Capital in the Twenty-First Century

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.

Max Bertman

About the author

Education shouldn't stop the second we finish school. Follow along as I continue my education through reading an hour or two a day. In my book reviews, I will try give a broad summary of the topics covered. I will also begin a discussion on some of the things that peak my interest. Continue the discussion with me in the comments. If you click the book reviews tab you will find all the reviews I have written and what I am currently reading; pick up a book and become smarter with me.


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