Finally, a new authoritative book that properly condemns free market capitalism. Commies are overjoyed.
We mentioned Piketty’s new book and the big response from the socialist oligarchs and their running dog intellectual elites.
Richard Epstein beat Piketty up pretty good and we posted the ringside events on May 13 at JunkScience.
Another round of energetic socialist economic clap trap coming from France–what a surprise? Oh the terribleness of the inequities–and the importance of state imposed egalitarianism.
James Piereson, an author of a great book on the effects of Kennedy’s assassination Camelot (2007), is head of the William Simon (very influential conservative) Foundation, and a Senior Fellow at the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute, that publishes City Journal , a very fine political commentary publication. You often see essays from City Journal posted here at Junk Science.
I think Piereson is really waaaaaaay toooooo kind to Thomas Piketty, who started off with the intention of writing a new version of Das Kapital when he put together Capital in the Twenty-First Century, hoping to create a new formula for promoting and justifying state enforced “scientific” egalitarian socialism.
My goodness, Piereson ignores the obvious–Piketty is a French intellectual, and I can name on one hand conservative free market capitalist French intellectuals, all the rest are to the left, usually to the left of Lenin and Mao, going back at least a century. In fact the reason I can think of a guy named Ravel as a French Conservative is that he was a solitary man in Gay Paree, home of lefties who specialize in leftist theories of government but in the real world complicity and collaboration with and of course timely surrender to bully tyrants of whatever stripe.
To display Piereson’s rather naive approach to this book, I quote from his review:
Some have compared the book to Karl Marx’s Das Capital for its updated analysis of the historical dynamics of the capitalist system.
Piketty, though not a socialist or a Marxist, shares Marx’s assumption that high returns on capital are the driving force of modern economies and lead inevitably to unsustainable concentrations of wealth. In this sense, rather like Marx, he advances a single-minded interpretation of the market system.
Piketty writes from a social democratic perspective, one that is suspicious of free markets and confident that central governments can manage economic affairs in the interests of all.
Holy Cow James, he espouses Marxist ideas, oooooozes socialism and you say he is neither socialist or Marxist?
I will assert, since I drove by a Holiday Inn Express yesterday, that statism has distorted capitalism, created the imbalance of state power and money that encourages crony capitalism–but Piketty is first, last and always a statist. So his analysis of economic trends does not include the problem of statism–because he is a statist. In fact he proposes more statism to fix the problem of statism.
Ain’t he special?
That makes him an ignoramus guided by political/economic preconceptions and unable to see his own biases about econommics, politics, income and wealth inequalities and the nature of free market capitalism when allowed a reasonable free market environment.
In the Piketty history big government was a factor for its tendency to always put a finger on the scales and now Piketty says–gotta make it bigger? Really mess with the market place?
Piketty has the ‘fatal conceit’ blind spot–inability to see the distorting effect of government and the futility of central planning and elitist preference controls.
Statism is not capitalism, everything about the state is anti free market–deciding winners and loser, redistribution.
So in 800 pages Piketty creates the impression that he is a great historian of economics and happened upon a terrible thing–inequity. He proposes that the state will fix the problem. Just like the state fixes any healthcare of social problem.
Piketty says more taxation on the rich and more central planning guided by really smart guys like him will redistribute the wealth. Of course that assumes that redistribution is important (well it is to socialists except they want special treatment for themselves) and of course Piketty ignores the distortions created by centrally planned redistribution by the government nomenklatura.
Sorry Piketty–you think you are smart, but you start off dumb as a box of rocks on politics and economics–I am sure you know your wines though.