بيكيتي والمنتفعون المفقودون

كمبريدج ــ الواقع أن أغلب التعليقات في استعراض كتاب توماس بيكيتي، رأس المال في القرن الحادي والعشرين، كُتِبَت بالفعل منذ صعوده المذهل إلى رأس قوائم الكتب الأكثر مبيعاً في شهر إبريل/نيسان. بيد أنني رأيت أنه من الحكمة أن أقرأ الكتاب بالكامل قبل عرض أي أفكار عنه. وقد استغرق الأمر خمسة أشهر، ولكنني انتهيت من قراءته أخيرا.

من بين الأمور التي يشترك فيها هذا الكتاب مع كتاب رأس المال لكارل ماركس أنه يخدم كنقطة تجميع لأولئك المعنيين بالتفاوت بين الناس بصرف النظر عن فهمهم للحجج التي يسوقها بيكيتي في كتابه أو اتفاقهم معها. ومن الإنصاف أن نذكر هنا أنه في حين كان أقل القليل من ما كتبه ماركس يستند إلى إحصاءات اقتصادية تم جمعها بعناية ودقة، وكان الكثير منه غريبا، فإن قدراً كبيراً من ما يكتبه بيكيتي يعتمد على إحصاءات اقتصادية مجموعة بعناية ودقة، وأقل القليل منه غريب.

في الولايات المتحدة، كان التفاوت بين الناس في الدخل في ارتفاع وفقاً لأغلب المقاييس منذ عام 1981، وبحلول عام 2007 بلغ التفاوت تقريباً الذروة التي سجلها في أوائل القرن العشرين. ويصدق نفس القول على المملكة المتحدة وكندا وأستراليا. ففي هذه البلدان سجل التفاوت في الدخول انخفاضاً حاداً في الفترة من عام 1914 إلى عام 1950، كما حدث في فرنسا وألمانيا واليابان والسويد. ولكن في المجموعة الأخيرة، أصبح توزيع الدخل الآن أقرب إلى المساواة مقارنة بما كان عليه عندما بلغ ذروة التفاوت قبل مائة عام.

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