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category: Post PhD sources

Acemoglu, David
Robinson, James A.
The Rise and Decline of General Laws of Capitalism

[In late medieval Venice], the economic power of the most prosperous and well-established families ultimately made it possible for them to block the access of others to political power, and once they thus monopolized political power, they could change economic institutions for their benefit by blocking the entry of other families into lucrative businesses and banning contracts that had previously made it possible for individuals with limited capital to enter into partnerships for long distance trade. This change in political institutions, feeding into a deterioration of economic institutions, heralded the economic decline of Venice.
Yet if the primary threat from the top 1 percent share is political, then the main response should be related to monitoring and containing the political implications of the increase in top-level inequality – not necessarily catchall policies such as wealth taxes. Such policies should be explicitly related to the institutional faultlines of the specific society, and should be conceived in the context of strengthening institutional checks against any potential power grab.
-> they fully disagree with Piketty

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