The Rock Bottom:

 the (un)fortunate conclusion of Inequality in the US


A Virtual Townhall with

Nobel Laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, BA Amherst College'65, PhD MIT'67

University Professor, Columbia Business School, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Host: Thomas B. Edsall, Adj. Professor of Columbia Journalism School, author, and political journalist

While the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing unrest has been triggered by systemic racial injustice, the traction and appeal of the protests are closely tied to the endemic socio-economical injustice in the US. Massive unemployment, uneven access to healthcare, and lack of financial prospects exacerbated by the pandemic, seem to have created a singular point of inflection.
We as a nation have a choice to make: either revitalize the American promise by giving all citizens a chance to prosper, or be consumed by a profound lack of trust in a representative government and the near-certain breakdown of civil society.

Please join the conversation with Nobel Laureate economist, and Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz as he considers what the new decade might bring. He will describe the roots of inequality and its destabilizing effect on civil society, talk about whether we should expect catastrophic events like the current unrest to become the norm, and look at how the government could play an important role in giving all citizens a fair chance in their pursuit of happiness and wellbeing.

Professor Stiglitz will be interviewed by Tom Edsall, Adj. Professor of Columbia Journalism School, followed by Q&A.

Cosponsored by:

MIT Club of Washington DC


Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute.

A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university's highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003. In 2011 Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz's work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His most recent titles are People, Power, and Profits, Rewriting the Rules of the European Economy, Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, The Euro and Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.

Stiglitz graduated from Amherst College, received his PhD from MIT in 1967, and became a full professor at Yale in 1970. Before Columbia University, he has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT, and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

edsall.jpeg.256x256_q100_crop-smart_1_.jpgThomas B. Edsall joined the full-time faculty at Columbia Journalism School after a twenty-five year career at The Washington Post. During that time, he covered all aspects of national politics, including presidential elections, the House and Senate, lobbying, tax policy, demographic trends, social welfare, the politics of race and ethnicity, and organized labor. Since 2011 Edsall has been writing a weekly online opinion column for The New York Times, and his column on strategic and demographic trends in American politics appears every Wednesday. Edsall is also a correspondent for The New Republic and has reported on politics for The Baltimore Sun and The Providence Journal. He has frequently contributed TV and radio commentary to CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, PBS, FOX, and NPR.

Edsall is the author of five books: "The Age of Austerity" (2012); "Building Red America" (2006); "Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics" (1992, a Pulitzer finalist in General Non-Fiction); "Power and Money: Writing About Politics" (1988); and "The New Politics of Inequality" (1984). He has written extensively for magazines, with articles appearing in American Prospect, The Atlantic Monthly, Civilization, Dissent, Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, and the Washington Monthly. Awards include the Carey McWilliams Award of the American Political Science Association, the Bill Pryor Award of the Newspaper Guild, a yearlong fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and five Media Fellowships at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Edsall attended Brown University and received a B.A. from Boston University.

September 09, 2020 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm


Washington, DC
United States

Kambiz Rahnavardy

Emily Dietsch Cynthis Walker Sonalee Rau Sharon Ford Ellen Schwartz

Will you come?

$10.00 guests #tickets at $10 each
$5.00 MIT Club Members #tickets at $5 each
$5.00 ColumbiaDC members #tickets at $5 each