Monday, March 18, 2013

Stiglitz on Singapore

Nobel laureate economist, Joe Stiglitz, has an op-ed piece in today's New York Times in which he looks at how Singapore's efforts to redress inequality has reaped huge benefits for the country.

Democracy, we now recognize, involves more than periodic voting. Societies with a high level of economic inequality inevitably wind up with a high level of political inequality: the elites run the political system for their own interests, pursuing what economists call rent-seeking behavior, rather than the general public interest. The result is a most imperfect democracy. The Nordic democracies, in this sense, have achieved what most Americans aspire toward: a political system where the voice of ordinary citizens is fairly represented, where political traditions reinforce openness and transparency; where money does not dominate political decision-making; where government activities are transparent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stiglitz' post does ring true,

As well, Henry A. Giroux's piece in Truthout superbly describes the descent of The West into a kind of pre-adolescent imbecility.

“The stories we tell about ourselves no longer speak to the ideals of justice, equality, liberty and democracy. Stories that once inspired our imagination now degrade it, treating it largely as a blank screen upon which to write advertisements that reduce our sense of agency to the imperatives of shopping.”

Yep. Countries fairly described as "Plutonomies" [US, UK, Canada, Australia] are crumbling as never before.

Who is Stiglitz? Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank.

His full essay in the NYT is worth the read.

BTW, what's a Plutonomy?

In 2006 Ajay Kapur, Global Strategist for Citibank, offered a 64 page essay on this subject to top investors as advice on The Economy.

The real ECONOMY - not the Alice In Wonderland collection of superstition-doctrines [like trickledown, off-shoring, austerity, and so on ] propagandized everywhere by our infotainment monopoly. The full essay is here:

Once you've reviewed the “Plutonomy Symposium - Rising Tides Lifting Yachts” it's obvious who Citibank believes owns the economy and with it, controls an increasingly supine political puppet-show. Mr Kapur's surprisingly candid effort makes it clear whose interests are to be preserved, at what risk, and at whose expense.

Many people now over 60 used to laugh at the likes of Pravda, Izvestia, and Tass pretending to print The Sacred Soviet Truth. But when our own media morphed into the same patterns, people not only stopped laughing, they stopped buying.

Now? We turn to net and blogs that filter through daily swine droppings to find pearls..

Many thanks.