by Anthony Atkinson is terrific. I’ll review it properly when I’ve finished. Meanwhile, one thing I really like about it is that he is heading toward policy proposals rooted in a reasonably detailed structural analysis of how the economy works, rather than in abstract macro theory. You get a sense of this in the ‘Setting the Scene’ section from his references to Michal Kalecki’s Class Struggle and the Distribution of National Income and J.K.Galbraith’s . Yes, we are talking about market power and the political power to change the rules of the game that flows from it. If the way markets work is flawed, the macro outcomes will be flawed too.
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There are some terrific nuggets of information along the way. To get the UK’s Gini coefficient back to where it was in the 1960s when the Beatles were playing just using taxes and transfers – a 10 point reduction from its current level – income tax would have to rise by 16 percentage points. The political impossibility of post hoc redistribution using only taxation is clear. “This is why many of the policy measures proposed in this book are directed at making the distribution of market incomes less unequal,” writes Atkinson.