May 27, 2014

Anti-Capitalist Book Errs

Piketty plays fast and loose with facts.

French economist and leftist darling Thomas Piketty rose to fame with his anti-capitalist book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” His study surmised that capitalism has the greatest disproportionate effect on income inequality. The Financial Times, however, says Piketty’s analysis is fundamentally flawed. “[T]he rock-star French economist appears to have got his sums wrong,” writes Chris Giles. “The data underpinning Professor Piketty’s 577-page tome … contain a series of errors that skew his findings.” He adds, “[T]here are transcription errors from the original sources and incorrect formulas. It also appears that some of the data are cherry-picked or constructed without an original source. For example, once the FT cleaned up and simplified the data, the European numbers do not show any tendency towards rising wealth inequality after 1970.” Socialism isn’t based on facts or the end result, but rather its intentions. More…

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