Piketty’s data describe the way that the pressure of investors for return on capital in low growth situations causes decline in real wages. The state can intervene to recoup some capital for the general good. In Britain the private housing market is taking up land from cash-strapped councils either to gain value while left empty or as buy-to-let. An alternative public housing model is outlined. Public debt accumulated mainly through spending on education and through loans to banks. Austerity policies are not reducing public borrowing. Ways of getting returns from education and getting the best value from the state’s share of RBS and Lloyds are discussed. National debt now exceeds nation GDP by three times – a puzzling statistic. Some tentative thoughts on reducing this debt are offered, with special reference to Greece.