Joseph Stiglitz explains how inequality hurts the US economy

Stiglitz insists that increasing inequality in the United States comes from a breakdown of the political and economic systems. Failure to hold any banker accountable for actions that contributed to the recent economic crisis is a prime cause. The current level of inequality increases instability, reduces productivity, and undermines democracy. He shows that the consequences include a monopolistic redistribution powerful enough to have caused massive distortions in the U.S. financial system. More fundamentally, people underestimate the problem of inequality; as a result, they fail to perceive the changes that are already underway. Stiglitz presents the situation as “the bigger battle over perceptions and over big ideas,” a battle being fought through persuasion, framing, misrepresentation and obfuscation. Changing course requires winning this battle for truth. In this way, he argues, equality, the rule of law and accountability can be reestablished.

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