Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Piketty (14) Solution

Piketty admits that his proposed solution, a universal tax on capital is unlikely to be adopted. This means that he does not have a workable to his perceived problem.

He assumes that all solutions must be provided by the state. Unless there is an international organisation with the power to overcome national states, any solution that depends on state power is unworkable, because the wealth can motive their wealth from one state to another to avoid taxes.

Piketty sees inequality as an affront to democracy.

Our democratic societies rest on a meritocratic worldview, or at any rate a meritocratic hope, by which I mean a belief in society in which inequality is based on merit an effort than on kinship and rents. This belief and this hope play a very crucial role in modern society, for a simple reason: in a democracy, the professed equality of rights of all citizens contrast sharply with the very real inequality of living conditions, and in order to overcome this contradiction it is vital to make sure that social inequalities from rational and universal principles rather than arbitrary contingencies (422).

Today the rents produced by an asset are nothing other than the income on capital, whether in the form of rent, interest, dividends, profits, royalties, or any other legal category of revenue, provided that such income is simply remuneration for ownership of the asset , independent of any labour.(422)
There is something astonishing about the notion that capital yields rent, or income that the owner of capital obtains without working. There is something in this nation that is an affront commons sense that has in fact perturbed any number of civilisation, which have responded various ways, not always benign (423).
In my view, democracy is not the solution. It can make it possible for the majority to appropriate the wealth of a minority. But in the process it will destroy capital, and in the long run that will destroy wealth.

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