Piketty; Stirring up the Hornets Nest

Looking at the conjuncture of his research and why it caused such a reaction

Even French economists have an air of the “Nouvelle Vague”

This piece is in response to questions concerning Thomas Pikettys book ‘Capital of the 21st Century’. I’ve read and studied this and his equally thorough book ‘Capital and Ideology’. I don’t pretend to be the last word on Piketty’s writings, and the man can more than defend himself, but what follows are some crucial points to his overall argument. 

Note; when I say conjuncture, it’s in the context of Stuart Hall’s “conjunctural analysis.” Briefly, the subtext of an issue, so for example, ‘benefit scroungers’ as political discourse, as a conjuncture, means we need an excuse for reducing payments for the unemployed so we (the government of the day ) can reduce deficits and grant tax reductions for the demographic of future voters of whom this would appeal. (Hall 2021) (Jefferson 2021)

Anonymous comments concerning Piketty’s Books from the political and economic academic Marianna Mazzucato’s video on her book; The Value of Everything

1- He does not consider the most critical facts, and it lacks historical evidence and contradicts reality.  Its claims appeal to ignorant people with little idea of economic history and financial concepts.  I am not surprised that the presenter relies on such a reference because most of what she says she can’t justify with evidence

2- He claims wealth is passed down from ancestors. He ignores the historical fact that most wealthy people have not gotten wealthy through inheritance. He claims growing inequality is a function of capitalism but ignores all other systems.

 3- Picketty examined the circumstances of wealth in the 19th and 20th centuries and concluded that the 1% owned more wealth than previously. He confuses statistics with individuals, like many people who don’t understand statistics.

Video in question.

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