July 24, 2016
I met the American economist, Joseph Stiglitz (b. 1943), in Seychelles. Winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Joseph Stiglitz declared that capitalism and globalization had failed to sustain standards of living for most citizens and that the worst sufferer was the middle class of Europe and the United States. Workers had helplessly seen their wages fall and jobs disappear. It was no big secret that global trade deals, hammered out in secret by the multinational corporations, were meant for corporate profits and the economic growth of people and even business. Greed eclipsed all principles of the market economy.
When a person in the audience asked, “What would happen if Donald Trump (b. 1946) becomes the President of the USA?” Joseph Stiglitz crisply replied, “The US system is bigger than the whims and fancies of individual leaders. Had it allowed Barack Obama (b. 1961) to go beyond a point with what he wanted?” I was wondering at the way Indian leaders project themselves as the movers and shakers, and the realism of what Joseph Stiglitz was talking about.