From Cafe Hayek, Uber vs Piketty by Don Boudreaux:
Thomas Piketty famously argues that owners of capital grab ever-larger shares of wealth, and that the single best ‘solution’ to this alleged problem is a global tax on wealth and high rates of income taxation. Problems galore fill Piketty’s book – including his failure to recognize that market-driven innovation and competition are incessantly creating new capital while reducing or even destroying the value of older capital, all in ways that move new flesh-and-blood people into the central ranks of the ‘capitalists’ while moving others onto the periphery of those ranks. (Twelve years ago Mark Zuckerberg, the son of a dentist, was no one’s idea of a capitalist. He’s now worth close to $40 billion.)
Ashley had a brilliant insight, which I share here with her kind permission: Uber(and other ‘sharing economy’ innovations, such as Airbnb) allow ordinary people to turn their consumption goods into capital goods.
Capital is increasingly a human resource, rather than a material possession. This simple truth makes Piketty’s thesis irrelevant.