Capital and Ideology

Belknap: Harvard. Mar. 2020. 1,104p. ed. by ed. by Arthur Goldhammer. ISBN 9780674980822. $39.95. BUS
Piketty’s (Capital in the Twenty-First Century, The Economics of Inequality) latest book is an ambitious attempt to analyze inequality and offer ways to reduce it. He presents a history of inegalitarianism from preindustrial times to the present in various parts of the world, discussing the forms this unfairness has taken and the defenses of it that have been made. Piketty believes it is impossible to understand and correctly analyze inequality if it’s considered in the abstract, ignoring the various particular economic, political, and social circumstances in which it occurs. While he believes there is no one ideal form of society, he is also insistent that inequalities can and should be reduced. In order to accomplish this, he argues that business organizations should be set up in a way that calls for the participation in decision making of both the workers and representatives of communities in which the businesses are embedded, along with the owners of capital. Additionally, international organizations should provide the means and context for making at least some economic decisions since many issues transcend national boundaries.
VERDICT This meticulous analysis will interest those with a serious concern for economic public policy.

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