The Politics of Inequality

Lind Initiative 2015

The Politics of Inequality

Sometimes called a new Gilded Age, the expansion of inequality over the last three decades has resulted in greater concentration of wealth among the “one percent”, who take home 20 percent of income in the U.S. and 15% in Canada. The inaugural Lind Initiative, hosted by the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC, examined the far reaching effects of inequality on class, race, gender, and the environment.

The 2015 Lind Initiative series welcomed prominent scholars, writers, and journalists to lead a campus-wide dialogue on inequality. The dialogue was led by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, who joined UBC to teach and lecture. Professor Stiglitz is among the world’s foremost thinkers on the causes of inequality, and a champion for reforms to curb the excesses created by and for the top 1% of the population, which takes in 25% of income in the U.S. As a Columbia University professor and former chief economist at the World Bank, Stiglitz has written and spoken extensively about inequality. During his UBC visits, he participated in classes and events with various UBC groups, including the Liu Institute, the Department of Political Science, the Vancouver School of Economics, the Sauder School of Business and the Peter A. Allard School of Law. His keynote address, “The Great Divide,” was well received by the UBC community and the public.

In addition to Professor Stiglitz, the Lind Initiative invited prominent American scholars, writers, and intellectuals to UBC to discuss dimensions of inequality such as race, gender, environment, and development. These included: Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, journalist Jill Abramson, author Teju Cole, and Green Party of Canada Leader and MP Elizabeth May.

Together with our speakers, we addressed questions such as:

  • Is inequality a result of market or political forces?
  • What are the barriers to equal opportunity for women?
  • Are there moral obligations to countries being forced out of existence by climate change?
  • Why do global determinants of progress come alongside increases of extreme poverty in the developing world?

Lind 2015 Speakers

Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph Stiglitz

Nobel Laureate and Columbia University economist

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Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs

Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University

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Jill Abramson

Jill Abramson

Former Executive Editor, New York Times

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Teju Cole

Teju Cole

Writer

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Anna Maria Tremonti

Anna Maria Tremonti

Journalist, Host of CBC Radio One's The Current

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Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May

MP Saanich-Gulf Islands

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Lind 2015 Events

OpenCanada
The Politics of Inequality

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OpenCanada – The Politics of Inequality Series

The inaugural 2015 Lind Initiative in U.S. Studies, hosted by the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia, examined the impacts of inequality in in its myriad forms: income, wealth, gender, race, marriage, globalization, and the environment. The Lind Initiative included a speaker series, featuring economists Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs, journalist Jill Abramson, author Teju Cole, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May, as well as an upper-level university seminar led by Dr. Stiglitz.

In partnership with the Lind Initiative and to align with its 2015 theme, OpenCanada.org focused its attention to matters of inequality with articles, essays, analyses and interviews with key experts, writers and scholars who explore the issue in depth. Through contributions from economist Dambisa Moyo, Aboriginal journalist Angela Sterritt, Harvard visiting professor Miles Corak, and Nick Malkoutzis of Athens’ Kathimerini English, among others, readers gained a better understanding of a crisis at the forefront of today’s politics in Canada and around the world.

The Politics of Inequality series ran as a partnership between OpenCanada and the Lind Initiative at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia in 2015.

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