You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
Zeitgeist has a power beyond the realm of policy. This would have been the appropriate response* to Josef Stalin’s query regarding how many divisions the Pope had in his army. What the mass of society thinks influences reality to almost the same degree as the codified edicts of that society’s law. I therefore find it more than inadvertently related that Mr. Piketty’s hate fest against inequality correlates in time with the decline in American Dynamism. If you tell success that it can cheerfully go fornicate off, it will be happy to do so. It will never darken your threshold again. That’s what Piketty, and those who think like him are engaged in doing.
In fairness to Thomas Piketty, this hateful attitude of resenting all success directly athwart the 10th Maxim of The Decalogue, long preceded the writing and publication of
- Capital In The 21st Century.
If this were not the case, Piketty would be a prophet without profit** rather than a chic media Rockstar of the current Zeitgeist. Piketty has chosen to put himself forward as a symbol, and thus becomes a lightning rod. He’s Sauron’s Mouth of The Moment, so to speak. So what evil doth Piketty speak with an adder’s tongue? Fair question. Here are two representative samples.
Daniel Schuchman of The Wall Street Journal describes how Piketty values the labor of most working professionals.
Mr. Piketty believes that only the productivity of low-wage workers can be measured objectively. He posits that when a job is replicable, like an “assembly line worker or fast-food server,” it is relatively easy to measure the value contributed by each worker. These workers are therefore entitled to what they earn. He finds the productivity of high-income earners harder to measure and believes their wages are in the end “largely arbitrary.” They reflect an “ideological construct” more than merit.
So you have no value beyond what you arrogantly imagine you have. As Grima Wormtongue said of Rohan, your workplaces and homes are ”thatched barns where drunkards reel.” “You didn't build that!” said President Obama. You are not entitled to what you foolishly and naively believe you have earned. Nothing can be objectively measured above the plane of a burger-flipper wrapping up the crud-burgers at Mickey D’s. You are therefore sinners in the hands of a vengeful dialectical materialist. And here is the judgment pronounced by Mr. Piketty.
So what is to be done? Mr. Piketty urges an 80% tax rate on incomes starting at "$500,000 or $1 million." This is not to raise money for education or to increase unemployment benefits. Quite the contrary, he does not expect such a tax to bring in much revenue, because its purpose is simply "to put an end to such incomes."
So maybe Mr. Piketty policy prescriptions will never even make the floor at The House of Representatives, but he must be toasting marsh-mellows over the burning corpse of America’s entrepreneurial spirit. It must make this hate-filled, vengeful man who deigns to believe he has a right to put an end to such incomes jump for joy when America creates fewer businesses than it destroys for the first time since this has been tracked. While you and yours starve, this tousle-loafered tenured parasite drinks his Dom Perignon in celebration of your utter dispossession.
Mr. Piketty celebrates victory in a long and bitter war against entrepreneurial genius. Like the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima, he has finally crushed a hated enemy. From Karl Marx to John Maynard Keynes, to John Kenneth Galbraith, through Paul Krugman and on up to Thomas Piketty, the totalistic hatred of individual merit and effort has undergirded the ignorant Leftist ideal of “You didn’t build that!” Well no, Mr. Piketty, from 2008 to 2011 nobody has been building much of anything. You are getting what you asked for. You are seeing true equality where it always occurs –at the Zero!
Success is no more interested in you than you are interested in success. Insult success and success will leave you and never return. If you did not build that; you won’t have it for shelter when the storm arises to smite down all those in its path. And when that storm arises to extend its iniquitous reach across the darkening plain, may God have mercy on all those fools who listened to the likes of Thomas Piketty.
*-If you wanted an all expense paid trip above the Arctic Circle to Archangel.
** - I can only wonder how conflicting Piketty feels about earning millions for insulting people who earn millions.