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Capital in the Twenty-First Century Hardcover – Mar 10 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press (March 10 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067443000X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674430006
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 16.8 x 4.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ronald W. Maron TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 16 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I would be remiss if I did not respond to the negativity generated by the 'patriots' who felt it necessary to grant this writing a single star along with their swift action by the back of their hand. My review will center on not only the content of this tome, but others like it that encourage us, as a country, to closely examine the tenets we were told to memorize in secondary class rooms in order to test their present day validity.

Recent statistics reveal to us that in terms of 'comfort and happiness' the USA ranks 37th in the world. That should neither be something to be proud of nor entail an intellectual death struggle in order to maintain this lowly position. The countries that compile the highest scores are the Scandinavian, socialistic countries of Northern Europe. (but, I used that bad word, 'socialistic', didn't I!). They rank in this elite class due to the levels of equality they feel among themselves, the 'cradle to the grave' concept of personal security, and having the government look out for their, and not corporate, interests. Yes, their tax level is higher than the US and Canada but the return on their investment in a people-centered government is much greater. The US, on the other hand, has since its inception viewed monetary accumulation as being the ultimate goal that all of should plug into and spend our lives trying to attain. While persons who collect newspapers and stack them to the ceiling or have their homes overrun with hoards of cats are considered to be crazy, the person who also acts on his equally irrational compulsions and collects piles of money and then ships it to overseas tax-free accounts has his picture placed on the cover of a Fortune 500 magazine. Why the difference?
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Thibeault TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 25 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
*A full summary of this book is available here: An Executive Summary of Thomas Piketty's 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century'

The main argument: The unequal distribution of wealth in the developed world has become a significant issue in recent years. Indeed, the data indicate that in the past 30 years the incomes of the wealthiest have surged into the stratosphere (and the higher up in the income hierarchy one is, the greater the increase has been), while the incomes of the large majority have stagnated. This has led to a level of inequality in wealth in the developed world not seen since the eve of the Great Depression. This much is without dispute.

Where there is dispute is in trying to explain just why the rise in inequality has taken place (and whether, and to what degree, it will continue in the future); and, even more importantly, whether it is justified. These questions are not merely academic, for the way in which we answer them informs public debate as well as policy measures—and also influences more violent reactions. Indeed, we need look no further than the recent Occupy Movement to see that the issue of increasing inequality is not only pressing, but potentially incendiary.

Given the import and the polarizing nature of the issue of inequality, it is all the more crucial that we begin by way of shedding as much light on the situation as possible. This is the impetus behind Thomas Piketty’s new book Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

One of Piketty’s main concerns in the book is to put the issue of inequality in its broader historical context.
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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 20 2014
Format: Hardcover
Piketty, a French economist, in a major macroeconomic study of modern economies by the title of “Capital", believes that world economies are currently going through a serious rough patch that is the direct result of trends established over the past three centuries. Statisitical evidence, taken from French tax records among other sources, points out that we have not arrived at our present perilous state simply by process of excessive spending and bad fiscal policies. He starts the discussion by dividing the economy into the public and private sectors, both of which have access to money through the generation and accumulation of wealth and the creation of assets resulting from an expanding economy. There is an illusion here that these two sectors work in harmony to provide the impetus for keeping world economies growing. There was a time back in the late nineteenth century when world powers like Britain, Germany, France and the United States were able raise enough capital, through trade and inflation, to handle any debt. But that has all changed with two major world wars in the 20th century forcing big governments to become first-line borrowers in the creation of complex war machines, while the private sector reaped windfall profits with little risk. In the 1950s, an economic boom happened because governments were willing to continue borrowing liberally, through the sale of bonds to the private sector to build new infrastructure, provide social services, and attract new industrial development. Two world wars had effectively run public and private capital down to the point that it needed to replenished. After underwriting the financing of the Cold War, the private sector or corporate agenda now controlled the future direction of the world economic order.Read more ›
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