Inequality by the Numbers

May 15, 2014 | CUNY Lecture Series

The tendency of the rate of return on capital to exceed the growth rate under modern capitalism is “a very strong force pushing toward potentially very large inequalities in wealth,” argues economist Thomas Piketty, author of the best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Speaking at The CUNY Graduate Center, Piketty says “inequalities may return to, or be even higher than, 19th-century levels.” But that isn’t inevitable. “A proper progressive tax on net wealth” argues Piketty, “can be a way to try to increase wealth mobility and to make this vast quantity of wealth, which is in itself a good thing, more equally distributed.”