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Showing 1-10 of 1,184 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,803 reviews
on July 17, 2014
This is not easy reading although it is far more understandable that I feared it might be. It's lessons and assumptions are clear. The inequality of the distribution of wealth across the world is becoming a major problem. When a very few individuals control the majority of the wealth in the world and the number of truly poor people continues to grow because there is no way for them to grab their piece of the economic pie, something must be done to rebalance the system. Corporations move their businesses to tax sheltered places, avoiding taxes in the countries in which they produce most of their revenue, denying governments the tax dollars they deserve to uphold the society corporations want but are refusing to support. For me, it was an interesting read but not a quick one. Not being an economist, it took me a while to more clearly understand what I read.
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on July 19, 2017
Some interesting thoughts. Policy prescriptions are a non-starter. The logic is to introduced asset taxes and reduce income taxes, starting with the very high rates paid by those on low incomes moving from benefits to earned incomes.
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on April 16, 2015
Voluminous and well-researched. Piketty spends the first third of the book on background statistics, history and explanation. This is NOT opinion, although the interpretations of the data are flavored by French and British information. As he repeats about every page, the available information is all relative, and the conclusions are stated in ranges, like 3-5% or 4-7years. The political and social context is also explored, as this is actually a history of corporate capitalism.
Very dense, and obscure for the non-academic, this is not a fast weekend read.
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on July 12, 2015
Well, the latest stats show the top 1%now own as much as the rest of us 99% so maybe he is on to something. Definitely worth 4 stars as the book contains an amazing amount of research and data despite the relatively simplistic r>g conclusion. (Rates of return on capital exceeding the growth rate of the economy leads to unequal distribution of wealth.) Even someone with my background, economics minor and later MBA, hits "mine eyes glaze over" parts which induces skimming hence the loss of a star but for such an undertaking respect must be paid. The key, as noted towards the end, is that "... politics is ubiquitous and that economic and political changes are inextricably intertwined and must be studied together." With that in mind, a review of the "gilded age" and the "progressive era" under Teddy Roosevelt can be enlightening. This was the previous period in U.S. History when the concentration of wealth produced labor unrest and oppressive government regulation. With luck, this time it will result in some fine tuning but I am not holding my breath! Screw over the masses long enough ...
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on July 16, 2016
This is one of those books I was looking forward to reading so much that I went and ordered it early, even though it was pretty pricey - come on university presses, get your discounts on Amazon. The thing is that it created so much buzz between the big conference of the Economists in January and when it was finally released in translation in the spring, so many people had written on and about the book that actually reading the book and taking in the argument for myself seemed pretty superfluous at the time, you know. It is a big book and if people are going to tell you that the rate of return is greater than the rate of growth on a long time scale in less than 700 pages I was ready to listen. My physical copy has it’s bookmark firmly on page 113, right in front of the beginning of chapter three. (I have Robert Gordon’s new book on my pile, afraid it will reach the same point).

But I then had an extra credit on my audible account, so I thought I would listen to it. I’m convinced by Piketty’s argument. I worry that the information he has is not full enough to jump to huge conclusions. He treats the big wars of the 20th century as one-off things. I’d bet that they are not the last big wars that civilization will see, and those are pretty good at destroying wealth in the form of real estate and equities (minus defense, I’d wager). And the data-sets, as impressive as they are are limited to only four countries for the longest sets, and to just France for the longest set. So let’s go with a global wealth tax. Just tell me how to implement it.

The other thing is that though I was an English major, I read mostly the 20th century, so the Austen references go over my head (not to say the Balzac ones, an author to me known only for what his name rhymes with in English). It seems to be a novel way to track price movements and what not since inflation nowadays makes mush of the idea of stable prices (all one needs is 500 pounds and room of one’s own to do the math on that on).
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on August 2, 2014
Piketty meticulously shows the world as it really is not as we wish it was. A sobering look at the aggregation of wealth at the narrowest top of the scale. He carefully builds an understanding of the economic dynamics driving the remarkable and manipulative power of the wealthy in contemporary American politics. His solutions are clear and well developed and describe the detailed political battles that must be fought and won for American democracy to survive.
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on March 12, 2016
This book should be required reading for any social progressive. Income and wealth inequality are *the* issues of our time. The fact that the problem is not widely know shows that the establishment doesn't want it to be known. The facts in this book speak for themselves. It is a call to action. Now it's up to us to change things, for the good of our children and society as a whole.

My issue with this book has nothing to do with Piketty's fine work, it's just a bit too technical and detailed for the average reader. Someone should write a concise summary for laypeople.
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on September 19, 2014
This book has been reviewed by greater minds than mine. I would only say two things. The author is moving to a conclusion throughout the book that might be objectionable to many people. So, read the book to learn something, you don't have to agree with the conclusion. Also, this is not edge of your seat reading. Its' hard work, although, the historical economic sections are very interesting. Read it with an open mind.
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on August 5, 2014
This book is a hard read... you really have to focus on what is being written and the relative complexity of the message. Lots and lots of data and keeping it all sorted in your head is not easy. BUT.. the collective body of information is very broadening to one's point of view. If you approach this with a pre-set political perspective, you may be pleased or angered. But if you approach it with an open mind willing to entertain data-based information, then you will come away a much more enlightened individual. Academically, I think the author broadens the scope of the Capitalistic economic theory.
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on January 13, 2016
A book that has raised a lot of attention. It does give something to think about, a progressiivista capital tax is plausible option. But the book as such is a bit boring to read, because it tends to repeat itself, and for a rather long time in the beginning don't seem to progress. I haven't read the technical part available in the web, so I can't say anything about that.
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