Piketty’s contribution to unpacking inequality: timely and relevant

first_imgRenowned French economist Thomas Piketty will deliver the 13th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. What lessons can he offer South Africa? Watch him speak during the live broadcast on 3 October on SABC 2 from 3pm to 4.30pm. There will also be a live stream on the Nelson Mandela Foundation YouTube account and website. Rock star economist Thomas Piketty will be in South Africa to deliver the 13th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on 3 October. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation) • Thomas Piketty to deliver Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture  • What South Africa can learn from Piketty about addressing inequality? • Ethical buying power: Coffee, chocolate and Fairtrade • Top 50 Brands in South Africa named  • Almost half of African millionaires make South Africa their home Vishnu Padayachee, professor and Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron Chair in Development Economics, School of Economics and Business Sciences, University of the WitwatersrandVishnu Padayachee, University of the WitwatersrandNot many economists with something approaching a rock star status visit South Africa. So the visit by French political economist Thomas Piketty, author of the bestselling Capital in the Twenty-first Century, appears to be eagerly awaited by academics, especially those broadly on the left, and by many South Africans.In 1976, Milton Friedman, then the rising rock star economist of the anti-Keynesian right wing in the US and Europe, made a visit to South Africa. He was wined and dined by the President Nico Diederichs and Finance Minister Owen Horwood. He and his economist wife Rose met with leading South African businessmen, political leaders and the South African Reserve Bank governor, among others.Friedman’s message to South Africa was both political and economic. He was mightily impressed by what he described as:The unbelievably sophisticated economy you have developed at the tip of Africa, thousands of miles away from any similar civilisation.Friedman urged the West to support South Africa and Rhodesia as bastions against Soviet penetration.Two nights before the couple left, then-South African Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Gerhard de Kock remarked:Friedman’s visit will have at least a ten-year impact on South Africa’s economic thinking.De Kock was right. What followed were major changes in monetary policy, including those recommended by the De Kock Commission on Monetary Policy.I am not sure whether Piketty will have a similar impact on economic thinking in South Africa today. I do predict, though, that ministers and former ministers will be bounding up the stairs to join him on his many platforms around the country. I would not be surprised if they expressed their total support for his analysis and his ideas.Some, without the slightest sense of irony, may well make a case that they were and are the true champions of the struggle against poverty, inequality and unemployment in democratic South Africa. This despite the fact that they arrogantly relegated left, social democratic options such as the Freedom Charter and the Reconstruction and Development Programme to the dustbin of history.Instead, in 1996 they opted for the neoliberal Growth, Employment and Redistribution Strategy, a macroeconomic policy. So a rewriting of the recent economic history of South Africa may well be one outcome of the Piketty visit.Piketty’s demolition of what went beforeTo date, data from the relatively short post-second world war period up until the end of the 20th century has been read mostly in sympathy with a neo-classical interpretation. In this period the hypothesis behind the Kuznets Curve was the dominant thinking about development and income inequality. This argues that inequality first increases in the early stages of development, reaches a maximum at an intermediate level of income, and then declines as the country achieves a high level of per capita income.Into this picture steps Piketty. With his 300-year-old datasets he demolishes the Kuznets hypothesis. He shows instead that the turn away from inequality over time and in the course of development and global integration is not assured. And, he argues, intervention in the market mechanism is required to arrest and reverse the increasing share of income that capital relentlessly claims over time.Piketty shows that it was the interventions between 1914 and 1945 that arrested the trend towards greater and greater inequality. These included taxation policies in the 1920s and 1930s which were less favourable to the owners of capital.He shows that patrimonial capital is the largest contingent of total capital. Central to understanding capitalists’ drive to accumulate is increasing economies of scale. Whereas Karl Marx focused on the increasing economies of scale of industry, Piketty shows how the same benefits of scale apply to investment performance of capital.Despite some reservations about his analysis and his policy prescriptions I believe that Piketty does convey an important and timely message. He combines a grasp of western economic history and an analysis of long run historical data to point to the nature, form and variety that western capitalism has assumed over an extended time. Sharply widening inequalities of income and wealth between rich and poor is the most blatant.Piketty does indeed have something to say to the beneficiaries of this variety of capitalism who praise and parrot this model and its values. This includes the corporates and the ever-richer elites and to many in aspirant and new middle classes in countries including South Africa and India.So, what are Piketty’s answers?Piketty is right to point to the need for a robust debate about the kind of state – a social state, he calls it – that is required at the beginning of the 21st century to regulate a rampant inegalitarian capitalism. New institutions and instruments are needed to regain control over globalised financial capitalism, and “to achieve a just social order”. But when it comes to specifics, Piketty’s economic policy prescriptions are not very convincing.In my view, they do not take progressive macroeconomic policy much further. If anything it sets back thinking in this crucial policy arena, both at national and global level. His policy response to the crisis he correctly analyses, as Chris Gregory notes, is constructed:… in the narrowest apolitical, mathematical tradition of 20th century mainstream economics.An international tax on capital is not likely to be implementable under current national or regional political models. Action is more likely to originate at a national, not international level. In my view this would include a serious relook at old and new forms of control over currency, capital mobility and banking regulation.Piketty has little to say about all this, apart from noting (on the basis of China’s admittedly opaque and unstable system of capital regulation) that:… capital controls are one way of regulating and containing the dynamics of wealth inequality.But how would this work in more democratic, transparent and liberal regimes than the China of today?By way of contrast, and much more practically, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has teamed up with others to push for US national economic policy options aimed at curbing the flow of economic gains to the wealthiest and most powerful. Those he has teamed up with include New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and US Senator Elizabeth Warren.Their argument is based on the premise that “equality and economic performance are complementary rather than opposing forces”. On the agenda are policies such as increased taxes on the wealthy to fund education, affordable housing and job-creating infrastructure, as well as minimum wages and benefits for the poor.These issues, and a few others, are of relevance to South Africa today. The others would include an appropriate form and shape of a “social state”, tax policy, a national minimum wage, and capital controls to curb the billions of dollars leaving South Africa legally and illegally. Perhaps Piketty can be persuaded to share his views on these matters.Vishnu Padayachee, Distinguished Professor and Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron Chair in Development Economics, School of Economics and Business Sciences, University of the WitwatersrandThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.last_img read more

New ExactEmerge Retrofit Kit available for late-model John Deere planters

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest ExactEmerge conversion components fit newer 1770NT, 1790 and DB planters John Deere is making it easier for customers with late-model John Deere planters to increase planting speed while improving accuracy and performance with the ExactEmerge Retrofit Kit. This conversion kit provides corn and soybean producers with the latest performance-enhancing ExactEmerge technology that allows them to significantly increase productivity and crop yields through more timely and accurate seed placement.“Producers realize that seed depth accuracy, spacing, and population are critically important. Crop residue management and timely planting also help to achieve maximum yield,” says Adam Sipes, product specialist with John Deere Seeding Group. “By retrofitting their late model John Deere planter with ExactEmerge components, customers can expect up to a 100% increase in planting speed, at least a 10 percent improvement in seed spacing accuracy, and improved performance on side hills, all without impacting depth control.”The ExactEmerge Retrofit Kits are available for model year 2011 and newer 1770NT CCS and 1790 planters as well as model year 2012 and newer DB Series planters. ExactEmerge conversion components includes meter and hopper assemblies, cartridge assemblies, 56v electric drives and row unit controller assemblies, scrapers, cartridge guards, and mounting hardware. Other components include planter controller with SeedStar 3 HP, backbone harness and tractor power generation harnessing, vacuum automation, and curve compensation capability.Kits require the use of tractor power generation and GreenStar 3 2630 Display for full operation. Depending on model of planter and tractor, additional components may be needed to complete the retrofit.“The ExactEmerge technology is revolutionizing the planting industry,” Sipes adds. “The Retrofit Kit now gives more customers the ability to incorporate much of this technology onto their existing late-model planters and gain these improvements for themselves.”For more information on the new ExactEmerge Retrofit Kits for late-model John Deere planters, see your local John Deere dealer or visit www.JohnDeere.com/Ag.last_img read more

Redline Equipment invests $8,150 in Ohio FFA members

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Redline Equipment donated $8,150 to the Ohio FFA Foundation. The money will go to fund scholarships for 24 Ohio FFA members in the counties Redline Equipment serves, to attend the Washington Leadership Conference and Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum.“The redliners are extremely proud to be able to pay it forward. Most of our customers and many of our staff are former FFA members,” said Heather Hetterick, Director of Marketing Communication at Redline Equipment. “This is not a donation. We consider this an investment in youth in our communities to ensure they have opportunities for personal growth and leadership development.”The money was raised through Redline Equipment’s annual Parts Days sale. When customers purchased a $1,000 or more in parts, the dealership committed to donating $50 to FFA.“We are very thankful for Redline Equipment and their customers,” said Jessica Parrish, Executive Director of the Ohio FFA Foundation. “This money will help provide transformational experiences for students that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend life-changing leadership conferences.”One of Redline Equipment’s core value’s is to be a supporter of agriculture youth development to ensure the communities they do business in continue to thrive.“We’re grateful for the support of our customers in this endeavor and have no doubt we’ll both see a return on our investment,” Hetterick said.last_img read more

Last day for WOTUS comments

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On Tuesday, December 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers released a new proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule which redefines the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act more narrowly and provides clarity to what is required of landowners. The proposed rule can be found in the Federal Register (FR) with supporting resources located on the EPA’s site here. The 60-Day public comment period will close on April 15, 2019.last_img

Moustache makes the man for all Vivek fans

first_imgVivek OberoiIt’s a hirsute affair-between the nose and the upper lip-that’s keeping Vivek Oberoi busy these days? Other than his film Rakht Charitra and his upcoming wedding, he is busy working his moustache! “Yes. The moustache takes a lot of work. It seems easy and you think you can grow it, keep it. But you have to trim it, comb it. It is tough to keep a moustache. But I am glad to have done so as my fans love it. Guys asked me about it when I went to promote Rakht Charitra in various cities big and small metros. Even girls thought I looked more dashing,” he says.Given the adulation from his young fans, Vivek was more than happy to oblige. Of late, he has been quite busy? travelling across the nation promoting his newest film and helping his parents with the wedding shopping.Sources close to the Oberois say the entire family is in a celebratory mood. From shopping to finalising the wedding venue, their calendar is full. The only thing that is under wraps is perhaps Priyanka Alva, his fiance.Poke him and he grins and mutters monosyllables like a coy bride. “Well, that’s personal,” the actor says.The little bee tells us that she isn’t fond of the moustache and there’s a probability that it will be sacrificed at the altar.Until the wedding, Vivek definitely will sport it for promotional purposes.last_img read more

Bumbling Along

first_imgOn the DefensiveComparing military intelligence (MI) to IB and RAW is unfair and unrealistic (“Intelligence Failure”, June 14). While IB and RAW have a clear mandate of procuring internal and external intelligence, MI has neither the mandate nor the resources for procuring intelligence. Also, defence forces depend on RAW for,On the DefensiveComparing military intelligence (MI) to IB and RAW is unfair and unrealistic (“Intelligence Failure”, June 14). While IB and RAW have a clear mandate of procuring internal and external intelligence, MI has neither the mandate nor the resources for procuring intelligence. Also, defence forces depend on RAW for external intelligence and IB for internal security-related information.Additionally, border surveillance is the responsibility of field formations deployed in a particular sector. There is definitely a need to restructure the existing MI setup in order to make it capable of meeting the defence requirements independently. Moreover,this should not be the time to do a performance audit.Brigadier (Retd) S.C. Jolly, NoidaYour article on the failure of our various agencies in detecting the large-scale infiltration at an early stage reflects very poorly on those in charge of national security. It is also an eye opener for us since it shows how the lack of political stability, lack of consensus on national issues and lack of accountability puts the nation in such dangerous situations. We live on hope and believe in fate.R.S. Kannan, SingaporeShooting Off Their MouthsThe congress reaction to kargil has been shocking and shameful (“Sniper Fire”, June 14). After losing to Pakistan strategic territories which the gallant soldiers won with their blood in the 1965 and 1971 wars, through the Tashkent and Simla agreements, the Congress has no moral right to speak on the Kargil tragedy. After all it is the bungling of the Kashmir issue and the policy of appeasement of the so-called minorities by the Congress that has brought things to such a pass.A.K. Sharma, ChandigarhCampus CapersThe college survey and the methodology adopted to analyse them has many shortcomings (“Top 10 Colleges”, June 14). Most of the respondents interviewed were from the metros. Besides, several colleges which merited a place among the best were neglected.advertisementI suggest that instead of selecting 10 colleges based on some group discussion, you should come up with a broader range that would allow a more representative survey of the colleges of the country.Prashant Saraswat, on e-mailCricket: C’mon, it’s just a GameThe cricket fever gripping the nation and the dismal performance of our team in the World Cup only show how pampered and overrated our cricketers are (“Cricket Crazy”, June 14). If practice makes one perfect, our cricketers ought to have been practising the game and honing their skills instead of selling soft drinks, shoes, shirts and sundry. Had this been done we’d have won the World Cup effortlessly and the cricket craze in the nation would have had some justification. I suggest cricketers should be banned from endorsing consumer goods.T.N. Misra, LucknowUndoubtedly an indulgence in sports is a worthwhile way of achieving the oft-repeated maxim – a healthy mind in a healthy body.But don’t we stretch it a bit too far with our lopsided involvement with the game of cricket? Most cricket fans even seemed insensitive to the bereavement of their idol Sachin Tendulkar. Consider the manhours that get wasted during the matches. Complete paralysis grips the nation – offices bear a desolate look with the cricket-crazy staff either glued to transistors or on leave to watch matches at home. Can we afford to waste so much money and time?Anuradha, Chandigarh Your ranking of the colleges, based on interviews, is not very fair. These may be the most popular but not the country’s top colleges. What we expect is a comprehensive ranking based on facts such as student facilities, campus placement, faculty-student ratio, standard of the pass-outs in the industry, research projects, infrastructure, amount spent per student, class strength, curriculum, teaching methods and the experience of the staff. This can be supported by an on-the-spot assessment by a qualified team.Anand Gopalan, MumbaiHome TruthThe issue of Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin seems to be limited only to urban areas (“All Roads Lead to Rome”, June 7).The underprivileged couldn’t care less about her origins. All they see is someone who can improve their quality of life.Whether Sonia, if elected, can deliver is debatable, but the BJP should not raise this issue. If it can improve the standard of rural life, let them make that their manifesto.N. Kumar, CalcuttaPolitics of DramaThe recent emotion-packed melodrama that unfolded in Delhi has severely damaged the already tattered image of the Congress (“Quitting to Conquer”, May 31).This was not the time for Congressmen to bring up the issue of Sonia’s “foreign born” status.Given that the issue had been raised, it was an inappropriate way for a CWC president to react.advertisementInstead of getting emotionally overwhelmed by the situation and submitting a resignation letter, which subsequently led to the expulsion of senior members, a shrewd politician would have tried to resolve the matter behind closed doors and keep the party unified.Swapna B. Batabyal, Logan, UtahThe Better Team Now that we are out of the World Cup, people will concentrate more on the war in Kargil (“Blasting Peace”,June 7). Our soldiers are fighting at 17,000 ft where temperatures range from minus 5 to minus 30 degrees Celsius. The cricketers were routed while playing in better conditions. If killed in action, an IAF pilot gets around Rs 2 lakh in compensation. Our cricketers get an equivalent amount or more as tournament fee, not to speak of the money they get through endorsements and ads. People offered pujas and observed fasts so India could win the Cup. Has anyone cared to do anything for the valiant soldiers? The least the Indian team can do is send all the awards and match fees to the Army Relief Fund. Parvez, on e-mailwrongly Plane FactsYour story wrongly states that the Haryana Government flew BJP leader Sushma Swaraj from Shimla to Delhi at state expense (“Friends in Need”, June 14).Swaraj did use a Haryana state plane on May 20, 1999. But a bill amounting to Rs 17,500 was made in her name and she paid the amount promptly through a cheque in the first week of June itself. In fact state aircraft have been used by VIPs for non-official purposes and they have been billed similarly.It’s a different matter that many of these VIPs, including former chief ministers, have not paid the bills for the past several years.Director, Public Relations, HaryanaClarificationIn our cover story, the map of Kashmir was not to scale (“The Marathon War”, June 21). Therefore, the Line of Control as shown in the map may not conform to the actual LoC.last_img read more

Manny Pacquiao attends Clippers’ Filipino Heritage Night, meets Floyd Mayweather at courtside

first_imgMOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Pacquiao, however, didn’t expect to see rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. sitting courtside in the game the Clippers won 128-109 against the Charlotte Hornets. Timberwolves escape Thunder in Ryan Saunders’ coaching debut 🥊 x 🏀 x #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/XRBv7nBsmI— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2019Filipino-American recording artist Apl.de.ap—Allan Pineda Lindo in real life—also performed during the halftime break.Mayweather and Pacquiao both had storied careers and the exchanged the pound-for-pound king label in the late 2000s and early 2010s.The two eventually fought each other in 2015 with Mayweather taking a unanimous decision win.Pacquiao is set to defend his WBA World welterweight title against Adrien Broner on Jan. 19 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 👋 @mannypacquiao pic.twitter.com/lQaXwk7jW0— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2019MANILA, Philippines—Things went from planned to complete serendipitous for Manny Pacquiao.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsBoxing’s only eight-division World champion was a guest during the Los Angeles Clippers’ Filipino Heritage Night at Staples Center wherein he got to spend some time with the players and join in the few events the team planned for the night.ADVERTISEMENT Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? They meet again. Only here.@mannypacquiao | @FloydMayweather | #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/OQrezLim14— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) January 9, 2019While throwing t-shirts to the crowd, Pacquiao chanced upon Mayweather and the two dapped each other up.Pacquiao also went to the Clippers’ locker room where head coach Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, and Patrick Beverley got to meet the Filipino boxing icon.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LATEST STORIES SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertelast_img read more