John Cassidy: Is Surging Inequality Endemic to Capitalism?

French economist Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-first Century” is a sweeping account of rising inequality. Reviewing the French edition of the book, which came out last year, Branko Milanovic, a former senior economist at the World Bank, called it “one of the watershed books in economic thi...

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Hasnain says:

This is a review of a highly popular economics book that has been hailed as a revolution in economics.

"Given that inequality is a worldwide phenomenon, Piketty aptly has a worldwide solution for it: a global tax on wealth combined with higher rates of tax on the largest incomes. How much higher? Referring to work that he has done with Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva, of M.I.T., Piketty reports, “According to our estimates, the optimal top tax rate in the developed countries is probably above eighty per cent.” Such a rate applied to incomes greater than five hundred thousand or a million dollars a year “not only would not reduce the growth of the US economy but would in fact distribute the fruits of growth more widely while imposing reasonable limits on economically useless (or even harmful) behavior.”

(there is also a summary at

Posted on 2014-04-04T23:36:01+0000