Economist Thomas Piketty is compared by New York magazine to a “rock star”, because tickets for his events sell out in advance.
Piketty asks questions about Economic Inequality that the Examiner feels need to be discussed locally.
Yesterday in our post about big corporations being able to buy the internet, commenter Humboldt Turtle said “We are already an oligarchy.”
The Turtle might be on to something, Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century shines some light on this notion.
Piketty writes; “Nearly two-and-a-half centuries ago, when the country’s founding fathers created the nation, they proudly believed they had rejected Europe’s tradition of inherited aristocracy and rentier wealth. Instead, it was presumed that people ought to become rich through hard work, merit and competition.”
“inequalities of wealth were often tolerated because everyone hoped they could become rich. That was the American dream which fostered admirable waves of entrepreneurial energy and – crucially – provided a social glue.”
Shonagh Rae from the Financial Times writes;
Piketty’s work touches a very raw nerve about the reality of the modern American dream. Of course, as a cynic – or anthropologist – might note, a dream does not necessarily need to be “real” to work as social glue; all that is necessary is for enough people to believe in the illusion. But can the American dream now survive a shift towards oligarchy? Can the egalitarian myth still act as a social glue? These are the big questions implicit in his book; and if Piketty’s analysis is correct, they can only become more acute in the coming years as inequality fuels not just more inequality – but greater cognitive dissonance too.
Full story here:
Go to Eureka Books and buy one