Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the Twenty-first Century" has been getting a lot of attention as of late . I have collected a series of book reviews that provide a bit of perspective on the book. This could either prove to be prophetic, or another "End of History and the Last Man”.
Piketty’s central thesis: when inherited wealth growth exceeds income growth generated by innovation and increases in GDP, inherited wealth triumps over the nouveau riche. By limiting social mobility, these factors act to sharpen income inequality . This scenario was true in the 19th century, but not in the 20th — in a period where opportunities for growth exceeded inherited wealth.
The fear is that in the twenty-first century, slow growth and high levels of inequality will return us to a pattern typical of the 19th century and the European middle ages. In the case of the latter, the primary source of wealth generation came from rents paid to a landed gentry .
So either history is truly cyclical, or this state of affairs can be contrasted with the prediction made by Karl Marx with respect to the end of capitalism . You know, the one that predicts the devaluation of most forms of labor. Piketty’s solution to countering this type of structural inequality is wealth redistribution, which is something America pioneered , but is needed on a global scale to avoid the predicted negative consequences of economic growth stagnation .
 Here is my collection of Piketty reviews so far (in no particular order):
An Interview with Adair Turner: “Which Capitalism for the 21rst Century?”. Institute for New Economic Thinking blog, November 12 (2013).
Hutton, W. Capitalism simply isn’t working and here are the reason why. The Guardian, April 12 (2014).
Cassidy, J. Forces of Divergence: is surging inequality endemic to capitalism? The New Yorker, March 31 (2014).
Galbraith, J.K. Kapital for the Twenty-first Century? Institute for New Economic Thinking blog, March 31 (2014).
Yglesias, M. The Short Guide to Capital in the 21rst Century. Vox blog, April 8 (2014).
Krugman, P. Why we’re in a New Gilded Age. New York Review of Books, April 10 (2014).
Shenk, T. Thomas Piketty and Millenial Marxists on the Scourge of Inequality. The Nation, April 14 (2014).
Faux, J. Thomas Piketty Undermines the Hallowed Tenets of the Capitalist Catechism. The Nation, April 18 (2014).
Wolf, M. "Capital in the Twenty-first Century", by Thomas Piketty. FinancialTimes.com, April 15 (2014).
 Krugman, P. Piketty Day Notes. Conscience of a Liberal blog, April 16 (2014).
[3 Kaminska, I. The Tyrrany of Land. Dizzynomics blog, February 5 (2014).
 Jeffries, S. Karl Marx’s guide to the end of capitalism: a primer. The Guardian, October 20 (2008).
 Geier, K. Taking Aim at Inequality. Blog of the Century, March 12 (2014) AND Yglesias, M. If growth is dead, we need radical redistribution. Moneybox blog, October 7 (2013).
 Cowen, T. "Unified Growth Theory" by Oded Galor. Marginal Revolution blog, June 9 (2011) AND Kuznets Curve. Wikipedia. December 30 (2013).