Date: July 05, 2022
“Can society continue its long-run trajectory and commit to institutional, legal, social, fiscal, and educational systems that can advance equality?
World-renowned economist and inequality researcher Thomas Piketty in conversation with Rob Johnson, President of the Institute for New Economic Thinking about Piketty’s just-released book, A Brief History of Equality.
The book condenses 20 years’ worth of research into inequality and provides well-founded reasons to believe that recent trends in the growth of inequality can be reversed in the not too distant future.
Piketty reminds us that the grand sweep of history gives us reasons to be optimistic. Over the centuries, his new book shows, we have been moving toward greater equality. The book guides the reader through the great movements that have made the modern world for better and worse: the growth of capitalism, revolutions, imperialism, slavery, wars, and the building of the welfare state. It’s a history of violence and social struggle, punctuated by regression and disaster. But through it all, Piketty shows, human societies have moved fitfully toward a more just distribution of income and assets, a reduction of racial and gender inequalities, and greater access to health care, education, and the rights of citizenship. Our rough march forward is political and ideological, an endless fight against injustice. To keep moving, Piketty argues, we need to learn and commit to what works, to institutional, legal, social, fiscal, and educational systems that can make equality a lasting reality. At the same time, we need to resist historical amnesia and the temptations of cultural separatism and intellectual compartmentalization. At stake is the quality of life for billions of people. We know we can do better, Piketty concludes.
A Brief History of Equality
Thomas Piketty’s Personal Website
I’ve never been opposed to foreign aid, or redistribution of wealth, in principle…
…I’ve never been opposed to high taxation on actual wealthy people and business entities…
…I have become an ardent supporter of Basic Universal Income [BUI]…
What do we do, however, about the mountain of corruption standing in the way of income and resources making it into the hands of the masses?…and not being used to commit atrocities?
This has always been one of the biggest outrages, about habitually sending foreign aid to places like Israel, or Saudi Arabia.
You cannot implement a global safety net, or minimum standard of security, when so called “leaders” are there to enrich themselves, while visiting cruelty on the people.
People who have no interest or care in the well being of the masses, have no place in such a system…They will stop such a system from working…
…They need to be brought down, and brought to justice.
It might sound sacrilegious to say I don’t support a free market…but fact is…I do not support a strictly free market…
…Commodity staples need to be heavily structured, in their distribution and costs…Perhaps novelty and leisure items should remain a free market.
Essentials [food, water, clothing, shelter, hygiene, health, transportation, etc.] should always be available and accessible…Cost should never be a barrier…because these are essential to survival in todays world…
…Non essentials are where they can tax, but allow public demand to dictate prices and availability.
To those opposed to this I would ask…How do you justify ranking your own greed for hording, over the literal survival and suffering of the masses?
…That strikes me as…evil…frankly.
What are you going to do with all this accumulated excess, which was originally intended to circulate among the masses in the first place?
How does your ambition “outrank” the simple survival of others?
It seems to me…if nobody is left needing and wanting because of socially institutional impoverishment…there are so many social ills which could be vastly reduced…
…Why cant people be happy, with just having enough to cover their needs?
It will free them to pick and choose their own hobbies and interests.
They can still work towards things which enrich their lives.
I think…nearly everybodys life will be better, when they no longer have to worry about money…When they’re just free to live…
…We have enough wealth, resources and technology on this planet…to where there never needs to be social inequality, of any form.
…Why don’t we have that?…Who is standing in the way?