Changing the rules or changing the game?

Stiglitz wants to change the ‘rules’ back. As he said, “I am no left-winger, I’m a middle of the road economist”.

He just wants to reduce ‘extreme’ inequality and get growth up. He is sure that this can be done in the US by getting the Federal Reserve to set interest rates to promote jobs not reduce inflation; to cut the student debt burden; increase the minimum wage and introduce anti-trust laws to break up the banks and big monopolies etc.

Stiglitz admitted that even these mild rule changes were unlikely to see the light of day in the US, given the present balance of forces in Congress or for that matter in the UK.

I’m tempted to repeat the comment of left Keynesain Joan Robinson: “Any government which had both the power and will to remedy the major defects of the capitalist system would have the will and power to abolish it altogether”.

“We can’t leave to market forces to solve the problems by themselves”, concluded Stiglitz, so we must rewrite the rules of the game.

This is like saying bear baiting should be moderated by rewriting the rules. Why not stop the game altogether.

Michael Roberts Blog

I’ve just been to a lecture by Professor Joseph Stiglitz as part of a series organised by the British Labour Party on ‘new economics’.  The lecture series is designed to raise the level of economic debate and for the new range of economic advisors to the Labour Party to come up with ideas.  Joseph Stiglitz is one of the advisors.  He is a Nobel prize winner in economics and former chief economist at the World Bank.  And he is author of several books, particularly on the rise of inequality of incomes and wealth in the major economies over the last 40 years.  His latest book is called, Rewriting the rules of the American economy to achieve shared prosperity.

Stiglitz is deeply concerned with the rise in inequality exhibited across the major economies and elsewhere globally.  He obviously sees it as the major issue before the people and politicians at…

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