We all have the sense that our economy tilts toward big business, but, as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains in People, Power, and Profits, a few corporations now dominate entire sectors, contributing to skyrocketing inequality and slow growth. This is how the financial industry has managed to write its own regulations, tech companies have accumulated reams of personal data without oversight, and the government has negotiated trade deals that fail to represent the interests of workers. Too many have made their wealth through exploitation of others rather than through wealth creation. New technologies may make matters worse, increasing inequality and unemployment.
Stiglitz identifies the true sources of wealth and of increases in standards of living, based on learning, advances in science and technology, and the rule of law. He shows that the assault on the judiciary, universities, and the media undermines the very institutions that have long been the foundation of economic prosperity and democracy. He sets out the economic solutions which will exploit the benefits of markets while taming their excesses, and how a decent middle-class life can once again be attainable for all.