Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on Thursday said the American dream was “a myth.”
“While America likes to think of itself as a land of opportunity, it is less so than any other advanced industrial country for which there is data — poorer opportunities than old ossified Europe,” he told Reuters. “The life prospects of a kid is more dependent on the education and income of his parents than any of these other countries.”
Stiglitz said the economic model of the United States was unlikely to change because of American politics.
“American politics gives an awful lot of influence to that 1 percent and they don’t want to change. At least many of them don’t want to change.”
He denied that inequality was simply “the price of freedom,” noting that Scandinavian countries were just as democratic as the United States yet had much less inequality.
“The price of inequality is that it is weakening our society and economy and our democracy,” he said. “I really worry that we will move like, you know, some of those countries that I used to visit as chief economist of the World Bank, where the wealthy lived in walled communities, greater and greater divide, two parts of society not knowing each other.”
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