Joseph Stiglitz: It’s Time to Get Radical on Inequality

New Economic Thinking

Published on Jun 26, 2015

America’s economic system has failed by not raising living standards for most.

Nobel laureate Stiglitz, author of The Price of Inequality and The Great Divide, studies the forces driving inequality and what is at stake if it continues. In his view, bad economic thinking deserves part of the blame — fanciful ideas like trickle-down and the notion that economists should try to increase the size of the economic pie and let the politicians worry about distribution. On the contrary, Stiglitz sees distribution as a problem economists must confront. He warns that an economic system that doesn’t raise standards of living for most Americans is a failure.

Stiglitz departs from Thomas Piketty on the causes of inequality and sees capital gains on land and rents associated with monopoly power, discrimination, and exploitation as the big story. He also faults deregulation in the banking industry.

Stiglitz warns that inequality and unfairness are undermining our identity as Americans, destroying our society, and harming the economy. It’s time, he says, to get radical. We have to understand that mild tweaking won’t work and that we must take on the underlying and power structures if we hope to tackle this enormous challenge. Watch the video to learn more about how to do this.

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