The Price of Inequality

20 Aug

Here’s a Blink book recommendation: The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. As a preview, here’s Stiglitz’s interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show:

There’s a critical distinction between inequality of wealth and inequality of opportunity that Stiglitz makes. As the current the global leader among “advanced nations” in inequality of opportunity, the US has quite an impressive caste system.

But this isn’t just about the poor or the disadvantaged. Stiglitz argues that inequality isn’t just bad for those who have less–it’s bad for all of us. In shifting the question of economic inequality from a matter of charity for some to creating a mutually vibrant context in which any of us can not just get by but thrive, Stiglitz is asking us to critically rethink whom our current systems (including systems of “wealth incumbency”) are really benefitting.

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