Capital, Ideology, and the Liberal Order

26 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2021 Last revised: 29 Oct 2021

See all articles by Nick Cowen

Nick Cowen

School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln

Vincent Geloso

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 26, 2021

Abstract

Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Ideology (2020) offers a powerful critique of ideological justifications for inequality in capitalist societies. Does this mean we should reject capitalist institutions altogether? This paper defends some aspects of capitalism by explaining the epistemic function of market economies and their ability to harness capital to meet the needs of the relatively disadvantaged. We support this classical liberal position with reference to empirical research on historical trends in inequality that challenges some of Piketty’s interpretations of the data. Then we discuss the implications of this position in terms of limits on the efficacy of participatory governance within firms and the capacity of the state to levy systematic taxes on wealth.

Keywords: Piketty, wealth inequality, consumption inequality, measuring inequality, classical liberalism, Austrian economics, knowledge problem, participatory socialism, private-property markets

JEL Classification: B53, A13, D31

Suggested Citation

Cowen, Nick and Geloso, Vincent, Capital, Ideology, and the Liberal Order (August 26, 2021). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 21-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3911806 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3911806

Nick Cowen (Contact Author)

School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lincoln ( email )

Lincoln LN2
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://ulincoln.academia.edu/NickCowen

Vincent Geloso

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
198
Abstract Views
1,088
Rank
289,019
PlumX Metrics