Thomas Piketty took the economic world by storm when he published his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in June 2014, and it was considered revolutionary in how it addressed income equality. So it should come to no surprise that he believes Bernie Sanders would be the best president for the U.S.
Piketty believes the U.S. is undergoing a bit of a political and economic schism, and that Sanders is the man to usher in a new economic style. Piketty writes:
Sanders’ success today shows that much of America is tired of rising inequality and these so-called political changes, and intends to revive both a progressive agenda and the American tradition of egalitarianism. Hillary Clinton, who fought to the left of Barack Obama in 2008 on topics such as health insurance, appears today as if she is defending the status quo, just another heiress of the Reagan-Clinton-Obama political regime.
Sanders makes clear he wants to restore progressive taxation and a higher minimum wage ($15 an hour). To this he adds free healthcare and higher education in a country where inequality in access to education has reached unprecedented heights, highlighting a gulf standing between the lives of most Americans, and the soothing meritocratic speeches pronounced by the winners of the system.
Meanwhile, the Republican party sinks into a hyper-nationalist, anti-immigrant and anti-Islam discourse (even though Islam isn’t a great religious force in the country), and a limitless glorification of the fortune amassed by rich white people. The judges appointed under Reagan and Bush have lifted any legal limitation on the influence of private money in politics, which greatly complicates the task of candidates like Sanders.
It’s not all positive talk from Piketty though. He did remark that it might be difficult for Sanders to beat the Clinton machine, and that he might just be too old and too white. But Piketty feels Sanders candidacy opens up the race for another socialist to win the presidency in the near future. He did say that, “we are witnessing the end of the politico-ideological cycle opened by the victory of Ronald Reagan at the 1980 elections.”
Piketty is a HUGE get for Sanders, who already has the majority of American economists behind his economic ideologies.