皮克提忽略的吃租者

美国剑桥—大部分关于托马斯·皮克提(Thomas Piketty)的《二十一世纪资本论》(Capital in the Twenty-First Century)的书评是在4月份该书一炮而红、登上畅销书榜首时写的。但我认为,明智的做法是先通读全书,在给出感想。我花了五个月读这本书,好歹是读完了。

该书与马克思的《资本论》(Capital)的一个共同点是,它成了召集担心不平等性的人的一面旗帜,不管他们是否理解或同意皮克提的具体观点。平心而论,尽管马克思的著作很少具有仔细搜集的经济数据作为支撑,并且许多内容堪称海外奇谈,但皮克提著作的大部分内容建立在仔细搜集的经济数据的基础上,很少有海外奇谈。

在美国,大部分不平等性指标自1981年以来都在上升,2007年几乎已经达到20世纪初的最高水平。英国、加拿大和澳大利亚也是如此。在这些国家,收入不平等性在1941—1950年期间迅速下降,法国、德国、日本和瑞典也是如此。但后几个国家目前的收入分配比一百年前不平等性最严重的时候平均得多。

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