What are the important narratives involved in the accumulation and dissemination of capital? Seemingly, there are posed queries that are still left unanswered. Much, these questions that concern the dynamic and persisting issue of inequality, wealth concentration and transfer, and the potential of economic progress are oftentimes discussed and brought up in public discourse. However, they failed to project and formulate absolute and substantial answers. With all these questions found deep within the political fabric, only a few discovered commendable answers due to insufficient data and a lack of clear theories for support.
In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty put under close analysis and intensive study a compendium of data from twenty countries dating back to as far as the eighteenth century. This was with the intention of unraveling and identifying the interweaving patterns of the economy and society as a whole. With the presented findings, they were deemed to spark public debate and bring out a new agenda for the upcoming generation of study that concerns wealth distribution and inequality.
His study reveals that the continuous progress of the modern economy and the trickle-down movement of knowledge have prevented inequality from persisting at a macrocosmic level as predicted by Karl Marx. Though this is the case, we still could not comprehend the absolute and solid structures of capital and inequality just how we contextualize it back in the succeeding years after World War II.
The primary driver of inequality, the capability of returns on capital to surpass the range of economic growth, still stands as a threat that fully perpetuates an intensive level of inequalities. Such brings discontentment and pins down democratic principles. However, persisting trends are not completely out of control. Political actions restrict hazardous inequalities to persist in the past, but as Piketty says, it may come to persist again.
About the Author
Thomas Piketty is a French economist with specializations on wealth and income inequality. Presently, he works as a professor at École des Hautes études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) while teaching at the Paris School of Economics and the London School of Economics New International Inequalities Institute.
Table of Contents
PART I- Income and Capital
- Income and Output
- Growth: Illusions and Realities
PART II- The Dynamics of the Capital/ Income Ratio
- The Metamorphoses of Capital
- From Old Europe to the New World
- The Capital/ Income Ratio over the Long Run
- The Capital-Labor Split in the Twenty-First Century
PART III-The Structure of Inequality
- Inequality and Concentration: Preliminary Bearings
- Two Worlds
- Inequality of Labor Income
- Inequality of Capital Ownership
- Merit and Inheritance in theLong Run
- Global inequality of Wealth in the Twenty-First Century
PART IV- Regulating Capital in the Twenty-First Century
- A Social State for the Twenty-First Century
- Rethinking the Progressive Income Tax
- A Global Tax on Capital
- The Question of the Public Debt
Contents in Detail
List of Tables and Illustrations