Nobel Lauriate Joseph E. Stieglitz talks in commonsnse ways in all things relating to economics. Precise, direct and spot on, he walks the walk and talks the talk when describing how humanity relates to economics in a very open-ended and nuanced way, something not often heard in this age of mindless bloviation and endless prevarication. To whit:
Our political system has increasingly been working in ways that increase the inequality of outcomes and reduce equality of opportunity. This should not come as a surprise: we have a political system that gives inordinate power to those at the top, and they have used that power not only to limit the extent of redistribution but also to shape the rules of the game in their favor, and to extract from the public what can only be called large “gifts.” Economists have a name for these activities: they call them rent seeking, getting income not as a reward to creating wealth but by grabbing a larger share of the wealth that would otherwise have been produced without their effort. Those at the top have learned how to suck out money from the rest in ways that the rest are hardly aware of—that is their true innovation.
Indeed, some of the most important innovations in business in the last three decades have centered not on making the economy more efficient but on how better to ensure monopoly power or how better to circumvent government regulations intended to align social returns and private rewards.
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Joseph E. Stieglitz