Koliko neenakosti je še vzdržne?

Branko Milanović napoveduje svojo novo knjigo Capitalism, Alone“, ki bo izšla naslednjo pomlad. V podcastu na WBUR pojasnjuje, da je določena mera neenakosti nujna kot spodbuda za rast in razvoj, koliko neenakosti prenese kapitalizem, da ostane vzdržen kot družbeni sistem ter kaj je treba narediti za vzdržen kapitalizem. Razumni pogledi Milanovića ne bodo všeč ne ultra levičarjem in ne hard core konzervativcem. …kar pa je dejansko velik kompliment.

On whether inequality is required in order for capitalism to function

“Let me answer this question by saying first: yes, indeed, it is absolutely required. But, secondly, I have to also qualify that by saying that many people, actually — when they ask that question — imagine that inequality is some kind of a binary variable. Which means either you have inequality, or you don’t have inequality. The reality, of course, is much more complex. You should think of inequality like the way that you measure, for example, temperature, or weight and so on. It’s a continuous variable. So, the question that we have to ask [is]: is inequality that we have now actually bad for growth, and bad for social stability and bad for, basically, what we call [in] economics, intergenerational equality? In other words, equality of opportunity. So, let me just say it again, I think it is bad for growth. It is bad for social stability, and it is bad for equality of chances, or equality of opportunity.”

On whether capitalism is built to make the rich richer

“Yes, I think so. … The system, the way it functions today, is generating — and, I’ll actually give it two examples — generating, really increasing, inequality. And that increasing inequality leads to the control of the political process by the rich. And, the control of the political process by the rich is really required for the rich to transfer, or transmit, rather, all these advantages. Be it through money — financial advantages – or, education, to their offspring. Which then reinforces the dominance of whatever is called the upper class. So, I think this is the logic that I see. High inequality, political control, intergenerational transmission of disadvantages.”

On whether capitalism as a system is sustainable

“It’s a very difficult question. I do believe, to a large extent, [capitalism] is sustainable. Even if all of inequality continue[s] to be the way that [it is], unchecked. It is sustainable, largely, because we don’t have a blueprint for an alternative system. However, something being sustainable, something being efficient, something being good, are two different things. You can actually have capitalism, with the way that it functions in South Africa. We don’t see an immediate sort of revolution, but you can eventually have a revolution — you can have a change. So, you know, the question is: Is this a desirable way for the system to function? That you will let things, really, run away in one direction which is clearly — I’m not saying it’s unsustainable — but, difficult to sustain. And, it’s inefficient, even for growth purposes.

“And, then, eventually you end up with either revolution, or a disorder, or conflicts and so on. Or, is it more intelligent to actually take stock of the situation as it is, and to devise ways in which certain negative elements — significant negative elements brought by inequality — would be kept in check? And just [a] further point on that, this is actually a very similar reaction [to what] happened in the 1930s. You know, people in the 1930s were accused … including FDR, were accused of being socialists — covert socialists — all of that. [Economist John Maynard] Keynes was accused of being one as well. But, what in reality they wanted to do, and which they did, is actually to make capitalism more sustainable. And that’s exactly what I think we should do now.”


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