Thomas Piketty seems to have stirred up a new Red Scare.
His new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is being hailed as the most important book of the decade, even the century. The French economist’s 696-page tome is sold out on Amazon, where it’s the No. 1 bestseller.
Backed by centuries of data, Piketty posits that unregulated capitalism naturally widens the wealth gap between rich and poor, and will continue to do so. Returns on capital, such as real estate or stocks, grow faster than the larger economy, so the wealthy accumulate more wealth over time while the working classes divvy up a shrinking share of the pie.
"This is the central reason why we had so much wealth concentration in the past," Piketty told HuffPost Live last week. "In the 20th century we forgot about this because there were several very unusual events that made this different. But in the future, there are reasons to believe we might return to this inequality.”
Needless to say, conservatives are panicking, looking for any way to refute Piketty’s work.
“Good luck with that,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote on Thursday. "The really striking thing about the debate so far is that the right seems unable to mount any kind of substantive counterattack to Mr. Piketty’s thesis."
But thanks to the free market of ideas that is Amazon's product review section, some game-changing rebuttals have trickled down: