The Institute Blog

Joe Stiglitz Takes On The Orthodox Academic Establishment

“I don’t want to talk about GDP anymore,” the Nobel laureate and INET Advisory Board member says in a recent interview with The European. “I want to talk about what is happening to most citizens.”

In his bold comments, Stiglitz takes on the orthodox academic establishment in economics.

“Academic economists played a big role in causing the crisis,” he says. “Their models were overly simplified, distorted, and left out the most important aspects. Those faulty models then encouraged policy-makers to believe that the markets would solve all the problems.”

However, he does see some hope for the future. In the wake of INET’s Berlin Conference and the ample student presence at the YSI Commons, Stiglitz says, “I think that change is really occurring with the young people. My young students overwhelmingly don’t understand how people could have believed in the old models. That is good.”

Stiglitz argues for an economics that focuses on human beings and human outcomes, saying, “It does not matter whether a few people at the top benefitted tremendously – when the majority of citizens are not better off, the economic system is not working.”

He also addresses critical global political issues: austerity, the Eurozone crisis, the dysfunctional U.S. political system, the future of political protest movements, and economic change. Stiglitz reminds us that, “Politics is at the root of the problem.” Read More…



Dear Professor Stiglitz:

I would like to have a public dialogue with you as though you are correct in your views, as I believe you are, and what possible scenarios might take place that would remove the obstacles to a bright future.

Many, many observe the dysfunctionality. Occupy Wall Street will show spring shoots shortly. But some practical steps toward a radical rebalancing of the financial smudge upon everyone's future must be discussed. Money is our construct, not our god.

Of course the first rational step would be to develop an ethic that a free people pay for a free press, and get past the pun that free is gratis. Without courageous and defended reporting, all such conversations are but sideshows.

Thank you for your patient common sense

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