Capital in the Twenty-First Century
- [ Экономика и финансы
- | 10 марта 2015]
Название: Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Автор: Thomas Piketty
Размер: 39.3 mb
Год издания: 2014
Thomas Piketty, a 43 year old, left leaning, French economist, has written a 700 page 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 Piketty’s conclusions are having: that inequality is even more extreme than most experts thought, is worse than at any time since the 19th 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 the Professor Piketty has laid down a challenge which they dare not ignore and which could change the political environment. Many say he has "re-written the economic text books for this century.”The experts are impressed less by his conclusions than the mountain of evidence he marshals in support of them. This book has been written with the active collaboration of many experts working on data - which has never been properly collated or analysed before - about how wealth and income differences have evolved over the centuries. Only with the latest data processing systems has this been made possible.
Examining the history of income and wealth inequality, Piketty recounts the extreme inequalities which marked the centuries before the First World War. In a fascinating section which follows, he links the reduction of inequalities between 1914 and 1945 in large measure to the sheer destruction by war of so much (mainly inherited) wealth. But he also underlines that in post-war Europe, between 1945 and the mid 1970s, an unprecedented combination of higher taxes, social reform and strong trade unionism resulted in a gradual narrowing of inequality. But his documentation of trends since the 1970s is bleak in the extreme. In describing the accelerating concentration of wealth in the hands of the infamous "1 per cent”, Piketty demonstrates the interaction between outlandishly extreme salaries paid to top business executives and the way in which this boosts not merely income but feeds directly into wealth inequality. In the US not only do the richest 10 per cent own 75 per cent of the country’s wealth but between 2010 and 2012 an almost unbelievable 95 per cent of the overall growth of income went to just one per cent of the population.
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