“Progressive Capitalism Is Not an Oxymoron,” says Joe Stiglitz. However, the issue is the length of the spectrum. If you cut socialism (democratic or not) off the left, then there’s the “progressive” side of the totally capitalist spectrum. If you include socialism, then it is an oxymoron. Anyway, the following by Joe Stiglitz is true:
America arrived at this sorry state of affairs because we forgot that the true source of the wealth of a nation is the creativity and innovation of its people. One can get rich either by adding to the nation’s economic pie or by grabbing a larger share of the pie by exploiting others — abusing, for instance, market power or informational advantages. We confused the hard work of wealth creation with wealth-grabbing (or, as economists call it, rent-seeking [doesn’t mean hardworking landlords increasing the pie]), and too many of our talented young people followed the siren call of getting rich quickly.
The neoliberal fantasy that unfettered markets will deliver prosperity to everyone should be put to rest. It is as fatally flawed as the notion after the fall of the Iron Curtain that we were seeing “the end of history” and that we would all soon be liberal democracies with capitalist economies.
Most important, our exploitive capitalism has shaped who we are as individuals and as a society. The rampant dishonesty we’ve seen from Wells Fargo and Volkswagen or from members of the Sackler family as they promoted drugs they knew were addictive — this is what is to be expected in a society that lauds the pursuit of profits as leading, to quote Adam Smith, “as if by an invisible hand,” to the well-being of society, with no regard to whether those profits derive from exploitation or wealth creation. [Source]