I finally finished The Price of Inequality yesterday so I guess it is now time to sum up my views. As I said in my previous post it is a very angry book. Stiglitz is justly outraged at the way the "1%" has increased it's wealth at the the expense of everyone else (both the middle and the poor) while at the same time as it has destabilized the economy, inhibited growth and brought about the Great Financial Recession.
The book examines how this happened, it's effect on American society as a whole and it's effect on American politics and legal system. The way corporate political donations corrupt American "democracy". Indeed as I put it some time back on a Guardian CIF post "... in America politicians are bought and sold like pork belly futures". He describes a legal system that where inequality is eroding the rule of law. A legal system where not only can wealth buy favourable outcomes in the courts but also where corporations can buy laws that represent their interests against those of the majority of citizens.
Finally he finishes with a chapter entitled The way Forward: Another World is Possible, recalling the slogan of the anti-globalization protesters of over a decade ago. In this chapter he presents his proposals for reversing the trend towards increasing inequality as a way of stabilizing the American economy and achieving a return to growth.
Tomorrow I will look at Stiglitz's analysis of rent seeking in America and it's implications.