Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.Sign in or register to post comments. This year, a big book by French economist Thomas Piketty – Capital in the Twenty-First Century – has taken the Anglophone economic commentariat by storm. Piketty alludes to Karl Marx through the book’s title and size, while remaining himself quite modest about his achievement.
Sceptics claim that income inequality hasn’t risen much in the last twenty years, and that income inequality between countries this century has decreased.
In their recent University of Auckland Robb Lectures on Inequality, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett noted that the fear of Marxist-inspired revolution was very real in the 1930s (and still seen to be real in the 1950s), and that capitalism reformed itself in order to preserve itself in the face of the actual or perceived Marxian threat. Piketty’s book, which has arrived just when there was a large middle class constituency for its message, presents unreformed capitalism with its greatest threat since the middle decades of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Piketty’s analysis is that capital, as the economic class that drives (and benefits from) capitalism, has for the best part of three centuries gained returns that significantly outstrip economic growth. Piketty’s policy proposal is for a global wealth tax (and marginal income tax rates upto 80 percent) that might redress this imbalance. So how should the National Party’s constituency go about reforming capitalism to save it? I won’t use the term Universal Basic Income, because that has, in the hands of left-wing utopians, morphed into something quite different from what I had in mind when I wrote about it in the 1990s. Some people, most likely on the political far right (maybe Jamie Whyte?) may deny that there is such a thing as a public property right. My point is that the mere acceptance of public equity having a value in excess of zero gives the political right a powerful tool to combat the left-wing advocates of Thomas Piketty’s suggested wealth tax. Further, the cognition of public equity creates the opportunity of assisting, through what today would be called tax cuts, the people who are most adversely affected by current tax-benefit arrangements; namely  the aspirational but lowly paid workers whose votes are required by National if ever National wishes to contemplate being in government. The public equity concept – like Keynes’ insights from the 1930s – present a win-win-win outcome.
When equity is more equally held, the problem that Piketty identified in his book becomes much less destabilising for the economic system as a whole.
So Keith is your proposal an attempt to find a happy middle ground whereby the elites don’t need to fear overthrow by the great unwashed and the great unwashed themselves (that’s the rest of us) are happy enough because no one is going to bed hungry?
And should we take it that this is the most practical place to aim for given that the super rich get in a panic if it looks like their wealth might actually be shrinking and the poor get in a panic if they don’t have enough to eat? Perhaps it may be closer to suggest that any measures to stem the fear of uprising may be responded to.
The hungry can remain as long as their numbers or influence is not sufficient to tip the balance of unrest into revolt.
Ignoring them as John key does, may well be a typical response or indirectly pouring scorn their way as Collins does.
3) People are living under Financial Tyranny and can’t even see it, so used to it are they . So your brilliant idea is to make the entire country into one giant company, where each person (except under 18?s obviously) is a shareholder receiving dividends. Kitapseverlerin genelde yak?ndan takip ettigi unlu insanlar?n ozellikle de yabanc? unlulerin okudugu kitaplar nelerdir derseniz. Dunyan?n en zengin is adam? Bill Gates’in okuduklar? kitaplar icinden olusturdugu ve kisisel blogunda paylast?g? liste ve bu listenin videosu buyuk ilgi gordu.


The real action is in the period 2050-2100, and it's almost entirely dependent on Piketty's projection that g will plummet by two full percentage points. Second: Another thing I mentioned on Tuesday is that if economic growth slows and capital stocks increase, then the return on capital should go down.
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While I would like to read it (there is an argument that my time would be better spent reading the many other important books that get much less exposure), there is at least a good swathe of review material from which to assess Piketty’s central argument, to evaluate the public response to his work, and to assess some of its political implications. But income inequality – before or after tax – is not the full story, as Piketty makes clear. That threat ceased to be credible by the 1970s, allowing a return to unreformed capitalism.
Hence the concentration of huge wealth in favour of a relatively small number of private owners of capital. Hardly a policy that the top five percent are likely to agree to without the incentive of a credible threat that would seem to them to be even worse.
But that would be no more than saying that public property rights have an equity value of zero. It means that payments that we already pay – payments we currently think of as tax discounts or as welfare transfers – can be re-interpreted as public equity dividends, conceptually little different from dividends paid to the shareholders of Telecom or Mighty River Power.
The rich find a way that forestalls what they see as popular pressure for confiscatory taxation. If returns to capital are no more unequally distributed than returns to labour, then the Pikettian threat disappears. It’s far cheaper for them to buy governments with donations and promises of cushy post-political jobs. Bu sorunun cevab?na sitemizde Dunyan?n en zengin is adam? Bill Gates’in okudugu kitaplar hakk?nda paylas?m yaparak cevap verebiliriz. 1950 -1960 y?llar? aras?nda The New Yorker dergisinde yay?mlanan is makalelerini bir araya getiriyor. Cin’in nufusunun buyuklugune, Japonya, Guney Kore, Tayvan gibi ulkelerin daha onceki izledigi politikalara dikkat cekmektedir. Make a tax-deductible donation to fund our reporting—or read this if you need more convincing. 10, 2014 1:47 PM EDTTweetEmailI'm a little reluctant to dive ever deeper into the weeds of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century since I'm woefully unqualified for the task. That is, the return on capital is higher than economic growth, which means that owners of capital see their incomes grow faster than ordinary laborers.
Help hold the powerful accountable by funding our reporting with a tax-deductible donation today. The New Zealand Listener also ran a recent feature on 26 May by Patrick Smellie, The Book that Hit like a Bomb”.) And it is through this allusion to Marx that our conservative governments need to take note. His focus is on the inequality of financial wealth, and his work is indeed opening up a whole can of worms that economic liberals and conservatives (synonyms in this context) will have to address sooner rather than later. And a public property right is at least as meaningful a concept as is a private property right. Everybody else could agree that it makes sense to attribute a non-zero monetary value to property that is inherently public.


Since the rich own most of the capital, this means that the incomes of the rich naturally increase faster than the non-rich unless proactive steps are taken to stop it. The first set of points is for 1950-2012, a period in which r was about 0.5 percentage points less than g.
In technical terms, this all depends on the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor. It is one the most creative ways to raise needed money for a business start-up in the 21st century. The peasants – albeit the peasants of the Brooklyn (NY, though maybe NZ) variety – are revolting. The planet gains an accounting means through which its environmental services might be valued.
Advocacy of huge wealth taxes, on the other hand, feeds back into division and suspicion; talk of greed from the left and sloth from the right drives the have and have?nots further apart, creating social forces that can eventuate in large-scale conflict. The next set of points is a projection for 2012-2050, a period in which r is roughly 0.5 percentage points greater than g.
Piketty's main conclusion is (a) based on a projection more than 50 years in the future, which is inherently unreliable, and (b) primarily a guess that economic growth will plummet. However, over at Tyler Cowen's blog, Matt Rognlie argues that Piketty is confusing gross and net production functions. It brings creative ideas and those with investment dollars together and gives anyone a real chance at starting their own business. The roller-coaster that the global economy has been on leaves banks and other lending institutions overly cautious with where investment dollars go. People who think of themselves as supporters of right of centre governments would typically confer a lower monetary value to public property (and the income that derives from public property) than do people who think of themselves as supporters of left of centre governments. Further, the receipt of public equity dividends as of right – no matter how small they might be – takes the edge off the economic trauma that unemployment imposes. So everything boils down to this: will global economic growth plummet during the period 2050-2100?
If you account for depreciation, then the elasticity is such that r is likely to fall much faster than Piketty thinks as capital stocks increase and economic growth slows down.
Anybody who is able to fall back on some property income is better placed to resist capitalist exploitation, than is someone who is 100 percent dependent on labour income. Even if it's correct, it means the next 40 years will see only small changes in the relative returns to capital and labor.
I'd like to suggest that this is a very different question from the one most people are addressing in their reviews of Piketty.
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