This is the message that Nobel laureate and INET Advisory Board member Joe Stiglitz gives as he takes on inequality in his new book, released today,The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future.
In anticipation of the book’s release, an adapted excerpt appeared today inVanity Fair that explores the many problems inequality creates, including social instability (he calls inequality the “universal solvent” of trust) and a weaker economy.
“There are good reasons why plutocrats should care about inequality anyway—even if they’re thinking only about themselves,” Stiglitz writes. “The rich do not exist in a vacuum. They need a functioning society around them to sustain their position. Widely unequal societies do not function efficiently and their economies are neither stable nor sustainable.”
The result is an economic world in which “even the winners are weary,” Stiglitz says. Inequality affects all of us, not just those of us who currently are feeling it in their checkbooks.