As the fight over income inequality remains a major topic of national concern, Joseph Stiglitz, winner of a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and author of the new book “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity,” told “Democracy Now!” that “something is wrong with the way our economy is working. … The fact that at the bottom, minimum wage is as low as it was 45 years ago, a half-century ago, says something. … It’s not a living wage.”

Stiglitz continued, “When you have corporations having a very short-sighted view, paying their CEOs such outrageous monies with less money spent on investment, of course you’re not going to make long-term investments that are going to result in long-term economic growth. And at the same time, there’s going to be less money to pay for ordinary workers. And paying that low wages to ordinary workers, not giving them security, not giving them paid, you know, family leave, all that results in a less productive labor force. So what we’ve done is we’ve actually undermined investments in people, investments in the corporation, all for the sake of increasing the income of the people at the very top. So there’s a really close link here between the growing inequality in our society and the weak economic performance.”

Stiglitz also spoke about presidential contenders Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. “The question is whether the United States is rich enough to be able to make sure that everyone has a basic right to health care, family leave, parental, you know, sick leave—we are exceptional—whether we are a society that can tolerate—that should tolerate the levels of inequality that we have.”

”I think Bernie Sanders is right about that.”

Of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal affecting 40 percent of the global economy and currently being debated by Congress, Stiglitz said, “The irony is that the president came out and said, ‘This is about who makes the trade rules—China or the United States?’ … But I think the big issue is, this is about who makes the rules of trade—the American people, our democratic process, or the corporations? And who they’re made for, which is, for the corporations or for all of us?”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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