Joseph Stiglitz – making the case for shared prosperity

Joseph Stiglitz – making the case for shared prosperity

2 minute read

Joseph Stiglitz, the American Nobel Prize winning economist and author, makes the case for a rejuvenated and reinvigorated Progressive Capitalism at the John Adams Institute in Amsterdam.

"You can't have sustainable prosperity without shared prosperity." The final eight words of his presentation were enough to confirm a range of opinion about Stiglitz. For some, he is an out-of-touch socialist, and in eyes of others he isn't left-wing enough.

Stiglitz, for the record, is a self-proclaimed Democrat, who sometimes describes himself as a conservative. His latest book, People, Power and Profits (2019), focuses on the US and is subtitled "progressive capitalism for an age of discontent." He summarized what he sees as the main challenges during a packed-out talk, hosted by the John Adams Institute, at Amsterdam's DeLaMar theatre on November 15.

Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz outlines his views (all photos: Gerrit Serné)

Economics, politics and values

The US, according to Stiglitz, had gone wrong in three areas in the past several decades: economics (too much faith in the markets); politics (the overarching influence of big money) and values (forgetting that the government and democracy exist to serve all citizens).

Government intervention, he said, is essential to correct the worst excesses of market concentration and inequality. Economic reform has to go hand-in-hand with political reforms are needed to free government and democracy from the grasp of wealthy corporate forces, according to the economist.

John Adams Institute

Aegon, as a company, doesn't take a view on the rights or wrongs of Stiglitz's thesis. But we welcome the exchange of ideas about solidary and working together in the community.

And, as a supporter of open debate, Aegon has partnered with the John Adams Institute since it was founded 30 years ago as American cultural podium in the Netherlands. The sponsorship also reflects our Group's roots: a blend of Netherlands-headquartered Aegon and US-based Transamerica.