Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is Piketty's "Capital" Another "Arming America"?

Well, the weekend brought a crazy turn of events in regards to the leftist IT-girl of the moment, Thomas Piketty.  The Financial Times has done some ciphering and is saying that Piketty's empirical work is suspect (wonkspeak for "facts are wrong").  The story is gathering steam and here is the raw take at this point.

The FT Isn't Just Saying Piketty Made A Mistake — It's Saying He Manipulated Data
aka He made shit up.

WOW.  This could blow up into a world-class intellectual scandal, completely discredit all of Piketty's work, and set leftist economics back decades after they put so much of their reputations on the line in ballyhooing Piketty.  This could be Michael Bellesiles all over again.  

Or it could all be covered up by the media, much in the opposite way that it stirred up controversy over Rogoff and Reinhart last year because their ballyhooed work didn't fit the narrative.  Piketty's work is the Mother of All Narrative-Fitting Things, so nothing to see here...

It is worth noting that after Bellesiles was exposed as an academic fraud and his thesis was debunked, the Supreme Court went on to strengthen, in the Heller and MacDonald rulings, the individual right interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, precisely what Bellesiles's book sought to undermine.  The Arming America controversy brought alot of material and legal argument up to the surface just in time for the SCOTUS to issue those landmark rulings.

If only the incipient Piketty hubbub were to progress in such a fashion, we might get a window of a decade or two safe from the prospect of a massively redistributive taxes, until the tyrants can regroup and/or incubate a new generation of redistributionists.


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