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  Over at the NY Times is one of the most compelling summaries of the malaise afflicting America. Joseph E. Stiglitz pulls no punches in detailing how the growing inequality in this country is crippling us.

The re-election of President Obama was like a Rorschach test, subject to many interpretations. In this election, each side debated issues that deeply worry me: the long malaise into which the economy seems to be settling, and the growing divide between the 1 percent and the rest — an inequality not only of outcomes but also of opportunity. To me, these problems are two sides of the same coin: with inequality at its highest level since before the Depression, a robust recovery will be difficult in the short term, and the American dream — a good life in exchange for hard work — is slowly dying.

Politicians typically talk about rising inequality and the sluggish recovery as separate phenomena, when they are in fact intertwined. Inequality stifles, restrains and holds back our growth. When even the free-market-oriented magazine The Economist argues — as it did in a special feature in October — that the magnitude and nature of the country’s inequality represent a serious threat to America, we should know that something has gone horribly wrong. And yet, after four decades of widening inequality and the greatest economic downturn since the Depression, we haven’t done anything about it.

Read the whole thing - it's a searing indictment of the political status quo that is condemning America to stagnation.

There is a giant streak of denialism at the heart of our government, the refusal to even speak of the threats that truly menace our future. The failure to even discuss Climate Change is one; Stiglitz nails the other - the failure to address the inequality that is killing the American Dream.

Read the whole thing.



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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    How many more voices have to raised about this before the message sinks in on Capitol Hill and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 07:38:33 PM PST

  •  "The Post-Crisis Crises" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, JayRaye, OleHippieChick, wbr
    The Post-Crisis Crises
    Joseph Stiglitz
    Project Syndicate
    January 7, 2013

    NEW YORK – In the shadow of the euro crisis and America’s fiscal cliff, it is easy to ignore the global economy’s long-term problems. But, while we focus on immediate concerns, they continue to fester, and we overlook them at our peril.

    The most serious is global warming. While the global economy’s weak performance has led to a corresponding slowdown in the increase in carbon emissions, it amounts to only a short respite. And we are far behind the curve: Because we have been so slow to respond to climate change, achieving the targeted limit of a two-degree (centigrade) rise in global temperature, will require sharp reductions in emissions in the future.

    Some suggest that, given the economic slowdown, we should put global warming on the backburner. On the contrary, retrofitting the global economy for climate change would help to restore aggregate demand and growth…

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:00:05 PM PST

  •  There was an earlier diary on this topic (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, JayRaye, wbr, xaxnar

    For those interested in this topic there were lots of comments in an earlier diary referencing the Stiglitz piece.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 09:01:00 PM PST

  •  I'd go as far as saying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..that Plutocrat inflicted inequality and stagnant wages and hopelessness are fueling the gun-nuts need to cling to their precious AR-15s and Ak-47s.

    Our skyrocketing inequality — so contrary to our meritocratic ideal of America as a place where anyone with hard work and talent can “make it” — means that those who are born to parents of limited means are likely never to live up to their potential.
    There's no time to watch FOX and "fear for your country" when you're living a busy, productive, vibrant, life and have opportunities and a career that you care about.

    The Aggressively Ignorant Caucus is getting aggressively ignorant again.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:06:34 AM PST

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