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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Thomas Piketty on The Colbert Report

Posted by on Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Now I know that the milquetoast French economist du jour Thomas Piketty is usually Charles Mudede's beat, but—having known him for some time now—I also know that Charles is far too intellectual for television. Thusly, I've taken it upon myself to share last night's appearance on The Colbert Report. Watch it for a brief explanation of Piketty's theory that capitalism tends toward gross inequality in the long run, and for the reason the internet, aka The Outrage Machine™, has found Piketty's ideas to be controversial. Hint: It's in his proposed solutions.


Comments (14) RSS

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"milquetoast" seems a bit harsh, unless that word just describes someone who says stuff that requires the engagement of a basic level of brain functioning for understanding to occur.
Posted by Jude Fawley on June 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM · Report this
@2 The word doesn't fit at all.
Maybe Brissey thinks it means mild-mannered.
Posted by dirge on June 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM · Report this
fletc3her 4
I'm really enjoying his book. It has helped reframe some questions I've had for a long time about the relationship between salary and equity. It isn't exactly a mystery to know where it's going, but there's a lot of good background on many economic topics on the journey.
Posted by fletc3her on June 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM · Report this
I saw Brissey at Joe Bar writing this. He was drinking milk and eating toast.
Posted by FannyFoonan on June 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Excoooose meeeee, Mr. Prissy, but "milquetoast" is most insulting to someone who has stood up to be counted, humanistically speaking, in the vile world of economics (although many still consider his data to be extremely understated, given the limitations of those sources he chose to elucidate upon).

Perhaps, Mr. Prissy, you are the milquetoast here?
Posted by sgt_doom on June 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Excuse me, @5, but are you sure he wasn't drinking toast and eating milk?
Posted by sgt_doom on June 3, 2014 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Posted by sgt_doom on June 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Huffington Post posted a long interview yesterday with both Piketty and Elizabeth Warren.…
Posted by Large Hardon Colluder on June 3, 2014 at 12:37 PM · Report this
And several further reasons why inequality-increasing activities are completely artificial and fraudulent:……
Posted by sgt_doom on June 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM · Report this
@9, thanks for the link, but I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with Sen. Warren, while previously a fan of hers, as she has a bad habit of repeating US Chamber of Commerce talking points as illustrated by a positive quote from her book at the site article you mentioned, by commenter, Adam Weinstein:

It all seemed backward. It was as if people were saying: ‘Oh, gosh, we can’t blame poor Mr. CEO Banker. He gets paid millions and millions of dollars because he’s really good at his job, so how was he supposed to know that his bank was about to collapse?’ And then they turned around and said: ‘Hey, stupid homeowner! Why did you sign those confusing mortgage papers? Didn’t you know that your balloon payment would come due just the moment your job disappeared?’”

-- Senator Elizabeth Warren, “A Fighting Chance”

My response would be: But it is far more complex than that, of course, it really is a simple matter of financial fraud, with the meltdown deriving from the banksters' (and their hedge funds) ultra-leveraging, ultra-leveraged speculation and ultra-leveraged insurance swindles (e.g., Abacus CDO, Timberwolf CDO, Point Pleasant CDO, AIG/Financial Products, Magnetar Capital, the rating services, etc.).

Now, this may appear persnickety on my part, but it goes with the gist of Sen. Warren's not recognizing the futility of creating a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, then sticking it within and under the dominion of the Federal Reserve.

(Along with Sen. Warren's apparent support for Hillary Clinton in 2016, more neocon imperialism for the masses.)
Posted by sgt_doom on June 3, 2014 at 1:00 PM · Report this
long-time reader 13
I reject the premise that it's possible to be "too intellectual for television"; though one can certainly be too smug for it. Granted, TV is the opiate of the masses, but there are still some programs with intellectual and artistic merit.
Posted by long-time reader on June 3, 2014 at 8:41 PM · Report this
long-time reader 14
But then maybe that was Grant's own subtext all along...
Posted by long-time reader on June 3, 2014 at 8:42 PM · Report this
Knat 15
Video quality looks like I'm watching it on an SNES, and it got stuck in buffer loop hell at only 25%, before he'd even finished introducing his ideas. Nice job, Comedy Central.
Posted by Knat on June 3, 2014 at 9:59 PM · Report this
Grant Brissey, Emeritus 16
@ Knat: Their embeds and streaming are the worst. You'd think a medium so heavily dependent on video would have that one sorted by now.
Posted by Grant Brissey, Emeritus on June 3, 2014 at 10:28 PM · Report this

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