F202 Spring 2019 Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Apr. 23–May 14
Instructors: Stephen Quick and Al Smuzynski
This controversial book, written by French economist Thomas Piketty in 2014, examines the distribution of wealth and income in four major economies (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France) since the 19th century. From this historical record, Piketty builds a theory regarding the likely future path of income and wealth inequality. He predicts a steady concentration of both income and wealth as overall economic growth slows down, identifies a number of problems associated with this concentration, and offers some suggestions as to how such inequalities could possibly be reduced. This course will examine both the book itself and some of the major critiques that have been offered.
Stephen Quick, an OLLI member, holds a PhD in political economy from Stanford University and has been staff director of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, chief economist for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, director of evaluation and oversight of the
Inter-American Development Bank, and chief risk officer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Al Smuzynski, an OLLI member, is the moderator of the Tom Crooker Investment Forum. He is a retired bank regulator and an advocate of affordable housing. He currently serves on the boards of Virginia Community Capital and VCC Bank.