What are teh 1% so scared of? | “The Piketty Panic”

Paul Krugman of teh #NYTimes has written an excellent Op Ed piece that should interest all of us. Especially those not among teh 1% Oligarchs that own most of teh worlds riKrugman_New-thumbLargeches. Krugman starts by calling the writer of a book a phenomenon.

““Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the new book by the French economist Thomas Piketty, is a bona fide phenomenon. “

Why is this and why is teh only comment from teh super rich that Mr. Piketty must be a Marxist
Krugman continues:  “Other books on economics have been best sellers, but Mr. Piketty’s contribution is serious, discourse-changing scholarship in a way most best sellers aren’t. And conservatives are terrified. Thus James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute warns in National Review that Mr. Piketty’s work must be refuted, because otherwise it “will spread among the clerisy and reshape the political economic landscape on which all future policy battles will be waged.”

Well, good luck with that. The really striking thing about the debate so far is that the right seems unable to mount any kind of substantive counterattack to Mr. Piketty’s thesis. Instead, the response has been all about name-calling — in particular, claims that Mr. Piketty is a Marxist, and so is anyone who considers inequality of income and wealth an important issue.”

Who is the author and what is teh “Second Belle Époque”?
Thomas Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics, isn’t a household name, although that may change with the English-language publication of his magnificent, sweeping meditation on inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Yet his influence runs deep. It has become a commonplace to say that we are living in a second Gilded Age—or, as Piketty likes to put it, a second Belle Époque—defined by the incredible rise of the “one percent.” But it has only become a commonplace thanks to Piketty’s work.

Oh teh irony!
Mr. Krugmans article has a lot of comments, but teh best one is of the teh ironic kind. Especially funny to me since my home country is Norway where we all pay taxes and all get free healthcare. We are even worse than Canada. [insert international symbol for irony here]

Featured Comment / Francis Volpe / Carlisle, Penn.
“Oh dear God, we’ll be like Sweden and Norway! The horror!”

Photo by Emmanuelle Marchadour

Photo by Emmanuelle Marchadour

Since 1980 the one percent has seen its income share surge again
In another article Krugman wrote about this book, Why We Are In a New Gilded Age,  a paragraph stands out to me:
“It therefore came as a revelation when Piketty and his colleagues showed that incomes of the now famous “one percent,” and of even narrower groups, are actually the big story in rising inequality. And this discovery came with a second revelation: talk of a second Gilded Age, which might have seemed like hyperbole, was nothing of the kind. In America in particular the share of national income going to the top one percent has followed a great U-shaped arc. Before World War I the one percent received around a fifth of total income in both Britain and the United States. By 1950 that share had been cut by more than half. But since 1980 the one percent has seen its income share surge again—and in the United States it’s back to what it was a century ago.”

Here is teh article from Mr. Krugman and information on where to get teh book at teh lowest price on paper or Kindle
The Piketty Panic – NYTimes.com.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century  (Click title to go to Amazon)
by Thomas Piketty, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer
Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 685 pp.,

If you would like to save 28 dollars you can go here to download it from The Pirate Bay.




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TTIP Updates – The Glyn Moody blogs

TTIP Updates – The Glyn Moody blogs

Tracking the twists and turns of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and spelling out what it really means

Glyn MoodyAt the start of 2012 I began a series of posts about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – ACTA. These took the form of updates on how ACTAwas developing. I did this because I had a sense of how quickly things were moving, and how complicated the issues were, and I wanted to try to track those as they happened.

To make that easier, Computerworld UK brought those updates together on a single page. It turned out to be an extremely exciting ride as opposition toACTA grew across Europe, culminating in the rejection by the European Parliament on 4 July last year.

However, one thing we have learned is that those behind unbalanced laws like SOPA and treaties like ACTA, never give up. If they fail with one, they just try again with another. And so it turns out in the wake of ACTA’s demise. We are now witnessing exactly the same secretive approach being applied to TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – originally known as TAFTA, the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement.

Although TTIP only began a few months ago, it is becoming increasingly controversial as more people begin to realise what is at stake. As I explain in several updates below, one of the key problems is the presence of “investor-state dispute settlement” – ISDS – which I predict will prove to be the most contentious part of TTIP.

Indeed, I think it is likely that ISDS will generate so much resistance among the European public that ultimately it will be removed from TTIP completely in order to give other parts more chance of being passed by the European Parliament, which must approve the agreement once it has been negotiated. What follows is my attempt to track the twists and turns of the journey to that final, fateful vote.

TTIP Update l

A review of the few details that emerged from the first round of negotiations, including an attempt by the European Commission to convince us that TAFTA/TTIP is not another ACTA.

TTIP Update ll

An introduction to investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS), and why its presence in TAFTA/TTIP is a grave threat to European sovereignty, open source and the Internet.


A point-by-point rebuttal of a document in which the European Commission tries to prove that the presence of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in TTIP is not a problem.

TTIP Update IV

An exploration of how the public is kept in the dark over TAFTA/TTIP, and the dangrous asymmetries it contains.

TTIP Update V

A discussion of a major Wikileaks document discussing intellectual monopolies in TAFTA/TTIP’s sister agreement, TPP, and what it means for TTIP.

TTIP Update VI

An analysis of a leaked document outlining the European Commission’s communication strategy forTAFTA/TTIP, and a look at how disastrous other trade agreements like NAFTA and KORUS have been.


Yet another, increasingly desperate attempt to justify the unjustifiable inclusion of ISDS in TAFTA/TTIP, and why the arguments simply don’t stand up to scrutiny.


Lifting the lid on how a new transatlantic “TTIP Regulatory Council” would bring in massive deregulation, with a consequent lowering of food, health and environmental standards in Europe.

TTIP Update IX

How an astonishing attack on Corporate Europe Observatory reveals a floundering European Commission increasingly concerned that it is losing control of the TAFTA/TTIP debate.

TTIP Update X

Another (failed) attack, this time by Karel De Gucht, the EU’s trade commissioner, who laughably tries to claim that there is no lack of transparency in the TAFTA negotiations, and that it’s worth accepting the threats posed by ISDS.

TTIP Update XI

So it looks like TAFTA/TTIP is, in fact, ACTA by the backdoor – despite what Mr De Gucht has said…


Why the US Fast Track bill guarantees that TAFTA’ISDS chapter will be one-sided and unfair for EU companies


Big news: EU pulls ISDS to allow unprecedented public consultation; UK report says ISDS in TTIPwould bring little or no benefit


What new CETA leaks tell us about EU’s plans to re-vamp ISDS – and why they aren’t enough to protect European sovereignty or democracy

TTIP Update XV

There are growing calls to keep data protection out of TAFTA/TTIP – and to reject the agreement if the privacy of European citizens is not adequately protected


More details emerge on ISDS provisions, and a rather ironic call for transparency from the paranoically opaque USTR


Bad news, lots of leaks, plus debunking another misleading European Commission document


New leaks, new Web sites, a hidden threat from the “most-favoured nation” approach, and an astonishing claim that Germany wants ISDS out of TTIP


A newly-discovered CETA bug shows why the European Commission needs transparency; also, why regulatory data must be opendata

TTIP Update XX

All about transparency in TTIP – or, rather, the almost complete lack of it; includes details of three phantom EU consultations I never heard about, and few took part in


Why that best-case “€119 bn” GDP boost to EU economy equates to just an extra cup of coffee every month