Bloomberg News

Stiglitz Says U.S. Taxes Need Overhaul to Fix Policies

June 04, 2012

Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

The U.S. must overhaul its tax system because lower rates on investment income unfairly punish wage- earners, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said.

“It’s absolutely essential that we have a fair tax system and one that directs our economic activity to production not to speculation,” Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview on “Surveillance Midday” with Tom Keene.

“If you have a tax system in which people at the very top pay half the rate of somebody who is working hard for their income simply because they get their income from speculation, that’s an unfair system,” said Stiglitz, 69, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001. “It’s a distorting system. It leads to lower economic growth.”

Stiglitz appeared to discuss his new book, “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Jeff Kearns in Washington at; Tom Keene in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at

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