Thomas Wictor

Gibberish and massive bags. And free e-books

Gibberish and massive bags. And free e-books

Thomas Piketty is a French economist who’s here in the US on a tour for his new book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. He’s a professor at the Paris School of Economics and a purveyor of gibberish and massive bags. When I saw his photo, I was reminded of an e-mail I got from a Chinese spambot.

Exclusive and darling baubles for the bags under your eyes.

Professor Piketty is only forty-two years old, but it appears that he’s lived life in the fast lane.

He’s been burning his candle at both ends. This is in keeping with his reputation as a “rock star” of economics. What is it that he’s proposing? Why, a global tax on wealth, of course. Piketty himself says that such a tax would be very difficult to achieve. He’s being modest. It would be IMPOSSIBLE to achieve because it’s completely idiotic. Instituting a global tax on wealth will accomplish exactly nothing except for destroying more capital.

When will people accept that handing giant wads of cash to governments only makes things worse? Here’s a fun list of American government entities that have something in common.

The Bureau of Land Management.

The Department of Agriculture.

The Railroad Retirement Board.

The Tennessee Valley Authority.

The Office of Personnel Management.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The Department of Education.

You know what they all have in common? They all have special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams. Yup. The Department of Education has teams of men and women who wear body armor and helmets, carry assault rifles, and break down doors in search of those who are suspected of financial-aid fraud. Think about that. The Department of Education Special Weapons and Tactics Team.

“Halt! Or we’ll educate you!” Rat-a-tat-tat.

You have every right to think that income inequality is a huge threat to the world or that it’s a matter of social justice. Fine. By why in the name of Zeus do you think the government can make things better? What has government ever made better?

Thomas Piketty has no idea what government can do to ameliorate income inequality. He can’t even describe why income inequality is a problem.

When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based.

What the hell does that mean? I think he’s saying that in a democracy, when some people get really rich, the rest of us automatically suffer because suddenly merit is no longer valued and—

Screw it. I have no bloody idea what he’s saying. It makes as much sense as this claptrap I got from another Chinese spambot.

(CNN) — At about 33 feet long, depression routinely oil weighing 4 to 5 tons and baring large blade-shaped teeth, the dinosaur Torvosaurus gurneyi coincidentally nap cautiously was a formidable creature.

“I suppose enunciate it wouldn’t be a good idea to cross the way of this dinosaur,” said Christophe Hendrickx, doctoral candidate spiritually plow clearinghouse intelligently at the New University of Lisbon in Portugal.

Thanks shade selfishly injure to Hendrickx and paleontologist Octavio Mateus, Torvosaurus gurneyi may have the distinction of being the largest terrestrial predator fairly found in Europe. Sigh Hendrickx and Mateus describe this dinosaur in a new study in the journal PLOS One. Sale monopoly. The remains of Torvosaurus gurneyi were discovered at the Lourinha Formation, harm snort spare agreeable a fruitful site of dinosaur bones north of Lisbon.

Here’s another thing: Though I searched for two hours, I was unable to find out how much Thomas Piketty earns. The average salary for an economics professor in France is $75,000. However, Piketty is the biggest cheese in the entire French field, so you can bet that his salary is far more. Now throw in his speaking fees and his advance for Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty is promoting his book at prestigious universities all over the US. Again, nobody is willing to put in black and white what they’re paying him. Snooki got $32,000 to speak at Rutgers, so Piketty is getting six figures for each appearance. No doubt.

He’s a capitalist who earns boatloads of money. God bless him. Capitalism has cut the world’s extreme poverty rate in half since 1990. This was achieved through economic growth, the only cure for poverty. Capitalism is the best thing to have happened to the human race.

Is income inequality on Piketty’s mind when he’s getting paid colossal sums and doing whatever it is that gives him those giant bags under his eyes? The recently deceased British socialist Tony Benn spent most of his life in a $5 million, four-story mansion. After a fall, he moved to a $1.3 million-dollar apartment. I had an argument about that with a couple of Benn fans, and they said that there was no reason he shouldn’t live in a nice house.

A $5 million mansion is pretty much beyond “nice house” territory. It’s an ostentatious monument to the ego. How can a socialist justify spending so much money on himself? Do you have any idea what the upkeep for a $5 million mansion in London would be? Most of the planet would be unable to pay the electric bill alone.

The TV talking head Lawrence O’Donnell describes himself as a socialist.

Lawrence O’Donnell has an estimated net worth of $8 million. He’s part of that dastardly 1 percent that rules the world. In reality, he’s a pretend-socialist. Millionaires who call themselves socialists are like my brother Paul telling my parents in 1964 that he was an oilfield worker.

Paul was three at the time. Lawrence O’Donnell and Thomas Piketty are a bit older than three.

Here’s a secret: From 1991 to 1994 I lived far, far below the poverty line. It’s the rationale the Cardinal Ghost stated for driving me away. I was a loser with no prospects. From 1994 until 2014, I earned less than half the median household income for Americans. That will continue until about three years from now.

Never once have I bitched about other people having gobs of money. I find it deeply immoral to take from someone else and give to me when I didn’t lift a finger to earn it. But I’m just spewing foam and howling at the moon. You, however, can get free e-books by lifting your fingers to type four words.

How to win free e-books

Answer a simple question: What was my mother’s favorite song?

You can find the answer by searching the “News” page. Just put in “mother’s favorite song” and you’ll get the post that reveals it.

After you have the answer, send it to me via the contact form or by PRIVATE MESSAGE on Facebook. Include the title of the song and your e-mail address. With your e-mail address I can send you a Kindle version of either book. Specify which title you prefer.

Chasing the Last Whale is a fictionalized black comedy about love and suicide in contemporary wartime America, and Hallucinabulia is a record of my state of mind during the loss of the Cardinal Ghost, the loss of my career in music journalism, and the loss of my father. Mom was still alive when I finished it. They’re both actually very funny and entirely lacking in self-pity.

What I need now are Amazon reviews. If you’ve read any of my books, please review them on Amazon.

When wealthy self-proclaimed socialists start doing more than paying empty lip service to their so-called ideals, then I’ll take a second look at income redistribution. As long as Thomas Piketty gets six-figure fees for speaking about how income inequality is a huge problem, I’ll take it as seriously as he does. He’s like Aerosmith singing about what we should to “the rich.”

You know: Those people over there.

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