The battle to increase the minimum wage is everywhere, from global fast food worker protests and new local minimum wage laws to executive orders and passionate speeches from President Obama. It's worth considering whether minimum wage policies are sufficient to substantively address rising inequality and the broad decline of the middle class.
Piketty's concerns are relevant to the growing inequality in China that has resulted from adopting the neo-liberal capitalist model from the West. Hence, Piketty's reflection on mainstream Western economics indirectly treads a delicate ground in China. It fits right into the current raging debate over which path China's reformers should take in the next stage of "structural reform."
The intellectual terrain that the Catholic Church now navigates is far different from now than it was even a few short years ago. Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the 21st Century" is on the top of Amazon's best-seller lists, and Francis is on his way to becoming one of the most popular popes in history.