7 May 2024

Economist Joseph Stiglitz on Pro-Palestine campus protests, Trump and rethinking freedom

Nobel Prize Laureate Joseph Stiglitz is one of the most influential economists in the world, having advised multiple Democratic Presidents of the US and the World Bank, where he worked as Chief Economist and senior Vice President.

His latest book, called “The Road to Freedom: Economics and the Good Society,” argues that the economic right’s concept of “freedom” doesn’t take into account the necessary trade-offs, that one person’s freedom often comes at the expense of another’s. And that “free” – unregulated – markets, far from promoting growth and enterprise, in fact lessen economic opportunities for majorities and syphon wealth from the many to the few.

Stiglitz, now 81, is a Professor at Columbia University in New York, where freedom of speech and the right to protest have been making headlines in recent weeks, with hundreds of pro-Palestinian student protesters occupying the campus and clashing with police. The movement has now spread from the US, and encampments around the world are being launched, where the common demand is asking universities to divest and disclose their financial support of the war in Gaza.

In this episode of Ways to Change the World, economist Joseph Stiglitz tells Krishnan Guru-Murthy why more government intervention is desirable, whether campus protests in the US are going “over the line” and why stalling living standards “create a fertile field” for demagogues like Donald Trump.

Produced by Shaheen Sattar and Silvia Maresca.


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