If Capitalism Is Our Future, What Will It Look Like? | On Point

September 11, 2019    Updated Sep 11, 2019 3:55 PM
This is Part II of our “pop-up” series on capitalism. Listen to Part I here.

With Meghna Chakrabarti

Capitalism works, says economist Branko Milanovic, but it comes with a price. We look at new models of capitalism that can break the cycles of greed and inequality in the U.

Guest

Branko Milanovic, professor at the Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Author of “Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System that Rules the World.” Former lead economist in the World Bank’s research department. (@BrankoMilan)

Interview Highlights

On whether inequality is required in order for capitalism to function

“Let me answer this question by saying first: yes, indeed, it is absolutely required. But, secondly, I have to also qualify that by saying that many people, actually — when they ask that question — imagine that inequality is some kind of a binary variable. Which means either you have inequality, or you don’t have inequality. The reality, of course, is much more complex. You should think of inequality like the way that you measure, for example, temperature, or weight and so on. It’s a continuous variable. So, the question that we have to ask [is]: is inequality that we have now actually bad for growth, and bad for social stability and bad for, basically, what we call [in] economics, intergenerational equality? In other words, equality of opportunity. So, let me just say it again, I think it is bad for growth. It is bad for social stability, and it is bad for equality of chances, or equality of opportunity.”

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