Capitalism as the trigger for inequality in the 21st century: A review of Ulrich Horstmann’s book called “Everything you need to know about ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ by Thomas Piketty” – written by Marco Duller, translated by Stefan Müller.
Thomas Piketty created a lot of controversy with his book “Capital in the Twenty-first Century”. There has hardly been a big newspaper that did not report about his work or started a debate about Piketty’s theses. Ulrich Horstmann recently published the book “Everything you need to know about ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ by Thomas Piketty” with the publisher called “Finanzbuchverlag”.
The French economist Piketty initiated a wide-ranging debate about the distribution of wealth with his book published this year. Basically, his message can be summarized as follows: Capital is pooled in the hands of few people, which leads to massive inequality. His solution: Higher taxes worldwide so there will be no chance of escaping.
“Wealth is not properly distributed”
Horstmann’s approach to the work is to first describe the author Piketty and his socialization which certainly influenced the theses in his book significantly. The book’s idea of inequality as a cause for social unrest earned favorable reactions by many intellectuals especially in the US, according to Horstmann. Capitalism, which promotes inequality, is being criticized, not so much the state itself, which is an ideal contribution to the dispute of economists in the US. Piketty’s analysis in the book leads him to state his recommendation as follows:
“Wealth is not properly distributed. That is why I am in favor of a progressive wealth tax, which rises the richer someone becomes. It is not supposed to harm people that just started accumulating wealth. However, one has to pay as soon as they surpass a certain level. I am not in favor of higher taxes on capital gains. For people with low gains, taxes should even be lower” – Thomas Piketty (Horstmann, p. 69.).
Ulrich Horstmann’s book is thoroughly worth reading. In 100 pages, it shortly summarizes what Piketty’s publication is about, including a critical analysis and classification of the respective theses. Those who do not have the time to read Piketty’s 700 pages, Ulrich Horstmann’s book is definitely worth reading in order to be able to discuss the topic of wealth distribution.
About the book (German Version):
Ulrich Horstmann: Alles was Sie über „Das Kapital im 21. Jahrhundert von Thomas Piketty“ wissen müssen, FinanzBuch Verlag, ISBN 978-3-89879-884-6, Preis: 6,99 EUR.