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Back to the Blog Picking Apart Thomas Piketty


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On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech are joined by Francis Cianfrocca to discuss Thomas Piketty’s popular new book on income inequality, his Marxist view of the world and what the rich in America fear may be coming.

Related Links:

What Thomas Piketty’s Popularity Tells Us About The Liberal Press
Ben: Why Inequality Doesn’t Matter
The Liberals’ New Hero
Piketty’s Historic Minimum Wage Errors
Today’s Wonky Elite Is in Love With the Wrong French Intellectual


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  • Truth Seeker

    I don’t agree with many of the opinions expressed in this podcast, but that’s Exactly why i listen to it. I gain a lot from listening to multiple perspective of any issue. It forces me to question and strengthen my own arguments.

    About this episode:

    Brad: There is considerable sentiment which could, if unchecked….(oops) Thanks for that Great Moment!

    I really enjoyed this episode because while you both disagreed with Piketty’s thesis or methodology (or both), You and Ben had very different cases to make about the contents of the book. Ben tried to discredit Piketty’s claim that the Rate of return on Capital exceeding rate of growth of Output is bad for our country by stating that in the past few decades we’ve seen a vast increase in economic growth and increase in social mobility. You on the other hand actually tied Piketty’s claims to what we see Today. Yes, the 20th century was the Century of America’s rise to become Superpower, both economically and militarily. But when we look at the 21st century, we notice some negative trends in our economy.

    First of all, we’ve started this century with 2 recessions in less than a decade (2001 & 2008), the second of which was worst since the depression. To make matters worst, the ones who were mainly responsible for it (Wall Street Investors) are the ones who’ve captured most of the wealth from the recovery. (http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2012/03/06/the-1-captures-most-growth-from-recovery/)

    Second, we’re now living in an economy where being part of the middle class isn’t what it used to be. (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest.html)

    Third, the same economy that is leaving its poor and middle class behind is doing Extremely well for its billionaires. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/bloomberg-billionaires-index-the-rich-got-524-billion-richer-in-2013/2014/01/09/0fb3015a-7631-11e3-b1c5-739e63e9c9a7_story.html)

    All these trends point to what Piketty claims, those individuals with significant capital to invest will continue to prosper and Grow their wealth, while those who rely on their labor will continue to struggle.

    Brad, you notice this and I was glad you had the balls to go as far as to say that Billionaires should “think about” how the masses may react if we continued to be pushed into a desperate situation.

    So Thank you Brad for taking this podcast in that direction.