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Liberty, Piketty, Fraternity, Eagle Eye

Liberty, Piketty, Fraternity

We are agreed. Thomas Piketty has been on Channel 4 News and accepted that there has been “only a limited rise in wealth inequality in Europe” in recent decades, whereas it has risen greatly in America. This is what I said. (Video below thanks to Guido Fawkes.)
The situation in America is quite different. Indeed, Piketty [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 9:49 pm

Piketty Picked Apart, Eagle Eye

Piketty Picked Apart

Chris Giles on Financial Times Blogs has done a superb piece of work, investigating Thomas Piketty’s acclaimed “comprehensive” statistics on the distribution of wealth, and has found that the numbers for several European countries are hard to explain.
I thought Piketty’s figures did not match the British statistics with which I was familiar, as I said [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 24 May 2014 at 1:11 pm

Gap between rich and poor unchanged, Eagle Eye

Gap between rich and poor unchanged

Everyone knows that the gap between rich and poor in Britain is growing ever wider. After all, a French economist said so. Yet new figures published by the independent Office for National Statistics today, from the Wealth and Assets Survey 2010-12, show that there has been no change in the inequality of wealth since 2006.
I reproduce [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 15 May 2014 at 11:19 am

Piketty and Green Eggs and Ham, Eagle Eye

Piketty and Green Eggs and Ham

I have finally knuckled down and read some of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and I have to admit I like it, Sam-I-Am. (Previous scepticism here and here.)
How could one not warm to the intellectual arrogance of someone who dismisses Karl Marx thus?
He no doubt lacked the statistical data needed to refine his [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 5 May 2014 at 10:52 am

More Piketty Rebutty, Eagle Eye

More Piketty Rebutty

Further to my post about Thomas Piketty yesterday, which mentioned that Prof James Galbraith was a doubter, he has been in touch to draw my attention to a new paper by a colleague of his, Wenjie Zhang, which suggests that income inequality in China peaked in 2008, as Simon Kuznets would predict (and Piketty would [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 4 May 2014 at 8:11 pm

Riketty Piketty, Eagle Eye

Riketty Piketty

If Thomas Piketty’s thesis is that rich countries are moving inevitably and imminently to Victorian levels of inequality, it is not supported by the evidence he adduces for the UK.
I haven’t read much of the book yet, but I am suspicious of it, because it seems to be telling wide-eyed anti-capitalists what they want to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 3 May 2014 at 1:58 pm

Good sense from Osborne, Eagle Eye

Good sense from Osborne

The Chancellor has just delivered a thoughtful speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. I thought this section, rebutting Ed Miliband’s “broken link” and “hollowed out middle” theses, was clear and persuasive:
I believe that if we reward hard work and support people’s aspirations to provide a better life for their family then there is [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 11 April 2014 at 8:56 pm

The Definition of Marriage, Eagle Eye

The Definition of Marriage

These are tumultuous times for the LGBT movement, with each passing year bringing exhilaration and despair in roughly equal measure.

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 13 February 2014 at 7:54 pm

Wealth more equal in UK than Germany or Sweden, Eagle Eye

Wealth more equal in UK than Germany or Sweden

Someone asked me today how inequality in South Africa compared with that in the United States.* I don’t know if they were trying to make the point that Nelson Mandela had failed to achieve an egalitarian paradise, which would have been a pretty daft point to score.
To answer the question, income appears to be more [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 6 December 2013 at 9:32 pm

Boris Blows It, Eagle Eye

Boris Blows It

I have already commented on Boris Johnson’s Margaret Thatcher lecture here, here and in The Independent on Sunday today, where I say his mischievous identification with the right wing of the Conservative Party has harmed his chances of winning the leadership.
Or, as I put it, Theresa May has just come a little closer to being [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 1 December 2013 at 3:17 pm

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