Is This the Worst Review of Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”?

There are many candidates for the worst review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century**. Consider Allan Meltzer. He opens:

The United States of Envy Hoover InstitutionAllan Meltzer: The United States of Envy: “In advance of the 2014 election…

…the Obama administration has drawn the political discussion away from its unpopular and flawed healthcare plan, usually called Obamacare, to bring public attention and support for increased income redistribution…. We can all expect this theme to be trumpeted loudly by the mainstream press as the mid-term election approaches: Some of us can have more, the argument goes, if we force others to have less. Support for the alleged social benefits of setting much higher marginal tax rates on the highest incomes has now been endorsed by the International Monetary Fund, based heavily on research by two French economists named Thomas Piketty and Emanuel Saez. The two worked together on the faculty at MIT, where the current research director of the IMF, Olivier Blanchard, was a professor. Like Piketty and Saez, he is also French. France has, for many years, implemented destructive policies of income redistribution….

I agree that in the past there was a notable positive association between economic growth and the spread between the shares of income going to the top 1, 5, or 10 percent of the earners and the share going to the remainder. The mistake is to conclude that narrowing the distribution contributes to growth. The far more plausible explanation is that economic growth in capitalist countries over the past two centuries contributed to a steep decline in the share of the top earners…

What can we say? That Meltzer has not read the book, because if he had read the book he would know that one of Piketty’s big points–r > g, remember–is that patrimonial capitalism weakens when economic growth is fast? That he is too disconnected from the world to remember that Emmanuel Saez was never on the MIT faculty? That he is too lazy to check his (faulty) memory against Emmanuel Saez’s cv? That there are many people in France who are as opposed to progressive taxation as Allan Meltzer? That France’s income-redistribution policies have not kept it from having as high median after-tax incomes with a lot more vacation time and better health care outcomes than the United States? Or that the lead with its invocation of the joint conspiracy of the mainstream media and the Obama Administration to distract attention from ObamaCare is unhinged wingnut regurgitation of mendacious talking points at its worst?