A fundamental failure of the current global economic system lies in its inability to explain or correct the inequitable, and often arbitrary, distribution of wealth and income. About 250 years ago, Adam Smith was in a vantage position to observe industrial capitalism, albeit he could not imagine the scale of transformation it would bring to society.
No doubt, the pitfalls of capitalism are littered all around us, due, principally, to short-term profit maximization prioritization at the detriment of societal well-being and environmental sustainability. Yet, it is difficult to deny the improvements in standards of living and the impacts of the concomitant innovations from the capitalist mode of wealth creation on our lives.
Clearly, policy failures have contributed to unfair economic designs that have perpetuated extreme inequality and poverty for too long. But wait a second before you lash wildly at the markets! It is easy to blame modern capitalism for the perils and delusions of society, but it is not easy to offer an alternative.
Indeed, economic justice matters, but capitalism is the lubricant of democracy. Tough to reconcile? Bottomline: we can move the needle by ensuring economic growth is distributed fairly across society. It’s about economic mobility. Economic growth and social inclusion need not be mutually exclusive.
To unpack these conundrums, we invite some of the world’s leading figures in the economic development space. From practice and policy to research and scholarship, our guests are among the best in their fields.
For development to be sustainable, it’s got to be inclusive. More segments of society should participate in the economy. #InclusiveEconomics4Impact