Anne Perkins in The Guardian:
In fact, Piketty says, even what he calls the “meritocratic extremists” like bankers with their bonus bonanzas are never going to be as rich as those whose wealth is founded on vastly valuable property rights such as Britain’s super-rich, old aristocratic families like the Cadogans and the Westminsters.
OK, let’s take Piketty’s ideas as being true, just for the sake of this argument. Those that have wealth become ever wealthier simply because the returns to wealth are greater than the general growth rate in the economy. And this means that buying and selling things ain’t ever going to get you to that wealthy peak. All you need is to have inherited some great asset, like a few hundred acres of central London that your family has neither bought nor sold for some three or four centuries, and you’ll be richer than any of the great entrepreneurs, any of those who try to come up through trade or anything like that.
So, what’s the proffered solution to this?
Piketty’s analysis is fascinating and persuasive, but it is hard to see how to make it politically useful when the humblest effort to raise even the smallest levy on financial transactions,
What? The analysis is that doing transactions isn’t what creates the wealth. Have and hold without transactions is what does. So how does taxing the transactions that the greatly wealthy don’t do and don’t have to do deal with the problem of the greatly wealthy?
Seriously what sins have we as a nation committed to end up with a commentariat this damn stupid?