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Friday, April 25, 2014

A "Capital" idea for our time...

"What’s really new about Thomas Piketty's book,“Capital” is the way it demolishes that most cherished of conservative myths, the insistence that we’re living in a meritocracy in which great wealth is earned and deserved. For the past couple of decades, the conservative response to attempts to make soaring incomes at the top into a political issue has involved two lines of defense: first, denial that the rich are actually doing as well and the rest as badly as they are, but when denial fails, claims that those soaring incomes at the top are a justified reward for services rendered. Don’t call them the 1 percent, or the wealthy; call them “job creators.”
This week, Piketty's book sits atop the best seller lists of, Barnes & Noble, and the New York Times (to name a few), something rather unheard of for a 700-plus page economic treatise draped in extensive data, literary allusions, and scholarly research. According to Richard Eskow, fellow at the Campaign for America's Future, the high sales and unprecedented public attention drawn by the book say something remarkable about both its content and the current state of economic and political affairs in the U.S. 'People are yearning for an explanation of the dire economic straits in which they find themselves. Piketty’s highly readable style, innovative mind, and breadth of knowledge have made him the ideal candidate to meet this need.' "