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The Road to Freedom

Economics and the Good Society

Joseph Stiglitz

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We are a nation born from the conviction that people must be free. But since the middle of the last century, that idea has been co-opted. Forces on the political Right have justified exploitation by cloaking it in the rhetoric of freedom, leading to pharmaceutical companies freely overcharging for medication, a Big Tech free from oversight, politicians free to incite rebellion, corporations free to pollute, and more. How did we get here? Whose freedom are we—and should we—be thinking about?

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Hardcover
ISBN13: 978-1-324-07437-3

In The Road to Freedom, Nobel prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz dissects America’s current economic system and the political ideology that created it, laying bare their twinned failure. “Free” and unfettered markets have only succeeded in delivering a series of crises: the financial crisis, the opioid crisis, and the crisis of inequality. While a small portion of the population has amassed considerable wealth, wages for most people have stagnated. Free and unfettered markets have exploited consumers, workers, and the environment alike. Such failures have fed populist movements that believe being free means abandoning any obligations citizens have to one another. As they grow in strength, these movements now pose a real threat to true economic and political freedom.

As an economic advisor to presidents and as chief economist at the World Bank, Stiglitz has witnessed these profound changes firsthand. As he argues, the failures follow from the elites’ unshakeable dedication to “the neoliberal experiment.” Explicitly taking on giants such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, Stiglitz exposes accepted ideas about our political and economic life for what they are: twisted visions that tear at the social fabric while they enrich the very few.

The Road to Freedom breaks new ground, showing how economics—including recent advances in which Stiglitz has played such an important role—reframes how to think about freedom and the role of the state in a twenty-first century society. Drawing on the work of contemporary philosophers, Stiglitz explains a deeper, more humane way to assess freedoms—one that considers with care what to do when one person’s freedom conflicts with another’s. We must reimagine our existing economic and legal systems and embrace forms of collective action, including regulation and investment, if we are to create an innovative society in which everyone can flourish. The task could not be more urgent, and Stiglitz’s latest book is essential reading for those committed to the American ideal of an economic and political system that delivers well-being, opportunity, and meaningful freedoms for all.

About the Author

Joseph Stiglitz
President
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)

Joseph E. Stiglitz is President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and Chairman of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia, teaching in its Economics Department, its Business School, and its School of International and Public Affairs. He chaired the UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, created in the aftermath of the financial crisis by the President of the General Assembly. He is former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and Chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2001.

Publication Information

Type Book
Program -
Posted 04/09/24
Download Not Available
# Pages 384
Publisher W.W. Norton & Company
Year 2024