« "We Certainly Don't Want to Divide Europe." | Main | Links for 06-26-2012 »

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stiglitz: America is No Longer a Land of Opportunity

The inequality problem won't solve itself:

America is no longer a land of opportunity, by By Joseph Stiglitz, Commentary, FT: US inequality is at its highest point for nearly a century. ... One might feel better about inequality if there were a grain of truth in trickle-down economics. But the median income of Americans today is lower than it was a decade and a half ago... Meanwhile, those at the top have never had it so good. ...
Markets are shaped by the rules of the game. Our political system has written rules that benefit the rich at the expense of others. ... There is good news in this: by reducing rent-seeking ... and the distortions that give rise to so much of America’s inequality we can achieve a fairer society and a better-performing economy. ...
America used to be thought of as the land of opportunity. Today, a child’s life chances are more dependent on the income of his or her parents than in Europe, or any other of the advanced industrial countries for which there are data. ...
We can once again become a land of opportunity but it will not happen on its own... The country will have to make a choice: if it continues as it has in recent decades, the lack of opportunity will mean a more divided society, marked by lower growth and higher social, political and economic instability. Or it can recognize that the economy has lost its balance. The gilded age led to the progressive era, the excesses of the Roaring Twenties led to the Depression, which in turn led to the New Deal. Each time, the country saw the extremes to which it was going and pulled back. The question is, will it do so once again?

    Posted by on Monday, June 25, 2012 at 02:47 PM in Economics, Income Distribution, Politics | Permalink  Comments (45)

          


    Comments

    Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.