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2015 Nobel Prize in Economics: “Inequality derived from crony capitalism is a cancer”

2016-11-29

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics, Angus Deaton, criticized people who get rich "not by creating anything, but by taking away from everyone else.”

He said so in a conference organized by the Vatican, called "Towards a more human and just economy.” In a speech that brought to mind Pope Francis' views on economics, he said that the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer at an alarming rate. 

PROF. ANGUS DEATON
2015 Nobel Prize in Economics
"Income inequality is rising rapidly in many rich countries and in many poor countries. In many places, the benefits of economic growth are accruing to a tiny minority who are already greatly advantaged.”

Deaton said there is good inequality and bad inequality. Good inequality is a product of people who get rich by inventing things that make the world a better place. The problem, on the other hand, is negative inequality:

PROF. ANGUS DEATON
2015 Nobel Prize in Economics
"One that is driven by the unproductive rent-seeking of those who are already rich and powerful. Those people get rich not by creating anything, but by taking away from everyone else. The inequality that comes from this kind of crony capitalism is a cancer that threatens us all.”

These words are very much in line with many of the Pope Francis' views on economy, in particular his criticism of people who try to acquire wealth just for the sake of it or because they place what he calls the "god of money” at the center.

POPE FRANCIS
July 31, 2016
"When the center of the global economy is the god of money and not people – men and women – this is already the first terrorism. You have cast out the wonder of creation – man and woman – and you have put money in its place. This is a basic terrorism against all of humanity! Think about it!" 

While he is critical of some of the side effects of globalization, Angus Deaton spoke harshly against those who choose to forsake globalization altogether, and he specifically mentioned Donald Trump and Brexit supporters. 


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