Michael Hudson: This Is Risking A Threat Of War + Is Thomas Picketty Right About The Causes of Inequality?

with Michael Hudson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
April 25, 2014

Renegade Economists interview April 22nd, 2014
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Karl Fitzgerald: Michael Hudson – www.Michael-Hudson.com – is back on the 3CR airwaves with an explosive show moving through the incredible wealth gap as outlined by Thomas Piketty. His book is barnstorming the world at the moment. We review it, alongside a bit of Marxist theory as we slide into what America is really up to in the Ukraine. It’s always interesting with Michael Hudson. Stay tuned for another instalment of the Renegade Economists.

Sweeping the world have been glowing reviews of the new book by Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century. I’ve been pounding on the bookshop doors asking when it’s arriving, this 700-page opus. It hasn’t hit here yet but I’ve read many book reviews. Have you had a chance to grab a hold of this must-read document?

Michael Hudson: No, but I have worked on the statistics that he uses for the last 50 years, so I know the problems with the statistics and what they can do and what they can’t do. And I’ve read what he’s been publishing all along with his colleague in California, Emanuel Saez, about the concentration of wealth and income at the top of the pyramid.

Karl: And that’s the big point is that he’s renowned, along with Saez, for working on income inequality, but this book really looks at wealth inequality.

Michael: The problem with Piketty’s statistics are that it vastly understates how unequal the world really is and that’s because – you may know in Australia that our Queen of Mean, the hotel lady Leona Helmsley said “Only the little people pay taxes”. What she means is only the little people earn income. Rich people in America don’t earn income, they make capital gains and capital gains are not in everybody’s income statistics, they’re not in the statistics basically that are reported. And the IRS, the Internal Revenue Service of the United States, only conducts a study of capital gains once every ten years or so, and countries like England and many European countries don’t even have a tax on capital gains, so they’re not going to appear in the statistics.


So you’re seeing a replay of Chile under Pinochet and the military dictatorship in the Ukraine now. And the result, of course, will be to tear Ukraine apart – it’s bankrupt, no matter what, there no doubt will be civil war there. The Americans are hoping to use the civil war as an opportunity to move in NATO and to move H-bombs right onto the Russian border. This is risking a threat of war. This is crazy.


via http://michael-hudson.com/2014/04/pikettys-wealth-gap-wake-up/


Updated: Apr. 29, 2014

Is Thomas Picketty Right About The Causes of Inequality?

TheRealNews on Apr 29, 2014

Economist Michael Hudson discusses the popularity of French economist Thomas Picketty’s recent book and says his work fails to link the financialization of the economy to the ascent of the 1%.


Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist. A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002) and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt: A History of Theories of Polarization v. Convergence in the World Economy. His book summarizing his economic theories, The Bubble and Beyond, is now available. His latest book is Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents. He can be reached via his website, mh@michael-hudson.com.

from the archives:

USAID and “Democracy Promotion” in Ukraine by Rick Rozoff

Michael Hudson: Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors

Michael Hudson: West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine and Privatize Industries Held By Kleptocrats

Bernie Sanders: Inequality–A Threat to American Democracy

Michael Hudson: Neoliberalism Is Really Neofeudalism, It’s a Dismantling of Democracy

Michael Hudson: Trade Advantage Replaced by Rent Extraction

Law of Value 1: Introduction by Brendan M. Cooney

14 thoughts on “Michael Hudson: This Is Risking A Threat Of War + Is Thomas Picketty Right About The Causes of Inequality?

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  11. Hudson is not just another pretty face. He is trying to tell the truth in the second most corrupt sub-discipline of American social science (the first of course is political science.) What he says here is worth a lot of study, because it is both profioundly important and difficult to understand. (difficult for me, anyway, although probably not for more intelligent readers.)

    Hudson and I went to the same Elite school at about the same time and despised the same administrators. He e-told me that he majored in a form of linguistics as an undergraduate, before he went bad and became an economist. If you want to understand economics– and the whole discipline is oriented to preventing this– Hudson along with Paul Craig Roberts, Wolf, and a few others is the way to go. It wouldn’t surprise me if Hudson has developed into the best of the best, and this piece is as good a start as any.

    • Thanks, folktruther. What Hudson is saying is very important. I also posted links to related previous posts on Ukraine and Hudson’s pieces and others on the economy and understanding Marx (last link) for those who want more info.

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