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Piketty’s Hypothesis Correct, Framework Problematic

Professor Prabhat Patnaik recently delivered the Jyoti Basu Centenary Lecture on ‘Capitalism, Inequality and Globalisation’. Critiquing Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty First Century”, he said that although Piketty’s hypothesis that income and wealth inequalities are on a rise under contemporary capitalism is correct, the neo-classical theory on which he bases his argument is problematic. It has “dangerous political implications” and blames trade unions for the inability to achieve full employability. Patnaik counters Piketty’s claim that inequalities will rise due to slowing down of population growth, instead attributing it to expanding labour reserves.


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