Rent Seeking And The Making Of An Unequal Society By Joseph Stiglitz

Amazing Essays
The world we live in today is dominated by the outstretched hands of corporations that seek to influence and manipulate our every decision. The corporate world is leading a multi-pronged assault for total control over the consumer through deceptive marketing practices and relentless exploitation untapped markets, and a lack of government regulation. In “Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society” by Joseph Stiglitz, we are presented with the concept of rent-seeking. It is an umbrella ideology that includes various unethical practices used by the wealthy to drain the lower classes of their wealth and redistribute it at the top. The corporations that are solely after monetary gain, are doing so at the expense of the poor and are taking …show more content…
The issue of inequality exists on a global platform and touches on all facets our lives. The power to accumulate and redistribute wealth is with the wealthy elite that can manipulate markets at will, however, Stiglitz clearly defines the dangers of such to society, “…there are two ways to become wealthy: to create wealth or to take wealth away from others. The former adds to society. The latter typically subtracts from it…” (Stiglitz 396). The blame cannot be placed on the lower classes when there poverty is a direct result of faulty and deceptive practices carried out by corporations. Stiglitz offers a key example, “But the form of rent seeking that is most egregious—and that has been most perfected in recent years—has been the ability of those in the financial sector to take advantage of the poor and uninformed, as they made enormous amounts of money by preying upon these groups with predatory lending and abusive card practices” (Stiglitz 399). These corporations and financial institutions will stop at nothing to achieve wealth creation, even if it means misguiding the lower classes and using unjust methods for extracting wealth from them. Similarly, in Japan, inequality existed in the form of healthcare because pharmaceutical corporations were bent on yielding enormous profits from a lucrative market, instead of curing the Japanese people. Corporations like GlaxoSmithKline lied to the Japanese people about the efficacy of their drug, “As often repeated as this story is, it turns out that there is no scientific consensus that depression is linked to serotonin deficiency or that SSRIs restore the brain’s normal “balance” of this neurotransmitter” (Watters 529). They repeatedly misinformed the Japanese public and did nothing to stop the mainstream usage of their drug as long as profits grew, even though

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    People who “own the means of production” are considered to exercise political power, both directly and indirectly. Corporations and capitalism go hand and hand. As I stated before, craving for profit is the driving force of corporate pollution. Unfortunately, everyone suffers as a result, especially those apart of the lower-class. In Weber’s, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, he stated when capitalism does prosper, it does so because people have embraced and internalized certain values.…

    • 833 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Bourgeoisie Vs Proletariat

    • 1002 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Corporations doing this are a way to keep themselves rich and create a bigger barrier between the rich and poor. The company’s competing with each other for more profit is the cause of the Monopoly effect. The monopoly effect is when the bourgeoisie and proletariats are competing with each other. This means that the poor are trying to live up to the rich expectations. The rich are always trying to outdo themselves that way the poor can never be at their level.…

    • 1002 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    By selling the sneakers at a much higher price then what it cost to manufacture them, a substantial profit was produced for the business, but no additional benefits were earned by the workers. As the activists and Marx point out, the money-grubbing corporate world expands its capital at the expense of the workers, while the poor workers are guaranteed a lifetime of poverty and unhappiness. In addition to the exploitive nature of the workings of capitalism shown in the first scene, the activists were very conscious and extremely critical of the inequality that existed between their living conditions and that of Hardenberg, the rich businessman whom Jules was deeply indebted. Hardenberg acknowledged that his wealth provided him and his family a high standard of living which included many privileges, such as hiring an expensive attorney that saddled young Jules with a boatload of debt that greatly impacted her chances of…

    • 604 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Rising Inequality Essay

    • 943 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Stiglitz writes that unbalance politics “driven by extremes of inequality leads to instability” (112). The increasing power of the wealthy leads to deregulated and inefficient markets. When polluters don’t pay the social cost of their environmental damage, and banks are properly punished, costs are not being allocated correctly and he market can’t function properly and operate at a sustainable equilibrium. Additionally, the elites succeeding in shaping an unjust legal system that fails to effectively discourage certain types of bad behavior. Extreme inequality creates a voter paradox in which people are only willing to vote if they feel that the political process is working in their favor.…

    • 943 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The wealthy businessmen argued that they had worked hard for their wealth and deserved to be rich, they refused to pay their fair share of taxes to help out the rest of the American people and the American economy. Rich businessmen did not like the establishment of a minimum wage because it took money from their great wealth, despite the fact that the establishment of a minimum wage helped to balance out the uneven distribution of wealth that the US economy was having. According to Sarah Carroll, “There was a major unequal distribution of income that led to the richest 1% of Americans owning approximately 40% of the country’s wealth”(3). The establishment of the minimum wage ensured that the wealth was trickling down instead of just accumulating all at the top with the upper class, which in turn helped the uneven distribution of…

    • 1262 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The wealthiest Americans receive the greatest benefits, but they insult the rest of us by treating their tax responsibility like a game.” Again, the wealthy people that he is describing are the people who have either inherited the money, or so called “fake suits”, or are people who have made their money by climbing the corporate ladder of large corporations that have deceived average citizens to become so broad. We look at one’s reasoning, such as Paul Ryan’s, and think that it is easy to see why we should make the rich pay more. We could easily believe that they are playing games with us and we are simply a pawn in their enormous corporate scandal. However, one must ask one’s self, “What about the rich who earned their way of living? What about the ones who pay their taxes right, and they run a good business?…

    • 1472 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The concept that the amount of money obtained is most important, has its negative consequences on people and the environment. Firstly, an employee working for low wages, results in companies profiting immensely. However, not having the right of democracy or citizen participation in the workplace makes employees resent their jobs even more. The capitalist principals lead to inequality, which result in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Also, the capitalist system shows no ecological concern, and worries solely on economic growth.…

    • 1701 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The factory type jobs that are being relocated to third world countries, are nothing but modern day slavery, and actually hurt the people in the countries. Capitalism without globalization I contend, has outgrown the United States because the biggest institution that helped the United States become an economic behemoth was slavery. Without slavery, capitalist will seek to fill its void, which is labor that cost next to nothing that in third world countries, this is evident in policies such as NAFTA and the proposed TPP agreement. Globalization which goes hand and hand with development are two facades that capitalist give the general public to create the illusion that…

    • 999 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    From the profit maximization or individualism theory point of view, every business when making the profit must consider the human right and the law. In this analysis, we will assume that Wal-Mart is guilty since it ignored the well being of everyone and anything in order to maximize its profits. In addition, there is substantial evidence that Wal-Mart paid bribes to a foreign official. Therefore, even the profit that they received unlawfully will not qualify as satisfactory under individualism theory. From the time they started issuing the bribes, they knew they are doing something unlawful.…

    • 1615 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In “Who Rules America”, Domhoff emphasizes the corporate elites role in creating an unfair societal structure. Elites dominate the large bureaucratic structured organizations that have “authority over the lower-level employees to shape political and many other outcomes outside their organizations” (page 21). Domhoff examines the elite by seeing the ties that multiple large corporations have to one another and dividing it into 3 sects: “who benefits? Who governs? And who wins?” (Page 15).…

    • 1345 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays