Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018

Grillo's 5 Star Movement can count on Stiglitz star-power


Ancona, February 26 - Comedian Beppe Grillo, the
surprise, true winner of Italy's inconclusive February 24-25
elections, has a secret card up his sleeve: an economic ''guru''
with close ties to Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz.
For his economics policies the Genoese comedian turns to
Mauro Gallegati, an economics professor at the Polytechnic
University of the Marche region who has taught at Cambridge and
Columbia University and has worked with Stiglitz.
Gallegati says that there is much ''misinformation''
regarding Grillo's Five Star Movement's (M5S) economic policies.
A former town councilor and ''grillino'' (as Grillo's
supporters are called) from the movement's beginnings, Gallegati
is an expert in welfare policy with extensive international
Along with a few others, Gallegati was picked to set up a
''task force to help the newly elected in parliament.'' The task
force's job will be to educate the Five Star representatives on
Aside from this task, Gallegati is also putting the
finishing touches to a journal article - written together with
Stiglitz - on how to redistribute income and which will form the
basis of the Five Star Movement's policy platform in parliament:
''Hit the richest with taxes.''
In Gallegati's view, the rich are those, for example, with
private planes.
Also part of the M5S platform is a reform to the labor
market which protects the workers and not necessarily a worker's
work place. ''It's a completely different approach from that''
currently being followed, Gallegati says.
''We have to invent totally new professions, placing bets
on culture and tourism, otherwise who will pay today's
unprotected workers when they retire?'' asks the economist.
''To my children I always say: 'when I die put my body in
the refrigerator so you can keep collecting my pension',''
Gallegati jokes.
Stiglitz, who won the Nobel prize in economics in 2001
while a member of Columbia University's faculty, will not work
directly on the M5S platform, Gallegati says, ''but he will give
us a hand. As will one of his closest collaborators, Bruce
Greenwald, the guru of gurus on Wall Street.''
Stiglitz has published a string of bestsellers including
Fair Trade For All (2005) and Making Globalization Work (2006).
Last year's The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided
Society Endangers Our Future laid out a wide-ranging agenda to
create a more dynamic economy and fairer and more equal society.
The blurb said: "As those at the top continue to enjoy the
best health care, education, and benefits of wealth, they often
fail to realize that, as Stiglitz highlights, 'their fate is
bound up with how the other 99 percent live...It does not have
to be this way'."

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