“We should be using those scarce resources to preserve the planet. But we don’t give innovators any incentives.”
The message of Joseph Stiglitz’s book—The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them (out now in paperback)—is positive, in a way. He shows how growing income and wealth inequality is the function of choices we make, not ineluctable forces—globalization, technology, capitalism—that we can’t control. Although we don’t have policies in place to create more equality, we could design them if we wanted. After all, other countries are buffeted by exactly the same forces (that’s why it’s called globalization), yet, they don’t have anything like our gaps between rich and poor.