Thomas Piketty, bringing the French collectivists to our shores.
If only everyone shared equally in all the wealth in the world, we would live in peace and harmony, such is the dream of the Walter Mitty left. Thomas Piketty, France’s own Walter Mitty, is the latest intellectual to regurgitate Marxist ideology in a dense tome titled, Capital, in The Twenty-First Century.
Piketty is a French economist who hopes to change the world and he is, at the moment, the most dangerous man in America.
President Obama has two goals now that he has nationalized healthcare. He wants to control the climate in response to an unproven science and he wants to redistribute wealth until incomes are equalized fairly.
How far he wants to go is uncertain, but it seems from his policies to date that he wants to go pretty far.
Piketty has written a book that will be used by the left to further Obama’s arguments on the issue of income inequality, arguments being used to fundamentally transform the nation into a socialist Utopia. The pseudo-evidence provided by the book is just what Democratic politicians need to obfuscate their current failures.
Economic theory, which is just that – theory, can be made into anything its manipulators want it to be and they can then use it to lure in the pseudo-intellectuals and those who feel they they are being short-changed by successful people.
Piketty’s vision is supported by questionable data and limited samples, and as David Schuchman points out in his WSJ article, “Thomas Piketty Revives Marx for the 21st Century”, it is an ideological manifesto more than it is a book of fact.
Piketty is the new love interest of the left, most notably, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate, The New Republic and countless others. It’s been said that women swoon over Piketty.
Piketty is the social justice, income inequality, redistribution guru who is being weaponized to propel more Democratic socialists into power in the United States in 2014 and 2016. There are rumors that Hillary Clinton will run on income inequality.
Our favorite NY Times socialist, Paul Krugman, has an article out in which he says conservatives are panicked over this most successful book. He claims there are no arguments against it, only name calling, and he makes this claim as he presents no case for Piketty except to name-call his opponents. Krugman is a taxaholic and a totalitarian man so of course he would like this book.
Krugman is offended by the right calling Piketty a Marxist and we probably shouldn’t call him that. We should talk about what Piketty believes in and is proposing. He believes the rich are immoral just for having wealth, workers shouldn’t have retirement plans and savings, redistribution is the way to go and income inequality is the scourge of mankind that must be corrected by Big Government, which of course can be trusted. Extraordinarily high levels of taxation is the answer to the scourge, he believes.
Our Republic, if we have any hopes of it continuing, cannot bear up under another four to eight years of far-left ideological policies that are destroying our economy and ruining our standing in the world.
Piketty claims that his book is based on three centuries of data from 20 countries even though data over three centuries is sketchy at best. He even admits the thinkers and economists up until recently, before the advent of the US tax return system, didn’t have statistics, the ones he claims to have.
While claiming to not be a Marxist, he has written a Bible of ideological principles that are the very foundation of Marx: social justice, income inequality, and redistribution. His book is obsessed with wealth redistribution and political control of the economy, in other words, it’s a neo-Marxist book.
His entire book is based on the belief that accumulation of wealth is evil and society, to be just, must equalize it.
He doesn’t totally hate capitalism, he just doesn’t like the way resources are allocated by it and that’s where he and his totalitarian socialists come in. He has a plan to control all that with high taxes, the elimination of high incomes, and more taxes.
He sees only the wages of low-income workers as measurable and the earners as worthy because their jobs are replicable and concrete. High income workers are not worthy and their worth cannot be measured because their jobs are abstract.
CEO’s make their high incomes because of flaws in the capitalist system. He doesn’t talk about other professions which reward their achievers with high salaries because he’s not one to judge he points out.
He sees the value in entrepreneurs but they often get their wealth accidentally also and their activities quickly devolve into “outright theft”.
He is opposed to inheritance and sees it as morally unjust but doesn’t seem to see the same injustice in redistribution where the recipients have done nothing to earn the rewards except to maybe do nothing.
He’s not even a fan of the successful working man because they have savings, retirement accounts and other assets. For shame!
Piketty has a solution to capitalism’s failings. He believes there should be a worldwide 80% tax on anyone making $500,000 or $1 million. The money would only be taken to keep them from earning “too much.” He wants to impose a 50%-60% tax rate on incomes as low as $200,000 to develop “the meager US social state.” There will also be a need to impose an annual wealth tax as high as 10% on the largest fortunes and a one-time assessment as high as 20% on much lower levels of existing wealth.
None of this will be a disincentive to work and produce, of that he is certain. Of course we know that is absurd on the face of it and even more absurd when one looks at history. Just look at what happens in the United States as more-and-more generations of families live off welfare. Have they become more productive?
Forbes has an article out today with this quote: “The Boston University economist Christophe Chamley and the Stanford economist Kenneth Judd came up independently with what we might call the Chamley-Judd Redistribution Impossibility Theorem: Any tax on capital is a bad idea in the long run, and that the overwhelming effect of a capital tax is to lower wages. A capital tax is such a bad idea that even if workers and capitalists really were two entirely separate groups of people—if workers could only eat their wages and capitalists just lived off of their interest like a bunch of trust-funders—it would still be impossible to permanently tax capitalists, hand the tax revenues to workers, and make the workers better off.”
The idea that taxing employers more and more will somehow raise the wages of workers is illogical.
Piketty doesn’t believe the economy grows. He sees economy as static with wealth just floating around from one to another, inevitably causing more injustice.
While poverty, unemployment and unequal opportunity are serious problems for capitalist societies and solutions must be sought, Mr. Piketty’s solution is far more unjust. Who can be trusted to take money from producers and dole it out fairly? He must know this but offers no solution nor does he think his solution is even politically feasible. One has to wonder why he even bothered to write the book other than to feed the beast and get invites to the best cocktail parties in the most elite social circles.
The is a fan of the manufactured protests of Occupy Wall Street in 2011 which are part of the Democratic war on capitalism. They were completely orchestrated by far-left groups such as Media Matters and MoveOn. Their purpose was to demonize the rich and glorify the socialist vision which this book espouses. It was the campaign rally for the last two elections and they plan to continue it for the unforeseeable future.
The left doesn’t believe Piketty’s book is Marxist because they see him as stopping short of embracing its tenets while pessimistically accepting some aspects of capitalism. Piketty believes that in capitalism “there is no natural, spontaneous process to prevent destabilizing, inegalitarian forces from prevailing permanently.” His solution is his absurd plan of taxation and redistribution of all the wealth so none of the perceived bad side effects of capitalism occur.
What happens, one must wonder, when the wealthiest find a way to shift capital away from his taxman. Surely, they will adapt. When the rich were taxed at 97% during WWII, no one, literally, no one paid it.
Piketty is concerned that the rate of return on investment frequently outstrips the overall growth rate, an imbalance that Piketty renders as r > g, and this is compounded over time. eventually more-and-more wealth is held by capitalists until they have all the wealth and the system implodes. His formula is an over-simplification and leaves out many things such as risk and corresponding reward.
One thing that Piketty does not understand is that in the United States, anyone can achieve and make something of his or herself. Any immigrant can come, buy a business and be successful. That is not the case in heavily-taxed socialist economies.
The globalized market and competition from overseas have greatly affected incomes but Pikkety gives that little account.
Piketty started with a premise and then set about to prove it regardless of facts.
The only difference between Piketty and Marx is he is a Marxist after the fact. He lets capitalism work and then imposes his Marxist values.
At least this book got him out of Paris – he said something about rarely having left. It shows.
Successful societies are reliant on their successful citizens, something Piketty seems to ignore. He somehow thinks that an overpowering government is exempt from accruing too much power and wealth which is his main complaint against capitalists.
The question he asks throughout the book is “Do the dynamics of private capital accumulation inevitably lead to the concentration of wealth in ever fewer hands, as Karl Marx believed in the nineteenth century? Or do the balancing forces of growth, competition, and technological progress lead in later stages of development to reduced inequality and greater harmony among the classes, as Simon Kuznets thought in the twentieth century?”
He seems to lean towards the Marxist view and only reluctantly acknowledges the latter.
Piketty’s extreme solution which is no solution at all would require serious enforcement measures which is not untypical for any totalitarian idea. Does he really think people will cooperate?
Compulsory equalizing of incomes will put our economy in a permanent depression and put more people in poverty. We know this from history yet people like Barack Obama will say it can work and it just wasn’t done right the first time. It would devolve into imprisonments and violence just as it has in history.
Engineering societies does not work and it robs individuals of their freedom.
Obama and his crowd, which now includes Piketty, rage against corporations and Wall Street without letup. Corporations, however, are not marching people off to ovens, sending them to gulags in Siberia, or hanging them for some slight offense. It’s governments that do that.
Corporations give jobs to people and make money. Totalitarianism, genocide, violence, wars, those are the business of governments – always – and they do it in the name of Utopian goals. It isn’t the corporation we need worry about, it’s an overly-powerful government.
Pikety’s answer to the problem of income inequality is one that will ensure a war – a civil war – were we to enact it here in the United States. It’s not what Americans believe in and it’s not what immigrants come here for. People who believe in individual freedom and dignity had better start fighting for it.
Income equality for all or freedom and individual responsibility for all, which will it be?
We are the last bastion of freedom in this world and we’ve only had this freedom for 250 years. Will this be a failed experiment?
Oh, and don’t bother reading this book, it’s garbage and it’s not worth $22, money that will help make Piketty one of the rich. We wouldn’t want him to make too much money after all.