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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Edsall on Piketty

Thomas B. Edsall
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Thomas Byrne Edsall (journalist and academic, author, most recently, of The Age of Austerity) has in today's NY Times an op-ed on the Capital of Piketty. Tom Edsall considers that it would be too simple to see in the book of Piketty a challenge only against the right wing economic policies; actually it challenges the whole system, thus the whole political spectrum. No wonder that critics to the book range from right to left. Says Tom Edsall, Piketty’s book reinforces the idea that the domestic policies liberals advocate for are palliative, not curative — that, in essence, inequality is here to stay. Edsall concludes, In fact, the emergence of what Piketty calls patrimonial capitalism — concentrated wealth and political power passed on from generation to generation in a class-based social order — runs directly counter to the longstanding American commitment to equality of opportunity. Piketty has laid the intellectual groundwork for a challenge to a social and political order based on socioeconomic ranking by wealth stratification. Now we need effective politicians to articulate this challenge in ways that resonate with a striving electorate determined to achieve a higher standard of living through grit and hard work. Where is the level playing field? Politicians who seek to gain traction on these issues face high hurdles, but only those willing to risk confrontation can address the depth of public discontent, anger and resentment.

Here is the link to the op-ed of Tom Edsall:

(Thomas Piketty)



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