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A much needed wake-up call.

Steuer, Max (2014) A much needed wake-up call. Economica, 82 (325). pp. 189-192. ISSN 0013-0427

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No book on economics has attracted as much attention as this book, as far as I am aware. Whether there are equal or even more worthy candidates for this truly sensational response is not my concern. Nor can I predict how long the sensation will last. I am glad about the enthusiasm for this book because I agree with the author that extreme inequality is a threat to capitalism and to democracy. Piketty raises the alarm that inequality may have already reached dangerous levels and has the potential to get worse. This strikes a chord with many economists, though clearly not all, and definitely reaches large sections of the wider audience. As well as being an important book, this is a very odd book with several unusual features. In pointing out what I see as strange or even mistaken aspects of this lengthy volume, I hope that I am not providing ammunition for opponents of it. The title and some of the text suggests a link to Karl Marx. Not surprisingly, this association and the book’s policy recommendations have led some commentators to label Piketty as public enemy number one. I will show that this view reflects either total misunderstanding of the book or an attempt to promote self-interest over all other possible concerns, including a concern for market economies.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The London School of Economics and Political Science
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 14:55
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:58

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