In This Review

Capital and Ideology
Capital and Ideology
By Thomas Piketty. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Belknap Press, 2020, 1104 pp.

As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the globe and exposes dysfunction in Western capitalist democracies, intellectuals are intoning in near unison: “Government is back. The Reagan-Thatcher revolution is dead. Capitalism as we know it is passé.” And particularly exposed is the once preeminent United States. It is paying a high price for having become, as the novelist Martin Amis once wrote, “land of the profit-making casualty ward, home of the taxi-metered ambulance.” 

Yet trendy as it is to skewer the profit motive, capitalism is not lacking for saviors, who come in different guises, hawking particular cures. Some want to adjust incomes

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  • ARVIND SUBRAMANIAN is Visiting Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He previously served as Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India.
  • More By Arvind Subramanian