Thomas Piketty’s book “Capital In the 21st Century” has surprised some by becoming a NYT Bestseller and a Longfellow Books top seller, too! It is surprising only because the book is long and long on data and we’ve become accustomed to assuming that our public conversations are fueled on tweets rather than tomes. However, the exploration of wealth and income inequality in society –and in particular, in modern Western societies including the United States — intersects with a lived reality that is sobering, perplexing and requires complex responses.
The Portland Public Library’s “Choose Civility” Initiative and City of Readers’ Team are thrilled to invite economists Susan Feiner and Garrett Martin to help us better understand the data and the arguments made in Picketty’s book and to answer questions about the text. Our evening will also include ample opportunity for discussion about the book and the ideas raised in it.
If you do not have the book (or time to read the whole thing) there are some great guides and reviews online that provide an overview and some critique:
- The Financial Times posted an in-depth blog post leveraging critiques about Piketty’s data and data analysis; an interesting back and forth has followed.
- Bill Moyers posts lots of related links here and provides more resources and analysis regarding the importance of addressing economic inequality here.
- The New York Times maintains an income inequality topics page.
- Watch a Cornell roundtable on the book
- Watch Senator Elizabeth Warren and author Thomas Picketty discuss inequality via MoveOn
- Read a critique of the book in the Wall Street Journal
- Read a related book on the topic
Use comments to submit questions for Professor Susan Feiner and economist Garrett Martin ahead of time or come participate in what should be a lively civil conversation regarding our shared economy — June 24th at 6:30pm in Meeting Room 5!