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On the historical aspect, pre 20th Century, one of the most enduring themes in 19th Century literature has been the wastrel or prodigal who squanders away his inheritance or the heiress who falls into the clutches of a husband with a penchant for projection. This should be at least some portion of a process of destruction of capital of which Piketty's rates of return would have to be in excess. Does he deal with this in any way, to minimize or limit its effects? Or is it that in a macro view this does not matter in that one man's loss is another's gain? I have trouble seeing a major difference between destruction of capital as the result of a war and as the result of large scale squandering, such as on follies and gambling. A store of wealth that is liquid can still be intact to the gold franc, but it is dispersed into the hands of the multitude in unit quantities it is not available for capital expenditures on any scale.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 23rd, 2014 at 05:28:23 PM EST
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