The inequality curse: constraints and political discretion

Luiz Carlos Bresser-Pereira

Texto para Discussão EESP/FGV 261, julho 2010.


We live in an unjust world characterized by economic inequality. No liberal theory of justice is able to justify it. Inequality is not "solved" with equality of opportunity or meritocracy. Nor by the socialist and republican critique. The poor will have to count with them and with democracy to make social progress reality. In their political struggle, they will face one economic constraint: the expected profit rate must remain attractive to business investors. Yet, giving that technological progress in increasingly capital-saving, this economic constraint does not obstruct that wages grow above the productivity rate and inequality is reduced. What really is an obstacle to social justice in the rich countries is, on one hand, the power that capitalist rentiers retain and financists acquired, and, on the other, the competition originated in low wage countries.



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