Polishing off this book in three weeks felt like an amazing accomplishment.
This nearly 800 page manifesto of Thomas Piketty is not a light read. In fact, it takes the utmost focus to truly understand and evaluate the information within.
The main premise of this book is that R > G. (R), the rate of growth of Capital is greater than (G), the growth of the population and wages. Piketty argues that when the earnings from capital are greater than the earnings growth from labour combined with population growth, inequality will become more extreme. The hundreds of pages of historical context help to illustrate that capitalism naturally leads to this phenomenon, and that without government intervention it will continue. As a solution Piketty proposes a global tax on wealth, similar to what presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed. In fact, it was so similar I imagine she based her economic proposals on Piketty’s research. Will there be a global tax on wealth? Why are CEOs paid so highly? Is there social mobility? If so, how much? If I am a renter, do I have any hope of becoming a rentier? Is inflation bad? Do countries have too much debt? Can’t we just print more money? An ambitious read, but an important one nonetheless.