We all have the sense that our economy tilts toward big business, but as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains in People, Power and Profits, a few corporations have come to dominate entire sectors, contributing to skyrocketing inequality and slow growth. This is how the financial industry has managed to write its own regulations, tech companies have accumulated reams of personal data with little oversight, and government has negotiated trade deals that fail to represent the best interests of workers. Too many have made their wealth through exploitation of others rather than through wealth creation. If something isn't done, new technologies may make matters worse, increasing inequality and unemployment.Stiglitz identifies the true sources of wealth and increases in standards of living, based on learning, advances in science and technology, and the rule of law. He shows that the assault on the judiciary, universities, and the media undermines the very institutions that have long been the foundation of economic prosperity and democracy.Helpless though we may feel today, we are far from powerless. In fact, the economic solutions are often quite clear. We need to exploit the benefits of markets while taming their excesses, making sure that markets work for people and not the other way around. If enough rally behind this agenda for change, we can create a progressive capitalism that will recreate a shared prosperity. Stiglitz shows how a decent middle-class life can once again be attainable by all.
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