In this lecture, Professor Richard Epstein – Professor Emeritus of Law and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School – critiques the thesis and policy recommendations of French economist Thomas Piketty. Piketty’s recent book, Capital in the Twenty-First century, suggested that capitalism would lead to exploding inequality of wealth and that net wealth taxes and high marginal tax rates on high earners were necessary in order to rein in these excesses before we saw negative implications for democracy. Epstein critiques Piketty’s whole thesis, outlining why he believes inequality is not the great problem Piketty implies, how Piketty’s understanding of capital markets is misguided and why high taxes on income and wealth will make everyone worse off.
This lecture is based on an article penned by Prof. Epstein, which can be found here.
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