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Book review: Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty

Why is inequality rising—and will it now fall?

By Robert Skidelsky   April 2014

Over 1,000 people lie down on a San Francisco beach to spell out “TAX THE 1%” ©2011 John Montgomery

The early 19th-century founders of the classical school of economics reasoned that the distribution of a society’s income depended crucially on who owned its productive resources. David Ricardo identified three classes of producer, landlords, capitalists and workers. Each of these classes owned a factor of production—land, capital and labour. With land and capital scarce relative to labour, landlords and capitalists could claim a disproportionate share of the produce…

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