Greg Mankiw's blog: Piketty in a nutshell

I simply learn Thomas Piketty’s newest ebook, A brief history of Equality. It is the perfect window into Piketty’s considering thus far, partly as a result of it is, not like his earlier books, fortunately quick (244 pages, not together with the appendix).

After all, Piketty’s considering could be very completely different from mine. Phrases like provide, demand, comparative benefit and mutual features from commerce are nearly completely absent from his ebook. As a substitute, we hear lots about political energy and the exploitation of the weak by the sturdy. In Piketty’s worldview, the usual undergraduate economics textbook is essentially a non-sequential. So is Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

This new ebook claims to summarize key factors from the large volumes that Piketty has written beforehand. What I discovered most attention-grabbing, due to this fact, was what was not included. Piketty doesn’t point out “the central contradiction of capitalism”, to make use of the expression of his ebook Capital within the twenty first century. In that earlier ebook, we have been advised that r>g results in an “infinite unequal spiral”. For causes I defined hereI all the time thought that assertion was absurd.

Why is that this main theme of the earlier ebook omitted on this new one? Did Piketty tacitly withdraw? It is laborious to say.

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