Individualism and collectivism reconciled
Letter to the Editor
Aaron Patrick appears to rue the fact that Professor Joseph Stiglitz has moved beyond standard neo-classical economic theory in pointing out the flaws of monopoly-capitalism, and especially the now entrenched failure of this system to deliver a fair rate of wages to workers.
Stiglitz is clearly very concerned about the disempowerment of working people and the rise of large-scale private monopoly interests. But it would be a mistake for readers to draw the conclusion that Stiglitz promotes a negative or divisive perspective on economics.
On the contrary, a close analysis of Stiglitz’s writing reveals his brilliance in reconciling the best aspects of individualism and collectivism.
One of the strongest examples of this is his work on the Henry George Theorem. Thereby, he demonstrated the multitudinous economic advantages of lifting taxes from labour and its products and funding community services through a ‘single tax’ on unimproved land values.
You don’t need to be a Nobel Prize winner to realise the good sense in drawing public revenue from the windfall gains of land speculators rather than from the hard yakka of working people. More strength to your arm, Professor Stiglitz!
Ronald E. Johnson