Monday, June 27, 2011

Better Late Than Never: Stiglitz's Essay on American Income Inequality

More than a decade ago, my good friend Tiffany reminded me of why I enjoyed reading Vanity Fair.  It was (and remains) stylish, informative, and its sensibilities were akin to my own; I am a proud subscriber.  I've provided links to a few Vanity Fair articles in my various posts, the most recent being an essay from Christopher Hitchens on our relationship with Pakistan, which I think is a must-read essay).  Unfortunately, I forgot to write a post for an essay that appeared in the May 2011 issue that had me spellbound.  The economist Joseph Stiglitz's brilliant essay "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%" is one of the best summations of our economic circumstance that I've read.

I thought of the Stiglitz essay, as I read Sen. Mitch McConnell's op-ed on CNN's website.  Not only was it ahistorical in its facts (the last I checked we've been waging two wars off the books until 2009, but that was when VPOTUS Cheney declared, and no Republicans objected, that deficits don't matter), but there was nothing that even pretended to be in the spirit of compromise in the face of real and imminent fiscal dangers.  McConnell's job remains twofold.  The first is to continue his primary job of getting rid of President Obama, the country be damned, and the second is to serve the interests of the 1%.  "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%" will always be an apt description of all Republican elected officials and most Democratic elected officials. 

Read the Stiglitz essay.  Though no essay is ever perfect, I think that it would require blind obeisance to "conservative" ideology to dismiss many of the points Stiglitz has raised.

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