The Age of Vulnerability

Studies confirm that inequality continues in the United States as income rises for the very rich but stagnates or even declines for the majority. Economist Joseph Stiglitz describes a study from the UN Development Programme for an essay for Project Syndicate: “America ranks fifth according to HDI, below Norway, Australia, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. But when its score is adjusted for inequality, it drops 23 spots – among the largest such declines for any highly developed country.” The report suggests that many families in the United States are vulnerable and that any setback, including illness or a loss of job, can push them into poverty. “In the US, upward mobility is more myth than reality, whereas downward mobility and vulnerability is a widely shared experience,” he writes. Such insecurity is prevalent around the globe, and Stiglitz concludes that gross domestic product is not an adequate measure of a nation’s economic success and policies that reduce incomes and standards of living, like austerity, are fundamentally flawed. – YaleGlobal

The Age of Vulnerability

Inequality leads to insecurity of all types, and gross domestic product is not an adequate economic measure for success of nations
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Monday, October 20, 2014

Click here for the article in Project Syndicate.

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at Columbia University, was Chairman of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. His most recent book, co-authored with Bruce Greenwald, is Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress.

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