7 Days of Piketty: Thursday, or “Squeezing the rich … if the world introduces a Piketty Tax.”


I’m publishing seven days of links to web material about Thomas Piketty and his book, Capital in the Twenty-first Century. Piketty has been criticized for having no “solution” to inequality apart from a global wealth tax, deemed impractical by most observers.

Today it’s back to The Economist for an examination of the prospects and effects of such a tax. This brings me to the conclusion of the “7 Days of Piketty,” and let me tell you — I’m ready for a nice novel.

Squeezing the rich … if the world introduces a “Piketty Tax” (The Economist)

Thomas Piketty, a superstar economist, favours the introduction of a global wealth tax. Its impact might be surprisingly small

IN A speech in 2013 Barack Obama labelled inequality “the defining challenge of our time”. A few months later a book on the subject by Thomas Piketty, an economist at the Paris School of Economics, became an unlikely bestseller. It walked readers through centuries of data and a theory of inequality before leaving them with a bold policy recommendation: to prevent a dangerous rise in the concentration of wealth, the world’s governments ought to co-operate to enact a global wealth tax.

Egalitarian themes remain popular on campaign trails, but the wealth-tax idea has so far failed to gain ground. Yet in the right circumstances, might a “Piketty tax” emerge from the messy world of democratic politics?