NYT Sunday Business, June 29, 2014 pg. 5
The Path of Inherited Wealth
To the Editor:
In "Why Inheritance is Not a Problem" (Economic View, June 22) N. Gregory Mankiw explored the economic reasons for families leaving bequests to their children--and what he saw as the positive effects on society overall. The column argued that most of us gain when wealthy families pass on their wealth to future generations--that the increased capital raises future productivity, bolstering wages.
This flies in the face of reality. Nearly all of the gains from increased productivity over the past 30 yeas have gone not to working people, but to owners of capital. And as our politics become more and more responsive to money, we get a vicious cycle of concentrated wealth leading to more political power for the wealthy and thus to less effective protection for the interests of the rest of us--the very issue that Thomas Piketty's book  addresses.
Brent Kramer, PhD
Brooklyn, June 23
 Capital in the 21st Century