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Can Anyone Fix A Rigged Economy?

14th March 1960:  Members of the Foreign Exchange Brokers' Association seated around a table in the City of London.
Photo by Central Press/Getty Images
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A key component of political stump speeches is summed up in this longstanding idea: “The economy is rigged.”

Two new books have indicted the super-wealthy as a source of major societal ills — even when they mean well.

Anand Giridharadas is a former columnist for The New York Times, and Steve Hilton is the host of Fox News’ “The Next Revolution.”

Hilton’s new book, “Positive Populism,” is all about increasing immigration, universal basic income and universal basic health care — which often directly contradicts other anchors on his network.

And Giriharadas’ new book, “Winners Take All,” is about why he thinks philanthropy is actually bad for democracy. He gave a speech at the Aspen Institute that directly challenged the institution.

The Aspen Consensus, in a nutshell, is this: the winners of our age must be challenged to do more good. But never, ever tell them to do less harm.

The Aspen Consensus holds that capitalism’s rough edges must be sanded and its surplus fruit shared, but the underlying system must never be questioned.

The Aspen Consensus says, “Give back,” which is of course a compassionate and noble thing. But, amid the $20 million second homes and $4,000 parkas of Aspen, it is gauche to observe that giving back is also a Band-Aid that winners stick onto the system that has privileged them, in the conscious or subconscious hope that it will forestall major surgery to that system — surgery that might threaten their privileges.

Amid wage stagnation and an ever-widening gap between the rich and poor, how can we make the economy work better for everyone? How does populism fit into the solution?

Produced by Denise Couture; text by Gabrielle Healy.


Anand Giridharadas, Author, “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World”; MSNBC political analyst; @AnandWrites

Steve Hilton, Author, “Positive Populism: Revolutionary Ideas to Rebuild Economic Security, Family and Community in America”; host of “The Next Generation” on Fox News; former senior policy adviser in the U.K. government; SteveHiltonx

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