The work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz is a study in elite myopia

Every generation seems to have its gaggle of statist economists who get rich while talking about the “evils” of the market.


Stiglitz is a figure to be reckoned with, not just for his past impact on policy but for the influence that he might wield in future Democratic administrations. University Professor at Columbia, former chairman of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, former chief economist at the World Bank, and author of more than 30 books, Stiglitz has been publicly associated with New York mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, both of whom might bring him along if they win higher office.

The author asks how such a “sophisticated” economist could so fall in love with the disastrous policies that define places like Venezuela. We almost have to ask, “How could Stiglitz not?” It seems par for the course with a certain group within the political class. They long for socialism and the chance to mold society in the image they see as “just.” (And also advantageous for people like them.) It is the big government religion. It is the belief that heaven can be had on earth if only we (or specifically people like Stiglitz) had the guts to will such a society.

This is a very dangerous mentality. “Totalitarians of the chair.” Not all brutal statists wear jackboots. Sometimes they wear tweed jackets.

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