikettys insights are eventually fused into new histories of economic and political thinking about global competition from the French Revolution to the present, the results will beelectrifying, particularly when it comes to revisiting the political and economic ideas of the global wars of the first half of the twentieth century This book will certainly also shake the foundations of many university courses in political philosophy That is itself quite a remarkable achievement, and perhaps the sort of achievement that might lead to the sort of political consciousness raising Piketty is clearly keen to promote In that, he really is an heir to a long standing tradition of public intellectuals in French academic life since the Revolution Duncan Kelly Times Literary SupplementPiketty has come in for a lot of praise for the clarity of his writing, and I think its deserved Theres very little math in this book, and it assumes very little prior knowledge of economics In part, this is because Piketty is offering something fresh in the discourse an unimaginably massive data set that traces the ebb and flow of wealth and productivity around the globe for three centuriesPiketty challenges the idea that modernity somehow led to merit asserting itself as the new determinant of wealth Instead, he makes a very convincing case that the increasing size of the capital class which expanded comfortably during the period of colonial expansion created a hunger for wealth that turned the aristocracy on itself in a squabble over who got to loot the colonies, which was World War IThis is a crisis The reason for capitalism is that it is supposed to allocate reward based on merit it is supposed to move capital into the hands of the people who can do the most with it and if all our policy decisions are made in service to a class of supermanagers whose wealth comes from squatting on a fortune managed by some green eyeshade quants who grow it without its owner ever doing a notable thing apart from being born to dynasty, there is noreason for capitalism Piketty darkly hints that the last time this happened, the world tore itself to pieces, twice, in an orgy of destruction that left millions dead and whole nations in ruinIts a rare thing to see economists, especially pro capitalist economists, praising taxation itself, but Piketty careful, unemotional Piketty daresBesides, he says, the thing every red blooded entrepreneur wants to see is people getting rich by their wits and deeds, not by the birthright of kingsPiketty wants desperately to salvage captalism, even if that means proposing something that every capitalist will hate a global wealth tax Cory Doctorow Boing BoingThe impact of the book will be deep and long lastingPiketty has elevated many issues to a higher level by making the study of inequality as one of political economy embedded in history, data and configuration of socio political groups This book has all the makings of a classic It has already changed the way economists think about inequality One hopes that these ideas will percolate into the chambers of policy makers in governments and lending institutions and bring about changes in their policies to reduce inequality K Subramanian The HinduA timely, important book Joseph E Stiglitz New York TimesA book of such magisterial sweepPiketty deserves huge credit for kickstarting a debate about inequality and illuminating the distribution of income and wealth Stephanie Flanders The GuardianSeven hundred pages on the evolution of inequality in economically advanced societies by the most fashionable new theorist to emerge for a long time Many have been waiting for such a comprehensive critique of capitalism David Sexton Evening StandardThis years most unlikely best seller, a crossover from the world of scholarship into general public discussion of a kind that seems rarer than it used to be The books thesis that economic inequality in the developed world is increasing, with potentially dire consequences for social justice and democratic governance has struck a nerve in the American body politic But its implications extend beyond the realm of political economyThe book invites the re examination of deeply held assumptions about the world A O Scott New York TimesUsing sophisticated computer modeling and analyses, the professor from the Paris School of Economics debunks a long held assumption that income from wages will tend to grow at roughly the same rate as wealth and instead makes a compelling case that, over time, the apparatus of capitalism grows wealth faster than wages Result Inequality between the wealthy and everyone else will widen faster and faster and, without progressive taxation, his data show well return to levels of inequality not seen since Americas Gilded Age Dean Paton YES Capital in the Twenty First Century convinces because Piketty supports his arguments about inequality with two innovative forms of evidence largely neglected by his predecessors on both the left and the right The first is an unprecedented trove of historical economic data, which Piketty uses to demonstrate increasing inequality due to the long term tendency of returns on capital to outpace economic growth The second is a series of literary works, which Piketty uses to reveal the social and psychological consequences of this inequality in its erosion of human dignity The depth and range of evidence Piketty marshals allows him to deliver a devastating blow to the confidence of many economists that capitalism is a tide that gradually lifts all boats In the process, he mounts an effective critique of the tendency of economic writers on both left and right to rely on theories and formal systems Many who were content to ignore the warnings of David Harvey and company that our economic system will produce unsustainable levels of inequity find that they cannot ignore PikettysHis book challenges both mainstream economists faith in untested mathematical models, as well as radicals resistance to subjecting Marxs economic theory to rigorous testing Michael W Clune Chronicle of Higher EducationIn this monumental, vitally important work, Piketty forces us to reconsider what we think we know about the baseline functioning of capitalist economies over the long haul, and to grapple with the implications for ourselves and our times Pikettys approach is data driven In detective like fashion, he has collected the most complete historical series on distributions of income and wealth ever assembled, and this data allows him to articulate a penetrating and highly accessible account of the long evolution of inequality within advanced industrial nationsThe findings are numerous and sobering, and nearly every page of the book rewards a careful reading with new insights and intriguing questions Matthew Carnes AmericaNew research from the Fed shows incomes of the richest Americans are bouncing back strongly after the crisis while average incomes have fallenIn essence, French economist Thomas Pikettys contention that wealth breeds wealth and that increasing inequality is part of capitalisms inherent structure, rather than an occasional condition looks largely correct, at least since the early s Tomas Hirst Business InsiderPiketty demonstrates in terrifying detail, with painstaking statistical research, that free market capitalism, in the absence of major state redistribution, produces profound economic inequalities Specifically, after redistributive policies in the mid th century narrowed the income and wealth gap somewhat, the gap has widened again in the last few decades, approaching levels not seen since before World War I Michael Robbins Chicago TribuneWhen the rate of return on capital exceeds the growth rate which Piketty says is what happened until the beginning of the th century and is likely to happen again as growth slows , then the money that rich people make from their wealth piles up while wages riseslowly if at all The implications of this should be frightening for anyone who believes in a merit based system It means we are in danger of entering into an era that, like the th century in France and England, is socially and politically dominated by those with vast amounts of inherited wealthPikettys book is important because of the way he has clarified the magnitude of the problem and its dangers And he has done so at a time of increasing soul searching about the role technology plays in exacerbating inequality David Rotman Technology ReviewThis past July, I felt compelled to read Thomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century after reading several reviews and hearing about it from friends Im glad I did I encourage you to read it tooI agree with his most important conclusions, and I hope his work will drawsmart people into the study of wealth and income inequality Bill Gates Gates NotesPikettys overarching theme that increased income disparity as a threat to democratic capitalism remains prominentHis concerns about social unrest cannot be ignored the movement from personal interdependence to impersonal global interdependence tends to erode trust and voluntary sharing, and wealth disparities are increasingly seen as unmerited and unfair James Halteman Christian CenturyA sweeping study of wealth in the modern worldPiketty makes his case with three centuries worth of economic data from around the world organized in a trove of detailed but lucid tables and graphs This is a serious, meaty economic treatise, but Pikettys prose in Goldhammers deft translation is wonderfully readable and engaging, and illuminates the human reality behind the econometric stats especially in his explorations of the role of capital in the novels of Jane Austen and Balzac Full of insights but free of dogma, this is a seminal examination of how entrenched wealth and intractable inequality continue to shape the economy Publishers WeeklyVery readable and often slyly wittyPiketty does economics in a new way oraccurately, he returns to an older way He still uses formal economic theory but regards economics as a sub discipline of social science, alongside history, sociology, anthropology and political science and prefers to characterize his work as political economy rather than economic science Piketty draws wonderfully upon the novels of Jane Austen and Honor de Balzac to portray the gross inequality of th century societies He argues that the degree of inequality is not just the product of economic forces it is also the product of politics, including the tax, expenditure and regulatory decisions of government, and the discourse of justification of inequalityPiketty starts in the th century and examines the three eras He wants to understand the longue dure of capitalism, as did the pioneers of political economy such as Malthus, Ricardo and Marx And like them, he places the distributional question the distribution of pre tax income and the distribution of wealth at the heart of economic analysis This approach, which is both empirical and historical, is much needed if we are to understand income inequality andgenerally to understand how capitalist economies operate The ahistorical perspective of hedge fund managers and their risk pricing models helped cause the financial crisis inPikettys focus is not labor income but capital income, and here lies his originality George Fallis Literary Review of CanadaThe best business book on economics of the year Daniel Gross strategy businessThomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century delivered a well placed kick up the backside to complacent mainstream economics Paul Mason The ObserverThis was the blockbuster success ofand was named the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Despite the controversies surrounding it, the book throws much light upon one of the most important questions in economics what determines the distribution of income and wealth With an abundance of data and some simple and powerful theories, Piketty has made an immensely important contribution to the public debate Martin Wolf Financial TimesThis book is the key to understanding how the automatic accumulation and concentration of wealth poses a threat to the peaceful economies in which entrepreneurs prosper Geoffrey James IncThe years most popular and controversial book Roland White Sunday TimesMarx believed that free markets produce inequality, social division and violence Piketty appears to side with Marx, but this is deceptive When Piketty talks about capital, he means the kind of investments held by todays leisured rentier class whose money is tied up in property and pensions Piketty argues that a free market overloaded with this kind of capital may or may not lead to anger and alienation, but it will certainly act like lumpy blockages in the smooth running of the economy Piketty only wants the economy to work better Nicholas Blincoe The TelegraphThe fundamental theme on the differences between returns to capital and returns to labor is one that Piketty has brought, quite properly, to the center of policy discussions Stephen L Carter Bloomberg ViewMonumentalTranslated beautifully by Arthur Goldhammer, Capital in the Twenty First Century smashed into the intellectual world with incredible forceBut beyond the media phenomenon, how much substance was there The answer is a considerable amount The book is important, first and foremost, because it brings together a vast trove of research by Piketty and others on the evolution of income and wealth over two centuries One also has to admire the way Piketty marshals the data to create a sweeping historical narrative, in a style reminiscent of the great thinkers of the th century Ben Chu The IndependentBelief in markets may be crumbling but as platoons of mercenaries, lawyers, accountants and management consultants continue to plunder the worlds resources on behalf of unaccountable corporations, the tipping point has not yet been reached Thomas Pikettys Capital in the Twenty First Century shows how privateers use privatization, debt creation and capital inflation as a mechanism for rent extraction, with catastrophic consequences for public services Allyson Pollock Times Higher EducationThomas Pikettys Capital in the st Century is arguably the most important popular economics book in recent memory It will take its place among other classics in the field that have survived changing theoretical and political fashions, such as its namesake by Karl Marx Das Kapital,or other ambitiously titled books such as John Maynard Keyness The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and MoneyAnyone who wants to engage in an informed discussion about the economic landscape will have to read Piketty Kate Bahn Womens Review of BooksA seminal work on capitalism Madan Sabnavis Financial ExpressPikettys great achievement, and one possible reason for the enthusiastic reception of his book, is his effective empirical demonstration of a fact long denied by neoclassical economics and its champions throughout the world markets, when left to their own devices, do not provide individuals with rewards that are proportional to their efforts and contributions towards producing goods and services, nor do they ensure the most optimal distribution of those goods and services Instead, they tend to concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands, giving rise to what Piketty calls a system of patrimonial capitalism in which a few major players derive disproportionate benefit simply by virtue of possessing high amounts of capital As a work of economic history, and a source of data, it effectively demolishes mainstream myths about the ability of markets to combat inequality, reward effort and innovation, and deliver the greatest amount of good to the greatest number of people At a point in time where slogans about theper cent vs the pc abound, this book provides conclusive evidence in support of the idea that the modern world economy is one that is inherently unjust and exploitative Hassan Javid DawnPikettys book has been a smash because many people are worried about the slow rate of growth in the developed economies since the financial crisis Many are also worried about rising inequality Capital seems to offer an elegant way to explain bothHe deserves huge credit for illuminating the distribution of income and wealth Stephanie Flanders The Guardian Thomas Piketty is Professor at the Paris School of Economics

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