“A few days ago I sent you some notes on Piketty’s current blockbuster. Reader Lindy Davies, a skilled and insightful editor, quickly recognized it was too long, technical, and divagating for many busy (and who isn’t?) readers, so he has abridged it. So here is the Reader’s Digest version, for those who might prefer it.” -Mason Gaffney
Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in the 21st Century, has been a best-selling book on economics recently, but who has time to read it? Piketty’s thesis is that modern economies are self-destructive because they permit the income from owning property to grow faster than wages and the economy as a whole. The result is growing inequality and social unrest. Most of the book is a description of historical statistics demonstrating that simple point. But, as Mason Gaffney, a retired economist from the University of California, Riverside explains, the point really is not as simple as it might seem.