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Joseph Stiglitz on the Great Divide


Inequality is an increasing problem in the Western world, leaving everyone – the rich as well as the poor – worse off. The dream of a socially mobile society is becoming an ever more unachievable myth. That’s the view of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who came to the Intelligence Squared stage for a rare London appearance in May 2015. Stiglitz argued that inequality is not inevitable but a choice – the cumulative result of unjust policies and misguided priorities. Stiglitz exposed the neoliberal policies, such as deregulation and tax cuts for the rich, which he claims are causing many people to fall further and further behind. He proposed real solutions: increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy; helping homeowners instead of banks; investing in education, science, and infrastructure; and, most importantly, doing more to restore full employment. Stiglitz drew on lessons from America – the inequality leader of the developed world – as well as Scandinavia, Singapore, and Japan. And he argued against what he sees as the tide of unnecessary, destructive austerity that is sweeping across Europe. While many believe we are faced with a choice between growth and fairness, Stiglitz believes that with the right policies, we can have both.

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:56

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