Blessed are the job creators (continued)

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Permanent Fail at 5:31 pm by George Smith

An excellent and very long interview with economist Joseph Stiglitz, who won a Nobel in 2001, is now available at The European Magazine.

It deals with economic austerity in Europe, policy which has brought on more collapse and increasing social unrest.

Quite a bit is covered. However, Stiglitz does address the severe condition of this country:

What is happening to most citizens in a country? When you look at America, you have to concede that we have failed. Most Americans today are worse off than they were fifteen years ago. A full-time worker in the US is worse off today than he or she was 44 years ago. That is astounding – half a century of stagnation. The economic system is not delivering. It does not matter whether a few people at the top benefited tremendously – when the majority of citizens are not better off, the economic system is not working …

We are facing a very difficult transition from manufacturing to a service economy. We have failed to manage that transition smoothly. If we don’t correct that mistake, we will pay a very high price. Already, the average American is suffering from the failed transition. My concern is that we have set in motion an adverse economics and an adverse politics. A lot of American inequality is caused by rent-seeking: Monopolies, military spending, procurement, extractive industries, drugs. We have some economic sectors that are very good, but we also have a lot of parasites. The hopeful view is that the economy can grow if we rid ourselves of the parasites and focus on the productive sectors. But in any disease there is always the risk that the parasites will devour the healthy body parts. The jury is still out on that …

It will require a strong third party or civil society to do something about this.

It is unusual but welcome to see the word “parasites” used in association with “monopolies,” “military spending,” and “extractive industries,” the latter which includes Wall Street.

Very fundamentally, Stiglitz is telling the interviewer that America can’t be a decent country, in any sense, where the majority is left to exploit or rot for spoil and the sole benefit of those at the very top. Plus, the the evil-doers may win.

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