Someone LinkIn-ed this quote:
Inequality is a political choice, not an economic necessity ( Joseph Stiglitz)
This is incorrect *to a large extent*. Joe would have to explain his terms which is a difficult task as they are “dialectical” (think jello-nail-wall) in the NGR sense. Insofar as humans are Veblenian *faber* (makers of tools, i.e., exosomatic implements), inequality is intrinsic not only biologically but also economically (and, subsequently and consequently, socially or…”classy”, when the distinction mutates from those traits to positional levels within organizations).
The projection of that onto the social plane is property rights and onto the economic, control of (limited) resources–and the conflicts therearounds. Those may be subject to “political choice” and Joe would perhaps recognize that his (implicit) logic on property rights would yield Marx if consistently applied; which, paradoxically, also highlights the “dialectical” aspect of “political choice”, as historically illustrated by those political environments which applied…dialectical (and scientific, of course, per Engels) materialism.
That Joe is an advisor to the UK Labour Party and he uttered this gem after a lecture alongside a Labour MP is perhaps significant.
- In Labour Press, March, 2016, http://press.labour.org.uk/post/140350679604/inequality-is-a-political-choice-not-an-economic