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Adversarial Economic Views - 8/16/16

There are probably people out there who haven’t met an economist.  This is not simply a reflection of the social skills of economists, but also the fact that economists spend much of their time communicating with one another.  Sometimes discussions are friendly, often they are adversarial. 

Take for instance the raging debate between prominent French economist Thomas Piketty and International Monetary Fund economist Carlos Goes.  Two years ago, Piketty published Capital in the Twenty First Century, a book regarding the widening gap between the wealthy and poor worldwide. 

The book concludes that capital is becoming more concentrated globally, producing widening disparities in income and wealth.  The book has received widespread acclaim.  However, as reported by CNBC, a twenty seven page working paper by Goes dismisses much of Piketty’s work as conjectures with little empirical basis. 

Goes writes that Piketty’s book, "While rich in data provides no formal empirical testing for these conjectures."  Another economists, Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution, has actually found that despite negligible wage gains, inequality has in fact narrowed since two thousand and seven.  

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.