Skip to main content

Just posted three hours ago over at Vanity Fair’s website, Columbia University economist and Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz reminds us why his pen is mightier than a Wall Street boardroom full of swords in: “The 1 Percent’s Problem.”

Stiglitz snark-a-liciously appeals to the one percent’s unbridled self-interest and greed throughout his latest column by explaining that record-breaking income inequality is bad for business and runs against the very grain of the one thing that every self-adulating member of the status quo cares about most in life: their bottom line.

Here’s how the guy--whom I consider to be one of the most important people on the planet—wraps up his latest Vanity Fair piece…

The 1 Percent’s Problem
Joseph Stiglitz
Vanity Fair
May 31, 2012

…The “Be Selfish” Solution

Many, if not most, Americans possess a limited understanding of the nature of the inequality in our society. They know that something has gone wrong, but they underestimate the harm that inequality does even as they overestimate the cost of taking action. These mistaken beliefs, which have been reinforced by ideological rhetoric, are having a catastrophic effect on politics and economic policy.

There is no good reason why the 1 percent, with their good educations, their ranks of advisers, and their much-vaunted business acumen, should be so misinformed. The 1 percent in generations past often knew better. They knew that there would be no top of the pyramid if there wasn’t a solid base—that their own position was precarious if society itself was unsound. Henry Ford, not remembered as one of history’s softies, understood that the best thing he could do for himself and his company was to pay his workers a decent wage, because he wanted them to work hard and he wanted them to be able to buy his cars. Franklin D. Roosevelt, a purebred patrician, understood that the only way to save an essentially capitalist America was not only to spread the wealth, through taxation and social programs, but to put restraints on capitalism itself, through regulation. Roosevelt and the economist John Maynard Keynes, while reviled by the capitalists, succeeded in saving capitalism from the capitalists. Richard Nixon, known to this day as a manipulative cynic, concluded that social peace and economic stability could best be secured by investment—and invest he did, heavily, in Medicare, Head Start, Social Security, and efforts to clean up the environment. Nixon even floated the idea of a guaranteed annual income.

So, the advice I’d give to the 1 percent today is: Harden your hearts. When invited to consider proposals to reduce inequality—by raising taxes and investing in education, public works, health care, and science—put any latent notions of altruism aside and reduce the idea to one of unadulterated self-interest. Don’t embrace it because it helps other people. Just do it for yourself.

Starting along the way to reaching that conclusion—without giving away the best parts of his article—he advises the wealthy to: “…Put sentiment aside. There are good reasons why plutocrats should care about inequality anyway—even if they’re thinking only about themselves. The rich do not exist in a vacuum. They need a functioning society around them to sustain their position…”

In-between that thought and the conclusion, in blockquotes above, he does a deeper dive on the four primary problems within our economy that any aspiring Bernie Madoff-wannabee must seek to effectively address to attain their goal of financial domination within our society; specifically, these are problems relating to: consumption, “rent seeking,” fairness and mistrust.

With a quick review of Stiglitz’ latest, you, too, may now learn all the secrets to being a successful member of the one percent. Or, at least a more equitably compensated member of the ninety-nine percent that serves them. To learn more, simply read the rest of his column in this coming month’s Vanity Fair, LINKED RIGHT HERE.

#            #            #

Originally posted to http://www.dailykos.com/user/bobswern on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and German American Friendship Group.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, grytpype, jbou, bink, Renee, Alumbrados, Doug in SF, buffalo soldier, cslewis, jec, Economaniac, Aeolus, PhilK, True North, melo, grollen, Jackson L Haveck, teacherken, Timaeus, Detlef, native, importer, MarkC, Rolfyboy6, NYmom, emal, PeterHug, SteinL, Emerson, Shockwave, Heimyankel, Pescadero Bill, hyperstation, Stein, x, LeftHandedMan, Voodoo, RFK Lives, Matilda, Gareth, hubcap, Creosote, opinionated, TheMomCat, bronte17, Zinman, TracieLynn, amsterdam, nyceve, whenwego, Agathena, CatFelyne, stevej, chuckvw, cosmic debris, gayntom, mkfarkus, smokem2271, JuliaAnn, Nate Roberts, ctsteve, antirove, Alna Dem, Brit, Eddie C, jdmorg, kharma, menodoc, psnyder, sockpuppet, TexDem, CitizenOfEarth, cosette, niteskolar, Steven Payne, Catte Nappe, papercut, lcrp, riverlover, dkmich, outragedinSF, Oaktown Girl, Diana in NoVa, zerelda, Sembtex, side pocket, Deward Hastings, Marianne Benz, solesse413, eztempo, environmentalist, oortdust, Gowrie Gal, Ohkwai, sb, rapala, Los Diablo, bloomer 101, historys mysteries, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, jrooth, DianeNYS, Ckntfld, subtropolis, disrael, ek hornbeck, OpherGopher, PBen, Superpole, Alice Venturi, Irons33, grimjc, frandor55, basquebob, dewtx, drewfromct, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, FutureNow, ratzo, eru, farmerchuck, Sun Tzu, where4art, Burned, cassidy3, Ice Blue, peteri2, most peculiar mama, blue jersey mom, markdd, Sandino, LucyandByron, Island Expat, Savvy813, WisePiper, joeotter, Ginny in CO, bunsk, Cory Bantic, Brian B, daddybunny, DaveVH, littlewren, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, fhcec, Jim R, splashoil, Jim P, forbodyandmind, SoulCatcher, martini, third Party please, kovie, Medium Head Boy, vigilant meerkat, cybersaur, tobendaro, dharmafarmer, SciFiGuy, Kimball Cross, Russgirl, Gorette, Yellow Canary, koNko, Son of a Cat, raincrow, kck, blueoasis, NBBooks, triv33, MJ via Chicago, philipmerrill, gpoutney, gooderservice, gatorcog, joe shikspack, Preston S, tommyfocus2003, hlsmlane, anninla, democracy is coming, profh, James Hepburn, BB10, Texdude50, blueoregon, shaharazade, Statusquomustgo, jjellin, bstotts, Friend of the court, AllanTBG, Pandoras Box, Aaa T Tudeattack, cpresley, DBunn, seabos84, tegrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, RWood, bluicebank, Ken in MN, dotsright, Habitat Vic, wa ma, Loudoun County Dem, SpecialKinFlag, camlbacker, bigjacbigjacbigjac, leema, offgrid, Positronicus, Wino, DvCM, LillithMc, Mary Mike, david mizner, HeartlandLiberal, biggus, terabytes, LamontCranston, suejazz, Unbozo, aliasalias, bearian, Strabo, rantsposition, Seneca Doane, artisan, HCKAD, US Blues, rivamer, martyinsfo, mudslide, SeaTurtle, rontripp, millwood, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, cloudbustingkid, Don midwest, South Park Democrat, TomP, gizmo59, JDWolverton, cynndara, rogerdaddy, bkamr, gzodik, TruthFreedomKindness, kimoconnor, ScottyUrb, bill warnick, Involuntary Exile, LI Mike, theunreasonableHUman, Akonitum, KJG52, Its any one guess, Calamity Jean, TomFromNJ, Haplogroup V, MrJayTee, Wek, icebergslim, Jake Williams, carver, alnep, petulans, luckylizard, MarkVA71, priceman, toom, watercarrier4diogenes, statsone, JBL55, bluebelle7, McGahee220, ceebee7, greengemini, lostinamerica, bsmechanic, Mislead, WiseFerret, notrouble, Partisan Progressive, jennylind, shopkeeper, mkor7, CamillesDad1, JesseCW, DefendOurConstitution, COwoman, kevinpdx, IreGyre, Thutmose V, Knarfc, strangedemocracy, zenmasterjack, angel d, Randtntx, Hunter Huxley, Just Bob, coppercelt, political junquie, estreya, Tea and Strumpets, The Free Agent, eb23, biggiefries, Crabby Abbey, sunny skies, TimmyB, gulfgal98, Lady Libertine, 2020adam, anonevent, Egalitare, DeanObama, Publius2008, Betty Pinson, ericlewis0, Nada Lemming, Oh Mary Oh, soaglow, Glass Navel, Actbriniel, slice, tgrshark13, theKgirls, no way lack of brain, annieli, BrowniesAreGood, allenjo, ozsea1, Old Jay, afisher, sostos, Mr MadAsHell, Mistral Wind, Bluerall, asterkitty, kevin k, Nicci August, Teiresias70, marleycat, Wolf10, Yogurt721, 1718bill, tardis10, MarketFarces, whoknu, chira2, MinistryOfTruth, Imhotepsings, poliwrangler, SNFinVA, blue aardvark, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Sunspots, stlsophos, imlpdx, dradams, DRo, Regina in a Sears Kit House, SouthernLiberalinMD, BoulderStevo, DEMonrat ankle biter, ParkRanger, No one gets out alive, Azazello, longtalldrink, YaNevaNo, Only Needs a Beat, MNGrandma, chmood, ridemybike, stormicats, Heart n Mind, Williston Barrett, greenbastard, efraker, molecularlevel, orestes1963, ahumbleopinion, dance you monster, LefseBlue, S F Hippie, orpurple, Ginger1, Raul Grijalva, Steve Masover, Lh1695, Mike RinRI, LittleSilver, jan4insight, Spirit Dancer, reginahny, the Don, Arahahex, MartyM, BRog, ClutchCargo, notdarkyet, Margd, james321, avsp, Victim of Circumstance, wasatch, katiec, Robynhood too, BradyB, quiet is the new loud, Kurt Sperry, CalBearMom, Quasimodal, Stills, Dumas EagerSeton, Blue Dream, nomandates, DamselleFly, Saint Jimmy, The grouch, argomd, Eric Twocents, quince, tomMETHUSELAH, Markoff Chaney, Dan Schapiro, entrelac, leeleedee, ggfkate, Icicle68, TimeandtheRani, Demeter Rising, nicestjerk

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site