Thomas Piketty quotes

Who the heck is Thomas Piketty?

Thomas Piketty is a French left-wing economist whose work focuses on wealth and income inequality. Piketty came into the spotlights with his ginormous book 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century'.

Thomas Piketty books

Thomas Piketty quotes

“All signs are that the Scandinavian countries, where wage inequality is more moderate than elsewhere, owe this result in large part to the fact that their educational system is relatively egalitarian and inclusive.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“At the heart of every major political upheaval lies a fiscal revolution.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“Democracy will never be supplanted by a republic of experts—and that is a very good thing.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“For millions of people, “wealth” amounts to little more than a few weeks’ wages in a checking account or low-interest savings account, a car, and a few pieces of furniture. The inescapable reality is this: wealth is so concentrated that a large segment of society is virtually unaware of its existence, so that some people imagine that it belongs to surreal or mysterious entities. That is why it is so essential to study capital and its distribution in a methodical, systematic way.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“I don't think there is any serious evidence that we need to be paying people more than 100 times the average wage in order to get high-performing managers.”

Thomas Piketty

“It's not Utopian to believe that we can create a global registry of financial assets so we know who owns what in different countries.”

Thomas Piketty

“No hypocrisy is too great when economic and financial elites are obliged to defend their interest.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“Our modern democratic ideal is based on the hope that inequalities will be based on merit more than inheritance or luck.”

Thomas Piketty

“Over a long period of time, the main force in favor of greater equality has been the diffusion of knowledge and skills.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“Refusing to deal with numbers rarely serves the interests of the least well-off.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“The distribution of wealth is too important an issue to be left to economists, sociologists, historians, and philosophers.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“The general evolution is clear: bubbles aside, what we are witnessing is a strong comeback of private capital in the rich countries since 1970, or, to put it another way, the emergence of a new patrimonial capitalism.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“The history of the distribution of wealth has always been deeply political, and it cannot be reduced to purely economic mechanisms.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“To put it bluntly, the discipline of economics has yet to get over its childish passion for mathematics and for purely theoretical and often highly ideological speculation, at the expense of historical research and collaboration with the other social sciences.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“United States on the one hand this is a country of egalitarian promise, a land of opportunity for millions of immigrants of modest background; on the other hand it is a land of extremely brutal inequality, especially in relation to race.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“We want capitalism and market forces to be the slave of democracy rather than the opposite.”

Thomas Piketty

“Wealth is so concentrated that a large segment of society is virtually unaware of its existence.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“What was the good of industrial development, what was the good of all the technological innovations, toil, and population movements if, after half a century of industrial growth, the condition of the masses was still just as miserable as before, and all lawmakers could do was prohibit factory labor by children under the age of eight?”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century

“When inequality gets to an extreme, it is completely useless for growth.”

Thomas Piketty

“When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.”

Thomas Piketty Capital in the Twenty-First Century