Saturday, June 27, 2015

LUNCH WITH THE FT Thomas Piketty a protege of Dr James Cumes

Isn't it time we determined to remedy this tragic situation, to strive to reach the 60-year-old goal and free the world from want?
~ Dr James Cumes Capital in the Twenty-First Century

French Economy in Dire Straits Wikileaks (EM). Diplomatic cables from 2012. Recall that the lousy state of the economy and the fragility of the banks was the big excuse for not writing down Greek debts more (there was some debt relief in the restructuring via maturity extension and interest rate reduction, but when you are in a depression and subjected to austerity, you wind up chasing your tail. Debt to GDP rises in real terms as the economy contracts).

Illustration by James Ferguson of Thomas Piketty
©James Ferguson

Thomas Piketty

The French ‘rock-star’ economist on the eurozone, inequality and tax... 

With his calls for higher taxes and more regulation, he has become the darling of the left and the enemy of the right... Greece and Piketty

Piketty’s main argument is this: that invested capital – in the stock market, in real estate – will grow faster than income.
The implications of that are deep: to have invested capital, you must have money already. If you rely on income, as most people do, you will likely never catch up to the wealth of people who are already rich. The 1% and the 99% enshrined by Occupy are not an anomaly of our time, Piketty’s research suggests. It’s a structural feature of capitalism. Piketty’s work – which has been in progress for over a decade – is a natural pairing with the Occupy movement, which also questions the premises of capitalism.

A Practical Vision of a More Equal Society Thomas Piketty, NYRB

Economy is for the People

Back in 2002 and even before, Cumes  also warned that our system of government is irrational, dysfunctional, in trouble.  Extremism thrives in fertile soil of poverty ... Cumes, friend Vaclav Havel used to say one should never exchange one brutalism for another in terms of left or right extremism...
Victory Over Want and the Four Freedoms
By James Cumes / About the author

In his famous Four Freedoms speech in 1941, President Roosevelt called for Freedom from Want. Sixty years later, his successor, President Clinton, in his BBC Dimbleby Lecture, reminded us that billions, including many in the richest countries on earth, still live in dire poverty, are homeless or poorly housed, are educated far below their potential, and lack adequate medical care. He told us that one and a half billion people - a quarter of the world's population - never get to drink a glass of clean water.

Zeitfragenver on WOV

There would be no Piketty without pioneers such as James Cumes ...
After serving in World War II, James Cumes completed his Arts (Economics) degree in Queensland in 1945 and was awarded the Archibald Scholarship for Economics. Unable to take up the scholarship as he had already began a diplomatic career in Canberra, James felt that the award of the scholarship helped establish his status as an "economist."
While in Canberra, he headed up several departments in the Economic Relations Section of the Department of External Affairs, before embarking on a fascinating career overseas. He worked for the Economic Counsellor for Western Europe in 1949 and then won a Commonwealth Postgraduate Overseas Scholarship to the London School of Economics and Political Science and was awarded a Ph.D. (Economics) by the University of London in 1951.
James was Chargé d'Affaires in Bonn (1955-6), Head of the Australian Military Mission in Berlin (1956-8), Chargé d'Affaires of the Australian Mission to the European Communities (1961-63), Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union (1975-77). High Commissioner to Nigeria and Ambassador to Austria, Hungary and the United Nations Agencies in Vienna as well as Governor on the Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Victory Over Want - Voice of James Cumes