The Financial Times and Thomas Piketty

The Financial Times and problems with Thomas Piketty

The FT and bloggers about Piketty’s book and Piketty himself make (at least) two basic mistakes. The first is to think that income, wealth and capital data especially in early periods are anything but guesses based on more or less arbitrary assumptions; and perhaps sensitively dependent on these assumptions. The second is to fail to see that all propositions in economics are probability statements; probability statements probably based on distributions with very long tails. Who knows?

Let’s call them not mistakes, but casual observations.  I suggest that majority of casual observations indicate that the very rich are getting richer and more and more powerful. A good methodological principle is just to look.


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