Joseph Stiglitz, former World Bank chief economist and Nobel Prize winner, joins “Closing Bell” to discuss the economy, the 2020 election, and the rise of ‘progressive capitalism’.
Joseph Stiglitz: The Economy, The 2020 Election, And The Rise Of Progressive Capitalism
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Joining us here at Post 9 is Joseph Stiglitz, former World Bank chief economist, Nobel Prize winner, author of "People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent" should also mention former White House chief economist come back. So time is very wow because this is. What Democrats are talking about when you say progressive capitalism. Is that the same thing that Bernie Sanders is talking about and Elizabeth Warren and the AOC and all the other.
In many ways it is but it's it's trying to balance that access. You have to have the market there that's going to be the center of our economy. But you also have to make sure that the market serves society and it hasn't been doing that as well as it could be. So that's exactly what progressive capitalism it isn't throwing out capitalism but it's trying to make sure that capitalism actually works. The way exposed to it serves society.
So given that that's your response to that question do you think the label socialist is being used too liberally on people like AOC and Bernie Sanders or are they embracing a failing with their own PR by allowing it to be applied.
Well it's very interesting. Those of us who grew up. In the Cold War communism socialism had a certain. Ring to it. But. These younger people AOC were born after the end of you know after the Berlin Wall fell. And it doesn't have the same connotations and what they're saying is you know here are the things we want. We think everybody should have the right to have health insurance. Everybody should have the education that lives up to their. It enables them to live up to that opportunity. They should have a reasonable retirement. And if you ask people do they want those things if they say yes. Now as you say the question is What do you call it. In Europe they will call it a social democrat. Some in Europe are calling socialist in France that we use that term. We've got hung up a little bit about. This battle with communism. 70 years ago. You know it's all over and they're saying let's not fight a historical battle. Go on. I prefer my own term just because let's not fight those battles over terminology and let's go down to the policies and the policies he talks about are the right policies.
I mean let's start with maybe Medicare for all because that's had a real impact on the health care stocks they've gotten dragged down on this idea. Is that. Something realistic can we really afford such a thing.
Well the way I emphasize it is to make sure that everybody has access to health insurance and there are many ways to do it. Health care for Medicare for All is one way. Another one is an expanded and improved Obamacare. You know. What is clear you asked the question of affordability. We spend in our mixed private system so much more than so many other countries and get much worse results. So. Reforms in our health care system would actually save us money and make us able to spend more on other things that we would like to have.
Joseph I mentioned that you said just a moment ago that you feel that the policies articulated by the likes of SC are the right ones so MMT for example I don't mean all the details.
I don't know their intentions or the intentions that I've mentioned. You know let's make sure everybody has health insurance so let's make sure everybody can get an education up to their ability. Let's make sure everybody has a secure retirement.
Those ambitions can be achieved I think within our pocketbook with the right policy. Like what. Well I emphasize in my book something called the public option. So you know I talk about. It in healthcare we should have had the public option so that the people today who have only one or two health insurance companies would at least have a public option.
And can barely afford the Medicare system that we have right now. But the public option would give people more choice. And because. The public option Medicare is actually more efficient.
We'd actually save money. Let me give you another example. Retirement. The government Social Security retirement program has much lower ministry to cost than a lot of the private companies. So giving people the private choice the public choice of investing more with social security if they want to. Not forcing them. No basic view is by expanding choice. We will increase competition that will drive the private sector to provide better products rather than mortgages the kind of mortgages that led to the financial crisis of 2008 having better mortgages that.