[Marxism] Thomas Piketty Interview: Economist Discusses His Distaste for Marx | New Republic

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Tue May 6 07:03:30 MDT 2014


An important interview in which he exposes his willful ignorance. He admits
never having read any Marx except the Manifesto, yet blithely slanders Marx
for "having no data."

So leave aside the fact for now that he says nothing about surplus value,
rates of profit (falling or otherwise), or any other key Marxist economic
concept (well, not nothing: he lies and claims Marx didn't deal with
productivity increases).

What he means by Marx having "no data" is that Marx doesn't accumulate the
kind of data that can be plugged into an x-y graph comparing two variables,
which is the be-all and end-all for mainstream economists (Piketty doesn't
do it in a particularly sophisticated way, but that's for he and his
colleagues to deal with).

Marx DOES include more than enough data to prove the validity of his
formulas for surplus and profit rates and on that basis to outline laws of
motion, patterns of accumulation etc.

And all that is a solid basis for empirical investigations like those of
Shaikh and Tonak on national accounts which expose Piketty's data for the
amateurish conglomeration it is.


On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 8:55 AM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

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