Piketty And The Sitting Trilllions

I have lost count but last I checked there were 18 trillion dollars just sitting there, not actively growing, parked by the roadside, if you will. That is a failure of the markets. Money should not just sit. It should be put to use. It should grow.

Piketty’s famous book (the Das Kapital for the 21st century, some admirers say) argues that since capital grows at 10% a year on average, but low wage earners are stuck with wages that have not grown in decades, the moneyed will keep moving and the gap will keep growing wider.

A stagnant minimum wage is a major policy mistake. Voters are ultimately responsible.

But all of that 18 trillion is money that could fundamentally transform infrastructure globally and could create new, huge markets globally, benefiting economies everywhere, and put this 18 trillion on a treadmill of  growing at 10% annually as opposed to 0% now. I want money to grow at 10%! And I want more people to own shares, even early stage shares in tech startups. I want people making $20 per hour, $50 per hour to own some of that money that is growing at 10%.

But I am pretty sure 18 sitting trillion dollars are having a negative gravity effect on the global economy. It is like stagnant water. You get mosquitoes.

For 18 trillion dollars you could get gigabit broadband, a four lane road, and a train track to the home of every man, woman and child, and a solar panel over their head. Pouring $100 billion into microfinance would wipe out poverty as we know it. And dollar a day people are much better at paying back than rich people in NYC.

The poor need infrastructure that they will pay for!

Thomas Piketty has some First World Problems!


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