April 16, 2014

In the absence of QEs and TARP, would Piketty have written the same “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”?

Sir, I refer to Martin Wolf’s review of Thomas Piketty’s, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” April 15.

First, I need to make two disclaimers. I have not read the book and, as suddenly references to it exploded on the web, I must confess I first thought of it as a too pushy publisher campaign, and I have not been able to free myself from that impression. From the little I have read of it, that in significance it is going to be up there with Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom”?… no way Jose. 

Now if I could only make two questions on Piketty’s book these would be:

Would Piketty have written the same Capital in the Twenty-First Century in the absence of QEs and TARP which obviously helped to keep the wealth… or if profits derived from protected intellectual rights had been taxed at a higher rate that profits derived from competing naked in the market?

Where does Piketty think all inherited but dissipated wealth has gone? Is he unaware of the real difficulties of keeping the value of an inheritance?