An Icon of the Left Tells Democrats: Don’t Go Socialist
The economist Joseph Stiglitz still mistrusts markets. But he’s worried "democratic socialism" will cost the Dems the 2020 election.
Over the past quarter century, no economist has worked harder than Joseph Stiglitz to keep the Democratic Party from moving to the center—to prevent Democrats from going gaga over free markets and the supposed glories of globalization. Along with a handful of other slighted seers of the left, such as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, Stiglitz was concerned early on about the eroding safety net for the middle class, income inequality, and the “financialization” of the economy. As chairman of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors and later the chief economist at the World Bank in the 1990s, Stiglitz argued passionately (and unsuccessfully) against opening up global capital flows too rapidly; he also spoke out against (again without results) repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, which regulated financial institutions and separated commercial from investment banking.
Michael Hirsh is a columnist for Foreign Policy. He is the author of two books: Capital Offense: How Washington’s Wise Men Turned America’s Future Over to Wall Street and At War With Ourselves: Why America Is Squandering Its Chance to Build a Better World. Twitter: @michaelphirsh
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