Access: The Daily Show
Summary: In this clip, nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz discusses his book, The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future. The clip offers a great explanation of why inequality is so much worse in the U.S., why it doesn't have to be, and how it hurts the economy. Siglitz notes that the US has become the most unequal of all advanced industrial countries and that we also have the least equality of opportunity. He argues "The life chances of somebody...born in the United States is more dependent on the income and education of his parents than in any of the advanced countries for which we have data." There is no such thing as a free market and that institutions shape the market and promote or lessen inequality. Bankruptcy laws and student loan policies are just two examples of how institutions shape the market. Contrary to arguments that inequality is good for society because it drives people to strive for more, Stiglitz argues that past American innovators and the most important innovations were not motivated by money and would not have been deterred by higher taxes. See also part 2, part 3, or listen to an NPR story on Stiglitz's book.
Submitted By: Nickie Michaud Wild