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The Interview

Joseph Stiglitz: Democrats have 'more than 50/50 chance' of winning in 2020

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has told FRANCE 24 that he believes the Democratic Party have "more than a 50/50 chance" of winning the next US presidential election in 2020. Stiglitz, who was chairman of President Clinton's council of economic advisors in the 1990s, said he has been speaking to several of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination, but refused to be drawn on who was his favourite.

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When asked if he preferred any of the front-runners, he replied, "I think they all have their strengths. I think what I care about, and what everybody cares about, is getting rid of the real danger to the United States and to the world, and that's getting rid of Donald Trump."

Stiglitz's latest book, "People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capital for an Age of Discontent" is highly critical of economic policies pursued by Trump and many of his predecessors, and the resulting inequality that they created. The economist believes the Trump administration's attempts to boost economic growth with major tax cuts have not been effective.

"It is astounding that even with a $1 trillion deficit this year, which should create a boom in the economy... how weak the economy is expected to be, growing less than 2 percent next year. It is very clear that there's been bad economic management," he told FRANCE 24's Business Editor Stephen Carroll.

Stiglitz supports the Democrats' attempt to impeach the president, despite their limited chance of success. "No one is above the law, and the president has to be held accountable."

"Even if it doesn't come to removing him, the fact that in the process of holding him accountable, Americans will get a renewed confidence in our democracy, and a renewed reason why we have to support the Democrats."

Turning to the issue of taxation, Stiglitz praised the French government for pressing ahead with its so-called “GAFA” tax on revenues of digital giants. Several European countries objected to an EU-wide levy earlier this year, preferring to wait for a broader arrangement which would include the United States, being developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Stiglitz believes a Democratic president would sign up to a global deal. "I believe all of the candidates are committed to the proposal of fair taxation, and part of fair taxation is making corporations pay their fair share of taxes."

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