April 30th, 2014


the other side of the coin

"The lesson I took from the book is that wealth concentration is highly variable. It bounces up and down over the centuries, increasing in certain places and eras, and then dissipating via war, famine, dissolute sons, lavish spending, expropriation, dispersion among heirs, disruptive technologies, and so forth. Right now, wealth concentration has been rising for a few decades, and that's something worth grappling with for all the reasons Piketty lays out. And yet, I can't help thinking that on the time scales Piketty writes about, a few decades is a historical blip. There's simply no 'inexorable trend' visible in his data."
-Kevin Drum