Roosevelt Institute Chief Economist and Senior Fellow Joseph Stiglitz joined Jon Stewart on The Daily Show this week to talk about the U.S.'s abysmal rate of economic inequality. After clearing up what laws of supply and demand could possibly lead to a book that's one-third footnotes, Stiglitz explained why "inequality has really become one of the major problems facing our country" today.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Despite the persistent myth of the American Dream, in which only in this country can someone pull themselves up by the bootstraps, found a private equity firm, then run from that record as a presidential candidate, Stiglitz says, "We have become the most unequal of all the advanced industrial countries and we’ve become the country…with the least equality of opportunity." The inequality in our country has also "changed dramatically" in recent decades, particularly since the post-World War II boom. "In the three decades after World War II, the economy grew together and it grew much more rapidly than it did since 1980, where we’ve grown apart and we’ve grown more slowly," Stiglitz argues.
It doesn't have to be this way, though. "These are not the inevitable laws of economics," he says. Plus we're somewhat unique in how wide the gulf is between rich and poor -- and how hard it is to cross it. "Other countries have same market forces at play and they have less inequality and more equality of opportunity," he explains.
The full interview (parts one, two, and three -- they had a lot to talk about!) can be found on the Daily Show website.