The Real News Network has the interview Is Thomas Piketty Right About the Causes of Inequality?
HUDSON: Well, that’s why the neoliberal’s love Piketty. It’s why Krugman loves Picketty(sic) and others. You can’t implement it. So he’s produced a book without any solution, and the free enterprise boys like that. The 1 percent don’t mind being criticized as long as there’s no solution to their problem. And that’s what the critics have come out saying: wait a minute, there are a lot of solutions. For one thing, some kind of wealth is better than others. You don’t want to tax people building factories and improving living standards like the one percent pretend that they do, but what you do want to tax is unearned income, economic rent, capital gains.
It’s the Wall Street bankers who’ve been doing the junk mortgages and engaging in the kind of fraud that we’ve been hearing about on Wall Street. This is not what Piketty discusses. He doesn’t say, throw the clerks in jail; he doesn’t say, have government regulatory agencies to prevent this kind of exploitation; he doesn’t say, reimpose anti-monopoly regulations to prevent monopoly profits from enriching the one percent; he doesn’t say, take all of these public utilities that Margaret Thatcher privatized in England and Ronald Reagan did in America and put them back in the public domain so that they can provide basic services to people at cost. All of this is a different topic from his book.
As with most books that I read that discuss the big problems in society, they are great in laying out the facts of what is wrong. This is usually the majority of the book. At the end they feel obligated to propose some solutions. Very rarely, if ever, have I read that part of the book and found it up to the standards of the first part of the book.
It appears that the Piketty book may be worse than the usual failure. He proposes non-solutions, and ignores the solutions that would work and have been proven to work.