Top Quotes from Joseph Stiglitz

Globalization and trade liberalization were supposed to make us all better off through the mechanism of trickle-down economics. What we seemed to be seeing instead was trickle-up economics, accompanied by a destruction of democratic politics, as we moved ever closer to a system of ‘one dollar, one vote’ as opposed to ‘one person, one vote.’

Joseph Stiglitz

High levels of economic inequality lead to imbalances in political power, as those at the top use their economic weight to shape our politics in ways that give them more economic power.

Joseph Stiglitz

When you have a highly divided society, it’s hard to come together to make investments in the common good.

Joseph Stiglitz

We share a common planet, and the world has learned the hard way that we have to get along and work together. We have learned, too, that cooperation can benefit all.

Joseph Stiglitz

What separates developing countries from developed countries is as much a gap in knowledge as a gap in resources.

Joseph Stiglitz

If there is a silver lining in the Trump cloud, it is a new sense of solidarity over core values such as tolerance and equality, sustained by awareness of the bigotry and misogyny, whether hidden or open, that Trump and his team embody.

Joseph Stiglitz

With the election of Trump, America’s soft power has taken a big hit. The United States has moved from a position of leadership in the creation of a rules-based international system to a position of leadership in its destruction and the creation of a regime of global protectionism. The damage will be long-lasting.

Joseph Stiglitz

Bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight.

Joseph Stiglitz

If I came home with a grade of A, my father would say, ‘There must have been a lot of dummies in that class.’

Joseph Stiglitz

Economists often like startling theorems, results which seem to run counter to conventional wisdom.

Joseph Stiglitz

People at the top spend less money than those at the bottom, so when you have redistribution toward the top, aggregate demand goes down. Unless you intervene, you’re going to have a weak economy unless something else happens.

Joseph Stiglitz

It’s very hard to persuade a young person who has seen the Great Recession, who has seen all the problems with inequality, to tell them inequality is not important and that markets are always efficient. They’d think you’re crazy.

Joseph Stiglitz

Society can’t function without shared prosperity.

Joseph Stiglitz

The notion that every well educated person would have a mastery of at least the basic elements of the humanities, sciences, and social sciences is a far cry from the specialized education that most students today receive, particularly in the research universities.

Joseph Stiglitz

Trump sees the world in terms of a zero-sum game. In reality, globalisation, if well managed, is a positive-sum force: America gains if its friends and allies – whether Australia, the E.U., or Mexico – are stronger. But Trump’s approach threatens to turn it into a negative-sum game: America will lose, too.

Joseph Stiglitz

My teachers helped guide and motivate me; but the responsibility of learning was left with me, an approach to learning which was later reinforced by my experiences at Amherst.

Joseph Stiglitz

With neoliberalism discredited and austerity failed, we need to rewrite the rules of the economy once again. But this time in the right way. We need rules that focus on long-term economic growth, and the only kind of sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity.

Joseph Stiglitz

Hedge funds are not noted for their long-term thinking – for them, a quarter is an eternity.

Joseph Stiglitz

By taxing CO2, firms and households would have an incentive to retrofit for the world of the future. The tax would also provide firms with incentives to innovate in ways that reduce energy usage and emissions – giving them a dynamic competitive advantage.

Joseph Stiglitz

The IP standards advanced countries favour typically are designed not to maximise innovation and scientific progress, but to maximise the profits of big pharmaceutical companies and others able to sway trade negotiations.

Joseph Stiglitz

Free migration within Europe means that countries that have done a better job at reducing unemployment will predictably end up with more than their fair share of refugees. Workers in these countries bear the cost in depressed wages and higher unemployment, while employers benefit from cheaper labor.

Joseph Stiglitz

One can only hope that America, and other countries, will not need more natural persuasion before taking to heart the lessons of Hurricane Harvey.

Joseph Stiglitz

But while I loved all of these courses, there was an irresistible attraction of economics.

Joseph Stiglitz

Under the rule of law, if the government wants to prevent firms from outsourcing and offshoring, it enacts legislation and adopts regulations to create the appropriate incentives and discourage undesirable behaviour. It does not bully or threaten particular firms or portray traumatised refugees as a security threat.

Joseph Stiglitz

China-led globalization in some ways worries me because they are not concerned about human rights, labor rights. They probably aren’t even really concerned about competitive marketplaces. So in some ways, they’re like Mr. Trump.

Joseph Stiglitz

European officials thought that austerity was part of what they called their ‘convergence policies,’ of trying to bring countries together. Instead, it actually made things worse. There’s more inequality within countries and more disparity across countries.

Joseph Stiglitz

Too many countries of the former Soviet bloc remain under the control of authoritarian leaders, including some, like the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who have learned how to maintain a more convincing facade of elections than their communist predecessors.

Joseph Stiglitz

There’s a long list of investments that governments could and should be making. There is strengthening infrastructure, such as transport and communications; there is investment in education; there is investment in families, particularly putting measures in place that free women from having to make the choice between raising a family and work.

Joseph Stiglitz

Letting bygones be bygones is a basic principle in economics.

Joseph Stiglitz

The U.S. basically wrote the rules and created the institutions of globalisation.

Joseph Stiglitz

A lot of my book, ‘The Price of Inequality,’ is about why there has been an increase in rent-seeking.

Joseph Stiglitz

When markets fail, as they often do, collective action becomes imperative.

Joseph Stiglitz

There is a broad consensus, not only in the United States but in most of the world, that if you are in an economic downturn, you need to stimulate. Germany seems to be an exception.

Joseph Stiglitz

In addition to offering benefits to those who invest, carry out research, and create jobs, higher taxes on land and real-estate speculation would redirect capital toward productivity-enhancing spending – the key to long-term improvement in living standards.

Joseph Stiglitz

After the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the shutdown of much of New York City by Sandy in 2012, and now the devastation wrought on Texas by Harvey, the U.S. can and should do better.

Joseph Stiglitz

The extra curricular activity in which I was most engaged – debating – helped shape my interests in public policy.

Joseph Stiglitz

Amherst was pivotal in my broad intellectual development; MIT in my development as a professional economist.

Joseph Stiglitz

The diminishing economic role of the United States in the global economy means that global political power will also become more dispersed. The world will become multipolar. By clumsily re-asserting a wish for U.S. dominance, Donald Trump is accelerating the opposite.

Joseph Stiglitz

One of the arguments I make for the failure of the euro is that, at the time it was being constructed, there was a ‘neo-liberal’ ideology which said that all we need to do to make this thing work is to get deficits low, keep inflation low, and take down barriers, and then everything would be fine.

Joseph Stiglitz

There is something about the mindset of a scientist that is different – an awareness of uncertainty, modeling, proof.

Joseph Stiglitz

In an economy, when the government spends more and invests in the economy, that money circulates, and recirculates again and again. So not only does it create jobs once: the investment creates jobs multiple times.

Joseph Stiglitz

The laws of normal economics dictate that lower taxes combined with increased spending will lead to bigger deficits.

Joseph Stiglitz

Ensuring preschool education for all and investing more in public schools is essential if the U.S. is to avoid becoming a neo-feudal country where advantages and disadvantages are passed on from one generation to the next.

Joseph Stiglitz

The reality is that what we did in 2010 with the Dodd-Frank wasn’t enough.

Joseph Stiglitz

Donald J. Trump has the good fortune of taking office as the economy is finally recovering from the 2008 crisis.

Joseph Stiglitz

Under Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the U.K., there was a rewriting of the basic rules of capitalism. These two governments changed the rules governing labour bargaining, weakening trade unions, and they weakened anti-trust enforcement, allowing more monopolies to be created.

Joseph Stiglitz

President Trump sees the world in transactional and zero-sum terms – if something is good for China, it must be bad for the U.S. By contrast, economists see the world in much more nuanced ways: if globalization is well-managed, it can be a positive-sum game, where both the U.S. and China gain; if it is badly managed, it can be negative-sum.

Joseph Stiglitz

We have a locale-based education system; we have increasing economic segregation. We clearly need a larger federal program to try to help disadvantaged districts.

Joseph Stiglitz

Macroeconomic policy can never be devoid of politics: it involves fundamental trade-offs and affects different groups differently.

Joseph Stiglitz

Tax policy should reflect a country’s values and address its problems.

Joseph Stiglitz

Those who have contributed great positive innovations to our society, from the pioneers of genetic understanding to the pioneers of the Information Age, have received a pittance compared with those responsible for the financial innovations that brought our global economy to the brink of ruin.

Joseph Stiglitz

China’s government has far more control over the country’s economy than our government has over ours, and it is moving from export dependence to a model of growth driven by domestic demand. Any restriction on exports to the U.S. would simply accelerate a process already underway.

Joseph Stiglitz