The French economist Thomas Piketty’s research has helped define a debate about the consequences of concentrating so much wealth and property among so fewBy JOSH BOAK AP Economics WriterApril 25, 2020, 4:51 PM5 min readBALTIMORE — Against all odds, Thomas Piketty pocketed a small fortune from the publication of a weighty book about the perils of economic inequality and the necessity of wealth taxes. The money he earned from his 2014 international best-seller, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” he says, only reinforced the French economist’s discomfort with the concentration of wealth among a privileged few. Piketty said he paid a 60% tax on his book earnings and spent only a fraction of it to upgrade his lifestyle. The rest he parked in a bank account — waiting, he says, for a political transformation that would lead France to impose a 90% wealth tax on highly affluent people like himself. “I am already incredibly lucky,” he said in a recent video-conference interview from his elegantly white-walled Parisian apartment. “I have enough.” Piketty’s research has helped define a debate about the consequences of concentrating so much money and property among so few. His warnings have arrived at a coincidental moment: The coronavirus


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