Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Price of Inequality

In his book "The Price of Inequality" Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explains how increasing inequality can damage a society and an economy. He writes that "The 1% has worked hard to convince the rest that an alternative world is not possible; that doing anything that the 1% doesn't want will inevitably harm the 99%." His book argues against this and for a "more dynamic and more efficient economy and a fairer society." He points out that "politics and economics are inseparable, and that if we are to preserve a system of one person one vote - rather than one dollar one vote - reforms in our [US] political system will be required..."
I suggest that Interactive Democracy, where each voter can vote on each issue, is the sort of reform that would check how money talks and what it says. Much of the money may be spent by the few, but most of the votes are spent by the many. Not just once every few years but many times a year. It creates a free market of ideas and innovation and empowers each voter to reach Stiglitz' goal: a better economy and fairer society.
For arguments on why this won't lead to the plundering of the rich by the many, or a bloated state sector, please see my previous post, below. But I'd like to add that one reason that the rich can't be taxed 'til the pips squeak is because they will have up and left long before then. In a fair minded culture and society the majority of people understand this and respect the rich for what they contribute.

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