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The mythology of capital in the twenty-first century
Published in Fayetteville State University
Volume: 31
Issue: 1
Pages: 21 - 36
In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty argues that capitalism can generate arbitrary and unsustainable levels of inequality. He proposes a host of measures to alter the institutions of capitalism to create a more just social order. Piketty’s analytical framework, however, assumes away the reasons for the very existence of the institutions he intends to modify. In addition, Piketty treats capital as a homogeneous entity. In the real world, there is no such thing as “capital” apart from the concrete and specific forms it takes. Capital has both a time structure and a goods structure, with varying degrees of specificity within those structures. The price system, along with other institutions, coordinates the capital structure of an economy. Without heterogeneity of capital, there are no coordination problems, and without coordination problems, there is no need for the institutions of capitalism. In this sense, Capital in the Twenty-First Century is prescription without diagnosis. © 2016, Fayetteville State University. All rights reserved.
About the journal
JournalJournal of Private Enterprise
PublisherFayetteville State University
Open AccessNo