All this talk by the president of “Income Inequality” seems to be quite well-timed.
It coincides nicely with the blitzkrieg of promotion regarding the book Capital in the Twenty First Century by French economist Thomas Piketty. Who better to attempt to trash the capitalist system than a French socialist and obvious Keynesian.
In Capital, a not so veiled statement of appreciation for Karl Marx’s Das Kapital (Capital: Critique of Political Economy), Piketty argues that worsening income inequality is an inevitable outcome of free-market capitalism where a select few get richer, thus, widening the gap between the haves and have-nots.
There’s only one problem with Piketty’s theory and it is his assumption that we actually have a free market. Of course to him, anything that isn’t a top-down centralized authoritarian socialist State would be considered a free market.
But we don’t have a free market. We have a skewed system – some call it crony capitalism – I call it crony corporatism. Whatever you call it, it bears little resemblance to a free market.
We haven’t had a “free market” in a long time – certainly not since the Federal Reserve began manipulating the money supply after World War I. We now live in a bubble economy – marking our progress from one burst economic bubble to the next – all caused by the easy access of huge amounts of government money and the manipulation of the money supply by the Federal Reserve.
A perfect example of this skewed system of cronyism is the collapse of the last housing bubble. Was there any place in the country not negatively affected by it? Yes – one. The counties and suburbs directly adjacent to Washington DC. Gee, I wonder why that is? Was it the evils of free-market capitalism? Not hardly.
Mark Tracy of the New Republic asked, “So what explains the book’s success? At the upshot economist Justin Wolfers argued that Google search data reveals that Piketty is more popular in coastal states that are more liberal and wealthier than the country at large.”
Okay – don’t these people even read what they write? Did he not just inadvertently and ignorantly explain income inequality, where liberals on both coasts have more than conservatives in flyover country? Why is this not a problem?
Answer: because rich liberals will always be immune to criticism. As long as they say the right things and advocate for the right causes – they can do what they wish and live however they like.
Look at the absurdity of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Remember it? The unwashed 99% battling the evil 1% Wall Street fat cats? Did they not realize that easily 80% to 90% of Wall Street fat cats are liberals who gave huge amounts of cash to elect the Occupy Savior Obama?
No, of course not. None of the facts differentiating “free-market capitalism” from cronyism will register anymore to the great unwashed than they do dolts like Paul Krugman and the rest of academia.
As far as they know, capitalism has always been the problem, and income inequality can only be rectified by high taxes and government intervention.
Speaking of income inequality, Piketty’s book is set to sell over 200,000 copies within the next few months. At around $25 a copy ($24.76 on Amazon), that’s $5 million, and doesn’t take into account the 50,000 copies already sold in France. So what about income inequality? What about the haves and the have-nots? Why doesn’t he just give the books away? Why doesn’t he donate all the proceeds or profits to the poor? Answer to all of the above – because he’s a socialist, and as such, no doubt thinks that there is no charity but government.
Finally, why else might there be such an interest in the 700-page socialist diatribe? Easy!
First, as I previously mentioned, it’s an essay on the entire left’s Keynesian view of the world. Liberals can read it and say, “Hey … that’s just what I believe,” and then smile and feel good about how smart they are.
Second, some, I guarantee, will not even read the book, but feel they must have it prominently displayed in their home for their leftist neighbors and friends who stop over for wine and brie.