Piketty Panel

Hello New Zealand readers.  Just giving you a heads up that tomorrow (Thursday, 23 October) there is a panel discussion on the Piketty book (Capital in the Twenty-First Century) and its relevance to New Zealand.

As I contributed to the related book of book reviews, and as this particular event is in Wellington (where I live), I’m on the panel.  Here are the details which I stole from an email:

The event is at the Royal Society (11 Turnbull Street, Thordon) and begins at 5.30pm.
Bernard Hickey is chairing the panel, with the other panellists being Geoff Bertram, Brian Easton, Prue Hyman, Max Rashbrooke and Cathy Wylie. 
The aim of the event is simply to have some broad and engaging discussion on the relevance of Piketty for New Zealand, with reference to the book being launched on the night. 

And if it swings your boat, you can even join the Facebook event.

If you want to prepare beforehand, here is my long-form review (filled with typos – like honestly filled, it is a first draft that never went any further), here are some common misconceptions, and here is a list of other reviews.

7 replies
  1. Sam Murray
    Sam Murray says:

    Went to the discussion last night. Very interesting, but you were right, the panel did jump from examining whether there was an issue to possible solutions very quickly. I cannot help but think, in part that they want to believe. Also with the solutions, little talk about trade-offs or unintended consequences. Even if there is an issue, sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

    • Matt Nolan
      Matt Nolan says:

      Hey, thanks – yes I felt we said far too little about defining the problem. I think the panel was too large, and it was too unstructured sadly.

      • Jim Rose
        Jim Rose says:

        Left-wing politics is dismissive of economics, except when it sings a tune that they find pleasing.

        When they do find this tune pleasing, some of the expositors of these pleasing tunes shows surprisingly deep knowledge of economics. This knowledge could not have been required on the spot for that purpose, and was previously well hidden.

        Once I worked this out, I became somewhat less tolerant of people who sprouted nonsense, especially when they had these islands of deep knowledge of economics crop up from time to time in conversation.

    • Matt Nolan
      Matt Nolan says:

      Most of the criticisms seemed to be that he wasn’t “left” enough. It was definitely a very rhetorically left wing audience and panel, which I’m not.

      I’m critical of the Piketty text, but for different reasons – I just felt his explanation wasn’t the most plausible way of explaining his stylized facts. And even if it was, his policy conclusions didn’t necessarily follow. He was clear with his assumptions in the text though – I appreciate that.

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